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The 15 Best Starter Pokémon

The Pokémon series is continuing to grow massively in size, as there are now eight generations and almost 1,000 of these creatures in general. There have been some marvelous Pokémon over the years, from Mewtwo to Zarude, but it is hard to find many that are more popular among fans than starter Pokémon. These are what jumpstarted a generation of Pokémon, as they are what gamers see and get to pick from first. Interestingly, the series has been able to create some truly magnificent starters in the process, which is a huge reason why the franchise is so beloved by many. But what starter Pokémon are the best?

RELATED: The 10 Cutest Legendary Pokémon, Ranked

Even though it is easy to appreciate every starter Pokémon, it is apparent that there are a select few that are truly among the best. This is not only based on their fighting abilities but also their overall significance to the series itself. Also, what helps certain Pokémon become such hot commodities to catch is what their final evolved forms are. Starter Pokémon are responsible for developing into some of the biggest names in the entire series.

Updated on September 16th, 2021 by George Chrysostomou: With the debate raging on about what the best starter Pokémon throughout the franchise are, it seems fitting to revisit the argument to make sure none of the most fantastic companions from the series are missed out. These Pokémon are brilliant for a player’s first battles and are as beautifully designed as they are powerful in the field. 


15 Pikachu

Pikachu facing the camera on a baseball field

Pikachu is so famous that even non-fans of the franchise are aware of the cute electric-type Pokémon. While he has always been known as Ash’s best friend, Pikachu can be chosen as a starter Pokémon for players in Pokémon Goas well as Let’s Go Pikachu. 

A brilliant companion that contains some really high attacks and is pretty resilient in the field, the only downside to Pikachu is that compared to other starters it only has one more evolution; since Pichu begins the character’s evolutionary line.

14 Turtwig

Turtwig in Pokemon

The Sinnoh region grass-type is perhaps a companion that will only get stronger with time. Some of the best starter Pokémon carry this trait though, with Turtwig eventually evolving into the incredibly mighty Torterra. The design alone of the character is genius though.

Part plant and part turtle, it’s an unexpected combination but one that really works. While Turtwig might have quite a few weaknesses, the Pokémon’s base attack is actually pretty high meaning they can be useful in battle if they are used tactically.

13 Torchic

torchic attack in Pokemon

Torchic’s design is really simple, with the fire-type bird looking very much like a traditional chick. Despite its size, the character is incredibly mighty though, consistently showing off a range of surprising abilities.

Its evolutions might be far more impressive than many other starter Pokémon, but ultimately its speed and special attacks will always be its strengths. This is a starter Pokémon that the player will want to carry with them for the majority of their journey.

12 Eevee

Eevee looking confused

Eevee is a starter Pokémon in Let’s Go Eevee and is perhaps one of the best characters, to begin with, if the player doesn’t know how they want their journey to unfold. Eevee’s uniqueness comes in the fact that it can evolve into any type of Pokémon, with more evolutions constantly being added to the franchise.

Starting out as a normal-type, Eevee can really be molded in any way the player sees fit. While not boasting any particular strengths, it’s Eevee’s potential and complete adorableness that helps to make it one of the best starter Pokémon for newer players.

11 Rowlet

Rowlet

There’s a lot of birds in the world of Pokémon but Rowlet is one of the few that actually acts as a starter. A much newer addition to the franchise, the design of the character as well as its abilities has already helped to make it a fan favorite.

Another great starter for those trying to get used to the games, the dual type of grass and flying is an odd combination but one that really works. Despite its weaknesses, its speed is incredibly useful, with Rowlet also offering up a complete immunity to ground-types!

10 Charmander

Charmander from the Pokemon series

Charmander is a spectacular starter Pokémon. It is among the first Pokémon in the entire series, so naturally, it has a place in the hearts of many fans. It also does not hurt that it is a cute Pokémon in appearance, while also possessing a lot of firepower.

RELATED: 15 Reasons Fire-Type Pokemon Are The Best Starters

It is one of the strongest starter Pokémon as a result of this. Also, another positive about it is that it of course evolves into one of the most popular Pokémon in the entire series, Charizard.

9 Piplup

Piplup from the Pokemon series

Piplup is a starter Pokémon that is part of Generation IV. Players of Pokémon Go were particularly excited when this Pokémon joined the wild, as it is always such a great pleasure to catch thanks to being one of the cutest water-type Pokémon!

