Top 10 Pokemon of Generation I
While there are many franchises that are celebrated by the gamer community at large, there are few that hold the same prestige as Pokemon. Nintendo and Game Freak recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first games in the series, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green. In a move that both celebrated the nostalgia of days gone by and to introduce new players to the roots of the phenomenon, Nintendo re-released Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow on the 3DS eshop.
The titles introduced us to the world of Pokemon, allowing players to capture 151 monsters as they traveled across the Kanto region. Lovingly referred to as “Generation I”, there were some pocket monsters that stood above the rest. Today, we’re going to go over the top 10 Pokemon of Generation I as they appear within the video games.
This stage 3 ghost/poison Pokemon was one of the reasons that many people were inclined to trade with other players. Haunter couldn’t evolve unless it took a trip through the link cable and even though it was frightful in its own right, it only became more of a nightmare once it ascended to this form. Being the shadow Pokemon, this creature was a great counter to the many normal-typed attacks and had access to plenty of moves to make it dangerous on anyone’s team. This Pokemon also had a decent special stat, which counted for both attack and defense in the first installments of the franchise.
I have always felt that Eevee was such a cool Pokemon, and it had a huge role in Pokemon Yellow. It was an interesting mechanic to have your rival’s Eevee evolve into Vaporean, Jolteon, or Flareon based on your battle history throughout the story. Likewise, Eevee came into your possession pretty early in the game, leaving you with the option of cashing in by turning him into whatever type you didn’t have at that point, and was at a stable level with plenty of wiggle room. During my first ever play-through, I ended up evolving mine into a Flareon, because I was obsessed with Fire Types. Eevee is a pretty good normal type in it’s own right, but nothing can compare with the gift of having it customized to a water, fire, or electric type based on your own needs.
When everyone thinks of Pokemon, you instantly think of the cute little mouse with a shocking personality, red cheeks, and lightning bolt tail. Pikachu was the mascot for many reasons, and in the game, his sprite was even special too. It had little lightning bolts surrounding it. However, things were better once you trained your Pikachu and used the Thunderstone on it. Not only was Raichu better stat wise, but he looked much cooler, in my opinion. It had much more mass, it was darker, larger, and looked like a natural aggressive progression of what a Pikachu could be. I always remember Thunderbolt was always so much more powerful with Raichu, thanks to his stat spread, but he could also learn Mega Punch and Body Slam as well.
What is better than having a twin set of swords? How about having a twin set of swords for arms? That is the immediate design aspect that caught my eye with this Pokemon. Scyther was always cooler looking than Pinsir in my opinion, and his Bug and Flying duality helps him as much as it hurts. With moves like Slash, Wing Attack, and Swords Dance, Scyther is all about speed and attack. Double Team and Agility also helped with evasion and speed boost, so there were many bases you could cover in setting up the ultimate attacker. This ‘mon could only be obtained in the Safari Zone and was also only available in Pokemon Red and Yellow.
Dragons were basically limited to this breed in the first generation, and that is precisely the reason this guy was such a, well, er, monster. Not only was it found late in the game, but Lance had these creatures as well. (He also had cheated ones too, but that’s another story for another time). This dragon was a very late stage 3 creature that didn’t evolve until level 55, so it took quite a while to train one up, especially considering the other monsters at your disposal were probably already at their 60’s. His flying secondary type made for one major weakness, but he could learn Hyper Beam. No other attack seemed like it could be so devastating, especially since in Generation I, you could skip the charging aspect if you killed an opponent with the attack or vice-versa. This was one ‘mon that I loved, but wished it came earlier in the game.
Being large and in charge, Snorlax had one of the best stat splits in the game. Having access to Hyper Beam and Body Slam, this Pokemon netted a same-type attack bonus on some heavy attacks. It made things even sweeter with the 30% chance to inflict paralysis when using Body Slam. This fearsome creature could also learn various elemental moves, as well as a fair share of buffs, de-buffs, recovery, and status moves. Snorlax was one of those Pokemon that found it’s way onto a lot of rosters.
Aside from being the mascot for Pokemon Blue, this creature was a force to be reckoned with. Initially, I never picked Squirtle on subsequent playthroughs, and I regret not doing so. While considered by many as the medium difficulty starter to pick, this Pokemon learned a good mix of offensive and defensive moves. Late in its leveling process, it learns Hydro Pump and Skull Bash, two moves that are unique and powerful all on their own. Without this Pokemon, my rival didn’t stand a chance, and that’s why I always considered it admirable. This was the ultimate opponent, except for…
Talk about a last boss! In the Cerulean Cave, this horrific monster awaited any foolish trainer crazy enough to make it to it’s perch. While powerful and deadly in its own right, the back story covering this Pokemon found in the Pokemon Mansion on Cinnabar always amazed me. It was a beast created by man, and unable to be contained, it escaped into a dwelling that housed the most powerful monsters in the Kanto region. Facing it in battle literally stressed me out the first time, because I hadn’t saved my master ball for it, and I don’t care who you are, the catch rate wasn’t kind in the earlier games! His psychic moves and ability to use Recover made him a savage opponent. I especially liked his appearance in the Stadium games, as his strength as the last boss there was truly hyped up and fun.
I never realized how much I loved this Pokemon until doing this list. This guy could learn all sorts of moves and I especially remember teaching him Water Gun early in my playthroughs to get away with my lack of a proper water Pokemon. His ability to poison, use fighting-type moves, learn ground moves, as well as his impressive attack strength made him and his female counterpart such cool Pokemon! I liked the design of Nidoking much more than Nidoqueen, although I preferred the blue skin shiny as opposed to his natural purple hue. I had always wanted one of these Pokemon since I witnessed a Nidorino fighting a Gengar in the introduction sequence of Pokemon Red. A giant Godzilla-meets-a-rabbit-with-a-horn-of-death can’t be a bad thing anyway, right?
This fire-breathing lizard has always held a special place in my heart. From his appearance on the front of the Pokemon Red cartridge and box, to his harder-than-normal trek through the first two gyms, I have always loved this pseudo-dragon. My very first one was leveled up way too much upon completing the Elite Four, and when I fought my rival, I remember this Pokemon being the last line of defense I had. My rival brought out his Blastoise, and somehow, someway, I believed in my Charizard to save the day, and it did. This creature was the epitome of what it meant to be a Pokemon to me. Crazy simple attack typing, amazing design, and great stats. The only issue, which was later serviced in the X and Y series, was the fact that this Pokemon didn’t have Dragon-type attacks or the ability to learn fly.
Did you favorite Pokemon make the list? If not, what Pokemon would you have put on this list? Be sure to tune back next time, as we explore the top 10 Pokemon of Generation II.