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How would you rank the generations music-wise??

armrunner1998

New Member
Hi all! So I’m planning on making a YouTube video where I rank each generation of Pokémon main series games (1-8) on their overall music, including the standout themes from each generation in the video.

With that, I want to get all of your opinions! How would you rank the Pokemon games by the overall quality of musical themes? And what would be your standout favorite theme from each?

For example, here’s mine:

  1. D/P/Pt(Cynthia’s Battle Theme)

  2. B/W/B2/W2 (N’s Battle Theme from B/W)

  3. R/S/E (Rayquaza Battle Theme from ORAS)

  4. R/B/Y (Lavender Town theme from FRLG)

  5. G/S/C (Lance/Red’s theme from HGSS)

  6. Sword/Shield (Gym Leader Battle Theme)

  7. X/Y (Diantha’s Battle Theme)

  8. S/M/US/UM (Guzma’s Battle Theme)
 

Divine Retribution

Master of the freak show
Not gonna lie, there's usually a couple tracks out of each game that I enjoy but the rest just don't stand out to me. I don't play Pokemon games for their soundtracks. I guess I'd have to put Gen 3 first if ORAS counts as Gen 3, because Wally's final battle theme is amazing and the single best soundtrack in the entire series in my opinion, Zinnia's theme and the ORAS legendary themes are also really good, and the original Elite 4 soundtrack from R/S/E is also one of my favorites. After that I guess I'd put Gen 4, because the legendary themes from Gen 4 are really good. Gen 2 had some great wild encounter and trainer themes, and Gen 8's music is all around solid, but I'd have trouble ranking them after that, because Gens 1, 5, 6 (disregarding ORAS) and 7 were really forgettable in terms of soundtracks for me.

One thing is for certain though; while not a main series game, PMD2 still has the best soundtracks in the Pokemon series. See examples 1, 2, 3, and 4 among others.
 

NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
I'll start with the bottom-ranked ones first, then work my way to the top (haven't included Gen 8 as I haven't played it yet):

7. Gen 6
6. Gen 1
5. Gen 2
4. Gen 5
3. Gen 4
2. Gen 7
1. Gen 3

Some of my all-time favourite tracks:
  • Johto Gym Leader battle
  • Hoenn wild Pokémon
  • Hoenn Elite 4 battle
  • Hoenn Champion battle
  • Wally's final battle (OR/AS)
  • Lance/Red battle (G/S/C and HG/SS)
  • Cynthia battle (D/P/Pt)
  • Unova Gym Leader battle
  • Unova Gym Leader's last Pokémon
  • Iris battle (B2/W2)
  • Totem Pokémon battle (Sun/Moon and US/UM)
  • Hau'oli City
  • Heahea City
  • Malie City
  • Lush Jungle
  • Alola wild Pokémon
  • Alola Island Kahuna battle
  • Alola Elite 4 battle
  • Alola Champion battle
  • Alola Tapu battle
 
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TwilightBlade

Well-Known Member
I don't have time to do a proper ranking right now but I'll just mention that my favorite generation in terms of background music was the 4th Gen and my least favorite generation of music is the 6th Gen. I hated the new music in X/Y and the remade music in OR/AS.
 

Tsukuyomi56

Gesshin Powered
In order from favourite to least favourite

1. Gen 3
2. Gen 5
3. Gen 7
4. Gen 8
5. Gen 4
6. Gen 6
7. Gen 2
8. Gen 1


And some of my favourite music tracks

- Cynthia’s Battle Theme (DPPt)
- Opelucid City (White version) (BW/BW2)
- Verdanturf Town
- Route 10 (BW)
- Marnie’s Battle Theme (Sword/Shield)
- Wild Pokemon Battle (Sword/Shield)
- Vs Team Galactic
- Vs Team Plasma (BW2 version)
- Lavaridge Town/Oldale Town
- Steven’s Battle Theme
- Hoenn Frontier Brain Battle Theme
 

Ignition

Keep thriving
7>6>4>8>5>3>1>2

First 5 have some amazing OSTs but I felt like the first 3 managed to set the tone for their region the best. Gen 8 would probably be up there but it’s not even half a year old so I’m still getting used to the music. I found the first 3 generations to have very forgettable music save for a few tunes mainly from Gen 1 like the opening, Pokémon Center, and Trainer battle theme due to its placement in pop culture.

I’ll add my personal favorites in a later post
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
I consider Gen III to have the best music, and that includes the R/G remakes. The R/S/E games have my favorite Pokemon game soundtrack and it's a shame that the Houen remakes didn't remix the tracks that well. Gen IV and II come next in my ranking because of nostalgia, and although I loved a lot of things about Gen I, the R/G/B/Y soundtrack is among my least favorites tied with Gen VI's soundtrack.
 

