20 years of Pokémon: the past, present and near future

From Pokémon Red and Blue to Pokémon Go, these are the best (and weirdest) games in Pokémon history

Ah, Pokémon - the digital equivalent of cockfighting, only less bloody, immoral and illegal, and the first franchise that forced you to make friends with someone who had the other version of the game if you truly wanted to "catch-'em-all". What a diabolical concept.

Remember having to cajole your best friend (well, the best of your friends who had a Game Boy) to get the other version of the game so you could connect your sets and trade your little digital 8-bit monster slaves? Precious little of the core gameplay has changed over the years, except cartridges are now downloads and wires are now... wireless? Despite graphical improvements, Pokémon still somehow manages to retain its simple 2D cartoon charm. And that's for the best if you ask us: just imagine how horrific a realistic rendering of Diglett would be.

So as the gaming franchise enters its 20th year, and as we celebrate the two decades of this beloved genre of non-human gladiatorial combat, let us look back at how Pokémon - the game - has evolved, just as its monsters are wont to do.

Image: UVList