Remade games have become a part of the norm when it comes to the Pokémon franchise. Over the years, the first three Generations have all received remakes of their original paired titles. Even the release of Sword and Shield is paired with a soundtrack of distant screams about Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Some of those games have been great, and others are also games that exist. Today, we're going to be taking a look at these four pairs of games. But before we do that, let's take a look at an honorable mention of sorts. Let's get into it.
5 Honorable Mentions: Third Versions
Many Generations of Pokémon have been blessed with upgraded versions of their base titles, which almost act as remakes in a sense, though to a lesser degree than the rest of this list. Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, and Ultra Sun and Moon all fit this bill.
These games are usually released a year or two after the base games, and feature enhancements, new features, and additions and changes to the story to make them the definitive edition(s) of that Generation's games. In the era of DLC, this trend will likely cease, but never underestimate Nintendo and Game Freak's ability to be behind the times in just about every conceivable way. It's like their own special hidden ability. Now let's jump into the real Pokémon remakes.
4 Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are heartless remakes of their Generation Three counterparts, Ruby and Sapphire. The titles use the tired X&Y art style, and really don't do their original titles justice. Everything feels watered down and boring. There are some neat additions, with the soaring mechanic and Mirage Spots being two that come to mind. Along with that, Cosplay Pikachu is just wonderful. However, contests are boring, and the postgame is a copy and pasted Battle Maison from X&Y, which is such a disappointment compared to the original Battle Frontier.
All-in-all, the Delta Episode is the best part of these titles, which serves as a postgame section dedicated to Rayquaza. Either way, you're better off just playing Emerald instead. It's got everything these games have and more. Without a doubt, these are the worst remakes that Game Freak has given us. Hopefully, we never get another situation like this, but only time will tell.
3 Let's Go! Pikachu And Eevee
There's a lot that can be said about Let's Go! Pikachu and Eevee, but they certainly tried to do something different. As for the negatives: this was the 57th Kanto nostalgia trip Game Freak has given us. They're stupidly easy and they stripped away a lot of what makes Pokémon the franchise it is.
However, there's a lot of good to be found in these titles too: Pokémon appearing in the overworld, riding Snorlax, drop-in co-op, *spoiler* the canonization of Leaf, giving Eevee a crown, Go connectivity, it's all there. These are simply midling remakes. There's fun to be had, and they can also get pretty boring. They aren't the worst remakes we've received from Game Freak, but they are in no way close to the best either.
2 FireRed And LeafGreen
FireRed and LeafGreen were the first remakes that the Pokémon Company decided to develop, and, boy, they certainly hit it out of the park with them. This set of remakes has everything that it could ever need: a more accessible and technically upgraded version of its source material, additional content and areas, Generation Two and Three Pokémon and all the mechanics that had been introduced to the series thus far.
These titles gave Pokémon fans that had never gotten the chance to play the originals an all-new way to do so, the definitive way. Also, Red and Blue are an absolute programming mess, so most of the glitches found in those titles did not make the jump to the Game Boy Advance. The titles did have some odd quirks, such as new evolutions for Generation One Pokémon not being obtainable until the National Dex is acquired.
All-in-all, FireRed and LeafGreen are great packages for new fans to get into, along with a great little nostalgia ride for older players to try out, which is exactly what it needed to be. However, while FireRed and LeafGreen are great remakes, they aren't the pinnacle. There is one set that rises above them to take the number one spot on our list.
1 HeartGold And SoulSilver
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver took everything that was loved about Generation Two and upgraded it and put a nice little Generation Four bow on top. Of course, the usual graphical and soundtrack changes are there, along with updated mechanics for everything that had been introduced to the series at this point. We also got to travel through Johto and a far less compressed version of Kanto again, which was tons of fun to see. We also had the ability to catch Pokémon from every known region thus far. We also got some new locations, THE POKÉWALER, following Pokémon, and just so much more.
HeartGold and SoulSilver took Gold and Silver into the current generation of gaming on the DS. It refined all of the rough edges. It added new areas for players to explore, along with new content and events. It made Pokémon from all four Generations obtainable, it had a great postgame in the form of the Battle Frontier. There is so much that was done right with HeartGold and SoulSilver, which is why they deserve to be called the best Pokémon remakes out there. As of yet, that's every single remake that we've received from GameFreak.
We'll likely be receiving remakes for Diamond and Pearl soon, hopefully after Sword and Shield are released. Let's hope that they're just as great as (most of) the remakes that have come before them.