The Pokémon franchise first launched in 1996 as Gameboy games. In Generation 1, there were 151 Pokémon. Now there are over 800 different species of Pokémon, each with their own unique abilities and appearances.
Each generation included at least three Legendary Pokémon. These Pokémon have a special status in the franchise since they are incredibly rare and, usually, extremely powerful. Many are also important aspects in the legends and mythology of the Pokémon universe.
Legendaries have higher base stats than normal Pokémon. They generally have unknown genders, with a few exceptions. They are not able to evolve, breed, nor hatch from an egg, and most can only be obtained once per save file.
Out of the 802 Pokémon, 47 are considered Legendary. Legendaries include some of the most recognizable and beloved Pokémon in the entire franchise.
Though we are led to believe that every Legendary Pokémon is better than all of the rest, in some cases they are not. Let's face it: a few of them do not deserve their Legendary status.
Spanning seven generations over two decades and nearly 47 legendaries, these are the 8 Best (And 7 Worst) Legendary Pokémon Of All Time.
Note: this does not include mythical Pokémon, which are similar but are often event-related.
15 Best: Dialga
Dialga is mostly spoken of in legend; since it lives in another dimension, it is difficult to study. It has the ability to control time. Being both a Steel and a Dragon type Pokémon makes Dialga a force to be reckoned with in battle.
Steel type Pokémon, on average, have the strongest defense and are resistant to many other types of Pokémon. Dragon type Pokémon are known for having a strong offense with high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed.
Generally, Dragon Pokémon have a weakness against Ice type Pokémon as well as other Dragons. However, Dialga escapes this weakness. It is only weak to Fighting and Ground types and is resistant to Normal, Flying, Rock, Psychic, Electric, Water, Steel, Bug, and Grass types.
The Pokémon also has the ability to learn special moves, being one of the few that can learn Aura Sphere and the only one capable of learning Roar of Time.
14 Worst: Moltres
Moltres is part of the Legendary birds of Kanto trio, along with Articuno and Zapdos. Being a Fire and Flying dual type, it has a quadruple weakness to Rock types. Moltres is also weak against Water and Electric types.
It is capable of doing some good damage in battle. However, while its signature move Sky Attack is the most powerful Flying move, it also leaves the user vulnerable, as it must store energy for a full turn.
As one of the first legendaries ever, Moltres has the power of nostalgia on its side. Though while Moltres may have been great back in the day, with each generation comes more and more impressive legendaries.
Moltres' powers have not stood the test of time and, sadly, it just does not compare to the newer creations.
13 Best: Giratina
This Legendary is said to live in a world on the reverse side of the Pokémon world called Distortion World, where common knowledge is supposedly distorted and strange.
Giratina is said that it was banished there due to its violence. It is the only known Pokémon that is a Ghost and Dragon dual type. Giratina is part of the creation trio, along with Dialga and Palkia, and is arguably the strongest of the three, as it has the ability to control antimatter.
It has two Formes: Altered Forme and Origin Forme. It is hampered by weaknesses to Ghost, Dragon, Ice, Dark, and Fairy types. However, it boasts impressive defensive stats.
It is the only Pokémon that is capable of learning the move Shadow Force -- this move makes the user disappear and then strike during the second turn, even if the opponent protects itself.
12 Worst: Entei
Entei is one of the Legendary beasts introduced in Generation II with Raikou and Suicune. It is near impossible to catch, with a catch rate of 0.4% with a PokéBall at full HP. However, it really is not worth all the trouble.
It has a 2x weakness to Ground, Rock, and Water types. Both its Defense and Special Defense stats are rather low, leaving it vulnerable. On top of that, Entei's base Special Attack stat is only 90, which is not much for a so-called Legendary.
There are stronger Fire type Pokémon that a player can use that are not as hard to catch. There is just nothing special enough about Entei to justify its Legendary status, since it is not much different than Arcanine from Generation I.
11 Best: Solgaleo
Solgaleo is a Psychic/Steel dual type Legendary and part of the cosmic duo, along with Lunala. Its base stats are strong all around, with its highest being HP and Attack. Together they add up to 680.
It is believed to live in another world, according to the Pokédex. It is capable of holding a large amount of energy. When it is active, it radiates an intense light from its body that can make the darkest nights look like midday.
Solgaleo is sometimes referred to as "the beast that devours the sun." It is the only Pokémon that can learn the powerful move Sunsteel Strike, which attacks the opponent with the force of a meteor. When it enters its Radiant Sun phase, a third eye appears on its forehead.
10 Worst: Articuno
Articuno is another one of the Legendary birds of Kanto. Similiar to Moltres, it was much stronger when it was first released in Generation I. However, as the years have gone by, it simply does not measure up anymore.
Its stats are not horrible, but are seriously lacking when compared to other legendaries. Its defense, in particular, is not great. As an Ice/Flying type, Articuno is vulnerable to Fire and Electric type Pokémon. It is also weak against Steel types and has a whopping quadruple weakness to Rock types.
While Articuno has some good STAB moves, the rest of its offense is nothing special and its speed is also pretty slow. Generally, Ice types are needed to take down Dragons, but Articuno's weak offense would make this challenging. On the plus side, its design is lovely.
9 Best: Zekrom
Zekrom is a dual type Dragon and Electric Pokémon that likes to hide in thunderclouds. It is a member of the Tao trio with Reshiram and Kyurem. Its tail can produce electricity to fuel its attacks.
It also emits an anti-gravity field that allows the Pokémon to fly. Zekrom has the power to create thunderstorms. It is the only Pokémon capable of learning the Electric move Bolt Strike, which can cause paralysis in an opponent, as well as inflict damage.
