I have a lot of hot takes in this list though, so at least I’m not going along with the crowd, as it were. But it’s down to personal preference at the end of the day.
With that in mind, here are (in my opinion) the best final evolutions of starter Pokemon!
I do like Infernape as a Pokemon, but because of the way that my team was situated in Diamond, I found it a lot harder to use Infernape in the way that I wanted to – which is something that I would change on a second playthrough. If they scrapped HMs in the Diamond/Pearl remakes, then I’d be all for using Infernape again.
Honestly, I don’t care that it’s a quadruped. I actually think that Samurott looks really cool. To be completely honest it is better than Emboar, and Serperior just misses the cut. But Samurott makes use of its great Attack stat with the amount of Water-type physical moves that it can learn.
Unpopular opinion – I like Decidueye. I do think it looks pretty cool, and I love the concept of it being an archer (I am fond of archery if I say so myself). I always used Decidueye as my SOS-hunter as I tacked on False Swipe for that purpose. It served me so well.
Typhlosion’s original sprite (as well as the Home sprite as shown above) make it look fearsome and epic. But it’s lower on the list because of its 3D model. It kinda looks bland. But I give it points for its original look. Will still choose Cyndaquil in a Johto game though.
I know I’m not the only fan of Delphox here (looks at Tim). I enjoyed using Delphox in my Y playthrough, he did me good. I think if you changed the design it’d definitely lose any aspect of the witch look that it goes for. It was nice being able to use a Fire/Psychic Pokemon without being limited to a form or a Mythical, though.
Because I chose Fennekin in my Y playthrough, I chose Squirtle as the Kanto starter. And I’d not normally gone for a Water starter before, but Squirtle was the best choice. The payoff was immense, and Blastoise put in the finest of work, especially with its Mega Evolution. Nowadays, if I started a playthrough, I would choose Squirtle.
I don’t think people give Inteleon enough credit. It’s supposed to be based on a sniper spy, that’s why it looks the way that it does. Also not forgetting the Gigantamax form, where it uses its own tail as a vantage point for sniping. Plus I found it to be really effective when using it in battle.
Swampert. Is. Amazing. Since the first time I chose Mudkip for a Hoenn playthrough, I haven’t looked back. Despite its 4x weakness to Grass (which is its only weakness), I found it to be so useful in every other area, especially concerning its Mega Evolution.
Cinderace came so close to being a favourite final evolution, but it just missed the mark. Cinderace reminds me so much of our local football mascot – the Scunny Bunny, so I remember playing through Sword for the first time using my Scorbunny that I called Billy, after our best goalscorer. I loved how fast Cinderace is, as well as its Pyro Ball signature move, which annihilated a lot of opponents.
I initially chose Popplio because a lot of people actually hated it, but I really liked how endearing it was. Primarina’s dual-type of Water/Fairy sold me completely, and I had so much fun using it in Sun that I used it again in Ultra Sun. And then the first thing I did when I brought it into Sword was do a shiny hunt.