The Best Pokemon From Generation 1
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More than 25 years ago, Pokemon made its game debut with Pokemon Red/Blue/Green. The sprawling Game Boy RPG introduced the Gotta Catch 'Em All loop with a collection of 151 critters inhabiting the Kanto region. At the time, no one could have predicted that the series would become a lasting, worldwide phenomenon. Though the Pokedex has expanded significantly over the past two decades, there's no denying that the original set of 151 remain the best-known. Ahead of the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet--which will add dozens of new creatures to the Pokedex--we decided to take a look back on the best and most memorable Pokemon from the generation that started it all.
Our list of the 30 best Pokemon from Generation 1 includes some obvious names as well as some creatures who deserve more love than they get. It's worth noting that we cheated a bit here with the trio of starters. If we're being honest, all nine forms of your initial companion deserve to be on this list. For the sake of featuring other deserving Pokemon, we've only included their original forms. But yes, it's obvious that Charizard is one of the best Pokemon of all time.
Please be aware that we used a complex mathematical algorithm and then extrapolated those results with the help of the scientific method to choose the Pokemon for this list. So, the 30 Pokemon you'll find below are certainly the best that ever were. That's just science.
Oh, and if you're looking forward to the new Pokemon games, you can preorder Pokemon Scarlet and Violet at a discount right now.
Pokemon's number-one hybrid plant-dinosaur mash-up, Bulbasaur's cheery face and dashing collection of tropical colors has turned this little fella into a global icon.
While Charmander may not have grabbed the top spot in the Pokedex, it definitely has occupied everyone's hearts with its can-do attitude, fiery design, and brilliant evolutions.
If The Pokemon Company ever finds the courage to allow us to customize our own pocket monsters the way that Arceus intended them to be, then you're damn right that I'm going to slap some sunglasses on every single member of my personal Squirtle Squad.
Since 1997, every Pokemon fan with a juvenile inner child has been snickering since Metapod used "harden" in battle.
The chosen Pokemon of Team Rocket's Jessie for many years, Arbok just looks great. It has a striking design, it's a terrific danger-noodle to send into battle, and its war cry of "CHAR-BAKA" is more hilarious than that time I told a childhood friend that Graveler only evolves into Golem at level 80 in Pokemon Red.
A list of best Pokemon without Pikachu would be absolute heresy, as this electric mouse has gone on to become the face of the franchise over the years. It's cute, cuddly, and capable of overloading an entire electrical grid if you hug it too much.
Clefairy is a walking paradox, simultaneously brilliant and terrible while also confirming ancient alien theories. It's more durable than week-old French bread, and pure chaos energy underneath an adorable facade thanks to its signature ability, Metronome.
Sure, Ninetails might be more elegant, but it can't hold a fire-type candle to the unrelenting cuteness of its first form, Vulpix. It's fluffy and even-tempered, but you better be prepared for a torrent of flames belched directly into your face if you cross it.
The chart-topping terror of the Kanto region, Jigglypuff is pure fury and wooden mic singing skills rolled into a pink balloon of rage that'll slap the taste out of your mouth if you fall asleep when it serenades you.
Team Rocket stans might disagree with Persian making this list instead of its first form, Meowth, but you can't argue with the regal splendor of this fatal feline. Plus, Team Rocket boss Giovanni kept one next to him at all times, and we all know just how far ahead of the fashion curve sinister syndicate leaders are. Meowth, dat's right.
A dejected and miserable bundle of psychic energy cursed by its own brilliant power, Psyduck is the one Pokemon that we can all empathize with.
Am I biased towards puppy-themed Pokemon who evolve into incredibly good boi final forms? Yes, what's your point?
You might notice that Grass-type Pokemon don't have too much representation on this list, but Victreebel makes the cut because of nostalgia. Specifically, the Victreebel owned by Team Rocket's James, because seeing him devoured every week by a screaming mass of tentacles and acid was constantly hilarious.
How dangerous can a bird with a stick be? Pick a fight with Farfetch'd and find out for yourself. If you survive.
Fun fact: Muk is an incredibly lovable and affectionate Pokemon who just wants a hug. Which explains all the crushed corpses left in its wake due to it being a toxic pile of sludge and despair. Again, a Pokemon that we can all empathize with.
Only a handful of Ghost-type Pokemon made it into the first generation of games, and a few decades later, Gengar is still king. A timeless design, a spooky collection of powers, and an infectious grin makes this apex specter the best in its class.
A Pokemon with a heartbreaking origin story, Cubone is tragedy personified according to the lore of the series and instantly recognizable in any untamed region.
Honestly, we're surprised that KISS frontman Gene Simmons hasn't sued Nintendo and The Pokemon Company yet for infringement on his intellectual property.
Koffing might be a floating anti-smoking advert, but you can't help but love the deadly gas-filled sphere thanks to its cheery dispostion. Just don't let it evolve into Weezing, because that final form looks like anti-gravity misery incarnate.
Between Scyther and Pinsir, you could say that this speedy Bug-type ninja made the final cut. Speedy, deadly, and perfect for that gym battle against Erica in Celadon City, Scyther is an enduring icon from Generation 1.
Likewise, if we had to choose between one of the best pure elemental Pokemon in the original Pokedex, Electabuzz trumped Magmar thanks to its electrifying design and high-voltage personality.
… slow-witted Pokemon with a glazed-over look in its eyes, is one that I can strangely find common ground with.
Magikarp represents potential and limitless rage, a flapping joke on dry land that required sacrifice and patience to help transform it into a kaiju-sized threat that could end civilization. This is also known as the Pokemon equivalent of Twitter.
For a cuter look at untapped potential, Eevee is an instant classic since day one. Sure, you could shove an elemental stone down its throat to get either Flareon or Jolteon (never Vaporeon), but when you've got a pocket monster that combines the best bits of DNA from dogs and cats, why would you want to ruin perfection?
At least one prehistoric Pokemon had to pop up on this list, and that chosen revived fossil is none other than Aerodactyl. It's a beast in battle that can annihilate the unprepared. Uncovering the path to resurrect this ancient monster is still one of the most satisfying experiences in all of Pokemon.
Listen, Snorlax just ate an entire forest, found a good spot to lie down, and you've rocked up with a flute solo to disturb the lovably huggable fella. No wonder he got mad at you.
With three legendary birds to choose from, finding the best one was surprisingly easy. Sure, Articuno is a debonair Ice-type and Moltres is mythical brilliance, but Zapdos could tear through either of them with its superior abilities, stats, and a design edgier than early-2000s alt-rock.
Dragonite felt like the first Pokemon that you had to truly earn in the game, guiding it from its larval Dratini state to its more capable Dragonair form. Getting to level 55 wasn't easy in the original Pokemon games, but once you dinged that magic number? You were gifted with an almost-unstoppable Dragonite to use in battles.
With thicc thighs and psychic powers, Mewtwo was the ultimate Pokemon to acquire by the time that you had become Pokemon champion. An endgame creature dwelling within a dangerous cave outside of Cerulean City, this was the Pokemon that you'd been saving your Master Ball for. An abomination of science and hubris, having this rogue experiment on your team resulted in a serious power-up.
On the other hand, having the DNA source material of Mew around earned you the ultimate kudos amongst your friends. Only available (officially) through a select number of Pokemon events, you'd have to show up in person with your Game Boy to add Mew to your collection. This charming legend was the final piece needed to complete the Pokedex.