Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’ve probably been hearing A LOT about Pokémon Go. As in, the same Nintendo-owned franchise that was a huge hit with kids in the late 1990s.
Pikachu and friends are back, this time in the form of an Android and iOS game. The app uses a phone’s GPS to take players on “real world adventures” and show them the location of various nearby Pokémon characters. Users then “catch” the creatures with their phones’ cameras.
Early reports indicate that Nintendo’s market value increased by a staggering $7 billion in the first two days after Pokémon Go was released.
While we’re taking a quick break from hunting for Pokémon, let’s revisit some of our favorite creatures from the 1990s generation of the game. Presenting: the 40 best Pokémon characters of all time.
Pikachu are hands-down the most recognizable Pokémon. They are adorable yellow creatures that are sometimes caught by humans and forced to fight each other for sport.
Atsuko Nishida and Ken Sugimori are the artists behind Pikachu. The character first appeared in Japan, in the “Pokémon Red and Green” video game.
In Japan, Charizard is known as known Lizardon. The character first appeared in the video games “Pokémon Red and Blue.” Charizard is a large dragon who can fly to an altitude of 4,600 feet.
GamesRadar once said that Charizard is “hands-down one of the coolest Pokémon out there.” Pretty high praise!
A Sylveon is a fairy-type Pokémon who stands about three feet tall, and is one of Eevee’s final evolution forms. Its primary talent is “cute charm.”
Sylveons are adorned with cream-and-pink-colored bows, and have large blue eyes. Despite their slightly feminine appearance, approximately 87.5% of Sylveons are males.
Turtwig is a baby turtle with a moist brown shell, who has a twig growing out of the top of its head. It gets its nourishment via photosynthesis.
Turtwig is one of three starter Pokémon that are available in the “Pokémon Diamond,” “Pearl,” and “Platinum” games.
Rayquaza is a green flying dragon Pokémon who was created by animation artist Ken Sugimor.
It spends much of its time flying high above the clouds in the ozone layer. To those on the ground, it appears to be a meteor. Some Pokémon fans believe that Rayquaza could be the secret to unlocking the secret of Mega Stones.
Snorlax are known as the “Sleeping Pokémon,” and their name is a combination of the words “snore” and “relax.”
A Snorlax weighs over 1,000 pounds and it will eat anything, including rotten food and poison. The character is a big fan favorite, once being ranked by IGN as the 28th best Pokémon of all times.
A Meloetta is a feminine-appearing and musical Pokémon who can change forms when it uses the move called “Relic Song.” Meloetta are attracted to flute music, and are popular characters among Pokémon’s musician and dancer fans.
Although they look feminine, though, Meloetta are a genderless species. They are capable of becoming invisible.
Zygarde is a Pokémon who appears in three different forms: 10% Forme, 50% Forme, and Complete.
A Zygarde 50% Forme has a green and black, snakelike body.
A Zygarde 10% Forme has a smallish dog-like body and wears a green leash around its neck.
And finally, a Zygarde Complete Forme has a large body resembling that of a human’s, but with a tail similar to the one on a Zygarde 50% Forme’s body.
A Hoopa is a mischievous ghost-like Pokémon species. Its primary color is light purple, but it also has several pink markings. A Hoopa’s arms are not attached to its body, and hover next to it instead.
Hoopas are able to warp space and bend dimensions via teleportation, and can control even powerful Pokémon.
Gyarados, who is voiced by actor Unshō Ishizuka, is one of the most powerful Pokémon. It is a large sea dragon with a nasty temper. If a Gyarados becomes enraged, it goes into full-on destruction mode and is known to destroy entire cities.
Gyarados can usually be found in large bodies of water such as oceans or seas.
Arceus is sometimes referred to as “The Original One,” and it may have co-created the entire Pokémon universe.
It looks like a gray centaur, and has a long neck, green eyes with red pupils, upward-pointed ears, and a long flowing mane.
Arceus’ primary responsibility is to protect the planet from harm.
