Legendary Pokémon form a group of rare monsters each generation, so rare that only one of each can be found in their respective games. Legendaries are considered a separate group from Mythical Pokémon, which are usually exclusive to events. In the games, Legendary Pokemon sit in the overworld or roam the map, making them a bit more difficult to track down.
Unlike common Pokémon, most Legendary Pokémon do not have a gender and usually cannot evolve. They also play a crucial role in the Pokémon world, being a great benefit to the environment or making sure the world stays in balance.
Updated November 23, 2022 by Tom Steel: Legendary Pokémon will always be one of the main draws of a Pokémon game. With the recent release of the ninth generation Pokemon games, Scarlet & Violet, this list was updated to rank all nine generations and their respective Legendary Pokemon.
9/9 Too many legendary Pokémon can reduce its impact
Generation VII: Beast Slayers, Guardian Deities, Cosmog and Cosmoem, Trio of Light
A staggering 11 Legendary Pokémon were found in Alola, too many for some players. The problem with having so many legendary Pokémon is that the more there are, the less special they become.
Type: Null and his evolution Silvally were failed experiments aimed at replicating the powers of Arceus, a concept that sounds eerily similar to the much more successful Mewtwo. The Tapus have a purpose for each of the islands, but together with the others they only add up to a grouped list. It would have been more than enough to have a Legendary Pokémon on each island, in addition to the light trio.
8/9 The swords of justice and the forces of nature are disappointing
Generation V: Swords of Justice, Forces of Nature, Tao Trio
Legendary Pokemon are meant to be mystery Pokemon that are so hard to find that they are considered a myth by many. That being said, Swords of Justice, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion are incredibly easy to find, to the point that trainers will no doubt find them while playing normally.
Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus are even worse as they look like old men sitting on clouds. Zekrom, Reshiram, and Kyurem are the saving grace of Gen 5, as this is the first time the Legendary Pokemon have been fused together.
7/9 Zygarde has multiple forms, while Xerneas and Yveltal play pivotal roles in the Pokémon world.
Generation VI: Aura Trio
Xerneas and Yveltal are easily recognizable as Legendary Pokémon due to their large stature and shiny forms. Yveltal looks draconic and intimidating, while Xerneas looks more majestic, showing how one is destructive while the other heals.
Zygarde is also an interesting Pokemon as it has five forms: a cell form, a core form, a 10% form, a 50% form, and a full form, which is by far the strongest form. In Volcanion and the mechanical wonderthe full form could stop an Azoth Kingdom laser on its own.
6/9 Legendary birds get regional forms and two new records are presented
Generation VIII: Hero Duo, Eternatus, Kubfu and Urshifu, Regieleki and Regidrago, Legendary Birds of Galar, The King’s Steeds, Calyrex
Gen 8 has received a lot of harsh criticism, but fans were excited to see Legendary Pokemon get regional forms for the first time, making Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres look drastically different. Regidrago and Regieleki were also introduced, and like other Legendary Titans, fans had to solve puzzles to get to them. Zacian and Zamazenta also quickly became popular, as one wields a sword in its mouth while the other acts as a shield.
Calyrex and his steed, either Spectrier or Glastrier, were also great additions, adding a lot of humor to the story whenever he spoke to the player. Kubfu and Urshifu didn’t have as much of an impact on the story, but the game gave trainers a chance to bond with Thrm through cutscenes. Many of these Pokémon are only available through DLC, but as a complete package, sword and shield it had a good selection of legendary pokemon.
5/9 Koraidon and Miraidon changed the roles of the legendary Pokémon
Generation IX: Koraidon and Miraidon, Treasures Of Ruin
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have been received with mixed reviews. While performance issues have plagued its release, Gen IX games have largely impressed with their creative use of an open world and the introduction of new species of Pokémon. For the first time, the Legendary Cover Pokemon from each game accompanies players throughout the story as a carrier Pokemon and an active part of the story.
Koraidon and Miraidon also join four other Legendary Pokémon in scarlet and violet, known as the Four Treasures of Ruin. Wo-Chien, Chien-Pao, Ting-Lu, and Chi-Yu can all be unlocked and faced by collecting wagers, making players work towards meeting the entire roster of Legendary Pokémon in scarlet and violet.
4/9 The Creation Trio Are Some Of The Strongest Legendary Pokemon
Generation IV: Creation Trio, Lake Guardians, Cresselia, Heatran, Regigigas
Dialga controls time, Palkia controls space, and Giratina controls antimatter. This allows them to destroy and remake the universe, which is why Gen IV villain Cyrus seeks them out. This makes them the strongest Legendary Pokemon, as other Legendary Pokemon are, at most, capable of destruction on a planetary scale.
The Lake Guardians are adorable additions, except for the fact that only Mesprit decides to become a roaming Pokémon after the trainer finds it. Cresselia and Heatran are the most forgettable in Gen 4, as Cresselia doesn’t exist as an overworld or roaming encounter until the trainer acquires a specific item. Heatran embodies the core of the planet, but is not as impressive as Groudon. With that said, Regigigas appears in this generation as the leader of the Legendary Titans, opening up the realm of the possibility that more could exist.
3/9 Entei, Suicune and Raikou were the first roaming legendary Pokémon
Generation II: Tower Duo, Legendary Beasts
After navigating through caves to find Legendaries from the previous generation, the introduction of roaming Legendary Pokemon in Gen 2 was a fresh new concept. They added an additional challenge, as players had to be careful not to knock them out, slowly reducing their health with each encounter.
Lugia and Ho-Oh required players to have a specific item for them in order for an encounter to occur. Gold, Silver and Crystal did an excellent job of making Legendary Pokémon rarer and harder to obtain.
2/9 Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres and Mewtwo were exciting to find on their own
Generation I: Mewtwo, legendary birds
The legendary pokemon in Red, BlueY Yellow it required players to solve puzzles to reach them, in the form of navigating through caves or buildings. With many powerful wild Pokémon roaming the areas, it meant buying a lot of healing items or making multiple trips to the Pokémon Center.
Mewtwo is by far the hardest to get. At level 70, it quickly becomes a valuable addition to any Pokémon team. Mewtwo’s backstory is also one of the most interesting in the games. He was a Mew clone who worked for Giovanni for a short period of time. In the movies, the trio of legendary birds are fiercely territorial, inhabiting islands next to each other, but the games wisely keep them apart as they’re likely to fight each other.
1/9 Groudon and Kyogre fought until Rayquaza intervened.
Generation II: Super Ancient Pokemon, Legendary Titans, Eon Duo
Generation III features one of the most exciting scenes in the series, in which Groudon and Kyogre face off in a cataclysmic battle. The player is required to catch one of the two Pokémon or awaken Rayquaza to prevent the two from ending the world. This is the first time Legendary Pokemon have battled each other in the games. To this day, Groudon and Kyogre still have the fiercest rivalry in the series, to the point where they would fight each other again if given the chance.
In PRAY, the player can ride Latios or Latias over the world map, leading to special legendary encounters and the ability to find new locations. This makes the Eon duo stand out from other Legendary Pokemon. Additionally, Regirock, Regice, and Registeel were introduced in Gen 3, requiring players to solve braille puzzles to find them.
NEXT: Scarlet & Violet’s 10 Paradox Pokemon We Can’t Wait To Catch