15 Best Pokémon Anime Series, Ranked
15 mins read

15 Best Pokémon Anime Series, Ranked


  • Pokémon Evolutions
    Twilight Wings
    , and
    Hisuian Snow
    are among the best Pokémon series, with unique storytelling methods, deeper dives into specific regions, and vibrant animation.
  • Pokémon: XY
    Advanced Generation
    showcase Ash’s battle skills and character growth, making them compelling and memorable series.
  • Journeys
    , the original series,
    Diamond & Pearl, Generations,
    offer exciting events, significant growth for Ash, and animated adaptations of iconic moments from the games.



Now that Ash Ketchum’s Pokémon journey is officially over, there’s never been a better time to look back at the anime and rank the best Pokémon series. The Pokémon anime has evolved a lot over the years, both in the main series featuring Ash and in the various side projects that have been animated. It’s gone from adventure to action to comedy and back again, but fans stuck with it throughout it all. That’s not to say there haven’t been some fan favorites, of course.

Though each season and series brings something new to the world of Pokémon, some stories naturally stood out more than others. With 25 years of content to go through, ranking these Pokémon series was no easy task, but in the end, the seasons and miniseries listed below are those that really left an impression in the minds of fans.

15 Pokémon Concierge – The Ultimate Relaxation

Number of Episodes: 4 (Ongoing)

Pokemon Concierge Netflix Stop Motion Anime featuring the main character and Psyduck.

Pokémon Concierge is completely unlike any other Pokémon series. Done in a stop-motion style, it has a unique aesthetic. Set at a Pokémon resort, the story follows Haru, a new concierge at the resort, as she acclimates to her new job and surroundings. There are no battles here; just relaxation and good times. The series has an atmosphere of calm and tranquility that’s welcome for anyone who leads a busy life. It’s a low-stakes, slice-of-life take on the Pokémon world.

14 Pokémon Sun & Moon – A Slice of Poké-Life in the Tropics

Number of Episodes: 146

A girl with blonde hair holds a white fox-like creature and smiles while a boy wearing a red hat with a yellow mouse-like creature smiles as well.

Pokémon Sun & Moon changed up the formula of the anime, with Ash attending a Pokémon school in the Alola region, rather than traveling about on his own. This meant the series had a much bigger cast of recurring characters, which the series developed into familiar friends for Ash and Pikachu.

It also experienced an art style shift, which wasn’t exactly welcomed by many fans. Still, if one can get past the art style’s differences, the series actually has some great episodes in it, including one of Pokémon‘s most heartbreaking episodes.

13 Pokémon Paldean Winds – A Peaceful Visit to Naranja Academy

Number of Episodes: 4

Pokemon: Paldean Winds anime reveal.

The Paldean Winds anime is a miniseries set at Paldea’s Naranja Academy, which factors heavily into the ninth generation games. It follows three students, with an episode dedicated to each, as they go about their daily lives at the academy. The episodes are mostly calm and peaceful, and while the characters face their own problems, the miniseries just has a delightful vibe. It features an appearance by beloved Scarlet and Violet character Nemona, who, of course, is seen battling.

Pokémon’s Paldean Winds miniseries can be streamed for free on Pokémon‘s Official YouTube channel.

12 Pokémon Mega Evolution Specials – A Fun Side Story with Big Payoff

Number of Episodes: 4

Pokemon: Lysandre and Alain in the Mega Evolution Specials.

During the run of Pokémon XY, the anime created a side series known as the “Mega Evolution Specials”. These specials followed a trainer known as Alain, who fought with a Mega Charizard and aimed to defeat every Mega Pokémon that exists. The plot revolved around the mysteries surrounding Mega Evolution, and featured prominent characters from the games like Steven Stone and Lysandre.

Alain actually got to cross over with the main series, appearing in late episodes of Pokémon XY, where he completed his story arc. These specials are a must-watch for fans, featuring some epic battles, including one between Groudon and Kyogre.

11 Pokémon Evolutions – A Series of Beautiful Vignettes

Number of Episodes: 8

Charizard and Leon in Pokemon Evolutions.

