This year marks Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, so to celebrate we’ve rounded up 25 of the biggest, most impressive, and all-around epic facts and pieces of trivia about the Pokémon franchise. We’re going to reveal what Pokémon games and movies raked in the most money, which Pokémon are the strongest and fastest, and toss in some stuff that’s really weird yet no less impressive.
Make sure to check out our other pieces celebrating Pokémon's 25th anniversary:
- IGN Readers Have Chosen Which Pokémon Is the Very Best
- Shiny Pokémon and the Few Trainers Who Actually Catch Them All
- This Unofficial Pokémon D&D Game Works Shockingly Well
Now, onto the factoids!
Pokémon Video Game Facts
Highest-Selling Pokémon Game
There have been 18 main series Pokémon games released since the franchise debuted in 1996, spanning eight generations and including remakes, but the top-selling game is still the original Pokémon Red/Green/Blue for the Nintendo Game Boy with 31.38 million units sold.
Coming in at second place is Gen II’s Pokémon Gold/Silver with 23.73 million units sold. The lowest-selling initial entry in a new generation is Gen V’s Pokémon Black/White with 15.64 million units sold.
Pokémon Red/Green/Blue is not only the top-selling entry in the Pokémon franchise--it also holds the Guiness World Record for the best-selling RPG of all-time.
Watch the trailer for the latest Pokemon remakes, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl:
Highest-Selling Pokémon Spin-off Game Franchise
In addition to the main Pokémon game series, there have been numerous spin-offs over the years, and none has proven to be more popular than the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series. The turn-based dungeon-crawler debuted in 2005 and has released eight entries across five different Nintendo platforms, selling a combined total of 16.67 million units.
Other spin-off franchises include Pokémon Stadium (11.32 million units sold), Pokémon Pinball (6.68 million units sold), and Pokémon Snap (3.36 million units), the latter of which is getting a sequel, New Pokémon Snap on Nintendo Switch (check out our preview for the upcoming game in the video below!).
And Then There’s Pokémon Go
While the previous records were determined by units sold, this next game is free to download. In 2016, mobile game Pokémon Go took the world by storm, bringing Pokémon to life with augmented-reality and starting a craze that dominated pop culture that summer. Though the initial surge of popularity faded, the Pokémon Go community remains sizable and active as developer Niantic and The Pokémon Company continue to update the mobile game with new features and catchable Pocket Monsters. To date, Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 1 billion times. That’s a milestone only two other mobile games--PUBG Mobile and Subway Surfers--have ever reached.
First Person to Catch 1 Million Pokémon in Pokémon Go
There are people who play Pokémon Go, there are people who are obsessed with Pokémon Go, and then there’s Kyarorina. This dedicated Trainer holds the record for being the first person to catch over 1 million Pokémon in Pokémon Go, which they achieved on November 18, 2019. Most trainers would feel satisfied catching a dozen Pokémon and calling it a day, but Kyarorina would have had to catch, on average, about 800 Pokémon every single day for over three years! That’s a whole lotta Rattatas.
Most Successful Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Pikachu may bring the thunder and Mewtwo its mental might, but Jigglypuff is the most successful Pokémon when it comes to the Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive scene, all thanks to Juan Manuel DeBiedma aka Hungrybox. He exclusively used the pink balloon Pokémon in all of his Melee tournaments, puffing and punching opponents off the stage with Jigglypuff’s relentless midair tactics. Hungrybox is considered one of top five best Melee players in history, he’s won more prize money in Melee tournaments than anyone else, and he won Evo 2016, making Jigglypuff the only Pokémon ever used to win the most coveted prize in the fighting game world.
Generation With the Most New Pokémon
Generation 1 introduced the first 151 Pokémon, and subsequent generations have added a new batch of Pokémon to the mix. Out of all the generations, Gen V (the Black/White era) holds the record for adding the most new Pokémon with 156 additions such as Emolga, Oshawatt, and Zoroark. The fifth generation has the most new Pokémon because the game developers wanted to make the Unova region feel like Trainers were exploring a distant land and that meant populating it entirely with original Pokémon they had never seen before. And if you were wondering, Gen VI added the lowest number of new Pokémon at 72; and all combined there are currently 898 Pokémon in total.
