Celebrating 20 Years of Pokémon with the Top 20 Pocket Monsters

Pokémon celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 27th. As part of the celebration, Nintendo released a trailer for the next generation of Pokémon games, presumably headed exclusively to Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS.

The only glimpse into the new games that we get comes in the form of concept art and one bird Pokémon model. The video mostly showcases past releases, presumably saving new information for later this year. The games are planned for release this holiday.

The number of Pokémon continues to expand, currently totaling 721 (722 if you count the recently announced Magearna).  We can expect the number to grow even larger, perhaps even passing the 800 mark. If you’re intimidated by that number, Nintendo just released the original Red, Blue, and Yellow versions on the Nintendo 3DS. They only have 151 Pokémon, a much more palatable number for newcomers.

I thought I’d put together a list of my favorite Pokémon to celebrate the latest milestone in the games’ history (yes, I went through all 700 and picked out my favorites). Here are my favorite 20 Pokémon based on nothing but personal whim!

20: Sableye

It has jewels for eyes and is both dark and ghost type. Do I need to say more? Yes? He’s purple?

19: Pikachu

You may be surprised that Pikachu is so low on this list. I’m not surprised. I mean, I wrote the list, but still.

Pikachu is the face of Pokémon for a reason. He’s cute, everyone knows him, and he can kill you as soon as make you smile. I think they picked the right Pokémon for the job, and I really like him (I picked him over 700 others), but he didn’t quite break the top ten due to one reason… I’m still trying to figure out what that reason is. I’ll get back to you.

18: Crobat

Everyone hates that pesky Zubat. You don’t hear those same people complaining about Crobat. It’s because there’s nothing to complain about. Crobat evolves from Golbat through the power of friendship. Although that may sound corny, think about it. Zubat went from being a total social outcast to a friendship guru. What more could you want in life?

17: Blaziken

One of my most consistent party members, Blaziken was one of my gen 3 favorites. He’s got those karate-like legs and is like a bird thing with hand-claws. Better watch out for that blaze kick.

16: Starmie

It took me a while to warm up to Starmie. As a young boy, who wants to have a star with a jewel for a face on their team? Not this kid. I later found out that Starmie has a fun moveset and can learn surf. I also reevaluated my opinion on its design. It’s pretty neat, especially with that second rotating star on its back.

15: Steelix

I wasn’t a big fan of Onyx. Steelix on the other hand, that’s a Pokémon I can back. The designers took a super lame Pokémon (Onyx) and redesigned it into one of the best (Steelix). I mean, it has to evolve, but that’s part of the fun, seeing the transformation.

14: Mismagius

I don’t know why, but Mismagius and I clicked as soon as our eyes met. It’s one of the only Pokémon I’ve leveled all the way to 100 in my career as a Pokémon Master. I liked Misdreavus well enough, but Mismagius is just something else. It’s like the mage of Pokémon. So cool.

13: Sharpedo

Big fan of sharks. Therefore, big fan of Sharpedo.

12: Ho-oh

In the anime, Ash Ketchum sees Ho-oh flying across the sky in the first episode. You know what’s crazy? It was a second generation Pokémon! Ho-oh has the name of a mistake, but is one of the most powerful Pokémon out there. Just gotta catch it.

11: Tyranitar

Would eat mountains as a baby Pokémon. Has evolved twice and is dozens of times bigger. You do the math.



9: Dragonair

Takes the cuteness of Dratini and turns it into majesty. It may not be the strongest Pokémon around, but it certainly is one of the fairest.

8: Rayquaza

Check out its mega evolution. It’s so OP.

7: Magikarp


Yes. Magikarp.

And it’s not even because he evolves into Gyarados. I just really like the idea of a Pokémon that can do literally nothing but splash until it struggles. Sure, it can learn tackle, but you don’t have to use it. Purists know that splash is the only move Magikarp should ever use. World domination through splash. Yeah.

6: Nidoking

Look at him. LOOK AT HIM!

5: Butterfree

You’d know why if you watched the original anime. Butterfree triggered a cry fest in the 90’s. Any true 90’s kid remembers Butterfree. Forever in our hearts.

4: Gengar

Ghastly and Haunter just sort of hovered. Gengar decided it was time to stand up to his problems.

3: Mewtwo

I almost put Mewtwo as #2 because of his name, but that wasn’t a good enough reason, so I put him as #3.

2: Charizard

Portrayed in the anime as a super lazy Pokémon who could destroy everything if he wanted to, Charizard was pretty awesome. He also did that seismic toss thing where he circled the earth (or something like that) and smashed his opponent into the cement. Nice.

1: Eevee

T-shirt design from TeeTurtle.com

So all the Eeveelutions are my favorite Pokémon, so this is a way of putting them all on the list without taking up 9 slots. Eevee has the most diverse evolution tree of any Pokémon. Some Pokémon have 2 routes they can go, but 8? That’s unheard of. Definitely makes things difficult if you’re not a quick decision maker.


There you go. What are your 20 favorite Pokémon? Are you up for the challenge of making your own list? Do it!

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Celebrating 20 Years of Pokémon with the Top 20 Pocket Monsters
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