The best starter Pokemon, ranked (2023)

Agreeing to rank every starter Pokémon is basically the same thing as offering to be the main course at a restaurant full of starving humans. While 29 starters might not seem like a whole lot, everyone in the world could have their own unique ranking and nobody would ever be happy with anyone else’s. Even thinking about opening this can of Wurmple is a surefire way of instigating pure chaos.

Fortunately, we’ve decided to impose order on that chaos. This, reader, is the only correct Pokémon starter ranking that has ever been published, compiled using complex, highly secretive cutting-edge science that we are unfortunately incapable of revealing the methodology behind at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused – this is just too big a breakthrough to disclose the details.

Here’s every single Pokémon starter, ranked from worst to best.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (1)

It’s easy to feel a bit sorry for Chespin. On top of being some vague form of unidentifiable, shelled rodent, it was introduced to the Pokémon series in X & Y, meaning it was burdened with the unfortunate circumstance of being unveiled to the world alongside the mischievous little frog that would eventually become Greninja. The poor Spiny Nut Pokémon never stood a chance.

The weird thing is that Chespin itself isn’t even necessarily that bad. It’s certainly not particularly good, but the primary reason for it being listed as the worst starter in Pokémon history here is because its evolved forms, Quilladin and Chesnaught, are both pure, unadulterated trash. It’s prudent to note that Gen 5 featured a Pokémon who was literally made of trash and, in actuality, was still somehow less trash than the Chespin evos. That’s what we mean when we say it’s easy to feel sorry for this ‘mon. It’s not just that it’s outshone by the other Gen 6 starters – it’s cursed to be perpetually embarrassed by its parents.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (2)

For some inexplicable reason, lots of people seem to really like Sobble, an irritating little amphibian who, if Pokémon were real, would annoy anyone it was around in ten seconds flat. Less, even. It never shuts up, it’s afraid of its own shadow, and it grows up to be a weird edgelord who shoots water out of its index finger and calls it a ‘signature move’.

Interestingly, all three of Gen 8’s fully evolved starters would actually be pretty good if not for Inteleon being Pokemon’s version of the McPoyles from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The worst bit is that Drizzile, the family’s middle evolution, is even more terrible. Judging by the red squiggly line we just saw, Google doesn’t even know its name. Pyukumuku; Dhelmise; Conkeldurr; all jargonic names that Google Docs recognises. Drizzile? It probably recognises it alright, but it’s cooler to pretend it doesn’t.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (3)

Litten is a very strange starter Pokémon in that it suffers from the exact opposite issue to most other ones: it’s badly designed, whereas loads of other starters are great until they evolve.

On the contrary, Incineroar is this evolutionary line’s only saving grace, allowing it to narrowly surpass Chespin and Sobble. We’re not saying that Incineroar is particularly great, but it’s a whole lot better than Inteleon, Chesnaught, and even higher ranked starter evolutions like Delphox, who has a cool typing but looks like it belongs in a bootleg Disney film from 1932. Speaking of which…



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (4)

Fennekin! A starter that could have fared much better on this list if not for the aforementioned Delphox it will eventually grow up to become. It might seem as if we’re being a little harsh on Gen 6 here, what with two of its three starters being in the bottom four, but that’s just how the Lava Cookie crumbles. Will its remaining Water-type manage to save face for Kalos? Tune in below to find out.

One of the weirdest things about Fennekin is that Braixen, its middle evolution, is also pretty decent. It looks more like a Pokémon that would walk the well-traveled Fire/Fighting route than one that evolves into a Fire/Psychic-type like Delphox, although it clearly never ventured that way in the end.

While the change in typing is pretty cool, the final evolution feels a bit too arbitrary – disconnected, even. We’re at a point where none of these starters are ‘bad’, and most of them are on par with or better than the vast majority of regular ‘mons. Once you start comparing them to each other though… Well, competition obviously becomes pretty tight. Unfortunately for Fennekin, that means it’s knocked out before we even reach the top 20.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (5)

Fuecoco was an instant hit when it was first revealed and it’s easy to see why. This little guy is round and chunky with wide eyes and a big goofy smile. However, its evolution can be a little controversial.

