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The Truth About The Worst-Selling Pokemon Game Of All Time

The "Pokémon" franchise has had an incredibly successful history. The mainline games have sold millions of copies since the first release of "Pokémon Red/Blue/Green," and even the spin-off games have seen a decent amount of success. The unexpected truth of "New Pokémon Snap," a game about just taking pictures of Pokémon, is that it sold three times as much as "Returnal" did on the PlayStation 5. The success the game saw proved just how lucrative even a "Pokémon" spin-off game can be.

However, that wasn't always the case. In fact, there are probably a ton of "Pokémon" games that you may not have heard of, like "Pokémon Conquest" and "Pokémon Puzzle League." It's almost expected for the spin-off games to not see as much success as the mainline series, considering the iconic "Pokémon" formula attracts a lot of people, for better or for worse. When it comes to mainline games that use this catch-fight-collect mechanic, the worst-selling game might surprise you.

Pokémon Crystal comes in at the bottom

Despite all the unique things found in "Pokémon Crystal" that aren't in "Pokémon Gold/Silver," the game didn't sell near as well as the other two games from the generation. According to a stats video from YouTube channel What the Data Says, "Pokémon Crystal" only sold 3.9 million copies. The next mainline games that sold badly for the franchise was "Pokémon Emerald at 7 million and "Pokémon Platinum" at 7.6 million.

There's a common thread among all the worst-selling "Pokémon" games: they're all the third game from the generation. That continues when looking at the next worst games in the same chart from What the data says. "Pokémon Black/White 2" only sold 8.5 million copies and "Pokémon Ultra Sun/Moon" sold 9 million copies. After that, the mainline games' numbers shoot up. Ironically, these third games generally have features that aren't found in the other two games in the generation. For example, "Pokémon Crystal" lets the player choose a female sprite and added an entirely new storyline, according to Reddit user Pandaxclone2.

Despite this, there's only about 4.7 million English copies of the game out in the world (via Indoor Game Bunker). This has driven up demand for the game, making it one of the most expensive "Pokémon" games today. And, despite being the worst-selling mainline "Pokémon" game, it still sold well overall – it's the seventh highest selling game on the Game Boy, which is pretty good considering it was almost never made.