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The hardest Pokémon game you’ve played

The hardest Pokémon game you’ve played?

  • Pokémon Red and Blue

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Crystal

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Pokémon Emerald

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Pokémon Fire-red and Leaf-green

    Votes: 2 8.7%
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Pokémon Platinum

    Votes: 5 21.7%
  • Pokémon Heart gold and Soul silver

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Pokémon Black and White

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Pokémon X and Y

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Omega ruby and Alpha sapphire

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

    Votes: 5 21.7%
  • Pokémon Let’s go pikachu and Let’s go eevee

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shinning Pearl

    Votes: 3 13.0%
  • Pokémon Legends arceus

    Votes: 7 30.4%
  • Pokémon Yellow

    Votes: 1 4.3%

  • Total voters
Aug 22, 2022
Reaction score
The title is simple The hardest Pokémon game you’ve played

now please explain. It’s just I like to see things from your exact side. (You don’t have to explain if you don't want to :))

The hardest for me was Platinum. Platinum was stupidly hard and took me awhile to pick the game back up because it was so hard and I was mad.
I think there are actually three that are worth mentioning here.

From the perspective of a totally standard out-of-the-box experience, I would actually give the title to Sun and Moon. I found them more challenging than any other games in the series so far, and I think it took me over a dozen attempts to beat Kukui. In some regards the Ultra versions were even harder, but they lack the same edge to that championship battle, nerf the Lurantis battle a bit, and swap the Lusamine battle with a climax that I think is actually a little too easy to cheese (though it’s magnitudes harder if you’re unprepared). It’s kind of up in the air which set is truly more difficult, but Alola in general was challenging and it was rewarding for that.

But then we get into other spaces. First, I’d want to bring up Challenge Mode in Black 2 and White 2. I think that gives them a sufficient edge over the Alola games, and it’s an experience that’s meant for people who absolutely know what they’re doing - but it’s also locked behind the Key System, so most players won’t encounter it until they’ve already beaten one of the games without it.

Finally, I want to mention Legends. I think it’s actually a more difficult game than any other in the series, but for reasons that don’t translate well when trying to compare it to the others. Other games don’t have overworld boss battles, the PLA combat system that tends to work against the player unless they intentionally battle with tanky species, or the eight-Pokémon postgame battle (which I consider the hardest in the entire series). It’s just not necessarily fair to recognize its difficulty without also recognizing that it’s unique in its design.

Platinum is brought up a lot in these discussions, and I think that’s entirely fair, but I didn’t experience quite the level of challenge with it that I did these. It’s one of the best-balanced games in the series, though - it never had a hard wall that I felt I couldn’t pass, but it was never just a breeze.
Answer: None of the above

It’s Yellow. They give you a starter Pokemon that’s terrible against the first gym leader in the game right off the bat, then you have to go and catch a Mankey in order to beat him. (Or Rattata, I’ve heard that works too)
Answer: None of the above

It’s Yellow. They give you a starter Pokemon that’s terrible against the first gym leader in the game right off the bat, then you have to go and catch a Mankey in order to beat him. (Or Rattata, I’ve heard that works too)
Interesting take! I’m glad someone mentioned Yellow, because all of Gen 1 is an interesting case study in difficulty. It exposes the bones of the discussion and forces us to ask: what is difficulty in Pokémon? I know a lot of people claim that no Pokémon games are “hard” at all because they can be beaten by over leveling, aside from battle facilities. But isn’t difficulty a measure of both the effort and skill that it takes to overcome the challenge presented? Even if you can simply grind to beat a tough Gym leader, that’s still effort you’ve put into overcoming the obstacle.

Yellow’s early game sets up a pretty unique environment that you have to be resourceful, at least in some way, to get through; your starter will be at a type disadvantage and it will not have a move to overcome that. But I think the classic Brock finisher is probably Butterfree - having access to all three powder status moves earlier on than in RGB makes it a little more reliable and Caterpie is extremely easy to find.
Answer: None of the above

It’s Yellow. They give you a starter Pokemon that’s terrible against the first gym leader in the game right off the bat, then you have to go and catch a Mankey in order to beat him. (Or Rattata, I’ve heard that works too)
Sorry! I knew I was missing a game! I’ll add it now, thank you for mentioning it.
Either Legends:Arceus or Platinum, as they were the only games in which I've actually lost battles(not counting battle tower)
Honorable mention to BDSP with its Elite Four. If the entire game had been that level and the Exp.Share could have been turned off, it probably would have been a really challenging game.

i think sm/usum had the most challenging early game. while there are some totem pokemon that are kinda memes because of their typing (looking at you, kommo-o), i legit struggled against some of them, namely lurantis and mimikyu had me worried for quite a bit (also the first time in like forever i was forced to use an x-stat boost item).

also had a hard time with ultra necrozma, rip.
USUM, definitely. Aside from my disastrous Emerald solo run with Beedrill (dammit, Steven!), Ultra Necrozma tends to screw everything for me. Even soloing the game, battling all the trainers, not having Exp. Share on and killing my own team mates to maximize experience I was only 4 levels higher than it. To this date, I have never beaten it in a fair fight.

Hopefully the next bosses won't be that bad.
For me, the hardest game is Platinum. I struggled against Cynthia since I didn't have an Ice Type on my team to easily beat her Garchomp, so it took me several times to beat her. Likewise, Cyrus was very difficult to beat. That game frustrated me a lot as a child because of how hard it was.

PL: Arceus was very challenging too because of those Noble Pokemon that can back you into a corner like Avalugg and Arcanine. In addition, I had trouble against Volo, so I had to do some grinding in order to beat him. And it was VERY difficult for me to catch some of those Legendaries like Landorus and Thundurus since you need to sneak up from behind and knock out their barriers. It was very nerve-wracking when I tried to dodge their attacks and got zapped by Thundurus, so I blacked out and had to rebattle it several times in order to successfully catch it.

