While Gen III isn't my favorite, I think that all the cool CITIES won me over... For example, Sootopolis, Fortree, Pacifidlog...
Well, I wouldn't say it was a bad generation. It was very cool, and Ruby and Sapphire were awesome games. I would say, though, that they are my least favorite, and it is the worst generation so far. Well, no. Not the worst, but the least good. I repeat, TO ME it was. Another thing I really take into account when judging a generation is its music, and Generation 3's music, while it was cool, had those horrible trumpets, or vuvuzelas, or I don't know what instrument it was but it made my ears bleed. The Pokémon introduced in that generation were the most forgettable, just like Generation 4's music is the most forgettable so far.
I think there's a lot to be said for the feelings one experiences during a given gaming generation in general that colour one's recollections of a particular game. I rather enjoyed Ruby and Sapphire for what they were at the time, but I can't tolerate any prolonged excursion with them nowadays; it is, instead, the panoply of resplendent memories that I have of the other games I played during that generation and also factors incurred by my age and personal circumstances that reinforce my enthusiasm in speaking of the third generation of Pokémon games.
In 2003, at 12-years-old, my friends and I had already experienced the first two sets of games, and we'd also started to unearth the world of importing, upon discovering that the U.S. and Japan received the games long in advance of Europe. I'll remember Generation III for being that time where we used actively whatever methods we could to lay our mitts on the game sooner than the rest of the crowd--and that proactive enthusiasm poured over into playing the games themselves. Still of an appropriate age, sleep-overs were spent trying to crack the mysteries of the Sealed Chambers--and we'd all advanced enough intellectually by that stage to catch the implications of the game at large; and being young made the idea of secret bases such a hugely compelling idea, since we'd spent much of our earlier childhoods eking out bases in real-life. Those contextual factors made the ideas of Generation III that much more resonant with me than those of subsequent generations, whose impacts were soured by the new apprehensions in my life. Anyway, the enthusiasm I was able to muster with my friends during those days in 2003 is common with my early memories of the GameBoy Advance and all the treasures I found on that platform around that time, not to mention the presence of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on the Gamecube, which released during the May of 2003, around the same time I came into possession of Generation III. That summer was devoted to new journeys in the lands provided by the technology of the Gamecube and GBA, which dazzled me: my love of Generation III--a Generation which enjoys all of the series' predilections for exploration--feeds off the general air of exploration and wonderment that characterized my life at the time.
Reflecting on the matter, personal context is a huge, HUGE factor in colouring how I receive a particular game. If, thematically, the game doesn't resonate with my circumstances at the time, I'm almost bound to dismiss it--irrespective of how good it is. How fortunate, then, that those halcyon days in the summer of 2003 that are rich with colour and sunshine should have introduced Ruby and Sapphire--games which are, as mentioned in posts above, jubilant and colourful, just right for my present circumstances.
Generation III was probably the most radical turning point the series has taken to this day. Instead of following in second generation's footsteps, it discarded backwards compability and used that in its advantage to update the basics of Pokémon growth. Also, for the first time the Pokémon world got the chance to shine in full colour as it wasn't limited to Game Boy Color's restrictions anymore. But now the once revolutionary Hoenn is the oldest region in the connected Pokémon game chain; both Red and Green, and then later on Gold and Silver (with Crystal elements) were remade, so it's only natural anyone who loved Gen III wants them to bring it into the DS era. And that's why it's so popular now. It seems more likely that if a rerelease is coming, it will be in Gen VI, not Gen V, though; just leaves more time for everyone to wish for Hoenn's reincarnation again.
The nostalgia factor for everyone who started with RSE, as noted above, might be a reason too, though I'd say it's just a part of the above theory.
I'm more from the R/B/Y generation and Yellow was the first game I ever played so I guess it holds a special place in my heart compared to G/S/C or R/S/E.
