Check out here every Pokemon rival ranked if you’re a Pokemon games fan!
Finding the ideal Pokemon rival is akin to discovering your soul mate. You begin your journey as an eclectic child, only to be challenged by the harsh realities of life. Nobody is as good as your professor.
With Pokemon Sword/Shield just around the corner and a new bunch of kids about to encounter their next rival, I wondered why the rival character is so welcoming.
What happened to the pre-teen bully I was promised? Why can’t I obliterate another kid’s entire life without feeling ashamed if I’m going to participate in kawaii cock fighting? I have some questions.
I’m here to prioritize every Pokemon enemy in the main games. I don’t just want to enlighten you, dear readers, I want to take you into the church of present idiots. Let’s get this ball rolling to see every Pokemon rival ranked.
Every Pokemon Rival Ranked
What Is A Pokemon Rival?
First, a Pokemon rival must be a recurring character who battles the player character on multiple occasions. So, while Lillie is a partner in Pokemon Sun/Moon, she is not a real challenger in my opinion.
Second, the game shows that their squad is growing alongside yours. This is most noticeable when you and your opponent both get your Pokemon simultaneously.
While I would prefer that your opponent be hostile to you, we can’t always get what we want in children’s shows. So, unfortunately, being a bad person is not on my list of criteria.
I ain’t including anime/manga rivals, despite the fact that the competition rivals are the best in the entire franchise. Rather, I’ll concentrate on the central line of games to keep some sort of focus.
Because the rivals do not change, I will not include remakes such as Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire in their own classification. I’m also leaving out Pokemon Let’s Go because, frankly, I’m not interested in that kid. He comes nowhere close to your original Kanto foe, whom we’ll discuss later.
Nonetheless, let’s get this list started with the worst Pokémon enemies:
Shauna, Tierno, Trevor, Calem, & Serena, Pokemon X/Y
Let me say it again: there are enough cooks in this kitchen. For one thing, I’ve always thought that including the player character you didn’t choose at the beginning (i.e., Calem or Serena) as a rival is a great turn.
As it remains, they’re about as dull and boring as plain toast without player input. The rest are simply annoying. I can’t handle energetic preteens at my day work; I’d rather not deal with them in my E10+ video games.
Calem and Serena have nice designs, but Shauna, Tierno, and Trevor are a shambles. I wish I could bring myself to love these ugly kids, but I just can’t. My problem is with costuming. While the silhouettes on these characters interpret well, it doesn’t bode well for the first
Pokemon game with customizable trainer style when the art team’s best effort is… whatever Shauna is wearing. While other Pokemon games have a constant signature style, your opponents in X/Y look like they stepped out of a GAP Kids advertisement.
I’m sorry to put this game so low on the list because this is one of my favorites! Some clothing crimes, on the other hand, cannot be compensated.
Bianca & Cheren, Pokemon Black/White
These two are the epitome of white bread. I’ve never been more disappointed in my life. There are only two possible explanations they aren’t at the bottom of the list.
For one thing, they contribute to Pokemon Black/overall White’s motif and represent N’s ideas/philosophy. Both represent an intense aesthetic, with Bianca highlighting truth and Cheren focusing on ideals.
You, as the player character, are supposed to act as a middle ground between the two. As an outcome, you are the blurred line between black and white. Being in the same game as N should be enough to move them up the list.
The second reason is straightforward: I like their outfits. Cheren and Bianca have adorable designs that only improve in Black 2/White 2. Bianca isn’t your Pokemon opponent in Black 2/White 2, so that doesn’t really matter.
They’re adorable as your rivals in Black/White, though. I especially like how Bianca’s rounded forms and palette contrast with Cheren’s strong, cool-toned aesthetic.
Wally, Brendan, & May, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire
It was a difficult decision because I adore Wally. He’s one of my personal favorites in Pokemon, rival or not. Wally is endearing, has great character development, and even appears in Pokemon Sun/Moon if you look in the right places! He’s a great kid, but he’s too silent and kind to be decent arch-rival.
He also has one of the best designs in the series. Everything about his outfit, colour palette, and posture conveys his personality. He’s pale and unpretentious, and he’s closed off and buttoned up. Wally’s design is straightforward but effective.
He should have been relatively high on this list because he was such danger by the end of the game, but then there’s May and Brendan. I’m reminded of the “too many cooks”/”cop-out” fallacious argument established in Pokemon X/Y.
