Throughout the Naruto series, countless characters were introduced with their own unique jutsu and strengths as ninja. Some were heroes, some were villains, and others were somewhere in between.
By the end of the Fourth Shinobi War, we know that the heroes of the Allied Shinobi Forces had come out victorious against the biggest villains of the series. But that did not necessarily mean that each individual hero was stronger than each villain. In fact, some villains were arguably stronger than the heroes who defeated them. Here are the five strongest heroes and five strongest villains from Naruto.
10 Kabuto (Villain)
Kabuto was one character who was revealed early on in the series and remained a villainous force up until near the end of the Fourth Shinobi War. First introduced as a skilled spy working undercover for Orochimaru, Kabuto eventually surpassed his villain ally by absorbing his powers and later achieving Sage Mode.
In the Fourth Shinobi War, Kabuto shows off the extent of his power with the forbidden Impure World Reincarnation technique to summon the strongest ninja from the dead, including kages, fallen Akatsuki, and more. In being able to keep the deads' original personalities intact while also having control over most of them, Kabuto raised an army that would not be easily defeated.
9 Guy (Hero)
Might Guy was known to be the formidable rival of Kakashi, thus making him one of the strongest ninja of Konohagakure. While Kakashi excelled in ninjutsu, Guy was a taijutsu master on a level of his own.
Guy's strongest taijutsu technique, the Eight Gates, enabled him to increase his power exponentially in physical strength and speed as he opened more gates. After Madara became the Ten-Tails jinchuriki, Guy opened all eight gates and nearly took him out with a single "Night Guy" kick. The crippling drawbacks of the Eight Gates, however, left Guy's body with permanent injuries after the war.
8 Nagato (Villain)
As a Rinnegan wielder, Uzumaki descendent, and disciple of Jiraiya, Nagato (aka Pain) was raised with the potential to be a great ninja hero. But despite the good intentions of his mentor, Nagato instead became a huge threat to the entire ninja world with all the destruction caused by his Six Paths of Pain and the Akatsuki.
Fueled by his extremist goal of world peace after making everyone first suffer pain, Nagato basically destroyed Konohagakure, killing both Jiraiya and Kakashi along the way. He was only defeated after Naruto talked him out of it and convinced him to give up his life to resurrect the ones who had died because of his twisted plan.
7 Minato (Hero)
As the hero of the previous Shinobi War, Minato was not only Naruto's hokage father but also a genius ninja who learned from the best and taught to the best.
Growing up, Minato was already considered a prodigy and was then taught by Jiraiya, one of the Legendary Three Ninja. In the Third Shinobi War, he was most feared for his lightning speed and space-time ninjutsu. He later became the Fourth Hokage who saved his entire village from the Nine-Tailed Fox by using everything in him to seal the spirit into his newly born child, Naruto.
6 Obito (Villain)
Back in his days as a young ninja, Obito was always overshadowed by his teammate, Kakashi, who had already become a jonin. He was fueled by jealousy and envy to one day surpass Kakashi, but it seemed his life was cut short by a fallen boulder before he could achieve his goal.
Little did anyone know, Obito was actually saved by Madara, who trained him and led him down a darker path with the Akatsuki under the alias "Tobi". From there, Obito was a driving force in starting the Fourth Shinobi War, which led to him becoming the Ten-Tails jinchuriki and taking many casualties in a short period.
5 Hashirama (Hero)
Although he had already fulfilled his duties as the First Hokage and died prior to the beginning of the series, Hashirama's name carried on as one of the strongest shinobi that ever lived.
With a life-long rival as powerful as Madara, Hashirama fought his friend many times but also sought to reach an agreement with the Uchiha clan in order to create a more peaceful world. Because Hashirama and Madara could never truly lay their clans' rivalry to rest, they continued to fight until Hashirama finally killed his friend who had both a Mangekyo Sharingan and control of the Nine-Tailed Fox.
4 Madara (Villain)
Although Madara had been killed by Hashirama, the Uchiha leader was wise enough and had the power to bring himself back to life. With his Sharingan, he not only rewrote history to give himself a second chance at life but also obtained the Rinnegan in the process.
After being resurrected, Madara was stronger than ever, borrowing strength from Hashirama's cells, snatching another Rinnegan from Obito, and unleashing the Infinite Tsukuyomi as the new Ten-Tails jinchuriki. However, just when he thought he had finally achieved his dreams of world peace, he was stabbed and killed by Black Zetsu of all things.
3 Sasuke (Hero)
Sasuke was a character who ended up being both a hero and a villain in the series. But by the end of the Fourth Shinobi War, it was clear that he finally decided to stick with Naruto and the heroes for good.
In addition to his many levels of Sharingan and access to Susanoo, Sasuke was blessed with a Rinnegan from the power of the Sage of Six Paths. With this newfound power, he was able to keep up with the likes of Madara who had everything going for him with both a Double Rinnegan and the power of the Ten-Tails, as well as defeat Kaguya together with Naruto.
2 Kaguya (Villain)
Kaguya was a villain who came out of nowhere and became the series' final and most powerful boss with the help of her sneaky companion, Zetsu. In one giant, elaborate plan, Kaguya was not only resurrected from the Infinite Tsukuyomi but also extremely overpowered with access to the Byakugan and Rinne Sharingan.
Caught in a greedy obsession for chakra and power, Kaguya fought off Naruto and Sasuke, the only two ninja who had the potential to seal her away with their powers of the Six Paths. Only through a combination of their Six Paths Yin and Yang powers were Naruto and Sasuke able to stop Kaguya from taking over the world. Any individual on their own would not have been able to defeat her.
1 Naruto (Hero)
Because of their rivalry, there was always much debate over who was stronger: Naruto or Sasuke? Though it started out where Sasuke was the genius and Naruto was the failure, they rejoined forces to take down the strongest villains of the series and ultimately ended up as equals.
Just as Sasuke awakened the Rinnegan from the power of the Sage of Six Paths, Naruto obtained the Six Paths Sage Mode. After stopping the plans of both Madara and Kaguya, Naruto challenged Sasuke to one last rival battle. Using every last bit of their strength and chakra, they each got an arm blown off and could no longer move to signify that they were truly equal on all levels.