Naruto has quickly made its claim as the most popular anime of all-time. Even from its inception, Naruto grabbed the attention of fans with its unique action that focused a lot on ninja strategy and it has endeared itself to anime fans everywhere. It has also helped convert the unaware by creating truly engaging storylines and characters. When the series graduated to a grander tale on a grander scale with Naruto: Shippuden, audiences were on board. Naruto’s popularity now rivals that of the Dragon Ball series; and who knows how much its popularity may grow in the future as the audience just seems to keep growing and growing. The tale is that of an orphaned ninja who tries to be accepted by his village and save the world and during his adventures to do that, Naruto has encountered an incredible amount of villains.
Part of the fun of Naruto (and many other anime) is seeing who the next big breakout villain will be. The opportunity to see new and cool character designs, powersets, and personality quirks makes experiencing the villains one of the best parts of the series. From Haku to Madara, each of these villains brings something different to the table, but which one is the most powerful. Before anybody revolts, we don’t consider Itachi a villain in any sense. He was an antagonist for Sasuke (who was a rogue ninja at this point anyway), but he was always on the side of the heroes. Plus, there are plenty of Uchihas on this list already. With that clear, here’d 20 Naruto Villains, ranked.
20 SOUND FOUR
Individually, the Sound Four were Chuunin-level villains. But together, these four students of Orochimaru were easily Jonin-level. Together, they were able to take on and defeat two powerful jonin. The caveat is that these two ninja were coming back from a mission and were visibly tired and low on chakra. On top of that, the Sound Four were clearly pushed to their limits during this battle as seen during the aftermath.
Their eclectic blend of powers allow them to cover each others’ weaknesses and makes them dangerous foes. Jirobo was very powerful at short range while Kidomaru and Tayuya covered long range both physically and with genjutsu. Finally, Sakon was excellent at incapacitating foes with his molecular kekkei genkai.
Haku was one of the most unique villains in the entire series with an awesome character design, unique fighting style, and truly tragic story behind him. He was a villain only by association and his dedication even helped change Zabuza for the better. There’s a reason that he and Zabuza were the first major villains for Team 7.
With that being said, Haku is also incredibly powerful. His ice style techniques were lethal and precise. The Crystal Ice Mirrors jutsu was incredibly powerful and difficult to escape from. They’re very durable, even ignoring elemental weaknesses. On top of that, he’s so fast that you’ll never catch him darting between mirrors. It took Naruto tapping into his Nine-Tails chakra to escape this trap.
18 ZABUZA MOMOCHI
Zabuza and Haku helped shape who Naruto was. He was the first villain that Team 7 fought and he proved to be a powerful foe. Referred to as the “Demon of the Hidden Mist”, Zabuza had enormous chakra reserves that could actually be seen at times. Also, his physical prowess was incredible. He mastered the art of Silent Killing and was gifted at generating fog in order to increase the effectiveness of this technique.
He was also strong enough to wield his signature weapon: Kubikiribocho, the Executioner’s Blade. This sword was just as tall as him, yet he wielded it with no problem whatsoever. Add in his expertise with Water style Jutsu and his craftiness and you have someone who can nearly topple Kirigakure.
17 KIMIMARO KAGUYA
We all saw how powerful Gaara was in the middle of the Naruto. And by the rule of anime, after he returned on-screen from a long absence, he has to have gotten even more powerful. Yet, even he and Rock Lee were unable to defeat Kimimaro of the Kaguya clan.
During the “Sasuke Retrieval Arc”, Naruto tried to face off against Kimimaro, a powerful student of Orochimaru, but had to be saved by a combination of Lee and Gaara. These two gave Kimimaro some trouble, but he still nearly landed the finishing blow. If it wasn’t for his crippling illness (which drastically weakened him in the first place) dropping him mid-battle, Gaara and Lee would have been beat.
Konan most likely had more potential in this series, however, she hasn’t showed many feats to really define how powerful she is. However, if you’re able to nearly end Obito when he really wants something and is taking it seriously, then you belong on this list.
Konan’s main jutsu. “Dance of the Shikigami”, can shift her entire body into a form made of paper. But this is no ordinary paper. She can run her chakra through the paper and strengthen it so that it’s powerful enough to counter fire-style jutsus from Jiraiya. She can also create paper clones, generate paper bombs, and her ultimate technique summoned enough paper bombs to explode for ten minutes continuously.
One of the most talkative members of the Akatsuki, Deidara is still a very dangerous foe. He’s beaten Gaara on his home turf and even Pain stated that Deidara’s loss was a big blow to the Akatsuki.
