Top 20 Most Iconic 3rd Generation Pokemon to Celebrate Ruby & Sapphire’s 20th Anniversary
Forget too much water, Ruby and Sapphire had too many iconic Pokemon.
20 years have passed since Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire launched on Game Boy Advance. Naturally, a list of the 20 most iconic Pokemon from those games needs to be made for people to yell about how much they can’t believe X Pokemon was left out. Well, here’s that list, so sit back and enjoy the show.
Note: This list is not in any particular order. Higher or lower numbers don’t indicate that certain Pokemon are better than others. Unless you’re talking about Mudkip. Everyone knows it’s the best.
1. Starters (Mudkip, Sceptile, Blaziken)
With entries on this list at a premium, it would be hard to have almost half of it be starter Pokemon. The starters as a whole in Hoenn are all iconic, but Mudkip, Sceptile, and Blaziken are probably the most memorable thanks to their significant roles in the anime with Brock, May, and Ash. Yes, Brock’s Mudkip eventually evolved, but Mudkip is the most iconic thanks to the memes surrounding it.
2. Solrock & Lunatone
Solrock can’t be mentioned without mentioning Lunatone in the same sentence. These Pokemon are the sole Pokemon of Gym Leaders Tate and Liza in Mossdeep City. It’s the first gym in the franchise to feature a double battle against a Gym Leader. Plus, having Solrock and Lunatone as the only Pokemon that you battle against makes it one of the most memorable fights in franchise history.
Gardevoir has one of the most iconic Pokemon designs in the history of the franchise. Its red, white, and green color scheme is simple, yet its flowing lines make these basic colors look striking and graceful. Although Gardevoir didn’t play a major role in the anime or games until Diantha came around, its design and strength helped to make it one of the most iconic Pokemon of the Hoenn region.
Shedinja certainly isn’t the first Pokemon that comes to mind when you think of Ruby and Sapphire, but it’s certainly iconic. To this day, it’s still the only Pokemon with the Bug/Ghost typing, it’s the only species to have the ability Wonder Guard, and its evolution requirements are unique in a series that has over 1,000 Pokemon now.
The ultimate slacker deserves a spot on this list just for being a lazy oaf. Some might argue that Vigoroth is more iconic since it’s your dad’s signature Pokemon in the game, but it’s just another hard-hitting Normal-type. Slaking, on the other hand, has the Truant ability which makes it ignore commands every other turn. It’s not great, but it’s an ability that makes Slaking an icon of the Hoenn region.
Before everyone loved Spiritomb for not having any weaknesses, there was the original back in Ruby and Sapphire. Before Fairy-types were introduced in X and Y, Sableye’s Ghost/Dark typing made it the first Pokemon with no weaknesses. Its gem-shaped eyes and dark purple body make it one of the most iconic Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire.
7. Plusle & Minun
Just like with Lunatone and Solrock, you can’t mention Plusle without also including Minun. This Pikachu “clone” tandem feature pluses and minuses on their cheeks and actually look a bit more like Pichu. They’re not anything to call home about when it comes to battle, but it’s hard to not think about the region mascots when talking about the most iconic Pokemon in Ruby and Sapphire.
Milotic is clearly one of the most iconic Pokemon in Ruby and Sapphire with it and Feebas being the spiritual successor to the Magikarp and Gyarados line. Milotic may not be as popular as Gyarados, — gen one Pokemon tend to be more popular — but its flowing snake-like design gives the ultimate glow-up Pokemon a memorable look.
If any Pokemon looks like it just constantly is angry and wants to beat the stuffing out of you, it has to be Sharpedo. This unforgettable design makes it iconic, but the fact that it’s the first shark Pokemon also makes it endearing to people who love its real-world counterparts. Additionally, it’s one of the strongest Pokemon used by Archie, Team Aqua’s leader.
Coming in at a gargantuan 47 feet seven inches and 877.4 pounds, Wailord is the biggest of all Pokemon. Modeled after the blue whale, this creature is absolutely massive, but it’s a relatively gentle giant. That’s the perfect combination that makes Wailord so iconic. This hulking behemoth could crush anyone in battle, but it’s relatively docile and doesn’t seem to be interested in battle. It’s like the mirror opposite of Sharpedo.