Another one of its signature moves is Fusion Bolt, which attacks the opponent with a giant thunderbolt. While it has the raw power to scorch the Earth with lightning, it is not malicious.
In fact, it seeks to help those who want to build an ideal world. Its overall base stats are all great, adding up to a total of 680. For reference, that is the same as Mewtwo.
8 Worst: Regice
First of all, just look at Regice. It is literally just a giant chunk of ice. It is said to have formed during the Ice Age and has a body temperature of -382 degrees. It's not the most inspired design.
Regice acts like nothing more than a chunk of ice in battle as well. It moves at a ridiculously slow speed, probably because it has to balance its giant body on its cone-shaped legs. Its base Attack and Speed stats are atrocious at 50. Added together, its base stats are a mere 580.
It has a weakness to Fighting, Rock, Steel, and Fire types. However, it does have a Special Defense base stat well above average and its Special Attack is decent, so it can get some hits in.
7 Best: Lugia
Lugia is the master of the Legendary Kanto birds trio: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. It was strong enough to battle all three of them at once in the second Pokémon movie and is also extremely intelligent.
It is rarely seen since it isolates itself deep underwater. While its Psychic/Flying dual type does make it vulnerable to Rock, Ghost, Ice, Electric, and Dark types, it has strong Defense and Special Defense base stats to make up for it.
Lugoa is also the only known Pokémon capable of learning the move Aeroblast, a powerful Flying attack which has a high critical hit ratio. Lugia has the power to calm and strengthen storms-- a mere flutter of its wings could cause a devastating storm strong enough to destroy cliffs.
6 Worst: Uxie
Uxie is a member of the lake guardian trio, along with Mesprit and Azelf. It is known as the Being of Knowledge. Legend says that it provided humans with the intelligence needed to improve their lives.
Its Defense and Special Defense base stats are solid, but the Psychic Pokémon has a 2x weakness to Bug, Ghost, and Dark types. Its offense is where it is lacking. One of its strongest moves is Future Sight, which takes a full two turns to work after it is selected.
Another one of Uxie's moves is Confusion, which only has a one in ten chance of actually confusing the opponent. Its base HP, Attack, and Special Attack are all at 75, making its total base stats add up to 580, which is below the average 600 for legendaries.
5 Best: Arceus
Arceus is referred to as "the original one." Not only is it incredibly powerful with impressive stats all around, but it is an almost god-like figure in the Pokémon mythos.
Legend says that the Pokémon existed before everything else, emerging from an egg from nothingness and creating the entire Pokémon universe with its 1,000 arms. It is also believed that it created the lake guardian Pokémon (Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf), as well as the creation trio (Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina).
Arceus is a Normal type but can change into every other type depending on which Plate it is holding. It has 18 forms in total.
The Pokémon's signature move is Judgement, and it is the only one capable of learning it. Judgement releases countless rays of light. If Arceus changes types with a Plate, the move Judgement will also change.
4 Worst: Tornadus
Tornadus is one of the Forces of Nature, along with Thundurus and Landorus. It is the only Pokémon known to be a pure Flying type. It has two Formes: Incarnate Forme and Therian Forme.
In its Incarnate Forme, it resembles a half man, half cloud type of creature with a random tentacle or tail sticking out of it. Whatever it is supposed to be, it does not really look like a Pokémon.
Tornadus has the ability to travel at speeds of 200 miles per hour and create storms with winds powerful enough to knock down houses. While its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats are all decent, its HP, Defense, and Special Defense are all weak.
Furthermore, its typing gives it a 2x weakness to Ice, Electric, and Rock types.
3 Best: Mewtwo
It is impossible to talk about the best Legendary Pokémon without mentioning Mewtwo. It is perhaps the most recognizable Legendary of them all due to its prominent appearance in the original anime and the first Pokémon movie.
Mewtwo was created by gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments on the Pokémon Mew. Its abilities surpass that of Mew, allowing it better flight, telekinesis, telepathy, and regeneration. It was specifically designed by scientists to be the ultimate fighter.
It has become vicious as a result of the scientific experimentation and is believed to have the most savage heart. Mewtwo is capable of using psychic waves to cause physical destruction with its signature move Psystrike.
Mewtwo is also extremely intelligent and, using its telepathy, is one of the few Pokémon with the ability to communicate with humans.
2 Worst: Regigigas
Regigigas is one of the hardest Pokémon to obtain. First, a trainer needs to have Regirock, Regice, and Registeel in its party. Then they must travel to the Snowpoint Temple, Twist Mountain, or Island Cave to awaken Regigigas.
One would assume that the Legendary must be a pretty incredible fighter if a trainer has to go through all of this trouble in order to get one. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Regigigas has a tragic flaw-- itss signature Ability called Slow Start, which causes its Attack and Speed stats to operate at half its capacity during the first five turns in battle. This is reset if the Pokémon is switched out.
On top of this, its movepool is rather lackluster and its design is... unique, to say the least.
1 Best: Rayquaza
Rayquaza is one of the most powerful Pokémon of them all. It boasts a top-notch moveset; it is the only known Pokémon that is capable of learning the move Dragon Ascent.
It is generally aggressive and territorial, making it a formidable opponent in battle. Called "The Sky High Pokémon" in the Pokédex, it has dwelled in the ozone layer of the Earth for hundreds of millions of years without descending to the ground.
This makes it an incredibly rare Pokémon to see -- it appears as a meteor to those on the ground. Sightings are so rare that humans previously did not even know of its existence.
Mega Rayquaza is tied with Mega Mewtwo X and Y for highest base stat total out of all Pokémon. The definition of a Legendary Pokémon is to be insanely powerful and rare, and Rayquaza embodies both of these ideals.
Did we forget one of your favorite (or least favorite) Legendary Pokémon? Sound off in the comments!