After the success of Detective Pikachu, you may have been sent down memory lane with all the first-gen Pokémon that had cameos. Psyduck is a squeaking time bomb that gets to deliver on the many warnings, and a lengthy scene with one of the most disconcerting Psychic-types—Mr. Mime—is particularly fun.
If you’re hoping to see what the movie’s sequel could have in store, this is a list of some Pokémon that might be able to help you out. Regarding every generation of Pokémon games, let’s rank ten of the best Psychic-types of all time—not merely by strength, but by their iconic status, creative design and various other kinds of appeal.
Here’s something interesting for you—a Ground-type Pokémon that always levitates. That’s because of its Psychic abilities, of course, and even if its powers aren’t on par with its peers, it’s got one startling appearance. With so many eyes along its head, It’s essentially an owl that doesn’t even need to turn its head to view ridiculous angles.
It’s alarming that its arms aren’t even connected to its body, and are actually sustained by its telekinetic abilities as well. Also, it seems to take its name very seriously, because it’ll melt if it gets wet. This selection is so bizarre, it just had to be included. It has some nice supportive utility and shouldn't be underestimated.
This is another example of judging the Pokémon itself, rather than its technical prowess in terms of in-game usefulness. Combined with its name, the appearance will make you think of calamari. However, it’s a striking visual nonetheless... those menacing tentacles.
It’s only got two weaknesses, and the only way to get one is to hold your Nintendo 3DS system upside down. That was always a nifty little gimmick, given that Malamar is just an upside-down squid. It would be very pleased with Stranger Things. Its hypnotic abilities make it appealing to criminals in the lore, and it’s the only Pokémon that can learn Topsy-Turvy. Compared to Tentacool/Tentacruel, they went far outside the box with this one, and it’s much appreciated.
At times, the Pokémon franchise can end up digging at the bottom of the barrel for inspiration. In a time where a chandelier can be a Pokémon, it’s always good to look back at some of the more creative designs. Xatu is no exception, apparently borrowing quite heavily from Pueblo-style art, as it’s been suggested that they might live in the forests of South America.
It isn’t a particularly powerful Psychic-type, but it is definitely recognizable for its colorful, vibrant design and compelling backstory. The concept that either one of its eyes sees the past and future is fascinating. Ultimately, Xatu is just a refreshing shift in cultural inspiration.
Now, this was an unprecedented Psychic-type, who more or less resembles its initial form prior to evolution, Solosis. Reuniclus is a small, green and cutesy thing that uses its psychic powers to sustain the floating blob of green gel in which it’s permanently encased.
It's kind of a mouthful just to explain it! The Pokémon itself is sort of a blend of Stitch and “Mooncake” from Final Space. But aside from that unsettling design of hovering Flubber, it’s also a useful Pokémon in-game. Despite its slower Speed, it has impressive bulk and Special Attack.
It’s interesting that this evolution chain should acquire twin spoons, given that spoon bending is typically associated with illusion—as opposed to the immense, very real psychic abilities that this classic first-generation Pokémon is famous for.
Of course, they’re even named for that silly stage-magic incantation everyone knows. But even though Alakazam begins as a simple Abra with a cowardly teleportation habit, and its weak body requires telekinesis to even move around, its powers have few rivals. With that signature mustache, and the iconic spoons, it may not be the strongest Psychic-type—but it's certainly a memorable one, even showing up in Mewtwo Strikes Back.
This is another Pokémon that’s directly tied into nature, a longstanding archetype. Ecological themes first became more emphasized in the third generation of Pokémon games, given the threats of Team Aqua and Team Magma. A powerful mythical Pokémon, Celebi is the guardian of the Ilex Forest, and basically looks like a small fairy.
It can travel through time itself, and even exist in multiple positions, which adds a whole new level of Psychic power to the mix. If you’re a 90s kid, Celebi is probably most familiar to you via Pokémon 4Ever. Unfortunately, in-game, Celebi isn’t always that practical, but in the lore, its powers seem unprecedented.
4 Azelf (The Lake Guardians)
Unlike a typical duo, such as Lugia and Ho-oh, the Lake Guardians are a trio, like the Legendary Birds of the first generation. However, they’re more embedded with a grandiose mythology—literally representing Knowledge, Willpower, and Emotion all together. They’re sort of a cross between Celebi and Gardevoir, another Psychic Pokémon that nearly made the list.
However, as Azelf is the bringer of Willpower, his in-game usefulness is enough to nudge him above the others. He bears a great movepool, Speed, and mixed attacking strength. Uxie’s defensive and supportive utility is super nice too, and Mesprit is the jack of all trades of the group.
3 Latios & Latias
This is a franchise that has often been prone to traditional dragon designs, such as the fan-favorite Charizard, or Dragonite. So, this color-swapped pair, referred to by fans as the “Eon Duo,” doesn’t exactly break any new mold in terms of their appearance. However, their lean bodies resemble that of a jet fighter, although they both have a kind personality.
So, naturally our instinct is to hunt them down, capture them, and utilise their battling prowess. Most interesting of all, their telepathic abilities allow them to understand human languages. Their Legendary status marks them as undeniably powerful beings.
This is a very non-traditional Pokémon, both for its design and origin story. Even if it does make sense that, sooner or later, a series that’s so hung up on evolution would finally include something inspired by DNA itself.
It’s actually got such a strange look, compared to the Earthly influences we’re familiar with, because Deoxys is a mutated space virus. Seriously. But don’t mock this thing to it’s face, because it has incredible Psychic powers, even known to create clones of itself. This mythical Pokémon has a great sense of mystery about it, just by its appearance alone. Its various forms all have great utility in battle.
1 Mewtwo & Mew
There’s simply no denying the lasting effect of these two. They’re included as a pair, given that Mewtwo is a clone of the ancient Mew. Both of them were featured in the very first animated Pokémon movie, the beginning of many installments that would pile onto the never-ending anime Arguably, that film probably said everything this franchise ever needed to.
Mewtwo’s classic --albeit cliché-- origin story of misused science is both memorable and understandable. Also, its recent inclusion in Detective Pikachu only reinforces how many fans it's still got. As the central focus of Cerulean Cave, Mewtwo was also the first Pokémon to truly capture fans’ imaginations, with his incredible power and rarity. You needed to hold onto a Master Ball the entire game, unless you wanted a lengthy struggle.