All of the licensed Pokémon properties overseen by
The Pokémon Company are divided roughly by generation. These generations are roughly
chronological divisions by release; when an official sequel in the main role-playing game series is released that features new Pokémon, characters, and possibly new gameplay concepts, that sequel is considered the start of a new generation of the franchise. The main games and their spin-offs, the anime, manga and trading card game are all updated with the new Pokémon properties each time a new generation begins. The franchise began its seventh generation with Pokémon Sun and Moon, which were released worldwide on November 18, 2016.
First generation (1996–1999)
The original Pokémon games are Japanese
role-playing video games (RPGs) with an element of strategy, and were created by
Satoshi Tajiri for the
Game Boy. These role-playing games, and their sequels, remakes, and English language translations, are still considered the "main" 'Pokémon' games, and the games with which most fans of the series are familiar.
The Pokémon series began with the release of Pocket Monsters Red and Green for the
Game Boy in Japan. When these games proved extremely popular, an enhanced Blue version was released sometime after, and the Blue version was reprogrammed as
Pokémon Red and Blue for international release. The original Green version was never released outside Japan.
 Afterwards, a second enhanced remake,
Pokémon Yellow, was released to use the color palette of the
Game Boy Color and more of a stylistic resemblance to the popular
Pokémon anime. This first generation of games introduced the original 151 species of Pokémon (in
National Pokédex order, encompassing all Pokémon from
Mew), as well as the basic game concepts of capturing, training, battling and trading Pokémon with both computer and human players. These versions of the games take place within the fictional
Kanto region, though the name "Kanto" was not used until the second generation. Spin-off first-generation titles include
Pokémon Pinball; an
adaptation of the Pokémon Trading Card Game for
Game Boy Color; an on-rails photography simulator for
Nintendo 64 titled
Pokémon Snap; a Nintendo 64 Pokémon-themed adaptation of
Pokémon Puzzle League. A 3D Nintendo 64 incarnation of the handheld RPGs' battle system,
Pokémon Stadium; and a co-starring role for several species in the Nintendo 64 fighting game
Super Smash Bros..
 At the
Nintendo Space World in 2000, a game was revealed briefly with
Team Rocket singing a song. This was one of the earliest introductions of the Pokémon
Bellossom. This game was called
Meowth's Party, but was never turned into a playable game. Instead, the song/video was played at the end of one
Pokémon episode, and a
CD was made for retail in Japan for a limited time.
Second generation (1999–2002)
The second generation of Pokémon video games began in 1999 with the
Japanese release of
Pokémon Gold and Silver for the
Game Boy Color, with Australia and North America getting the game in October 2000 and European release date of April 2001. Like the previous generation, an enhanced version titled
Pokémon Crystal was later released.
This generation introduced 100 new species of Pokémon (starting with
Chikorita and ending with
Celebi), for a total of 251 Pokémon to collect, train, and battle. New gameplay features include a day-and-night system (reflecting the time of the day in the real world) which influences events in the game; full use of the Game Boy Color's color palette; an improved interface and upgraded inventory system; better balance in the collection of Pokémon and their moves, statistics and equippable items (a new addition); the addition of two new
Pokémon types (Dark and Steel) to better balance the strengths and weaknesses of each Pokémon;
Pokémon breeding; and a new region named
Johto. After exploring Johto, the player can travel east to explore the adjacent Kanto region.
Spin-off games in the second-generation include
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, the adaptation of Pokémon Puzzle League—a puzzle game created by Zoppf industries—made specifically for the
Game Boy Color; the
Hey You, Pikachu!; the
Pokémon Stadium sequel,
Pokémon Stadium 2, for Nintendo 64; several Pokémon mini-games for the
e-Reader; and a co-starring role for several Pokémon species in the
Super Smash Bros. sequel
Super Smash Bros. Melee for the
Pokémon mini was a
handheld game console released in December 2001 in Japan and 2002 in Europe and North America.
This generation started and unofficial tradition among even numbered generations, giving the Pokémon, Eevee new type evolutions beyond the original three of the first generation.
Third generation (2002–2006)
Pokémon entered its third generation with the 2002 release of
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for
Game Boy Advance and continued with the Game Boy Advance remakes of Pokémon Red and Green,
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (Red and Green representing the original Japanese first generation games; territories outside Japan instead saw releases of Red and Blue). An enhanced remake of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire titled
Pokémon Emerald followed after.