The theme is great. Crocodiles are underepresented in Pokémon and throwing in skeletal elements makes it stand out a lot. Unfortunately, it feels just a little overdesigned, especially next to the other Gen 9 starters. The little shapes on its snout are cool, but unecessary. Also, the skull aspect goes too far up the face. The entire top half of the head being white like that makes it look like it’s wearing a little hat, which is silly.

That said, it is still cool-looking, and Fire/Ghost is a winning type combination no matter what way you look at it.


(Video) I Ranked All 26 Starter Pokemon | Mr1upz


The best starter Pokemon, ranked (6)

Snivy is one of the most unlikable starters of the entire bunch. Its smug smile and sly stare… It’s almost as if it wants you to hate it. If someone put Snivy dead last in their own personal ranking, we couldn’t possibly fault them.

Fortunately for Snivy though, Serperior is great and comes equipped with Contrary, an intriguing ability that allows it to make a mockery of stat-changing griefers. Also, as much as we hate to admit it, Snivy being irritating is ironically part of its charm in that it’s intentionally designed to be that way. It’s not as if Game Freak attempted to come up with an incredible new Pokémon and missed the mark – it’s that the devs designed this lad with mischief in mind and pulled it off spectacularly. Put plainly, we love to hate it and hate to love it, which is exactly the kind of sentiment this little snake wants to evoke.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (7)

Tepig would probably be lower on this list if not for New Pokemon Snap, which took great pains in its expansion to show just how happy Gen 5’s flaming pig is. More so than anything else, this proved that Tepig itself is actually a brilliant Pokémon – the problem is Emboar, which is undeniably the worst final starter evolution of all time.

Did you know that Emboar – one of those many aforementioned Fire/Fighting types who couldn’t hold a candle to the others despite being made of literal fire – is called the “Mega Fire Pig Pokémon.” Game Freak wasn’t even trying here. Honestly. Don’t even get us started on Pignite, Tepig’s middle evolution who looks roughly zero percent like a real Pokémon and about 30 percent like Jack Black in Nacho Libre.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (8)

Grookey marks the first ‘mon on this list that we’d consider to be sincerely good in terms of how it compares to other Pokémon across the board. By that we mean, while no starters are objectively awful, the ones mentioned up to this point would probably perform pretty poorly in a ranking of every Pokémon currently known to exist. Grookey, on the other hand, could drum its way into at least the top 25 percent.

Grookey only really has two setbacks: its middle evolution, Thwackey, is a bit ridiculous looking, while its superior Gen 8 starter companion Scorbunny makes it look significantly worse than it rightfully deserves. It’s cute, playful, tastefully designed, and – best of all – not Sobble. Its final evolution, Rillaboom, is also great in all contexts except for in the VGC circuit, where competitive players use it in the snakiest way possible. It’s not Serperior, bud. It’s a great big monkey banging the bongos. It was never supposed to be a sly little shyster.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (9)

When it comes to a starter Pokémon with personality and attitude, Quaxly ticks all the boxes. It’s the simplest design of the Gen 9 starters, but it packs so much into so little. The way it flicks its hair is so arrogant and the way it holds itself is so adorably cocky.

Quaquaval is very much “love it or hate it”. The fact that it becomes a peacock dancer that constantly shakes it’s upsettingly large backside in battle is understandably offputting to some, but if you can look past that the concept really works.

Water/Fighting is a slightly unusual type combination too, and it makes the most of it, blasting out making use of both type’s best moves.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (10)

Treecko was a lot cooler back in 2002. Originally joining the ever-expanding Pokémon roster in Ruby & Sapphire, it had a pretty great typing and learnset for those games specifically, and temporarily enjoyed a new lease of life thanks to Sceptile’s Grass/Dragon hybridity after Megas were introduced in Gen 6. What’s more, Grovyle got quite a lot of love in the Mystery Dungeon spin-off series. You might think, then, that Treecko should be higher on this list.

