1st gen: Basic and average in stats but overall good design throughout the evolutions. Bulbasaur is my fav out of the three.
2nd gen: Once again average in stat but great in design. I used all three starters at one point or another and they all work well in-game but not useful beyond that.
3rd gen: Oh dear...Blaziken stats and movepool sucked. Worse in-game, it was either getting a fire starter or getting a Camerupt. That sucked even more. Sceptile was outright forgettable. Swampert's typing however saved this generation. Only have to worry about Grass types? YES!
4th gen: Between Torterra's tank abilities to mow down electric and ground types, Inferape's movepool being suited to stat strengths, and Empoleon's large list resistance as well as immunity to poison...THESE WERE THE BEST STARTERS EVER!
5th gen: ...Why did you screw it up, Game Freak? Serperior's stats and movepool makes it pathetic for combat. Emboar's defense makes it a joke to use. Samurott is...just ok. Nothing special...and their designs are horrible! WORST STARTERS EVER!