Top 10 Pokemon Rivals

I'm listing the most memorable rivals of all time. They are the best of the best.
The Top Ten
1 Silver

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!

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!

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.)

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.

4 Blue

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.

5 N

N is the most developed character of all of the rivals. He had so much character, and was one of the scariest rivals because he had a vision and goal that was new, not just the same old song and dance. The way he used disguised fallacies to make you question the boundaries of morality was quite amazing, and the way he used pokemon that were in the locale was a beautiful touch to further diversify the gameplay. The music they wrote for him was especially great as well, and the slowed versions in BW2 were some of the creepiest pieces in the game.

6 Barry

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.

Barry is my favorite rival so far. Barry wasn't way too friendly like Serena or May and he wasn't a big mean jerk like blue or silver. He was in the middle. I also found his super hyper and impatient personality kind of funny and entertaining. He's friendly but on the same time make's me wanna win against him.
Also, your final battle with him was pretty tough.

7 Hugh

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 like that one kid that you wanna become friends with very quickly. He's basically the Knuckles The Echidna of the Pokemon franchise. You do anything to his sister's Purrloin, he will unleash his rage. But still, a good choice for a rival. It's what fans were expecting in the sequels, a good rival.

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.)

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.

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 Bianca is a character from Pokemon by gamefreak & Nintendo. She is one of the rivals & a childhood friend of the protagonist in Pokemon black and Pokemon White. She lives in Nuvema Town, and was held back of being a Pokemon trainer because of her overprotective father wouldn't let her be one. Bianca... read more

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!

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!

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!

Many people dislike Bede for his personality, I actually love him.

Best rival in sword and shield.

13 Brendan

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

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

Was kinda a jerk as the rival in RSE, but became much nicer in ORAS

14 Marnie

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

One of the coolest Pokemon rivals!

15 Hop

Hop is so extremely underrated. While not being too challenging of a rival, the fact that he would actually change his strategy and Pokemon mid-battle was almost unheard of, and his last battle was actually somewhat hard, especially if you were playing Shield, and/or were unprepared. Not only that, he honestly had one of the most fleshed-out character arcs of any of the Pokemon characters. I felt terrible beating him in the championship because his story really resonated with me. I've always loved him and never understood why everyone found him so annoying.

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

She is a nice girl as the rival, and she always remained this way.

In Masters, where she is the daughter of Prof. Birch (thus serving as a counterpart to May as the rival), she is also shown to be a nice girl, being voiced by Deneen Melody, who is known for voicing Zoe Lee in Miraculous Ladybug.

May deserves a higher place on this list.

17 Paul

Get Paul off this list. He is a horrible person who basically abused Chimchar. Plus he ain't even in the game.

The best rival the anime ever had!
I prefer him over Ash, Paul is just amazing!

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

18 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

She is not a rival when not selected by the player, but rather the assistant. She teams up with the player in Jubilife City and in Veilstone City, in both times against two Team Galactic Grunts.

However, in BDSP, she can actually be fought against in Sandgem Town after the post-game.

Well, since I play as her in Pearl, Platinum and ShiningPearl, the assistant for me is Lucas, the male player.

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

19 Calem

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

20 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

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.

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

I think Serena should be on this list.
May deserves it a lot more than her.

21 Shauna

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.

22 Tierno
23 Nemona

I personally love Nemona and her battle-hungry personality. And also cuz she doesn't appear as often as other rivals in the game, she gives you a breather. She is a great rival and I think she doesn't deserve to be in such a low tier.

24 Trevor
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