One of the most thought-provoking and divisive questions you can ask a Pokémon fan is who their favorite Pokémon are. Each person will have different answers based on what they like most about the franchise. Some might like a particular Pokémon because of its powerful stats, type combination, or competitive prowess, while others might favor a different Pokémon for its appearance or in-game personality.
There are so many Pokémon in the franchise now that the thought of choosing just one favorite from each type is enough to give anyone choice paralysis. While everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, we’ve done the hard work and chosen what are objectively the best Pokémon for your enjoyment (and mockery). It wasn’t easy, but someone’s got to do it.
Blaziken is undoubtedly the best Fire type. It’s technically the best Fighting type, too, but there are enough Pokémon out there that having duplicates on this list doesn’t feel right. I have a major soft spot for Blaziken: Torchic was one of my very first starter Pokémon, and its final evolution carried me through almost 500 hours of Battle Frontier play in Pokémon Emerald. Blaziken has a large amount of move diversity and great stats, and it started the trend of “Fire and Fighting types that the community loves to complain about.” You really can’t go wrong with Blaziken.
Milotic is as beautiful as it is deadly. This tanky Water type has been used in a variety of high-level NPC rosters, including Champion Cynthia in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pike Queen Lucy in Pokémon Emerald. It’s not hard to see why: Milotic can learn a lot of powerful Water type moves and has a huge amount of defensive potential with the Recover–Flame Orb–Marvel Scale combo. Having one used to be a marker of status, since to find one in the earlier games you’d have to find a Feebas and raise its beauty to the maximum level for it to evolve into Milotic. It’s a little easier nowadays, but Milotic is no less powerful than it used to be.
Jumpluff isn’t anything special in terms of stats or moveset. In fact, it’s a little on the weak side, but how could you not love that face?! Just like its spores. Jumpluff is sweet, fluffy, and much cuter than the majority of Grass types. I managed to turn one into a powerhouse in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, but most people who have a Jumpluff don’t keep it around for battle potential. There are some Pokémon that are more useful as glorified decorations than competitors, and Jumpluff slots nicely into that category.
Truth be told, I used to hate Blissey. It frequently stymied me in late-game battles, outlasting everything I could throw at it with its unbelievably high base HP stat and a huge amount of status-causing moves. It wasn’t until later that I realized the power of Blissey lies in its unassuming demeanor. When many people see a Blissey coming, they can’t help but think that it’s a fluff Pokémon. 80 turns later, when your Pokémon are all slowly withering away from Toxic while Blissey sits behind Protect at a full 900 HP, you’ll realize your mistake.
Final evolutions aren’t always the best form of a Pokémon. Let’s take Flaffy and its evolutions, for example. This Electric sheep evolves from Mareep, which looks almost exactly like a sheep. When Flaffy evolves into Ampharos, it’s lost all of its sheep identity. Flaafy strikes the best middle ground between the two; plus, middle evolutions always need more love. This lovable pink Pokémon easily beats out Pikachu thanks to its versatility, its style on the battlefield, and its unforgettable cry.
Espeon is my favorite of the Eeveelutions. Like Blissey, I wasn’t a fan of it at first, mostly because it had no problems destroying my beloved Fire- and Fighting-type Starter Pokémon. Later on, I learned that this purple cat has a lot more potential than just being the eraser of Fighting types. It’s one of my favorite Eeveelution designs because of its simplicity, and I like its association to the sun. In earlier games, you even had to level up Eevee during the day in order to obtain it. It’s got a great special attack stat, can learn some non-STAB moves to ward off its weaknesses, and it just looks cool, okay?!
Second only to Blaziken, Lucario is one of the sleeker, faster Fighting types out there. A lot of Fighting types are thick and beefy, with huge muscles and a hulking frame. Lucario not only bucks that trend, but does away with Steel types’ famous slowness in the process. Its unusual type combination is fun to play around, and it has close-to-legendary status across many of the series’ games. Finding one is usually a pain, but everything worthwhile has a little work involved.
Aggron was a little bit of a cop-out for me. I’ve never been a big fan of Rock types, especially since they used to destroy my childhood Charizard at every turn. Nonetheless, I’ve been using an Aggron in my most recent Pokémon Emerald playthrough, and I appreciate what it brings to the table. It’s got excellent defense stats that enable it to outlast even super effective moves, and it can learn a lot of great Steel-type moves like Iron Tail. Its stats aren’t quite high enough to make it a pseudo-legendary and it takes a long time to evolve, but once it does, it cuts an extremely imposing figure.
I’ve always been a fan of Dragon types, so I’m sneaking quite a few onto this list under the guise of their other type. Flygon has excellent move diversity and only a handful of weaknesses, making it a good choice for taking on endgame content like Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Battle Tower. It doesn’t hurt that it also has a cute face and is one of the more “traditional-looking” Dragon Pokémon. You’d never know that the insect-like Trapinch and Vibrava evolve into something so fun, so it was a great surprise to me when I first obtained one. It might not have super high stats for a Dragon type, but it’s still a solid pick.
