Not only is One Piece one of the longest-running shonen anime of all time, it still hasn't concluded as of this writing. The story just keeps going deeper and further as it introduces new mysteries and new characters.
Despite having over a thousand episodes, this anime series continues to engage. Every story arc goes in a different direction, all while staying connected to Monkey D. Luffy's main goal.
Furthermore, each arc offers hints to the bigger mystery, foreshadowing of future events, and backstories for significant characters. It feels like every arc is a cliffhanger that keeps us hooked.
Here are our picks for the best One Piece arcs and why we love them. You absolutely shouldn't skip them for any reason!
10. Long Ring Long Land Arc (Eps. 207–219 & 227–228)
The Long Ring Long Land Arc follows the Straw Hat Pirates as they meet with Silver Fox Foxy and his pirate crew.
The arc feels like a group of filler episodes because the story pretty much drifts away from the main theme of the series. However, it still features some crazy character developments among the crew.
And while One Piece is generally fun and humorous, this arc ends with their meeting with Aokiji, who nearly wipes everyone out. It's an important declaration that the seas ahead aren't going to be as light as they were before with characters like Aokiji and the Admirals.
9. Thriller Bark Arc (Eps. 337–381)
The Thriller Bark Arc covers the story right after the main crew sails from the Water 7. It's set in the Florian Triangle, which is basically the Bermuda Triangle of One Piece.
From ghost ships to the undead, this arc is full of Halloween-style fun and comedy. But the main antagonist here isn't a ghost—they're one of the Warlords of the Sea, who has an extraordinary army.
Though this arc isn't as serious when it comes to its themes, it still features some badass moments like Zoro's loyalty to Luffy, Brook's past, and a few elements that connect to the Wano Country Arc.
8. Sabaody Arc (Eps. 385–405)
The Sabaody Arc covers the events that take place when the Straw Hats anchor their ships in the Sabaody Archipelago, looking for a way to reach the New World through the Fish-Man Island.
This arc shows us the crew being defeated and coming to terms with the fact that their capabilities aren't enough to cross the New World. It also sets the stage for Luffy to meet his brother in the Marineford Arc.
The Sabaody Arc also introduces the other Supernovas—a band of rookie pirates who are making their names on the seas, who end up catching the attention of the Marines.
7. Marineford War Arc (Eps. 457–489)
The One Piece saga goes all-out in the Marineford War Arc. It introduces the big shots of the Marines, from the Seven Warlords to the top officials, including Garp, Aokiji, Kuzan, Akainu, and Sengoku.
On the pirate's side—who are all there to save Ace from execution—we see one of the Emperors of the Sea: Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate.
This story arc isn't all about the Straw Hat Pirates, but it's still a crucial part of the story because what happens here determines the futures of key characters in upcoming story arcs.
6. Enies Lobby Arc (Eps. 264–290, 293–302, 304–312)
The Enies Lobby Arc is intense thanks to the preceding Water 7 Arc that built up tension, from the leaving of the two Straw Hats to the revelation of Robin's involvement with the CP9.
While the main antagonists in this arc are all Devil Fruit eaters, the story in the Enies Lobby Arc introduces us to several ways to beat Devil Fruit powers even if you don't have any yourself.
The Enies Lobby Arc also features tremendous power-ups within the main crew, which are all stepping stones to even more refined abilities that come later in their journeys.
As if that weren't enough already, this arc also highlights an ancient weapon, the Pluton, which plays an important role later in the series, and it also delivers a heartbreaking moment in Going Merry's farewell.
5. Post-Enies Lobby Arc (Eps. 313–325)
Spanning just a few episodes with some fillers in the middle, the Post-Enies Lobby Arc is still pretty eventful for such a short story arc.
The arc features the battle of Blackbeard and Ace, in which the latter loses and ends up captured, which plants the seeds for the wide-scale tension between powerhouses of opposing sides.
This event is the highlight of the arc and had a huge impact on the Summit War Saga, where big names would appear.
What makes this arc really interesting is how it explores Ace (and his Mera Mera no Mi) as well as Blackbeard (and his Yami Yami no Mi).
4. Skypiea Arc (Eps. 153–195)
The Skypiea Arc comes after our heroes land in the sky via the Knock Up Stream from the seas of Jaya. The arc is pretty eventful, but the most important thing here is Luffy's fight against Enel.
Though he has the upper hand—due to his rubber powers being the natural counter to Enel's electricity—he still can't beat the "god" because of the mantra: his ability to see the opponent's next move.
From the Poneglyph signed by Gol D. Roger to the introduction of Blackbeard and his crew, the Skypiea Arc leaves us with lots of interesting things to look forward to.
3. East Blue Saga (Eps. 1–61)
The East Blue Saga actually comprises the first six One Piece arcs, from Romance Dawn Arc to Lougetown Arc. I'm lumping them into one so they don't take up more than half of this article!
These story arcs revolve around the pioneering members of the Straw Hat crew—namely Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji—and their adventures together as they head to the Grand Line.
What makes these arcs particularly special is that on top of establishing the main characters, they also introduce several other figures who later return as important elements in the overall story.
2. Arabasta Arc (Eps. 101–130)
The Straw Hats get involved in all kinds of drama. In the Arabasta Arc, they're entangled in the Arabasta Kingdom's internal conflict, plotted by Crocodile (one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea).
In the Arabasta Arc, the Straw Hat Pirates help Princess Vivi reunite the kingdom and prevent a civil war.
What makes this arc great is how it introduces several concepts that lead to the real mystery of One Piece. Between the Ancient Weapons and the Poneglyphs, we see where the crew is heading.
1. Wano Country Arc (Eps. 890–894, 897–906, 908–1028, 1031–Present)
As of this writing, the Wano Country Arc is the latest arc in the anime. It's set in the Land of Wano with the Beast Pirates headed by Kaido.
Why are we picking this one as the best One Piece arc? Simply put, everything here is hyped and truly satisfying. From the animation to the narrative, the Wano Country Arc is a work of art.
This arc also features the best of the Straw Hats. Their developments are top-tier and no one is holding back anymore—because they aren't just up against one but two Emperors of the Sea.
While it centers on events in the Land of Wano, this arc is a direct continuation of the past arcs (from the Sabaody Arc to the Whole Cake Island Arc) and all of the key elements from those arcs are further explored in the Land of Wano.