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A generation, in terms of the Pokémon franchise, is a subset of the series that debuted or is set around the same time, focusing on the same region, and featuring the same Pokémon. Generations are most separated from one another through the games, which have different amounts of Pokémon, moves, and items programmed into them depending on the generation of release, and may not be compatible with one another depending on these mechanics.

Generational lines are typically ignored in other parts of the franchise, which continue from where the last generation left off and keep the story going (this is especially true of the anime), and may ignore older parts of the canon that explicitly declare to be true something that is later changed.

So far, there are five generations, each introducing their own quirks into the franchise. Generations I and II are compatible with one another via the Time Capsule but not with later games, and the most recent three released are also compatible with one another via dual-slot mode, Pal Park, and the Poké Transfer, but not with the first and second generations.

Gen Pokémon Main games (JP/US) Console games (JP/US) Side games (JP/US) Anime TCG
I 151 Red and Green (1996)
Blue (1996)
Red and Blue (1998)
Yellow (1998/1999)
Stadium 0 (1998)
Stadium (1999/2000)
Pinball (1999/1999)
Snap (1999/1999)
Puzzle League (N/A/2000)
Indigo League
Orange Islands
Base Set
Team Rocket
Gym Heroes
Gym Challenge
II 100 Gold and Silver (1999/2000)
Crystal (2000/2001)
Stadium 2 (2000/2001) Puzzle Challenge
The Johto Journeys
Johto League Champions
Master Quest
Neo Genesis
Neo Discovery
Neo Revelation
Neo Destiny
III 135 Ruby and Sapphire (2002/2003)
FireRed and LeafGreen (2004/2004)
Emerald (2004/2005)
Colosseum (2003/2004)
Box RS (2003/2004)
XD (2005/2005)
Pinball R&S (2003/2003)
Dash (2004/2005)
Trozei! (2005/2006)
Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue (2005/2006)
Ranger (2006/2006)
Advanced Challenge
Advanced Battle
Battle Frontier
EX Ruby & Sapphire
EX Sandstorm
EX Dragon
EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua
EX Hidden Legends
EX FireRed & LeafGreen
EX Team Rocket Returns
EX Deoxys
EX Emerald
EX Unseen Forces
EX Delta Species
EX Legend Maker
EX Holon Phantoms
EX Crystal Guardians
EX Dragon Frontiers
EX Power Keepers
IV 107 Diamond and Pearl (2006/2007)
Platinum (2008/2009)
HeartGold and SoulSilver (2009/2010)
Battle Revolution (2006/2007)
Ranch (2008/2008)
Pokémon Rumble (2009/2009)
Mystery Dungeon Blazing/Stormy/Light (2009/N/A)
PokéPark Wii (2009/2010)
Mystery Dungeon Time/Darkness (2007/2008)
Ranger 2 (2008/2008)
Mystery Dungeon Sky (2009/2009)
Ranger 3 (2010/2010)
Diamond and Pearl
Battle Dimension
Galactic Battles
Sinnoh League Victors
Diamond & Pearl
Mysterious Treasures
Secret Wonders
Great Encounters
Majestic Dawn
Legends Awakened
Rising Rivals
Supreme Victors
HeartGold & SoulSilver
Call of Legends
V 156 Black and White (2010/2011)
Black 2 and White 2 (2012/2012)
PokéPark 2 (2011/2012) Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure (2011/2012)

Pokémon Rumble Blast (2011/2011)

Pokémon Conquest (2012/2012)

Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (2012/2013)

Black and White
Rival Destinies
Adventures in Unova
Black & White
Emerging Powers
Noble Victories
Next Destinies
Dark Explorers
Dragons Exalted
VI 3 X and Y (2013) None None None None