All 9 Generations of Pokemon Starters (2023)

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Pokémon has been a journey for everyone who grew up with it, and it always started with choosing a companion. There might be some eccentric people who don’t stick with the starters. Still, for most of us, the starter Pokémon would remain throughout the journey. Arguably, they would even be more important than a shiny Pokémon you would find. That’s not including a shiny starter (Shiny Charizard is awesome!) Pokémon has gone on for eight generations, and now is the time for the 9th generation.

Every single starter in every game has a unique feature; usually, they belong to the three basic types; Fire, Water, and Grass. Some are better for the initial gym leaders, others are better for the long haul, and the rest are just cool. I always chose the starter that I found excellent and liked the most. These cute loveable Pokémon then evolve into amazing powerhouses. I will try to explain every starter from every generation in brief detail. Let’s start with OG’s

Generation 1 Pokemon Starters – Bulbasaur, Charmander & Squirtle

Image via The Pokemon Company

Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow were the ones from where it all began. They introduced everyone to these fun pocket monsters, and it used to be the question on every gamer’s mind, what starter did you choose? Well, I know I always chose Charmander because as a child and even now, I love Charizard.


Maybe the most popular starter from the first generation; it is one of the most expensive Pokémon cards of all time. This Pokémon might not be the best choice for the initial gyms like Brock and Misty, but it sure is the coolest.


Arguably the best starter for this generation, it would allow you to breeze through the first two gyms and would serve as an excellent grass type. This generation doesn’t have many great grass types, whereas you could get water and fire types. Still, funnily enough, he was the least popular choice.

Did you know?

Bulbasaur was technically the first dual-type starter Pokemon in the entire series. Bulbasaur has always been a grass and poison type Pokemon.


The middle ground; Squirtle is the safe Pokémon that would be amazing against the first gym and would work well against Misty as well. He was a good pick, and I know many who love him. Blastoise is a powerhouse that can also work well against the elite four. Even though he was never the coolest, there was a myth that in Pokémon Red, if you chose Squirtle, you would have an advantage and vice versa.


The game takes you on Red’s adventure; you start with Pikachu, a fantastic storyline. I still enjoy returning to this game because it introduced an impressive feature where Pikachu would follow you around, and talking to him would show his emotions, which increased the immersion tenfold. Even though you would have to catch new Pokémon and train them for the gyms, it would be worth seeing the heart over Pikachu’s head.

Generation 2 Pokemon Starters – Chikorita, Cyndaquil & Totodile

Image via The Pokemon Company

The second generation was arguably the most incredible Pokémon, even to this date. They just upped the antics with everything; it featured a new region – Johto –  and the ability to go back to Kanto and challenge their gyms and Elite four as well. Gold and Silver games are iconic, and the starters are as great as the games.


The grass type gets the short end of the stick again, the least popular one since the final evolved form of Chikorita isn’t as cool as the others. Still, to everyone’s credit, Chikorita in this generation is the weakest against most gym leaders, even though it is so cute and well-designed.


Fire type retakes it, but this time it’s because Typhlosion is a powerhouse. Now cyndaquil is very cute and might struggle against a few gym leaders but evolves into Typhlosion. Teach it the moves, Earthquake, and Thunderpunch, and watch it take out everything in its path. I chose Cyndaquil during my playthrough.


The loveable water croc is also an extremely popular choice for most people. I think he gives you an edge in the initial gyms. By the time you reach the later gyms where he might have a hard time, you already have an entire team ready to support him, plus Feraligator looks really cool.

Generation 3 Pokemon Starters – Treecko, Torchic & Mudkip

Image via The Pokemon Company

Another fan favorite that took the world by storm, the reception for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire was good, but Emerald just won over everyone. The Hoenn region was the place to be. It featured many new places, events, secrets, and mechanics, showing how Pokémon was evolving as a franchise. It also had one of my favorite starters, Mudkip.


One of the best starters in the entire Pokémon roster, in my opinion, Mudkip evolved into Marshstomp, an absolute powerhouse. The ground and water typing helped it overcome almost all obstacles, so much so that you can beat the entire elite four with just a level 70 Marshstomp. I haven’t even gotten to the fact that Mudkip is just so absolutely cute; he became my go-to choice for the series.


Grass types were at a loss for the first three generations. Even though Treeko was fantastic in the anime and went up well against Roxanne, his overall move set, typing and abilities were less than the other two, so he was always last picked. I still love him a lot, even though he doesn’t stand out in this generation.


