The best gen 2 Pokémon

Our list of the best gen 2 Pokémon features some of the very best, including a pseudo-legendary, an adorable ferret, and one tough cow

Gen 2 Pokemon: key art from Pokemon Gold and Silver shows the trainers playing outside with Pokémon, against a yellow background

No matter where you turn in the Johto region, we can guarantee there’s a fantastic ‘mon waiting for you. We’re not afraid to say who we think the best gen 2 Pokémon are. In fact, that’s what we’re about to do, and while some might be fairly obvious, there are a couple of entries that might surprise you. It’s also worth noting that there are no legendary Pokémon or starter Pokémon on this list, they each have their own respective guide, and this gives everyone else a chance to shine.

If you want to discover the shining stars from other generations, our gen 1 Pokémon, gen 3 Pokémon, gen 8 Pokémon, and gen 7 Pokémon content can help you out. Or, if you’re after a pal with a spooky feel, our list of the best ghost Pokémon is a must-read.

Anyway, onto the best gen 2 Pokémon.

gen 2 pokemon furret


Furret is arguably one of the cutest’ mon in the entire series, and that’s some huge praise considering it’s from generation two, but just look at its face, you can clearly see how its adorableness can withstand the tests of time. Admittedly, it’s not likely to lead you to victory against the Elite Four, but hey, who cares about that? We all know you need at least one ‘mon that can bat its eyes and make you buy it something pretty.

geen 2 pokemon espeon and umbreon


Eevee has many evolutions, two of which debut in generation two, and while Jolteon, Vaporeon, and Flareron represent elements, Umbreon and Espeon are night and day, which is one of the many reasons why Umbreon is the best Eevee evolution. Not only are these two ‘mon formidable in battle, with Umbreon serving as one of the original dark Pokémon and Espeon as a psychic Pokémon, but the way in which you evolve them is great.

You need to build up your friendship with Eevee to the point where it loves you. Then when you next level it up at night, it can evolve into Umbreon. Alternatively, you can repeat this process during the day if it’s Espeon that you’re after.

gen 2 pokemon snubbull


Ah, Snubbull, what a special lil guy. We’d be remiss if we didn’t include it on this list. When it comes to generation two ‘mon, Snubbull is certainly up there for one of the more interesting designs, and while it’s not particularly strong in the early going, its evolution train is something special. Seriously, this dog’s bark matches its bite.

gen 2 pokemon crobat


Crobat is still one of the best additional evolutions Game Freak added to an existing chain. In case the name doesn’t give it away, this second generation Pokémon evolves from Golbat, making it quite a ferocious grass Pokémon with access to some psychic and poison attacks. Crobat is well-rounded and can cause a world of pain against the right opponent. Don’t send it out against fire – unless the idea of a crispy bat appeals to you.

gen 2 pokemon houndoom


By far one of the best dog Pokémon, Houndoom is a beast on the battlefield and easily one of the most intimidating creatures you can come across in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Not only that, but Houndoom is a top-notch fire Pokémon, which makes it a perfect choice should you choose Totodile to start your journey with because we don’t even talk about the grass-type here.

gen 2 pokemon tyranitar


This pseudo-legendary Pokémon is an absolute beast, and frankly, we suggest all trainers in the Johto region go out of their way to get their hands on this hybrid dark and rock-type. However, it does take considerable work, given you need to reach level 55 with Pupitar, the second stage of Larvitar. If we ever get to revisit Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal on the Switch, we’re certain this big boi is a shoo-in for competitive play.

gen 2 pokemon Slowking


There’s a good chance our writer Nathan may not have spoken to us for a good while if Slowking didn’t make this list (huh, why is he here?), but the water and psychic Pokémon certainly deserves a mention, as once again, Game Freak nails the additional evolution to an existing line. This royal ‘mon certainly elevates Slowbro to new heights. Plus, it’s a shining star in Pokémon 2000, and we can all agree that it’s the best Pokemon movie, but maybe that’s a list for another time.

gen 2 pokemon politoed


Not only does Pokémon Gold and Silver introduce new evolutions for the likes of Golbat, Seadra, and Slowbro, but it’s also the first generation to feature alternate evolutions for ‘mon besides Eevee. If you feel more like a happy-go-lucky toad and not so wrathful, you can evolve Poliwhirl into Politoed instead of Poliwrath. This is something you might want to consider, as Politoed is one of the best water Pokémon in the Johto region, and it just oozes happiness.

gen 2 pokemon kingdra


This is the perfect example of a new evolution for an existing Pokémon, and it occurs in the second generation – what a treat. Kingdra is undeniably one of the best water Pokémon in the Johto region. Not only that, But Kingdra is also partly a dragon Pokémon in subsequent appearances, which only adds to its prowess in battle. Plus, just look at it. This creature is clearly a regal badass.

gen 2 pokemon miltank


Miltank is the champion of generation two Pokémon, and yes, this is our hill, and the Pocket Tactics crew intends to defend it till the bitter end. Miltank is a normal Pokémon, and while this is usually boring, Miltank actually hits like a freight train. The only thing that lets this second-generation Pokémon down is the fact that it doesn’t have an evolution. Oh, what could be, if only Game Freak would bring this ‘mon back with a vengeance.

There you have it, the best gen 2 Pokemon. Agree with our picks? Whether you do not, let us know. If you want to see what other ‘mons are out there, check out our gen 5 Pokémon list.