The best starter Pokemon need to cover all bases, from battle performance to stats and even visual appeal, so we’ve ranked the top 10 starters that can be found across all generations.
For Pokemon fans around the world, one of the most important questions has always been, ‘Which starter are you choosing?’ Each region has a trio of cute creatures to choose between; one Grass, one Water, and one Fire.
As the first Pokemon you’ll own, these starters always have a special place in trainers’ hearts – even if you don’t keep them with you on your entire journey to becoming a Champion – and everyone has their favorites.
To try and figure out the best starter Pokemon of all time, we’ve looked over all 24 starters while taking into account a variety of factors including design, stat distribution, moveset, and of course their final evolutions.
While many people dislike the design of Oshawott’s final evolution, Samurott is still a strong Pokemon that’s capable of taking down plenty of opponents, with solid 100 Attack and 108 Special Attack stats and decent bulk to carry it through most match-ups.
Throw in a wide-ranging movepool that provides excellent type coverage, and Samurott becomes the most balanced Pokemon in the Black & White starter trio. It does suffer from poor Speed, but Hisuian Samurott went some way to fix that.
Treecko often plays second-fiddle to Mudkip, which is widely regarded as the best Ruby & Sapphire starter, but it can easily stand on its own two feet as a solid Grass-type glass cannon with a huge 120 Speed stat and 105 Special Attack.
It might not have very good bulk or a secondary typing to help it out, but it is one of the fastest creatures in its generation, meaning it can hit fast and hard. The ability to learn False Swipes was also great for catching tricky Pokemon in the wild.
With the design of an archer and a unique Grass/Ghost-typing, Rowlet’s final evolution Decidueye is definitely one of the most interesting starter Pokemon, with many trainers choosing it based on its design alone.
Decidueye has a 107 Attack stat and a 100 Special Attack stat which means it can focus on either move type, while a 100 Special Defense stat provides some bulk. It was also a great starter in Legends Arceus, where it became a Grass/Fighting-type.
One issue many players have with Diamond & Pearl is the severe lack of decent Fire-types in the wild, which meant choosing Chimchar as your starter was almost a necessity. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best starter Pokemon in general.
104 Attack and 104 Special Attack stats push it above average when dishing out damage, while 108 Speed makes it pretty darn fast. It’s one of the best Pokemon you can have on your team for taking down the Elite Four, too.
As the very first entry in the Pokedex – and the first starter Pokemon that many trainers ever chose – Bulbasaur has a huge following of loyal fans. Even the creators of Pokemon love it, having once said that it “exemplifies what Pokémon is all about”.
Part of the reason for its popularity was that it could easily take out the first two gym leaders in Red & Blue. It also helps that its final evolution, Venusaur, continues to be a top-tier Grass-type across multiple games, including Pokemon Go.
There’s been an unusual amount of starter Pokemon that end up Fire/Fighting-type in their third stage, but the adorable Torchic’s final evolution Blaziken is by far the best one around (in our humble opinion).
This is partly because there aren’t many good Fire-types in the Hoenn region, but mainly because it has a brilliant combination of 120 Attack and 110 Special Attack, which allows it to hit incredibly hard with moves like Close Combat and Flare Blitz.
As one of the original Kanto starters, Squirtle was always going to be a top contender for a spot on this list. It’s got one of the greatest evolution lines and it’s made several memorable appearances in the anime – who could forget the Squirtle Squad?
While its final evolution may not be quite as popular as Charizard, there’s no denying that Blastoise is one of the coolest Pokemon ever. It’s also very bulky, with 100 Defense and 105 Special Defense, which lets it stick around for longer in battle.
Okay, so Froakie might not be the most appealing starter in its base form – but when its final evolution is Greninja, who cares! It’s even been voted the world’s favorite Pokemon, in case its popularity was ever in doubt.
Greninja has the highest Speed stat of any starter Pokemon’s final evolution, living up to its ninja-inspired name, which means it can unleash brilliant attacks like ? and ? before your opponent knows what’s happening.
Decades after it made its debut in Red & Blue in the 1990s, the adorable little Fire-type Charmander remains not just a fan-favorite starter Pokemon, but one of the most popular Pokemon full stop.
There’s a pretty obvious reason for this… its final evolution is Charizard. This fearsome creature is arguably the most iconic Pokemon of all time (after Pikachu), appearing in multiple games and spin-offs including Pokken and Super Smash Bros.
It’s got the stats to back that popularity up, with a huge 109 Special Attack that lends itself well to STAB attacks like Inferno and Air Slash, while a 100 Speed stat means it will often get to attack first. Bonus points are awarded for having one of the best Shinies available.
As far as starter Pokemon go, Mudkip really does have it all; It’s ridiculously cute, it’s the best one to choose in its parent games Ruby & Sapphire, and it also becomes one of the strongest starter final evolutions of all time.
Yes, we’re talking about Swampert. This powerful Water/Ground-type Pokemon has a really great balance of stats across HP, Defense, and Attack, meaning it has decent bulk and can hit hard with some great moves.
Perhaps the best thing about Swampert is that its unique dual typing leaves it with only one weakness (Grass) which means it can perform well in the majority of scenarios without worrying too much about being taken out.
That’s it for our list of the best starter Pokemon! It will be interesting to see how the starter Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet impact this list (if at all) and we’ll be sure to update when those games are released.