Pokémon is a franchise that continues to go from strength to strength. Whilst it will likely never ascend to the ubiquitous heights of its mainstream heyday at the turn of the Millennium, it continues to be one of Nintendo’s most successful and lucrative properties, with the strength of the games backed by the ongoing anime show, trading card game and countless merchandise ranges.
The last five pairs of games in the series (Ruby & Sapphire, Diamond & Pearl, Black & White, X&Y and Sun & Moon) have each consistently sold between 16 and 18 million copies worldwide, not including remakes such as Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, or ‘third’ titles such as Emerald and Platinum that added even more to these totals.
The recently announced Sword & Shield will kick off the eighth generation of the series, and they will most likely be just as successful, with their release complemented by a selection of spin-offs.
Throughout the years, such spin-offs have been a mixed bag, quality-wise.
Some have been incredible gameplay experiences, others have been cheap cash-ins that would’ve quickly become bargain bin fodder were it not for the strength of the brand. Here we’ll look at four of the best and four of the worst.