Deidara’s power lied in his Explosion Release kekkei genkai, which gave his chakra explosive power. Deidara generally used this by infusing it with clay figures that he animates. This may sound like an odd power, but it’s actually a very diverse technique, allowing him to set up elaborate traps and travel in alternate ways. Finally, his ultimate jutsu generated an explosion said to be ten kilometers in radius.
One of the first main villains, Sasori and his mastery of puppetry provided one of the first entertaining battles in Naruto: Shippuden. Sasori is the ultimate puppet master and it’s heavily implied that Sakura and Chiyo only took him down because he wanted to go away.
Sasori’s body is actually a puppet itself and comes with a variety of tools including poison-coated blades. But his real strength comes in the number and type of puppets he possesses. He could control up to 100 puppets, each with varying abilities. With this technique, he was able to take down an entire country with these puppets. He also defeated the Third Kazekage by himself and turned his puppet into a body, giving him access to the powerful Magnet Release.
Kakuzu survived a fight against the First Hokage, who very well may be the most powerful ninja besides Hagoromo, after a botched attempt at his life. He has often been called immortal by those who face him.
Kakuzu’s body is stitched together with some kind of thread which allows him to alter his body in numerous ways. He also collects the hearts of his opponents and integrated them into his body. This allowed him to take on their nature transformations. Furthermore, Kakuzu could detach these hearts from his body, wrap them in the thread, and animate them, giving him up to four sentient “puppets” to use in battle, each with access to a different nature transformation.
12 KINKAKU AND GINKAKU
These two infamous brothers from Kumogakure, referred to as the Gold and Silver Brothers, were feared criminals and a thorn in Kumogakure’s side for years. They were known for using whatever tactic necessary in order to win, including attacking their own comrades. Despite their tactics, they were immensely powerful.
The two of them were descendents of the Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki and, as such, could easily use the Five Treasured Tools of the Sage of the Six Paths. On top of that, they gained access to chakra from the Kyuubi by feasting on the lining of Kurama’s stomach after they were swallowed by him. Even without these, Kinkaku, managed to kill the second Hokage without his brother (though he did have backup from the Kinkaku Force).
Hanzo is one of the more mysterious villains. He never faced off against our main cast, but he defeated Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru (along with their entire squad) when they were younger. The only reason the three of them survived was because he was impressed by their skill and allowed them to live.
Hanzo is a master of poison techniques. He implanted the poison sac from a special black salamander into his body, allowing him to produce poison on command. Besides his poison abilities, Hanzo possessed unmatched speed in water and was an incredible fighter with his Kusarigama (sickle with chain). With his Kusarigama, he was skilled enough to take fight Mifune, one of the best swordsmen in the world.
10 KISAME HOSHIGAKI
The “tail-less tailed beast” as Kisame is called is easily one of the most powerful members of the Akatsuki. With an immense chakra pool, a legendary sword, and chakra-absorbing techniques, Kisame became a very dangerous antagonist as the series progressed.
Kisame’s chakra reserves are comparable to a tailed beast’s, allowing him to execute some incredible jutsu, including one that absorbs the chakra of anything it touches. On top of that, Samehada, his sword, was also able to absorb the chakra of anyone it touches. He can even transform himself into a shark hybrid meaning that Kisame is powerful enough to defeat Killer Bee with almost no effort and take on Seven Gates Might Guy without Samehada.
9 DANZO SHIMURA
Danzo was only defeated because Sasuke was a perfect match for him. Even with his speed, lethality, and incredible intellect, Sasuke had to use everything in his arsenal in order to defeat Danzo.
Danzo is a master of air style who has a number of impressive and dangerous jutsus. But Danzo’s greatest boon was his cunning. He’s been pulling strings behind the scenes in the Leaf village for many years and this has allowed him to gain access to many powerful items such as Shin Uchiha’s arm, Shisui Uchiha’s extremely powerful sharingan, Hashirama’s cells, and ten other Sharingan. All of these modifications allowed him to manipulate people’s thoughts, heal without using hand signs, and even remain invincible for up to ten minutes via Izanagi.
A genius if there ever was one, Orochimaru was most well known for his experiments and how far he was willing to go in order to learn everything there is to know about jutsu. It was this ambition that ultimately led him down a very dark path.
Orochimaru is functionally immortal due to his body modifications. Any damage inflicted to him can easily be reversed and he can transfer his consciousness to another body as well. He also is one of the most intelligent people in history, possessing a jutsu for virtually every scenario. He’s powerful enough to defeat Hiruzen, take on a four-tails cloaked Naruto without much worry, and even take on Jiraiya and Tsunade at the same time.