Altaria is in my top three favorite Pokémon of all time. It looks like a cloud. How could anyone not love that? It’s got a precious face, it has good defensive stats, it can learn powerful Dragon-type moves, and it has an equally cool mega form. Altaria was my other mainstay in the Battle Frontier in Emerald, and its ability to both fly me to wherever I needed to go in Hoenn and destroy my opponents in battle solidified it as one of my favorites. Sure, there are plenty of other Flying types, but none of them look as amazing as this.
Like Rock, Bug is a type that I never engaged with very much. I’m not a fan of bugs in real life, and a lot of Bug-type Pokémon suffer from what I like to call the Bug Curse: they evolve incredibly quickly, sometimes undergoing more than one evolution within 10 levels. This makes them powerful at the beginning of the game, but they lose their effectiveness to Pokémon that level up later than they do since those Pokémon can typically ride out their evolutionary stat boosts for longer.
Beautifly is a pretty butterfly Pokémon that is the least objectionable of the Bug types to me. It might not be the most powerful or competitive of the Bug types, but it definitely looks the best. If you’re dead-set on using it in the late game, it can learn some powerful Bug-type moves, including Bug Buzz and Quiver Dance. It also made an entire generation of kids cry on the Pokémon TV show.
Swalot is another Pokémon that won me over based on its cuteness. It always looks like it’s making the “o3o” face, and it has a penchant for eating anything within its sight, which is a trait I can relate to. It can learn all the classic Poison-type moves, including Sludge Bomb and Sludge Wave, and it can also use the Stockpile, Swallow, and Spit Up combo. Most Poison types aren’t really lookers, including Swalot’s pre-evolution Gulpin, so Swalot runs away with this category easily.
Though it’s super effective against my favorite Eeveelution, Umbreon is still a very cool Pokémon and one of the sleekest Dark types. It has an excellent shiny form that sees its moon-like yellow coloring turn blue. It can learn all the usual Dark-type moves, and is a good standard Dark type for those who don’t like the type’s more dramatic or out-there designs. I’m not usually a Dark-type user myself, but even I can’t resist the cute face and glow-in-the-dark power of Umbreon.
Drifloon is another example of how a Pokémon’s final evolution isn’t always its best-looking form. While Drifblim is fine, Drifloon snags the Ghost-type category with a combination of good looks and an incredibly creepy backstory. You all know by now that I’m a sucker for anything involving clouds, and the tiny cloud on Drifloon’s head definitely qualifies. As for its dark story, its official Pokédex description from HeartGold and SoulSilver says “it is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing.” It’s the perfect mix of chilling and adorable.
Dewgong is something of an unpopular Pokémon. My first experience with one was going up against Lorelei of the Elite Four in Pokémon LeafGreen, where it tore my Charizard to pieces. Dewgong is based on the real-life dugong, which is a relative of the manatee. Who doesn’t love manatees? Plus, this tanky Ice and Water type can learn all of both types’ best moves, and has the excellent hidden ability Ice Body, which restores a bit of Dewgong’s health for every turn while it’s hailing. Dewgong hasn’t appeared in many recent Pokémon games, but I’m hoping it makes a comeback in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
I’ve generally avoided having Steel types on my teams because I usually prefer speed over defense. Steel is the exact opposite: most Steel types, with the notable exceptions of Lucario and Scizor, sacrifice speed for high defense. While Metagross isn’t fast, this pseudo-legendary has excellent base stats otherwise, and is an all-around powerful Pokémon. Its pre-evolution, Beldum, is often hard to find, making Metagross even stronger by virtue of scarcity. Even with my long list of Fire-type Starter Pokémon in tow, Metagross was always a tough opponent for me, and I respect it for that.
There’s long been a conspiracy throughout the Pokémon fandom that insists that Dragonair, this Pokémon’s pre-evolutionary form, was not supposed to evolve into Dragonite. The two Pokémon look completely different: Dragonair is sleek, blue, and serpentine, while Dragonite is orange, winged, and adorably chunky. I didn’t include any actual legendary Pokémon on this list for the sake of power, but Dragonite is about as close as you can get to a legendary without actually being one. And regardless of whether it was originally supposed to be Dragonair’s evolution or not, I love the chunk.
Lance of the Kanto Elite Four sports two Dragonites in FireRed and LeafGreen, and they’re some of the toughest opponents you’ll face in the entire game. I’m partial to Dragonite because of both that power, and the fact that it looks like an actual dragon crossed with the Pillsbury Doughboy.
If the Fairy type didn’t exist, Gardevoir would probably tie with Espeon as the best Psychic type. With the introduction of Fairy, I can now safely give Espeon the psychic crown while letting Gardevoir stand out as the best Fairy type. The extra type has made Gardevoir more powerful than it ever was before: it now has a huge advantage over Dragon types, and being part Fairy means that it’s lost its weakness to Dark-type moves. It can also fight back against Poison types with its Psychic moves. Prior to the Fairy inclusion, Gardevoir was still a great Pokémon with strong stats and a fun mega form. It can be tricky to find a Ralts, its pre-evolution, but that just means it’s something worth doing.