PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Why did you convert my answer?
Also please comment next time you convert.
It's probably because "has the highest stats" isn't enough explanation.
Also, Panpour isn't Gens 1-4.
Lapras is almost certainly the best in FRLG and all Johto games, but it comes kind of underleveled in RBY.

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In RBY and RSE, all basic water Pokemon are either weak or come underleveled, so just use the starter.

In GSC, FRLG, and HGSS, it's very likely Lapras.

In DPPt, I think Buizel is the best. It has higher attack stats and speed than Piplup.

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In HGSS gyarados is a very strong option as well.
But Gyarados isn't basic.