The Naruto manga originally became popular due to its gritty and intelligent fight scenes. The beam-based battles of other prominent Weekly Shonen Jump series were replaced with contests of skill, where more powerful opponents could be taken down with proper planning and teamwork. As time went on, the smart battles of Naruto fell by the wayside and were replaced with the usual energy beams and power levels that ruin so many other series.
No one better exemplifies this than Naruto Uzumaki himself, who was practically a demigod by the time the final chapter rolled around. Naruto was virtually unstoppable in combat by the end of the series. However, there were a few people in the world of Naruto who possessed the ability to topple the main character, some of whom were his closest friends and allies.
Updated by Amanda Bruce on September 11, 2021: In the world of Naruto, there’s more to being a shinobi than learning traditional fighting skills. There’s also more to it than raw power. It takes a combination of the two in order for a character to truly be considered powerful. Of course, not every character in the franchise gets the same chance to take on the big villains like the title character, so sometimes, their power goes unseen. There are a few instances in the show, however, that prove just how powerful some of Naruto’s allies and enemies really are.
19 *Shikamaru Nara
When the audience first met Shikamaru Nara, he had no interest in being a responsible shinobi. He had mastered a lot of skills, but Shikamaru admitted his laziness. In what might be the most relatable of characters, Shikamaru would rather play his favorite board game than prepare for a real battle.
That all hides how powerful he really is. Shikamaru’s power primarily comes from his own ability to strategize. He has great control over his family’s legacy power of shadow control, but he also recognizes that’s not going to beat someone who has significantly greater chakra levels than he does. Shikamaru knows how to bide his time in a fight and outthink his enemy. He can take on those who have higher power levels than he does because he can figure out how they work and stop them, as he does with Hidan.
18 *Pain/Nagato Uzumaki
Pain might be one of the most beloved and most hated villains of the Naruto franchise. The character provided an emotional punch to the audience when he eliminated Jiraiya from the series, but also provided a great enemy for Naruto to take on before Naruto fully learned how to control his powers.
Not only did Pain best Jiraiya, but he also pretty much leveled Konoha when he traveled to the village. He even took on Naruto while Kurama’s strength came through to augment the young shinobi’s. Pain exhibited a huge level of power, however, when he decided to sacrifice himself to undo all of the damage he’d done in his final heroic act. No one else could make that happen.
17 *Boruto Uzumaki
Boruto is still a child learning the shinobi ways in his sequel series. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to be more powerful than his father. One of the running themes in the Naruto series is that the new generation always outstrips the one before it.
In the case of Boruto, he comes from two very powerful bloodlines – the Uzumakis and the Hyugas. He clearly has immense chakra levels, which allow him to outlast many of his enemies, just as it did Naruto when he was a child. Boruto also picks up skills faster than Naruto ever did, like creating shadow clones or mastering the rasengan. He’s on his way to being far more powerful than his father without the benefit of a tailed beast’s chakra inside him. Of course, thanks to Kara, he is able to access the power of the Otsutsuki as well.
16 *Sarada Uchiha
Like Boruto, Sarada Uchiha has the potential to be more powerful than Naruto. She might not quite be there yet as she’s still mastering skills, but she’s nearly as powerful as both of her parents as a teenager – and they’ve had decades to master their skills.
Sarada has inherited her mother’s strength and aptitude for memorizing basic shinobi skills. She can flatten an enemy with a single punch and she hasn’t yet learned the same chakra control and focus her mother has. She also has the Uchiha affinity for Lightning Release and the Sharingan. With Sarada already capable of many of the same skills as her father, who has always been a match for Naruto, it’s clear she’s on her way to becoming a match for the Seventh Hokage.
15 Rock Lee/Might Guy
When fan favorite Rock Lee fought Gaara, he introduced the concept of the Eight Gates to the series. A person could temporarily exceed the natural limits of their strength and chakra production by opening the gates. However, each step came with an even bigger negative effect on the body, to the point where opening the final gate would make you unstoppable in combat, at the cost of the user’s life.
Might Guy finally opened the Eighth Gate during his fight against Madara Uchiha and it proved to be as powerful as we had all expected. This means that both Guy and Rock Lee (during the Boruto era) possess the capability to defeat any living person in combat. This move caused half of Madara’s body to be obliterated, despite the numerous powers that he possessed at that point in the story. The only question is whether they would be willing to throw away their life in order to do so.
The true motives of Orochimaru always remain in question even throughout the story of Boruto, As such, the audience always wonders if Orochimaru will take up the mantle of villain once more. Orochimaru has managed to cheat death on several occasions, to the point where fans have to wonder if anyone can finish this snake off for good. This point is especially important, as Orochimaru might be the only living individual who can still perform the Dead Demon Consuming Seal.
