Pokémon at 25: Why We Still Want to Catch ‘Em All

Photo Courtesy: Bulbapedia; Serebii; Nintendo

For ‘90s kids, it may come as a shock to learn that Pokémon turns 25 this year. Back on February 27, 1996, Game Freak’s first installments in the Pocket Monsters (hence Pokémon) video game series debuted in Japan. When these games proved popular, they were released overseas, and, after an initial, massive surge in popularity, the franchise has steadily earned the title of highest-grossing multimedia franchise in history.

That’s right — in history. Even if you don’t have that "Gotta Catch ‘Em All" mentality, there’s no denying Pokémon’s success, which, fiscally speaking, has eclipsed the revenue of other big-name properties, including Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, Marvel Comics and Hello Kitty. By taking a look at some of the franchise’s biggest moments, we’re uncovering just how Pokémon went from beloved, generation-defining fad to an enduring entertainment cornerstone.