Pokemon continues to dominate the collective consciousness of gamers the world over. These loveable creatures helped usher in the most profitable series of all time, with games, movies, anime, and card games reaching various markets. This fame is primarily due to the adorable animals known as Pokemon.
While each of the creatures in this series is beloved in some shape or form, several Pokemon stand above the rest as staples of the Pokemon brand. Here are ten of the most iconic entries in the Pokemon franchise.
Honorable Mention: Magikarp
Magikarp is famous for all the wrong reasons. This Water-type Pokemon gets labeled the most useless creature in the series mythos. Often mocked and criticized for using Splash with little impact, this fish is hardly a boon in battle. You’ll need to grind through an uncomfortable first evolution to get the mighty Gyrados on your team, and almost no one misses the floundering Magikarp’s fruitless fighting style.
Generation IV of Pokemon brought several fan favorites during the Sinnoh region journey, but few are as formidable as Garchomp. This Ground/Dragon Pokemon accompanies Cynthia, the Champion of the Sinnoh region, in battle. Known as a pseudo-legendary, thanks to its incredible power and abrasive attacks, you’ll need a tough team to stand a chance against this titan in battle. Over a decade later, Sinnoh veterans can see this creature and remember one of the most brutal Champion battles in the mainline Pokemon games. There’s also a Mega Evolution that bolsters its strength further.
Not all Pokemon are known for their power, and some get praise thanks to their cuteness, like Jigglypuff. This Generation I Pokemon can sing to put its enemies to sleep, and its cries became famous through games and anime. Though Jigglypuff has an evolution in Wigglytuff, it’s by far the most popular entry in this line; appearing as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series from Melee only bolstered its fame.
8. Alolan Vulpix
Generation VII of the Pokemon franchise introduced regional variants. Unlike their predecessors, these offshoots of popular Pokemon exhibit different types and appearances that adapt to the environments. One of the most popular regional variants is easily Alolan Vulpix. Sporting a white coat and Ice typing. Evolving, it brings forth Alolan Ninetales, an Ice/Fairy Type. While Ninetales is powerful, we can’t get over how cute its first evolution is, and neither can fans, with merchandise flying off the shelves for this rework of the Gen I Pokemon.
Gen VI is probably the only generation where most trainers don’t debate who the best starter is. That’s because Greninja far outclasses his competition. Thanks to its Water/Dark typing and speedy attacks, Water Shuriken he’s a force to fear on the battlefield. Greninja even has a Protean ability that allows it to assimilate the type of its moves. Pair this with an incredible design, and you’ve got the sixth generation’s standout star.
There are two types of trainers: Lucario fans and liars. This Fighting/Steel Pokemon debuted during the fourth generation of the Pokemon franchise. Sinnoh’s standout fighting type, the Aura Pokemon, can fire off powerful attacks like Aura Spheres to overwhelm opponents in battle. Provided you max friendship with Riolu, you can add this franchise icon to your team. Lucario also got a powerful Mega Evolution during the sixth generation that made its already powerful attacks even more potent, with a design to match its strength.
When you think of Ghost-type Pokemon, it’s easy to picture Gengar. Making its first appearance during Gen I of the Pokemon series, the Ghost/Poison type made a name for itself thanks to its haunting design and powerful attacks. Though its defense leaves much to be desired, it’s a glass cannon any opponent should fear, with special attacks that can overwhelm entire teams when appropriately used. Trade a Haunter with a friend to get this legend on your team. Thanks to its popularity, Gengar has both a Mega Evolution and a Gigantamax form, noting its influence even in the latest entries in the franchise.
The evolution Pokemon, Eevee, made a name for itself during the first generation of Pokemon thanks to its ability to evolve into different forms depending on the method trainers use. Since its introduction, The Pokemon Company continues to introduce new forms for this adorable partner Pokemon, with eight forms as of Gen VIII. With a Gigantamax form and its own game in Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee, it’s hard to argue the impact this decades-old creature has.
Few Pokemon have an entire movie dedicated to them, but those that do often leave an impression. No Pokemon left as big a mark thanks to its silver screen appearance as Mewtwo. This first-generation legendary Pokemon served as the main antagonist in Pokemon’s first movie in 1999, with fans lauding the Psychic type for its power and representation in both the games and film. The beloved design and strong attacks Mewtwo offers make it a formidable opponent and a powerful ally even today, but the battle to tame it is never easy.
No starter made a splash quite like Charizard. The final evolution of the Fire-type starter, Charmander, continues to see widespread praise and recognition thanks to a simple but brilliant design. The Fire/Flying type is versatile, often working as a physical or special attacker with powerful moves like Flamethrower and Fire Punch plowing through adversaries. It’s Mega Evolution. Mega Charizard X made the beast even more popular, revolutionizing an already immaculate rendition. Charizard is also the partner Pokemon of the Gen VIII Champion Leon, using a Gigantamax transformation as terrifying as it is impressive. There is no rival in the starter department, with countless anime appearances and spotlights putting Charizard above the rest.
Who else could make the top of the list but Pikachu? Serving as the mascot for the entire Pokemon franchise, the most famous version of this creature journeys with Ash Ketchum in every region of the anime. Over 20 years after its inception, the Electric Mouse Pokemon is inarguably the most recognizable creature in the Pokemon catalog. Pikachu even got a Gigantamax form in Pokemon Sword and Shield, paying homage to its original design, which was far rounder than the icon we know today.
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