10 – Pokemon Diamond & Pearl (Nintendo DS)
Arguably the most lackluster of the main series, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl introduced little new content that is still remembered. The Pokemon designs were…weird, to say the least, including the appliance Pokemon Rotom and evolutions of others such as Yanma (Yanmega) and Lickitung (Lickilicky…yeah). The graphics were weaker than anticipated, and though the introduction of Wi-fi connectivity for the first time was a plus, it proved difficult to use due to system limitations. Pokemon Contests deviated considerably from their previous renditions, the Underground was a step back from the Secret Bases of Ruby and Sapphire, and the plot (centering around capturing a Pokemon who could alter space/time), was lackluster.
Still, Diamond and Pearl are not bad titles by any means. They are simply weaker than other main series entries. Positive features worth noting include the return of the day/night cycle from 2nd gen (complete with phases between day and night and subtle lighting/conversation differences!), the dual-screen working as a sort of Smartwatch with useful features such as a notepad, step counter, and friendliness checker, and adjustments to the battle system (differentiation between Physical and Special moves) that made competitive play both more intuitive and more challenging. They also feature one of the best-written villains in the Pokemon series, Cyrus, complete with tragic backstory. Though Gen 4 was the most lackluster of the generations, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl had much about them to love.
Next: #9 - Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver