5 – Pokemon Red & Blue (Game Boy)
It’s difficult, when looking at older and newer games side-by-side, to differentiate true greatness from nostalgia. Still, some titles shine so brilliantly in their respective times that they’re worth revisiting again and again, even worth putting on the eShop for a new generation to love. Nostalgia aside, there is little about Pokemon Red & Blue that cannot be praised. Innovative even for their time, the original monster-battling RPGs took players to a world full of adventure and friendship, the like of which had not been experienced before. Pokemon appealed to players of varied ages and interests: there was collection, there was combat, there was a story, there were cute Pokemon and there were strong Pokemon and there were scary Pokemon and everything in between.
As if the story of a ten-year-old overturning a massive crime organization and becoming a League Champion wasn’t exciting enough for young players thirsty for adventure, the multiplayer gameplay was a massive draw. “Catching em all” was within anyone’s grasp, provided they had enough patience to seek out as many mons within the world as possible, and a friend with the other color title and a Link Cable. Companionship could be transformed into competition, as the Link Cable also enabled friends to battle with one another, putting the skills and the strength of their collected Pokemon to good use.
Even those who have never played a Pokemon title in their life can still pick up Red & Blue and enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of Kanto to fill out their Pokedex, meeting interesting friends and enemies along the way. Pokemon Red & Blue to this day capture the journey to become a Pokemon Master with a simplicity that just isn’t possible in modern titles.
Next: #4 - Pokemon Gold & Silver