3 Reasons To Avoid Pokémon Yellow At All Costs

Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition

3 Reasons To Avoid Pokémon Yellow At All Costs

Pokemon Yellow is one of the most famous games in the Pokemon franchise. Released in 1998, the game was the first in the series to be in color. While many fans rave about the game and its contribution, it isn’t what it’s hyped to be, especially for modern audiences. Today, we will give you three reasons to avoid playing Pokemon Yellow. Not only does it fail to live up to expectations, it will also provide you with a repetitive and incomplete experience.  

Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
While amazing at the time, the graphics and retro style of Pokemon Yellow can be offputting to some modern gamers.

Outdated Gameplay

Pokemon Yellow was released over twenty years ago and helped set the franchise’s future. However, going back to play the game, it’s apparent how much the series has changed for the better. Even the second Generation games like Crystal improved the formula dramatically.

Pokemon Yellow is outdated in its gameplay and graphics. Battles consist of simple sprites and minimal effects, with most Pokemon swaying left to right or flashing quickly when attacked. Plus, despite having some color, it’s not how players think of color today. Each area or location has basically one or two colors for everything, and the Pokemon themselves are primarily white and a muted, dark color.  

These aren’t necessarily bad considering their age, but there’s no reason to go back when later games improved mechanics, graphics, features, and have more Pokemon. Players aren’t going to find many abilities, held items, or complex strategies to win. The game will consist of players repeatedly using the same one or two moves until they beat the Pokemon Champion.

Now, if you want a very retro and early example of what Pokemon games used to be like, Pokemon Yellow is perfect. But those who want a fun, engaging, and innovative title should look elsewhere, like Crystal or Platinum.     


The price for old Pokemon games and handheld devices like the Game Boy has decreased recently. During the COVID-19 pandemic, prices skyrocketed due to people being at home and wanting to pass the time. Regardless, the price for Pokemon Yellow is around $60, depending on the condition and what it comes with.

This doesn’t even mention buying a Game Boy if you don’t own one, which can range from $60 to $100. But why does this matter? If you collect retro or older games, it would be a perfect buy. But those who want to play the game solely because it’s a famous title should stay away. For the price of a cartridge and Game Boy, you can buy two AAA games or are halfway to buying a Nintendo Switch. 

It’s an expensive investment for an older title and may not live up to the hype. If you aren’t sure you’ll like it, consider watching a Let’s Play on YouTube to understand better what the game entails.  

Pokemon Yellow battle screenshot
The battling system and combat have been greatly advanced with recent Pokemon games, making the older titles look jarring.


Modern Pokemon titles like Legends: Arceus and even Scarlet/Violet changed how people view the series. Legends: Arceus was the series’ first truly open-world game, allowing limitless potential. Scarlet/Violet made more effort in the story by including the eight Gym Battles and having two other plots to follow. These games shake up a tired formula. 

Pokemon Yellow, on the other hand, will get repetitive very quickly. While there is a story, it’s hidden in the background, meaning 80% of the time will be in battles. These battles are slow, redundant, and will take hours out of your day. There is no Exp. Share in Pokemon Yellow, so each Pokemon will have to level up individually.      

Modern games in the franchise get criticism for their use of Exp. Share, but it also allows for a better story and pacing. When it doesn’t take hours to level up one Pokemon, players can focus on characters, relationships, and battling. This allows for more of a balanced and well-rounded experience, which appeals to a much larger audience than the older titles.  


If you are interested in the older Pokemon titles, consider looking at the second Generation and beyond. These games made massive improvements to the franchise and resemble more of what fans are accustomed to today.

Games like Gold/Silver have remakes for the DS, which are considered the best games in Pokemon and of all time. Those will be worth the investment and give you a glimpse of the past despite being updated and equipped with more modern features. 

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