We can't believe it, but it's been 20 years since the first Pokémon games were released. Whether or not you're a fan of the games, there's no denying the lasting impression the franchise has had on not only video games but pop culture in general. This year, both Nintendo and the Pokémon company are pulling out all the stops with new games, cards and even systems devoted to the series.

Among the first surprises that fans will be treated to will be a big-budget advertisement scheduled to air during Super Bowl 50 on February 7. We believe it'll shed even more light (and hopefully release dates) on the highly anticipated Pokémon Z and Pokémon Go. One thing we do have firm confirmation for is a special edition Nintendo 3DS. It's specifically themed for the original games in the series, Red and Blue, which will be pre-installed on the systems. The 20th anniversary bundle of the 3DS, complete with games, is set to drop Feb. 27.

Pokémon Go is set to be the second title in the series that will be available for mobile. We fully expect it to make quite the splash when it's released. The first mobile game in the franchise will take advantage of the latest in newfound technology to bring everyone's favorite lovable monsters to one place they've never been before: the real world. The mobile title will be an augmented reality app that uses your phone's camera in combination with your GPS location data. It'll then allow you to search for and catch Pokémon in the real-world environments around you. We've already told you about how excited we are for the virtual reality tech we saw at CES this year, and we can only imagine what it would be like to combine it with the upcoming app (though much of this is still wishful thinking).

The series has always been way ahead of the times, starting with the included minigames and "Game Corners" that have been staples ever since the original Pokémon Red and Blue. These interactive arcades provided slot-based minigames where players could earn in-game credits. They were also the only way to earn specific creatures if players were hoping to ever "catch 'em all." The gaming-themed slots with their unique content predated the online social casinos that have become so ubiquitous with a variety of themed offerings featuring alien creatures, sports, and other pop-culture bits. The "Game Corner" continues to be a hallmark of the franchise and helped to make the in-game attractions the norm for most video games. Nearly every title, from Pokémon to the Yakuza series, has taken advantage of offering players more bang for their buck. This addictive minigame mentality is also on display in the first mobile title for the franchise, Pokémon Shuffle, which was released in the second half of 2015.

There's no shortage of big events planned for Pokémon in 2016 and you'll have a hard time avoiding the cute critters no matter where you go. But if you can't beat 'em, catch 'em. With the upcoming mobile titles coming soon, everyone will be hunting for the beloved monsters in both the digital and physical worlds.