Popularity in the Pokemon franchise shifts with every new generation. Initially starting out with 151, the number of Pokemon has increased with each pair of games, totaling nearly 900 today. Every fan has their individual favorite Pokemon, and with so much variety you’ll fund no shortage of types to choose from.
In 2020, The Pokemon Company put out a popularity poll alongside Google and let fans vote for their favorite Pocket Monster companion. While some series veterans unsurprisingly made their way onto the list, there were a few surprises as well. The series mascot, Pikachu, didn’t even make its way into the top 10. Best representing how Pokemon fans feel about the current roster, these are the most popular Pokemon of 2020.
Updated December 12th, 2020 by Tanner Kinney: In all honestly, just having the top ten doesn't represent the fans of Pokemon entirely. There are so many different voices spanning across generations of gamers that it's impossible to sum it up to just ten. It's unlikely that every Pokemon is someone's favorite (no one's favorite Pokemon is Lumineon, for example), but there are a wide array of opinions. So, we thought to include more winners from Google's voting process earlier this year.
15 Lugia – 53268 votes
The guardian of the seas, Lugia, cracks into the top fifteen as one of the few legendaries to actually make it to the top. Its counterpart, Ho-Oh, is nowhere to be seen. It's a bit of a surprise, too, but Lugia has had a large presence in series history.
It's not just the box legendary of Pokemon Silver, but Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness as well. Plus, it had a major role in multiple movies, including Pokemon: The Movie 2000. It's also one of the biggest Pokemon is series history, which is a fun fact about it. This sea beast may rarely rise above the waters, but fans love it regardless.
14 Toxtricity – 55032 votes
At the time of writing, it has been well over a year since the release of Sword and Shield. Fans have gotten more comfortable with the new Pokemon, and reception across the board is mostly positive on new designs. Despite James Turner often getting criticized for his work on Gen 5 games, his designs are definitely iconic to the series.
One of the new designs that made waves was Toxtricity. The electric/poison Pokemon is a literal baby at first, learning few moves. However, the baby evolves into quite the punk rocker, with two different variants depending on its nature. It's a volatile Pokemon, but that's part of its charm. It's clear why people were immediately drawn to Toxtricity.
13 Bulbasaur – 56015 votes
For the longest time, many fans considered Bulbasaur to be the worst choice of the three starters in Red and Blue. It didn't have the cool factor of either a fire-breathing lizard or a gangster turtle, so it was left behind. Years of Bulbasaur propaganda, however, have tipped the scales back in its favor.
Bulbasaur is an adorable starter Pokemon. It's a little dinosaur and a classic bulky grass-type. It's useful throughout most of Red and Blue, having an easier start than both Squirtle and Charmander. It may not be as immediately cool as the other two, but it has a devoted fanbase.
12 Tyranitar – 56834 votes
The pseudo-legendary of Johto, Tyranitar has the cool factor in spades, since it's basically a kaiju. It's a dark-type that is dragon-like, but not a dragon-type. It works well into many different team compositions and can wreck house in both casual and competitive play. Plus, Larvitar is too cute to pass up.
Tyranitar staying a popular option despite other pseudo-legendaries getting added since is an interesting thing. One would guess that Pokemon like Metagross would overtake it, but that hasn't happened. Tyranitar is still one of the top popular Pokemon, and that's unlikely to change.
11 Dragapult – 57973 votes
It may not make the top ten, but new addition Dragapult is another pseudo-legendary that clears the bar of the top fifteen. This ghost/dragon Pokemon evolves from the shy and small Dreepy, but it gains serious power in its evolutions.
Dragapult has already proven itself to be a beast in competitive battles. Its unique design and ghost-typing make it an attractive choice for casual players as well. This drake may not be of the usual breed, but that's why people love it so much. Dragapult will almost certainly rise in the ranks as time marches on.
10 Gengar – 60,214 votes
First introduced in Gen I, Gengar has been a fan favorite for years. The Ghost-type was among the first Pokemon ever introduced and has carved a special place in many trainers’ hearts.
Gengar’s design makes it easy to see why it’s so loved by fans, but that’s not all that there is to it. It’s an incredibly powerful Pokemon, which makes it a favorite when determining team comp. Its Mega and Gigantamax forms are a testament to just how popular it still is.
