Boss Rush Banter: Who is the Best Rival in Pokémon Games?

A staple in every Pokémon game is your rival, a fellow Pokémon trainer who you frequently battle with along your journey. These rivals can range from your best friend to your mortal enemy, with many recent entries giving two or more rivals instead of just one. We’ve seen a glimpse into our main rival from Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, a young trainer named Nemona, who “has a sunny and energetic disposition, and she absolutely loves Pokémon battles.” This new rival has a long line of predecessors to live up to though. Out of all of the rivals we’ve seen throughout the franchise, which Pokémon Rival is the best?

Nemona from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Image Source: Pokémon Company

First off, let’s take a look at the guy who started the trend. Blue, or your rival in Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen, set the precedent for what a rival would be. Blue’s cocky, and for good reason. Throughout the experience, he’s always one step ahead of you, all the way up to the champion’s room after the Elite Four. He’s rude but not unlikable. Plus, seeing him as a gym leader in the Johto games feels like a great improvement for his character. He may not be the best, but Blue HAS to be near the top of this list.

Image Source: Nintendo

Another rival, or set of rivals, I often think of are your rivals in the Hoenn games, Brendan and May. In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire, your rival is whichever player character you didn’t choose at the start of your journey. While these characters have the same personality due to their near-identical dialogue, they present a different dynamic between the player and rival from the previous rivals. These rivals are your friend through and through. Though you beat them again and again, they keep you on your toes and offer encouragement.

Image Source: Nintendo

As the franchise has continued, players have started to get more than one rival during their journey. One rival who has always stood out to me is Cheren from Black and White. Cheren is a powerful trainer, and though he may lose to you, still proves himself significant enough to show up again as a gym leader and mentor in Black 2 and White 2. Cheren isn’t condescending or obnoxious, and he’s a competent trainer who actually puts up some good fights throughout the games.

Image Source: Nintendo

But these are just some examples of the different rivals shown in the Pokémon games. Let us know who we forgot to mention in a comment below, and tell us what you think about Nemona for Scarlet and Violet at the Boss Rush Discord.

Source: The Pokémon Company

Featured Image: The Pokémon Company

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