Best Victory Roads From All Pokémon Games (Ranked)

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There are a lot of elements in Pokémon that don’t get talked about.

For my money, one of the bigger things we don’t think about are the various Victory Roads we have to go through.

These mountain paths serve as the final trial before we face the League. It sets the tone and the mood, so it’s important that it’s executed right.

As you’re about to find out, though, Game Freak has dropped the ball with Victory Road in most generations.

I’m hoping that they get a handle on things for Gen 9, so I’m throwing my opinions out into the ether in the hopes that somehow, someway, they reach someone of influence in the Pokémon sphere.


8. Kanto Victory Road

Kanto Victory Road in Pokemon FireRed

Gen I’s victory road is the worst of the bunch.

I’m sorry, but all the nostalgia in the world can’t make me overlook that fact. Even in FireRed and LeafGreen, the section is completely uninspired.

It should be the calm before the storm, the rumbling of thunder before your crescendo. Instead, it sounds like an off-tune kazoo.

It’s full of obnoxious bolder puzzles, a ludicrous encounter rate, and repetitive trainer battles.

The levels of the wild Pokémon dotted around suck too, so good luck grinding your team up in less than a week.

Even the soundtrack is whack. I get that Game Freak was working with some serious limitations, but come on! Talk about a disappointing build-up.

It does serve as the home to Moltres, though, which is one redeeming factor.


7. Johto Victory Road

Johto Victory Road in Pokemon HG/SS

In many ways, Johto and Kanto are tied for the last place on the list.

The only reason Johto comes in a bit higher is because of the improvements to the region (not Victory Road) that we got in HGSS.

The victory road in GSC is a blank canvas with a very questionable theme behind it. When I say a blank canvas, I really mean that.

There are no trainers on Victory Road at all.

Now, I’m not totally against the idea of one final climb to the Pokémon league being isolated, just you against the world… but to do that, you need to find a way around the player spamming repels.

This is a much more practical issue when you consider that you can’t get some bonus levels on your way to the League.

It’s just uninspired and unhelpful. That’s all I have to say on the matter.


6. Alola Victory Road

Alola Victory Road Pokemon Sun and Moon game screenshot

Mt. Lanakila / Vast Poni Canyon serves as Alola’s Victory Road, given the change that the generation made to the formula.

That change is exactly why I’m ranking it so far down.

Call me biased (which I am) but I wasn’t too fond of Gen VII.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spicing up the formula, but in the right way.

I loved what Game Freak did in SWSH. But this change sucked.

Mt. Lanakila starts what is an easy ending to an easier and more disappointing journey. I get that it’s meant to be for kids, but you can’t just forsake the fans that have been with you from the early days.


5. Kalos Victory Road

Kalos Victory Road in Pokémon X and Y

On the topic of forsaking fans… X and Y, anyone?

Seriously, X and Y were a slap in the face of anyone that had been playing since Gen IV onwards.

To date, I still don’t know what Game Freak was thinking.

The older generations applied to kids while still being tough. So why the sudden handholding?

It’s such a shame for Victory Road too, because the Kalos theme might be my favorite out of any generation.

It’s foreboding and epic, everything that the game is not.


4. Galar Victory Road

Galar Victory Road Pokemon SWSH game screenshot

I said I liked the changes that Game Freak made to the League in Gen VIII. But I didn’t say that I enjoyed the map.

In fact, I’m arguing that the map is the weakest part of the entire game by far.

This is backed up by the fact that there is no traditional Victory Road.

Now I get it: the sporting structure of the Galar League doesn’t allow for that.

But the nonexistent alternative sucks. It’s a noticeable exclusion from the game.

This would be at the bottom of the list if it weren’t for the fact that I love the Galar League structure.

It’s the type of direction that I would like the series to take going forward, so I’m giving it kudos here.


3. Hoenn Victory Road

Hoenn Victory Road - Pokemon Emerald gameplay

These next three are the metaphorical “big boys” of the Pokémon series, as well as having the best Victory Roads.

Generation III through V were the golden years for Pokémon as far as I’m concerned. Each addition was memorable, inspired, and brought something new to the table.

How we went from Black and White 2, my favorite Pokémon games of all time by a country mile, to X and Y, I will never know.

Now I know a lot of people don’t like Emerald’s Victory Road, and I get that.

The fact that the wild Pokémon there have moves like Protect and Roar can make leveling a pain.

On the other hand, it easily has the best soundtrack and design.

It’s epic in its scale and grandeur, which is exactly what a Victory Road should be.

Plus, when little me was playing Gen III back in the day, I had no idea there was a champion after the Elite 4.

I remember the first time I ever beat them while coming back from a trip with my parents in the back seat of the car. The shock and awe that I felt (and the panic) when I realized that I had beaten the E4 for the first time, and that I had to have another battle, that’ll stay with me forever.

Plus I actually beat the champion first try. So that was cool.


2. Sinnoh Victory Road

Sinnoh Victory Road Pokemon Platinum screenshot

Ah, Sinnoh.

This generation holds such a dear spot in my heart. I spent more time in this game than any other Pokémon iteration, and I’ve completed the SWSH national Dex.

Victory Road in this generation is simple yet effective, which is ironically what my girlfriend said when asked about me.

It’s a spiraling cave system full of varying paths and difficult trainers.

It does everything right, except for one thing.

The theme sucks.

It just sounds like a regular old cave theme. When I’m in Victory Road, I want foreboding, drama, drums, and thunder.

I don’t want a high pitched “dudududu, dudududu,” repeating on a loop.


1. Unova Victory Road

Unova Victory Road Pokemon Black 2 and White 2

BW and BW2 are the best Pokémon games ever made. I’m not willing to compromise on this point.

Everything about the game is perfect all the way up to its Victory Road.

It’s got a phenomenal soundtrack, but more importantly, it has the best design out of any other Pokémon game.

This Victory Road has seven different layers that require you to weave in and out. It’s like climbing a big wedding cake.

It’s got a lot of trainers so that you can level up, is home to a legendary, and has a navigational puzzle that’s going to take an uninformed and younger fan quite a while to complete.

Victory Road in Unova is the perfect build-up to the Pokémon League. Especially when you consider what happens once you beat them.

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