If you’re a certain age—say, late thirties, early twenties—chances are you’ve played a Pokemon game at some point in your life. Whether it’s OG titles, like Pokemon Red and Blue (Or Yellowif you’re one of the cool kids), to the newest Pokemon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokemon has almost certainly been a part of your life at some point in your existence, as it has been ubiquitous for the past 26 years. And with the brand new game, Pokemon Legends: Arceus now out, which takes place before pokemon events Red and Blue, well, we here at CinemaBlend thought, “You know what? It’s time”. And by “It’s time”, we mean it’s time to talk about the best Pokémon characters among the original 151!

Why the original 151, you ask? Well (and don’t hate us!), but we kind of stopped playing Pokemon after the first generation. That doesn’t mean we don’t love Pokemon anymore. We liked Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Some of us even think it’s the greatest video game movie of all time, and we really want to see another one. But when it comes to games, well, our fondness mostly lies in those original 151 Pokémon.

Now, this list isn’t based on the strongest Pokemon (we mean, duh, Mew, and Mewtwo), but rather the Pokemon we’d be running into the fire with if Pokemon were actually real. So here are the 12 best Pokémon out of the original 151. How many of these little pocket monsters have you taken into battle?

Venusaur

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Venusaur (#003)

Look, I know most of you picked Charmander or Squirtle as your starter Pokemon, but honestly, Bulbasaur was where it was, and that’s mostly because of its final evolution, Venusaur. A grass-type powerhouse, Venusaur looks more like an evil Godzilla than any other Pokémon.

Not only that, but it’s so cool because it’s unassumingly powerful. It doesn’t have the dragon looks like Charizard or the cannons like Blastoise, but it would spoil you if you took it as a joke. Venusaur forever.

Pickachu

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Pikachu (#025)

Alright, let me just dismiss the little electric rodent in the room, since you knew Pikachu had be on this list. As an Electric-type, Pikachu was pretty much dead meat if it took on any Ground-type Pokemon, like Onyx or Cubone, but that didn’t stop me from battling it like William Wallace in Brave Heart anyway.

And that’s probably because he’s the face of Pokemon, which definitely elevates his influence. More importantly, however, is its overall importance to the brand. If there were no Pikachu, then Pokemon probably wouldn’t be as big as they are today. I mean, to cry out loud, Pikachu is a float in the Thanksgiving parade. If that doesn’t earn him a spot on this list, I don’t know what does.

Nidoking

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Nidoking (#034)

When asked about my favorite Pokémon, I usually talk in terms of unique skills, combat ability, or interesting aesthetics. Nidoking, on the other hand, makes my list of picks almost purely for convenience. This poison and ground giant has always ended up in my main lineup simply because its initial form, Nidoran, is one of the earliest pokemon you can catch. After a few battles and training in the Safari Zone and a Moonstone later, the initially boring and widespread Pokemon has become the cornerstone of many queues that cannot be ignored.

nine tails

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Tails of Fire (#038)

Sleek, mysterious, and absolutely brutal, I compare Feunard to Medusa, a siren or a drug-sniffing dog at the airport that I’m 95% likely to be arrested and/or bitten because the less I try to pet it. He is said to be able to understand human speech, live to be over 1,000 years old, and curse those who mistreat him. Hell has no fury like a despised fox-like thing, I suppose. Combine his speed with searing attacks like Fire Blast and Inferno, and your lineup is fire certified.

Alakazam

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Alakazam (#065)

There’s something about a Pokemon with a big mustache that specializes in confusion and mayhem that really speaks to my childhood. Alakazam, a Psychic type is the final evolved form, evolving from the proper name “Abra” and then “Kadabra” when swapped. He wields two metal spoons, which now gives me seriousness The matrix vibration. With attacks like Psychic, Psyshock, and Future Sight, your opponents won’t know what hit them, literally.

slow bro

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Slowbro (#080)

Slowbro is unique in that it’s both a water-type and a psychic-type, but that’s not why it’s on this list. He’s here because he’s probably the cutest and most lovable Pokemon around. I mean, look at that smile on his face. How not to love it? Slowbro has like a shell that bites his tail, and he always smiles, AS IF HE LOVES HER. And you know what? I’m not going to toughen up his vibe. The heart wants what the heart wants.

