Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green are fan-favorite remakes of the original games. The original games were remade twice but this is people’s preferred option. Developed by Gamefreak and released in 2004, these games are staples in any Nintendo fan’s collection. Me included! The game released to praise for the love of the source material and how it brought new ideas while staying true to what made the original games so great. The Pokemon games are known for their sense of adventure and the “gotta catch em all” motto that makes players want to spend hours finding every Pokémon and secret. With 173 Pokémon in Fire Red ( and 174 in Leaf Green, for some reason), some Pokémon are bound to be better than others. So here is a list of the 10 best Pokémon in Fire Red & Leaf Green.
The list kicks off with a fan favorite. Seriously who doesn’t love Squirtle? Squirtle is the best starter in the Kanto region due to its consistent performance. You are able to receive it at the beginning of the game and it’s useful pretty much throughout the whole game, sans some bad matchups. Squirtle is able to make good use of strength and surf, two mandatory HMS. Squirtle can solo Brock and Misty easily, and while Lt Surge and Erika will be a challenge, the rest of the game is easy sailing. Squirtle’s final evolution, Blastoise, is even good against most of the elite four members.
- Be sure to learn bite at level 18 for Misty.
- A good moveset for the late game is Strength, Ice Beam, Rain Dance, and Surf.
At number 9 we have Snorlax. Snorlax is a top-tier Pokémon because it can go toe to toe with most opponents with its base moveset. You can find one in Routes 12 and 16 after finding the Poké Flute. It learns Body Slam at level 33 and you can use tm15 to teach it Hyperbeam, one of the strongest moves in the game. With access to Surf, Yawn, and Shadowball Snorlax has great move coverage and his normal typing is decent in most matchups.
- You gain Snorlax at level 30, so you don’t have to spend as much time dealing with it’s slow exp rate.
8. Nidoran ♂
At number 8 we have the jack of all trades Nidoran ♂. You can find this Pokémon in the early game but getting one is different depending on the game you’re playing. In Fire Red, you can find one on route 3 but if you’re playing Leaf Green, you would have to trade the female counterpart at the underground Path between routes 5 and 6. You also could trade a Nidorina on route 11 but only if playing Leaf Green.
You CAN catch Nidoran ♂ in Leaf Green in route 3 but it has a 1% catch rate. With the abysmal catch rate and the boost to experience from trading, catching one in Leaf Green just isn’t worth it. The final evolution of Nidoran ♂ Nidoking has great stats all around. It struggles in some matchups like most of this list but its Poison/Ground typing is very useful due to its poison immunity. Nidoran ♂ is good for most of the playthrough but you will definitely struggle with the elite 4.
- Nidoran ♂ ‘s main move will be double kick which it learns at level 12.
- Don’t replace this move until you have either secret power or thrash.
- Both in-game trades in Leaf Green come with the traded Pokémon experience boost.
Mankey is one of my favorite Pokémon of all time. Coming in at number 7, this fighting type is one of the most efficient Kanto Pokémon. You can find this Pokémon early in route 22. While Fighting type isn’t the strongest in Kanto, it can still get the job done. Fun fact, Mankey is the only non-starter Pokémon that can solo Brock. Mankey has phenomenal early and mid-game strength but he does fall off late game.
- Be sure to learn Karate Chop and Low Kick until you’re able to teach Mankey Brick Break.
- Tms can be used to provide better move coverage and cover up Mankey’s weaknesses.
Gengar is in many fans’ top 10 Pokémon list, so to no one’s surprise, it takes the number 6 slot. You can grab a Gengar fairly early if you have access to someone to trade with. Gengar is a glass cannon, meaning it’s very strong but easily defeated. Since it has a poor attack stat, it probably won’t use many ghost-type moves. It’s movepool is built around technical machines with Psychic being its main damaging move. Shadow Punch and Shadow Ball are useful as well. Gengar is useful in most of the mid and late game but it’s a coinflip against Agatha and Sabrina.
At number 5 we have the bulky Eevee evolution Vaporeon. Available in Celadon Mansion in the mid-game, this Pokémon is one of the best special attackers in the game. It has great special attack and special defense stats but it is slow with average physical stats. It learns powerful moves through leveling alone and it’s pure water typing grants it amazing advantages. Vaporeon is able to solo multiple late-game gym leaders and is still decent in the end game.
- You can evolve your Eevee immediately after getting it with a Water stone from the Celadon Department Store.
- The water pulse tm can be useful until stronger water-type moves are learned.
At number 4, we have Clefairy. This is the pinnacle of the list so far as all of the Pokémon up to this point are good in casual playthroughs this is the most dominant and well-rounded Pokémon outside of the top 3. You can find a Clefairy very early into the game and its pure normal typing makes it useful throughout the entire game. Well, except for Agatha and Bruno. Evolving into Clefable allows for easy progression through the gym leaders. This Pokémon and its evolution have a great moveset and amazing coverage through the use of TMs. It has great all-around stats so this Pokémon can do whatever you need it to.
- You can evolve Clefairy almost immediately since it’s found in Mt.Moon and you can also find the moonstone in the same location.
3. Mr. Mime
The top 3 have a lot in common. They are all Psychic types, they are available pretty early into the game, and they excel in the special attack stat. You can trade an abra in a house on Route 2 and grab yourself a Mr. Mime. This Pokémon can defeat almost all of the gym leaders with confusion and magical leaf. The stronger gym leaders will require the use of calm mind but soloing with Mr. Mime is still very possible. Mr. Mime is even good against the elite 4. It does have harder matchups but it has no bad matchups earning it the number 3 spot.
- This is another trade only Pokémon and it requires some backtracking but the experience boost is worth it.
- This Pokémon can replace both of the Pokémon above it, so use this one if you prefer it!
Perhaps one of the most controversial Pokémon of all time, Jynx takes the number 2 slot. Jynx has the best of both worlds since it is both ice and psychic type. Both of those typing are the two best types in the game. She’s able to blast through most of the game with Psychic and ice moves will handle dragon-type Pokémon easily. Seriously, this Pokémon is no joke, you can truly sweep every gym leader and rival battles with psychic and the rest of the game with ice punch. You can receive a Jynx through trading a Poliwhirl in Cerulean City.
- Since this Pokémon is only available through trading its boosted experience can allow it to quickly surpass your team in levels.
- This Pokémon is just as good as Abra and its evolution line, it just takes a little bit longer to get one. Pick which one you prefer!
The top 3 Pokémon are in the top 3 because of how efficient they are. They can easily defeat moves opponents in 1-2 moves. Abra rises to the top because you can get it VERY early into the game on Route 24. It’s pure psychic typing makes it have zero bad matchups and Psychic is incredibly powerful. The only Tm needed is for the move thief. The rest of Abra’s moveset is learned through levels it is legitimately a perfect Pokémon for a casual playthrough. Even if you’re unable to find someone to trade with for an Alakazam, its second evolution, Kadabra is still one of the best Pokémon in the games. It may be hard to catch but it’s definitely worth putting the time in.
- If Abra had an actually difficult matchup it would be Lance in the elite four but he can be countered with Reflect and well-timed potions.
- Shockwave is another great move to deal with endgame threats like Gyrados.
In all honesty, these games aren’t hard, and almost every Pokémon is viable in a casual playthrough. If you are looking for efficient optimal gameplay perhaps this list can be of some use. But if you’re looking for a fun time, it doesn’t matter which Pokémon you use as long as you’re having fun you are playing the correct way.