Another popular choice, and for good measure, Blaiziken is just a very cool Pokémon. Torchic is very well-balanced for the entire game playthrough. It is also so cute and cuddly; I stuck to the fire types and did my first playthrough using Torchic; after that, I switched to Mudkip, but it’s still a tremendous well-rounded starter.

Generation 4 Pokemon Starters – Turtwig, Chimchar & Piplup

Image via The Pokemon Company

Arguably the best and most popular generation of Pokémon was done in the Sinnoh region. The Pokemon Company explored the history and lore of Pokémon, and they introduced new secrets with fun things to do. It was another time of innovation for the games and was done very well. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl took the world by storm, and then Platinum became the best way to experience the best of both games. The starters featured in this game were very popular.


The time for change had come, and Grass-type Turtwig became the popular go-to Pokémon for the region. The fan base loved him, and the anime truly showcased his growth. It works against the initial gyms and is the perfect grass type for the region. The evolved form, Torterra, is also a very cool evolution. I picked Turtwig during my playthrough of Pokémon Platinum.


A well-balanced fan favorite, and I started my first playthrough of Pokémon Diamond with the fire-type Chimchar. He is a very well-balanced Pokémon that is cute and strong at the same time. Still, I hate to say that the moves it’s weak to end up with a one-hit KO every time.


The best choice against the first few gyms, and it’s also arguably the cutest one. Who wouldn’t want a tiny penguin? Plus, its evolution – Empoleon – is really cool.

Generation 5 Pokemon Starters – Snivy, Tepig & Oshawott

Image via The Pokemon Company

Pokémon Black and White were met with mixed views by the fanbase, but Black two and White Two built upon the world managed to shatter all expectations. These games became fan favorites, perfecting the Pokémon formula. It came so far that most fans call it the best Pokémon game ever made. The starters, on the other hand, weren’t that well received. It’s not that they’re poorly made, they are just not as well designed as the previous ones, and they had big shoes to fill.


The best choice for the initial gyms; most of the roster is well-balanced. It would evolve into Embroar, which is a good fire-type Pokémon. Now I will admit it is not as cool as the previous Pokémon, but it does get the job done. I mean, look at its cute face. Why wouldn’t you want this Pokémon?


The cool grass-type Pokémon; I personally love the design and the final form Serperior. My only problem with it is that its final evolution has grass typing. That proves to be a problem since you’d want more from a starter, but it’s still a well-balanced partner.


Arguably one of the cutest Pokémon of all time, at least that’s what the fan base says. I get where they’re coming from, but I am not that big of a fan. With that said, Samurott is the coolest one of these Pokémon which is who I picked even though it’s only a water type. That makes the game harder because of the gyms and challenges, but I always pick my Pokémon on how cool I think they are. And if you see its Hisuian form, that’s the best one since it’s Water and Dark type.

Generation 6 Pokemon Starters – Chespin, Fennekin & Froakie

Image via The Pokemon Company

This is where the starters started to fall off; by that, I mean they couldn’t capture the essence of the original starter Pokémon; that’s fair since they had big shoes to fill. Another polarizing feature they had was that almost every starter became bi-pedal, and they started looking more human than Pokémon. Froakie was the fan favorite; I believe that it was because of his influence in the anime and how he was made to have special abilities. X and Y were a solid addition to the Pokémon series because this is where Mega Evolutions were introduced.


He’s the starter that got the least amount of attention; everyone knew of his existence, but no one really wanted him; depressing, I know. I believe it’s because his final evolution isn’t as remarkable as the others; it’s very buff and, to me, not that appealing. That said, Chespin is still good against the initial gyms and is a good choice for the playthrough.


An adorable fox that was initially praised when shown, everyone expected to be as fantastic and majestic as Nine Tails. Oh, how the fans were disappointed; choosing her final evolution to be bi-pedal was met with harsh criticism. Some still love Fennikin, though, but if you choose it, you’re in for a rough ride. Its fire typing doesn’t really work well against the initial gyms that mainly focus on its weakness.


The coolest of the bunch that evolves into Greninja, Ash’s Greninja escalated this Pokémon. It showed how cool it was and was later featured in the game. It is also an excellent choice for the early gyms since you can quickly go through them. I chose Froakie for my playthrough, and I had a great time.

Generation 7 Pokemon Starters – Rowlet, Litten & Popplio

Image via The Pokemon Company

This generation managed to make an impact with new forms of old Pokémon. Still, it didn’t indeed manage to catch the eyes of Pokémon fans. It sold very well, but there wasn’t much hype around it; it was just another Pokémon sequel with a lot to be wanted by the fans. The starters still faced the same bi-pedal issue; the opinion on Pokémon Sun and Moon starters is mixed. Many criticized them for not being creative enough, and old fans that were used to the great earlier-generation starters were not impressed.


