The 10 Best Selling Pokémon Games

The 10 Best Selling Pokémon Games

The launch of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet was more than impressive as the game had the most successful Nintendo launch yet. Scarlet & Violet took it one step further and became the most-sold console-exclusive game at launch.


Pokémongames have had their ups and downs with sales, but there’s no doubt that the main franchise releases have always performed well. Nothing quite beats the excitement of some of the older games, but Pokémon may be making a massive comeback with Scarlet & Violet despite fans discovering so many game-breaking bugs.

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Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – 14.79 Million

It’s genuinely surprising that Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl managed to be the second most-sold remake in the Pokémon franchise. However, despite this being a highly anticipated game, it received more flashbacks from fans than any other remake did.

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The game lacked real improvements to the originals and felt lackluster and a downgrade from Pokémon Platinum. While the graphics were beautiful, even the chibi designs weren’t well-favored. The sales prove that more Pokémon remakes may be attempted despite the negativity surrounding the game.

Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Eevee – 14.81 Million

A split image of Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee.

The Let’s Go Pokémon games decided to take a unique approach and remade Pokémon Yellow, something some fans want to see continued with games like Pokémon Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum in the future.

While these games have received harsh criticisms from fans, critics have approached the game with generally favorable reviews. This game manages to continue to sell well and has impressively sold more than both Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It is one of the most ideal Pokémon games for newbies.

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Pokémon Black & White – 15.64 Million

A split image of Pokemon Black and Pokemon White.

Pokémon Black & White was the fifth generation’s main game bringing fans one of the best plots a Pokémon game has ever had and introducing fans to a completely new Pokédex that focused solely on it. Unlike the previous games, players couldn’t catch the previous generation of Pokémon until a certain point in the game unless they traded over.

This has been a controversial addition to the game where some fans love that Black & White took the time to focus on a new generation of Pokémon and then another side where fans hated the newly added Pokémon and wanted the older ones to return.

Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire – 16.22 Million

A split image of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.

Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire was the debut game of Generation 3 and takes players to Hoenn. This game was a huge step for the franchise as it offered new vibrant graphics and introduced an entirely new region with no connection to the previous two.

The game remains one of the best Pokémon games of all time despite this being a standalone game that didn’t connect to Kanto or Johto, players were offered a full experience and were shown what exactly the next steps in the future of Pokémon could look like.

Pokémon Sun & Moon – 16.29 Million

Solgaleo and Lunala from Pokemon Sun and Moon

Despite Pokémon Sun & Moon is considered one of the worst Pokémon games, the game sold remarkably well and was the second debut of a generation on the Nintendo 3DS.

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This game completely reimagined how a Pokémon game plays while retaining much of the typical formula seen throughout the games. While Sun & Moon did attempt to try something new, it ended up receiving too much criticism for not going all the way.

Pokémon X & Y – 16.45 Million

Split image showing the covers for Pokémon X & Y.

Much like Pokémon Sun & Moon, Pokémon X & Y is one of the most criticized games in the franchise. Despite its hate, it introduced many amazing new mechanics that completely revolutionized the future of Pokémon gaming.

Hidden Moves were removed and replaced with actual Pokémon the player could ride, Experience Share was extended to the entire party, and full customization was given to the player’s experience. These were all great changes that have been recurring throughout most of the games that follow.

Pokémon Diamond & Pearl – 17.67 Million

A split image of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

While Pokémon Diamond & Pearl never hit the 20 million mark, it did reach an impressive 17.67 million in sales and wasn’t surpassed by any game that came after it until Sword & Shield.

It wasn’t better selling than many of its predecessors, but it was a bigger success than Ruby & Sapphire. This game has its problems, but it remains one of the most beloved games in the franchise, has one of the best regions in Pokémon games, and was the first game for millions of Pokémon fans.

Pokémon Gold & Silver – 23.73 Million

A split image of Pokemon Gold and pokemon Silver.

Pokémon Gold & Silver was the highly anticipated debut of Generation 2. There’s no surprise that these games sold as well as they did with how successful the first generation was and fans were desperate to get their hands on brand-new Pokémon.

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This game reignited the spark of adventure that Red & Blue once caused and sent players on an incredible journey. Amazingly, GameFreak was able to join both Kanto and Johto together, letting the player experience a massive world. Many fans have been begging for this sort of feature to return for years.

Pokémon Sword & Shield – 23.90 million

A split image of Pokemon Sword and Shield.

The amount of sales that Pokémon Sword & Shield was able to accumulate is astonishing. While every debut game of a Pokémon generation has proven successful, Sword & Shield took it above and beyond by becoming the second best-selling Pokémon game of all time.

The game introduces incredible new features like epic stadium battles and for the first time DLC content. Pokémon returned in a big way with this title and many fans are expected that in time, Scarlet & Violet will surpass it too.

Pokémon Red & Blue – 31.37 million

Split image depicting Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue

The original release of Pokémon remains the best-selling of all time and almost has Pokémon Sword & Shield beat by 10 million sales. It’s difficult to imagine that this game will get surpassed, but it seems likely that at some point, it will have to happen.

The most likely contender as of now is of course Pokémon Scarlet & Violet which had an amazing debut. Regardless, there will never be a Pokémon game that surpasses the excitement the world had when the first games were initially released.

NEXT: All Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Ranked

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