In 1996, Game Freak and Nintendo released Pokémon Red & Blue to the world. At the time, the series featured 151 different species of Pokémon. Since then, Game Freak has made more than 122 Pokémon games (including spinoffs). These games created a total of 898 different Pokemon species!
Anyone familiar with the series knows that the purpose of the game is to “catch ‘em all.” However, veterans of the series will tell you that the real fun comes from building your perfect team. The various possible team combinations and playstyles are close to endless.
In this list, you will find some of the best Pokémon in the entire franchise. We did not include any legendary or ultra beast Pokémon but rather focused on those that any trainer can obtain mid-game. While there are many other excellent Pokémon not listed here, below are some of our all-time favorites.
CrobatDo you remember playing your first Pokémon game? You enter your first cave in the game and almost immediately you are attacked by a Zubat. They are famous pests in the Pokémon franchise. However, we recommend that you catch one of these Zubats the next time you play, because Crobat, Zubat’s final evolution, is one of the best Pokémon in the franchise.
Like Zubat and Golbat, Crobat is a Flying and Poison-type Pokémon that was introduced in the 2nd generation of the franchise (Pokémon Gold & Silver). While Crobat is weak to four types: Electric, Ice, Psychic, and Rock, they are resistant to six other types.
They are even immune to Ground-type attacks, typically a weakness for Poison-type Pokémon. Additionally, Crobat can learn certain Dark, Steel, Grass, Bug, and even Ghost-type moves.
However, what makes Crobat stand out above the rest is their speed stat. If you take out Legendary and Ultra Beast Pokémon, Crobat is tied for the 7th fastest Pokémon. That might not sound impressive, but remember that this is out of 898 Pokémon (at the time of writing)!
GranbullGranbull, and their pre-evolution Snubull, made their first appearance in the 2nd generation of the franchise. When they were included, both Granbull and Snubull were Normal-type Pokémon. This isn’t typically a draw for trainers (except for Gym Leader Whitney and her ruthless Miltank).
This species changed to a Fairy-type in the 6th generation and immediately became a powerhouse.
Granbull has a 120-base attack, making it one of the stronger Pokémon in the franchise. Granbull can also learn an almost absurd range of move types. From Fairy and Dragon-type moves, to even Electric and Fire-type moves, Granbull is a one-Pokémon army.
Pokémon Sword & Shield did not include the National Pokedex in the game. With that cut, many Pokémon were excluded from this entry, including Snubull and Granbull. Hopefully, these two will be made available in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.
EelektrossVeteran trainers are well aware of the advantages an Electric-type Pokémon provides for a team. Powerful moves like Thunderbolt and Thunder make light work of Water and Flying-type teams. Electric-type only has one weakness: Ground-type moves.
Eelektross, however, is immune to Ground-type moves.
This species has the “levitate” ability, meaning that it is completely unaffected by ground-type moves. This means that Eelektross has absolutely no weaknesses. Additionally, Eelektross can learn a plethora of move types. Despite fairly average stats otherwise, this species is a great addition to any team.
Pokémon Black & White first introduced us to Eelektross. However, the species’ last appearance was in Pokémon Sun & Moon. Maybe Game Freak realized Eelektross created unfair advantages in battles.
AlakazamAlakazam is one of the original 151 Pokémon in the series, debuting alongside Pokémon staples like Pikachu, Mewtwo, and Charizard. While the average person may not recognize Alakazam out of the context of the series, veterans recognize the species immediately.
Who can forget the headache that Blue’s Alakazam gave them at the end of the original Pokémon games?
Alakazam can learn a fair amount of move types (including Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and Electric Punch). Since it’s a Psychic-type Pokémon, it is weak to Bug, Dark, and Ghost-type moves. What truly sets Alakazam apart is its surprising speed statistic.
Indeed, Alakazam’s base speed stat is the same as Crobat’s!
After Pokémon Red & Blue, the series added Dark-type Pokémon and moves because Psychic-type was so overpowered. Of this type, Alakazam was the strongest of the lot. Hopefully, players had a buddy they could trade with, or they would never be able to obtain this species.
MimikyuWhen Nintendo introduced Mimikyu in Pokémon Sun & Moon, they were an instant classic. Fans loved how cute the species was, both in appearance and in backstory. A mysterious Pokémon that disguises itself as Pikachu because it wants more love? Everyone was on board.
Mimikyu is also a good addition to the team, much to the public’s surprise. This Ghost and Fairy-type Pokémon only has two weaknesses: Steel and Ghost-type moves. Not only that, the species is completely immune to Normal, Fight, and Dragon-type moves.
