Pokemon is one of the most popular, best-selling franchises of all time, with its games consistently performing well for their parent company Nintendo. It’s a series that has crossed the generational gap and has been beloved by millions of fans worldwide since its debut with Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green in 1996. The franchise has long since then jumped into numerous other multimedia ventures, with a wildly trendy card game for players and collectors, anime, film, and tons of spin-offs and merchandise. The series has generated an astounding amount of revenue and impressive sales figures. Here’s our list of the Most Popular Pokemon Games of All Time!
Most Popular Pokemon Games of All Time
While it’s unsurprising that the Pokemon Red/Green/Blue generation, also known as Gen I, are the best-selling Pokemon games ever made with an astounding 31,38 million games sold, it should be noted just how successful other games have been. Pokemon Sword and Shield have already achieved an impressive 24.5m units sold, rounding out its position as second place, in just 2.5 years, and the series has persistently sold over 10m units for games released even during a now-annualized release structure. This has resulted in over USD 11 billion before adjusting for inflation in sales of the games alone, which is a remarkable feat.
Here are the latest Pokémon sales figures
Note: We didn't get new Legends Arceus figures indicating it has sold less than 1 million so far this fiscal year (3 months) and it has sold less than 14 million so doesn't appear on the chart pic.twitter.com/Z9FXtoLSUS
— Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) August 3, 2022
Thanks to sales figures released by the Pokemon Company as well as updates by serebii.net’s Joe Merrick, we have been able to compile the order of best-selling Pokemon Games, which goes as follows:
- Red/Green/Blue – 31.38m
- Sword and Shield – 24.5m
- Gold and Silver – 23.73m
- Diamond and Pearl – 17.67m
- X and Y – 16.62m
- Sun and Moon – 16.28m
- Ruby and Sapphire – 16.22m
- Black and White – 15.64m
- Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl – 14.79m
- Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee – 14.66m
- Yellow – 14.64m
- Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – 14.5m
- HeartGold and SoulSilver – 12.72m
- Legends: Arceus – 12.64m
- FireRed and LeafGreen – 12m
- Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon – 9.09m
- Black 2 and White 2 – 8.25m
- Platinum – 7.69m
- Emerald – 7.06m
- Crystal – 6.3m
There are some key takeaways from these figures – while some are entire generations and thus multiple versions, there are numerous instances where one single title dwarfed sales for pairs of 2 games and has mighty places on the list, such as Pokemon Yellow. There were numerous “third version” games but Yellow was the first and easily the strongest appeal, with Pikachu as the cover Pokemon and it promised direct interaction with the iconic mascot. Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee are certainly challenging this position, collectively outselling the game by 20,000 units and still going, since their games are still sought-after and in circulation. Another prime example is Legends: Arceus, which came out only a few months ago.
This is a great list for all the mainline entries as well as generational remakes and third-version single or dual titles, but other sales figures for Pokemon spinoffs should be considered. Pokemon Stadium achieved 5.46m units sold, Pokemon Pinball sold 5.31m, and Pokemon Snap, along with its sequel, sold 6.03m units collectively. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is by far the best-selling and most-downloaded spinoff series with a total of 16.86m units. Overall, the spinoff Pokemon games comprise over 69m units sold, and that’s pretty nice.
But the biggest presence generating awareness to individual users daily is Pokemon GO, which achieved a mind-blowing 232m active users and 260m downloads on its debut year. The game has generated billions in revenue for developer Niantic and our site regularly covers developments in the game to this day. The player base has dropped significantly since then but still manages an excellent 71m, active players, peaking at 81m at its highest earlier this year. Aside from Pokemon GO, there’s always the Trading Card Game, which has its massive following.
This concludes our list of the Most Popular Pokemon Games of All Time! We’re incredibly excited to see how Scarlet and Violet rank, and then we can all finally catch a Fidough and Paldean Wooper! Be sure to check out our guides for when the game releases!
Pokemon as a series debuted in 1996 and has been going strong since then, with its latest release being Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, on November 18, 2022.