The Greatest Generation

With five generations of Pokémon released, which one stands head and shoulders above the rest? That’s easy! It’s…

By James Stank. Posted 03/08/2011 16:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

Pokemon Cartoon Artwork

No, we aren’t talking about World War II heroes. We are talking about the greatest generation of Pokémon. After all, there are now five generations of these so-called Pocket Monsters, with the total number of them pushing 650. If you’ve ever owned a portable Nintendo system, odds are pretty good that you’ve played at least one version of Pokémon. Not only that, but if you’ve played Pokémon, you probably have an opinion over which ones are the best. If you’ve been playing Pokémon since the originals, you may think that either the first or second gen have the best Pokémon.

If you just got into the series in gen three or later, you probably think that those Pokémon are the best. What it all comes down to is nostalgia. Most of the time if someone says that the first 2 gens are the best, they are saying so because they have fond memories of playing those games. Many people will say so, without even giving the later games a chance. Here I’m going to break down what I think are some of the best Pokémon for each gen, and I’ll tell you what gen is my personal favorite. Then, let me know what yours is in the comments.

First Generation

The first generation of Pokémon gave us the original big 3: Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur. While Venusaur isn’t that great in my opinion, Charizard and Blastoise are. Ever since the games first came out, Blastoise was one of my favorites, and he still is. It was also in gen one that we were introduced to the legendary birds, along with Mew and Mewtwo.

All around, the first gen had a really strong lineup of legendaries, along with other Pokémon. Nidoqueen and Nidoking are both popular Pokémon from the originals, along with Dragonite, Machamp and Golem. But perhaps the most popular Pokémon out of the originals is Pikachu. Pikachu has been the series’ mascot since the beginning and is one of the most beloved Pokémon out there.

Second Generation

Gen two gave birth to many more excellent Pokémon, and it is easy to see why there are many people that feel that this is the greatest gen. The starters were just as good as the original three, and so were their evolutions. Feraligatr, Meganium, and Typhlosion are all impressive stage 2 Pokémon, and good enough to be mentioned with the best. Generation two also introduced Pokémon of the steel and dark types, which have remained popular ever since. Likewise, Scizor and Tyranitar also are a part of gen two, and have had major influences on the card and video games.

Pokémon Gold & Silver Artwork

An area where the second gen has the first one beat is the legendaries. Lugia, Ho-oh, Entei, Raikou, Suicune and so on. There are many people I know that would say that the second gen is the greatest simply because it introduced Lugia. I love all of the gen one legendaries, but the sheer number and quality of the ones from gen two gives them the advantage. Almost all of the gen two legendaries were given fantastic-looking Pokémon cards in the HeartGold and SoulSilver sets.

Third Generation

This is where many people will start to argue that Pokémon went downhill, but I disagree completely. As with the first two gens, the third gen was home to strong starters. Torchic, Treecko and Mudkip are all great starters. The second stages of Torchic and Treecko are both awesome, and while I don’t really care for Swampert, the sheer number of Mudkip jokes more than makes up for it. Other awesome Pokémon introduced in the third gen were Salamence, Metagross and Flygon. The Pokémon in gen three were just as strong as those in any set, and shouldn’t be looked down upon.

Personally, I like the Pokémon from generation three the most, and the legendaries are easily among the best ever. Rayquaza, Groudon and Kyogre alone give gen three the best legendary Pokémon in my opinion, and that’s without even mentioning Deoxys and the Regis. I’m currently playing through Pokémon White, but as of right now, Pokémon Emerald is still my favorite Pokémon game.

Fourth Generation

To me, the fourth gen was the weakest of all the Pokémon gens up to its release. The starters were all great in basic form, but Torterra was the only stage two from them that I cared for. That’s not to say that all of the Pokémon were bad, however. Garchomp, Luxray and Magnezone are all great Pokémon that came from the fourth generation.

Just like the starters, I feel that the legendary Pokémon from gen four were a little lacking. While Darkrai and Regigigas were pretty cool, Dialga and Palkia really weren’t. Nor was the new legendary trio or Cresselia for that matter. It did seem as though maybe the series was running out of steam, but that brings me to the current gen.

Fifth Generation

The starting Pokémon from this generation are just as good as those from any gen. Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott are all winners in my book, not to mention the fact that they can have Metal Gear Solid nicknames: Solid Snivy, Tepig Boss, and my personal favorite, Revolver Oshawott. Unfortunately, while great starters from previous gens would stay just as good or get better as they evolved, all of the current starters just seem to get worse. Serperior, Emboar, and Samurott are all disappointments. Emboar is the third fire/fighting stage 2 Pokémon in a row. Couldn’t they think of any better combination? Aside from the basic forms of the starters, there are a lot of Pokémon to like in the fifth gen, including Braviary, Chandelure, and Krookodile. While I understand that not all Pokémon can be good in every gen, it does seem as though they were running short on ideas this time around, as there’s a Pokémon based on ice cream. Why?

Pokemon Black and White Versions Artwork - Monsters 2

However, the legendary Pokémon may even be improvements over last gen. While I hate the design of Reshiram, Zekrom is definitely up there with the best of the best. The new legendary kami trio is also pretty cool, along with Zoroark and Kyurem.

So there you have it. Now you know what I think, and many of you may be yelling “blasphemy!” at your computer screens right now, but as I said, it’s all opinion. Is there really a gen of Pokémon that is infinitely better than the rest? The answer to that question is “No.” Being first doesn’t automatically make you the best, and there’s definitely Pokémon to like in every gen. So what’s your favorite gen? I’m guessing you don’t agree with me so I want to know what you think.

2 Responses to “The Greatest Generation”

  • 54 points
    Rift says...

    About your Pokemon Gen V section. According to what I’ve heard they also had a guy (couldn’t remember his name) from Nintendo of America design some of the Pokemon. Since Unova is based off of New York and its surrounding areas they wanted a somewhat American feel to the games. That might explain why the Pokemon are so varied. Also about my favorite generation… Gen 3 overall really stands out in my mind as a great generation. I just really liked the Pokemon designs and they all seemed to flow together well. I don’t see why everyone is always criticizing Gen 3.

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