15 Best Kanto Gen I Shiny Pokémon (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Gen I was a mixed bag for shinies.
Game Freak was undergoing an uphill battle when it came to the Game Boy’s limitations, meaning there weren’t all that many worthwhile.
Not to mention there were no shinies in the original games, so for Kanto they first came in gen 2’s post-game (or in gen 3 with FireRed & LeafGreen).
Some Pokémon faired alright, and others ended up looking absolutely awesome.
All of the shinies on this list are simple, but that’s all they need to be. If you’re a fan of the Kanto days, then you’ll definitely enjoy this list.
As I said, the restrictions that Game Freak had with Gen I tech meant there wasn’t much room for creativity.
That being said, there are still some basic shiny sprites that look great compared to the normal counterparts of those Pokémon.
Cloyster is one such example of that.
Avoiding the comparisons of what Cloyster looks like…. Seriously, whose idea what that? But the Pokémon turns from a washed-out purple to a nice blue.
It’s actually more fitting for its ice typing in my opinion, which is always what you want from a shiny.
I’m going to keep it real with you, though. Gen I Cloyster looks more or less identical whether it’s shiny or not. The differences are clearly defined the later you go into the generations, so it deserves a spot for sure.
I’ve ranted and raved about how much I dislike Lickitung in the past.
If Pokémon were real, these things would be convicted of assault and be hunted into extinction. However, the shiny version looks really pretty. So I’m going to overlook any slight problematic issues.
Like Cloyster, the differences in Gen I are hard to see with Lickitung. But not to the same extent. The color differences gradually get better much faster than the clam, though.
Instead of that disturbing pink color, shiny Lickitung is yellow. I’m not going to lie, that’s also disturbing, but far less so.
It’s very much a study in how to do a shiny sprite right, which is rare for Gen I ‘mons.
Putting Mewtwo this low on any list feels wrong, but here we are.
Most shiny legendaries are very hit or miss. But Mewtwo sits comfortably in the middle.
It’s no Kyogre (which is a miserable looking shiny), but it’s no Rayquaza, either.
Mewtwo’s change is simple. It just gets a green tail. Simple, effective, and it should be utterly terrifying.
If you’re not terrified of the notion of Mewtwo, then you should be. This Pokémon could realistically wipe out civilization as we know it.
That didn’t stop Ash from trying to give it a left hook, though. He should just be happy that Mewtwo didn’t make his brain melt out of his nose.
Vaporeon is one of those rare cases of a Pokémon being one of the better looking Gen I shinies, before massively dropping down the list as time went on.
Vaporeon started off a trend of turning blue Pokémon purple (still looking at you Kyogre), but it actually worked really well.
While I personally prefer the baby blue, there’s no denying that purple Vaporeon has a certain feminine charm to it that it would otherwise lack.
It felt wrong to write that, but it’s true.
If you’re going to shiny hunt any of the original Eeveelutions, it should be this one. The other two just get a slight tone change, so at least shiny Vaporeon is actually unique.
Vaporeon got worse with time like a bad glass of milk.
Mew, on the other hand, behaved like a fine vintage red wine as the generations went on.
Shiny Mew is blue. It’s that simple.
There’s no playing about with designs or anything else. Game Freak just went in, job done.
That’s not a bad thing, though. And it actually does have some thought put into it. As we all know because we’ve led sad and isolated lives, Ditto is a failed Mew clone when they were attempting to create Mewtwo.
Shiny Ditto is also just blue.
Little bits of care like this is what makes a shiny for me. I don’t care about colors (that’s a lie, I do), but I also care about story and narrative because I have no life.
Keeping up with the theme of knowing useless Pokémon trivia, did you know that Hitmonchan is inspired by Jackie Chan and Hitmonlee is inspired by Bruce Lee?
It bears no relevance to the shiny sprites, but it’s a cool useless fact none the less.
Boxing is the only sport that’s successfully gotten me up off of my lazy backside. So Hitmonchan edges out its brother but just a smudge.
There’s also the fact that the shiny sprite is way cooler looking, but let me be self-indulgent for a minute.
Instead of red gloves, Hitmonchan gets blue gloves. Which is a bit of a common shiny color swap.
It just so happens that this change worked incredibly well with the limited Gen I graphics, hence why it gets a solid spot.
It just so happens that shiny yellow sprites are traditionally great looking, not counting Lickitung for personal morality reasons.
You’ve got the likes of Luxuray, Lucario, and Arbok.
