Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Only Pokémon That's Catchable In Every Mainline Game

The "Pokémon" series has certainly transformed over the years. What began as an unassuming RPG on the Game Boy has become one of the most successful franchises in the history of video games, and the number of Pokémon has multiplied beyond anything early fans could have anticipated. The games may have begun with a manageable 151 pocket monsters, but the release of "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet," has ultimately expanded that roster to a whopping 1,008 in the ninth generation.

With that many adorable little creatures to catch, trade, and battle, it's nearly impossible for fans to keep track of all of their appearances. And while newer "Pokémon" games have made it easier to complete your Pokédex, it's still pretty difficult to ensure that you'll be able to toss the Poké Ball and catch 'em all yourself. Indeed, many Pokémon come and go between new releases, showing up in some games and not in others. Sometimes a Pokémon will appear in an enemy's team, but will otherwise be uncatchable in a particular game's overworld.

Of course, some are more popular with fans, and seemingly with developers, and tend to show up more often. However, as of the release of "Scarlet" and "Violet," there is only a single Pokémon that has been obtainable (without trading or transferring from other games) in every mainline game in the series. Think you can guess which one it is? Read on to find out.

This splashing fish shows up in every mainline Pokémon game

There are a few likely candidates for this honor. Many would guess Pikachu. After all, the lovable electric rodent was Ash's first Pokémon in the anime and came to be a symbol of the whole series, even getting its own live-action movie. Others might say Eevee, the equally adorable Pokémon known for its numerous evolutionary paths. Some might guess one of the Normal or Bug-type Pokémon that always seem to show up early in the tall grass, like Rattata, Weedle, or Caterpie. All these guesses would be incorrect, however.

The only Pokémon to make it into every mainline title to date is none other than everyone's favorite semi-useless fish with hidden potential: Magikarp. While others make regular appearances, they've all missed at least one game over the years. Magikarp stands — or flops — above the rest in this regard. The Pokémon can be caught by surfing or fishing in every mainline game besides the "Black" and "White" series, where players can purchase it for a mere $500.

It's perhaps appropriate that Magikarp might be overlooked as the most common Pokémon. A running joke in the franchise revolves around the idea that the ridiculous fish that can't do anything in battle is always ignored and looked down on. This concept even factored into some early episodes of the anime, including one where Team Rocket's James overpaid for a new Magikarp. Of course, true trainers know that catching a Magikarp and putting in the effort to train it will pay off in the long run when it evolves into the far more powerful Gyarados. Remembering that fact should make fans grateful that the hapless Water-type always turns up in the games.

Magikarp is also a regular in the spinoff titles

Magikarp isn't just a mainstay of the core titles. It also turns up regularly in the various spin offs as well. It was among the first Pokémon available to be caught when "Pokémon Go" launched back in 2016, where it was fittingly worthless in battle and difficult to evolve. As always, it couldn't do much of anything in combat and evolving it required way more candy than most basic Pokémon.

Magikarp also turned up in multiple stages in both the original and the new "Pokémon Snap" games. Of course, it mostly flops and gives players boring pictures, but a patient shutterbug might be able to grab an action shot of a poor Magikarp ending up as a Pidgeot's lunch or grabbing a snack of its own. Magikarp even got its own spinoff mobile game in the form of "Pokémon: Magikarp Jump," further cementing the silly little fish's popularity.

It may be one of the most overlooked Pokémon to ever exist, but that doesn't mean Magikarp isn't everywhere in the franchise. The next time you encounter a Magikarp, you might want to spare a moment and recognize its special place among the rest of the universe's Pokémon.