The Top 10 Pokemon Designs

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By Jay Michael – 7th March 2016
The Top 10 Pokemon Designs

Following on from our Worst Pokemon Ideas of Each Generation article, I think it’s only fair that we give a shout-out to the Pocket Monster designs that are so damn good they swept us off our feet.

You know sometimes you just look at a Pokemon and you know – no matter how bad its stats – it’s going to be on your team. Of course everyone has their preference, but I’ve tried my best to gather up a solid top 10 of fine-looking beasts.

For the sake of fairness, I’m excluding Mega-Evolutions – as most Pokemon don’t have them, I’m also excluding alternate forms and shiny versions.

And finally, please feel free to disagree!

10 – Charizard

No doubt one of the most recognisable Pokemon designs ever, the fire/flying type Charizard is the reason a lot of threw logic to the wind when playing Pokemon Red and Blue.

Fully aware that the first 2 gym leaders – Brock and Misty – used Rock and Water type Pokemon respectively, surely the only pragmatic starter options were Bulbasaur (strong against both) or Squirtle (strong against Brock’s Pokemon and resistant to Misty’s), right? WRONG. Because we knew, we all knew, that if we struggled through those first few hours of gameplay we would eventually be rewarded with a bad-ass, dragon-looking, fire-spitting behemoth more lovingly known as Charizard.

600px-006Charizard

9 – Braviary

Having been hoping for an eagle Pokemon since Generation I, imagine my joy at seeing Generation V’s Braviary for the very first time. With his red, white and blue colour scheme, Native American War Bonnet and all-round slick design, Braviary is one gallant bird.

600px-628Braviary

8 – Hawlucha

X & Y were the first Pokemon games I decided to play without much prior knowledge of newly-released creatures, so Hawlucha was a lovely little surprise. The fighting/flying type stands out from the pack purely because of its uniqeness; a strange colour scheme of green, white and brown coupled with the appearance of a Lucha Libre wrestler.

701Hawlucha

7 – Scyther

Scyther is one of the few unevolved Pokemon to look cooler than its next stage evo. Stats aside, given the choice between a giant green insect with scythes for hands or the Pokemon equivalent of Futurama’s Clamps, I’d choose the green guy every time.

It’s not that I dislike Scizor, in fact its design is also pretty damn cool, however, Scyther with its larger wings and menacing arms will always win me over.

123Scyther

6 – Talonflame

‘FINALLY!’ – most Pokemon fans’ word of choice upon discovering Talonflame’s reveal. For years we’d wanted a bird Pokemon that could shoot flames from its mouth and, with Pokemon X & Y, Game Freak delivered.

Besides having possibly one of the coolest names the franchise has ever produced, Talonflame also has a mighty fine design. Built around the concept of an arrow, Talonflame has a fletching style tail and a narrow, pointed head.

600px-663Talonflame

5 – Lugia

If you’re to design a Pokemon to be ‘The Guardian of the Seas’ you’re under a lot of pressure to make it look good. Fortunately, Game Freak absolutely nailed the design of Lugia. Huge hand-like wings, a dragon-looking body and a simple white colour palette make this Legendary an instant classic.

600px-249Lugia

4 – Samurott

I’m sure that, out of the 3 final versions of the Black and White starters, Samurott is a lot of people’s least favourite. However, after much debate, I just can’t bring myself to take it off this list. From the word go, it’s unevolved relative Oshawott stole my heart and, after the disappointing first-stage evo that was Dewott, Samurott’s design came as a pleasant surprise.

Who’d have thought such a tiny little orange-nosed otter could turn into this beast? With its sharp teeth, stream-lined shape and sea-shell body armour there’s no denying Samurott is one regal Pokemon.

600px-503Samurott

3 -Mewtwo

Having to design an evil-looking Mew must have been a very difficult job – I mean if this was a list of the cutest Pokemon of all time Mew would probably be top – so hats off to Game Freak for creating a Pokemon so distinct even my mum recognises him.

There may be a lot more legendaries floating around nowadays, but Mewtwo will always be one of the most mysteriously fearsome.

600px-150Mewtwo

2 – Arcanine 

Sometimes the simple designs are the best. Arcanine may just look like a cross between a lion and a tiger but my word is he majestic. Just look at him.

600px-059Arcanine

1 – Xerneas

If anyone ever tells you that the franchise is out of cool design ideas just show them Xerneas. The answer to every Pokemon fan who said Fairy type would never be cool, Xerneas simply oozes class and – with those elegant horns and mysterious eyes – is by far my favourite Pokemon to look at.

600px-716Xerneas

Make sure to tell us what you think of our Top 10 Pokemon Designs in the comments below and, for all your latest gaming news, follow @Gamer_Headlines and @Jayswriting on Twitter.

  • meerkatic m

    I feel like you lost sight of what this article is supposed to be, if you even established what your direction was in the first place. “The Top 10 Pokemon Designs”, okay, but by what standards? Cleverness of incorporation of their real-life counterparts into a monster design? Well-thought out functioning anatomy? References to the folklore they’re based off of? Nope. Instead I read about the shallowness of why you think a design “looks cool” without even describing what ‘cool’ is. You claim Samurott looks regal, yet, “sharp teeth, stream-lined shape and sea-shell body armour” don’t even begin to describe royalty. No mention of it being able to withdraw a sword from its armor, or the fact that it’s based off of an old, wise, warrior? Where is the variety? You have too many birds on this list. “For years we’d wanted a bird Pokemon that could shoot flames from its mouth” – This is a joke, right? Generation One: Moltres. Generation Two: Ho-oh. You didn’t realize until XY that two extremely well known Phoenix-based Pokemon exist?

    If you’re going to make an article like this, you’re going to have to make it interesting. You think something looks cool? You think it’s elegant? Explain why. Do research. No one wants to read “Arcanine may just look like a cross between a lion and a tiger but my word is he majestic. Just look at him.” You’re supposed to be explaining why this design is magestic, not tell your reader to ‘just look at him’. I would also suggest finding Pokemon whose designs have a lot more thought to them then ” bad-ass, dragon-looking, fire-spitting behemoth”. Pick a complex, underrated Pokemon that has a brilliant history, and then you’ve got yourself an article worth reading. My 5 year old neice could be more insightful about something she likes than anything I took away from your list.

  • Mr0303

    I quite liked Hitmonlee’s and Machamp’s designs, but Charizard remains my favourite – it is a classical dragon, but the flame at the tail gives him some unique charm.