It’s easy to forget just how many Kages made appearances in the Naruto series (including the spinoffs). After all, this list includes not just the Hokages, but the Kages of other villages and traditions. Obviously, there are some that are more remarkable and powerful than others.
The Kages all vary in strength and ability. Part of the reason for this is due to the difference in bloodlines and focus village to village. It also depends on the state of affairs; wartime versus peace, and so on and so forth. And of course, it's usually safe to assume that if they have earned the title of Kage, they are likely one of the strongest in their village.
That being said; there are some clear winners in the list of Kages. And some Kages that are clearly less powerful than the rest. So we’ve decided to list them together. Here are the five strongest Kages, alongside the five weakest.
10 Strongest: Gaara (Fifth Kazekage)
Gaara is one of the strongest Kages shown in the Naruto series so far. Like Naruto, he's a jinchuriki – though he lost the One-Tailed later in the series. He's still a powerful Kazekage without the One-Tailed beast, and has proven his worth.
Gaara originally appeared as a terrifying and deranged character but proved his willingness and ability to change. And it was all inspired when he saw the utter devotion in Naruto's actions. Since then, Gaara has earned the love of his village, despite the biases against jinchuriki.
9 Weakest: Danzo Shimura (Sixth Hokage Candidate)
Technically Danzo Shimura was only ever a candidate for Hokage, but we're including him on this list. Danzo should never have been considered for the role of Hokage, but thanks to his political manipulations he was put on the shortlist. Had he not died at the hands of Sasuke, he likely would have forced his way onto the seat.
Danzo's personal aspirations were a weakness, and there's no doubt that his pride would have taken the village with him, in the long run. So the Hidden Leaf Village dodged a bullet with his death, though they may not have seen it that way.
8 Strongest: Naruto Uzumaki (Seventh Hokage)
Naruto Uzumaki became the Seventh Hokage at the end of his series – and while we've only had a chance to see him in action as the Hokage recently (in Boruto) there's little doubt that he was exactly the Hokage he had always dreamed of being.
The power levels shown at the end of Naruto: Shippuden leaves little doubt about Naruto's capability as Hokage. Or his willingness to do everything it takes to protect his village. In truth, this is something Naruto proved back during his fight against Pain. But that's a whole different story.
7 Weakest: Rasa (Fourth Kazekage)
Rasa was the Fourth Kazekage, and the father of Gaara. While he was a powerful man, there are reasons he could and should be considered weak. For one thing, he put his personal ambitions above the well-being of his family (as evidenced by what he did to Gaara).
Rasa had plotted against the other villages, and used a moment of peace to strike (the Chunnin exams). Unfortunately for him, his ploy failed. And thanks to another player on the field, Orochimaru, Rasa ended up losing his life during the attempt. To make matters worse, Orochimaru mimicked the Fourth Kazekage.
6 Strongest: Minato Namikaze (Fourth Hokage)
Minato Namikaze was the Fourth Hokage, and father to Naruto. Minato was a force to be reckoned with while alive, leaving no doubt as to the reason why he earned the title of Hokage. He mastered techniques of his predecessors, perfecting and adding on to them.
His most iconic fight was also the one that took his life. He fought off Obito, and then single-highhandedly sealed the Nine-Tails into the only being close enough – his own son. He showed immense physical strength, willpower, determination, and empathy in his last moments.
5 Weakest: Gengetsu Hozuki (Second Mizukage)
Gengetsu Hozuki was the Second Mizukage. He died due to his rivalry with the Second Tsuchikage (though he also died during the confrontation). Many would and could argue that his obsession here weakened him, and opened up his village to attack.
However, during life, he was oddly laid back and outspoken. He would just as happily point out a person's flaws as compliment them – regardless of which village they hailed from. His shorter temper is another thing he was famous for, which is another flaw they would have been best avoided. To his credit, Gengetsu Hozuki did everything possible to help the opposing side destroy him when he was brought back under the control of Obito.
4 Strongest: Hashirama Senju (First Hokage)
Hashirama Senju, the man who started it all. He was the First Hokage, and arguably the strongest of them all. He was sometimes called the 'God of Shinobi' and it suited him. Senju created the Shinobi system the Hidden Leaf Village follows to this day. He didn't achieve the peace he was hoping for – but he started everyone on the path for it.
Senju was as compassionate as he was strong, refusing to kill Madara, the man he considered his friend, even when they met in battle. This cycle of love and loss he found himself and his friend in is what ultimately caused him to seek a better path towards peace.
3 Weakest: Onoki (Third Tsuchikage)
Onoki is a character that is easily underestimated and overlooked. His age and looks are not the reason why he made it on the list of weaker Kages. But rather, his temperament and his willingness to let it control him.
Onoki was not necessarily a bad Kage – he looked out for his village at all costs. However, you could argue that he was so focused on the details that he lost the big picture. Such as supporting Akatsuki when he needed them, and failing to see the larger threat they posed.
2 Strongest: Hiruzen Sarutobi (Third Hokage)
Hiruzen Sarutobi was the Third Hokage, and possibly the Hokage we're the most familiar with. He was in charge when the series kicked off, and he maintained control right up until his death. Sarutobi gave his life in an attempt to weaken one of the village's greatest enemies. And he put up a spectacular fight in the process.
Sarutobi had a slightly confusing reign, to some. He was the Third Hokage, but he gladly stepped down so that Minato could become the Fourth Hokage. Upon Minato's death, Sarutobi picked up the mantle once again, despite his age.
1 Weakest: Yagura Karatachi (Fourth Mizukage)
Yagura Karatachi, the Fourth Mizukage may be one of the younger Kages out there. But that isn't the reason he made this list. He was also a jinchuriki, but he met a different fate than Naruto or Gaara.
Yagura was taken control of by a man masquerading as Madara (later revealed to be Obito). This left the village vulnerable, though they didn't know it for quite some time. But even before that point, Yagura was known for his brutality and lack of compassion. His village earned the nickname 'Village of the Bloody Mist' thanks to his reign.