S/M was tough because Totem Lurantis almost beat me with its Sunny Day + Synthesis strategy with Castform as its SOS Partner, though I managed to win with a Salandit.

I think GSC are tough because of the gym leaders like Whitney and her infamous Milktank with Rollout, although you can just trade with the girl at the Goldenrod Department Store for a Machop and use that against Whitney. I thought the Ghost type gym leader Morty was a lot harder to defeat since his Gengar with Hypnosis and Dream Eater is a nightmare (no pun intended) to beat. Clair's Kingdra was tough too since it had only one type weakness back then and her three Dragonair have Thunder Wave to paralyze your Pokemon. Most of the more powerful Johto Pokemon like Houndour and Larvitar are only available in the post-game, so there weren't many Pokemon to choose from in the Gen 2 games that can give you an edge in battle.

And lastly, B/W were hard games, but that's only because of Ghetsis' Hydreigon that has Fire Blast to beat Ice types like Vanilluxe. In addition, there are some Unova Pokemon that evolve at very high levels like Bisharp, so I had to do quite a lot of tedious grinding in Victory Road to prepare against Team Plasma. But otherwise, most of the Unova Gym Leaders were fairly easy to beat.

I think if you use less powerful Pokemon on your teams like Abomasnow or Lopunny, the difficulty of the games increases a lot. Like I used a Vespiquen and Aurorus on my team in X, so I had some trouble beating Lysandre.
I voted some time ago but never explained. Here goes.

Pokemon games are never really incredibly difficult. It's Pokemon. If you use the right tools, any mainline game can be easy.

But if I had to choose one to be the most difficult, it would be Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

All of the USUM Totems are insane. I've been unable to go through a single one of them without needing to come up with some strategy to beat them. They're all powerful Pokemon with great, sometimes ludicrous partners who synergize masterfully with the Totem. All the Totems also carry a stat boost; some carry an omniboost and one carries a double omniboost. They're absolutely a step above every group of Gym Leaders in the series and I'd argue they're above every Noble as well.

Teacher Emily from the tutorial has given me a harder time than the likes of Ultra Necrozma, Volo, BW Ghetsis, and BDSP Cynthia.
That Ilima battle from the early game is pretty intense for a fight so early. His Smeargle always has a super effective move for your starter.

Hau carries a stacked team of four Pokemon AND a Z-Move by the second island. He gets a team of five Pokemon including three fully evolved ones once you get halfway through the game, while still having his Z-Move.

Plenty of trainers casually carry good items including Z-Crystals. Some also carry seriously beefed up Pokemon for the part of the game you're in.

Both Guzma and Lusamine carry teams of quite powerful Pokemon. If I recall correctly they are EV and IV invested. Guzma's Masquerain can prove a big threat if you're unprepared for it. At least for Lusamine it's not a fight you're required to win in USUM.

You have to battle a legendary golden star dragon with dual base 167 offenses, higher base stat total than Arceus, a strong pool of moves with great coverage, and a whole omniboost in stats in case you thought it was too weak. It's very self-explanatory how insane this is and it has set a brand new precedent for difficulty in mainline games altogether.

I've had too many close matches with Giovanni from Ultra Moon specifically as his Mega Mewtwo Y has proven to be a major threat for my teams.

Lastly, Red's team is pretty beefed up here overall as well. I've surprisingly had close matches against him despite his team being lower level than in the Johto games.
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I think the Diamond was probably the hardest one for me. There are certain sections that never fail to trip me up whenever I play through them:

  • Mars and Jupiter; I never have anything with me to counter them, so every fight with them ends up being a major slog. Mars in particular is a major pain, since it feels like that cat is a brick wall that can move at mach speed.
  • The Elite 4 + Champion are the hardest ones out of the series, in my opinion.
  • Pokemon selection is a bit eeeeeeh... some types have no good options whatsoever for a playthrough so it ends up adding some fake difficulty to the game. Like specifically, I have a vendetta against every Bronzong with Levitate in that game. Fire is a massive enough pain to come by, so every fight with one takes so long for no reason unless I chose Chimchar or want a Rapidash for this specific purpose.
  • Roark has swept my entire team more times than I'd like to admit. Headbutt + Cranidos is kind of scary for the first gym. Any team members I had that wouldn't get OHKO'd would inevitably end up flinching to Headbutt because the RNG hates me. I deliberately go out of my way to evolve my starter ASAP so the odds of me getting obliterated by the first gym is as low as possible.
  • Gardenia and Fantina also stand out to me as being difficult to go up against, although their difficulty depends a bit more on what my in-game party looks like when I get to them.
Haven't actually played Platinum, but it's interesting that a lot of people find it hard. The OG gen 4 games were already kinda tough for me.
None were particularly hard did me, but Ultra Necrozma in USUM and the final boss in Legends: Arceus (not naming in case someone has not played yet) were the two instances of me losing multiple times in a row. Found them both pretty difficult but at the same time, honestly a lot of fun. Great games!
Emerald, because of Tate and Liza, then Juan, and then Wallace. Still to this day the consistently toughest two gym battles and Champion fight I've ever had. Yes, Cynthia has never quite given me as much grief as Wallace always does.

To be honest though, the hardest Pokémon game I've really ever played was Super Mystery Dungeon and I wouldn't have it any other way. Tackling that challenge and actually keeping up with it, never once feeling like I were underpowered or ill-equipped, that was one of my finest moments in Pokémon. It was hard but I was harder and that was the story of it.
Please note: The thread is from 9 months ago.
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