7. Generation V (Black/White/Black 2/White 2)
The Best Pokemon Generations
There aren’t really any bad Pokemon generations, but the weakest of the bunch definitely has to be generation V. The timing of its release somewhat gave the impression that developer Game Freak was hesitant towards truly advancing the series. Pokemon Black and White released in Japan on the original DS mere months before the 3DS came out. Fast-forward two years, though, and their direct sequels Black 2 and White 2 were again released on the same outdated hardware. Fans hungry for a mainline Pokemon on Nintendo’s new generation of handhelds were surely disappointed.
Notably, Generation V is often criticized for having “lazy” Pokemon designs, many of which are simply inanimate objects with facial features. Other frustrations include the fact that only the 150 new Pokemon are available before the post-game. And the fact that players don’t run into a Pikachu until around twenty hours into the story likely rubbed some people the wrong way.
Despite the sense of stagnation, however, Black and White were actually solid games. In particular, the robust narrative and excellent score were highlights. They featured two of the best friends in any of the games: Cheren and Bianca. And the player’s main rival, N, is also a somewhat menacing individual, making a nice change of pace. This was the only generation to receive a direct sequel. Black 2 and White 2 take place two years after the original game and give you a chance to see how the world has grown. It’s a neat concept, however, the story of the sequels don’t quite stack up to the quality of the originals. If you’re going to play one game from this generation, make it the first Black/White.