They say three is the magic number, but which three famous faces will prove your favourite from our all Pokemon starters by generation compendium!
We’ve had hundreds of Pokemon running either up to us or away from us in long grass and caves for years now, but in most cases, three have always had the biggest impact on the entire team right from the very beginning.
They’ve also proved the biggest headache as we’ve tried to figure out which Pokemon would get us through the early stages and what difficulties we would face in the grand final.
From the very first Generation Pokemon that we all know and love right through to the suavest looking Duck with a swish fringe from the newest entry in the series, we’re taking a look at every Pokemon Starter from every Generation since they first popped onto the scene in 1996.
Go on Bulbasaur; why don’t you get us started!
Table of Contents
1. Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander (1996)
- Generation 1
- Pokemon Red, Green, Blue, FireRed, LeafGreen
Ah, the original Pokemon starters from way back when. I can remember little me grabbing a copy when this came out in the UK in 1999 and diving into the world of Pokemon for the very first time.
My starter of choice back then – Charmander. My starter every time I’ve played this game since – still Charmander.
And if you like Charmander and indeed Charizard as much as me, then check out how to get Charizard in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
Learning about how Water Type Pokemon beat Fire Type Pokemon and Fire beat Grass was one of the biggest lessons of my childhood life. Life was simpler back then when there weren’t Sandcastle and Ice Cream Pokemon.
For many people, these original three are the only Pokemon that matter, alongside the slightly famous face coming up next, of course.
2. Pikachu (1998, 2018)
- Generation 1
- Pokemon Yellow, Let’s Go Pikachu
Possible the most famous Pokemon of all time, Pikachu is loved by gamers young and old all over the world.
If any Pokemon brings the thunder to any battle, it’s Pikachu. He always delivers an electrifying performance and shocks opponents far and wide.
That’s as many electric jokes that I can think of for now, so let’s carry on.
Pokemon Yellow only gave you the choice of one starter Pokemon, giving Ash’s favourite friend a spot in the limelight in a variation of the original DMG adventures.
Pikachu also saw an updated version of Pokemon Yellow dropping on the Nintendo Switch in 2018 with the release of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu.
3. Eevee (2018)
- Generation 1
- Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee
Speaking of which, the next entry in our all Pokemon starters by generation list also dropped alongside Pikachu’s updated Switch adventure.
Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee is essentially an updated version of Pokemon Yellow with Eevee as the main starter Pokemon instead of Pikachu.
This is a genre spanning segment as Eevee dropped in Generation 1 but didn’t get its own game till 2018.
And if you’re currently playing Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee or indeed any Pokemon game starring Eevee, then you should check out our best Eevee evolutions article for some helpful ‘Eevolution’ tips!
4. Cyndaquil, Totodile, Chiqorita (1999, 2000, 2009)
- Generation 2
- Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, SoulSilver
Let’s move onto Generation 2 and the arrival of three new critters – Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Chiqorita.
Pokemon Gold and Silver remain the best Gameboy Color games of all time, with Pokemon Crystal and the remakes of HeartGold and SoulSilver only adding to the magic.
Gone were the days of Kanto; players stepped into Johto for the very first time alongside 100 new Pokemon to catch and battle with.
Totodile is one of the cutest starter Pokemon around too, though it didn’t quite make the cut in our top 15 best cute Pokemon article.
I’ll change that Totodile, don’t you worry!
5. Mudkip, Treecko, Torchic (2002, 2004, 2014)
- Generation 3
- Pokemon Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Alpha Sapphire, Omega Ruby
Next up in our all starter Pokemon by generation list are the Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald starters. It’s time to introduce Mudkip, Treecko, and Torchic!
Hoenn was a super interesting place to adventure around, helping Pokemon Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald score high in our best Gameboy Advance games list!
It wasn’t just these three new Pokemon that appeared in the new region; a total of 135 new Pokemon appeared for our catching pleasure!
Just look at how happy Torchic is; that’s the true spirit of the Pokemon franchise you’re looking at right there!
6. Chimchar, Piplup, Turtwig (2006, 2021)
- Generation 4
- Pokémon Pearl, Diamond, Shining Pearl, Brilliant Diamond
Cheeky Chimchar, Piplup, and Turtwig stole the show when Generation 4 came around in 2006. Many of you will have revisited these three amigos through the new Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond for Nintendo Switch, remakes of the original Pearl and Diamond titles for the DS.
