The best Pokémon of the decade

In the last decade, Game Freak and Nintendo have churned out four generations of Pokémon games.

From Pokémon Black and White to Pokémon Sword and Shield, so many new and lovable monsters have been released or even re-designed with a new form. With the decade coming to a close, we put together a list to remind you of some of the best designs that Game Freak has gifted us in the last 10 years, in order by Pokédex number.

Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon | Source images: Various

The best of the decade, 2010-2019

As the 2010s draw to a close, we’re taking stock of the best pop culture of the decade. And we’re reevaluating the all the ways in which the face of entertainment changed from 2010 through 2019. Join us!

Read more:

The 100 best games of the decade

The best movies of the decade, according to us

The best comics of the decade

Alolan Raichu

The Pokémon Company

It surfs! It’s adorable! It participates in a pancake-carrying race in the Pokémon anime! How many reasons do I really need to list here? —Julia Lee

Alolan Meowth and Persian

The Pokémon Company

Alolan Meowth could’ve just been the Goth Cat of our Goth Tween dreams, but Alolan Persian blew us out of the water by being a perfectly round-faced boi — and still a Goth. —Petrana Radulovic

Mega Alakazam

The Pokémon Company

Just imagine all the ice cream it could eat with that many spoons, dude. —JL

Alolan Exeggutor

The Pokémon Company

A lot of Alolan forms are pretty good and they have great reasons as to why their typing and appearance is different, but Alolan Exeggutor trumps it all. They’re really tall because they get all that sunlight in Alola! I don’t know why this only makes their necks grow like palm trees and why it doesn’t elongate the rest of their bodies, but I really like it. —JL

Mega Kangaskhan

The Pokémon Company

It’s baby! —JL

Galarian Zigzagoon

The Pokémon Company

I can really relate to being a young, energetic metal-head. —JL

Mega Gardevoir

The Pokémon Company

She finally got a poofy dress. She deserves this. —JL


The Pokémon Company

The beloved grass-starter, formerly known as Smugleaf. Its evolved forms are not as good as its base form, but we still appreciate media reminding us that snakes are not scary creatures. —JL


The Pokémon Company

Go away, Woobat haters. Woobat is valid and it deserves its spot on this list, as it is a fluffy, cute, flying orb. —JL


The Pokémon Company

Now this is a comfy Pokémon. I look like this Pokémon during the winter time. —JL


The Pokémon Company

I was told I could not say “It’s baby!” for more than one Pokémon, but look at this little nugget. He’s adorable. —JL


The Pokémon Company

Pants Pokémon. —JL


The Pokémon Company

You would think just being a blue duck would make this design bad, but it actually makes it good. —JL


The Pokémon Company

I do not know why this Pokémon gets so much hate when it is so adorable. Why are Geodude and Grimer valid, but this one isn’t? It’s bullshit. —JL


The Pokémon Company

It’s spooky, it has a cool Shiny form, and also it will punch you in the head and kick your ass in Pokkén. —JL


The Pokémon Company

Stunfisk haters are not allowed to continue to exist on Polygon dot com. Stunfisk did nothing wrong. —JL


The Pokémon Company

This Pokémon looks like this emote: O_O. —JL


The Pokémon Company

We’ve gotten a lot of dino Pokémon, but Aurorus is sleek, svelte, and very elegant, therefore Aurorus is the best dino Pokémon of all. —PR


The Pokémon Company

Pokémon said, “Trans rights!” —JL


The Pokémon Company

Goomy is slime. Goomy is shaped like a friend. —PR


The Pokémon Company

It’s an orb owl who turns into an edgy cloaked archer. I don’t know what about this is not to like. —JL


The Pokémon Company

My baby goth kitty before he turned into a Man. —PR


The Pokémon Company

Not only is this thing a toucan and a cannon, but it’s also a grumpy grandpa, according to the anime. —JL


The Pokémon Company

Only female Salandit are allowed to evolve into Salazzle. A crime queen who knows how to pose and strut, Salazzle also secretes a toxic gas that attracts male Salandit. She knows what she wants and how to get it. —PR


The Pokémon Company

This Pokémon is delightful for how simple the design is, but what makes it really good is how disgustingly strong it is, as shown in the anime. —JL


The Pokémon Company

I ate a mangosteen in real life for the first time in 2017 and it made me like this Pokémon more. If you have never eaten a mangosteen, try your best to find one somehow, even though it only grows in tropical regions like Southeast Asia. You will like this Pokémon more after you eat it. —JL


The Pokémon Company

She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s a wreath of flowers and we stan. —PR


The Pokémon Company

I want to bury my face in the Wooloo wool. —JL


The Pokémon Company

This design invokes more fear in me than any Pokémon design ever, and that includes Giratina, which is a weird creepy tentacle-ghost-thing. —JL

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