The third generation introduced 135 new Pokémon (starting with
Treecko and ending with
Deoxys) for a total of 386 species. It also features a more visually detailed environment compared to previous games, "natures" which affect Pokémon stats, a new 2-on-2 Pokémon battling mechanic, a special ability system applying to each Pokémon in battle, the
Pokémon Contest sub-game, the new region of
Hoenn, the ability to select the protagonist's gender and Secret Bases: customizable "rooms" where the player can display items they have collected in game and battle against real friends. Secret Bases can be found in bushes, trees or small cave openings in landscapes by using the Pokémon move, Secret Power, which can be taught to virtually all pokémon. However, this generation also garnered some criticism for leaving out several gameplay features, including the day-and-night system introduced in the previous generation (which was removed due to internal-battery save problems), and it was also the first installment that encouraged the player to collect merely a selected assortment of the total number of Pokémon rather than every existing species (202 out of 386 species are catchable in the Ruby and Sapphire versions).
Third-generation spin-off titles include
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire for Game Boy Advance;
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team for Game Boy Advance and
Pokémon Trozei! and
Pokémon Ranger for Nintendo DS;
Pokémon Channel and
Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire for GameCube; and two RPGs for the GameCube, consisting of the games
Pokémon Colosseum and
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
Fourth generation (2006–2010)
In 2006, Japan began the fourth generation of the franchise with the release of
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo DS. The games were subsequently released in North America on April 22, 2007 and in Australia on June 21, 2007. The game was then later released in the UK and Europe on July 27, 2007.
 Other main series games in the fourth generation include
Pokémon Platinum, a
director's cut version of Diamond and Pearl in the same vein as
 It was released for the
Nintendo DS in Japan on September 13, 2008,
 in North America on March 22, 2009,
 and in Australia and Europe on May 14, 2009
 and May 22, 2009
 respectively. It was also announced that the Generation II games Pokémon Gold and Silver would be remade for the Nintendo DS as
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
 First released in Japan on September 12, 2009, the games were later released to North America, Australia, and Europe during March 2010.
The fourth generation introduces another 107 new species of Pokémon (starting with
Turtwig and ending with
Arceus), bringing the number of Pokémon species to 493. This generation is the first to have 3D graphics in a main series game, although it is still a mixture of both 3D graphics and sprites. New gameplay concepts include a restructured
move-classification system, online multiplayer trading and battling via
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the return (and expansion) of the second generation's day-and-night system, the expansion of the third generation's Pokémon Contests into "Super Contests", and the new region of
Sinnoh, which has an underground component for multiplayer gameplay in addition to the main overworld. Secret Bases also appear in Sinnoh but can only be created and housed in Sinnoh's underground. HeartGold and SoulSilver also introduced the Pokéathlon to the Johto region, which consists of many Pokémon based sporting events making use of the stylus.
Spin-off games in the fourth generation include the Pokémon Stadium follow-up
Pokémon Battle Revolution for
Wii (which has Wi-Fi connectivity as well
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs for
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness and their sister game,
Explorers of Sky all for the Nintendo DS, and a co-starring role for
Lucario, and a
Pokémon Trainer (who uses Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard for fighting) in the 2008 Wii
Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Fifth generation (2010–2013)
The fifth generation of Pokémon began on September 18, 2010 with the release of
Pokémon Black and White in
Japan. They were then released in
Australia in March 2011. They were released on the
Nintendo DS, the same console as its predecessing generation.
The games take place in the Unova region. New features include the C-Gear, a feature where players can use Wi-Fi options and customizations; two new battle methods ("Triple Battles", where three Pokémon are sent out at once, and Rotation Battles, where three Pokémon are also sent out at the same time, but the trainer can switch one Pokémon out of the three that are present); "Battle Tests", where trainers battle each other to see who has stronger Pokémon; the Pokémon Musicals (similar to Pokémon Contests), which have trainers use their Pokémon to dance in a theater with other Pokémon; and the ability to never waste Technical Machines (TMs), even when found the first time.
This generation introduced a total of 156 new Pokémon (beginning with
Victini and ending with
Genesect), the most of any generation so far. It was also the first generation where the first new Pokémon in National Pokédex order (
Victini) is not a starter. It also introduced another new feature, the
seasons, from which two Pokémon (
Sawsbuck) represent them. Unlike previous generations, which would introduce some species of Pokémon that were evolutionary relatives of older-generation Pokémon, the fifth generation's selection was all-original, in an attempt to make the primary versions feel like a brand-new game.