I was really excited for R/S when it first came out because of the full colour and new locations to explore which projected the great feeling of adventure & discovery that is quintessential of the Pokemon games at first, but after playing for a while the battle system annoyed me. Somehow I think I felt as though the Pokemon weren't really balanced or something? I can't remember or put my finger on exactly what it was about the pokemon, but by a certain point in the game (around Mr. Briney) I felt really pissed off with the pokemon and battling. Then I was aggravated by the bag system which still had items all over the place. Then there were pointless additions like the Berry system which felt like I was working a real job but without getting paid, the Contests which side-tracked from the main game-play and didn't add much challenge or value and the Poffins whatever you called them. All of these on top of the meta-game felt like such a chore to me, it stopped being fun and became boring. The same-old same-old storyline also didn't help. The pokemon designs were also forgettable, I can't remember any pokemon from generation 3 apart from the starters.
For generation 5, so far I haven't encountered anything that made my gaming experience aggravating. I can see why critics have labeled BW the best game by far.
While I grew up ever since starting from Gen1, Gen3 is my fav. Hoenn is my fav region. Steven is my fav champion. Heck, I love everything about Gen3.
And it's time GF gave us the remakes we are all waiting for.
Reasons i like Gen 3:
1. My first ever completed game
2. My first ever GBA game
4. Treeckos ---> sceptiles
5. First ever GBA game with colour
6. Really fun
7. enjoyed the gameplay
8. Really nice storyline
9. My first ever poke show i watched was in Hoenn (can't remember which series)
10. The comics is funny.
Emerald Version is my third favorite Pokemon game, and I just love how beautiful and diverse the Hoenn Region was. I admit I didn't warm up to Hoenn right away, I was sad that I couldn't bring my Johto team over. Bur replaying Emerald version with a Scramble Challenge has really reminded me of what a fun game it is. A lot of people are realizing it, and indeed, the kids who started with RS/E would be old enough to have their own childhood memories and nostalgia, just like us old Gen-1/2 dogs. I really hope to see RSEmakes, or to visit Hoenn again at the very least.
Well, let's see. Most of the people on BMGf were born around 1991- 1995 that time (Link to source) . This would make them around 7-11 years old when Gen III was released (2003). This is GameFreak's target audience, and there's no doubt that many of those people's first Pokemon game was in Gen III. Also nostalgia is probably also a factor since Ruby and Sapphire are the oldest main games that don't have a remake.
Honestly, I love all of the gens, and I started out with Gen I(Red), but I have to say Gen III is my favorite generation. I wasn't a huge fan of the rivals(probably the least memorable of all the gens rivals), but this was the game where developments were really drastic, with the incorporation of the different environments, vibrant colors, and weather, just a bunch of stuff. And the start of them secret bases(which stopped at Gen V, sadly). And...I love this gen because of how much you could dive and surf. This gen has an awesome map.
Plus, I love the Pokemon designs in Gen III. Absol, Metagross, Skitty, Aggron, Milotic, Flygon...etc.
I too started with Gen I, and while I loved it and probably played through the Kanto storyline 5-10 times altogether by playing and replaying RBY and FrLg, Hoenn still wins for me. The first of the many reasons I like it appeared within the first 20 seconds of turning it on: You begin your journey in the back of a moving van. Neglecting the ethical questionability of placing a child in a non-ventilated compartment of a moving vehicle, as a kid, a box-filled moving van just screams adventure. The Hoenn games had a totally unique beginning from anything that came before, and they have a totally unique beginning from anything that came after. Add to that the only time a father has appeared in the series, and what appears to be a male main character with awesome white hair, those games were off to a great start from the get-go.
