The 1st Generation of Pokemon games took the world by storm, and even now, the franchise continues to be a fixture on children’s television. The shows, cards, and game are still as popular as ever, though there are a tremendous number of characters that have been introduced since the original 151 Pokemon became a phenomenon. Everyone on the planet knows who Pikachu is, but it takes a real Pokemon Master to know all 151 original Pokemon. As the years went on, more and more Pokemon made their way into the fold, and many surpassed the original 151 in terms of overall rating. To older fans of the series, this may be blasphemy, but younger audiences don’t know any better, so we won’t hold it against them. While we can appreciate the change that the creators have brought into the series over the years, we can’t help but dream of a time when the original 151 Pokemon were the only ones around. It was a simpler time, and most would say that it was a better product as well.
So, in keeping with the nostalgic spirit, our list of Pokemon today will only encompass the original 151 Pokemon that were found in the original games and television series. Newer fans of the series may scoff at the names on this list, but those of who know your Pokemon history will appreciate each entry. Not only have we broken down each powerful Pokemon, but we’ve also provided some helpful tips and tricks to help you become an original Pokemon Master.
15. Tentacruel – 435
Kicking off our list of the most powerful 1st Gen Pokemon is a character that’s all too familiar to fans of the series. Tentacruel is a deceivingly powerful character that can be beneficial to any player making his way through the game. If you’re trying to acquire one, you’ll need to catch a Tentacool and spend a good amount of time training it. Tentacool can be found at many locations in the game, making them an accessible character that can turn into something powerful. Once you begin your Tentacool’s training, you’ll need to hit level 30 before it finally evolves into a Tentacruel.
Tentacruel cannot be caught in the wild, so you’ll need to put in adequate time in order to get one. Despite being a powerful character, Tentacruel only comes in at the number 15 spot on our list, and things are only going to heat up from here.
14. Rhydon – 440
Rhyhorn is an adorably tough Pokemon who looks like a ferocious rock puppy. Much like another entry on our list, Rhydon can be caught in the Safari Zone, and for those of you unfamiliar with how annoying this place is, you know that while it will take some time, catching a Rhyhorn will be worth it. Once you have him, we highly recommend you start training him with unbridled fury, because once he reaches level 42, all bets are off. Hitting that magic number will have your Rhyhorn evolving into Rhydon, his final and strongest form. Should you want to want to try and catch a wild Rhydon, well, we have you covered. In order to find one, you need to get over to Cerulean Cave. But if you ask us, doing it the old-fashioned way may be a better idea.
Despite it being a necessity, going through caves in Pokemon can be an irritating and overly long experience. It’s best to preserve your Pokemon instead of engaging in battles to catch a Pokemon that you can get a much easier way.
13. Aerodactyl – 440
This, my friends, is a powerful Pokemon who doesn’t really exist in the wild of Pokemon. Unlike other entries on this list that you can evolve and acquire via saving someone’s tail, an Aerodactyl can go unnoticed if you’re trying to breeze through the game. If you’re at Cinnabar Island, head on over to their Pokemon Center. If you decide to revive the Old Amber, you’ll resurrect an Aerodactyl, and it’ll be yours for the taking. Getting an Aerodactyl will be huge for the rest of your journey, and developing him properly will benefit your time spent playing the game and acquiring badges.
With a 440-overall rating, getting an Aerodactyl is one of the smartest choices that you can make in the game. Unfortunately, some people won’t take their time to develop Aerodactyl properly, and he’ll be criminally underused. How do I know? I speak from experience. Oh, to smack some sense into the 10-year-old version of me.
12. Tauros – 450
Just by looking at a Tauros, you can tell that you have the chance to catch a powerful creature that will serve you well as the game progresses. Tauros can be found in the Safari Zone, and your decision to catch one will pay off dearly in the end. Of course, the Safari Zone isn’t like any other place in the game, and in order to catch a Tauros, you’ll need to set bait while in battle mode. Your Pokemon are rendered useless while in the Safari Zone, so it comes down to your tact as opposed to an outright battle. Because of their status as being one of the game’s most powerful Pokemon, your attempts to catch a Tauros will be met with a ton of adversity.
Please don’t throw your Gameboy against the wall while trying to catch a Tauros. We know that it’s frustrating, but we believe in you! Then again, if you’re impatient, just trade Pokemon with a friend — assuming that you have any who still play Gameboy.