Epic Facts About Pokémon Themselves
Strongest Pokémon In the Game
When it comes to determining the strongest Pokémon in the game, any veteran Pokémon player knows all about the importance of a Pokémon’s Base Stats. These values determine how a Pokémon performs in battle, from how hard it hits (Attack and Sp. Attack) to how much damage it can withstand before fainting (HP). Therefore, the more stat points to go around, the stronger a Pokémon will be, generally speaking, so that will be our criteria for determining which Pokémon has the highest raw power.
As of the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Mythical Pokémon Arceus has the highest combined Base Stats at 720, with 120 points in all seven stat categories.
The strongest Legendary Pokémon is Eternatus at 690.
For Pokémon empowered by an enhanced form, it’s a three-way tie between Mega Rayquaza and Mega Mewtwo X and Y at 780.
When considering only regular (non-Legendary, -Mythical, -Mega, or otherwise enhanced) Pokémon, it’s Slaking at 670, although its habit of loafing around stops it from taking full advantage of all that power.
And if you want to know the strongest Pokémon to ever exist, it’s Eternatus in its Eternamax form, clocking in at a whopping 1125. Unfortunately, that version is not usable by players, so we can only bask in awe of the power coursing through the giant creepy hand-snake.
Most Powerful Pokémon Attacks
Perhaps you determine the strength of a Pokémon by how much damage its moves do, instead. In that case, there’s no attack stronger than Explosion, usable by the likes of Weezing and Voltorb, which does a massive 250 damage… with the small downside of immediate death.
After that is another kamikaze move, Self-Destruct, which does 200 damage.
The strongest attack that doesn’t cost your Pokémon its life is Victini’s signature move, V-Create, a fiery blast that does 180 base damage.
Since its debut in the Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald games, Wailord was far and away the biggest Pokémon at a gargantuan 47-feet long. What else would you expect from a whale Pokémon? But it's colossal crown was recently stolen by Pokémon Sword/Shield’s Eternatus, with the Poison/Dragon-type measuring at 65 feet long. And when it takes on its unique Dynamax form known as Eternamax, it grows to a staggering 328 feet! It’s hard to imagine another Pokémon ever beating that record, so Eternatus may live up to its name and hang onto this title for eternity.
There’s a two-way tie for the heaviest Pokémon between the Ultra Beast made of steel known as Celesteela and… Cosmoem? It may be hard to believe, but the towering metal alien and the tiny celestial ball both weigh 2204.4 lbs! As for why Cosmoem weighs a metric ton, the Pokedex explains it’s in a cocoon state storing cosmic light so it can evolve into a mighty Legendary Pokémon that embodies the sun or moon, so that would essentially make it a miniature black hole. According to NASA, black holes are incredibly dense and only grow heavier as they suck in more solar mass, which may mean Cosmoem is so heavy because it eats so dang much.
Though the giant Regi-Pokémon are known for being lumbering titans, the fastest Pokémon in the game is surprisingly the new Electric-type Regieleki, which boasts a 200 base speed stat that can be maxed out to a blazing 548! That far outpaces the second place Ninjask with its 160 base and 460 max speed. So if you gotta go fast, go catch a Regieleki.
Epic Competitive Pokémon Facts
Big Money for Playing Pokémon
Competitive Pokémon players can earn quite a bit of cash by proving they are the very best, like no one ever was. The annual Pokémon World Championships award big money to the top finishers, with $10,000 going to the 1st place Masters Division (young adults and above) video game champion and $25,000 to the trading card game champion. See, all that time spent trading for powerful cards and EV-training your Pokémon can really pay off!
Best Pokémon Trainers Ever
Winning the Pokémon World Championship is an incredible achievement that proves a Trainer is truly an undisputed master of the game, so we’ll use that as our gauge to determine the best of the best. Winning Worlds once is a monumental achievement by itself, but there are only two players who have ever won multiple times--and not just twice, but three times each!
For the video game championship, Ray Rizzo won the 2010 Seniors Division (young teen) championship and then continued his win streak after moving into the Masters Division, coming out on top in both the 2011 and 2012 championships. To this day, Rizzo is the only person to ever win Worlds three times in a row.
