Pokémon X vs Y: Which Game Version should you buy?

Unlike the generational releases that came before it, I’ve always felt like Pokémon X and Y were among the generations that redefined the Pokémon game series. It was the first generation to include a Fairy-type legendary plus it had amazing updates like mega evolutions. So, to say I was excited about its release would be an understatement. But with this excitement, as always, came the confusing question of “Which version should I get?” Although I ideally wanted both, my budget could only allow me one choice.

If you find yourself in the same predicament then this article will come in handy. Although I couldn’t get the two versions together, I managed to play both of them eventually, thanks to a friend of mine. So, based on my experience with both, I’m going to share a detailed comparison of what sets them apart, so you are in a better position to decide which version is better for you.

Pokémon X vs Y – How They Compare

First, let’s take a quick look at the summary of the variations between the two versions as demonstrated in the table below:

FeaturesPokémon XPokémon Y
Box LegendaryXerneas (Fairy-type)Yvelta (Dragon/Flying-type)
Version Exclusive Pokémon
  • Aggron
  • Aron
  • Clauncher
  • Clawitzer
  • Houndoom
  • Houndour
  • Lairon
  • Mightyena
  • Pinsir
  • Poochyena
  • Sawk
  • Slurpuff
  • Starmie
  • Staryu
  • Swirlix
  • Aromatisse
  • Cloyster
  • Electrike
  • Heracross
  • Larvitar
  • Liepard
  • Manectric
  • Pupitar
  • Purrloin
  • Shellder
  • Skrelp
  • Spritzee
  • Throh
  • Tyranitar
  • Dragalge
Mega Evolutions
  • Mega Charizard X
  • Mega Mewtwo X
  • Mega Pinsir
  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Mega Mewtwo Y
  • Mega Heracross

What are the differences between Pokémon X and Y?

Pokémon X vs Y
Pokémon X. Image source: Pokemon

Ideally, both Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are the same game. But even though the variations are small, they can make all the difference when deciding what version to go for. So, below is a detailed comparison of the key differences I felt were worth considering:

Box Legendary

When you buy a Pokémon game, there is always a legendary Pokémon on the cover of the box. This Pokémon is essentially known as the “mascot” of the version and is at the heart of the game’s story. Since each version has its own exclusive “mascot”, it means that depending on the version you pick, that legendary may affect the storyline of the game slightly. That is why I think, it’s always important to pick the right legendary you want to see when playing.

When it comes to the stats, the opposing legendries are usually equal, so many may think that it’s a matter of personal preference. While it mostly is, if you take a closer look at each version’s legendary, you’ll realize there’s more to it.

In Pokémon X, the box legendary is Xerneas a pure Fairy-type Pokémon, while in Pokémon Y you’ll get the Dragon-Flying type Pokémon, Yvelta. In terms of ability, power, and stats, the two legendries are equally amazing. As for the design, I personally preferred how cool Xerneas looked, though I know most fans would go with Yvelta’s look.

But from the experience of playing both versions, I would say Xerneas is the better choice of the two. While Yvelta was great on paper, I didn’t think it was quite as quick or easy to use. I felt Xerneas’ typing was more unique and bit Yvelta’s especially when it came to battle.

Therefore, I believe Pokémon X has the better Pokémon Legendary, given its unique typing and, in my personal opinion, a cooler design.

Version Exclusive Pokémon

Pokémon X vs Y
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Image source: Pokemon

As is the drill with every generation in the Pokémon game series, each version of that generation presents its exclusive list of Pokémon that you can capture. This is usually the top difference between the two versions. Even though nowadays, it is easy to trade with other players later to get the Pokémon you want from the other version, I still think the different exclusives are a significant factor to sway your choice.

Let’s look at it this way if you pick the version that has most of the Pokémon you want, that means you’ll have less of a hassle trading. But, if you’re new to all this and don’t really have an opinion of which Pokémon you want in your party, then go with the version that has a better selection of powerful Pokémon.

In the case of Pokémon X and Y, I was more inclined to the lineup offered by Pokémon Y. Let’s try comparing Tyranitar in Pokémon Y to Aggron in Pokémon X. Tyranitar being a pseudo-legendary makes it a far better choice to the Steel/Rock-type Aggron. Similarly, Heracross, in Pokémon Y is a better choice than Pinsir in Pokémon X, even when both undergo a Mega evolution.

So, I would have to go with Pokémon Y when it comes to exclusive Pokémon since I feel it has a better selection. But ultimately what will matter more is which Pokémon you are personally interested in.

Mega Evolutions

Pokémon X vs Y
Pokémon Mega Evolutions. Image source: Nintendo

Speaking of Mega Evolutions, this is one feature that not only differentiates the two versions but also the entire generation 6 from its predecessors. With this feature as a player, using the Key Stone, you can evolve your Pokémon in the heat of battle into their Mega versions. Of course, this only applied to the Pokémon who were capable of Mega evolving and held their respective Mega stone.

When it came down to the versions, I realized that each version had its own exclusive Pokémon that could only Mega evolve in that version. There were two Pokémon, however, that had Mega evolutions in both versions and those were Mewtwo and Charizard.

Comparing Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y, I liked the latter’s special Draught ability that strengthened the damage it dealt using fire-type moves. Still, I was more inclined to Mega Charizard X, because of its cool design and also because its Fire/Dragon-type came in quite handy in battle.

Now if I was to compare Mega Mewtwo X and Mega Mewtwo Y, the latter does have significantly improved stats and while I thought its insomnia ability was a cool addition, it wasn’t much use in battle. Mega Mewtwo on the other hand, not only gains improved stats in terms of attack, but it also changes to a much better typing of psychic/fighting type.

So, if I had to choose, I would say Pokémon X once again wins this round, since I feel its Mega versions of Charizard and Mewtwo are undoubtedly better than the Y version. Still, that’s not to say that Pokémon Y doesn’t have some great selections of Mega Evolved Pokémon.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Pokémon X or Y

Pokémon X and Y, the game is mostly similar. But in such cases, even the slightest variation makes all the difference. Considering the major differences, I’ve shared above; I would have to say that Pokémon X is the version to get if you are considering which of the two is better. The X version, in my opinion, has better a better legendary and Mega Evolved Pokémon versions.

Even so, Pokémon Y is still a great choice since it offers a powerful set of version exclusives for non-legendary Pokémon. So, when it boils down to it, what matters is the Pokémon you are more interested in. What legendary do you prefer in your storyline? What kind of Pokémon are you interested in catching? If you can answer these questions then you already know what version to get.

FAQ Section

Which is more popular Pokémon X or Y?

It depends on who you ask, but Pokémon X seems to be more popular than Pokémon Y, mostly because most fans preferred its exclusive legendary and its Mega Evolved version of Charizard.

Is Pokémon X more successful than Pokémon Y?

Yes, Pokémon X was more successful compared to the Y version, based on sales. While version Y sold 1.54 million copies, version X sold 1.63 million copies.

Which was released first Pokémon X or Y?

Neither. Both versions were released on the same date worldwide, that is on October 12, 2013.

How many hours does it take to finish Pokémon X and Y?

It should take about 31 hours if you are only interested in the main objectives of the game, but a 100% completion should take about 205 hours.

Which one has the best starter between Pokémon X and Y?

First, the choice of starters is the same in both versions. Second, the best one may vary based on personal preference and play style, but most fans seem to lean towards Chepsin as opposed to Froakie and Greninjar.

Do Pokémon X and Y have the same storyline?

Yes, although the version titles are different, they generally share the same plot with some slight variations when it comes to the legendries.

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