Both Pokémon Red & Blue had trainers embarking on a journey across the Kanto region with hopes of obtaining all 8 gym badges and catching every pokémon out there. Throughout the years trainers have debated which of these original gym leaders offered the best experience on top of sporting a team that made sense for their preferred type.
Some favor the gym's design, while others only care about the leader's team. Let's now take a look at every gym leader from Pokémon Red & Blue and rank them from worst to first. Who will come out on top?
9 Giovanni/Viridian City
Giovanni may by the final gym leader as he returns to Viridian City after the player injures the entire Team Rocket organization, but his team feels uninspired. He's a ground-type gym leader which off the bat doesn't match his mob boss persona, and fans of the anime were upset that he didn't have his iconic Persian by his side.
He also happens to be a ground-type savant who for some reason didn't teach any of his pokémon Earthquake. It just seems that he's too busy leading a team of idiots for him to be an effective gym leader.
RELATED: Every Pokémon Remake Game, Ranked
8 Koga/Fuchsia City
The biggest problem with Koga is that he sports a team of all poison-types that is worse than that of the Elite Four's Agatha. Her team has more variety in both pokémon and dual-typings, so when players face off against her they realize just how redundant and underutilized the gym leader of Fuchsia City is.
Koga's invisible wall maze is pretty clever and offers just the right amount of challenge though so it's not all bad. Instead of having two Koffings it would have been nice to see a Grimer.
7 Blaine/Cinnabar Island
Blaine happens to be the gym leader of Cinnabar Island, but despite being a fire-type trainer, he lacks creative energy and a flame of inspiration. As the second to last gym leader, it's assumed that these guys are experienced and know a well-rounded team works best. That's why it's disappointing that his team of only four features two final evolutions and each of their base forms.
As a near endgame gym leader he's mostly disappointing. Alongside Rapidash and Arcanine it could have been terrifying to see him throw out a Magmar, Charizard, or Ninetales.
6 Sabrina/Saffron City
If this was based on the anime and not the games Sabrina would likely be near the top for the insane and terrifying events Ash Ketchum experiences upon meeting her.
She left kids terrified in her animated form. When it comes to the games the battle against her comes only after Team Rocket has been defeated. The puzzle of her gym involves teleporters which can quickly become infuriating for players. Also, how odd is it that a supposedly psychic-type gym leader has a Venomoth on her team who is both bug and poison-type?
5 Misty/Cerulean City
Misty's gym in Cerulean City isn't exactly complicated or difficult, but it holds true to the anime and also can be a challenge for all of those trainers who picked Charmander in Professor Oak's lab at the beginning of the game. The inclusion of Psyduck on her team would have made it better.
It could have led to some hysterical commentary on her part having to deal with it too. People can argue that as the second gym in the game, having only two pokémon is understandable. That being said, they are gym leaders and should provide a challenge to hopeful trainers.
4 Brock/Pewter City
Just like Misty, Brock's gym in Pewter City is more about nostalgia and familiarity with the anime than it is about the challenge. He, of course, leans on his big Onix to be his closer in battle and pairs him up with a sturdy Geodude he uses to open up the fights. Their defensive capabilities can really put a trainer to the test.
This gym would likely rank higher if Pokémon Yellow was considered since trainers could recreate the iconic fight between Ash's Pikachu and Brock's Onix. Those who went with Charmander face their first real wall when they come across Brock's gym.
3 Lt. Surge/Vermillion City
Lt. Surge comes in at #3 on this list due to a variety of reasons. First, he happened to mention a war that he was a veteran off which has been a point of contention in the Pokémon franchises' lore that fans have theorized about and speculated on for 20+ years.
Apparently, he fought in the first and only pokémon war. On top of dropping lore bombs, he also happens to have a light-hearted puzzle you must clear if you wish on challenging him. Lastly, he has a solid electric-type team that is hyper-aggressive and matches his personality pretty closely.
RELATED: Ranking Ash's Original Pokémon Team
2 Erika/Celadon City
On top of being every 8-year-old's first crush in 1998, Erika also sporting a neat grass-type team that featured 3 different pokémon. People who loved Charmander, unfortunately, made quick work of Celadon City's gym due to the type advantage and likely didn't even pay attention to her roster of pokémon.
Erika is a sweet and kind soul but isn't a pushover. Having a Victreebel, Tangela, and Vileplume is no easy feat as none of those 3 pokémon are common or easy to acquire. She put some thought into her gym-defending team.
1 Elite Four
Despite the Elite Four technically not being a gym, in many ways they're the challenge of a single gym multiplied by 4. Well, 5 if you want to throw in the fight with the rival at the end. Players must not only overcome the challenge of 4 straight master trainers with teams of 5 pokémon, they then have to try and take down their rival who's sporting a complete team of 6.
Since each member of the Elite Four focuses on a specific type it's a great challenge for the trainers who had overcome the personalities and fighting styles of the previous 8 gym leaders.