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The 10 most famous Pokemon of all time

A screengrab of Pikachu with Ash in Pokemon
Pikachu, the most famous Pokemon of all. But which others make the cut?

Anime has some great stories to tell and few have reached out to us as much as Pokemon.

Whether you’re a fan of the show or the games or even both, you definitely have some favorite characters.

Because there are so many, everyone has their preferences and that’s what truly makes Pokemon so special. No matter what you like there’s a Pokemon to suit you.

Out of all the wonderful characters in the franchise there are a few which stand out as icons.

They’ve gained acclaim for many different reasons, be it their powerful attacks or their adorable little faces.

At the front line of the popular culture titan that is Pokemon, these are the 10 most famous and iconic Pokemon of all time.

10 Gyarados

A picture of Gyarados
The dragon-like Gyarados, which evolves from the weak Magikarp

As a massive flying water dragon, Gyarados packs a huge punch. Being the Atrocious Pokemon, they’re typically very destructive and ferocious.

But perhaps the most interesting part of this monster is his evolution tree. Gyarados starts off as a lowly Magickarp, which is considered to be the weakest Pokemon of all time.

How something so powerful can come from something so weak is certainly intriguing and it’s probably why this big guy has become as popular as he is.

Seen everywhere from hats to T-Shirts, we absolutely had to mention this one in our list.

9 Lugia

A picture of Lugia
Lugia is one of the more intelligent Pokemon and can speak telepathically

The pinnacle of a Pokemon Silver trainer’s collection, Lugia is one of the select few legendary bird Pokemon.

The reason this particular one is so popular is likely due to its dragon-like appearance and the fact that Pokemon Silver was far more popular than Pokemon Gold.

Being psychic and flying is also an interesting mix, allowing for trainers to create diverse lineups which really made the game interesting.

Being one of the more intelligent characters in the anime, Lugia has the ability to speak telepathically.

This gives the character more depth than most of the other Pokemon who can really only say their names.

With all these fascinating features, Lugia has become one of the most recognizable faces of the franchise.

8 Mew

A picture of Mew
The adorable Mew, who was the 151st Pokemon

Introduced in the very first Pokemon movie, Mew is an extremely popular character from the classic series.

Providing assistance to our hero Ash in his battle against Mewtwo (Mew’s evil duplicate), Mew very quickly found a place in our hearts.

Also being added as #151 after the release of the original 150, this cute little character became an exclusive collectable to anyone who played the Gameboy games.

With its tiny little body and arms, adorable face with gigantic eyes, Mew is considered one of the cutest Pokemon in existence.

But that could just be because it looks like a super cool cat that stands on its hind legs.

7 Mewtwo

A picture of Mewtwo
Mewtwo, Mew’s evil duplicate and one of the strongest Pokemon ever

The superstar character of the original games and iconic villain of the first Pokemon movie, Mewtwo has incredible popularity.

He even made an appearance in Super Smash Bros Melee as an unlockable character!

With unmatched psychic powers, Mewtwo is still considered to be one of the strongest Pokemon in existence.

In terms of his physical appearance he almost looks like an alien from some kind of science fiction movie.

But this appearance didn’t hamper his popularity, it actually increased it.

With so many Pokemon playing the ‘cute card’, Mewtwo garnered the attention of fans who wanted to see a Pokemon that just looked cool.

And being cool isn’t all Mewtwo is, he’s also one of the most intelligent Pokemon in the lore.

Being able to speak telepathically much like Lugia has given this guy even more of an identity. All this adds up to one sleek and mean fighting machine.

6 Gengar

A picture of Gengar
Gengar is the most powerful ghost type Pokemon from the original 150

Ghost Pokemon have always been sort of a rarity, so being the most powerful ghost type in the original 150 makes Gengar stand out.

In the anime the three ghost types were shown to be jokers living in a lonely castle and coming out to play pranks at night.

A lot of fans really enjoyed this take on the ghost types as it made them friendlier than the typical ghost stereotype. Sort of like a mischievous Casper.

In the original game having a Gengar was somewhat of a novelty as you could only acquire one by trading a Haunter (his lesser evolution) to another player.

This showed that you were a dedicated trainer who interacted with others in order to best complete your collection.

Nowadays you can see this Pokemon’s memorable red eyes and grin on many different Pokemon products.

He almost looks like the Cheshire cat of Pokemon with his iconic face.

Because of the prestige involved with owning a Gengar and its wonderfully interesting personality in the anime it’s not a mystery why this Pokemon is on our list.