The problem is that Sceptile is a bit boring, Grovyle is intensely forgettable, and Treecko’s utility is so ephemeral that its relatively memorable aesthetic is the only remaining factor capable of somewhat propping it up. If Pokémon were real, you could do a lot worse than having a Treecko as your companion. The thing is, you could also do a lot better.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (11)

By this point in Pokémon history, fans had noticed a trend. When a starter Pokémon is a cute quadruped, it will almost certainly evolve into an ugly biped once it reaches its final form (see also: Fennekin, Litten, and Tepig). Despite the community’s hopes, Sprigatito did indeed stand up when it evolved, but it might just be the exception that proves the rule.

Meowscarada isn’t the best option we could’ve gotten, but it’s turned out pretty solid. Grass/Dark is a surprisingly good type combination, with a lot of powerful physical attacks in its arsenal. This includes a signature move that guarantees a critical hit.

On top of that, it looks quite cool. The pointed mask and the flowing cape invoke the idea of a magician without being too goofy, and it gives it an edge that its fellow Gen 9 starters lack



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (12)

Piplup is probably one of the starters with the widest oscillation between extremes on different people’s lists, which makes it a very difficult ‘mon to place here. It’s got a brilliant design, ends up with an excellent typing, and is still somehow only okay relative to better starters because it’s unfortunately easy to forget. We could name just about any Pokémon there is to know and even we had to Google Empoleon to remember that the ‘mon it evolves from is called Prinplup – which is a bit of a rubbish name, if we’re honest.

Still, it’s important to reiterate that we’re already well into ‘objectively good’ territory here. Piplup is a solid starter in Gen 4, is great in New Pokemon Snap’s Shiver Snowfields, and already looks like a natural fit for Legends: Arceus’ Hisuian beaches. Who knows – maybe Game Freak’s next mainline game could allow Piplup to belly-slide its way past its Gen 4 pals.

(Video) I Ranked All 27 Final Starter Pokemon Evolutions | Mr1upz



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (13)

As vaguely referred to at the end of the previous entry, Turtwig is a better Gen 4 starter than everyone’s favourite blue penguin. It suffers from the same middle ‘mon syndrome as Piplup – in Turtwig’s case the second evolution is called Grotle, which we actually did remember – but both Turtwig and Torterra are real forces to be reckoned with. From New Pokémon Snap to Detective Pikachu, Sinnoh’s turtle with a tree for a back has given us plenty of reasons to love it over the years.

Turtwig also earns itself a pretty good typing once it evolves into Torterra, with Grass/Ground complementing both Empoleon’s Water/Steel and Infernape’s Fire/Fighting typings in arguably the best designed starter trio – at least type advantage wise – in Pokémon history. It’s not the greatest Grass starter and never will be, but it’s a shoo-in for mid-table overall. Also its name is fun to say, so there’s that, too.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (14)

One of the three returning starters for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Rowlet originally made its debut in Pokémon Sun & Moon alongside Litten and Popplio. On one hand, it’s a cute little owl with a bowtie – what’s not to love? On the other, it evolves into Dartrix, which is awful, and then Decidueye, which was pretty okay until Pokémon Unite made it far too easy to resent. As it turns out, ghostly bird archers who can one-shot you from across the map are a bit annoying, actually.

Still, Rowlet is able to hold its own on this list because of how good it is in and of itself. If you stick an Everstone on it you’ll never get that highly coveted Ghost typing, but you’ll also never have to sacrifice your bowtie for a weird, spectral quiver, so who’s the real winner here? Anyone who downright forbids their Rowlet from ever evolving, that’s who.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (15)

Some people might take umbrage with our decision to list Chimchar as the best Sinnoh starter, but it’s the truth. On top of Chimchar itself having a great design, its final form, Infernape, a) is a great Pokémon, and b) looks completely badass. A big monkey with fire for hair and flaming fists of fury? It’s a whole lot closer to Keith Flint – the original and best Firestarter – than that big pig lad we talked about earlier on.

