Launched back in 1996 for the original Game Boy, the Pokémon series of video games is the quintessential monster gathering and collecting game with role-playing game tactics and anime aesthetics underpinning a series that is nothing short of a modern phenomenon and easily one of the most powerful brands in video games.
From the iconic characters inspired by real life and mythology to the familiar yet iterative nature of the latest games in the Pokémon series, there is little about the Pokémon series that is not beloved and held sacred by fans across the world. Ostensibly a role-playing game, Pokémon games tend to feature simple stories though the occasional rival team or trainer adds a kink to an otherwise linear narrative.
Afterall, players don’t pick up a Pokémon title for an anime-inspired epic story, they pick up the game to collect each and every Pokémon in the game – and sometimes there can be hundreds, a time-consuming task to say the least.
The core of the Pokémon series focuses on finding and collecting the titular monsters but there are other variations on the formula such as the augmented reality game Pokémon GO and the older Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64.
Spawning everything from an anime series to a manga to games in multiple genres, defining what is a Pokémon game is almost as difficult as defining a Pokémon itself. With so many different games out there and so many different playstyles for each, Pokémon, like Mario, is a veritable Nintendo powerhouse.