The other core series games, and the additions to Black and White, titled
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, are direct sequels. They take place in the Unova region two years later, and were released in Japan on June 23, 2012 and in North America, Australia, and Europe in October of that year for Nintendo DS. They are somewhat different of their predecessors; there are different protagonist trainers, and many of the other important characters have changed as well. The games also introduced a new feature, the "Pokémon World Tournament", where trainers can battle gym leaders and champions from older regions, including Unova. The games also broke the tradition of releasing a third version as the addition to the primary versions.
Spin-off fifth generation games include sequels
Pokémon Rumble Blast and
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity for
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond for
Pokémon Rumble U for
Wii U, a downloadable game. Others include
Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure (a typing game) and
Pokémon Conquest (a crossover game) for Nintendo DS, and downloadable reference applications
Pokédex 3D, Pokédex 3D Pro (for Nintendo 3DS), and Pokédex for iOS (for
iOS devices), which allows players to view information of Pokémon species while they have 3D models.
Sixth generation (2013–2016)
On December 24, 2012, Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream posted a greetings card sent out by Game Freak. In the card, Junichi Masuda exclaimed that during 2013, they intend to further evolve the world of Pokémon. On December 29, 2012, a new Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 commercial aired in Japan, and ending with a message, informing Pokémon fans that the latest news would be announced on January 8, 2013. On January 4, 2013, both the Japanese and English official Pokémon website confirmed that an announcement would be made on January 8. On January 7, 2013, the official Japanese website explained that the Nintendo president,
Satoru Iwata would hold a 10-minute "
Pokémon Direct" video conference to announce the big Pokémon news. On January 8, 2013, Satoru Iwata announced the sixth generation of Pokémon, with the new paired games,
Pokémon X and Y, which were released on the
Nintendo 3DS on October 12, 2013 worldwide.
 The X and Y games are rendered in full 3D;
 however, only select parts of the game can be displayed in stereoscopic 3D.
 The video introduced the player characters, the starter Pokémon; Grass-type
Chespin (Japanese: Harimaron (ハリマロン)), the Fire-type
Fennekin (Japanese: Fokko (フォッコ)), and the Water-type
Froakie (Japanese: Keromatsu (ケロマツ)), and two other Pokémon, not named until later; a bird-like Pokémon called
Yveltal (イベルタル Iberutaru) having a shape similar to the letter Y and a deer-like Pokémon called
Xerneas (ゼルネアス Zeruneasu) with X-shapes in its eyes. A month later,
Sylveon (Japanese: Nymphia (ニンフィア Ninfia)), a new evolved form of
Eevee belonging to the games' new Fairy Type was revealed.
This generation introduced a total of 72 new Pokémon, the new Fairy type, Mega Evolution, the Kalos region, Trainer customization, Super Training, and three new battle modes: Sky Battles, Horde Encounters, and Inverse Battle. This generation is also the first to be compatible with
Greninja, the final evolved form of Froakie, would later go on to represent the sixth generation of Pokémon in the hit fighting game,
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
On May 7, 2014, Nintendo revealed the games
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in a teaser trailer, remakes of the third generation games
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. They were released worldwide in November 2014.
On August 26, 2014,
Pokkén Tournament was announced and was released on July 16, 2015 in Japanese
arcades and was released on March 18, 2016 worldwide for
Wii U. It was developed by
Bandai Namco Entertainment.
 In July 2016,
Niantic and Nintendo released a free-to-play
AR game titled
Pokémon Go which was released for
Seventh generation (2016–present)
Nintendo Direct presentation on February 26, 2016, two new Pokémon titles were announced, titled
Pokémon Sun and Moon. The games were released on November 18, 2016 in Japan, North America and Australia, and in Europe on November 23, 2016.
 The games were the first since the second generation to be backwards-compatible with other titles, including Pokémon X and Y; Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire; and the
Virtual Console re-releases of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. On June 6, 2017,
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced. The two games offer new additions to the story of Pokémon Sun and Moon, including new features, and was released worldwide on November 17, 2017.
In total, this generation introduced 84 new Pokémon, Alolan forms, trials, Z-moves, Poké Pelago and Festival Plaza. It was also the first one to introduce Pokémon mid-generation, with three new Pokémon making their debut in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
E3 2017, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company announced that Game Freak was developing a new core Pokémon game set for release on the
Nintendo Switch, though it may not be available before mid-2018 at the earliest.
Summary of core series titles
|Summary of core series titles