5 Eevee

A picture of Eevee
The cute and cuddly Eevee, which has eight different evolutions

This small fox-like creature has won over the hearts of many Pokemon fans just by being adorable.

As a sweet little ball of fur with a cute little face and cheeky smile it’s hard not to love Eevee.

But another thing that makes this character so popular is its evolution path.

Being one of the only Pokemon in the franchise to have multiple different evolutionary paths has really made Eevee stand out.

In the original 150 Eevee could evolve into one of three possible evolutions with each evolution representing a different element and having different traits.

But as the new generations came out and more Pokemon were added to the pokedex, more Eevee evolutions began appearing.

Now there are eight different evolutions of Eevee which gives fans even more of a reason to love them.

4 Jigglypuff

A picture of Jigglypuff
Jigglypuff, who adores singing but always sends people to sleep with it

The tiny pink ball of fur and sass known as Jigglypuff became a fan favorite after appearing in the anime in an extremely memorable episode.

Even after that episode Jigglypuff continued to be a central character in the story. Being extremely adorable with enormous blue eyes certainly helped this Pokemon reach its level of popularity.

However, one other factor that helped with that popularity is the comic relief that she provided in the anime.

Wanting to be a great singer was always this Pokemon’s aspiration. But as we all know, her song puts anyone who hears it to sleep.

This became very frustrating to the already hot tempered Pokemon and she would often lash out at those who fell asleep during her serenades.

This quirky combination of attributes and great visual appearance is definitely what makes Jigglypuff one of the most well known Pokemon around.

3 Squirtle

A picture of Squirtle
Squirtle, who was one of the three original starter Pokemon

From its croaky voice to its bald head to its gigantic eyes, Squirtle is one water Pokemon that your mother probably even knows about.

Being one of the original three starter Pokemon is just one of the things that makes Squirtle so well known. As a major character in the anime, Squirtle follows Ash starting from one of the very first episodes.

There are even several episodes devoted to this little guy. Interestingly enough while most people know and love this adorable little turtle, his evolutions tend to get sidelined.

Maybe it’s because they’re not as cute or maybe it’s because they didn’t play as big a part in the show.

It’s really anyone’s guess, but it is undeniable that Squirtle is one of the most memorable characters of the franchise.

2 Charizard

A picture of Charizard
Charizard, who provided lots of laughs in the anime series

You probably remember this massive fire breathing dragon. Another central character to the anime, Charizard never failed to make us laugh.

This was because of his absolute disobedience, often electing to breathe fire on Ash rather than actually assist him.

Of course this eventually changed as the dragon began to care for the main character. In the games he’s always been considered one of the strongest.

Especially in the card game where at one point it was the most highly sought card in the entire world, reaching prices of several hundreds of dollars for a good condition one.

Whether it’s a plush toy or a virtual monster, you’ve probably had Charizard in your possession at some point or another.

Because of the vast number of people who remember this Pokemon we couldn’t forget to add Charizard to our list.

1 Pikachu

A picture of Pikachu
Pikachu remains uncontested as the most famous Pokemon of all time

Of course the number one most iconic and famous Pokemon of all time is the front runner and posterchild of the Pokemon franchise, Pikachu.

This electric mouse won us over in the anime with his adorable face and even more adorable voice.

The strong bond that Ash develops with his little yellow friend has created an emotional connection in all of us and helped to ingrain this lovable character in our minds.

Pikachu is such a popular character that Nintendo even made several game titles centralized around Pikachu, most notably Pokemon Yellow Version.

Moreover, you’ve probably seen Pikachu in most Pokemon related advertisement such as banners, posters and even custom car designs!

Because of how central this character is to the entirety of Pokemon it’s pretty obvious that Pikachu is by far the most famous character of all.

Many more Pokemon await!

There are hundreds of Pokemon out there and as the franchise keeps growing the list keeps getting longer and longer.

For this reason you probably have many favorites and could probably make a top ten list of your own.

The newer ones that come out seem to keep getting more and more creative so your list would also probably keep evolving over the years.

But when it comes to the characters who best represent the franchise as a whole, these will probably remain constant.

Because they’ve been around so long they’ve managed to establish themselves and its sort of hard for the newer Pokemon to compete with them for this status.

These particular ten characters are identifiable by anyone, anywhere, including by people who never took interest in Pokemon.

They will always hold a place in every Pokemon fan’s heart no matter what comes out in the next generation and that’s what makes them icons.