A lot of people are of the opinion that Red & Blue’s 150 original Pokemon are the best ones Game Freak ever designed. These people are all as wrong as a Dewgong; as incorrect as a Parasect; as asinine as an Arcanine. I could have used Bronzong, Genesect, and Piloswine and those rhymes still would have worked, but I’m trying to have a go at Gen 1 here - although admittedly Arcanine is in my top ten ‘mons of all time, so let’s just forget I said anything bad about it and move on.

I’m often accused of being a dirty genwunner, which makes sense given that six of my ten favourite Pokemon - Squirtle, Blastoise, Vaporeon, Gyarados, Haunter, and Arcanine - all come from Red & Blue (the other four are Suicune, Primarina, Absol, and Umbreon). If anything, this just testifies to how truthful I’m being when I say that Kanto only ever had the best Pokemon when it was the only generation available to play. Three years later, when Pokemon Gold & Silver first graced the world with their inimitable presence, everything changed, to the extent that we’ve still yet to see a better regional Pokedex over 20 years on.

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Let’s start by listing some of Gen 2’s best Pokemon without consulting any kind of list. In one minute - I timed myself on my phone - I came up with:

  • Umbreon
  • Cyndaquil
  • Sneasel
  • Tyranitar
  • Larvitar
  • Espeon
  • Crobat
  • Celebi
  • Azumarill
  • Politoed
  • Lugia
  • Suicune
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Ampharos
  • Heracross
  • Kingdra
  • Skarmory
  • Gligar
  • Bellossom
  • Scizor
  • Steelix
  • Raikou
  • Feraligatr
  • Typhlosion
  • Meganium
  • Blissey
crobat

Given that Gen 2 introduced 100 new Pokemon, the above accounts for 27 percent of the entire Johto Pokedex. It says a lot that I averaged one Pokemon every two seconds from memory - especially given that I ignored any I didn’t think were 8/10 or above - but it says even more that at least three quarters of these are arguably among the 100 best Pokemon ever designed.

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I’m not going to make this an article full of lists, but I just looked through the entire Gen 1 Pokedex and counted 34 Pokemon I would hold to a similar standard as the ones mentioned above. While I know that 34 is a higher number than 27 at face value, we’re talking about regional Pokedexes here, which means the amount of new ‘mons needs to be taken into account. 34 out of 150 is just below 23 percent, meaning it’s over four points lower than Gen 2’s superior 27 percent.

Gen 3 has 28 out of 135, bringing it in at just below 21 percent; Gen 4 has 23 out of 107, which amounts to just over 21 percent; Gen 5 has 19 out of 156, which lands at a staggeringly low 12 percent; Gen 6 has nine out of 72, just beating out Gen 5 at exactly 12.5 percent; Gen 7 has 15 out of 88, yielding a fairly impressive 17 percent; and Gen 8 has 14 out of 89, resulting in just below 16 percent. To make sense of these figures, here is the definitive ranking of each regional Pokedex based on the percentage of top-tier Pokemon it contains in comparison to all other proprietary ‘mons in that given region.

  • Gen 2 - 27 percent, potentially higher given that I listed those Pokemon from memory
  • Gen 1 - 23 percent
  • Gen 4 - 21+ percent
  • Gen 3 - 21- percent
  • Gen 7 - 17 percent
  • Gen 8 - 16 percent
  • Gen 6 - 12.5 percent
  • Gen 5 - 12 percent
lugia

Before you jump the gun and flood my DMs with abuse, I’m not saying Gen 5 is the worst generation - it introduced 156(!) new Pokemon, so naturally it has a lot of stinkers that bring the percentage way down. Gen 8, meanwhile, has quite a lot of heavy lifting done by the Crown Tundra and Dreepy family. Also, if you think this is just my opinion, obviously it is. It’s also the correct opinion. Haha.

So, there you have it - scientific evidence that Pokemon’s second generation had the best regional Dex of all time. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, but you should also know that you’re wrong. Bye!

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