Orochimaru witnessed how the Dead Demon Consuming Seal was performed when it was used on him by Sarutobi. It’s entirely possible that he has been saving this move as his new trump card. If the villain can never truly be killed, it doesn’t matter how powerful the hero is that goes up against them.
13 Minato Namikaze
The six-part “Kakashi Gaiden” storyline of the Naruto manga gave fans their first real glimpse at Minato Namikaze in the days before he became the Hokage. The legends of his strength were well-founded, thanks to his use of the Flying Thunder God Technique. This was a jutsu that allowed the user to teleport at will between different specially prepared seals, which could be separated by large distances.
There were many fans who expected Naruto to learn how to perform the Flying Thunder God Technique at some point in the story, but he never did. This means that he never managed to outstrip his father in terms of combat ability, as the instant teleportation ability of the Flying Thunder God Technique makes its user almost unstoppable in a fight.
12 Obito Uchiha
Obito Uchiha is one of the main antagonists of Naruto, as he was the one pulling the strings of Akatsuki while he secretly worked to bring Madara’s insane plans to life. One of the unexplained aspects of Obito’s powers involved his Mangekyo Sharingan, as it never seemed to have diminished his eyesight through overuse, as was the case with the others who possessed the technique.
This meant that he was free to use his Kamui ability without any repercussions, save for draining his chakra. All it took for Obito to defeat someone was a moment of physical contact, which would allow him to banish his enemy to another dimension using Kamui. It took the presence of Kakashi in order for Obito’s abilities to be countered, as he possessed the same abilities, which were linked to his own Sharingan that had been given to him by Obito in the past.
One of the biggest complaints about Boruto is that it pulled a Chrono Cross and started out by erasing the happy ending that had been earned by the beloved characters of the previous series. The first chapter/episode of Boruto opened up with the destruction of Konoha and the suggestion that Naruto’s life had been taken. Boruto begins with a character named Kawaki claiming that he is going to be sending Boruto to meet the Seventh Hokage and that the era of the Shinobi is over before the two do battle.
This suggests that Kawaki might be the one responsible for Naruto’s demise if he has indeed fallen in battle. The Boruto manga might have its problems, but this introduction for Kawaki has certainly intrigued a lot of fans. While the story eventually incorporates Kawaki’s own journey into that of Konoha’s inhabitants, just what role Kawaki plays in the end of the story remains to be seen, though he’s certainly proven himself immensely powerful.
10 Kabuto Yakushi
The Fourth Shinobi World War was essentially a huge Boss Rush Mode for the cast of Naruto. This was due to the fact that Kabuto proved to be a smarter villain than anticipated, and had mastered the Impure World Reincarnation technique to a degree that had never been seen before. Kabuto was able to bring back an army made up of the most powerful ninjas who had ever lived, who all kept the abilities they had in life.
Kabuto was only overwhelmed due to an alliance of every major ninja village and an unlikely series of events that allowed Itachi to gain control over his undead form. Anything less would have resulted in an easy victory for Kabuto against pretty much any opponent, as his army of regenerating zombie ninjas would have been unstoppable under any other circumstance.
Yamato’s abilities introduced a major question to the story of Naruto. He was first introduced after the time skip when chosen to act as the temporary leader of Team 7. Yamato was chosen due to his ability to suppress the chakra of the Nine-Tailed Fox, in case Naruto lost control again. It was never explained why he wasn’t put in charge of Naruto from the start, considering the numerous circumstances under which Naruto could have lost control and set the Fox free.
Yamato’s ability to suppress the chakra of the Fox, as well as regular chakra, makes him one of the few people who can contend with Naruto’s powers after he finally made peace with Kurama and gained access to his abilities. Yamato could therefore rob Naruto of his biggest trump card in combat.
8 The Remaining Tailed Beasts
The tailed beasts are so powerful during the events of the Naruto series that everyone wants to have one in their pocket – regardless of the consequences. Suna keeps one inside the leader’s son, Konoha is terrified to have one living among them, and the Akatsuki want to catch them all.
Sealing and controlling a tailed beast takes immense power and control. The act costs Naruto’s parents their lives (after an already lengthy battle). Gaara and Naruto, despite their natural aptitude for shinobi abilities and impressive chakra, both struggle to keep the beasts inside them at bay during their teen years. It’s clear that if the beasts ban together and aren’t separated, few shinobi would be a match for them.
7 Madara Uchiha
Madara Uchiha was being built-up to be the final boss of Naruto. It wasn’t clear how he would be defeated, with even the Eight Gates not being enough to take the Uchiha founder down. By the end of Naruto, the revived version of Madara possessed pretty much every major ability in the series.