As one of the most experienced Rinnegan-users in the entire series, Nagato was a powerhouse. The Rinnegan granted him incredible powers. Most notably, Nagato was able to create the legend of Pain by controlling six corpses via the Rinnegan and using them to channel different powers. With these Six Paths, Nagato was able to decimate Konoha.
However, Nagato only grows in strength without the SIx Paths. With his body healed by Edo Tensei, a Kabuto-controlled Nagato easily fought off Naruto in his Kyuubi chakra mode and Killer Bee. Even when Itachi was freed from Kabuto’s control and joined the fight, Nagato had the upper hand. It was only when Kabuto was distracted that Itachi finally managed to seal him with the Totsuka blade.
6 KABUTO YAKUSHI
Kabuto went from mild threat to a full blown powerhouse over the course of Naruto: Shippuden. Once Sasuke took out a weakened Orochimaru, Kabuto took advantage of all of the research that Orochimaru left behind. With this, his exceptional intelligence, and indomitable ambition, he modified himself and learned enough techniques to become a true threat.
Kabuto learned and perfected all of the jutsu Orochimaru had and infused himself with his former master’s remains. From there, he also altered his body and even learned Sage mode from the White Snake Sage. All of this turned him into an incredibly powerful force and allowed him to take on both Sasuke and Itachi with their Mangekyo Sharingans. The Uchihas only won because Itachi used Izanami on him.
5 OBITO UCHIHA
Obito Uchiha may have had an unassuming beginning, but after being mentored by Madara Uchiha, he became one of the most powerful ninja on the planet. Obito masterminded an Great Ninja War and has proven to be an extremely cunning and dangerous antagonist.
Kamui is an incredibly overpowered jutsu and is stronger than people give it credit for. Not only does it allow Obito to avoid any and all attacks directed at him, but it also serves as a one-hit KO move. If Obito pulls you into the Kamui dimension, you’re trapped there for all eternity. Obito with the Rinnegan was also able to command six Jinchuuriki and use them to completely overwhelm Naruto and Killer Bee.
4 SASUKE UCHIHA
As the deuteragonist of the series, we’ve seen Sasuke grow from a cocky kid who lusted for the power to defeat his brother to one of the most powerful ninjas in existence. Sasuke has relied on his ambition throughout the series to help him evolve into a man who can take out meteors in an instant and do battle with the most powerful people to walk on earth.
Sasuke is insanely fast, has always possessed a genius intellect, is an incredible taijutsu fighter, has complete mastery over his wide array of Sharingan and Rinnegan powers…. he’s even destroyed valleys with his attacks.
3 MADARA UCHIHA
During most of the series, Madara was nothing more than a legend. But during the Great Ninja War, both the Allied Shinobi Force and the audience realized that the legends were not only true, but paled in comparison to the reality of Madara Uchiha.
Madara is a ninja was no discernible weakness. Able to take on an entire army without using his strongest techniques. He faced off against the 5 Kage, the supposed five strongest ninja of modern times, and scoffed in their face as they tried to defeat him. He left them all cut in half on the battlefield, barely clinging to life. And once he gained Sage of the Six Paths power, he was borderline unstoppable.
2 KAGUYA OTSUSUKI
The final big bad of Naruto: Shippuden, Kaguya’s mere appearance changed everything that we thought we knew about the universe of Naruto. She’s an Otsutsuki, an extraterrestrial.
Kaguya is the reason that chakra even exists in humans. As the first being on Earth with chakra, Kaguya can use it to manipulate space-time. She can teleport herself and others to alternate dimensions, manifest unstoppable chakra arms, absorb all ninjutsu, and so much more. Kaguya was powerful enough to take on Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi with no problems. By this point, Naruto and Sasuke were i the same tier of power as her son, Hagoromo, Sakura was Kage-level after releasing her Strength of a Hundred Seal, and Kakashi gained a complete set of Sharingan from Obito.
1 MOMOSHIKI OTSUSUKI
When it became known that a new series titled Boruto would be picking up with the adventures of Naruto’s son, people were excited to see how the world has changed, but curious as to who any villains would be. Naruto and Sasuke had become powerful enough to essentially guarantee world peace. Also, who would be even more powerful than the progenitor of all chakra on Earth. How about her brother?
Momoshiki came to Earth looking for chakra and expanded the Naruto lore even more. Sasuke, a genius, identified Momoshiki as an even greater threat than Kaguya. Momoshiki, himself even said that he could defeat Kaguya.