Eight generations of Pokémon has taken us through over 800 characters and multiple regions. Each time immersing the players in specific evolutions and forms that the creatures take. Though we get a new roster every generation, some classics manage to claw their way in no matter how long the series goes for.
There's one thing throwing in a few old dogs that can't learn new tricks and making the new characters look like stars in comparison. In fact, Sword & Shield do quite the opposite, with Generation 1 fairing quite well, especially with the release of the gigantamax form that has almost exclusively featured the original roster in the game. No, the first-class isn't done just yet, and they're coming to fight this generation.
One of the most well known out of all the original characters, Charizard has become a legend in his own right. To add on to the credits, it was also one of the most powerful fire Pokémon going and remains a heavy hitter to this day. Eight generations couldn't keep a good dragon down so what chance does your opponent have?
This is accentuated by the fact that it has so many different forms to take. That trend doesn't stop at Sword & Shield with a brand new gigantamax form being introduced. This takes Charizard and blows him up to 28 meters tall with a move that deals damage for four turns.
Rhydon is a pure tank; there's no better description. It has a heap of HP with powerful attacks, not to mention it's defense that puts most Pokemon to shame. Not only do electric attacks have no effect on it, it's Spec. Def actually goes up if they even try!
The unique combination of Reckless, that boosts the offense of Rhydon's moves by 20%, and Rock head that removes the penalty is amazing. You geta supercharged wrecking ball at no cost, unless you count the slower speed at which it attacks.
The entire Ghastly evolution train has been of particular interest since the first generation. Being the most powerful of the fairly rare ghost-type Pokémon made them a commodity. Not to mention the whacky personality and powerful attacks that come with the spooky bunch.
Gengar is the big daddy of the evolution chain, having a high spec. Attack that puts it in a niche but effective spot in battle. From putting them to sleep to draining their HP for itself, Gengar is a game-changer in drawn-out battles.
A staple of both the animated show and games alike, the sleepy behemoth has stolen the hearts of the Pokémon community. Transforming from a lazy obstacle to one of the most useful pacesetters in the game. It may be one of the slowest movers in the game, but when it hits, it hits big.
Like Snorlax needed any more size to him, Sword & Shield have a gigantamax form on the way. It was hard enough to put a scratch on the Pokémon as it was, let alone supersized. Luckily gigantamax only lasts a few turns; otherwise, it would be time to pack up shop for the rest of us.
The crown and jewel of the infamous Team Rocket, the depressed toxic ball didn't get its fair shake hanging around those goons. When used properly Weezing can actually be a highly effective status changer and provide some long-lasting damage to a possible stalemate.
Though it's a poison-type, Weezing offers just about any affliction on the market. Riddling an enemy party with multiple conditions can be the table turn a player needs, with a strong attack to back it up Weezing's an asset to many teams.
Through the years, Eevee has gone from plain and relatively weak to one of the most versatile Pokémon on the market. Its evolution chain can take you in most possible directions, even the more fringe Dark and Psychic types included.
Though its wide array of evolution is impressive, Eevee itself can be an adaptable player. Able to learn moves from all corners of the roster, if a trainer just can't make up their mind or need a jack of all trades, Eevee's on the job.
The often forgotten evolution of Pokémon's poster boy. Raichu falls firmly in the shadow of it's weaker, more energetic self. Still, it is the more capable fighter of the 2, even if it never seems that way. A massive attack with some impressive speed makes Raichu a good way to make your opponent second guess themselves quickly.
Now Pikachu does have the gigantamax form that gives a distinct advantage, but it only lasts a few turns. Raichu's static ability lasts forever, leaving the enemy paralyzed with any physical attack they hit with. This makes up for Raichu's decidedly average defense stat.
The original shiny Pokémon, Gyrados was the first one to be shown in shiny form and made standard by the game. This put Gyrados in a special class and made it especially desirable, so much so that trainers were willing to put up with the useless Magikarp for 20 levels.
It also belongs to the scarce Dragon-type Pokémon, opening up a set of extremely powerful moves that create type advantages. It was this huge power advantage that people were waiting for, that and the fact that it looks so damn cool. Even the slack jaw can't take away from the raw aggression of Gyrados.
While everyone is using fancy powers to get their fighting done, Hitmonlee and his chan variety stick to the basics and beat enemies with the martial arts expertise. In a world of psychic abilities and fire bending beasts, Hitmonlee will take them all out with a kick from those bendy legs.
His speed is off the charts with a high attack to deliver devastating blows. It also has multiple attacks that last multiple turns and build in power. While it does use its body, the kicks can freeze, paralyze, or burn the opponent depending on which form you choose.
Every fans dream dog, Arcanine still stands out as one of the best-designed characters in Pokémon history. Intimidating isn't the word when you have a human-sized wolf-dog that can blast fire out of its mouth. Fortunately, you get to know it's friendlier form, Growlithe, first before diving in the deep end.
Arcanine's whole battle style is lowering the opponent's attack while boosting its own. Right off the bat, it has Intimidate, dropping the enemy's attack without even attacking. Any fire or dark type move you try and launch its way will only raise its attack for later.