Let me take you back to when I was about 9. I had both pokemon red and blue and rushed to my cousins house so I could use his connector to trade all three starters to one game (I wanted Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander). So I use the red game as my start over so I started, picked a starter, ran to the pokemon center, and traded the starter for a rattata.. then restarted. I found myself on red with a level 2 rattata and that's all. I could have restarted but eh, I figured why not play. I battled with Rattata and once I got hyper fan I took down Brock at his gym. Then I started collecting and had a pretty nice team... lead by my rattata. Now in the end rattata evolved into ratticate.. but it's move set was awesome. Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Dig, and Hyper fang. And the pokemon was so fast that no one could touch him so I was creaming gyms, and the elite four like they were nothing. I expected to have more trouble with red than my starter filled blue... but that rattata and it's awesome move set just eliminated the competition and the game was over before it started. ^^And that concludes why I believe rattata is a solid starting pokemon. I did this is the other games as well and always had a ratticate on my team when it came time to end the game.