It certainly is adorable, though it is a bit too prideful. However, this makes it very entertaining to pay attention to. Also, its evolution cycle is impressive, as its final form is the regal and dominant Empoleon.

8 Litten

Litten from the Pokemon series

Litten may be a starter Pokémon that comes from Generation VII, but it already is getting a ton of love from followers of the series. It is another Fire-type that does well against smaller Pokémon in battle.

It is a bit seclusive in personality, which meshes well with the fact that it is a cat. However, it definitely blossoms into a very tough and already popular Pokémon in Incineroar. In fact, Incineroar is already a big part of the Nintendo community in general, as it is a playable character in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

7 Cyndaquil

Cyndaquil from the Pokemon series

Cyndaquil is a starter Pokémon from Generation II. It may not necessarily get the same amount of love as Charmander, but it is still well-liked amongst the community. This is entirely understandable, as it eventually becomes Typhlosion.

However, looking at Cyndaquil solely, it is adorable in appearance. It is also a Pokémon that cannot be taken lightly, as its back lights on fire when it is startled or agitated. This actually comes in handy when it is in battle too.

6 Bulbasaur

Bulbasaur from the Pokemon series

Bulbasaur is the first Pokémon in the entire series, so that alone helps its case of being among the best starters. It is a Grass-type that handles itself well when facing its opponents helping to make it one of the best starter Pokémon.

Speaking of evolving, it has a fantastic final form, too, as it becomes the imposing Venusaur. Thus, it is a Pokémon that is worth getting as it is impossible to find a single serious flaw with it.

5 Totodile

Totodile from the Pokemon series

Totodile is quite the lovable Pokémon, as it is a goofy and blue crocodile. Its appearance also translates over to its wacky personality, as in the anime series, it is famous for irritating Ash by dancing whilst in battle.

RELATED: 10 Underrated Pokémon Dragon-Types

Yet, when Totodile is focused in battle, it is one of the strongest starter Pokémon. It has a combative and high-energy nature, as it is quite bite-happy. It also does not hurt that it has an immensely powerful jaw too.

4 Froakie

Fraokie from the Pokemon series

Froakie is easily the best starter Pokémon from Generation VI. This is in large part because, once it fully develops, it evolves into Greninja, who of course is one of the most iconic Pokémon from the entire franchise.

However, when looking at Froakie, it warrants praise for not only its own solid fighting ability but also its appearance. Starter Pokémon often are meant to be cute, and this one works especially well with its big, yet gentle eyes.

3 Chimchar

Chimchar from the Pokemon series

Upon first viewing Chimchar, it is easy to tell why it is so popular amongst fans. It is an adorable chimpanzee that has the ability to shoot fire at its opponents. It also has high attack power and is immensely quick boasting some incredible Fire-type moves.

This gives it multiple assets needed for it to succeed in battle. It is a Pokémon that gamers never get sick of seeing, as it also eventually evolves into Infernape, which is among the best Pokémon from the Sinnoh region.

2 Squirtle

Squirtle from the Pokemon series

The final member of the Generation I trio, Squirtle certainly warrants praise at every turn. It is perhaps the strongest of the three starters from the Kanto region, as it can handle more damage, while also dishing out effective attacks.

It is also iconic in the anime, as the Squirtle Squad produces some of the best comedy in the series. Although it is nice that it becomes Blastoise, the journey to getting there is also quite enjoyable, as Squirtle itself is always a fun Pokémon to watch. Also, Wartortle is an immensely underrated Pokémon from its evolution line.

1 Mudkip

Mudkip from the Pokemon series

Mudkip is a very intriguing starter Pokémon from Generation III. It instantly has an advantage compared to earlier starters, as it’s not only a Water-type but also later becomes a Ground-type. Thus it has an array of attacks that help its chances when in battle.

Interestingly, it also has a fairly strong HP for a starter Pokémon too. Therefore, it is able to last longer than most, and that is still the case when facing stronger opponents. This helps support the case that Mudkip is the best starter Pokémon.

NEXT: 5 Of The Strangest-Looking Pokémon Ever (& 5 That Are Still Kind Of Cute)

Split image: Walrein roars, Aggron stands ready to attack in the Pokémon anime.


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10 Strongest Pokémon From The Hoenn Region


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