There's always been one core component of all Pokemon games throughout the series' legacy: the starter Pokemon. As your loyal companion throughout the game, starter Pokemon are with you from the very beginning of your adventure until the day you complete the game. But with so many legendary starter Pokemon, and the recent release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, how do you know which starter Pokemon is the best?
Here are the six best starter Pokemon of all time:
National Number: 004
Species: Lizard Pokemon
Weight: 18.7 pounds
Abilities: Blaze, Solar Power (Hidden Ability)
The iconic flaim-tailed lizard comes first on our list. As one of the original starter Pokemon from generation one, Charmander holds a soft spot in the hearts of many. Generation one houses three of the most well-known starter Pokemon of all time, and Charmander stands out the most from this pack. Charmander has become one of the fan-favorite choices in-game for players, and a large part of its rise to fame can be attributed to the Pokemon anime.
Charmander becomes one of Ash’s most used Pokemon throughout the anime and is also one of the only Pokemon Ash evolves. Charmander’s final form is the almighty Charizard. The dragon-esque Pokemon can be seen anytime Nintendo is promoting anything Pokemon related. Although Charmander struggles early on in the Kanto region, with the gym leaders of Brock and Misty being the opposite typing of fire. As you progress throughout the game, you can see why so many players are constantly picking this starter Pokemon every time they play through generation one. Charmander makes our list not only due to its popularity but also the power it gets once you fully evolve it. Charmander is one of the best Pokemon created of all time and deserves to be #1 on our list.
National Number: 007
Species: Tiny Turtle Pokemon
Weight: 19.8 pounds
Abilities: Torrent, Rain Dish (Hidden Ability)
Next on our list is another generation one starter Pokemon and a direct counter to Charmander: the lovely water-type Pokemon Squirtle. Squirtle hails from one of the most popular Pokemon regions known as Kanto. It is also one of the main Pokemon showcased throughout the anime. However, it is not Ash who takes it under his belt, it is his rival Gary. We see Squirtle’s power throughout the anime, and this lured players to test their hand at the cute water Pokemon.
Squirtle also happens to be one of the strongest starter Pokemon and has some of the best counters to gym leaders throughout the Kanto region. Early in the game, when your starter Pokemon is by far your best Pokemon, is where Squirtle shines the most. It’s easily able to destroy the first gym leader, and it’s perhaps another reason why many players flock to it.
National Number: 252
Species: Wood Gecko Pokemon
Weight: 11 pounds
Abilities: Overgrow, Unburden (Hidden Ability)
Let’s move on to what is considered by many fans to be the second or best region of all time, and that, of course, is generation three. All three starter Pokemon from the Hoenn regions are superb in their own rights, but there is one that stands out the most among the rest: Treecko. The grass type starter is one of the most popular from this region as it possesses one of the coolest names and appearances out of all the starters in the game.
Treecko’s final evolution is also one of the best out of any starter Pokemon we have seen. Resembling some sort of tree ninja, Treecko is also another Pokemon that was one of Ash’s go-to Pokemon in the anime. And much like the show, we can use its signature move, “Leaf Blade,” to one-hit most Pokemon, which is always a plus. Treecko makes our list due to its popularity and it having one of the strongest move sets in the game. Especially in the Hoenn region where grass type moves are a lot more useful than they would be in any other Pokemon game.
National Number: 393
Species: Penguin Pokemon
Weight: 11.5 pounds
Abilities: Torrent, Defiant (Hidden Ability)
Next on our list is the generation four starter Piplup from the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl games. Piplup is a water-type Pokemon from the Sinnoh region. And with a baby penguin-based design, Piplup is one of the most popular starter Pokemon from that region. Its final evolution is Empoleon, which resembles a king penguin and is one of the most unique final evolution forms of all Pokemon games.
As a water type Pokemon, Piplup has immediate advantages when it comes to choosing it as a starter Pokemon. The ability to learn the HM move Surf is also a bonus because you don't need to find a Pokemon to house all of your HMs. Water type Pokemon are seen as essential Pokemon for anyone’s team due to its ability to learn Surf and for how powerful water type moves can be in Pokemon games. There is also one to two gym leaders that you will have an immediate advantage over due to the typing of said gym leader.
National Number: 390
Species: Chimp Pokemon
Weight: 13.7 pounds
Abilities: Blaze, Iron Fist (Hidden Ability)
The fire type starter Chimchar is another Pokemon from generation four. This adorable monkey-like Pokemon is widely considered as one of the last remaining good fire type starter Pokemon for quite some time now. Generation four has produced some of the best Pokemon and starter Pokemon of all time, and Chimchar fits this mold perfectly.
Chimchar also evolves into one of the strongest final evolutions of all Pokemon games. Its final form, Infernape, is an enraged monkey Pokemon that also holds the dual typing of fire and fighting. As one of the only starter Pokemon to have a dual typing, this puts Chimchar in a class of its own. It does immense amounts of attack damage throughout your playthrough and will for sure win your hearts if you choose it from the start.
National Number: 816
Species: Water Lizard Pokemon
Weight: 8.8 pounds
Abilities: Torrent, Sniper (Hidden Ability)
The last starter Pokemon on our list is a Pokemon that was recently introduced during Pokemon Sword and Shield: the water type Pokemon Sobble. This lizard Pokemon gained the most notoriety in the lead up to Sword and Shield’s release. Dubbed the #SobbleSquad, it had some of the most loyal fans of any Pokemon starter.
Now that the game has been released for over a week, many fans are already completing their journey around the Galar Region with Sobbly and its evolutions. It fully evolves into Interleon, a variation of a lizard that has the highest special attack out of all the starters along with some exclusive moves. With the upper hand on multiple gym leaders throughout the Galar Region, such as the fire type Kabu and the rock type Gordie, Sobble is one of the most memorable starter Pokemon and one that fans will never forget.
Do you agree with our best starter Pokemon list?
What are some of your favorite starter Pokemon?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Top image via Nintendo Life
This article was written by Nick Farrell, an experienced journalist who aims to provide insightful and proactive articles daily.