It’s nice how closely the color resembles gold, which is rare, just like shinies are. I shouldn’t have to explain that too much.
While it definitely doesn’t fit the image of a poisonous snake, it does look great. And who cares about logic when something looks pretty?
I’ve spent more than I’m willing to admit on random figures that have no basis in any sort of collection. But they look cool, so I’m going to be a sucker for Pokémon that follow that trend.
We’re back to red and blue with this spot, but electrode gets bonus points over Hitmonchan because of context!
I’m a loser, okay, I get it.
Electrode is designed after a Pokéball originally. And the shiny sprite is based on a great ball.
That’s it, but that’s all there needs to be.
It’s one of the few Gen I designs with some thought behind the shiny color swap. And that’s more than we can say for most.
Why Ponyta and not Rapidash?
You’ll see (spoiler alert!)
I’m a sucker for a lot of things, as you might have realized by now. And yet another thing that will get me to spend nonsensical amounts of time (and money) is blue fire.
Ponyta is just that: its fire becomes blue when it’s shiny. There’s just something so awe-inspiring about blue flames that orange fire can’t compare to.
I wish I could say that Rapidash also had blue flames, but it doesn’t… hence why Ponyta is here instead of its evolution.
Now we’re getting into the big boys of Gen I shiny designs.
There was clearly more effort put into the more prominent Pokémon of Gen I, and Venusaur is our first example of that.
Shiny Venusaur just looks, well, shiny.
I know that’s a bit of a dumb statement. But a lot of shinies can’t say the same.
Venusaur’s body becomes this sort of sickly green, and its flower takes on this pale yellow look. It honestly looks like shiny Venusaur could keel over at any moment, but that only wins pity points from me.
It’s at the bottom of the shiny starter barrel for Gen I. But that’s not saying much, all things considered. I mean, have you seen shiny Charizard these days!?
If you haven’t seen him, now you have.
Any other generation, Charizard would take the number one spot. And it wouldn’t even be close.
That being said, it did undergo a massive sprite change between the Kanto/Johto games and Gen III games.
Hence why I’m only putting it at number five here.
Its original shiny sprite is still nothing to scoff at, though. It gets a purple body and green wings, much like another shiny dragon on this list (wink, wink).
The reason it falls flat for me, though, is because the black colored upgrade is just so much better looking. It’s still well worth getting your hands on if you’re hunting in the old games, though. For whatever reason you’re playing them, either nostalgia or you’re just a masochistic psychopath.
I didn’t even realize this until now, but Blastoise actually gets the same color change that Charizard does.
Its body becomes purple, and its shell becomes green.
It’s done much more tactfully than Charizard, though. And still holds up as a shiny even to this day.
Easily the best looking out of the three starters, as well as being the best starter overall. You Charmander loyalists can bite me and my STAB Hydro Cannon.
Gyarados is the most common shiny of all time thanks to the infamous red Gyarados of lake rage.
It just so happens that it looks awesome, too.
The red color change represents all of the anger that Gyarados has repressed inside for so long, turning what is already a terrifying Pokémon into a monster that could honestly pop up in one of my night terrors (if Tweety Bird makes room for it, and that’s a true story).
The best part is that you don’t even have to hunt for a shiny Gyarados (well, if you’re in the gen 2 games). So go and get your free shiny as soon as you can.
Dragonite is the other dragon shiny that gets the purple and green color change.
Like Blastoise, it just so happens to do it a lot better than Charizard.
It looks nothing like the rest of its evolution line, which is a bit weird. But that’s good considering Dragonair is an uninspired pink and orange.
But Dragonite is still one of the best looking dragon shinnies even in later games, which is impressive considering it has the likes of Haxorus and Dragapult to content with.
It’s also the original dragon type, which earns it enough brownie points to bump it up so high on this list.
Bet you didn’t see this one coming.
Or did, considering I spoiled it earlier on.
Either way, shiny Rapidash from Gen I is one of my favorite shinies of all time. Remember how I said I love blue flames?
Well, I love purple flames even more.
Rapidash is a sad tale for me, though.
Like Charizard, it got a shiny change after Gens I & II.
Unlike Charizard, that change was not an improvement.
It made its flames black or dark grey, which still looks cool, but not nearly as much as those ethereal purple flames.
This reminds me of the Godfather quote, “look how they massacred my boy”.
And when a Pokémon shiny can make me harken back to something like that, it’s going to get the number one spot on my list.