This spotted Pokemon deserves to be on this list of the most iconic Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire because it has more different forms than any other creature in the franchise. Visually, some forms might look similar. However, Spidna’s spot pattern is based on its 32-bit personality number which means it has 4,294,967,296 different forms according to Bulbapedia.
Game Freak really went all out in Ruby and Sapphire with the unique Pokemon and abilities. Kecleon is certainly one of the most iconic Pokemon in Hoenn because it was the first ‘mon whose type would change type based on the opponent’s attacks. While this could be a good defense, the Color Change ability can easily be exploited by witty enemies who give Kecleon a disadvantageous type for any given situation.
The pseudo-legendary Pokemon in every generation are always memorable for having incredible designs and being overwhelmingly powerful. Metagross is the signature Pokemon of champion Steven. It looks like a giant metal spider and it’s said to be even smarter than a supercomputer. Many players likely have fond memories of laying waste to the Elite Four with this iconic Hoenn Pokemon.
14. Latios & Latias
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire really started to play around with what type combinations they could do with Psychic Pokemon. Metagross, Claydol, Solrock, and Lunatone are just a few examples of new combinations that didn’t exist before Hoenn. Of course, they have to reserve the coolest combos (Dragon/Psychic) for the iconic Legendary Pokemon Latios and Latias.
Deoxys is essentially the Mewtwo of the Hoenn region. It’s a ridiculously strong Psychic-type Pokemon that played the role of antagonist in its own movie. While Mewtwo was cloned from the DNA of Mew, Deoxys is literally based on DNA with its name and its arms forming the shape of a double-helix. The feature that sealed its status as an icon is the four different forms that make it one of the most versatile Legendary Pokemon ever.
16. Kyogre, Groudon, & Rayquaza
I don’t really think much explanation is required for these three. Kyogre and Groudon were on the cover and Rayquaza is the third member of the trio that has arguably one of the coolest-looking shiny forms of any Pokemon. It’s also just kind of cool that Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions mirror the first-gen releases of Red, Blue, and Green.
Big dragon goes brrrrrr. But actually, Salamence is so strong it’s ridiculous. If one pseudo-legendary Pokemon wasn’t enough, then you can also have this one on your team. Every evolutionary stage before Salamence looks strikingly different and has its own argument to be on this list. Yet, Salamence is one of the most well-known dragons in the franchise and is clearly one of the icons of Ruby and Sapphire.
18. Regis (Rock, Ice, & Steel)
The Regi trio from Ruby and Sapphire are not as popular as the weather trio of Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza. Still, these Rock, Ice, and Steel Legendary Pokemon are without a doubt still icons of the Hoenn region. In fact, they’re so iconic that one generation later they added a fourth Regi (Regigigas), then in Sword and Shield they added two more (Regidrago and Regieleki).
This one kind of might seem like it’s coming from out of left field, but it’s a highly important gimmick Pokemon that came out of Ruby and Sapphire. Castform is able to change based on what type of weather is present in the battle which makes it highly versatile for teams that focus on weather moves. It’s a fun Pokemon that inspired players to experiment with weather-based teams. Truly an icon of the Hoenn region.
20. Seviper & Zangoose
There are three things that make Hoenn what it is: the battle of the weather trio Legendaries, too much water, and the eternal struggle of Seviper vs Zangoose. Nothing before and nothing since has matched the rivalry that is Seviper vs Zangoose. This battle of mongoose vs snake spans multiple games, multiple generations, and it’s even present in the anime. Even though they’re sworn enemies, they deserve to be mentioned together along with the most iconic Pokemon in Ruby and Sapphire.
There you have it, the 20 most iconic Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire to help celebrate the games’ twentieth anniversary. As this is a subjective list, we’re sure you’ll have a difference of opinion. Feel free to let us know who you think got shafted down in the comments or on social media.
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