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Pokémon: Every Kanto Starter Evolution, Ranked

The Kanto Starters are some of the Pokemon franchise's most treasured additions, and here's how they stack up in The Gamer's own ranking.

The Kanto starters are some of the most beloved Pokémon that the entire series has to offer. They're ingrained in our hearts, and of course we love them dearly. Well, let's drag them for a bit. Today, we're going to be picking the Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander lines apart, and ranking all three of their forms. So yeah, get your pitchforks ready everyone. Let's get right into it.

9 Charmeleon

Literally who likes Charmeleon? Charmander is absolutely adorable. He's a cute little fire lizard who grows into a dragon, oh absolutely! We love him so much. Charmeleon... is like an old woman Charmander? It just gets slightly larger and wrinklier. It doesn't do anything interesting at all really. Middle evolutions aren't really ever that cute, we know that. However, Charmeleon is the worst of the bunch when it gets down to it. Its shiny is the worst of its line, too.

8 Wartortle

Wartortle is superior to Charmeleon in every way. To start, it just isn't as wrinkly. While Wartortle still hits that middle evolution looks really well (not as cute as the starter, not as fearsome as the final), it still feels like a natural evolution of Squirtle. It's a little bit bigger, and a little bit tougher. It's got some claws in case it needs to scrap, a nice, fluffy tail and overall a bigger personality. Charmeleon follows the same arc, but in an uglier way. However, Wartortle isn't the best of the middle evolutions.

7 Ivysaur

Ivysaur is the best of the middle evolutions, that's just facts. There's a very simple reason for that though, it's just a Bulbasaur but its bulb has blossomed. That's literally it, Ivysaur is a dressed-up Bulbasaur, and that's really all you need for a middle evolution, ya know? Ivysaur hits that middle evolution sweet spot perfectly. It doesn't get ugly, just bigger and possibly even a bit cooler.

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Ivysaur is easily the best of the middle evolutions.  Did anyone else think that Ivysaur was just a girl Bulbasaur when they were little? Oh, no one? Yeah cool, same here, same here. We love you girl Bulbasaur. Keep on killing it.

6 Venusaur

When it comes to the final evolutions, they all do a great job at representing their starter forms, each of them follows an arc very well. However, Venusaur is, unfortunately, the worst of the three.  It's just a gigantic cabbage. We'll get into why the other two are so cool in just a minute here, and that will provide some context for this decision. Its Mega Evolution is also somewhat plain. It doesn't do as much for its original design as the other Megas do. That's on Game Freak for doing our adult cabbage dirty.

5 Blastoise

Blastoise comes in second for the final forms. It's pretty great. In its evolution, Wartortle takes the obvious step of growing two cannons on its back, we all do that every now and then. Blastoise becomes a massive powerhouse at this point in the line. It has a great design. Seriously, if you were designing a massive turtle that uses water as its weapon, what would you do? Put some cannons on it? You're not that creative.

Beyond that, Blastoise's Mega Evolution is pretty meh. It just gets a bit bigger and turns its two small cannons into one XL cannon. It doesn't do as good as Charizard and its 14 different forms. Still though, it does its job well and makes Blastoise even more of a threat than it already was.

4 Charizard

As annoying as it is, Charizard tops the list for the final forms. While it is frustrating that Charizard gets so much more attention than the other two, it's not like Game Freak hasn't done a good job creating all of its different forms. Let's talk about the base form first, though. Charizard is a dragon, yeah. That's certifiably cool. It's a fire-breathing Dragon, truly killing the game. Of course, it's great.

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Beyond that, Mega Charizard Y is pretty alright. It's basically Charizard with some extra fluff. Mega Charizard X is much cooler looking, turning Charizard black, giving him blue flames, and overall making the aesthetic of the Pokémon much cooler. Fearsome, too. Then Gigantamax Charizard is all big and flamey and angry. Do we care? No, not really.

3 Charmander

Precious! While Charmander ends up at the bottom of the list for the base form starters (all of which top the list over their other forms), it doesn't mean that we still wouldn't give our lives for the boy. He's an adorable little fire-lizard who has to keep the fire at the tip of his tail burning. Why? Because he'll literally die otherwise. Yeah, that got dark way too fast, didn't it? Charmander is still one of the most iconic starters out there, and that isn't just nostalgia talking, it's great.

2 Bulbasaur

We love our cabbage boy here. Bulbasaur is absolutely adorable. This rambunxious little Pokémon is so, so cute. Let's be honest here though, the Detective Pikachu style of Bulbasaur is the best one that we've ever been gifted with. Those huge, curious eyes. That little mouth, oh my god he's so wonderful. He's wonderful in any form though, Detective Pikachu Bulbasaur is just a little bit extra cute. Give this boy a round of applause for his mere existence. He deserves all of the praise. All of it.

1 Squirtle

However, Squirtle takes the top spot on this list. The chubby little turtle is just one of the most precious starters in all of the land. Those little fingers, the tail, the shell, the eyes. God, everything about this Pokémon is adorable. While it's game cry is literally just a computer-generated monstrosity (like all of the cries), its anime one is fantastic. Every Kanto starter is a good pick, that's obvious. All of them have their perks, none of them are bad. However, Squirtle is the best form of the Kanto starters, between the starter, middle and final forms.

NEXT: Pokémon Sword & Shield: The 10 Most Shocking National Dex Cuts

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