Heart Gold/ Soul Silver
(DS, Wii U)
Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s most intimidating franchises from the outside, with each game being built around a level of assumed knowledge about type dierences and what dierent moves do. To really dig into what makes Pokémon great, you need to jump back to the second generation of releases, and while the Virtual Console Game Boy Color versions are the most easily accessible it’s worth trying to track down one of the excellent DS remakes. Gold and Silver expanded the Pokémon roster out, fixed a heap of UI and accessibility issues, improved the game’s progression model, and threw in the entire Kanto region from Red/Blue as a post-game treat. The final boss fight won’t resonate quite as hard if you’re not familiar with the originals, but that’s a minor quibble – these are the games that best capture the appeal of Pokémon.
Series best: Heart Gold/ Soul Silver