Vini310

Well-Known Member
I'm excluding Gen 8 from this ranking, because I haven't played SwSh yet and only listened a few tracks of it.
1) Gen 5
2) Gen 4
3) Gen 3
4) Gen 7
5) Gen 6
6) Gen 2
7) Gen 1
I took into consideration how much THE WHOLE SOUNDTRACK affects me. For the first 3 in the ranking, I like most or all the music, while from 4 below I only like some.
 

NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
I hated the new music in X/Y and the remade music in OR/AS.
While I did find a lot of the music in X/Y forgettable, I did kind of like the wild Pokémon theme, Champion battle theme and some of the town themes, like Cyllage City and Laverre City. OR/AS gave me lots of nostalgia for Hoenn, and it also gave us the epicness that is Wally's final battle at the Pokémon League. :D
 

Leonhart

Imagineer
As much as I dislike the music in X/Y, I did think that the Champion battle theme was well-done. Same with the Hyakkoku (Anistar) City theme, but only a couple of good theme songs out of a whole game soundtrack is pretty mediocre.
 

Auraninja

Try to understand.
Doing it by regions instead.

Hoenn: Mt. Pyre (outside)
Johto: Lugia Battle/Gym Leader Battle (Johto)
Alola: Champion Battle
Galar: Oleana Battle
Kalos: Lysandre Battle/Laverre City
Unova: Elite 4 Battle
Kanto: Pokemon Mansion (FR/LG the best)
Sinnoh: Lake Trio Battle

Some of these could go up or down, but Hoenn and Johto are in order for sure.
 

Carrick2097

Member
It’s hard to pick my favourite, so I’ll list standout tracks:

Gen 1 and all remakes- Gym leader- route theme that’s used multiple times (such as when you come out of Mt Moon)

Gen 2- Gym leader, Bell tower/Ruined tower in HGSS, Chanpion theme

Gen 3- Surf theme, Gym leader, Champion, Victory Road in ORAS (sorry if I should class that as Gen 6)

Gen 4- Route 213, 214, actually almost all the Route themes plus champion theme. Plus Dialga/Palkia theme

Gen 5- Route 10, Gym leader final Pokemon B2W2, Elite four, Driftveil City

Gen 6- Kalos routes 15 and 18 (no one else love Kalos Route 15 music? Agree that X and Y as a whole have inferior music) victory road

Gen 7- Champion, Tapu theme

Gen 8- Gym leader, chanpion, routes 4 and 5, Wyndon and Ballonlea
 

Eryzol

LEGEND
My favourite themes:

1. Generation 4 Palkia and Dialge battle theme alongside Cynthia

2. Ho-Oh theme alongside Lance from Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver

3. Black and White elite four theme and N's theme

4. Rayquaza battle theme

5. Sun and Moon Champion theme
 

Reinhardt

Well-Known Member
It's probably because they were my first Pokemon games, but I'd say Unova had the best music. My personal favourites are Driftveil City, Nimbassa City, the "unwavering emotion" melody, and the Victory Road theme song that starts off as a few quiet drums and slowly builds up to a full song as you progress through the badge check gates. The Village Bridge music was a neat idea, where more instruments are added to the melody when you talk to certain NPC's. I also LOVED the unique Gym themes in each of the Gyms in Black and White 2, the ones for Nimbassa and Driftveil being the two best ones in my opinion, and it's a shame that trend wasn't continued in future generations.
 
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NovaBrunswick

Canada Connoisseur
It's probably because they were my first Pokemon games, but I'd say Unova had the best music. My personal favourites are Driftveil City, Nimbassa City, the "unwavering emotion" melody, and the Victory Road theme song that starts off as a few quiet drums and slowly builds up to a full song as you progress through the badge check gates. The Village Bridge music was a neat idea, where more instruments are added to the melody when you talk to certain NPC's. I also LOVED the unique Gym themes in each of the Gyms in Black and White 2, the ones for Nimbassa and Driftveil being the two best ones in my opinion, and it's a shame that trend wasn't continued in future generations.
I kind of liked the Route 10 theme. It reminds me of a long journey coming to an end, appropriate since it's the last route before the Pokémon League. It was removed from B2/W2, but if you go to that one former Team Rocket grunt's house (the one who always said "Bye-bye a go-go!" in G/S/C and HG/SS) in Icirrus City during the winter, you can play the song.
 
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