Chimchar has been a bit snubbed in spin-offs to date, but its mainline appearances more than make up for that. Even in the recently released, relatively disappointing Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, it manages to stand out as a great Pokémon that earns some much-deserved love. Choosing Chimchar is basically choosing to play Gen 4 on easy mode, but hey, that just further testifies to how great it is, eh?



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (16)

Another Fire-type starter, Torchic’s introduction to Pokémon came with 2002’s Ruby & Sapphire. It’s a well-designed starter with an exceptional evolutionary line – as someone recently pointed out to me, you can call it ‘Butcher’ so that it becomes ‘Butcher of Blaziken’ when it grows up – but it’s also a whole lot less inspired than people seem to realise. When we look at something like Charmander, the etymological basis of “charred” and “salamander” seems pretty cool. Torchic, though? “Torch chicken.” Not particularly intimidating when you consider it would probably cook itself in Pokémon KFC.

That being said, Blaziken – yes, as in “blaze chicken” – would not, in fact, cook itself in KFC. It would repeatedly use Close Combat on every single customer for consuming its kind while becoming rapidly faster and scarier thanks to Speed Boost. There’s a reason this Pokémon was a non-Legendary Uber – meaning it was banned in certain online circuits – for so long: it’s absolutely brilliant. Some might even argue it should have been called ‘Amaze-iken’.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (17)

Froakie is a very weird and polarising starter Pokémon. While its final form is Greninja – which for some absurd reason is one of the most popular Pokémon of all time – Froakie itself seems like it would be a nightmare to own. A slimy little frog with bug eyes and an undying will to cause as much mischief as Pokémonly possible? If you took the torch chicken instead, we wouldn’t blame you.

Still, we can’t deny that the Greninja line is a massive part of modern Pokémon. While we still think Greninja itself is a mostly decent Pokémon that is enormously overrated, it really saved Gen 6’s starter lineup – which is probably what helped it become so big – and has become an important face for projects like Pokémon Unite and Detective Pikachu, the latter of which it looked thoroughly hideous in. If you’ve ever said you’d love a Pokémon horror film, newsflash: no you wouldn’t.


(Video) I Ranked EVERY Starter Pokemon


The best starter Pokemon, ranked (18)

It might seem odd to anyone who is casually interested in Pokémon to see a) Pikachu this low on the list, or b) Pikachu appear on this list at all. In terms of the former, everyone’s favourite electric mouse – who is actually based on a squirrel, thanks – was originally much lower until we realised we were being a bit pretentious by relegating it purely due to overexposure it probably never even wanted. For the latter, Pikachu is technically a starter thanks to both Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu, which means that, yes, Eevee is also on the list and is officially better than Pikachu.

Pikachu is a pretty cool Pokémon, but only really in the anime. In the games – especially the ones it’s a starter in (which for some baffling reason, prevent it from ever evolving) – it’s just a bit… weak. Watching the first Pokémon movie after playing Yellow will inevitably give anyone intense whiplash. This little lightning lad just Thundershocked an entire room in an attempt to save a petrified trainer, who is then resurrected by the collective magical tears of every other ‘mon in attendance inspired by the effort? Mate, it can’t even touch Brock’s Geodude, the first gym Pokémon in the entire game. Pikachu is undoubtedly a good Pokémon, but in terms of starters, it misses the top ten.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (19)

The last Pokémon before we hit the aforementioned top ten, Chikorita is a very, very good starter who has narrowly evaded greatness for over two decades. While Chikorita itself is incredible, it’s also cursed with being in the same generation as two of the best starters in Pokémon history. On top of that, Bayleef is pretty bad and Meganium isn’t much better – a sentiment that was further compounded by how blood-boiling its four-star shot is in New Pokémon Snap.

