The Pokémon Company struck gold when it made Pikachu the mascot for its monster-catching series, and was so pleased with the marketable little yellow guy that the developers at Game Freak started including lookalikes in nearly every mainline game that followed. These little guys are typically electric-type Pokémon that have the same circular, electric pouches on their cheeks.
Truth be told, I hate this trend in Pokémon games because it’s one of the most baldfaced examples of Pikachu being a corporate commodity when he should simply be a charming little guy. But who is the best of the imposters? Can any of them even hope to match up to the cultural icon who’s become one of the most recognizable characters in modern history? The answer is no, but we can at least rank them by how valiantly they put up an effort.
Welcome to Exp. Share, Kotaku’s Pokémon column in which we dive deep to explore notable characters, urban legends, communities, and just plain weird quirks from throughout the Pokémon franchise.