Over the years, there's been various sprite styles for the Pokémon in game by generation. Some games within gens even have different sprites for certain Pokémon. Below are some examples. Discuss below what your favorite generation sprite style is and why you like a certain one the most!
Gen 6 & 7
My personal favorite might be Gen 2 or 3. Gen 2 had a very classic and bright style while Gen 3 had a more modern but adorable style. However Gen 6 & 7 has a very nice realistic style.
Honestly objectively I think Gen 2 sprites, specifically Crystal, is just so charming. shhmew up there really turned me on to them I just love them a lot now. In playing Crystal for the first time, I've been loving seeing Pokémon's sprites because they're so adorably contained and blocky in a CUTE WAY.
In general I love all the sprites. I was really disappointed when Sun and Moon recycled 3D models from XY, I really loved seeing Pokémon in a different way through sprites every generation. Sprites were something we didn't appreciate enough when they existed.
Gen 5, since things became a lot more consistent and backsprites stopped looking weird. Gen 6+ is even better, though I wouldn't compare them to sprites, since they are models. Gen 5 animated sprites are awesome, even for Pokemon introduced later.
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It doesn't matter where we go, there's always someone that doesn't agree with us. AMA | AID
I feel like Gen IV, specifically HGSS, had the sprites that were most true to the Pokemon's official artwork. That's a big selling point for me, because imo those ones look the most like the Pokemon is supposed to, out of any Generation of sprites or models.
I too am in the minority of liking the Gen V 3D sprites. Made things more appropriately fitting and the battle sprites would flow kind of nicely from what I felt. As Solar said it was kind of lazy that they literally copy/pasted the sprites from Gen VI into Gen VII, although it was nice that you could touch them and make them do actions.