Again, Chikorita truly is an excellent Pokémon. Despite not being in the top ten starters of all time, it would probably make the top 150 for Pokémon across the board, which is pretty impressive when you consider the fact the series’ roster is rapidly approaching 1,000. We almost feel sorry for Johto’s little leaf dinosaur – it’s like that person who’s extremely devoted to and genuinely good at football but never quite makes it to the big time. Now it’s a Meganium working 9-5 while reminiscing on former glories. Poor fella.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (20)

Alright, here we go. Top ten Pokémon starters of all time, starting with Gen 1’s lovable little fire lizard. While a lot of people claim that Charizard is their favourite Pokémon, there are simply better ‘mons out there – dozens of them, in fact. We don’t mean to be spoilsports or pretentious gits, but the popularity of Charmander – and, by extension, Charizard – has mostly endured because of genwunner bias, meaning that its status as a Kanto starter unfairly skews both how well known and fondly remembered it is.

That’s not to say Charmander is bad, per se. It’s in the top ten – it’s amazing! There are just more amazing starters out there. Nine of them, actually. We’re not trying to annoy any Charmy stans with this ranking. We’re just committed to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which states that it is officially and objectively Pokémon’s tenth-best starter.

To be honest, we felt a bit bad after typing that sentence, but that’s the aforementioned genwunner bias kicking in. We have to move on before we involuntarily bump Charmander up a few places.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (21)

Who doesn’t love this energetic ball of joy and croc teeth? Entering the world of Pokémon as part of Gen 2’s starter trio, Totodile has always been a fan-favourite, impressively retaining its spot in the upper echelon of Pokémon with little to no movement over the years. While it was shunned by Sword & Shield, it’s technically appeared as an obtainable Pokémon without trading in six different generations, is a popular pick in Mystery Dungeon, is represented by Feraligatr in New Pokémon Snap, and plays a big part in the anime, being the only one of Ash’s Johto-native ‘mons who is capable of evolving but chooses not to. It’s right, too – Croconaw is a bit odd.

Totodile is one of those ‘mons who just makes you feel happy when you look at it. There’s no such thing as being upset when a tiny crocodile with an unwavering love for life is around. It also has one of the single best names in Pokémon history and a decent shiny sprite to boot. Anyone who claims to dislike Totodile is lying.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (22)

You know, Mudkip was originally a bit higher on this list, although its impact has started to wane as new starters have come out and better ones have enjoyed stronger endurance. There’s very little to critique about this family – it’s one of the rare starter trios in which even the middle ‘mon is actually decent, while Swampert is a real all-timer both in terms of popularity and competitive viability. As long as Drizzle exists, Swift Swim Swampert will remain a titanic force of nature.

We suppose the issue with Mudkip is that it’s – to put it as plainly as possible – not really as remarkable as other starters. We started this list by writing the top five from memory, whereas Mudkip – despite coming in at a respectable eighth place – moved around quite a bit before we settled on a concrete position for it. Its relatively intriguing typing has become a bit pat and its run through Gen 3 has started to feel regrettably samey. Don’t get us wrong, the Mudkip family is fantastic – it’s just fallen on blacker days of late. Here’s hoping Gen 9 or an upcoming spin-off give it some much-needed love.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (23)

Some people might be a bit annoyed to see Let’s Go represented this high in a list of the top starter Pokémon, but realistically speaking, Eevee is one of the best and most innovatively designed Pokémon in general. Even when its evolution gimmick is removed – which it obviously is in Let’s Go – Eevee, unlike Pikachu, has a great learnset and massive viability as a hard-hitting ‘mon with access to powerful STAB (same-type attack bonus) Normal moves. It also just looks brilliant – in a list of the best aesthetically designed Pokémon, there’s a good chance Eevee would fare even better than it does here.

On top of all that, there’s a real novelty to getting Eevee as a starter Pokémon. It’s almost always been a gift Pokémon, or one that was hidden behind some weird gimmick engineered to complicate catching it, so being able to set off from Pallet Town with this fox – yes, it’s a fox, not a dog – by your side (or on your head) feels like a good and proper use of nostalgia mining with added nuance. Part of us wants to bump Eevee up even further, if we’re honest, but it’s admittedly difficult when you look at the competition.


