Pokémon: 10 Best Gyms of All Time

Pokémon has delivered fun-filled experiences for fans to enjoy since the 90s’. Whether fans adore the titles for their memorable characters or for their thrilling battles, one can’t deny the impact this series has had on multiple gaming generations. 

Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable moments from the franchise through the years. For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best aspects of the Pokémon games, we’d like to pinpoint the best Pokémon gyms of all time.

Whether they’re aesthetically pleasing or offer a solid challenge from a battle/puzzle perspective, you’re likely to have developed a fondness for one of the gyms below. 

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below!


Nimbasa City Gym (Pokémon Black & White)

Nimbasa City stands out as one of the best Pokémon gyms due to its unique and entertaining roller coaster theme. The gym is designed to resemble an amusement park, with various roller coaster sand attractions sprinkled throughout. Trainers must navigate through these tracks to challenge their gym leader, Elesa. 

This creative and interactive design adds depth, excitement, and immersion to the gym’s experience. Furthermore, the gym is challenging, and the diverse line-up of Electric-type Pokémon is fun to battle against. From Elsea’s Zebstrika to her Emolga, each Pokémon presents its own unique strategies and traits, requiring players to come prepared with a balanced team.

In addition to offering a well-designed battle arena, Pokémon Black and White’s Nimbasa City Gym is worth mentioning here. 


Saffron City Gym (Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee)

The Saffron City Guym is highly regarded as one of the best gyms due to its unique puzzle-based gameplay. Trainers must navigate through a series of teleportation pads to reach their gym leader, Sabrina. The pads are placed strategically, requiring players to think and solve puzzles to progress. This element adds challenge and engagement to the gym, making it an enjoyable experience. 

Sabrina’s Psychic-type Pokemon team is fun to battle. Her Alakazam is a formidable force in with high offensive but low defensive capabilities. It’ll pose a strong challenge to anyone who isn’t prepared with a ghost or psychic-type Pokémon on their team.

In addition to receiving a highly stylized upgrade via Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, this is definitely a gym worth revisiting for its visuals alone. 


Sootopolis City Gym (Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald)

The Sootopolis City Gym stands out due to its unique and immersive oasis setting. The whole gym is submerged in water, requiring trainers to dive to navigate through the gym. This underwater theme adds challenge and excitement to the player’s experience with it. The maze-like layout adds immersion and strategy to it too. 

Wallace is a likable and fun gym leader to battle. His team consists of fan-favorite Pokémon like Milotic and Ludicolo. These Pokémon carry a variety of moves and abilities that can pose a threat to players’ teams if they’re not careful.

In addition to having a grandiose battle arena that resembles a large amphitheater, the Sootopolis City Gym is definitely one of the best gyms in the series. 


Blackthorn City Gym (Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver)

The Blackthorn City Gym from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver is a fiery spectacle to behold. In it, trainers must navigate through a series of sliding tile puzzles that require them to utilize careful strategies to solve them.

Furthermore, its gym leader, Clair, has a remarkable team that consists of strong Dragon-type Pokémon like Dragonair and Kingdra. These Pokémon possess high offensive prowess and unique move sets, making the gym battle challenging and entertaining.

With its combination of sliding tile puzzles and powerful Dragon-type Pokémon, the Blackthorn City Guym stands out as one of the best Pokémon gyms yet. 


Anistar City Gym (Pokémon X and Y)

The Anistar City Gym from Pokémon X and Y is an incredible gym due to its distinct puzzle mechanic and deeper connection to the game’s lore. Trainers must navigate through a series of giant sundials within the gym if they hope to challenge its leader, Olympia. This puzzle requires players to understand the concept of time and align the sundials accordingly. 

The gym’s association with the theme of time reflects Pokémon X and Y’s overarching tale. This delves into the concept of mega-evolution and the power of time and space. The integration of the game’s puzzles with the game’s larger narrative elevates the Anistar City Gym to a memorable and meaningful gym in the Pokémon series. 


