One Piece, as fun of an adventure between friends and magical creatures as it is, is a world filled with criminals. Pirates are renowned for their overly-free nature, having a capacity like no one else to interfere with Marine operations, steal from ships, and raid villages. They are the ultimate scoundrels of the world that the World Government will try anything to stop.
Embodying that effort and the criminal's infamy overall, the World Government grants its most wanted "bounties" as a means of calculating their worth and danger. However, more often than not, it's used as a badge of honor among thieves, as one will often find characters comparing bounty sizes, trying to see who's the baddest person out there. As far as fans of the series know until now, this list will be running down those 10 exact people.
10 Jack the Drought - 1,000,000,000 Beli
First on this list is a character who literally proves his bounties' worth with every step he takes. In fact, he's infamous for it. One of Emperor Kaido's Three Disasters, Jack the Drought is a large Fishman (possibly hybrid) whose brute strength, horrifying tactics, and intimidating demeanor all serve to make him one of the series' biggest threats.
He proves such during Zou, as he uses his mammoth Devil Fruit and army of pirates to take on the entire kingdom of Minks, destroying it in the process. He certainly earns the title of "Disaster."
9 Charlotte Katakuri - 1,057,000,000 Beli
Katakuri is the strongest fighter and main vanguard of all the Charlotte Family and Big Mom pirates. He is the ultimate culmination of power and skill that the series has known thus far, sporting mastered uses of Observational and Armament Haki and a Devil Fruit to parallel and outclass Luffy's.
Before he came across Luffy, Katakuri proved his worth as a fighter by becoming infamous for never being seen on his back, both a call to his studious nature as well as his opponents' inability to take him down. Whether he's punching you with mochi fists or shooting at you with high-velocity jellybeans, Katakuri is a man who gets his kill before even he sees it coming.
8 Queen the Plague - 1,320,000,000 Beli
Queen the Plague is Jack's senior and superior within the Disasters. He is a large, mighty figure who has a flair for the performance as he does every action and rules over his section of Wano with dramatic panache.
While not much is currently known about his own fighting skill, Queen has been shown with a bionic arm as well as a Brachiosaurus Devil Fruits, two things that have allowed him to flex his strength against the likes of Luffy and Big Mom (though the latter attempt would prove less fruitful). Owning up to his moniker, Queen is also a master of virology, implementing viruses and diseases in his weapons and attacks to take down his enemies and manipulate his prisoners in horrific fashion.
7 "Straw Hat" Monkey D. Luffy - 1,500,000,000 Beli
The more well-known entry on this list, Monkey D. Luffy's bounty is the ultimate culmination of his growth and work throughout the series. His first 30,000,000 was a memento of his pivotal battle against Arlong. His first 100,000,000 upgrade was a token from his first confrontation with a warlord.
His 300,000,000 and 400,000,000 beli bounties were both earned on direct raids of government facilities. And now, his 500,000,000 beli bounty and newly earned 1,500,000,000 beli bounty both show his steady climb to eventually beating an Emperor of the Sea. Less of a criminal record, more of a chapter mark, Luffy's bounty is one that fans everywhere hope to see increase.
6 "Blackbeard" Marshall D. Teach - 2,247,600,000 Beli
While Blackbeard's exact time after the time skip remains a mystery, the way he has earned his bounty is not. Having killed a captain of the Whitebeard pirates, captured Ace, and subsequently starting an entire path of destruction to gain infamy, Blackbeard would later become a part of and betray the Seven Warlords, as he would use that status to infiltrate and liberate the most secure section of the underground prison, Impel Down.
He'd bring his newly freed crew to the Paramount War, using their combined effort to finally take down Whitebeard. Later entering the New World, Blackbeard would begin a campaign to steal powerful Devil Fruit powers, takeover old territories of Whitebeard, as well as challenge the Revolutionary Army. He's certainly earning his bounty.
5 "Red-Haired" Shanks - 4,048,900,000 Beli
As opposed to Blackbeard's clear, villainous nature, "Red-Haired" Shanks' bounty is a mystery to the community just because the man himself hasn't appeared all that threatening. That's not to say that Shanks is weak. He's clashed with the likes of Whitebeard and Kaido and challenged the remnants of the Paramount War to a fight.
What makes his considerably high bounty a mystery is the fact that all of his efforts throughout the series, even now, have all been in the name of creating peace, whether that means negotiating with Whitebeard or the World Government. Shanks just seems like a friend to everyone, which makes learning about how he got his bounty all the more interesting.
4 "Big Mom" Charlotte Linlin - 4,388,000,000
The second Emperor on this list, Big Mom has certainly shown how she's accumulated her infamy. Having killed the ruling giants of Elbaph and starting a career as a pirate at a young age, Linlin has shown since day one that she is a force to be reckoned with. Her kingdom remains independent to that of the World Government, bridging different species together, whether they like it or not.
Ruling over them is her family of immensely strong children, all curated from her relationships with a variety of strong people and species. The woman herself is gifted with monstrous strength and size with the addition of an overpowered Devil Fruit to boot. While she may not be everyone's favorite, Big Mom has earned her place as an Emperor of the Sea.
3 "King of Beasts" Kaido, 4,611,100,000 Beli
The highest known, living bounty in One Piece so far, Kaido not only resides as the main villain of the current arc but sports such power and military resources that the fanbase is currently left wondering if the Straw Hats are truly strong enough for this stage. His own crew, the Animal Kingdom pirates, is full of hundreds of fake Devil Fruit (SMILE's) users that are capable of transforming into horrific mutations of human and beast.
His own artillery is outfitted with a variety of poison and disease based weapons made by Caesar Clown and Queen the Plague. The man himself is known as someone who can not die, having survived countless captures and defeats and sporting a terrifying, powerful Ancient Zoan-type Devil Fruit, the Dragon Dragon fruit. If that's not enough to prove his bounty, the man himself has even defeated Luffy with one blow.
2 Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate - 5,046,000,000 Beli
Proving that the dead still have quite a legacy behind them, Whitebeard was not only the top of the Emperors but also the entire pirating world for about 20 years of One Piece's history. While not much is known about his campaigns during that time, his efforts during the Paramount War more than prove how he got his bounty. His Whitebeard Pirates is comprised of some of the strongest fighters in the war, including the swordplay of "Flowers" Vista, the power of "Diamond" Jozu, or the quick, versatility of Marco the Phoenix.
Each one is already more than enough for scores of Marine soldiers. The man himself was regarded as the "Strongest Man in the World," showcasing such by literally cracking the air with his wastes, flailing the Marine Admirals around, and flipping entire sections of the ground. His bounty essentially became useless, as it took an entire army and then some to take the man down.
1 Gol D. Roger, 5,564,800,000 Beli
Standing on top of the series' known infamy so far, Gol D. Roger still remains as the baddest pirate of all time. Knowing Paradise and the New World so far, it's easy to see that conquering the Grand Line is an admirable feat. Having stood tall over the likes of Whitebeard, the Golden Lion, Rocks D. Xebec, and the world itself, Roger has shown that there's no challenge that he isn't willing to face.
The World Government itself was terrified of his DNA alone, as they started an entire hunt for his wife and unborn son. Defeating, conquering, and stealing all there is on the sea, Roger has certainly earned his place as King of the Pirates.