For the TCG championship, Jason Klaczynski took home first place in the Masters Division in 2006, 2008 and 2013. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Klaczynski wasn’t qualified to play in the 2013 championship when he showed up and decided to try his luck in the Last-Chance Qualifier tournament. He managed to go undefeated for six straight rounds to qualify for the World Championships and went on to claim his third first-place trophy.
[widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-pokemon-review-ever&captions=true"]
Pokémon Trading Card Game Facts
Most Expensive Pokémon Card
The most valuable Pokémon card is actually one you might have back at home inside that shoebox in mom’s basement: a 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Charizard card in 10/10 “Pristine” condition. Yup, the first-ever Charizard card featuring the popular Fire-type Kanto starter is the highest-selling Pokémon card to date, reportedly selling for $360,000 on Goldin Auctions.
But before you go digging through your old collection looking to cash in, know there are some key factors that make this card in particular so valuable. It’s a first edition with no shadowing on the art box, meaning it’s from the very first print run of Base Set. It’s been professionally graded and received an extremely rare rating reserved only for cards that are, for all intents and purposes, perfect. Even the slightest scratch, bend, or blemish--not to mention any kind of alignment errors caused during printing--would detract from the value, but this one has no such flaws and was sealed in a protective case to keep it that way. Your average first edition Shadowless Charizard card sells for a few hundred dollars, maybe a few thousand if it’s in especially good condition, but only a flawless one will sell for a third of a million dollars.
Check out our guide on how to appraise your Pokemon card collection!
Pokémon Card With Highest HP
Sometimes the worth of a Pokémon card comes down to how well it performs in the actual game. Cards with high HP are of special note because they can absorb a lot of damage without giving up Prize cards.
Once Snorlax V, Copperajah V, and Eternatus V evolve, they become Snorlax VMAX, Copperajah VMAX, and Eternatus VMAX and share the record for the Pokémon cards with the highest HP in the game at a gargantuan 340 HP. For reference, the first-ever Snorlax card released in 1999 had 90 HP--that’s a 278% increase!
The highest HP for a Basic unevolved Pokémon card is Wailord V with 280 HP.
For an example of just how good a high HP Pokémon card can be, look no further than the 2015 Pokémon TCG US National Championships where a small group of players built a “Wailord Stall” deck designed to run the opponent out of resources and win by deck-out by repeatedly healing the 250 HP Wailord-EX, among other obstacles. One of the Wailord Stall players ended up taking 2nd place in the contest. Not bad for a Pokémon deck that doesn’t attack.
Pokémon Card With Highest Attack
But if you are interested in attacking, then you may want to check out these fearsome cards. Over the past several years, Charizard and Rayquaza have been holding down the record for the highest base attack ever printed on a Pokémon card--a blazing hot 300 damage.
To date, there have been five different Charizards and one Rayquaza that can hit this mind-boggling number without any attack effects, Special Energy, Trainers, or Tools. That said, most of these attacks have prohibitively expensive energy costs and have harsh side effects, so these cards didn’t exactly dominate any competitive tournaments, although Charizard GX’s Flare Blitz GX did see play in Mew3 Welder Box decks.
These are all of the cards with a 300 base damage attack, along with the attack name:
- Charizard VMAX - G-Max Wildfire
- Charizard GX - Flare Blitz GX
- Charizard GX - Crimson Storm
- Mega Charizard (X) EX - Wild Blaze
- Mega Charizard (Y) EX - Crimson Dive
- Mega Rayquaza EX - Dragon Ascent
Epic Pokémon Movie Facts
Highest Grossing Pokémon Movie
For years, Pokémon: The First Movie held the record for the Pokémon movie to earn the most money at the global box office with a $163,644,662 haul, but then along came the first-ever live-action Pokémon movie starring Detective Pikachu, which managed to sleuth out $433,005,346. Maybe Detective Pikachu knows Pay Day?
Most Critically Acclaimed Pokémon Movie
The highest-scoring Pokémon movie on Rotten Tomatoes is technically Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us at a fresh 71%, although that comes with a big asterisk because only seven critics reviewed it.
