The starter Pokémon is one of the most important Pokémon that you’ll encounter on your journey. It will often be the Pokémon that never leaves your party for your entire journey. It will be there with you through everything, even when facing off against the champion. Unless you’re in Kalos. Then maybe drop your starter off in the PC and forget about him for a little bit. Yeah, there really is a range for the quality level of each region’s starters. Every region has at least one good starter, and more often than not there’s usually at least two that are worth looking at. Today we’re going to be taking a look at each and every region so far (save for Galar) to see which has the best starter trio. As you probably already expect, this list has absolutely zero opinions and is based on nothing but facts. Let’s jump right on into the list.
There really isn’t much competition here, Kalos certainly has the worst trio of starters by a long shot. Fennekin is really the only one out of the three that is doing anything new or different that doesn’t involve far too much tongue. The grass thing (truly cannot remember its name) just gets bigger and kind of worse as it evolves. Cool? Greninja is meh. When it comes down to it, Kalos really doesn’t offer anything too great in the form of a starter, which may be why they offer you a Kanto starter so quickly into the game. X and Y may have been revolutionary for the series in a lot of different ways, but starter selection is not one of them.
Unpopular opinion, but Hoenn really doesn’t have anything too great going on in the starter market either. Arguably, two of the starters’ middle evolutions are actually better than the final forms. We won’t be naming names but it isn’t Marshtomp. All in all, Swampert is probably the best final evolution, and the other two just feel like a weird combination of being over-designed and also somehow missing something that makes them special.
All in all, Hoenn misses out due to the starters’ final evolutions, which, when it comes down to it are the most important stages that these three have. Mudkip wins over all of y’all.
The Unova starters are very meh all around. Snivy’s line has a cool design, Tepig becomes the Big Boi, and Oshawott’s line is somewhat derivative, but ends up pretty okay in the end. The judges give us a resounding: Okay. As previously stated, the Snivy line is certainly the most innovative of the three. The serpent-like design is something that we hadn’t really seen before in the grass typing, and it works very well. Tepig really does nothing. Oshawott starts out as Piplup 2.0 (or 0.5 to be honest) before really carving its own path once evolving. Nothing too out of the ordinary with this region leaves it near the middle of this list.
The Alola starters really shine in their basic forms. Each and every one of them is fantastic and we will not be throwing them away until a little later down the evolution pipeline. They’re all doing their best and are absolutely adorable. The first evolutions are all fantastic too. According to their descriptions, Dartrix, Brionne and Torracat all have some sort of little issue their trainer needs to support them through (too concerned with appearance, bottling emotions to make others happy and being a straight-up monster respectively) before they reach their goals in their final form.
Sure, Incineroar is kind of the same old story of fire-type starters, but the design of both Primarina and Decidueye are excellent, and more than make up for one slacker. Plus, Primarina’s shiny just drops a blonde weave on that little baddie. Love that.
The original trio, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander. Without a shadow of a doubt, these three are some of the most iconic Pokémon of the entire franchise. Bulbasaur is a fantastic little cabbage that just wants the best for everyone. Squirtle is a tiny little turtle that is doing his best. And Charmander turns into a dragon. +1 for all of them right? All in all, every single basic form for these three is fantastic, the middle forms are pretty okay and the final forms are all rightfully iconic. The turtle and the cabbage grow while the lizard gains wings. How can you not love them? While nostalgia plays a role in the popularity of these three, they certainly have earned it through their great designs too.
Another set of classic starters are the Johto hailing Cyndaquil, Chikorita and Totodile. These three aren’t as universally loved as the Kantonian originals, but their popularity is still very high. The three Johto starters follow a very similar path: each one of them is adorable at basic form, their evolution is memorable (Bayleef stans unite) and their final form is both formidable and well designed. None of them suffer from the overdesigning that can happen in Hoenn - I mean later generations, and they all look and function great. There’s truly no bad Johto starter to choose from, and every single one of them has found their way into our hearts forever.
With everything considered, it only makes sense that the Sinnoh starters end up at the #1 position on this list. You have Piplup, the adorable penguin Pokémon that turns into the dual steel type Empoleon that could cut through just about anything with its wings. You got a lil fire monkey that turns into a big ol’ fire monkey that can throw a great 1-2 punch. And finally, you have Turtwig, the adorable grass-type starter that eventually turns into a huge Pokémon that hosts its own ecosystem on its back.You can tell that each of these three lines were crafted with a loving amount of attention and detail. There is truly no contest, the Sinnoh starters are the best starters of any generation.