Top 10 Pokemon Rivals

I'm listing the most memorable rivals of all time. They are the best of the best.

The Top Ten Pokemon Rivals

1 Silver

When I went back to play heart gold again I realized just how much of his dialogue I had forgotten. I originally hated him (although I was pretty young back then) but after experiencing his character again, I can safely say he is the best Pokemon rival hands down. Although not my personal favorite but I still love him so much. That won't ever change.

This is the best rival in Pokemon, no doubt. He's cocky, makes fun of you, and even stole Pokemon! It feels like NPCs make him out to be this cruel and unforgiving guy, and that's what makes a rival. I mean, nowadays, rivals are too friendly and aren't competent. They even heal your Pokemon! Silver is definitely my favourite of the many rivals in Pokemon, because he isn't some person who battles for the sake of battling. He battles to get you out of his way, so you don't mess with him again, and he will on occasion skip battles. He's even Giovanni's son, one if not the best evil team member in Pokemon games! I love Silver, and I'd love for Nintendo to make another character that's just like Silver, my rival #1!

Cool, but compared to Wally, he's just a douchey 12-year-old with Daddy issues.

He gives you a challenge and has character development. Why not?

2 Gladion Gladion is a fictional character introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. He works for Team Skull. He serves as a rival character to the player in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I love his relationship with the other characters in the game. I think the people we know and socialize with are a big part of what's defining our personalities, and Gladion takes this to heart. You can see a lot of different sides of him during the game (trust me, there's not just edginess in him) and I especially like how he behaves around Hau and Lillie. And the smile after you battle him at the base of mount Lanakila is just precious. In short, from his personality and design to his role in the story, I love Gladion so much!

WAAAH! SUN AND MOON SERIES ENDED! I AM SOOO SAD (ps gladion should be first place) ( I am the same person who wrote about his theme and about being emo and the person that gives spoilers)

I think he should be first place, like, HE IS SO EMO! and he's my fave character. I like how in the games, he suddenly treats you like a peasant, then over time, he kinda acts like your friend but then says that he's not tryina be your friend or anything. its sooo sad when he lost in the alolan league! I didn't want ash to win! ( soz for any spoilers whoever is watching the anime lol)

Wait, he's going to be one of my rivals in the game? COOL! - ModernSpongeBobSucks

3 Wally

I can relate to Wally on so many levels. His lack of confidence, his health, his personality and motivations and even relations. Wally was the first rival I liked as a kid (I was 10 when I got Alpha Sapphire) and even now when I'm older and know what makes a good character he's still one of my favorites. (I also like how he has a Gallade in Alpha sapphire instead of a gardevoir like he had in the original games. It really shows how he isn't just a small and weak boy. He has matured.)

Aside from the kick-ass battle theme, Wally has the best character development of any rival. He is also such a sweet guy. He's only part of the reason OR/AS are the best Pokémon games ever made.

To see him from a meek and shy boy, to a determined trainer with a hands down the most badass battle theme is epic

It was so satisfying to see him grow the character and help him develop throughout his journey this was especially shown in Omega Ruby and alpha sapphire. - G10VANN1

4 Blue

The only rival to become champion, and also one of two rivals, to have their own gym

Blue was the one to shape Red into being the amazing trainer he is now. You always wanted to defeat him because of his cocky and arrogant additude. He later became a gym leader after being defeated as champion. He had character development. Childhood friend, then a bully, and after Red's dissapearance, he turned out to be caring too. He was a true rival. Silver was a criminal, and I never found him too fascinating. He was just an edgy kid with daddy issues. Gladion is interesting, but he didn't have enough screen time. Wally...well, Wally is adorable and I've always loved him but I find in terms of rivals, Blue wins. He has a good team, unique personality, and was actually strong. Silver on the other hand...was he the one to come back for Sun and Moon, and to be recognized as a champion, gym leader, and Battle Tree boss? Nope.

Blue was the most competitive rival. His pokemon were really well balanced. He even had his unique and memorable catch phrase, "Smell ya later." Also, he was always one step ahead of you, unlike other rivals. He really did feel like a rival to me. Which is why he's my favorite. (Not to mention he is really attractive)

Sure Blue was good of a rival in the terms of wanting to kick his ass but that's all you can like about him in the kanto games. And it bothers me to no end that everyone feels that most of the rivals aren't rivals because they don't have that aspect. Look the definition of rivalry is competing against each other and having the same kind of motive, not "This guy is so mean to me I want to punch him in the face". - Rue

5 N

N is honestly my favorite character in the franchise and I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon. I never really saw him as a rival when I played the game as a kid, but now that I understand him more, his role is definitely that of a rival. In spite of his motivations being along the lines of Archie or Maxie's, they were meant to be more closely "rival" your ideals as the protagonist, rather than just being presented as a villain you need to defeat at some point like the Hoenn antagonists were. Either way, I love him. - OPZoroark

Seriously, I love N's character so much and I really enjoyed the dynamic between him and player character

Maybe my very first video game crush. I wish I had the time to properly talk about him, but I'm feeling tired. Just know that he is incredible.

