June 1, 2023

Just like in real life, there are plenty of spoon-bending shenanigans in the world of Pokémon. Psychic-types are often included among the most popular Pokémon of all time, having been series staples ever since their inception way back in Red & Blue. Those ridiculous portals in Sabrina’s gym…

Not all Psychic Pokémon are made equal though, with certain monster magicians making a holy show of the competition – Espurr might be able to pull a bunny out of a hat, but these other lads are on a whole other level. Because of that, we’ve decided to put together a list of the best Psychic Pokémon of all time, ranked from worst to best.

As with our other lists of the best Water Pokémon, best Fire Pokémon, and best Dragon Pokémon, every evolutionary line can only be represented by one individual form from it – if Alakazam makes the cut, Abra and Kadabra are disqualified by default. This is to make the ranking as diverse and all-encompassing as possible, while also avoiding Abracadabra, Alakazam jokes.
Before we get on to the main event, let’s go through some honorable mentions:

Alolan Raichu.
If your favourite is included above, sorry – they’re great, but just don’t quite manage to crack the upper echelon of Psychic Pokémon. Here’s who does.

5 Espeon

One of the two Eeveelutions introduced in Gen 2, Espeon is among the most famous Psychic Pokémon ever designed. While evolving it used to be a bit of a pain, it’s much easier to get these days and, despite faring pretty poorly in competitive play, is an extremely solid Psychic-type for any PvE team.

It’s always been fascinating to us that Espeon specifically has been so well-remembered. While we placed Vaporeon third in our list of the best Water Pokémon, and Espeon’s fellow Johto native Umbreon is the top Eeveelution pick for any Pokémon edgelord, it’s kind of in the middle of the pack when it comes to Eevee’s various evolved forms. Alongside Vaporeon and Umbreon, Jolteon and Sylveon are immensely popular, whereas Leafeon and Glaceon are often ignored. Espeon is in that weird spot next to Flareon – great, but not quite S-tier.

Still, Eeveelutions tend to be a lot better designed than most regular Pokémon, so it’s no wonder that Espeon – which, for a lot of people, might not even make the top three Eevee grown-ups – is the fifth-best Psychic Pokémon of all time. It definitely knows it, too. Just look at that smug little face.

4 Alakazam
No list of Psychic Pokémon would be complete without the original spoonman itself – there’s a reason we often nickname our Abra ‘Cornell’ after we catch one. From major appearances in Red & Blue as part of your rival’s champion team to prominent roles in the anime and movies, Alakazam has always been a huge part of Pokémon.

This is for good reason. Despite how frustrating it can be to actually get an Alakazam – you need to trade Kadabra, which isn’t always something you can just do – the hassle is always worth it in the end. It has monstrous Speed and Special Attack, as well as access to an absurd amount of hard-hitting moves. Yeah, it’s a bit of a glass cannon, but if you play your cards right you shouldn’t be taking hits from your opponents at all – in PvE, at least.

Plus Mega Alakazam has a phenomenal beard. There’s nothing better than a phenomenal beard.
3 Mew
Choosing the top three Psychic Pokémon has been unexpectedly difficult on account of the fact that, actually, all three of them are near-equally brilliant. In the end, we’ve settled with giving Gen 1’s pink little floaty boy the bronze medal.

In some ways, Mew could easily take the top spot on this list. It’s one of the most distinctly ‘Pokémon’-looking Pokémon of all time, has a fascinating gimmick in that it can learn every move, and, perhaps most of all, is tied to the single best urban legend Pokémon has ever known. Yes, we’re talking about the truck.

That’s not to mention its critical role in the first Pokémon movie or how excellent its appearance late in New Pokémon Snap is. We could sing Mew’s praise forever – the issue is that we could sing two other Pokémon’s praises for even longer.
2 Lugia
Gen 2 had great Legendary and Mythical Pokémon – that’s just a fact. Lugia, based on the mythological Japanese dragon Ryujin, is just one of those special Legendaries.

It’s easy to meme Lugia a bit – what’s up with those wing-hands? Why does it have a giraffe neck? Are those supposed to be toes? None of this matters when you focus on how phenomenal the king of Whirl Islands is, though.

On top of having a great design, being by far the best Psychic/Flying-type Pokemon, and having a whole-ass movie dedicated to how fantastic it is, Lugia stands out because of how inherently mysterious it is. From Gen 2’s Silver Wing to the ridiculously complex pattern needed to awaken it in New Pokémon Snap, Lugia has always been shrouded in mystique. It’s not comparable to a Legendary like Mewtwo, who is all about noise and blockbuster Hollywood movies – it hangs out at the bottom of the sea and surfaces rarely and ephemerally.

It’s also the only Pokémon ever that wasn’t designed by a Game Freak dev, which probably explains the wing-hands.

1 Celebi
There’s no debating this. Celebi, the only Mythical Pokémon in Gen 2, is without a doubt the best Psychic-type Pokémon of all time. Spoiler for a future article: it makes the top three for Grass-types, too.

Psychic Pokémon have a very specific mood to them. They’re usually calm, ethereal, near-celestial beings that seem to be a cut above other Pokemon intellectually. They’re detached, mysterious, and standoffish. Celebi changes all of that, bearing all of the same qualities while also being playful and approachable. It’s probably one of the ten best Pokémon ever designed, period.

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The encounter with Celebi is probably our favourite out of all the Mythical and Legendary scenarios, too. From obtaining the GS Ball from Kurt to visiting the shrine in Ilex Forest, Celebi encapsulates everything a Pokémon like this is supposed to be. We’re not usually big fans of Mythicals or Legendaries, but Celebi is an exception.

Celebi is the best Psychic Pokémon ever designed – nothing will ever come close to usurping it.

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>> The top 5 Psychic Pokémon, ranked

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