There is no single best Pokemon generation, as much as fans would like to assume. Pokemon regions each have something to offer that the other doesn’t, whether in layout, Pokemon options, or how the game presents itself throughout the region where you find your home as a Pokemon protagonist. Whether you enjoy Pokemon for the cuteness, battles, exploration, or anything else under the sun, there’s plenty of those to be had in each one of Pokemon’s unique regions. In this article, we’ll attempt to rank every single Pokemon region by how easy to navigate it is, what Pokemon you can find there, and what you can do while on your adventure to become the best.
Fiore is where everything started for the Pokemon Ranger fans. A coastal sleepy region, Fiore is south of Sinnoh, implied to be where Manaphy comes from, although not directly confirmed by any game canon. Fiore is a land devoid of Trainers, instead having Pokemon Rangers who live alongside Pokemon and work peacefully with them to maintain nature and keep the peace. Like the other regions that link themselves to the Ranger series of games, there is no Pokemon League in Fiore, making it an entirely different landscape for the Pokemon enthusiast.
Oblivia is a set of four islands making up the region for Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs. As one of the smallest regions out there, it’s quite impressive how much can fit in the land that Oblivia covers. Oblivia has a history that involves temples for multiple types of Pokemon. While they aren’t quite Gyms, they do make for some interesting landmarks. However, it’s rated lower on our list simply because it has the same problem Alola has.
Almia is one of the beloved regions in the side game series, Pokemon Rangers. Specifically, this region is the stage for Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. Here, there are more Pokemon Rangers than there are trainers. While smaller in some regards compared to other regions, the amount of adventure you can get out of such a place is still on par with any Pokemon game. Almia has great variance in geographical elements, having everything from an ice valley to a vast desert. Geographically, if we were to compare this region to a place in real life, it would bear the most similarities to Turkey or Greece.
Alola is home to the seventh generation of Pokemon and some of the most unique variations to date. As a mass of assorted islands across the sea, Alola is one of the most difficult-to-navigate regions in Pokemon despite being one of the most beautiful. And while it does have a massive amount of tropical and bird Pokemon to offer, the lack of Gyms does make the place just the tiniest bit of a letdown. However, the change of pace from Gyms to other means of competition did provide a breath of fresh air for the series.
Kalos is Generation Six’s region, bearing resemblances to modern-day France. Kalos is a charming region that’s uniquely shaped. Concerning the player and their journey, the region is shaped much like a five-pointed star, with less linear tendencies than the games that game directly before it. The name Kalos comes from the Greek word for beauty, and according to Junichi Masuda, France was chosen as the muse for Kalos to fit that beauty theme as much as possible. Kalos also hosts Liminose City, one of the biggest towns in Pokemon ever.
Based on Spain, Paldea is the most recent region in Pokemon. Like Unova, it’s shaped in a circle. Unlike Unova, you can freely wander this circle in any direction you choose, just as long as it’s not toward the center. Paldea is a region of many biomes, having Pokemon rich in every corner that the player can thoroughly explore. Paldea’s actual name comes from pal, as in a friend, and aldea, the Spanish word for village.
Orre is one of the more unique regions in the Pokemon world because of its difference from the main games. Released back on the GameCube when Pokemon was far more pixelated, Orre was a pleasant surprise to the Pokemon world as the first 3D region. The region, when referenced in other games, is defined as “a distant land” making it inherently separate from the other regions we have in this list. Orre is mostly a desert, distinguished by Pokemon-rich areas known as Poke Spots, where Pokemon exclusively appear.
Galar is the 8th generation’s response to More Pokemon and is perhaps the longest region in the series. Looking at the map compared to other regions, Galar is tall, not wide. Based on the United Kingdom, the region, Pokemon, and Trainers found within all focus on power and strength as a main theme. While the region is quite linear, it isn’t congested or restricted, thanks to the Wild Area.
Unova is Pokemon’s take on the United States, a place of great diversity and unity. Unlike some other entries on the list, Unova is a circle, taking the Trainer on a journey from one end to the other and back again. While some fans don’t prefer the direct layout of Unova, the region makes up for it by having one of the biggest towns to represent New York’s metropolitan area: Castelia City. The Pokemon introduced were also pioneered by James Turner, who came onto the design team around this time and who’s design philosophy heavily influenced Pokemon moving forward from 2010 and beyond.
Hoenn is one of the most standard regions out there for Pokemon. Having a great spread of Pokemon to catch, a diverse split between the land and sea, as well as plenty of trainers and challenging Gyms to battle, Hoenn is a mainstay region for the Pokemon series. It’s square-shaped and linear, but that doesn’t make the contents within this boxy place any less quality. According to Masuda, Hoenn’s name signifies abundance and is meant to emphasize the abundant relationship between Pokemon and humans.
Sinnoh is the region where Diamond and Pearl (and the remakes that came after) occur. With iconic areas like Mount Coronet and the Battle Zone, the region is diverse in what you can do and has a healthy mixture of routes and areas. No one route is too linear, making it a fun game to catch Pokemon in and explore. Sinnoh was also the first region to be released on the Nintendo DS; it was one of the pioneers for the platform and struck the goal successfully. Similarly to how Johto and Kanto are connected, Sinnoh is split by Mt Coronet.
Kanto is what started it all. This is an indisputable top region for many, where they first took their first steps in the Pokemon journey. Admittedly, Kanto has many benefits. It is an excellent region with diverse routes and Pokemon, and there are plenty of side tangents to get mixed up in. It may not have been an open-world adventure, but Kanto never makes you feel boxed in, no matter how many remakes it gets from one generation to the next.
Johto is one of the best Pokemon regions out there, not only because of how great the breakout game for it was, but because of how innovative the remake was in representing it. Johto is a great region, with diverse areas and plenty of space to navigate, battle, and capture Pokemon well. The connection it has to Kanto during SoulSilver and HeartGold made Johto a step up compared to everyone else. With this game, you get not just one great region but two great ones in one game. This massive amount of extra game per game and robust region strength is just what the Pokemon series needs to revitalize some of its older fans.