I particularly like his look from a thousand meters. He reminds me of a character from a Stanley Kubrick movie or something. Jack Torrance from the brilliant, Gomer Pyle’s Full Metal Jacket, and Pokémon’s Slowbro. They are all pretty much the same character. Or not. I’m just having fun here.

Gengar

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Gengar (#094)

What can I say, I like scary things. This ghost/poison Pokemon has a permanent sinister smile on its face and the way it pronounces its name has always haunted me since somewhere in my childhood. It is even said that Gigantamax Gengar’s mouth does not lead to his body, but rather to the afterlife. How brutal is it? Mischievous, malevolent and morbid prankster. A Pokemon after my heart, Gengar still makes its way onto my team and into my nightmares.

Cubone

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Cube (#104)

I’m a millennial, so of course the most emo Pokemon that also has a complicated relationship with its mother is going to hit annoyingly close to my house.

For those who may not know, this “Lonely Pokemon” bears the skull of its deceased mother and when it’s not wielding a bone like a boomerang (or “bonemerang”), this earthly type will often cry in mourning at cause of his loss. He also tends to avoid social situations and mostly keeps to himself. I don’t think a Pokemon could be more relatable. Plus, we’ve got upcoming horror movies on top of everything else – when can I get a dark or scary Pokemon movie?

hitmonlee

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Hitmonlee (#106)

When it comes to animals, I don’t even really know what Hitmonlee (or his boxer counterpart, Hitmonchan) is. But of the two fighting types, I put Hitmonlee on this list because he’s all about the kicks and he looks like he’s into Muay Thai, and I like that. He’s like Tony Jaa, but in Pokémon form. How not to like that?

Another thing: think about it. You have Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee. It’s no coincidence, as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are two of the most famous martial arts stars of all time. I kinda like Jackie Chan, but if you had to give me a ninja star, I’d choose Bruce Lee over Jackie Chan in a fight, so Hitmonlee will have a choice. Ipso facto.

Magikarp

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Magikarp (#129)

Yes I know. Magikarp, like Goldeen, seems pretty worthless on first inspection. I mean, one of his “attacks” is called Flail for screaming out loud. But one of the best things about Pokemon is potential, and no Pokemon has a better evolution than Magikarp, which transforms into a FREAKING SEA MONSTER when it evolves into Gyarados.

And I love that ! Gyarados seems to be the symbol of mortal combat, he’s so badass. And you might be wondering why choose Magikarp instead of Gyarados then, and my answer is… I don’t know. But I love how one of the most useless Pokémon turns into one of the most intimidating, and for that, Magikarp makes the difference!

Snorlax

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Snorlax (#143)

A “normal type” Pokémon (meaning it’s only really weak against Fighting types), Snorlax is so cuddly we could cry. As his name suggests, Snorlax is a sleepy boy who likes to snore. And that’s all. But when he’s actually awake, watch out, because he’s always packing a big punch.

Snorlax is one of the best Pokemon out of the original 151 since it actually plays into the plot of the early games. Snorlax would be asleep in the middle of the road, and you need to wake him up with the Pokeflute. And any Pokemon that has a direct plot impact is an asset in my book.

Articuno

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Articuno (#144)

One of the three legendary birds, Articuno is one of the last Pokemon you can catch in the original games, but that doesn’t take away from the serious damage you can do with this bird before all is said and done. Articuno can create its own blizzards and also appears to doomed people who are lost in cold or icy mountains, either as a beacon of hope or your worst nightmare.

Although capable of flight, water, and even psychic attacks, I’ll be honest and let you know that I’ve used Icebeam 100 times because let’s face it, it’s awesome and devastating. Head to Seafoam Island and bring a tonne of Ultra Balls if you’re going to take on this rightful legend.

And that’s all. Yes, there are a number of great Pokemon that could have made the list (it was a bit difficult to leave Mr. Mime and Ditto out of here), but we decided to pick just 12, and 12 is what we chose! But what are your favorite Pokémon among the original 151? For anything Pokemon or other TV related stuff, be sure to stop by here often!