With the world absolutely buzzing from Pokemon GO's release and the occasional leak of information about Sun and Moon, I figured now would be the best time to rank the trios of starters. While some of these are pretty obvious as to why they have a certain rank, the others are just my personal preference and come from just me liking them more. Now, from worst to best, I give you my list.
The Worst: 6. Johto Region, Gen. II Starters
Let me start by saying that the games were amazing. I loved them all. The originals, the remakes. I loved them. But the starters themselves were lacking for me after my very first experience with Pokemon. The original triumvirate had everything. Simplicity in the very beginning, then badassery in the very end. But these, they dropped the ball.
Meganium is lame. The worst-looking starter out of them all. I legitimately have never used a Meganium and, as long as I have choice in this, never will. Typhlosion and Feraligatr weren't bad. After awhile, Typhlosion grew on me. But by then, it was too late. They had fallen to the very bottom of the barrel. I didn't like the Pokemon they added to the region, either. So it's nothing against the starters themselves, but probably--or most likely--the entire Johto region itself.
- Coolest: Totodile/Croconaw/Feraligatr
- Lamest: Chikorita/Bayleef/Meganium
5. Unova Region, Gen. V Starters
These last two regions are super close in terms of how much I dislike the starting trio. But the dual-typings that the Unova starters have pushed them up a bit in the rankings.
Frankly, I didn't like Black and White nor did I like sequels. I didn't think the sequels needed to be made and felt like a Pokemon Gray (or Grey, whichever you prefer) should have been the next installment in the series. I did like these starters though. Except for Snivy and its evolutionary line. I did NOT like him. Samurott was, by far, the coolest looking end-result out of these three.
- Coolest: Oshawott/Dewott/Samurott
- Lamest: Snivy/Servine/Serperior
4. Hoenn Region, Gen. III Starters
I absolutely love that they received Mega forms. Although I didn't like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire as much as the original versions (playing through them again felt like the same grind I went through when I was 8), I still enjoyed them nonetheless.
My favorite starter and one of my all-time favorite Pokemon, Sceptile, was done complete justice in his Mega Evolution. I never took to Blaziken or Swampert, though. I understand why other fans like them, I really do. But there's just something about them that I don't like. I do like that Swampert is a water-ground type, though. But other than that, they're just 'meh' Pokemon to me.
- Coolest: Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile
- Lamest: Torchic/Combusken/Blaziken
3. Sinnoh Region, Gen. IV Starters
This sub-series in the Pokemon games is the one that really brought me back to them. I hadn't played Pearl or Diamond, but instead started with Platinum. Until then, Emerald was the best Pokemon game. Then I picked up a black DSi and a copy of Pokemon Platinum and my life was changed.
What really made me go, "Wow." was that, in my eyes, Infernape was the absolute best starter. His dual-typing basically negated Empoleon's and Torterra's combinations. And because he was the fastest starter, he could really cause some damage to them. His fighting-type moves hurt Empoleon's steel-type half and his fire-type moves hurt Torterra's grass-type half.
After finding out how cool Infernape really was, I kept him and continued to import him and the rest of my Sinnoh Pokemon to future games. While I did fall in love with Infernape on my own, it didn't help that Ash had both Infernape and Torterra. His Sinnoh Pokemon were basically mine, too, now that I look back at it. Empoleon also seemed kind of lame to me, honestly. Sorry, Empoleon.
- Coolest: Chimchar/Monferno/Infernape
- Lamest: Piplup/Prinplup/Empoleon
2. Kalos Region, Gen. VI Starters
I loved the X and Y games. Not only were they the first 3D-compatible Pokemon games, the new Pokemon were badass (Pyroar and Talonflame, specifically), and the fact that you were able to have TWO starters was amazing.
I wasn't sure what to expect with Pokemon X and Y. I knew nothing about them, but I was excited for another new game and another new adventure. I chose Froakie and never looked back. Then, once again, chose Charmander, and acquired Chespin via Wonder Trade. After I beat the game, I collected every other starter, but because I was able to have a well-rounded team that just happened to contain three starters, this region easily fell into my good graces. Charizard's two Mega-Evolution forms were badass, too, especially Y's form with the instant-Sunny Day ability.
Also, I could have done without the introduction of the fairy-type Pokemon. Just thought I'd put that out there.
- Coolest: Froakie/Frogadier/Greninja
- Lamest: Fennekin/Braixen/Delphox
The Best: 1. Kanto Region, Gen. I Starters
I'm no genwunner nor do I refuse to acknowledge that there are more than the original 151 Pokemon. I love that there are so many new Pokemon. I love the new games. But the original three hold a special place in my heart--and quite possibly in the heart of every other Pokemon fan, too.
Yes, Bulbasaur gets a hard time because of his...uncool, frog-with-lettuce-on-his-back design. Yes, Charmander is hard to work with in the beginning because of Brock and Misty's gyms being direct counters to him. Yes, Squirtle is a squirrel-turtle-hybrid-thing. But these, along with Pikachu in Pokemon Yellow, are the most iconic parts about Pokemon. When given the choice, I always picked Charmander. Charizard is just too damn cool to pass up.
- Coolest: Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard
Well, there you have it. My personal thoughts on the starters from Pokemon. I didn't include the new three from Sun and Moon because they're not officially out yet, but if they were, they'd probably be in-between numbers 4 and 5. That being said, I cannot wait for the newest games. Pokemon has been a huge part of my life thus far and am very excited to see what's new in the Alola region.
Who is your favorite starter from Pokemon? What is your favorite region? How excited are you for Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon? Let me know in the comments!