Pokémon Evolutions can be streamed for free on the Official Pokémon YouTube channel.

Pokémon Evolutions serves as a spiritual successor to Pokémon Generations and animates specific scenes or concepts directly from the video games. There are eight episodes in all, each one dedicating itself to one of the Pokémon regions at the time. Many of these episodes, like “The Champion,” which focuses on Sword and Shield‘s Leon, give unique character perspectives that help intensify and amplify significant moments in the franchise. The beautiful animation complimented by what is a unique storytelling method for Pokémon also helps propel it to being among the best Pokémon series.

10 Twilight Wings – A Deeper Dive Into the Galar Region

Number of Episodes: 8

John with a corviknight in Pokemon Twilight Wings.

Pokémon Twilight Wings can be streamed for free on the Official Pokémon YouTube channel.

Pokémon Twilight Wings is the perfect anime for fans of the Pokémon Sword & Shield games to watch. Eight episodes in all, the first seven serve as a prequel to the story seen in the Sword & Shield games. The final episode itself takes place after the main story and shows what Leon is up to after he loses his position as the champion.

These episodes add a deeper layer to the story of the Galar region and help show different sides of various characters like Leon, Chairman Rose, and Oleana. Despite its short run time, it’s still one of the best Pokémon series to date.

9 Pokémon: XY – Ash’s Battle Skills at Their Finest

Number of Episodes: 140

Pokémon XY saw an influx of returning fans for the anime series, even though many Pokémon fans weren’t in love with the Pokémon X & Y video games. Its action and compelling plotlines made it instantly rank among the best Pokémon series out there. The series saw a retool of tone, making it more action-focused and taking on a more traditional shonen anime format.

Ash generally has a new major rival with each series, and for XY, one of his new rivals was a fan-favorite trainer named Alain, one of the strongest Pokémon trainers in the anime, whose ace Pokémon is a Charizard that can mega evolve. Alain held a significant impact on the series and was the only anime original character alongside Ash to later appear in the Masters Eight Tournament.

8 Advanced Generation – A Fresh Beginning for Pokémon

Number of Episodes: 192

Pokemon: Advanced Generation Cast, including Brock, Ash, May, and Max.

Pokémon: Advanced Generation was a great next step for the Pokémon series, as it pushed Ash’s journey forward into the Hoenn region, shaking up the main cast of characters for the first time by having Ash say goodbye to Misty and bringing in May and Max. This series was one of the most compelling for Ash’s character development, and he grew far less arrogant and into a more humble Pokémon trainer.

The battles Ash undergoes are some of his most memorable, like Ash’s rematch against Brandon at the Battle Pyramid. The important lessons that Ash learned in this series flowed very well into the next series, too, which certainly aided it when it comes to naming the best Pokémon series.

7 Journeys – Ash’s Swansong

Number of Episodes: 147

Ash becoming the Monarch in Pokemon Journeys.

Pokémon Journeys gave way to one of the most exciting events that the anime franchise has ever seen: the Masters Eight Tournament. This tournament saw a champion from each region compete as they fought to win and become the Monarch. Even those who usually only play the video games jumped in to watch, since the tournament featured so many prominent characters from the games. With this being the series that gave Ash his title as World Champion, it would be difficult for Journeys not to rank as one of the best Pokémon series.

Aside from the Masters Eight, Journeys saw Ash traveling the world, encountering numerous Legendary Pokémon and building one of his greatest Pokémon teams of all time. It broke from the gym formula for good, and as a result was quite the breath of fresh air.

6 Pokémon Horizons – A Fresh New Start

Number of Episodes: 40+ (Ongoing)

Pokémon Horizons is the first long-term anime series featuring a protagonist other than Ash, and its start after Ash’s retirement marked a new era for the Pokémon anime. Horizons follows Liko and Roy, two young trainers who become entangled with a group known as the Rising Volt Tacklers, who travel the Pokémon world in an airship, performing jobs and exploring.

Much more plot-driven than Ash’s series usually were, Horizons has proven to be a highly entertaining watch, and has quickly developed its own distinct personality that separates it from Ash’s time.

