The Best Hoenn Gen III Shinies (From Pokémon RSE & ORAS)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 III was the starting point for a lot of Pokémon fans, including myself.
It signaled a jump in quality from Gen II, as well as being the title in between the GBA days and the DS days.
I never actually got to play ORAS. I have it, but my cartridge came with that unreadable error that so many of the games notoriously launched with.
It’s been years by now, too. So I have absolutely no plans of wrestling with Nintendo’s customer service to get my hands on a replacement.
But to take a trip back down memory lane, I’ve put together my picks for the coolest shiny gen 3 Pokémon out of the bunch.
I have no idea why Game Freak put such little effort into Blaziken’s shiny, but it is what it is.
I mean, it doesn’t look bad. It just doesn’t look shiny.
All they did was made its body a darker shade of red.
If you were tired, you wouldn’t even realize there was anything different about the two.
That being said, I love Blaziken. And the color change still looks great even if it’s super underwhelming.
So I’m giving it this spot as something of a consolation prize.
After Detective Pikachu, there shouldn’t be a soul on this planet that doesn’t love the idea of Ludicolo.
It makes no sense as a Pokémon, but that’s what makes it great.
I get that it’s meant to be based on a Kappa. But it looks more like a Psyduck and a pineapple had a baby, and Ludicolo was the result.
Shiny-wise, Ludicolo gets a bit of a tan. That’s it.
Like Blaziken, it’s a good-looking change that is utterly underwhelming compared to some of the shinies on this list. So it’s also getting a spot down here lower on the list (but still in the ranking for sure).
Hariyama, when it’s shiny, has a different dress sense than its regular alternative.
Its gloves, belly, and feet (which are usually orange) just become purple.
Unlike Ludicolo and Blaziken, however, this change is selective and makes sense thematically.
It’s not just a darker shade than it already was. Game Freak put more thought into Hariyama’s shiny than Blaziken and Ludicolo’s combined. And it’s worth recognizing.
There’s a noticeable increase in shiny design quality from here on out, starting with everyone’s favorite handsome boy: Swampert.
All of the Gen III starters appear on this list (spoiler alert), and the difference between each of them is staggering.
Blaziken is a bit of a nothing shiny, while Swampert is a great-looking monochrome change. And while it’s better than a lot of shinies, I’d still say this design is nothing compared to Sceptile.
You only need to take one look at a shiny Swampert to realize why I’ve put it on this list.
It’s a big, adorable, pink boy that wants nothing more than to be loved. And that’s something I can relate to.
Groudon is a cool-looking legendary shiny. So what in blazes happened to Kyogre?
The difference between the two, much like the starters, is staggering. And makes me think there was no internal communication on the Game Freak design team at all.
While I’ll admit that regular Groudon looks way better (I think it’s the best looking Pokémon of all time,) there’s no denying that the shiny is great in its own right.
It substitutes the red for yellow, turning Groudon from a harbinger of war into a big angry bumblebee.
Plus, with Crown Tundra, it’s never been easier to get one. So you have no excuse.
I’ve written enough about Sharpedo to turn it into an academic essay, so I’m going to keep this one brief.
It’s a big, purple, sentient decapitated shark head.
If you already like this king of the ocean Pokémon, you’re gonna adore its shiny form.
There’s a weird trend I’ve noticed of green shinies either being great looking, like Espeon, or horrible looking, like almost every other one in existence.
There is no in-between.
Salamence is a clear example of the former, trading its blue body in for one with a green hue that brings a clear air of rarity to the Pokémon.
It’s actually a pretty weak design as far as dragon-type shinies go.
But that isn’t saying much when you look at the likes of Haxorus.
I can’t recall ever seeing a shiny Milotic before I was putting together this list. And I have absolutely no idea why that’s the case.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous-looking shiny Pokémon that is as elegant as it is hard to get.
The color scheme reminds me of shiny Ho-oh, in that it’s gold and silver.
This is a combination that worked wonders in Gen II, and continued to work wonders in Gen III.
Shiny Gardevoir doesn’t actually look all that great.
But it’s my second favorite Pokémon behind Gallade, so I’m including it because, well, I guess bias?
That’s not to say it’s a bad-looking shiny by any means, though.
Rather than having a green body, it’s blue.
That’s a simple and effective change that, honestly, leaves me wanting a little bit more. That said, beggars can’t be choosers.
Like Milotic, I don’t recall ever seeing a shiny Manectric before.
I know I sound like a broken record, but that’s shocking to me.
Rather than having that boring sky-blue body, shiny Manectric gets a black color change that combines with the pale yellow of its… mane? Horn?
Well either way, it works great.
There’s a trend of black shiny Pokémon looking absolutely incredible, and Manectric is just another entry into that list.
I love Breloom.
It’s the first Pokémon I ever IV bred and EV trained. Which probably says a lot about me as a person.
That’s because Breloom used to be the ultimate staller.
If you built it with Leech Seed, Spore, Substitute, and gave it a Toxic Orb while it had the Poison Heal ability, then it was an unkillable nightmare that would cause your opponents to rage quit before you actually won the battle.
There’s nothing sweeter than watching as your enemy’s sanity disintegrates, all while they’re staring at your rare orange shiny mushroom.
Trust me, I’ve been there. It feels great.
Shiny Breloom looks great. But these next four are in an entire league of their own in terms of quality.
Kicking us off into this elite four (I’m on fire today) is Metagross.
Now Metagross is a competitive powerhouse and is also one of the hardest non-legendary Pokémon to catch in existence.
Beldum, the first stage of the Metagross evolution family, has the same catch rate as every single legendary.
I don’t know why it does, but it does, and it sucks.
It makes shiny Metagross all the rarer, though. And that’s a good thing considering how incredible it looks.
Rather than looking like a big chunk of rock, the shiny sprite looks like it’s made of solid steel or silver, with gold bolted onto the front of it.
It’s rare that a shiny color change actively changes the texture of a Pokémon, but this is one such example.
Finally, we get to conclude all the shiny Gen III starters.
Sceptile is actually my least favorite of the three starters, but I doubt there’s anyone that’s going to deny the fact that it’s an infinitely cooler shiny than the other two.
There’s only one reason for this. And that’s because shiny Sceptile is blazed.
Look at the dude’s eyes. He’s a total goner.
I don’t know if Game Freak did this on purpose, but I have a very hard time believing they didn’t, which makes this design even better.
Remember how I said black shiny Pokémon look great for some inexplicable reason?
Well these next two fit into that category quite well.
Starting with Camerupt, this color change is just inspired.
It doesn’t have any thematic significance. But the contrasting colors of the black and yellow that it switches to looks phenomenal.
Ironically, shiny Camerupt also gets the bumblebee colors just like Groudon. Except this time, black is the dominating color instead of yellow.
And that makes a massive difference.
It’s a shame that Camerupt is relatively useless in battle, though.
Otherwise this would be a very sought-after shiny.
Could any other Pokémon honestly have taken this spot?
No. The answer is no.
Not only is shiny Rayquaza easily the best looking shiny in Gen III, but it’s also arguably the best looking shiny Pokémon of all time.
Your eyes should be all the convincing you need to understand why so many people clamor to get their hands on one of these guys.
The black body and yellow rings, like with Groudon and Camerupt, contrast phenomenally well.
Except this time, the color scheme is pasted onto a serpentine dragon that looks like it was pulled straight out of Japanese mythology.