He had both the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan and the Rinnegan, which he even managed to combine. Madara also absorbed the Ten-Tails and became its jinchuriki. These powers combined made Madara practically unstoppable and it was only due to quick writing saves on Masashi Kishimoto’s part that Madara was supplanted by Kaguya, which may have only been to extend the length of the series a little longer.
Naruto and Kakashi were able to overcome Deidara during the Kazekage Rescue storyline. This was due to the fact that Deidara was unable to go all-out against Naruto, as they still needed to extract Kurama from his body.
Fans later got to see Deidara finally cut loose during his battle against Sasuke, where the full extent of his powers was revealed. Deidara’s microscopic bombs and his final explosives required Masashi Kishimoto to dig deep into his pile of excuses in order to save Sasuke’s life. This required him to use a combination of the summoning technique and a high-level genjutsu in the space of a few seconds before an explosion took place, which are abilities beyond that of Naruto’s capabilities.
5 Choji Akimichi
Though he didn’t initially get a lot of screen time in Naruto, as the series continued, it was clear Choji Akimichi was an incredibly strong character. Choji’s battle during the Sasuke Retrieval storyline ended with him using the Three Colored Pills of his clan in order to gain the upper-hand against Jirobo. This resulted in him taking the Chili Pill, which is said to increase the user’s strength a hundredfold but would take their life in the process.
Masashi Kishimoto pulled back on the deadliness of the pill that Choji took. This led to speculation within the fan community over the strength of the Three Colored Pills compared to that of the Eight Gates. The strength increase granted by the third pill doesn’t last for long, but it requires a lot less training in order to use and can potentially be survived. Choji was able to master a lesser-form of the Chili Pill’s effect during the war, which lacked the adverse effects associated with the Three Colored Pills. The question remains over whether he could still use them in order to gain a massive power boost at the cost of his life?
4 Kaguya Otsutsuki
The final antagonist of Naruto was Kaguya Otsutsuki, who usurped Madara’s role at the last minute in order to provide a new foe who was strong enough for everyone else to gang up on. It’s difficult to quantify Kaguya’s powers because she has so many of them. Her mastery of chakra was such that she could manipulate it in ways that have never been seen before or since, which included giving her access to every nature transformation.
Kaguya was given a grab bag of the best abilities in the Naruto world, in order to create a threat that was dire enough to cause the members of Team 7 to put aside their differences and work together. None of the individual members would have been strong enough to deal with Kaguya on their own.
3 Danzo Shimura
Danzo might have been the smartest guy in the world of Naruto. He reached the point where he was adding bits of body parts from the various bloodline-users of his village, which included an arm that was laced with Sharingans and Senju DNA. It would make sense to possess a Sharingan, as Kakashi is living proof of the power that such an implant would grant you. The addition of Senju DNA is more puzzling, but Tobi seemed to have worked out why Danzo wanted to possess both.
According to Tobi, Danzo wanted Senju and Uchiha DNA as part of a plot to control Kurama. Sasuke finished Danzo off before this plan could be put into action, but it may have been possible for Danzo to have taken control of the Nine-Tails while it was still inside Naruto.
2 Momoshiki Otsutsuki
Naruto ended with something close to world peace, as the main ninja villages ended their conflict and the tailed beasts no longer became an issue. Naruto was too profitable to be destroyed, so the story needed to continue, which meant that new threats needed to appear. This led to the arrival of other members of Kaguya’s clan, who could become the villains of Boruto: Naruto the Movie.
Momoshiki Otsutsuki came very close to defeating Naruto over the course of the Boruto movie. It took the intervention of Sasuke and Boruto in order to save him. Momoshiki is basically the Frieza of the Naruto universe, as he demonstrated the ability to destroy whole worlds. Like Kaguya, he possessed an unparalleled control over chakra and could use several bloodline limits, which made him more than a match for several Kage-level opponents.
1 Sasuke Uchiha
It became obvious early during the story of Naruto that the series would conclude with a battle between Naruto and Sasuke. The only question was what form the battle would take, as the duo would switch between being allies and enemies throughout the story.
Sasuke Uchiha gained new powers at the same rate as Naruto throughout the story, to the point where it became an arms race, with the ultimate goal being to see who had the most ridiculous abilities. It’s hard to tell who won, as Naruto’s Fox/Sage abilities were matched by Sasuke and his Sharingan/Rinnegan, as they grew more visually impressive and bombastic over time.
Sasuke likely has the upper hand in terms of combat ability as of the Boruto era, due to the fact that he remained in active duty, while Naruto was forced to settle down and deal with the administrative aspects of being the Hokage. Sasuke was still a shinobi while Naruto had to become the world’s most powerful office worker.
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