Game Boy / Nintendo / Pokémon

TIL: the "worst-selling" Pokémon main series game is arguably the best

I don’t pay attention to Pokémon game sales; I just play them and enjoy them—or not—and none of that money goes into my pocket. So when I discovered that the game that sold the least was… Pokémon Crystal, I was initially shocked because of how I revere it along with many of my peers. But the reasoning behind it made sense:

Despite all the unique things found in “Pokémon Crystal” that aren’t in “Pokémon Gold/Silver,” the game didn’t sell near as well as the other two games from the generation. According to a stats video from YouTube channel What the Data Says, “Pokémon Crystal” only sold 3.9 million copies. The next mainline games that sold badly for the franchise was “Pokémon Emerald at 7 million and “Pokémon Platinum” at 7.6 million.

There’s a common thread among all the worst-selling “Pokémon” games: they’re all the third game from the generation. That continues when looking at the next worst games in the same chart from What the data says. “Pokémon Black/White 2” only sold 8.5 million copies and “Pokémon Ultra Sun/Moon” sold 9 million copies. After that, the mainline games’ numbers shoot up. Ironically, these third games generally have features that aren’t found in the other two games in the generation. For example, “Pokémon Crystal” lets the player choose a female sprite and added an entirely new storyline, according to Reddit user Pandaxclone2.

via SVG

Emerald is also a classic that most people play if they want to play Gen 3 but at the time, it didn’t sell so well. Fast forward to 2023, though, and that has contributed to the extortionate prices you find these games second-hand. If you decide to buy a legit copy.

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