9 Gardevoir – 60,596 votes
One of the most popular Pokemon of its generation, Gardevoir was first introduced in Gen III. Most players know it as Wally’s main Pokemon following its evolution from Ralts and then Kirlia.
Gardevoir is part of an interesting evolutionary chart. Ralts, Kirlia and Gardevoir were all introduced in the Gen III games. However, Gardevoir is one of two final evolutions with the other being Gallade. Both have Mega Evolutions, but Gardevoir routinely beats out the latter in terms of popularity.
8 Rayquaza – 60,939 votes
Another Gen III Pokemon, Rayquaza is one of the many legendary Pokemon that were introduced in that generation. Playing an important part in the Hoenn region’s lore, Rayquaza seems to have amassed quite the following over the years.
Being on the cover of Emerald might’ve helped it out significantly. Like most legendaries, it isn’t easy to track down, and its limited availability might be one of the things that make it so popular.
7 Garchomp – 61,877 votes
Dragon-types have always been popular, so seeing one in the top 10 is no surprise. However, with so many beloved Dragon-types out there, it’s hard to pinpoint which of them has the edge over the other.
Introduced in Gen IV, Garchomp has become one of the more popular Dragon-types in the series, as well as one of the most popular Pokemon overall. Being a pseudo-legendary also most certainly plays a part in what makes Garchomp so popular among fans.
6 Sylveon – 66,029 votes
Eevee has always been a popular Pokemon. First introduced in Gen I, Eevee stood out due to its unique evolution process. Rather than evolution through leveling, Eevee instead evolved via the use of evolution stones which would turn it into one of three final evolutions.
Various Eeveelutions have been added to the games since, with the latest being one of the most popular. Sylveon was introduced in Gen VI, and immediately stood out thanks to its eye-grabbing look. It was also one of the first Fairy-type Pokemon, a type that has since exploded in popularity.
5 Umbreon – 67,062 votes
While Gen I introduced Eevee alongside its three subsequent final evolutions, Gen II followed up with a pair of Eeveelutions with completely different evolutionary conditions. One of them still stands as a fan favorite.
Introduced alongside Espeon, Umbreon has one of the most distinct designs among all the other Eevelutions. Though simple, the yellow bands and rings around its body, alongside its red eyes makes its design one of the most memorable of its generation.
4 Charizard – 93,968 votes
Not many Pokemon have been as popular as Charizard has been. It’s one of the most recognizable Pokemon in the series, and has consistently been voted among the most popular of all-time.
Charizard’s relatively low rank might surprise some, seeing as it’s been thought of as the consensus favorite alongside Pikachu for years. However, placing in the top 5 shows that fans still can’t get enough of the original Fire-type starter.
3 Mimikyu – 99,077 votes
Not many Pokemon have been around for as comparatively short of a time as Mimikyu and had so much popularity to show for it. Introduced in Gen VII, Mimikyu’s popularity is no surprise when considering what Pokemon it’s mimicking.
Though the intentional resemblance to Pikachu might’ve been what got it attention at first, Mimikyu’s sad background and the lore surrounding it is what makes it such a popular Pokemon among fans. Expect Mimikyu’s popularity to only grow from here.
2 Lucario – 102,259 votes
Though there’s still a considerable gab between the second and fist most popular Pokemon on the poll, the numbers that Lucario was able to pull in speak volumes on what the Pokemon community thinks of the Gen IV Fighting/Steel-type.
As is the case with most Pokemon in the top 10, Lucario was given a Mega Evolution. It has been featured in other popular titles such as Pokkén Tournament & Super Smash Bros. series, and continues to be featured in the various manga and spin-off titles.
1 Greninja – 140,559 votes
Perhaps a surprise to some, Greninja’s massive popularity among the fans shouldn’t come as that much of a shock. The Gen VI Water-type starter was a fan favorite from the get go, and had a memorable stint as a part of Ash’s team in the anime.
Like Lucario, Greninja’s popularity is reflected in how it’s used throughout the franchise. It too appears in various other games, spin-offs and also has a strong presence in the manga and TCG.
And he's hardly about to take responsibility for that.