The Daily Vote | What is the best starter Pokemon EVER?

Pokemon! You’ve gotta catch ’em all, apparently. But with each new Pokemon game, players start by only catching — well, acquiring — one particular pocket monster: the starter Pokemon. Over the years there have been 27 starter Pokemon in total, ranging from Gen 1’s iconic trio of Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur, through to Pokemon Let’s Go‘s Pikachu and Eevee. But who was the best starter Pokemon ever?

VOTE on your favorite in the poll below, and tune in tomorrow to find out the winner!

Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “Charmander. There is nostalgia bias here as he was my first starter Pokemon ever, but c’mon… while Charmeleon may not be up to much, he eventually becomes Charizard. You just can’t compete with a giant fire-breathing dragon, who is surely in contention for one of the coolest final evolutions in the history of the series.”

Jason Faulkner, senior editor: “Squirtle is the best starter ever. In fact, it’s the only one that makes sense to choose in gen 1. Bulbasaur just never gets any decent moves except Razor Leaf, and Charizard has wings but can’t learn fly. Squirtle, on the other hand, turns into a huge turtle with cannons on its back that may or may not be functional depending on how you interpret Pokemon lore. Also, Venusaur looks like a depraved Snorlax with a flower on its back and I can’t be having my Pokemon looking ugly. I want a fierce, dashing evolution when I pick my starter and that’s why I pick Squirtle.”

Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “Charmander is the best. He was the “Hard Mode” of Pokemon Blue/Red and turned into a massive red dragon. Later games made his “absolute unit” potential increase with Mega Stones. In Sword and Shield, I’m looking forward to him becoming the giant “Dynamax” lad that he was always supposed to be.”

Michael Leri, features editor: “While there have been some great starters since, you just can’t beat Charmander. He’s the most simple little dinosaur guy with a fire tail. There was no need to make him any more complicated than that because he worked and worked so well. While Charmeleon is fine, Charizard is the best so, by proxy, that makes Charmander the best. It’s simple Pokemon math.”