Reshiram appears to have traits of a dragon, a mammal, and a bird. It is white, with two feet and a long mane that extends from its snout.
A Reshiram has a jet-like tail that can propel it to high speeds when it’s flying, and it can also control the weather with its tail.
A Metang is a robotic Pokémon covered in durable teal metal. Its disk-like body has a pair of spikes on either side, and it also has a spike on its face.
Metang are able to move at speeds up to about 60 miles per hour, and they have strong psychokinetic powers.
Slowpoke is, you guessed it, a Dopey Pokémon. It appears to be a hybrid between a salamander and a hippopotamus, with pink skin, a curled tail, and unfocused eyes. Slowpoke is dimwitted and forgetful, and frequently doesn’t recognize when it’s injured.
Slowpokes usually live near the water, and catch their prey by dipping their tails in.
Kyogre, along with Pokémon Groudon and Rayquaza, makes up a part of the “weather trio.” Kyogre are enormous whale-like creatures with great powers. They are able to control the element of water and can send rains to drought-ridden areas of the planet.
Although Kyogre lives in the ocean, it can also fly.
Magnemite is a robot-like Pokémon, with a gray metal body. Magnemites have horseshoe magnets on either side of their cylindrical bodies, and one large eye. Magnemites also have three Phillips head screws at various places on their bodies, including one on the top of their heads that resembles an antenna.
Victini, a dual-type Psychic/Fire Mythical Pokémon, resembles a bunny. They are small, genderless, and have big rabbit-like ears in a V shape.
Victini have two wing-like tails and are able to fly. Although they tend to avoid confrontation, they will fight to help a friend. And they can turn invisible, which can aid greatly in battle.
The Lucario species of Pokémon are blue and yellow, wolf-like creatures with spikes on their arms and chests.
A Lucario has the special ability to sense and track the Aura of any living creature. In fact, he can actually sense an Aura from half a mile away! He can also read thoughts.
Shaymin is consistently ranked as one of fans’ favorite Pokémon characters. It’s a small white creature that most closely resembles a hedgehog.
Its back is covered with grass-like fur, and it lives in fields of flowers. In fact, Shaymin are able to clean polluted areas and turn them into fragrant flower fields instead. Shaymin particularly enjoy sweet food.
Small and genderless, Diancie are fairy-like Pokémon. Its chest and arm structure give Diancie the appearance that they are wearing a dress. Because of this, a Diancie is sometimes referred to as the “Royal Pink Princess.”
Diancie have the helpful skill of compressing carbon in the air to create diamonds, which they use to defend themselves.
A drifloon is a type of floating ghost. Drifloons look like round purple balloons, with two slender arms and heart-shaped hands coming out of their bodies. They have yellow X-shaped mouths and two beady eyes.
Drifloons can be friendly and helpful, but they have also been known to steal kids who mistake them for balloons. It’s probably safest to avoid them, if possible.
Mew’s another cutie! A Mew is a pink, mammalian Pokémon with two legs, blue eyes, and large ears.
It’s widely believed that Mew contains the DNA of every single Pokémon, and for that reason is able to learn every single attack. A Mew can travel on land, in the air, or even underwater.
Darkrai have a fitting name – they are dark, foggy, shadow-like Pokémon. Darkrai appear to wear tattered cloaks, giving them a sinister appearance.
Their ability is to give others nightmares, as a defense mechanism! Yikes! And Darkrai is the only Pokémon who can learn the “Dark Void” move.
Standing at a whopping nine to ten feet tall, Kyurem is a gray and blue dragon-like creature. Its head is covered in ice, which causes its jaws to remain frozen shut. It also has large, sharp icy claws on its feet.
Kyurem is believed by some to be hostile toward other Pokémon and toward humans.
Another robotic Pokémon, a Metagross is the end result when two Metang fuse together. So Metagross has a total of four brains working together! He’s very intelligent – even smarter than any super computer.
Metagross has a turquoise, disk-like body with four legs. He stands about four feet tall.