(Video) The *ULTIMATE* Pokemon Tier List


The best starter Pokemon, ranked (24)

We know a lot of people weren’t all too pleased with Pokémon Sword & Shield, although it’s impossible to deny that Galar’s football-loving rabbit has conquered the hearts of trainers all over the world. The folks at The Pokémon Company seem to like it, too – on top of getting a starring role in New Pokémon Snap’s Florio Nature Park, it’s the only Gen 8 starter in Pokémon Unite, while Cinderace’s Gigantamax form is actually – shockingly! – good.

Raboot, the middle evolution of this family, admittedly isn’t quite as brilliant as Scorbunny or Cinderace. Still, its younger and older siblings more than compensate for that, especially once you consider how cool Libero, Cinderace’s signature ability, is. Technically speaking, it does the exact same thing as Protean, meaning it’s not really new. You can’t expect a rabbit to change the colour of its skin, though – if they could do that, let’s just say we might not have been the species writing and reading these silly little articles.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (25)

After 3,624 words of buildup, we’ve finally reached the top five. It should be unsurprising to see Gen 1’s Bulbasaur picking up a spot here – if it isn’t, you likely haven’t got your PokéPriorities straight – although it’s still worth explaining the reasoning behind why it’s here specifically. Bulba is a lot of people’s number one, and for good reason. It’s a brilliantly designed, cleverly built Pokémon with a fantastic evolutionary line. The main reason it’s only fifth-best is very simple: Every remaining starter is a brilliantly designed, cleverly built Pokémon with a fantastic evolutionary line.

Venusaur has always been a personal favourite of ours, whereas Ivysaur is another one of those rare, actually decent middle evos. Grass/Poison is a bit of an annoying typing though – while resisting Water, Fairy, and Electric-type moves in particular is valuable, having no immunities and four weaknesses makes you extremely vulnerable. Venusaur’s learnset is also really boring, especially when you’re not accounting for Max moves. Bulbasaur is an objectively phenomenal starter, but when we’re getting this close to the end we really need to be as critical as humanly possible. It obviously hurts us as fellow Bulba lovers, but if we don’t do it, who will? We’re basically the Pokémon version of Jesus, enduring great hardship so that the rest of the world might experience eternal PokéSalvation.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (26)

Read that word aloud. No, don’t just mouth it – read it, at full volume, and say it multiple times in a row. Now imagine that’s your first ever Pokémon. You’re out for a walk by the river and your little sea lion pal is swimming alongside you. All of a sudden, a lean, mean Sharpedo machine starts bulleting towards shore. “Popplio!” you shout. You’re trying your best to be serious – this is an extremely grave situation – but, as always, you can’t help admitting it: Saying that word is too much fun. From the moment this Pokémon was named, it became impossible not to love it.

In all seriousness, Popplio is a severely underrated starter Pokémon, likely due to the residue of overblown reactions to Sun & Moon’s experimentation with the Pokémon formula. Brionne is pretty great too, while Primarina is arguably one of the ten best Pokémon of all time. Water/Fairy is a fantastic typing – especially when you consider Primarina’s signature ability, Liquid Voice – although this Pokémon’s greatest strength is just how well it’s designed. If you’ve ever seen a sea lion at the zoo, you’ll know they’re smart, energetic animals with a sense of elegance that totally belies how clumsy they look. Primarina has all of that minus the clumsiness, boasting a kind of eloquence the likes of which precious few other Pokémon have ever seen. It’s the kind of Pokémon you’d expect Marina Diamandis to have, which automatically makes it cool.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (27)

Oshawott is a bit like Popplio in that its name does a lot of heavy lifting before you even have to look at it. If a toddler heard this word, they’d probably say it over and over again at different volumes and cadences for, like, five years. Beyond that though, it’s a stellar Pokémon with superb evolutions and a whole lot of fascinating lore behind its creation.

People familiar with Gen 5 will likely already know that Oshawott starts off as an otter, becomes a bigger otter as Dewott, and magically transforms into a sea lion as Samurott. What you might not know is that there’s a reason for this: After realising that making Dewott just another bigger otter would be boring, Pokémon artist Yusuke Ohmura attended an exhibit for inspiration. While he went to watch sea otters, his attention was instead arrested by some neighbouring sea lions, to the extent he thought, “Screw it, our little otter’s growing up to be one of those things.” The design went further when its biology was combined with influences from Japanese samurai, leading to the Oshawott family gaining unique shell-based weapons called scalchops and seamitars that are officially supported by Pokémon lore.

