Despite mostly being ninjas, the vast majority of characters in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden possess largely flashy attacks and absolutely-not-stealthy ways of delivering them.
We're talking about an anime franchise where characters can summon gargantuan frogs, create trees and cliffs from the ground, and even call forth meteors from outer space to decimate the land.
Even if all that goes against the traditional idea of ninjas in history, it does mean we're treated to several powerhouses among the cast of this iconic shonen anime. They're so strong, they could be gods.
How does your favorite ninja stack up against the greatest heroes and villains of the show? Here's how I rank the strongest characters in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. Believe it!
10. Obito Uchiha
When Obito Uchiha is first introduced, he goes by the name Tobi and seems like a bit of a weirdo among the Akatsuki. He shows almost no real power and he avoids fighting for the most part.
But his goofy personality is all an act. In truth, he gradually shows himself to be one of the most powerful characters in Naruto—and to top it off, he shares an important connection with one of our favorite characters in the entire series, Kakashi Hatake.
With surprisingly little effort, Obito is able to defeat other members of the Akatsuki, all to serve his own efforts in bringing about the revival of his master, Madara Uchiha.
Pain achieved something that no other foe ever managed to do: he single-handedly wiped out the entirety of Hidden Leaf Village.
By mastering the Rinnegan and controlling the bodies of the dead, Pain was able to overcome powerful ninjas like Jiraiya and Kakashi. It wasn't until Naruto—with his indomitable spirit and boundless energy—that Pain saw the error of his ways.
Still, obliterating the most powerful group of ninjas in the world is easily one of the most significant accomplishments in the anime.
8. Tobirama Senju
The Second Hokage Tobirama Senju was nearly as powerful as the First Hokage before him, though he wouldn't have the same formidable foe to test his strength against.
Tobirama took up the mantle of leadership after his brother Hashirama's death and he worked to unite the village throughout his life. His speed, strength, and skill were nearly on par with Hashirama.
As it turns out, Tobirama also happened to be the originator of Naruto's infamous Shadow Clone Technique as well as the Reanimation Technique and the Flying Thunder God Technique.
7. Madara Uchiha
In what is very much a theme throughout Naruto, Madara Uchiha's greatest foe was also his best friend, imbuing even more meaning into the grand rivalry between Naruto and Sasuke.
Madara was believed to have died at the hands of the First Hokage long ago, but he managed to survive and persist in a weakened state until he could orchestrate his eventual resurrection generations later.
When he returned with the power of the Ten-Tailed Beast, ninjas of nations across the world were forced to fight together in order to put a stop to him—and even that wasn't enough.
6. Hashirama Senju
Not only was the First Hokage Hashirama Senju present when the Hidden Leaf Village was founded, he was also the world's first and only user of the powerful Wood Release. In fact, later Wood Release users could only do so by having Hashirama's cells.
Hashirama Senju is the only person in history to fight Madara Uchiha one-on-one and come out on top, which helped secure peace for many years after his eventual death. This easily earns him a place among the strongest characters in Naruto.
5. Sasuke Uchiha
In shonen anime, every hero needs a powerful rival. For Naruto, that rival was his best friend Sasuke Uchiha since the very first episode.
While he started out as an Uchiha prodigy who could master techniques at a young age—ones that took other ninjas many years to learn—he was never satisfied. Sasuke's thirst for vengeance drove him to seek out greater power, often from unsavory sources.
Sasuke eventually acquired the Rinnegan and used it to overcome his adversaries, fighting on par with the gods themselves.
4. Naruto Uzumaki
Despite being the star of the series, Naruto Uzumaki actually isn't the strongest character—not even by the end! Even with the power of the Nine-Tailed Beast within him and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of chakra at his disposal, he comes up short.
That said, he's still immensely powerful. Naruto's physical abilities—along with his almost comical inability to give up—help him to overcome foes that should be beyond him.
And after he masters Sage Mode, Naruto rockets into the upper tiers of strength to become one of the strongest characters in the world.
3. Hamura Otsutsuki
Hamura Otsutsuki is the younger of the Otsutsuki twins as well as the originator of the Byakugan, which later becomes the unique hallmark of the Hyuga Clan.
He's a capable hand-to-hand fighter who's able to control gravity through his use of the Yin Release, making him a formidable foe that very few can stand up against.
While Hamura never managed to surpass his older brother, both of them would have to team up to stop their mother from wiping out humanity (which they did by sealing her away in the moon).
2. Hagoromo Otsutsuki
While Hamura was perhaps the cleverer of the Otsutsuki twins, he could never match the raw power of Hagoromo Otsutsuki.
The older twin brother didn't just take the Ten-Tailed Beast into his body—which was already an astonishing feat—but he also managed to split it into the ten different Tailed Beasts that populate the Naruto world.
Also known as the Sage of Six Paths, Hagoromo pioneered many of the ninja techniques seen throughout the show and remains outclassed by only his mother in terms of strength and power.
1. Kaguya Otsutsuki
Kaguya Otsutsuki was the first person to ever wield chakra in the Naruto universe, and she used her mastery of it to ascend to godhood and become the ultimate evil before everyone.
She was a celestial being of the Otsutsuki Clan, who arrived on Earth to cultivate a God Tree. The God Tree was meant to bear the legendary Chakra-Fruit, but it needed to consume all the chakra on the planet to do so—which would result in the devastation of everything.
The fact is, no one in the Naruto universe was ever capable of standing toe-to-toe against Kaguya. It took the combined efforts of nearly every ninja alive to put a stop to her grand plans, making her the absolute strongest character in all of Naruto.