While most don't really think of him as a rival due to his role as a primary antagonist, this really just adds to the rivalry developed between him & Hilbert/Hilda. I love his gimmick of using whichever Pokemon are in the general area to help him, instead of having a concrete team. I love his battle theme, with the music box remix in the sequels being some of the creepiest background tracks in the history of the games. And I honestly believe his backstory is the best in the series so far. (Still, his anime adaptation could have been WAY better)

6 Barry

Barry started off as an incredibly impatient rival acting incredibly impulsive and refusing to ever slow down, in the games Barry is way too confident and determined to be the best, but after losing again and again despite all his strategies he addresses his own flaws and develops, Barry manages to be an incredibly memorable rival and character despite not being a total ass like some other well known rivals.

Sometimes its less about how people are at the start of the games and how they changed throughout, and more how it was done. If your rival starts off arrogant, they don't need to be made humble by the end of the game. They can still be arrogant, but still be more cautious than when you first started. Its more about how Barry improved himself, and less about how much different of a character he was at the end of the game.

He actually gave a crap about defeating Team Galactic, and was always two steps ahead of you and you always felt like he was the stronger trainer out if the Trio

Barry is the best. He's very funny. I'm glad he was in the game and in the anime too.

7 Hugh

My childhood crush... I can't believe there are people out there who hate him. (Actually I can believe it I just don't want to accept it.) I love Hugh.

Hugh has some real motivation here, unlike most rivals who just do this for fun *coughcoughHAUcoughcough* and keep their one dimentional personality throughout the series.

Even though his sub plot is kinda retarded and may have a sister complex... he is still one of my most memorable rivals with his theme, caring to get back something important for his sister and was pretty cool to Hilbert/Hilda. Plus he pretty hot and I gotta love his hair

Hugh is a fine rival but his sub plot is so stupid like we hardly know about her sister and she never said anything about her Purrlion. It's hard to engage in Hugh's motive. - Rue

8 Hau Hau is a fictional character introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. He is the grandson of the Island Kahuna for Melemele Island, Hala. He serves as the rival character and ally to the player in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

He might not be the best rival in terms of story, team setup, backstory, motivations, and pretty much everything that we want in a rival, but I still love hims so much! He has so much personality and I love how he can be sassy at times too. I really wish I had a friend like him. And that's kinda what I wanted in game too. A friend. Gladion filled the role of the rival for most people but even so I still find Hau to be amazing. Sometimes your favorites doesn't have to be what's considered "the best".

Really nice yet still has character development and relevance to the plot. Well done GAME FREAK, you finally made a good friendly rival.(Barry doesn't count as a friendly rival due to how cocky and willing to beat the living daylights out of you.)

A true cinnamon roll

He's so friendly.

9 Cheren

I never hated Cheren, but recently I've restarted my game in White and I never realized how power hungry he was 'till recently. I still don't hate him, but I'm not sure if I'd say I like 'i'm (same goes for any other character). He kinda reminds me of Silver but slightly nicer. But yeah, Cheren, there's more to life than being stronger and proving your existence.
Also reminds me of Gaara with that existence thing and Shikamaru with his "What a bother" catchphrase.

I hated Cheren; always acting like he was "so smart" and "so special". Yet he got his ass kicked by a level 40 Azumarill with 3 HM moves. Bravo, Cheren, bravo. - mattstat716

Cheren is honestly the best rival ever. He’s a very honest person and he has one of the best character improvements ever.

10 Bianca

What I like about Bianca was that she wad never trying to best you. Sure, I like that the purpose of rivals was to push you to train harder, but she was a genuine person who acknowledged that the journey was never really defined by your strength - it was defined by the Pokemon.

Unnecessarily corny way to think about a Pokemon? I agree, but it's true on my part! - keycha1n

Didn't really battle you to be better than you; battled you to see how you've done in a sense. - mattstat716

The Contenders

11 Gary Oak Gary oak appeared in the anime series in seasons 1-5 . He was ash's rival and childhood friend . Though they had a dispute once they fought over a rusty pokeball they wanted for luck, which broke after they fought over it . Gary was the grandson of professor oak . He had cheerleaders & his own car. ...read more.

You're the fourth to leave home, but as a trainer, you're dead last!

Take this off the list. This is a list about the games, not the anime. - pokemonrater

He is a jerk

he's gary mutha----ing oak

12 Bede

I was really surprised over how much he developed during the game. And I like his design too. Yeah even his grandma hair. Which I never really thought looked like grandma hair but whatever. His battle theme reminded me of Unova too so bonus points for that! And I love fairy and Psychic types. (And I might have had a crush on him like most of my favorite rivals.) That moment with Opal though... Great stuff!

