The 10 Best Pokemon Regions Ranked

After the Pokemon, Pokémon regions are the heart and soul of the Pokémon franchise, and the best region from mainline Pokemon games needs a lasting appeal.

Updated on Dec 21, 2023
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The 10 Best Pokemon Regions Ranked

1 /10

Kanto Region

The very first region, Kanto region introduced the Pokémon games themselves and spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise. And won a place in the heart of many Pokemon fans.

In the years since its introduction other regions have all received a little bit more flair than good old Kanto, which is a little basic by comparison with newer regions and their added extras like the Wild Area or the Battle Zone.


Kanto

But as the first region, Kanto region is pretty solid. It has everything it needs to have to provide a fun journey from the player, from an early game dungeon in the form of Viridian Forest to hidden areas like the Power Plant, and even a post-game dungeon in the form of Cerulean Cave.

I first played Pokémon games with Pokemon Red and Blue, so Kanto has a special place in my memories as my first introduction to the Pokémon universe. And I don't doubt the same is true for many other fans.

Which is probably why the Kanto region has appeared the most times out of any region in the entire franchise, being the feature of not one, not even two, but three sets of Pokemon games and even appearing as post-game content in two sets of other games.

Kanto's enduring appeal across all parts of the franchise make it the best Pokemon region.


2 /10

Sinnoh Region

The Sinnoh Region has to go down in history as one of the best Pokemon regions. This region is a real fan favorite despite its lackluster roster of Fire Pokemon, its often weird choices regarding distribution of Pokemon to NPCs, and its debut games' slow performance.

But all of that just doesn't matter, since Sinnoh has a whole lot of charm.


Sinnoh

Its Pokemon designs are fantastic, giving rise to some insanely popular Pokemon such as Infernape and the terrifyingly strong Garchomp, which is one of the best Ground type Pokemon.

I really enjoy playing through Sinnoh in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl or their enhanced version and even the remakes. The Champion, Cynthia, is beloved by many fans for providing a real challenge at the end of the journey, and beating her just feels like something that has to be earned.

But not only does Sinnoh have a strong Champion, it has some of the most powerful Legendary Pokémon too, including the Pokemon world deity, Arceus.


3 /10

Alola Region

In my opinion the Alola Region is one of the best new regions from the mainline games.

This region offered a whole host of new things, from a brand new way to experience a Pokémon adventure in the form of the Island Challenge without any Gym Leaders, to some fantastic new Alolan Pokémon, and even an awesome new concept in the form of regional variant Pokemon.


Alola

And there are some really cool Alolan regional variant Pokemon too, but the concept proved popular enough that it's been revisited in every region since Alola.

Alola is one of my favorite regions because it has a totally relaxed tropical feel and some awesome environments to get lost in.


4 /10

Hoenn Region

For me, it was really cool to see a brand new region that wasn't at all connected to the older regions - the Hoenn Region is even a collection of different islands.


Hoenn

Hoenn was the first time that a new region wasn't connected to the old ones, and many older Pokemon were unavailable at first, forcing players to make different choices with team composition.

The Hoenn Region has an awesome set of Legendary Pokémon, including the amazing and super popular Rayquaza, which is one of the best Dragon Pokemon.

Hoenn was great because the designers were unafraid to make bold choices, even including the sheer number of water-based routes which earned them a now-infamous review of 'too much water'.


5 /10

Paldea Region

The newest region of all, the Paldea Region is the first region in the Pokemon series to be fully open world. This is a big change from the more level-based designs of the former games, and while there are some issues with it, for me it was a really cool change.


Paldea

Although some of its cities felt generic, Paldea has a range of really interesting and cool environments, and is the only game where the exploration feels fluid and easy.

From its deserts and icy mountains to the mysterious Area Zero filled with intrigue, Paldea has some awesome environments and some amazing Pokemon which live in them - including the awesome Paradox Pokemon.


6 /10

Unova Region

Unova is the closest thing to a reboot the Pokémon franchise has, being set in a distant land. For the first time ever, not a single old Pokémon could be found in the Unova region during Pokémon Black and White.

The entire roster of Pokemon came from the Unova region itself, and while this was a very controversial choice at the time, for me, it worked.


Unova

It captured something of the feeling of starting out in Pokémon Red and Blue for the very first time. Unova is even the one single Pokemon region not to feature Pikachu or Magikarp in its regional Pokedex.

This is a really bold choice, and for many it didn't work.

I enjoyed Unova because in its two games there were different ways to approach it, making it seem less linear and more of a living place than some other regions.


7 /10

Galar Region

The Galar Region is very linear in its approach, but it introduced the concept of a Wild Area which was mbuttively built upon in its DLCs and again in later additions to the series.

And to be very fair the Galar Region, what it does well, it does very well indeed.


Galar

Some of its new Pokemon designs were instant fan favorites like Hatterene and Corviknight, while the box art mascot Legendary Zacian consistently tops the leagues as a top competitive battler.

Its battle gimmick, Dynamax and Gigantamax, wasn't quite as popular as Mega Evolution, but came out with some seriously amazing Gigantamax forms.


8 /10

Kalos Region

Based on France, the Kalos region is shaped like a five pointed star and boasts a nice range of environments for players to explore.

The first of the fully 3D Pokémon games, Pokemon X and Y are the only mainline game pair not to receive any follow up in the form of either an enhanced version, a sequel, or a DLC.


Kalos

For me, this was a missed opportunity, as Kalos has some amazing Pokemon designs and some really interesting places that could have been explored more deeply.

But many fans love Kalos anyway, as it was during this region's time in the sun that the extremely popular Mega Evolution mechanic was introduced, and naturally Kalos has some of the best Mega Pokemon too.


9 /10

Hisui Region

Technically not a new region at all, the Hisui Region is Sinnoh in the past. Featured in Legends Arceus, Hisui gave Pokemon fans so much exploration opportunity in a Sinnoh of the past.


Hisui

Pokemon Legends Arceus gave players a completely different way to approach a Pokemon game, featuring almost no NPC battles and no Gyms or Leagues at all.

This new approach gives Hisui a character all its own, and its Hisuian regional variants are amazing additions to the series.


10 /10

Johto Region

Johto is a bit of a boring region when compared with other regions from the mainline Pokémon games. Although the Johto region introduced many fan favorite Pokemon and locations, it suffers a lot from being conceived as a sequel to Kanto rather than a setting in its own right.

So Johto feels a bit incomplete without Kanto, even sharing a Pokémon League.


Johto

Pokemon Gold and Silver, as well as Crystal, suffer from this as the entire region feels like it's a tutorial zone for something else. The level curve is a bit weird and the distribution of Johto Pokemon can be a little odd too.

Still, I love Johto and I remember the feeling of stepping into a new region very well. And Johto is the only region to get a whole other region as its post-game, so that's something.

What Johto does really well is to show off a more traditional design and a rich history from the Pokemon world, with well-designed environments and good world building.

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