Snowpoint City Gym (Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum)

The Snowpoint City Gym is one of the best ice-themed gyms in the Pokémon series. Trainers must navigate through a maze-like series of sliding ice tiles to reach its leader, Candice. This puzzle requires players to carefully plan their movements and strategies for sliding on the ice. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the gym’s puzzle. 

Furthermore, Candice is a worthwhile gym leader to battle due to the impressive Ice-type Pokémon team. From her massive Ambomasnow to her sleek Frosslass, players will adore using their Fire and Fighting-type Pokémon to decimate her team.

With its thought-provoking gym puzzle, interesting gym leader, and snowy aesthetic, the Snowpoint City Gym is one of the best gyms in the franchise today.  


Mistralton City Gym (Pokémon Black & White)

Skyla’s Mistralton City Gym is one of the most iconic and memorable gyms from Pokémon Black and White. Trainers must navigate through a series of cannons and conveyor belts to reach Skyla. This dynamic and interactive puzzle requires players to carefully time their moves and choose which conveyor belt will help them reach Skyla the fastest. 

Additionally, Skyla’s team consists of fabulous Flying-type Pokémon from Swanna to Skarmory. This team possesses high speed, agility, and in Skarmory’s case, defense. This makes the battle thought-provoking and a blast to get through. Furthermore, when fans reach Skyla’s gym they’ll realize they are near the game’s climax, exciting them for its future content.

By and large, the Mistralton City Gym is a stellar gym many will remember and cherish for years. 


Cyllage City Gym (Pokémon X and Y)

The Cyllage City in Pokémon X and Y stands out for its unique rock-climbing theme and exhilarating gameplay. Trainers must navigate their way through a series of rock walls, grappling hooks, and boulder puzzles to reach the gym leader, Grant. This dynamic and interactive puzzle requires players to plan their movements and timing. 

Additionally, Grant uses interesting rock types with high defense and devastating moves. The combination of its rock-climbing theme and its formidable Rock-type Pokemon make the Cyllage City Gym a memorable obstacle for players to overcome. Furthermore, this game’s gym emphasizes Pokémon X and Y’s explorative aspects via its rock formations and climbing structures.

With its attention to detail and fun puzzle elements, you’re guaranteed to adore this gym. 


Hulbury Town Gym (Pokémon Sword & Shield)

The Hulbury Town Gym in Pokémon Sword and Shield is a fan-favorite due to its immersive gameplay and Water-type theme. Trainers must traverse through waterways, bridges, and puzzles to reach its leader, Nessa. This dynamic and interactive puzzle requires players to utilize platforms and switches to progress through it. 

Furthermore, Nessa is a great Water-type gym leader due to her favorable personality and fun team which consists of Drednaw and a Quagsire. These Pokemon possess high defense, so it’s in players’ best interest to bring Grass and Electric-types to their battle with Nessa. The gym’s stunning visual design also makes it a fan favorite. Its picturesque view of the ocean creates a sense of being in a seaside town.

With this in mind, the Hulbury Town Gym deserves its spot among the others listed here. 


Fortree City Gym (Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald)

The Fortree City Gym from Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald is a unique gym due to its treehouse-inspired visuals and gym leader’s fascinating line-up of Flying-type Pokémon. For this gym, you’ll venture through a maze of floating platforms to reach the game’s gym leader, Winona. This dynamic and interactive puzzle requires players to plan their movements accordingly to reach her. 

Additionally, Winona uses an incredible onslaught of Flying-type Pokémon from Altaria to Skarmory. These Pokemon contain a diverse set of moves and great stats, making them a hassle for less-experienced players. Moreover, the gym’s visually stunning and immersive design captures the essence of a mysterious forest.

If you happen to be someone who enjoys the outdoors or had a treehouse you liked playing in as a child, this gym will likely resonate with you the most. 


So, there we have it, our pick for the best Pokémon gyms through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!


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