Detective Pikachu makes an electrifying appearance in cinemas on 10 May, so in preparation we’ve been taking a look back at some of our favourite Pokémon games in which Pikachu is the star of the show. The cuddly electric mouse is one of the most recognisable Pokémon characters there is, and it’s so cute that it’s hardly surprising.
And here’s a piece of trivia for you: Pikachu’s name comes from the pika, a real-life mammal that looks a bit like a short-eared rabbit, as well as two Japanese words: pika, the sound of electric sparks, and chu, the sound of a mouse squeaking. As if Pikachu wasn’t adorable enough already…
1. Pokémon Yellow
We can’t have a list of Pikachu’s video game appearances without talking about Pokémon Yellow, which more or less followed the same story as the anime series. While Pikachu was the only starter Pokémon available in the game, we never had a problem with that because it was so gosh darn adorable to have a fluffy Pikachu following us around wherever we went.
You can even interact with your new Pokémon pal to see what it thinks of you, and if you’re careful not to let your Pikachu faint too much in battle, you’ll gradually be rewarded with the heartwarming realisation that it’s really starting to like you.
2. Pokémon Let’s Go: Pikachu
Pokémon Let’s Go is a remake of Pokémon Yellow, but it’s bigger and a lot more interactive, with elements of Pokémon GO! thrown in as well.
Of course, you can still have Pikachu at your side wherever you go, though it’ll sit on your shoulder instead of walking behind you (which seems fairer, because people probably walk a lot faster than a Pikachu can), and you can also dress your Pokémon in adorable pint-sized outfits.
3. Hey You, Pikachu
If you’ve not seen the trailer for Detective Pikachu yet, one of the main characters is a young man named Tim Goodman, who finds himself inexplicably able to understand the speech of a cute little Pikachu in a detective hat. We reckon Tim must’ve been playing a lot of Hey You, Pikachu in his youth, because this adorable Nintendo 64 game was all about trying to converse with wild Pikachu (although admittedly we had to use a special device given to us by Professor Oak).
Having found a wild Pikachu of your own, you can use the console’s voice recognition unit to speak to and gradually befriend it, until eventually you become the best of friends and your Pikachu moves in with you. Life goals.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Super Smash Bros. series is known for the iconic characters in its fighter roster, and Pikachu has had the honour of being one of the starter characters in every Super Smash Bros. game to date.
Armed with signature electric attacks, Pikachu manages to be both adorable and actually pretty fearsome. Oh, and there are plenty of adorable hats for your Pikachu to don if you feel like switching things up a bit.
5. Pokémon Snap
If there’s one Pokémon game we’d love to see a remake of, this is probably it. This rail shooter photography game is fast-paced fun from start to finish.
Armed with a camera and an increasingly nifty stash of gadgets, you jump aboard the amphibious Zero-One buggy and dash through a variety of locations, snapping photos of Pokémon as you go. Different items can be used to lure out or even stun Pokémon so you can capture the perfect picture, and bonus points can be scored for catching Pokémon in particular poses. Naturally, our favourite Pokémon to snap was the surfing Pikachu, who we actually first encountered in a secret minigame in Pokémon Yellow.
6. Detective Pikachu
If you really, really can’t wait for the movie, you can brush up on your detective skills as young hero Tim Goodman, who solves mysteries with the help of his talkative Pikachu friend.
Of course, you might spoil the movie for yourself, but you’ll also get to spend lots of time with a Pikachu who speaks your language. Just imagine the possibilities…
7. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team
At the start of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, you discover that you’ve been turned into a Pokémon. Which one you’ll become depends entirely on your answers to a personality test, but let’s assume that like us, you became a Pikachu.
Teaming up with other Pokémon, you make your way through randomly generated dungeons as you try to regain your memories, all while delivering items, escorting guests, and completing jobs. It’s a heart-warming adventure with some moments of peril, but hey, what matters most is you get to be a Pikachu.
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Find your very own Pikachu buddy and go on an electrifying Pokémon adventure in Pokémon Let’s Go: Pikachu Edition!