Wally would have made an excellent Pokemon rival on his own, but adding a more “charismatic” backup opposition to round out the game does little to improve my overall rival encounter.
Wally’s entire character arc is dependent on him becoming the powerful, confident guy that Brendan and May already are. This antics his character’s development and makes him less memorable when he finally comes into his own as a coach.
Hugh, Pokemon Black 2/White 2
Hugh is credited with a cool character design and a grumpy demeanor, but he is eventually too affectionate. Around Pokemon Black 2/White 2, I started noticing and becoming irritated by the very kind rival tendency in these games. Hugh’s design is very expressive, making you think, “Oh, he’ll be a threat!”
He’ll be a secondary main villain with whom I’ll later collaborate!” No, it really doesn’t. He’s just a buddy who happens to be a goth. Disheartening, but not a terrible overall experience.
Barry, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
This brat has the most character of any Pokemon rival. He’s abrasive, enthusiastic, and a little arrogant. He’s still friendly to the player, but he acts like a spoiled brat. He had the sense of trust of a big-pawed puppy before his defeat by Team Galactic Commander Jupiter. He flies between cities, clashing with people and boasting about his team.
His design also differentiates him from other Sinnoh instructors. While the rest of the region is dressed in cool-toned Winter clothes to fight the frost, Barry’s warm palette and windblown hair stand out and make him easily recognizable.
Barry stands out as a raving moron rather than a scumbag. This is unfortunate, but it is not the worst that could take place.
Hau & Gladion, Pokemon Sun/Moon
If anything happened to my sons, Hau and Gladion, I’d kill everyone in this room and then myself. Take a glance at them! With his warm color palette and loose-fitting awful ones, Hau’s design yells sunshine. Gladion, on the other hand, typifies my Hot Topic phase, which I adore.
On a technicality, the two fall into the trap of friendly Pokemon quarrels. I had to strike a balance between Hau’s overly cheerful mannerisms and Gladion’s Oscar the Grouch act.
Blue, Pokemon Red/Blue
It is not lost on me that not ranking Blue first is blasphemy. He is, however, an excellent Pokemon rival! I like how he’s a spoiled brat who competes with the player in everything they do. Just look at him! He’s dressed like a college kid about to go ham on a few Mike’s Hard Lemonades, wearing an open polo shirt with a popped collar. His fanny pack is ready for Coachella! His jewelry is from another world! Blue is the Pokemon franchise’s unsung Jersey Shore boy.
I understand I said we wouldn’t talk about the anime here, but Blue is inextricably linked to Gary Oak. You can’t just look at this spoiled child without hearing Billy Beach‘s nasally voice, which only enhances to the flavor of his personality.
Silver, Pokemon Silver/Gold
The epitome of a bad boy. The ultimate jerk. The best Pokemon opponent. Silver has everything. He appears to be hostile to the player’s character. His morals are diametrically opposed to yours. His father’s name is Giovanni! Silver isn’t just being polite to you; he’s a violent felon.
This kid will push you around, yell at you, and actively offend you. He’d smash you for 200 poke coins. For one corn chip, silver would offload you to Satan. This is exactly what I wished for when I saw Hugh in Pokemon Black/White 2, but no one has conformed to Silver’s legacy.
Silver’s character development is also fantastic. You can watch him fight to become a better person as you play. He transitions from battling you out of spite to demanding you to demonstrate how well he raises his Pokemon.
Take a look at his design! This is a personality design from the late 1990s at its pinnacle. Because of his mullet, you can tell he’s a real villain. I’ve stayed awake at night worrying about that stitching above his knees.
That can only be one of two factors. Is this boy dressed in folding cargo pants/jorts? It’s the best design decision any Nintendo employee has ever made.
What Your Pokemon Rival Says About The Game
Your Pokemon rival should reflect the game’s nature. It made sense for the Black/antagonists White’s to be a little more… literary (read: uninteresting) in order to fit with the narrative’s themes.
Pokemon’s marketing strategy has become more focused as the franchise has managed to grow. Nintendo understands that nostalgic adults exist, so they rely on marketing to a newer, younger audience.
There’s nothing wrong with traveling with a friendly rival, but I still prefer the aggressors. Hope this article- Every Pokemon Rival Ranked was fun and interesting to read!
Hiya! I’m the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You’ll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!