Towards the end of 2019 I took part in Adventure Rules’ Charming And Open project, where we each offered the other a question which had to be answered in the form of a blog post. My question to the blogger was what his thoughts were towards the designs of the different generations of Pokémon, and his thoughts in the ideas behind them.
Reading his response got me thinking about my own thoughts on each generation, so of course I felt I should share!
So without further ado, here are the Pokémon Generations Ranked By Me!
#8 – GENERATION 5 – UNOVA
Unova … Generation 5 was a bold attempt at a completely fresh Pokedex, no previously encountered Pokémon were found in Black and White. To Unova’s credit, there were a lot of ‘Mons that I thought had strong designs behind them, some that I instantly liked – but Unova is at the bottom of this list because of the sheer number of Pokémon that I specifically do not like in this generation.
So, starting with the starters – I would have to say that these are the most lackluster of all the starters we have seen so far. I have to admit that I hold a bit of a personal grudge against Tepig – He was the third consecutive Fire starter to take on Fighting as a secondary type. The third one. Who could have possibly thought this was a good idea? It’s something that has always annoyed me, and to make matters worse, I didn’t actually like the evolutions of Tepig anyway, so there was no saving grace. Snivy and Oshawott I actually have no strong feelings about, good or bad. They simply are what they are.
As for the box legendaries, Reshiram and Zekrom? Honestly, the less said here, the better. I don’t think they look good, I don’t find them appealing to use in any way, and I didn’t really enjoy any part that they actually played in the game at all. Without a doubt they are some of my least favourite legendaries.
There are actually a lot of Pokémon that I really like in Generation 5. There are plenty that I could show you, but I have chosen the best of the best below.
And now for the worst of the lot – these are the Pokémon that I simply cannot abide. These guys are the reason for Unova being at the bottom end of this list for me, with a special mention to Conkeldurr, Scrafty, Vanilluxe and Klinklang.
#7 – generation 4 – sinnoh
Sinnoh brought us over 100 new Pokémon to add to the Pokedex, and there were definitely some solid designs in there! But for me, it wasn’t all good.
The starters were good, with excellent themes being used. Turtwig would grow to be Torterra who clearly takes inspiration from the “World Turtle” concept, Chimchar was an adorable little fire monkey who would later become Infernape, possibly inspired by characters from Asian myths and legends, and Piplup who evolve into Empoleon, quite clearly representing Emperor Penguins and the famous Napoleon Bonaparte. My only complaint about these starters is the fact that this was the second generation in a row that we were given a Fire/Fighting starter. While I do love Infernape, I felt like this didn’t do the ape any favours.
The Legendaries of this generation for me were ….okay? I don’t dislike them by any means, but I don’t like them a huge amount either. I thought that the Time/Space theme was good, but I just don’t see it.
There are more than a few Pokémon that I really like in this region, and here are some of my favourites from the lot.
There were a lot of new evolutions of already existing Pokémon that arrived in Sinnoh – while I personally felt like some of them were simply not needed or well designed, most of them I think were fantastic! Below are the evolutions which I felt really stood out, with my personal favourites being Weavile and Gallade.
Sinnoh finds itself near the bottom of this list as there were so many Pokémon that I just didn’t like. The worst offenders here would have to be Wormadam, Lickilicky, and Probopass, but you can see some of the others that I disliked below.
#6 – generation 7 – alola
Alola saw us going to more tropical climes on our Pokémon journey, and also found a number of ways to challenge the conventions that have been held sacred by the main games of the series up to this point.
The starters were a great bunch for me, I really liked all three (but Rowlett and Litten have the edge over Popplio) but one of the things that set them apart from the others is the unique typing! Rowlett becoming Grass/Ghost, Litten becoming Fire/Dark, and Popplio becoming Water/Fairy. And all three reflected these types in their designs superbly.
The Legendary Pokémon, Solgaleo and Lunala … ehhh? While I liked the Sun/Moon theme they display, that’s pretty much all I like about them. There’s not much else I can say about them, I just don’t find them very memorable or iconic, unlike so many Legendaries that came before this pair.
Alola had a lot of tropical Pokémon to show off, some of the designs were really enjoyable to see.
Alola was the first region to introduce regional forms! A number of Pokémon originally from Kanto were revitalised with these new forms, and these are my favourite of the bunch.
