Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (ポケットモンスター ルビー・サファイア Pocket Monsters Ruby and Sapphire) are the first two games introduced for Generation III series. This set of games takes place in the Hoenn region and features new Pokémon in comparison to the previous versions.
As is tradition, the player can choose one of three different Starter Pokémon at the start of the game. The player will need to choose either Torchic, Mudkip, or Treecko of his/her choice to save Professor Birch, who was being attacked by a Poochyena. Also, in tradition, the three Pokémon are Fire, Water or Grass types, respectively.
Both Team Magma and Team Aqua are featured in the Ruby and Sapphire games. Depending on which game it is though will determine which Team the player will need to fight against. Ruby will feature Team Magma as the antagonist and Team Aqua as the allies and Sapphire is vice versa.
As in every other main series Pokémon game, there are a set of Legendary Pokémon which were first featured in Ruby and Sapphire.
Ruby and Sapphire received mostly positive reviews, though critics were divided in their assessment of the games, especially on the gameplay and graphics. Most of the complaints focused on the fact that the gameplay had not changed much since previous generations. With the popularity of Pokémon on the decline and the rising popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! at the time, the games sold less than previous generations. However, they were still commercial successes; with around 16 million copies sold according to IGN, they are the best-selling games for the Game Boy Advance.
Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald are the first Pokémon games where the player can not choose the name of their rival at the start of the game.
These two games are the first games of the main series where Professor Oak isn't encountered.
These games are also the only games where the player will encounter your rival's starter at the arena where the player battled Steven.
These games are the first main series games where the player can't access Kanto.
Ruby and Sapphire are the first games to not have the slogan, "Gotta Catch 'em all".
Ruby and Sapphire have the least in game trades.
Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald are the only main-series Pokémon games in which the protagonist speaks (other than answering "yes" or "no"). He/she says "Where did he go?" and "Why did he go?", referring to the Magma/Aqua leader in the hideout.
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are the first and only Pokémon games with the starting point not being the player's bedroom. Rather, the starting point is the moving truck.
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are the first Pokémon games to feature automobiles.