This is who I chose for my playthrough, and it’s considered the worst choice. It had the most problems in the trials since this game didn’t feature traditional gyms. Still, I found it to be the coolest one of the lot and the cutest since I like owls.


The best Pokémon for the initial trials, but I never liked his style. It does seem very cute, but it’s too simple to be desired as much as the other Pokémon. Even though it helps and if you like water types, you will love so it’s not a bad choice.


The best choice for the long run, and it evolved into a powerful Pokémon; Incineroar. Incineroar has been met with a lot of criticism, and reasonably so, it looks too human to be counted as a Pokémon. Litten is a great Pokémon to begin your journey with. Still, this generation didn’t really make any strides in the starter department.

Generation 8 Pokemon Starters – Grookey, Scorbunny & Sobble

Image via The Pokemon Company

Pokémon Sword and Shield changed the game with this generation making it open world and removing random encounters, and it felt like they were genuinely making strides. Many fans jumped on the bandwagon, and these were great games, but there was still much to be desired. Even though the shift was going in the right direction, the move was going slowly, and they played it safe with the starters. They weren’t anything you would remember forever, but it was a nice and well-designed bunch. The game is very well-balanced, so you can choose whatever Pokémon you would like, sort of.


The game does a good job of being balanced, but the first gym is a bit rough for this cute water-type starter since it’s a grass-type gym. As you progress through the Galar region, you will find and create a team to help you progress, and Sobble is great against later gyms.


A cute, well-designed starter who is arguably the best choice to go through the first few gyms. It’s quick and learns effective moves, not to mention it’s also charming.


A well-balanced choice for your team that will work well against the first two gyms. Its design is nothing to write home about, but it’s cute in its own right.

There’s not much to say about these starters since they were the safe option, fans weren’t impressed, and everyone wanted a return to the original formula. A partner everyone can love and adore, going back to the roots about how Pokémon was incepted.

Generation 9 Pokemon Starters – Sprigatito, Fuecoco & Quaxly

Image via The Pokemon Company

The newest generation of Pokémon features a new region and an entirely different gameplay loop. Pokémon has completely changed its formula and has gone open world. Fans are very excited to see what Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has to offer, and the best part about it is that the starters are the best designed one’s ever since Diamond and Pearl, in my opinion. That, coupled with a whole new journey and way to explore, sounds like a fantastic adventure.


The best starter I have seen since diamond and pearl, and I already know that he is the one I will choose for my journey. Fuecoco is an adorable dinosaur-esque crocodile that seems like it would have a unique and strong evolution line. Not to mention how cute it is, it is something you’d love to see as a plushy, and I am all for it.


Adored by the fans, this cat Pokémon became very popular as soon as it was announced. It is cute, cuddly, and has a face that would make anyone smile. If you’re a cat lover, this is the Pokémon you should go for, and I adore it.


The simpler designed Pokémon of the three, but it still has character. Especially the personality of Quaxly is so well-defined that you would want a partner like that in the team. He looks like someone you can count on, and that is for good measure. The pompadour on its head is something it cherishes, which caught most fans’ attention; Quaxly has already garnered a cult fan following.

These might be the most promising starters we have seen in a while, and as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet get closer to being released, the hype around it is growing. I can’t wait to dive into the Paldea region and experience this journey.

Spin-Off Series Pokemon Starters

Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee: A spin-off game that functions as a full-fledged game. Depending on the game you choose, you will either get Pikachu or Eevee. These games were a great entry point for newcomers to the series that took many elements from Pokémon Go. These games were never my forte but became hits for their simple design and fun environments.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Series: In these games, you transform into a Pokémon and gather a team that you use to go on an RPG adventure. You can also choose Pokémon partners to help you on your journey.

So those were all the starters from every generation, what starter did you choose? Who do you think is the best one? Let us know in the comments below and we will catch you guys later.

That is all the starters we have seen in the Pokemon series. Be sure to also check out All the starter Pokemon returning in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Indigo Disk.

All 9 Generations of Starter Pokemon – FAQ

Have there ever been different types of starters in the Pokemon series?

Each Pokemon game has had three starter Pokemon with them being a fire-type, water-type, and a grass-type. Later generations added dual-types in the evolutions.

How many starter Pokemon have there been in the games?

In total, we have seen 27 starter Pokemon – three for each generation.

About the Author

Aden Carter

Aden Carter is a guides writer for VideoGamer with a focus on action RPGs and adventure games. When he isn't busy writing, he is spinning tales with his friends at the local game shop.