You probably didn’t need all of that information, but we think it’s a good way of articulating just how intriguing this Pokémon is. It might seem like an odd pick for third place, but if you do a little digging, you’ll probably end up loving this otter/sea lion/demon samurai too (we’re not joking about the demon bit, by the way – it comes from its Japanese name).



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (28)

Hailing from the Johto region, Pokémon Gold & Silver’s fiery little echidna deserves a strong silver medal in any list of the best Pokémon starters. It’s cute, it’s clever, and it’s capable of setting the whole world on fire once it grows up and becomes a big, bad Typhlosion. There’s pretty much nothing we could possibly say to critique Cyndaquil – it’s damn near perfect.

To spare you another history lesson or dose of senseless gushing over greatness, we’ll settle with telling you that the only reason Cyndaquil isn’t in first place is because Pokémon’s best starter is, well… the best one. Cyndaquil comes so close it’s almost sad to see it fall behind, although let’s be real for a minute: Water is always going to be super-effective against Fire.



The best starter Pokemon, ranked (29)

Here we are, folks. The best starter in Pokémon history and potentially the first one you ever encountered: Squirtle, Gen 1’s outstanding and irrefutably unrivaled turtle. We mentioned earlier in this article that we’re not susceptible to genwunner bias, and that remains true here. We’re not saying that Squirtle is the best just because it swam over from Kanto and told us to. We’re saying it because Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise are three of the best Pokémon ever designed – in fact, Blastoise is arguably number one across the board. “Oooh, look at Charizard breathing fire.” Mate. Blastoise has shoulder cannons and a smirk so spectacular it never has to use them. There’s no email here, folks – just plain fax.

We could get all sentimental here and pull something akin to “it was all a dream” by saying “don’t worry, the best starter was your favourite all along!” For most of this list, that’s probably true – your favourite starter could be one of the best ones.

Unfortunately, however, there can only be one very best, like no one ever was. We mean, come on – have you ever heard of the Charmander Chums? The Bulbasaur Brigade? When you run an outfit like the Squirtle Squad, you’re bound to turn heads and break hearts.

And so that’s who we’re going to end our list with: Squirtle, the best starter Pokémon of all time. If you reckon that’s not the case, don’t worry – Squirtle doesn’t care.

(Video) Best Starter Pokemon to Pick in Every Game

Written by Cian Maher and Ryan Woodrow on behalf of GLHF.


Which Pokemon starter is the best? ›

Though Charmander is undoubtedly the most popular of the gen 1 trio and is also a great choice for tackling some of the late-game content, Bulbasaur is definitely the smarter choice.

What is the strongest starter Pokemon stats? ›

Of all the starter Pokémon, Swampert's base stat total of 535 is the highest. Infernape and Delphox lag just behind at 534, while a ton of starters come in at a total of 530, include those recently introduced in Scarlet & Violet. Swampert doesn't have the highest single stat of any starter Pokémon, however.

Which Gen 4 starter is the best? ›

Chimchar is by far the best starter to choose in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl if you want an easier playthrough. Of course, if you're looking for more of a challenge or you really don't want to have Chimchar as your starter, Piplup and Turtwig can help you fight your way to the end as well.

What are the three best starter Pokémon? ›

Three Top Mountain (variant names: Three Tops) is a mountain in the North Carolina High Country, located west of the town of West Jefferson. Its elevation reaches 5,020 feet (1,530 m) at its highest peak, unofficially named "Big Rock." Three Top also has ten other sub-peaks of varying height.

Which starter is the fastest? ›

Spirgatito is by far the fastest Pokémon of the starters.

What is the weakest starter Pokémon? ›

Oshawott is such a bad starter Pokémon, it's almost offensive. Any Trainer who chooses Oshawott as their starter in Gen V is really just setting themselves up for disaster. Fully evolved, Samurott has the worst stat spread of any of the Water Type starters.

