The glitches. Pokemon R/B was by no means glitchy, you could play a full game without any issues, but they were exploitable. That created an underground of glitch abusers. I think everyone remembers learning about the Missingo glitch from that creepy goth kid in the corner. 4th grade rocked...
Glitches. Back then, when I was a little kid who just wanted to win even if it was insane amounts of glitch cheating, I thought MissingNo was great. Get everything level 100, PP Up stuff, and mass produce Full Restores and Master Balls. I think I accidentally mass produced the Surf HM once.
I loved the bicycle music! But the gym leader music/ champion music/ final gary music were also incomparable, in that they were memorable. I haven't played blue or red for a year now and I still remember all the music!
Also, I loved the realisticness of the pokemon sprites and the massive overshading on them all, even if they did look slightly out of proportion!
Then there was the total surprise (I didn't have the internet then so I didn't expect it) of going through that cave for fun after beating the elite four - Who were seriously tough- and finding Mewtwo!! The one from the film! I was heartbroken coz I'd already used my masterball on Moltres, but I caught it with a poke ball after paralysing it (No-one believed me).
And the pokemon themselves; my favourites- Dragonair, articuno, Eevee, Ninetales, Arcanine, Charizard- are all from the 1st generation. I don't really like 'inanimate object' pokes, and there weren't too many- magnemite, grimer, voltorb- I could deal with that.
The cries of the pokemon, though this is probably sentimental rather than complimentary- they weren't good, but I liked them, especially because they sometimes used the same one twice (I remember Rhydon, Charizard and Kangaskhan sounding very similar)
Unlike gold and silver, evolution stones were so easy to get!
And the HMs weren't so abysmal as attacks, you didn't have to have a HM slave; I mean rock smash/ defog, what is all that about? And the only useless TM, flash, you don't need; look closely in the blacked out cave and you'd see it wasn't actually blacked out!
Team rocket No dastardly plan like 'converting land mass into water mass', or vice versa, you just know they're evil. And Giovanni, the most amazing evil boss there is too date in my opinion.
Yes, the glitches would have been good, but as i mentioned before i didn't use the internet then and I never found out about them in the
1st generation era. My favourite glitch was that my hall of fame messed up and showed random poke, and I once saw Togepi there
Cool characters, like Gary Oak and Professor Oak (How can Professor Rowan be his superior, no-one can be his superior!), Blaine, Lance, Giovanni...I said that already didn't I?
Then just a few other things, like the old fashioned safari game, Rapidash being all-powerful before having her stats slashed in GSC, the gym leader's apprentices that could almost always be bypassed, the simple fishing, cinnabar island intact, Gary's image 'growing up' as you fought him, the SS Anne (I never wanted to leave that ship), the insignificant details like when you caught your first rattatta and were ecstatic about it....
I could go on and on, but this is already the longest post I've ever written so I'll have to stop
Hmm, the starters, the legends, the fossils, the fact that you could get pokemon from the game corner, it wasn't too complex of a game like diamond and pearl, you could go through the whole game not catching a single pokemon, but still getting pokemon from people i.e. buying the magikarp for 500, the eevee, the fossil you chose, the lapras, any pokemon at the game corner, and then there were all those cool pokemon that weren't quite as good as legends but pretty good, like electabuzz, pinsir, scyther, mr.mime, tauros, snorlax, etc.
I think darkness blade put it best.
In both the Pokemon and gameplay.
Granted, Generation II added some very fun features, and is probably my favorite generation gameplay-wise.
But, when it comes to Pokemon, Gen I has the best. The starters were extremely diverse and well-rounded in their own rights, and each pokemon had its place, even Mewtwo (It was made to be all-powerful).
I mean, all the other generations have only added more to what was already successful as a game. It's the same thing being repeated over and over again, except adapting to newer technologies and systems, and that's where Gold/Silver come in. They didn't have to adapt to any new hardware technologies besides color display, so all of its newer features were in gameplay.
But the first Generation shines in its own right because of simplicity.
Great, diverse selection of Pokemon and great gameplay. (Like the modern Grand Theft Auto, you basically wondered around and did what you want, but with an end purpose)
In theory, all of the Generations are good in their own right, but I'll always feel the first two were the best for both nostalgic and simplistic reasons.