Top 10 Most Nostalgic & Memorable Pokémon OST Songs

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The BGM soundtrack of any given Pokémon game can go overlooked at times.

Sure, a few of us will appreciate the beauty of the tracks. But many people just let the music play in the background and don’t think more of it.

That’s the hallmark of a good background music soundtrack, though. It elevates and highlights the experience without being jarring or taking you out of the immersion.

I aim to celebrate the OSTs throughout the generations by ranking the most nostalgic in-game Pokémon songs from all the games.

Given the nature of “nostalgia”, I’ll only be going as far as Gen V for my rankings, since the other gens are mostly still fresh in everyone’s minds.

 

10. Opening (Gen I)

Yes, yes, this really should be ending this list and not starting it.

However, it’s too much of a cop-out to have the opening to Gen I as the most nostalgic choice because, well, it’s the first one we ever heard.

Plus I started with Gen III, so I may be a bit biased…

Regardless, there isn’t a soul alive that would argue against the impact and significance of this theme.

It’s served as the basis for iconic tracks throughout the game & anime series, including another entry later on down this list.

Being purely objective, this is the most memorable Pokémon OST song – probably even among kids who played the games & stopped playing as they got older.

So it’s ranked right here, but I understand if you think I should have made it number one.

 

9. N’s Room (Gen V)

There’s going to be a lot of people that disagree with me here, and I get it. N’s Room, and the accompanying theme, is only in one singular part of BW and BW2 – meaning you probably only listened to it for a few minutes.

Hear me out, though.

Gen V is my favorite of all time. It’s the most poetic, narratively striking, and mature entry the franchise has ever seen.

N’s Room encapsulates all of that into one twisted & heartwrenching distortion that symbolizes the loss of innocence, childhood, and abuse.

Sure, it’s not “shed a tear for the memories” nostalgic.

But it does bring me back to the glory days of getting lost in Unova’s depths.

 

8. Pokémon Center (All Games)

The differences between the Pokémon Center themes in each game are so minuscule that I decided to bunch them all up into one entry.

Admittedly, some of us will have spent a lot longer listening to this theme than others… but all of us can instantly recognize it when we hear it.

It’s a constant that remains the same throughout every generation, serving as a keystone to any Pokémon game’s OST.

Out of every single entry on this list, this is likely the OST track that most of us would instantly recognize. So it’s only fitting that I find a spot for it.

 

7. The Day I Was Crowned King (Gen V)

As I said, I’m biased in that Gen V was my favorite.

So I’m going to lean heavily into that generation’s OST for this pick too.

In particular, the opening sequence is one that will always be a tear-jerker for me – and for the same reasons that N’s Room is.

It brings back that poetic maturity and moral ambiguity that BW became so widely regarded for.

It was the first Pokémon game to make us stop and think about our actions, and the actions of our enemies.

Everything about B&W was so well crafted, down to the name of the tracks on the soundtrack.

I mean, how could a game that opens with a song titled “The Day I Was Crowned King,” not be a masterpiece?

 

6. Poké Mart (Gen IV)

I could probably have included the Pokémart theme from every generation in here, kinda similar to the Poké Center entry… but Sinnoh’s twist on the old-school sound just hits different.

And I’m sure you all know this one when you hear it.

Admittedly, it could be because I played Platinum more than any other entry into the series as a kid. But there’s something oddly cheery about the upbeat energy that the Gen IV PokéMart theme brings.

It sounds like adventure.

And as a kid, that’s exactly what you want to hear.

 

5. Gen III Opening (Gen III)

I started my Pokémon journey with Generation III.

So this was the first Pokémon song I ever heard.

However, I think many people will agree with me when I say this is one of the most epic intros in Pokémon history.

The way it builds from its cheery and happy-go-lucky start into that iconic Pokémon sound is something that resonates with my very soul.

Even if you didn’t start with Hoenn, there’s no denying how iconic this opening sequence is – both in terms of visuals and sounds.

Even if you’re not a Gen III fan, you have to admit that it blows most other generation openings out of the water.

 

4. Champion Battle (Gen II)

If I was talking about the objective “best” songs in Pokémon OST history, this would be number one and it wouldn’t even be close.

Gen II was never anything special for me in terms of gameplay or story. But my god was the Champion battle something else.

Not only was this masterpiece used for your battle with Lance, but it was reprised for your final encounter with Red.

It’s actually a remix of the original Pokémon intro that starts off slow and foreboding, before building to a lightning-fast pace to match the intensity of the battle.

Thematically and practically, it’s the perfect track to close out the game. And it’s one that will forever be near and dear to my heart for that very reason.

 

3. Lavender Town (Gen I)

If you’ve spent any amount of time around the Pokémon fandom, then you’ve heard the Lavender Town theme far more than you’ve probably wanted to.

In-game, you only spend maybe an hour or two in Lavender Town.

However, the track associated with the town has become legendary in Creepy Pasta lore.

Whether you believe the theories related to this town or not, it doesn’t matter. Hearing this BGM still drags up those memories of late-night YouTube binging, scaring our younger selves senseless.

 

2. Route 1 (Gen I)

This should make up for giving the Gen I intro theme a spot in last place for this ranking.

Because this is also one of the first tracks that any OG Pokémon fan would have heard.

However, I would argue it’s more memorable and nostalgic than the OP theme for one simple fact:

It’s what plays when you take the first step of your adventure.

It’s the backing track to your first real movement into the wild world of Pokémon.

Kanto’s Route 1 theme is full of mystery and excitement, and has remained one of the best OST songs in the franchise’s history over two decades later.

It could even be considered among the best “route” music from all Pokémon routes in all the games.

 

1. Wild Pokémon Battle (Gen I)

Speaking of taking your first steps into the wilds of Pokémon…

My pick for the most memorable game OST song is the wild battle theme from Gen I (Pokémon R/B/Y)

You know the one. It has influenced the sound of the entire series, and is easily the song that we’ve listened to the most.

I can still hear the Zubat cries playing over the fast-paced beats of this track.

Despite the pain that’s associated with those memories, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is the original Pokémon theme that should be synonymous with the franchise’s battle sound design.

If you touched any of the original Gen I games as a kid, this should bring back some memories.

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