Not only that, but RSE's nature motif to me has truly been the most interesting. Kanto had legendary birds held on the highest floor of the tallest tower (Moltres), the lowest floor of the deepest cavern (Articuno), and in a long abandoned building (Zapdos), metaphorically speaking of course. This "questing" motif combined with the genetic engineering ideas of Mewtwo and Mew were interesting and a great start to the series, however they lacked depth. Johto had three roaming beasts and 2 pokemon who were actual legends to the NPCs. A great stepping stone. But nothing can really top Hoenn's ideas about weather and the balance of nature. Not to mention that those ideas led to some very interesting and novel gameplay mechanics, such as collecting ash from the grass near the volcano, collecting Shoal items alternatingly based on the tide, and diving under the water where pokemon can be found in the seaweed.
Also, while Pokemon contests are disliked or ignored by many (myself included), I recently tried one and unearthed what was essentially a second, entirely novel, turn-based battle system (in the form of appeals). Having the choice to play either of two very different styles of trainer to Pokemon interaction, is really a great thing. Sure, Unova has Pokemon Musicals, but these just don't bring the excitement of strategy-based move selection under a different disguise that Contests bring.
I hardly need to mention secret bases (and their downgrade that Sinnoh brought forth), the very intersting storyline (which climaxes with a near-apocalypse of either blazing heat or torrential storms, which can only be stopped by the player), or the fact that yes, *almost* everyone leiks mudkipz.
Include in Gen III a remake of the games that started it all, and you have a recipe for success. The console games also deserve massive recognition. Orre is flat-out an exciting region. Everything is different. 3D Pokemon, constant double battles, snagging replacing capturing. Add to that a much-improved sequel to the already really good original Orre game, and it really doesn't get much better.
Ultimately Gen III was different, novel and "fresh". This turned off many players. Not me, it keeps me coming back to it. While Kanto is finally begininning to get stale, Hoenn (and Orre) for me are as fresh as ever. My Emerald lives in my DS and frequently gets booted into, as do the Emeralds of my cousins, and I'm certain many other people. There's something about Gen III that is just exciting, which I think really makes it the epitome of the Pokemon franchise to date.
I actually think Sinnoh is the most hated region. I always thought Hoenn was the most popular out of them all, though Kanto is my favorite region.
I think it is the cities and Pokemon that won people over to Hoenn, I mean I have seen so many love Mudkip.
Hoenn felt so tropical, it was like a island vacation whenever you played it :)
Like it's been said, it because it's become nostalgic. I also think a part of it is people warming up to it because Gen III was practically reboot for the series that took many of us Gen I and II fans by surprise. I compare it to Digimon Tamers that started out being hated by most of the fanbase to being adored and hailed as the best series by the fanbase once they got over the resistance of change and accepted it.
Personally, I was half resistant to change and half losing interest in Pokemon for a while thanks to the hell called puberty and getting more interested in the things like Sonic, Mario, Yugioh, Inuyasha etc. Eventually after a few years, my little cousin gets into Pokemon, forces me to sit through the anime with him, and I soon find myself walking into in GameStop where I see a cheap Emerald copy; I decide "What the hell? I'm bored and maybe the new games aren't so bad". I play my Emerald and while I hate most of the new designs(they look too much like Digimon to me), I can over look it because traveling through Hoenn was amazing and I loved the music for this game. I even like the surf routes since it made good use of the HM compared to other games where I barely need it unless I want to do a side quest and I especially loved going under water. The characters weren't very memorable accept for Steven, Archie, Maxie, and Wallace, but remakes might hopefully fix this(yes, I believe there's going to be remake or else they wouldn't have put Steven in HG/SS). Then there was the introduction of the Abilities that really made you have to actually think when battling instead to going straight for the strongest technique.
Still, Gen III as a whole is still my least favorite generation because of like I said, most of the new Pokemon looking like Digimon and few memorable characters(Hoenn truly had the most boring Gym Leaders and Elite Four). Unlike Gen V that also has the Digimon-like designs, it compensates for fixing things that so many of us had been practically begging Game Freak to do and introducing some of the most memorable characters in the series(I think Hilbert/Hilda, N, and Ghetsis get more hype than I've ever seen for Red, Blue, and Cyrus).