Adorable Piplup is a light-blue Pokémon who resembles a penguin. They are very proud creatures who have a hard time accepting help from others. Piplup is a strong swimmer and can stay underwater for 10 minutes.
Piplup is one of the trio of starter Pokémon available in the games “Pokémon Diamond,” “Pearl,” and “Platinum.”
Gengar are pretty menacing-looking characters! The species is particularly popular with older, male Pokémon fans.
Called “the Shadow Pokémon,” Gengar are dark purple with round bodies and glowing red eyes. Gengar’s presence causes a cooling effect, as he steals heat from surrounding areas.
Official Nintendo Magazine named Gengar one of the Pokémon series’ best characters.
Neigh! Keldeo is a colt-like Pokémon with a long, flowing mane. He is able to shoot water from his hooves, and is often spotted posing near beautiful bodies of water such as rivers and lakes.
Keldeo is a relatively new character who was first introduced to the world in 2012.
A frog-like Ninja, Greninja is a dual-type Water/Dark Pokémon. Most of Greninja’s body and legs are dark blue, and he has white bubbles on his arms, legs, and eyes. He also has a huge pink tongue that wraps around his neck.
Greninja is the only Pokémon who is capable of learning the Mat Block.
Lugia has a long, slender neck and a streamlined body that resembles a dragon or a bird. Its color is a pale white with blue undersides. A Lugia’s eyes have black or blue spiky markings.
Lugia have the amazing ability to control the weather, and can actually cause storms. They are not known to evolve into any other forms.
Dedenne is a dual-type Electric/Fairy Pokémon who is small, orange, and resembles a mouse, hamster, or gerbil in appearance. His whiskers look like antennas, and he can fire electricity from them. A dedenne can also plug its tail into outlets to drain them of their electricity.
Standing only eight inches tall, a Dedenne is highly susceptible to damage from poison.
Genesects are an insect-like species. They have purple metal bodies and saucer-shaped heads. Genesects carry large and powerful cannons on their backs.
Genesects are excellent at hunting, and are the only Pokémon that are capable of learning the move called “Techno Blast.” They can fly and are also able to emit sticky strings from their claws.
Cubone is probably the most depressing of all the Pokémon. He’s a small, bipedal Pokémon with golden brown hair. Cubones are very lonely creatures… this could be due to the fact that they wear their dead mothers’ skulls as a hat. They frequently cry at night, thinking about their mothers.
Cubone is able to use the skull as a weapon.
Awww! An Eevee is an adorably furry mammal with a light-colored ruff and tail tip. They are said to be a bit naïve, but are quite good at adapting to different environments. The gender ratio for eevees is 87.5% male and 12.5% female. Eevee is the starter character in the “Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness” and “Pokémon Conquest” games.
Zoroark is a fox-like creature who walks on two legs and has a pointed snout and ears. He has a red mane that resembles a ponytail, and he hides his young in that mane.
A Zoroark is a master of illusion and he can even conjure delusive environments to deceive and distract his enemies.
A large, featherless creature that resembles a dinosaur, Archeops has a scaly red head with a green stripe running along the top. An Archeops has lots of sharp teeth to watch out for!
Although they can fly, they are much better at running, and are even capable of beating an automobile in a race!
Charmander is a lizard who is a Fire-type Pokémon. He is orange, with short arms and legs.
A flame that constantly burns at the tip of Charmander’s tail is a good indication of his mood and health. It will burn brightly when Charmander is strong (or angry!) and weakly if he’s tired or hungry.
Rapidash can accurately be described as a flaming horse. It has a cream-colored body, four black hooves, a horn on its forehead and tiny red eyes. Flames emanate from its neck and back, and it tail is made of flames.
Rapidash can run up to 150 miles per hour! That’s fast!
Squirtle is a cute, blue turtle-like creature originally designed by artist Ken Sugimori. He’s also known as the “Tiny Turtle Pokémon” and is able to swim rapidly, thanks to his hydrodynamic shell.
Boys’ Life picked Squirtle for second place on its list of the five “coolest” Pokémon of all time.