There were only a small number of Pokémon from the seventh generation that I didn’t really like, and here they are.
#5 – generation 8 – galar
The most recent generation, as I write this, Galar took inspiration from the country that I call home, the United Kingdom. I simply love some of the designs that can be found in this generation!
Galar’s starters boast an interesting theme, Grookey representing musicians, Scorbunny representing football players, and Sobble (eventually) representing secret agents.
Possibly one of the biggest reasons for Galar being so low on the list, Zamazenta and Zacian just … were’t my cup of tea (couldn’t resist the phrase here). When I look at some of the Legendary Pokémon that we have had in the past, I can’t help but feel like although the story behind them was fleshed out and interesting, the actual design of the pair was found lacking!
Although I found the Legendaries to be disappointing, there were plenty of regular Pokémon who left a lasting impression on me, here’s a few examples!
Not only did we get a whole host of new Pokémon to feast our eyes on in Galar, but also a few Galarian forms of Pokémon we already know and love! The list of these new forms is quite small, and if I had to choose the best of them I would go with Rapidash, Farfetch’d and Corsola.
#4 – generation 3 – hoenn
Hoenn being a tropical region brought us lots of exotic Pokémon, and the designs of these new Pokémon definitely reflect that, with a truly exotic feel to them.
The starters for this generation were quite strong, but only two of them kept my interest for the whole evolution line! Mudkip was the only one whose evolutions I did not particularly like.
The legendaries were particularly strong in Hoenn, Kyogre holding dominion over the seas, Groudon over the landmasses, and Rayquaza being the neutralising force who can calm them both.
So let’s take a quick look at the best of the designs found in Hoenn, according to me.
#3 – generation 6 – kalos
I really liked a lot of things about the sixth generation, I would say that there was an incredibly solid design behind most of the new additions to the Dex. And of course, Pokémon X & Y and Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire brought us more than new creatures, it also brought us Mega Evolutions! This new feature revitalised some of the older designs, meaning that some old favourites had newfound viability on the competitive battling scene.
The starter Pokémon had a really strong theme behind them which I thought was quite imaginative. They were based on typical classes found in Fantasy RPG genres, Warrior, Mage, and Rogue. But although I liked the idea, I didn’t like all of the starters. I didn’t like the Chespin line, I loved Fennekin and Braixen, but not Delphox. However, Froakie’s line I thought was great at all three stages.
I also thought that the legendary Pokémon of Kalos held a very strong theme, life and death, and particularly liked the design of Xerneas, clearly representing the iconic idea of a “Life Tree”.
As I said before, there are plenty of Pokémon that I want to point out for their designs, so let’s have a look at them!
And I have to include the Mega Evolution designs here, here are my favourite Megas.
#2 – generation 1 – Kanto
It’s probably not a surprise to find the original 151 so high on this list! These guys are of course very nostalgic to me, I was around 6 or so when I was first introduced to Pokémon Red. I didn’t understand an awful lot of what was going on, but I loved the Pokémon I was seeing, and a bit of patience led to me eventually getting the hang of it!
There are some here and there that I don’t much care for in the original 151, but on the whole I think the designs that have been used here are pretty phenomenal.
The starters are absolute classics – I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t love a good Charizard! And Mewtwo? Can you really get any better than the original legendary Pokémon found after a grueling trek through Cerulean Cave?
There are many Generation 1 Pokémon worthy of some attention, and I could list so many more than what I have. Instead of just showing you a filled out Pokedex, let’s look at a small selection!
#1 – generation 2 – johto
There’s no doubt in my mind about Johto being my favourite generation. I’ll admit that part of this is down to nostalgia, I can still remember the excitement of finding out that the games that I had instantly fallen in love with were getting a sequel! And that there were going to be another 100 Pokémon? Amazing! I never would have guessed that the franchise would grow as much as it had done, but I couldn’t be happier to say that it has.
The second generation was a total success in my eyes – The starters are without a doubt my favourite from all generations, Chikorita and Cyndaquil in particular, and I feel the same way about the legendaries – Lugia is one of my all time favourite pocket monsters.
And there are plenty of regular Pokémon besides who I feel need to be mentioned, so here are some of the stand-out examples!