Best rival in sword and shield.

13 Lillie Lillie is a fictional character introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. She serves as one of the player character's allies and traveling companions during the course of the game.

I feel like Lillie deserves to be number 1 because of her great story development and how well she was made. How she overcame her fears of heights, I bet a lot of us where sad to see her go. - Nebby

She's not really a rival, you don't battle her once during the game. - JThrill

Lillie isn't a rival but she's my favourite character.

Whilst not a rival, Nebby and Lillie are the perfect duo. Whilst they never battle, they develop wonderfully. - mattstat716

14 Colress

People say Colress was your rival. "However, I disagrees." N was your rival though. - HeavyDonkeyKong

15 Brendan - Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Version

Because Steven Stone isn't here. Steven is Ash Ketchum's father by the way.

He was strong. He fought well against us and well with us while battling team aqua/magma. He was able to be your friend while still being able to push you harder

16 May May is a female companion to Ash in the generation 3 anime. She was also the female character in Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire. May (anime) debuted in the 275th episode, "Get the Show on the Road!" She was going to be a trainer, but wasn't excited about it. After meeting a ...read more.

May deserves a higher place on this list.

OR/AS.

17 Paul

This list is about the games, not the awful anime. - pokemonrater

They should have specified, it should have been named top 10 Pokemon rivals from the games. - egnomac

18 Marnie

Marnie is super cool! She’s a cooler emo than Gladion and deserves higher on the list. Gladion is also cool.

the best rival. way more emo than gladion and cute as well

19 Hop

Hop. Is so. Over-hated. Like, he actually grows significantly over the course of the game. He never feels like he's just there to serve as a friendly obstacle during your journey, as it's always apparent that he's undergoing his own development and reacting to the events that unfold as an actual person would. And I adore him for it. 9.5/10 - Favorite friendly rival - OPZoroark

Hop is so underrated Every time I see how low he is ranked I want to punch somebody. He is my favorite rival please rate higher

Hop is the best friendly rival and if you hate on him you are heartless

Those who hate on Hop are either just dumb, mean or both. Ok I don't mean that. But still. Hop doesn't deserve the hate he gets. He is actually a really well developed character and he almost beat me in the last battle against him despite the games being too easy. I wish you would get the justice you deserve Hop.

20 Calem

Calem and Serena are literally the same it just depends on what gender that you pick in my opinion. - HeavyDonkeyKong

Calem is the worst rival.

CALEM IS BEST RIVAL! I just think he's hot.And in Victory Road he nearly beat me.My battery died but he technically beat me sooo yeah.Calem,probably the hottest rival.If US and UM make a hotter one then I'm all eyes

21 Dawn Dawn is a character from Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. In the games diamond, pearl, and platinum version she was one of the playable characters you can choose from. She will be an assistant for professor Rowan if you choose her male counterpart, Lucas. ...read more.

Dawn is your friend, she battles along side you, not against you. Berry is the character who fits the Rival role. - Rue

She was competitive and a good friend

Sorry Dawn I don’t know why they put you on this list Theese are rivals Gary Colleress Giovanni meowth sawyen

22 Shauna

She is cheerful and happy. She is the best of the three Kalos friends and I love her design

Shauna is a very kind girl. She's also the only one who offered a trade with the character.

Shauna was one of my fave characters because her personality is that she's a girly trainer who cares about her Pokemon very much.Each of her Pokemon represented something about her.Starter was just the starter.Delcatty represents her cute personality.Talonflame(I Think)represents she is a determined trainer. Second,she's a rival we don't know much about.She might come from Vaniville Town or Snowbelle City.I think she's from another region or maybe Anistar City. Tierno is from Snowbelle City.

23 Edgie (Pokemon Clover)

If you thought Gladion was an edge lord this dude is way worse

24 Serena Serena has proven to be a kind and polite girl but she can also be openly rebellious towards her mother, Grace. In Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, she refused to wake up when Grace ordered her to, and gave a sassy response to her mother's call to watch the news. This tumultuous relationship ...read more.

Why. Just why. She was the least developed of ANY rival in the series. Don't get me started on her anime version. - RiverClanRocks

She's my second least favorite due to being bland. Blue was even worse though however. Blue was just a typical bully in my opinion. - HeavyDonkeyKong

Anybody who hates gen.6, I hate.

Typical Serena, receiving hate like it's her dayjob.

25 Tierno

You're kidding.

Ummm... who's this guy again.


in all seriousness, he is not a rival, just a person who you battle one or twice for no reason, like Bede.

Rivals with personality:
Silver, Blue, Barry, Hau, Wally etc.

Boring rivals:
Tierno

uh
that's it
I think?

26 Trevor
27 Brendan (Pokemon ORAS)
28 Bidoof Bidoof, known in Japan as Bippa, is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise.
29 Blipbug
30 Skwovet
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