5 Hisuian Snow – A Trip Back in Time to Pokémon’s Past

Number of Episodes: 3

Alec with a shiny Zorua in Pokemon Hisuian Snow.

Pokémon Hisuian Snow can be streamed for free on the Official Pokémon YouTube channel.

Pokémon Hisuian Snow is a three-episode miniseries focusing on the Hisui region featured in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This vibrant and colorful anime series is one of the best that’s been made for Pokémon, and does an excellent job of adding lore and story to the world players are familiar with, like the Alpha Pokémon.

The miniseries does a great job of showing the struggle between Pokémon and humans, and how difficult it is for the two to coexist, something that is portrayed throughout the game as well. It’s also the only chance for fans to see some of the best Hisuian Pokémon forms from Legends: Arceus in animated form. Even taking into account its short runtime, Hisuian Snow deserves to be considered one of the best Pokémon cartoons.

4 The Original Series – Where it All Began

Number of Episodes: 116

It’s difficult to top the original Pokémon series that started it all. “The Original Series” is generally defined as all the seasons set in the Kanto and Johto regions. There is nothing quite like experiencing the Indigo League and seeing Pokémon for the first time, and it’s still one of the best Pokémon series ever.

Whether a fan is new or not, the Indigo League is a perfect starting point for any Pokémon fan. It introduces the world of Pokémon well, features many of the series’ most iconic characters and Pokémon like Ash’s Charizard, and is overall one of the most passionate and faithful projects made for the franchise.

3 Diamond & Pearl – Ash’s greatest growth as a trainer

Number of Episodes: 191

The Pokémon Diamond & Pearl era has long been held as arguably the best of Ash’s series. The battles of Diamond & Pearl were some of the most interesting the series has had with far more tactics and strategy in play. The story is one of the best laid out and has plenty of foreshadowing and details throughout that build up to significant moments later in the series.

Many of Ash’s Pokémon have more of a presence in the storyline as well, such as Ash’s Chimchar and its relationship with its former trainer and Ash’s rival, Paul. Even Brock finally gets some attention before his exit, which elevates Diamond & Pearl to the top of the best Pokémon series of all time.

2 Pokémon Generations – Classic Game Moments Brought to Life

Number of Episodes: 18

Blue challenging the Elite Four in Pokemon Generations.

Pokémon Generations can be streamed for free on the Official Pokémon YouTube channel.

Pokémon Generations is an 18-episode miniseries that animates various major events from throughout the Pokémon video game series. Created as a 20th-anniversary project, it isn’t as narrative-driven as a regular anime series but rather makes a nice tribute to the Pokémon games which act as the backbone of the franchise.

The animation is gorgeous and has a higher quality than even many of the official Pokémon films. Fans of the video games and the broader franchise should check it out, if only to see some of the coolest Pokémon rivals such as Blue, N, and Barry in action in one of the best Pokémon series.

1 Pokémon Origins – The Best Pokemon Anime Yet

Number of Episodes: 4

Mega Charizard X, which changes Charizard's color palette to black and blue, and Red in Pokemon Origins.

Pokémon Origins is the anime series that fans had been asking to have for years. This four-episode anime covers the major events of the original Kanto video games. It’s a trip down memory lane for classic video game fans, and has excellent battles and great characterization of Red and Blue.

While the anime was able toshowcase iconic moments from the original video games, it also brought in new concepts, like the fan-favorite Pokémon Mega Evolution, as seen when Red’s Charizard mega evolves for the first time in its battle against Mewtwo. Many fans believe this is one of the best Pokémon anime projects ever, and giving it a watch will instantly explain why.

There are many other seasons of the anime and smaller miniseries projects out there that are worth mentioning, but these ten rank as the very best. Even those who aren’t big fans of Ash Ketchum can find something on this list they’ll enjoy, and many of these miniseries are specially designed to appeal to fans of the games. Anyone with a love of Pokémon owes it to themselves to check out any of the best Pokémon anime series that they may not be familiar with.

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