The generation that kicked it all off, almost a quarter-century of catching every Pokémon there is. Generation 1 was far from perfect, with wonky move sets and some pretty overpowered Pokémon. Players were either swimming upstream against a river of high powered attack or one-hit KO'ing everything in their path.

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Even with all those conditions put in, some battles stood out among the rest, for good or for bad. Some trainers were a fun reprieve from the bog-standard battles your brain gets used to, while others stuck you in a battle you were nowhere near prepared for. Either way, it's these battles that we remember, the ones that pushed trainers to their limits and kept you on your toes.

10 Blue

Blue is the main rival throughout the entire generation and eventually, the League Champion. It's easy to see why he ends up being the toughest fight of the first generation, sporting the most diverse team of any one trainer. While it's not hard to predict his Pokémon seeing as he sticks with the same team once his party is full, all but one has a type combination and covers most of the available groups.

It's not the Pokémon themselves that are intimidating as you can prepare for them quite easily, their moves on the other hand. Especially the newly minted Alakazam who can both disable your moves and recover itself, trainers are definitely in for a rocky ride.


9 Professor Oak

Now most players of the original games will be racking their brains trying to remember fighting him, you probably didn't. You could have though, if you were obsessed enough to look up the glitches on some desolate 90's forum. The only reason his battle isn't number one is that you were never supposed to find it, a secret challenge for the mega nerds out there.

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In fact, his Pokémon are quite similar to Blue's barring a couple, they're even a slightly higher level. Like grandfather like grandson. Oak even takes the spare starter Pokémon that both you and Blue left behind. It almost makes you feel a little less guilty for the little guy.

8 Sabrina

Even though she isn't the last Gym leader players have to face off against, Sabrina does specialize in the strongest type for Generation 1. Psychics ruled the roost back in the old days, it was just the way it was. With Mewtwo as the definitive king at the time, Sabrina's squad will definitely give you a few fits.

The only type that Psychic attacks were not effective against was Psychics. Everything else was either regular or super effective, making this team a real pain. Unless you have a high-level Bug Pokémon (shout out the Butterfree fans), that's when you can really run through the roster. Otherwise, you're having to deal with the Abra evolution tree who are all very fast with an incredibly high special attack.

7 Misty

Those of us who had watched the show before delving into the games wouldn't have expected this, our own friend stabbing us in the back like this. Players might also get caught off guard because this is only the second gym you come across in the game. Yet many have found themselves sent off to the Pokémon Center by that troublesome Starmie.

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Even if you had the patience to wander the Viridian Forest for a Pikachu by this point, it won't help THAT much. Oh, you'll run through the trainers before her and even the Staryu at the front of the team, it's all down to the Starmie. Bubblebeam is a high-level attack for this stage and will take out almost everything you have to offer, meaning you have to attack fast and hard.

6 Lorelei

While nowadays players have their pick of the litter as far as Ice Pokémon go, it was the rarest type in Generation 1. They hadn't even come up with a pure Ice-type Pokémon yet, leaving us a combination of Pokémon to battle with. Nevertheless, Lorelei managed to compile a team of them, some with strong Psychic attacks to boot.

Lapras, Dewgong, and Slowbro will be the three to watch out for, all sporting high HP and a combination of strong Ice and Psychic attacks. Luckily the type combinations leave them open to more than usual, otherwise you'd be fighting the lot of them with a Charizard and an Onyx.

5 Lance

The trainers' last test before facing your rival for the final time, Lance is no pushover. He's called a Dragon Master for a reason, the lineup of Dragonair's might be a giveaway. The flashy Dragonite will either keep you interested or dread this battle, either way, players will have to pay attention.

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The range of its attacks is the best in the game, sporting four completely different type moves. Each one is the most powerful move of its kind, meaning you have to take it down and quickly. All this after having fought his four other heavy hitters, Lance isn't playing around. Players had better save their damage doer for last or Dragonite will brush it off with a smirk.

4 Koga

Another gym leader that despite his relative mid-game position, poses a threat because of his obscure specialty. It's not about raw power or defence but the players' ability to defend the special moves. Koga surrounds himself with Poison-types who, despite their dimwitted appearance, can cause quite a nuisance in battle.

Unless you have a Bug, Psychic, or Ground-type Pokémon handy this might be a slow trudge through the battlefield. None of those types are either particularly powerful or common in Generation 1 meaning trainers probably won't have them. Luckily he isn't so deep into the game that you've lined your team with all-stars from the premier types so you may get lucky.

3 Agatha

Ghost types, one of the more popular among fans shooting the Ghastly evolution line into stardom. Agatha specializes in the ghouls and ghosts, each with their own unique set of annoying talents. Luckily those three were the only ghosts available at the time, unluckily this only means she has more of them.

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Where usually you would only face off against one difficult Pokémon, Agatha has simply got two. One that she'll release off the top to deal some serious damage, if the trainer can make it through that then she has a few heavy hitters waiting before topping it off with the same Gengar at a higher level. It's really the Hypnosis and Dream Eater combo that you have to watch out for, leaving you defenseless and scared.

2 Erika

One of the few Grass-type trainers who ever posed much of a threat, Erika combines all the threats the group offers to challenge the trainer. The gym leader herself being affected by the spores her Pokémon release, don't be tricked by her sleepy demeanor.

Tangela will only ever be an issue if you fall prey to the Bind move. It's the Victreebel at the top that players will have to watch out for, it has Sleeping Powder and Wrap. Both things create an issue, especially Wrap in the first-gen. Vileplume's Mega Drain can be a real problem if you get paralyzed or put to sleep early so keep your wits about you.

1 Giovanni

It seems odd putting the main villain at the very bottom of the list, at least he's still a challenge? The fact is he's just not as hard to beat, specializing in Ground-type Pokémon wasn't a good move in these days. The two most common kinds of Pokémon are super effective against his whole team.

His claim to fame is the Nidoking/Nidoqueen combination he owns, both of which can be surfed into demise. Now Rhydon might pose some issues if you don't take him down in one, those claws do some major damage even if you are Water-type. The Dugtrio have some speed to them and the Dig move can be annoying, a Flying-type should take care of it though.

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