They may have been the originals, it’s difficult to call the generation I games the best. They’re the first Pokémon games we played, and they serve as a great introduction to the series. When they were first released they were consolidated into the anime, movies and merchandise very well. Now, however, it’s hard to deny that they’ve aged.
Don’t get us wrong – they’re still completely wonderful, a gold mine of nostalgia and frankly essential to play, but we’re trying to tear off our rose-colored glasses here. They’ll always hold the title of being the originals, but next to later generations they appear kind of dull. It’s hard to imagine that someone new to Pokémon in this day and age could be convinced to continue playing by Generation I alone.
For those of us who love them for the nostalgia, though, we’re glad to say Nintendo has made Red, Blue and Yellow available on the virtual console.
Generation I will take you back to basics with a limited color palette, the original 151 Pokemon and the comfortable region of Kanto. These can be good or bad things.
Though the overall Pokémon story and gameplay haven’t actually changed too much over the years, there have been many quality-of-life features added since that you may not even have noticed dramatically improved gameplay.
There’s also the fact that though the original 151 are great Pokémon, there really are some great additions in the later generations, and going back, 151 can actually feel a little limiting. They’re not all great, either. Ekans is a snake, and its name is snake backwards; let’s not fool ourselves into saying the Pokémon series was at its creative peak here.
FireRed and LeafGreen are now likely the best way to experience this generation in terms of adding new features and improving visuals, but they’re not the easiest games to get your hands on for a decent price.