To top that all off, the species also has the “disguise” ability. That means that the first attack that hits Mimikyu is worth zero damage.
Mimikyu is one of the most recent entries to the series, but it is clear that the species will be a staple for the franchise. With unassuming looks and great resistance, this species is a hit with fans new and old.
DuraludonAlthough we have our hangups with Pokémon Sword & Shield (namely the removal of the National Dex), the most recent generation introduced us to some great species of Pokémon. One of the best additions is Duraludon, a Steel and Dragon-type Pokémon used by the last gym leader in the game, Raihan.
While fans may not love how Duraludon looks, no one can deny that they are a good team member.
The biggest reason to add Duraludon to your team is because of its weaknesses. Due to being part Steel-type, they are not weak to Fairy, Ice, and Fairy-type moves. Duraludon is still weak to Ground and Fight-type moves, but they’re only weak to those two types. If you want a defensive Dragon-type Pokémon, Duraludon is the way to go.
This species also boasts high defensive and special attack stats, which make up for its slightly weak attack stats. Duraludon may not be the strongest Dragon-type, but they are a fantastic defensive addition to your Pokémon team.
MawileGame Freak introduced Mawile in the 3rd generation, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The species was a version exclusive, only appearing in Pokémon Ruby. The Ghost-and Dark-type Sabeleye was the version exclusive for Pokémon Sapphire. When Mawile was first introduced, the species was Steel-type.
However, when Nintendo added Fairy-type to the games, Mawile became both Steel and Fairy-type.
This may not sound like an important distinction. However, Fairy-type Pokémon have only two weaknesses: Steel and Poison-type moves. Since Mawile is Steel-type, it is protected from Steel-type moves, and even immune to Poison-type moves. In other words, Mawile is a Fairy-type that doesn’t need to worry about Fairy-type weaknesses.
Mawile is still weak against Ground and Fire-type moves (because of its Steel-type). Yet Mawile is one of the least fragile Fairy types a trainer could add to their team. Let’s not forget, that Mawile is immune to Dragon-type moves as well. That is two different move types that can’t hurt Mawile!
GarchompJust saying the word Garchomp will give some Pokémon players anxiety. Gamefreak introduced the species in the 4th generation, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. The champion of the league in those games, Cynthia, has a Garchomp on her team that many players claim is near impossible to beat.
By all reasoning, Garchomp should not scare so many players. These days, the species has three types that they’re weak against…the Dragon-type, Fairy-type, and Ice-type moves. Indeed, because Garchomp is both Ground and Dragon-type, Ice-type moves are 4-times more effective to them!
Remember though, Fairy-type moves didn’t exist during the 4th generation of Pokémon. Dragon-type Pokémon were rare to find in the games. Ice-type Pokémon weren’t easy to find until the late game of the series. If players didn’t know what they were getting into, Cynthia’s Garchomp could wipe out a party without breaking a sweat.
Maybe trainers should consider getting one of their own.
NidokingPokémon Red & Blue introduced us to Nidoking back in 1996. The last Pokémon that the last Gym Leader sent out was a Nidoking. If the player wasn’t prepared, this Nidoking would give the player a sound thrashing.
As the franchise added more and more Pokémon, Nidoking was somewhat left behind. The species doesn’t have incredible base stats and is weak against four different types (Water, Ice, Ground, and Psychic-type moves). However, Nidoking is also able to learn many different move types.
If the player needs help fleshing out the move types in their team, Nidoking can learn Bug, Steel, Ice, and even some Flying-type moves.
Another plus for this species is their early game usefulness. Male Nidorans evolve into Nidorinos at level 16. Nirdorinos can evolve into Nidoking with the use of a Moonstone, which is available fairly early in the game. That means that trainers can have a fully evolved Pokémon as early as level 16!
While veterans may discourage evolving Pokémon this early on, it can be incredibly helpful for new trainers.
AegislashPokémon X & Y, the 6th generation of the series, gave trainers Aegislash for the first time. The species is the only Ghost- and Steel-type in the entire franchise (along with their pre-evolutions, Honedge and Doublade). Although fans have mixed opinions on Pokémon designs based on inanimate objects, no trainer can deny Aegislash’s usefulness on the battlefield.
Aegislash is resistant to 12 of the 18 move-types and is entirely immune to Normal, Fight, and Poison-type moves. Additionally, their base defense and special defense stats are both 140. That means, even if your opponent is landing hits, your Aegislash is a superb defender.