Therefore, we’d have to say Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is the more appropriate film to name the most critically acclaimed because it received a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes based on a much more healthy 296 reviews.
While Pokémon: The First Movie may be number one in the hearts of many fans--fans who still cry when Pikachu tries to wake up a petrified Ash Ketchum to no avail--it’s actually the worst-reviewed Pokémon movie on Rotten Tomatoes with a critics score of 15% based on 89 reviews.
Most Handsome Human to Voice Detective Pikachu
[widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-pokemon-in-the-detective-pikachu-movie&captions=true"]
Epic Pokémon TV Series Facts
One of the Most Successful Anime of All Time
The Pokémon animated series is one of the most successful anime of all time and the highest performing anime series based on a video game ever. As of this writing, it’s been running for 24 years and has 23 seasons and over 1,200 episodes. The show has aired in 176 different countries and has been translated into over 30 languages. And with the latest series Pokémon Journeys proving to be one of the most popular TV shows on Netflix, the Pokémon animated show is showing no signs of slowing down.
Ash’s Most Used Pokémon Not Named Pikachu
While Ash Ketchum never parts with his trusty pal Pikachu, he often switches up the rest of his Pokémon team as he continues to explore new regions and encounter new species. Aside from Pikachu, the Pokémon that remained on his team the longest is the Grass/Poison-type Pokemon, Bulbasaur. Ash first caught Bulbasaur in the episode “Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village” and kept him on his team for the rest of his initial Kanto adventure, through the Orange Islands saga, and most of Johto. In the episode “Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!” Ash finally said goodbye to his bulby bud and sent him to Professor Oak so Bulbasaur could act as a Pokémon Ambassador to help care for temperamental Pokémon.
Ash’s Biggest Pokémon Tournament Win
Despite Ash’s ever-increasing collection of powerful Pokémon, he went quite a long time without winning the Pokémon League Championship. He did come out on top in the Orange Islands, but that’s considered a minor league. His first major league win came in the Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon episode “Enter the Champion!” when he used his Dusk Lycanroc to defeat Gladion’s Midnight Lycanroc in the finals. Ash finally got to take home the League Champion trophy like he always dreamed since he first set out to become a Pokémon Master. It took him 20 years and 1,078 episodes to do it, but hey, that’s what happens when you never give up!
Epic Pokémon Records
Largest Image of a Pokémon Composed of Human Beings
In the category of bizarre Pokémon trivia you didn’t know was a thing, the Guinness World Record for “Largest human image of a Pokémon character” was set in Japan on November 26, 2017 by the employees of Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions. The 994 people dressed in yellow, red, black, brown, and white pulled off the picturesque stunt to celebrate the Pokémon anime reaching the milestone of 1000 episodes.
You might notice the numbers seem a little off, and that’s because they originally did have 1000 people participate (one for each episode), but six were disqualified for “taking off hats and sitting down,” which is why the record stands at 994 people.
Person With the Largest Pokémon Collection
The next time someone gets on your case for buying too much Pokémon merch, just tell them about the person with the Guinness World Record for “Largest collection of Pokémon memorabilia.” Lisa Courtney from the UK currently holds the record, last verified in 2016, with a mountainous 17,127 pieces of Pokémon memorabilia, including everything from plushies and posters to hats and shirts. That way, your Pokémon splurge will seem small in comparison.
Pokémon Is the Biggest Media Franchise of All Time
Though the likes of Star Wars, Marvel, and Hello Kitty are juggernaut media franchises in their own right, Pokémon is the very best of them all when it comes to total money earned. Though Pokémon started as a video game series, it quickly grew into a multimedia franchise featuring trading cards, lunch boxes, clothing, movies, and virtually everything else you can imagine--even jets! The Pokémon Company’s overall earnings reportedly crossed the $100 billion mark in March 2021, making it the first media franchise to ever cross that milestone. Pokémon’s main sources of revenue are licensed merchandise ($64.1 billion), video games ($17.1 billion), trading cards ($10.8 billion), box office ($1.7 billion), manga ($1.4 billion), and home entertainment ($863 million). Talk about epic!
Joshua is a Senior Editor and Producer of Features at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Star Wars are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.Read More