Pokemon Go Is On Twice As Many ‘Best of 2016’ Lists As Pokemon Sun and Moon

It's no secret that the wildly popular mobile game Pokemon GO went a long way toward boosting the sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon, which recently became the fastest-selling Pokemon game Ever. But, evidently, that's not translating into year-end consideration, as Pokemon GO has been on more than twice as many "Best Games of 2016" lists as Pokemon Sun and Moon.

GameRevolution has been tracking year-end lists, and we created a scorecard indicating the 10 most-mentioned games. While Pokemon GO has been flirting with the #10 spot (currently only a few points out of it), Pokemon Sun and Moon are nowhere near contention. While there is certainly time for this number to change, it seems unlikely based on the magnitude of lists we've already aggregated.

Pokemon Go has appeared on seven "best of 2016"  lists, with one #2 spot, whereas Pokemon Sun and Moon have only appeared on three such lists. While it's worth noting that neither of these games are very popular, comparatively (we've counted 32 lists so far), Pokemon GO is running away with the memories of those in entertainment media.

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This is more impressive when you remember that Pokemon GO came out five months before Sun and Moon, and generally people have recency bias when it comes to top 10 games lists at the end of the year. Consider the distinct lack of Dark Souls 3 on any of these lists, as it seems people have forgotten about it. Not the case with Pokemon GO.

You certainly have to respect the cultural impact that Pokemon GO had and still has. More than 10 percent of Android users had installed Pokemon GO shortly after its released, and even at PAX West in September – long after Pokemon GO had supposedly died – I had several experiences of being literally surrounded by people playing the game.

The case for Pokemon Sun and Moon isn't as easy to make, despite its being a better game, by all accounts (Pokemon GO has a 68 on Metacritic compared with Sun and Moon's 87).

But that makes you wonder why Pokemon GO – a mobile game, that had a laundry list of gameplay restrictions – is catching on with people who seek to enshrine it as the best of 2016, especially over that of Pokemon Sun and Moon – what many consider the best Pokemon games since the original Gameboy titles.