Why is Scorbunny the best starter? ›

Scorbunny has the highest special defence out of all three starters in Pokémon Sword & Shield, meaning they can reduce the damage they take from special attacks – especially useful in the later game. They also have a high attack and speed stat, making them a great choice if you want to pile on the pain.

What is the most popular starter type? ›

The 13 Most Popular Starter Pokemon
  1. 1 Froakie. When it first debuted, nobody expected this simple frog Pokémon to become such a dominating force.
  2. 2 Charmander. Charmander's status as an icon in the series is undeniable. ...
  3. 3 Mudkip. ...
  4. 4 Chimchar. ...
  5. 5 Torchic. ...
  6. 6 Litten. ...
  7. 7 Rowlet. ...
  8. 8 Treecko. ...
Jul 16, 2022

Who is the best gen 3 starter? ›

Swampert is the best gen-3 starter Pokemon

Swampert has a strong combination of stats, typing, and move coverage. It can hit hard, but that's not all it can do. In singles battles, its access to Stealth Rock via TM and Yawn as an egg move makes it a powerful support option in singles battles.

What is the strongest Gen 1 starter? ›

Based purely off the sum total of their base stats we have Swampert boasting a total of 535 total base stats. This is 1 point more than competition from Charizard, Typhlosion, Infernape, and Delphox. What starter Pokemon would you choose out of all generations?

Which Pokémon is the best? ›

Together with Rayquaza, Mewtwo is considered to be the most powerful Pokemon obtainable in the series, at least when it comes to Mega Evolutions, anyway. By default, they each have base stat totals of 680, but in their powered-up forms, this rises to an impressive 780.

Which starter has the least weaknesses? ›

Eelektrik and its evolved form Eelektross are the only Pokémon with absolutely no weaknesses.

Is Squirtle the best starter? ›

In an announcement bound to enrage two-thirds of the world, researcher Kyle Hill has determined that (scientifically speaking), the optimal choice is Squirtle.

Who is the strongest fire starter Pokemon? ›

With a total of 320, Litten has the strongest stats of all the fire starters available to this date.

Which Gen 5 starter is the best? ›

5 Unova Region (Generation 5) - Oshawott

The best starter in the Fifth Generation's Unova Region is a bit harder to take a definitive stance on. Snivy is unfortunately outpaced by its two cohorts, but when it's down to Tepig or Oshawott, the line is a bit more blurry.

Who is the best starter in Gen 8? ›

Piplup, Chimchar, and Turtwig are among the best Starters of all time, and they all fare well in the Sinnoh League. Piplup's evolutionary line is Super Effective against one Gym Leader and two Elite Four Members.

What is the rarest Starter Pokémon? ›

At the time of writing, Salandit and Salazzle are two of the rarest Pokémon in the game. If you want to add their entries to your Pokédex, your quest begins by hatching a Salandit from a 12km egg - the only way to currently obtain one.

Should I choose Sobble or Scorbunny? ›

Scorbunny will remain a fire-type, Sobble will remain a water-type, and Grookey will remain a grass-type. That being said, they still all learn a variety of moves from all different types. No matter which starter you pick, there won't be much a difference in difficulty.

Should I get Grookey or Scorbunny? ›

If you want a fast and easy playthrough from start to finish, Scorbunny is the best choice. Grookey is a better choice for you if you want a bulkier starter who is less likely to get knocked out from one attack.

Why Sobble is the best starter? ›

He might look a little gormless, but Water-type moves are effective against Fire-, Ground- and Rock-type Pokémon. Water types are not effective against Electric-, Grass- and Dragon-type Pokémon. Sobble is inarguably the wettest starter here and he's not overflowing with charisma, but his evolutions make up for that...

Who is the weakest starter in Pokemon? ›

Chikorita is at the bottom of most lists ranking starter Pokémon. They may start out cute, but that really can't make up for a poor move list and mediocre stats that don't really improve when they evolve into a Bayleef and finally Meganium (which is a lot less “Mega” than it sounds).


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