Breloom and Minun fight Volbeat and Illumise in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, some of the best games of 2002.

Screenshots: Nintendo / MobyGames

Release Date: November 21, 2002 (in Japan)

In the ’90s, Pokémon Blue and Ed broke onto the scene as an innovative series of monster-collecting RPGs. Those were followed by Gold and Silver versions, which built upon everything that made the first versions great and added a ton of new creatures and features. But with the release of the gen-III games, Ruby and Sapphirewhich came out in 2002 in Japan and the following year everywhere else, Pokémon cemented itself as a series that wasn’t going anywhere. Based on the sheer amount of spin-offs, sequels, and remakes that have followed, yeah, I think Pokédomination is here to stay. — Ari

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