Leon, the champion of the Galar Region in Pokémon Sword & Shield, uses an Aegislash at the end of the game against the player. While Leon’s Charizard is his strongest Pokémon, his Aegislash forces players to use up their moves and items just to get past it. A smart player will have an Aegislash of their own in their party.
WhiscashGeneration 3, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, introduced this Water and Ground-type Pokémon to the series. While Whiscash not the first Water and Ground-type Pokémon (Wooper and Quagsire in generation 2 were first), it is one of the best of this mixed type. Indeed, its base HP stat is 110.
Veterans of the series know that there is a huge draw to Pokémon that are both Water and Ground-Type. The mixture creates a Water-type that is immune to Electric-type moves. However, Grass-type moves are 4x effective against Water/Ground-type. Still, considering Grass-type moves are their only weakness, we argue that the cost is worth it.
In addition to Water and Ground-type moves, Whiscash can also learn some Ice, Rock, Psychic, and even Poison-type moves. Whiscash is slow (their base speed stat is 60), but they can take a hit with their high HP stat. Maybe you’d prefer to use Gastrodon or Seismitoad, but we say Whiscash is the way to go for Water and Ground-type Pokémon.
CloysterThe Pokémon franchise has eight different species that are Water and Ice-type. Game Freak created half of these in the first generation, Pokémon Red & Blue, including Cloyster. Of these eight, Cloyster is the best choice, especially for inexperienced trainers.
For the most part, Cloyster’s stats aren’t fantastic. Their HP and special defense are especially low. However, Cloyster’s base defense stat is 180! Excluding legendary and ultra-beast Pokémon, Cloyster has the fifth-highest defense stat in the entire franchise.
Long-time Pokémon players may prefer to use Dewgong or Lapras for their Water and Ice-type Pokémon. If you want to play aggressively, Cloyster may not be the best choice. If you’re a trainer that wants a well-balanced and highly defensive team though, then Cloyster is a vital addition to your team.
GrimmsnarlGrimmsnarl is one of the latest additions to the Pokémon franchise, making its first appearance in Pokémon Sword & Shield. The species, along with their pre-evolutions Impidimp and Morgrem, are the only Fairy and Dark-type Pokémon in the series.
One of the player’s rivals in the game has a Grimmsnarl in her party. If the player isn’t prepared for it, the Grimmsnarl will wipe out their whole team.
This species has a 120 base attack, 95 base special attack, and 95 base HP. This means that they can deal massive damage while taking huge hits at the same time. Additionally, the species can learn a plethora of move types, including some Electric, Ice, Bug, and even Grass-type moves.
Grimmsnarl has three weaknesses: Poison, Steel, and Fairy-type moves. However, the species is immune to both Psychic-type and Dragon-type moves and resistant to Ghost and Dark-type moves. Any trainer that wants a heavy-hitter who can take a punch should add Grimmsnarl to their party.
BewearBewear looks like a literal teddy bear. This 7th generation addition (Pokémon Sun & Moon) is one of the least intimidating species in the entire Pokedex. However, what Bewear lacks in intimidating looks, they make up for in their stats.
Bewear’s base stats are 120 for HP, 125 for attack, and 80 for defense. This makes for a hearty Pokémon that can throw punches as hard as they can take them. Additionally, they’re able to learn certain Dark, Rock, Ground, and even Dragon-type moves. Bewear is an excellent addition for covering any trainer’s move types.
The species is weak to Fight, Flying, Psychic, and Fairy-type moves. They are immune to Ghost-type moves though and have resistance to Bug, Dark, and Rock-type moves. While there are stronger Fight-type Pokémon, Bewear’s additional Normal-type adds to its defenses in the long run.
Alolan DugtrioWhen Game Freak released Pokémon Sun & Moon, they added region-specific forms for old Pokémon. For instance, an Exeggutor from the Kanto region is Grass and Psychic-type, but one from the Alola region is Grass and Dragon-type. Another species with this distinction is Dugtrio.
The Alolan Dugtrio is Ground and Steel-type (instead of the Kantonian Dugtrio, which is Ground-type only). This means that Alolan Dugtrio has a slightly higher base defense stat than its Kantonian predecessor. This also adds several Steel-type moves to Dugtrio’s move list that couldn’t be learned before.
We won’t lie: Alolan Dugtrio’s design is pretty silly. The species looks like three surfer dudes buried in the sand. Despite its ludicrous design, this Pokémon is a good addition to any trainer’s team.