When it comes to the videogame that I think really got me into gaming, I am inclined to say it was Pokémon Blue. Readers would recall almost 500 articles ago that I started gaming on the Nintendo Entertainment System with a Super Mario Bros. bundle. However, me starting to be a gamer and me being hooked into this for life (at least, so far) are two different times. So, Pokémon Blue, despite me giving it and its diehard fans (the Genwunners) a really tough time nowadays, was still an amazing experience at the time. I believe it was my first roleplaying game, and I also believe that the whole RPG genre, as complicated as RPGs are to define, is much more immersive for me and more demonstrative of what gaming is all about compared to platformers.
As a result, I got into a lot more games because of Pokémon Blue, and spent considerable time invested in the franchise then. I got the trading cards, watched the anime, bought the Pokémon Master Trainer board game, and discussed it openly with the locals. My Nintendo NSider Forums screen-name, ANTIROCKETCLOUDY, is a result from LARPing Pokémon. (I'm not gonna go into that further unless requested, 'cause I have an article to write.)
Nowadays, while my fascination with Pokémon is still strong as ever (that's why we've been writing about it, oh, I dunno, every week or two on KoopaTV for months now?), I've put Pokémon Blue behind. I even voted Super Mario Bros. 3 over it in a hypothetical GameFAQs Best. Game. Ever. 2015 bracket, though now I'm not really sure why I did. Pokémon Blue is just so technologically backwards in every area possible, and future games in the franchise have improved so much that Pokémon Blue is pretty much unplayable today. It's that much of a difference, and I'm not blinded by nostalgia that I can't see that.
It appears that Game Freak recognises the steady progress of technology with the Pokémon franchise, which is why they always have the fat guy at the beginning of almost every main series RPG talking about the latest in Pokémon series technology. I've compiled a list of his quotes below in chronological/generational order, because I think documenting this progress is important: