One of the most hotly debated topics in the Pokémon world is which generations have the best- and worst-designed Pokémon. While it’s a much more difficult task to pick the games with the strongest group, there is one Gen a significant step below the rest when it comes to the strength of its Pokémon roster. While every generation has its fair number of bad Pokémon designs, Gen 7 easily has the worst.
Gen 7, which includes Pokémon Sun & Moon, suffers from the biggest sin that a gathering of Pokémon can commit: too many of them are completely forgettable and unremarkable. If that wasn’t big enough of an indictment on the Gen 7 crew, it also includes the ultra beasts, a group with designs so visually-jarring that they’re memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Far too many of the creatures in Gen 7 fall into the “What am I supposed to do with this?” category of Pokémon – creatures that don’t evolve, aren’t particularly strong or usable in battle, and don’t have any sort of memorable or endearing appearance. Bruxish and Pyukumuku are the poster children of this grouping. Bruxish is remarkably unpleasing to the eye, and easily the ugliest fish Pokémon Game Freak has ever created. Its body is strangely shaped, its colors are jarring, and its face is disturbing. Its stats are middling, it doesn’t evolve, and it’s hard to imagine any player falling in love with its design, thus making it hard to envision what its reason for existence is.
Pyukumuku is arguably even worse of a concept; it’s simply a black ball with spikes. In addition to possibly holding the title for least-inspired Pokémon design ever, Pyukumuku is also incredibly weak, and doesn’t hold much value from a battle standpoint. While these two are possibly the most egregious examples of this issue, Gen 7 is unfortunately full of Pokémon like this. Comfey, Minior, and Komala are all prime examples as well.
While those names are destined to reside in Pokémon obscurity forever, Gen 7 has another group of Pokémon that are forever seared into fans’ minds for all the wrong reasons: the ultra beasts. According to the lore, ultra beasts are extradimensional Pokémon originating from ultra space, which explains why they look so out of place. Many of them look so different from typical Pokémon, though, that they cross into truly unsettling territory.
Stakataka, for example, looks like a giant walking building with eyes all over its body. Similarly, Celesteela is a a collection of metallic-looking shapes that seems to be loosely inspired by a bamboo stalk. These are bizarre design choices that lack the sort of aesthetic appeal Pokémon players need to get attached to their creatures. It’s much easier to form a bond with a Pokémon based off a dog or a bear than it is with one resembling a building or a bamboo stalk. While a couple of the ultra beasts aren’t quite as offensive, the majority of them have such jarring designs that they feel starkly out of place when compared to regular Pokémon.
All eight generations have their fair share of impressively well-designed Pokémon, as well as a number of true head scratchers. However, Gen 7 distinguishes itself as the worst group with its combination of forgettable designs as well as a handful of the most bizarre-looking Pokémon in the entire franchise.