11. Lapras – 450
Talk about a hard-to-find Pokemon. If you’re trying to find a wild Lapras, you might want to stop wherever you are and head back home. Sadly, a Lapras cannot be caught in the wild, but fear not; we know how to acquire one. If you’re seeking to add a Lapras to your stable, you’ll need to make your way over to Saffron City. Once you’re there, go over to Silph Co., but you’d better be on your guard. Once you’re in Silph Co, you’re going to have your hands full with Team Rocket. Once you’ve vanquished your rival, a person will entrust you with a Lapras, and while he may not seem overly powerful at the time, you need to trust us when we say that you hit the jackpot.
10. Arcanine – 455
If you are a fan of Fire-type Pokemon that can elevate your stable to the next level, then you’re going to love this entry. Arcanine touts a 455-overall rating, and his place on this list is well earned. Starting off with a Growlithe, fans looking to get an Arcanine will need to get a Fire Stone to complete the evolution. In order to obtain a Fire Stone, head over to Celadon City and make your way into the Celadon Department Store. Once you have the Fire Stone, it’s time to finish off the evolution, finally giving you an Arcanine for your arsenal.
Arcanine is a fan-favorite Pokemon that’s sure to please any person willing to evolve his Growlithe. It’s a powerful creature that can provide its master a safety blanket in each Pokemon battle that they engage in. They’re incredibly loyal creatures, and they’re often used as police dogs in the series.
9. Exeggutor – 455
Are you wandering around Kanto with a Leaf Stone in hand? Well, if you’re looking to take a major leap forward in the game, catch an Exeggcute, and give him the stone. You’ll be sure glad that you did because once Exeggcute is given the Leaf Stone, he’ll evolve into an Exeggutor, the 9th most powerful character in the game. Known for his unique look and immense power, Exeggutor can be a handy ally to have, and you’ll be well on your path to becoming a Pokemon Master. An Exeggutor stands over 6 feet tall, and it weighs nearly 265 pounds. It’s incredibly powerful, and it’s tied on our list with Arcanine.
Heading into the next section of our list, there’s a sizable jump in power between Pokemon, effectively sorting out the upper echelon from the rest of the pack. While our entries so far have plenty of power, the rest of our list is about to take a large step forward.
8. Cloyster – 480
Pokemon evolutions aren’t always as cut and dry as leveling up your Pokemon through battle experience. Sometimes, other measures must be taken in order to get your Pokemon to reach its final form. Such is the case with Shellder. Shellders can be found in a number of different locations, and unbeknownst to most, they can turn into one of the game’s most powerful characters. However, in order to pull this off, you’ll need to get your hands on a Water Stone. In order to get your hands on a Water Stone, get yourself over to the Celadon Department Store in Celadon City. Once you acquire a Water Stone, you’re ready to transform your Shellder into a Cloyster.
7. Gyarados – 480
Sometimes, the juice is worth the squeeze, and those who’ve spent countless hours training their Pokemon can attest to this. When you first get your hands on a Magikarp, it’s a useless creature that seems to have little upside. It does next to nothing to aid you on your journey, but all is not as it seems. By using your Magikarp frequently enough to level it up, you’ll find that its next evolution, Gyarados, is one of the game’s most powerful characters. Once you have yourself a Gyarados, leveling him up becomes a paramount concern for Pokemon trainers, and a powerful Gyarados paired with any combination of Pokemon will do wonders in attaining your badges.
At 480 overall, Gyarados is tied with Cloyster in terms of overall power, making him a highly sought-after character while playing the game. Despite being a 480, there are still several Pokemon that are even stronger than Gyarados.
6. Articuno – 485
Edging out Gyarados by a narrow margin, Articuno, the first of the 3 legendary 1st Gen birds, makes his way onto our list. As it stands, there are no known evolutions associated with Articuno, making him a powerful character that’s immensely difficult to track down. Our older readers no doubt remember heading over to Seafoam Island to track this rare Pokemon down, and those who were able to corral an Articuno were rewarded in a major way. It stands at 5’7” and weighs 122.1 pounds, making this a sizable and powerful Pokemon to wield in the game.
