With this week marking the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon series coming out on the Gameboy in 1996, and me (still!) being along for the ride since the UK release of the games, I decided to take a look over the 893 Pokémon which have been released and pick out my favourites. For the purposes of this list, I’m retconning mega evolutions. They never happened.
10. Nidoking (debut Pokémon Red and Green, 1996)
One of the original 151 Pokémon to start this list off, I think! Nidoking always made for a decent early team member in the older games I thought, with decent move coverage for its type, and the fact it can also learn a decent variety of TM and HM moves as well. To this end, it’s rare for me to go a Gen I or II playthrough without a Nidoking on my team for at least part of the game.
9. Krookodile (debut Pokémon Black and White, 2010)
I believe this may start a bit of theme with me, my general liking for reptilian themed Pokémon. But hey, who wouldn’t like a gangster crocodile?
8. Tyrantum (debut Pokémon X and Y, 2013)
Of all the fossil Pokémon, as much as I have a soft spot for Kabutops from back in the day, I think Tyrantum is probably mt favourite out of them all. I mean, where can you can wrong with a Dragon-typed tyrannosaurus running around on your team? Ah, good memories of running one on my Ultra Sun team a few years ago.
7. Aggron (debut Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, 2003)
Well, I guess there had to be one almost pseudo-pseudo end game Legendary on this list at some point, didn’t there? Of all the third stage evolutions introduced in Ruby and Sapphire though, I really don’t think Aggron’s line gets enough love (then again, when you’re competing against the likes of Salamence and Metagross...). I do like it, primarily for its... interestingly varied movepool... and ability to catch people out with it? I mean, who would expect an Aggron built as a special sweeper?
6. Scolipede (debut Pokémon Black and White, 2010)
I have to confess, I’m not actually a fan of Venipede or Whirlipede, but at the same type, this evolving from them makes so much sense. I do like the design for this one, and thing it really evokes the feeling of a poisonous centipede without looking ridiculous (for ridiculous centipede designs in my mind, please look at Centiskorch). I ran one of these on my Black and White 2 teams, and both times in those playthroughs, found this Pokémon a lot more useful than I thought it was going to be, with it holding itself right through to the end of the game.
5. Corviknight (debut Pokémon Sword and Shield, 2020)
Heh, I once wrote a paper at university on ravens. I do like most of the early game birds in nearly all the generations, but I think out of all of them, the Rookidee line is my favourite. This has nothing to do with its home region, Galar, being based on the UK, I promise. It’s also an unusual typing for an early route bird – where usually they don’t go any more exotic than Normal/Flying, this one ends up Flying/Steel, which also made for a very nice change.
4. Excadrill (debut Pokémon Black and White, 2010)
I like Excadrill, it’s got a very nice defensive typing, but at the same time, it rips nearly everything to shreds. I also like the design quite a bit, it’s not bad for something which is basically a mole with a drill strapped to its head! But this is Pokémon I’ve tried to find a place on my team wherever possible since it was first released in Pokémon Black and White.
3. Feraligatr (debut Pokémon Gold and Silver, 2000)
I guess it’s inevitable that a starter Pokémon turns up in the list at some point! Feraligatr definitely holds the positiion of belonging to my favourite starter evolution line, and my favourite final evolution for a starter. This one stems from my general liking of all kinds of reptiles and that I used to work in a reptile zoo. But yeah, I just like this guy’s design. Well, that and the fact it gets Sheer Force as a Hidden Ability in the later games, which is very handy when one combines it with a Life Orb...
2. Scyther (debut Pokémon Red and Green, 1996)
I’ve always had an interest in insects as a kid, and something about the design of Scyther has always appealed to me, but it wasn’t until I caught one on my original Pokémon Gold file back in 2000 and stuck it on my team that I really started to appreciate this guy. Oh, and on an aside, I really like Scyther’s National Pokédex number. 123. It’s just such a satisfying number to read.
1. Furret (debut Pokémon Gold and Silver, 1999)
Hands up who didn’t see Furret coming? 1999 marked the beginning of what would so far be a 22 year love affair with the cute little critter. I love Furret to the point where I’ve written articles about it on IGN, and I often moonlight on Facebook with it as my profile picture. In every game where you can obtain Furret, I will make sure I get one on my team at the earliest opportunity, and will run right through to the postgame with it on the team. I tend to breed for a shiny Sentret/Furret in every game that I can, and I currently have a collection of maxed out Furrets, Lucky Furrets and Shiny Furrets in Pokémon Go.
Why? I couldn’t tell you. I’m guessing because I used to own pet ferrets when I was a lot younger, but something about Furret has grabbed me, and doesn’t seem to show any signs of letting go just yet.
And there we have it! I guess it remains to be seen if I have any new favourites in future generations to be released.
Written by Karen