Sinnoh; you’ve no doubt heard that word quite a lot during Pokemon Legends Arceus, but the region first came into being on the DS and was the first new Pokemon region on Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld.
107 new Pokemon joined the fray in 2006, as did the competition between Piplup and Pikachu for the ownership of player’s hearts. Just look how adorable that little guy is!
7. Oshawott, Snivy, Tepig (2010, 2012)
- Generation 5
- Pokemon Black, White, Black 2, White 2
Next up in our all Pokemon starters by generation list are the ever-happy Oshawott, Snivy, and Tepig.
150 new Pokemon and new exciting features such as triple battles made their debut in Pokemon Black and White, continuing onto Black 2 and White 2 (catchy names, right?).
The region of Unova remains one of the most intriguing regions of all Pokemon games in my opinion. It felt so different to the usual settings that we had become used to, and the addition of the Dream World was a real nice touch.
Oshawatt, Snivy, and Tepig served as the starters in both the original Black and White and the sequels that dropped 2 years later.
8. Fennekin, Chespin, Froakie (2013)
- Generation 6
- Pokemon X & Y
It always makes me laugh how serious Froakie looks compared to Fennekin and Chespin. Still, I guess if you’re a Water Pokemon in a franchise dominated by an electric mouse/squirrel, then you’d have to take everything pretty seriously.
If you saw the final evolution of Fennekin you wouldn’t believe how something so cute could turn into what can only be described as a satanic fox too!
X & Y served as the first 3D rendered Pokemon games in the series and brought lots of cool features that we take for granted now such as new outfits for player characters.
They also delivered 72 new pocket monsters into our care!
9. Litten, Popplio, Rowlett (2016)
- Generation 7
- Pokemon Sun & Moon
I think Litten could be the most emo character in our all Pokemon starters by generation article, especially next to happy Popplio and Rowlett!
if anything, this set is the least imaginative of all the Pokemon starters in this list. A cat, a sea lion that has a bit of a canine look about it, and an owl. They certainly aren’t as ‘out there’ as the Generation 1 starters, but I’m not taking anything away from them.
Especially not Litten… I’m going to regret that emo comment when it turns into Inceneroar at Level 34!
10. Scorbunny, Sobble, Grookey (2019)
- Generation 8
- Pokemon Sword & Shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield are definitely my favourite Pokemon games to have dropped in a long while. And, if you paid attention back when I was talking about picking my favourite Generation 1 starter, you’ll know who my go-to starter is in Sword.
Yep, fire every time. Scorbunny is an absolute legend, and Cinderace was definitely one of the most powerful members of my team.
Grookey and Sobble are still epic Pokemon though and make for exciting gameplay throughout the game. Use them to conquer the brand new Wild Area, adding strong critters to your team as you explore freely.
With new Galarian forms of Pokemon (found in the Galar region) and 81 new Pokemon to find that are new to both games, Sword and Shield are full of surprises, as are its 3 starter Pokemon.
11. Cyndaquil, Oshawott, Rowlet (2022)
- Generation 8
- Pokemon Legends Arceus
This next segment in our all Pokemon Starters by Generation list feels almost like a supergroup. If you’ve been paying attention, then you will have noticed these three Pokemon featuring as part of a starting line up in three different games.
Cyndaquil is from Generation 2, Oshawott from Generation 5, and Rowlet from Generation 7.
For anyone who hasn’t ever played the original Pokemon games for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, Arceus provides a chance to use some of the most loved starters from the series as a whole.
Players have to catch all three while wandering around with the bumbling Professor Laventon and then they choose which one will join them no their adventures.
12. Fuecoco, Sprigatito, Quaxly (2022)
- Generation 9
- Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
The last three faces in our all starter Pokemon by generation list are the newest characters of the bunch; Fuecoco, Sprigatito, Quaxly.
And yes, Fuecoco and Sprigatito both made our cute Pokemon list. Quaxly said he was too cool to be featured.
These newest critters have shot to being immediate fan favourites amongst Poke-players. Ok, so a duck and a cat aren’t more inventive than an owl and a cat, but they just look and feel a lot cooler and cuter than their Generation 7 counterparts.
Which one of the new starters is your favourite, and which is your favourite from over the years? If you want to see where your favourite ranks, check out our All Pokemon Starters Tier List to find out more!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.