Articuno grades out as a 485 overall, and despite being incredibly powerful, he ranks at the bottom of the 3 legendary birds of Kanto. Take note of the “uno” in his name. You’ll notice a trend with him and the 2 other legendary birds that help establish them in a not-so-subtle order.
5. Zapdos – 490
Coming in at our number 5 spot is the second Legendary bird, Zapdos. While Articuno is a water-type Pokemon, Zapdos is an electric-based Pokemon who edges out Articuno in terms of overall power, though the margin between the two is slim. In order to get yourself a Zapdos, you’ll need to head on over to the Power Plant, but you should know that this is no easy feat, and there’s only one Zapdos in the entire game. You had better not ruin your shot at getting this incredibly powerful character because Zapdos packs quite the punch against Water-type Pokemon. If you’re able to get Zapdos and Articuno on your side, you’ll be sitting pretty in the game.
At 490, Zapdos is slightly more powerful than Articuno. As we noted in our previous entry, the “uno” in “Articuno” was used for a reason. Zapdos ends with “dos,” letting us know that he’s the second-most-powerful Legendary bird in the 1st generation of characters. Can you take a wild guess at the next entry?
4. Moltres – 495
Rounding out the final entry of Legendary birds on our list is the third and most powerful Legendary bird, Moltres. Already encompassing both Water- and Electric-type Pokemon, the Legendary birds also include a Fire-type Pokemon in the powerful Moltres. In the 1st Gen games, Moltres can be found on Victory Road, and you’d better not blow your chance at capturing him. Much like his brothers, Articuno and Zapdos, there’s only one Moltres in the game, so you’d better be prepared to capture this rare and powerful Pokemon. Moltres is a large bird that stands at over 6 feet tall, and it weighs 132.3 pounds. The size of the Legendary birds is also indicative of their power in relation to one another, and Moltres is the biggest and most powerful of the three.
3. Dragonite – 500
Unlike the Legendary birds of Kanto, a Dragonite is the 3rd evolution of a Dratini, and should you choose to spend the time to go through each evolution, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. The Legendary birds are very powerful characters, but even they aren’t on the same level as a Dragonite. This character is an absolute behemoth, and it stands just over 7 feet tall and weighs in at 463 pounds. In the 1st generation of Pokemon games, Dragonite cannot be found in the wild, so don’t bother wasting your time in an attempt to find one. To get one of these on your side, you’ll need to do this the hard way, much to the dismay of Pokemon trainers. Unlike a Magikarp becoming a Gyarados, there’s a middle evolution that precedes a Dratini becoming a Dragonite.
As one of the 3 most powerful characters in the game, we highly recommend that you catch a Draining and get to work. While this gigantic Pokemon packs a punch, a much smaller Pokemon is just ahead of him on our list.
2. Mew – 500
Now that we’ve reached the top 2 spots on our list, you knew that this was coming. The following two Pokemon are, without a doubt, the most powerful and sought-after Pokemon in the entire game. Trying to get your hands on a Mew? Not so fast, Pokemon trainer. Unfortunately, there are now wild Mew wandering around Pallet Town, and getting your hands on one is going to require some trickery. You see, Mew can be obtained in 1st Gen games, but the glitch required to get your hands on this rare Pokemon is no easy feat. It’s going to require a ton of patience and a trial-and-error process that will drive even the most experienced gamers mad. Should you pull this off, however, you’ll wield a rare and powerful Pokemon that’s capable of vanquishing your foes.
1. Mewtwo – 590
Without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the most powerful Pokemon on our list. Despite Mew being both powerful and nearly impossible to get, Mewtwo trumps his Mew duo partner. Unlike Mew, Mewtwo can be found and caught in the game. If you’re able to navigate your way through Cerulean Cave, a Mewtwo will be waiting for you. But, you didn’t think that catching a Mewtwo would be easy, did you? Well, if you did, we hate to break it to you, but it isn’t. Expect to find yourself in a straight-up brawl when you reach Mewtwo. There are certain Pokemon who will fare better against him, but regardless of whom you use, the battle will not be an easy one. If you’re successful, you’ll have your hands on a virtually unstoppable force.
There are plenty of powerful Pokemon, but Mewtwo is far and away the game’s most powerful creature. Because nostalgia will keep these games alive, we wish you the best of luck in trying to catch ‘em all.
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