One Piece has always been known for its over-the-top & compelling characters.
Some are even so iconic that it doesn’t matter whether they’re one of the good guys or not.
This is all thanks to Eiichiro Oda’s masterful style of characterization.
While it’s true that a story is only as good as its protagonist, the same also goes for its villains.
Fortunately for us One Piece fans, the show boasts several well-portrayed villains. And here’s our picks for the biggest & baddest, all ranked according to their strength!
18. Vinsmoke Judge
For our first entry, we have the commander of the Germa 66 — one of the most powerful organizations in the show.
Vinsmoke Judge was a major villain alongside Big Mom and Katakuri during the Whole Cake Island Arc – despite him being Sanji’s biological father.
He’s also a former member of MADS along with the likes of Dr. Vegapunk, Caesar Clown, and Queen.
Judge might’ve not been a great father to Sanji at all, but boy oh boy was this man “great” in terms of sheer unlikability and pompousness.
He’s just the kind of guy we love to hate.
Armed with his spear and his raid suit, he’s a pretty impressive fighter – which is why he made this list in the first place.
Despite him being a bit of a hateful coward and all…
17. Gecko Moria
Say what you will about Gecko Moria, but he’s a pretty interesting villain who treads a fine line between creepy, terrifying, and just downright wacky.
Well, he’s actually wacky most of the time — especially with that annoying laugh of his, which is sadly forever embedded in my brain.
In terms of strength, he stands proudly among the Seven Warlords as one of the strongest pirates in the show – even when he’s at his base form.
Using Shadow’s Asgard further amplifies Moria’s strength, by allowing him to absorb over 1000 souls.
And while Luffy did beat him during the Thriller Bark Arc, it’s arguable that he could’ve won if he didn’t mess up one too many times back then.
16. Rob Lucci
Here we have one of the coolest villains in the show – and someone who gave Luffy a very hard-fought victory.
Rob Lucci is the former leader of the CP9 — an assassination unit of the Cipher Pol and has since been reinstated as a member of the CP0.
He was the best at what he did and has rarely failed a mission (if not at all), which is why the World Government once sent him and his team to deal with the Strawhats.
In terms of pure athletic and physical ability, it’s not much of a stretch to say that Rob Lucci far outclasses most of the entries on this list.
For someone who fancies himself a god, Enel sure got beat way earlier than he was supposed to.
Make no mistake: it’s highly likely Enel would actually fare well against opponents that appeared later on in the series.
And had he not run into Luffy who had the perfect counter to his Devil Fruit ability, it’s also possible that he would’ve wreaked more havoc given his tyrannical and narcissistic nature.
He has one of the most overpowered element-based Devil Fruits – which is a shame, since he didn’t really utilize it well enough in my opinion.
Had he ignored his pride and ran from the Strawhats, I believe he would’ve developed into a much stronger contender.
Crocodile was among the very first major villains that Luffy had to overcome – and he’s a badass antagonist who certainly gave Luffy one of his toughest fights.
Furthermore, Crocodile also boasts a record of 2-1 in favor of him, since he did beat Luffy twice, although Luffy did have the more decisive victory in the end.
All that said, Crocodile is a former member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and was once touted as one of its strongest members.
After that kerfuffle in Alabasta and being imprisoned in Impel Down, Crocodile turned over a new leaf (sort of) and even helped Luffy during the Impel Down and Marineford Sagas.
There’s just no denying it.
Magellan is one of the most terrifying villains in the show – especially because of the nature of his Devil Fruit ability.
His constant constipation does make him a funny character at times. But it doesn’t change the fact that he has the most fearsome power within the Marines.
There’s a reason why even the most hardened criminals fear this man, and why even the likes of Jinbe (who once one-shotted Moria by the way) wanted to avoid him at all costs.
He’s strong enough on his own…
But in an enclosed area like Impel Down?
He’s just unstoppable.
So much that it took Luffy’s outrageously thick plot armor to bring this monster of a warden down.
12. Donquixote Doflamingo
Doffy might not be the strongest villain in One Piece. But he sure takes the cake when it comes to sheer style and fashion points.
Aside from having the freshest drip in the show, Doffy remains (in my opinion at least) as the most compelling villain in the series so far.
He might’ve had his motivations. But he’s by far among the most unhinged characters we’ve seen.
And combined with his strength (and the strength of his crew) Doflamingo makes a very effective villain overall.
Queen might not embody his title quite that much in terms of appearance.
But he surely does so in terms of raw power.
I mean, not only is he incredibly strong and durable, but he’s also the smartest member of the Beast Pirates.
After all, he was a former member of the MADS — a disbanded illegal organization that only accepted people with the brightest of the brightest minds.
It doesn’t just stop there, either.
He also exhibited some impressive feats that showcase both his strength and ingenuity. One of which was him devising and carrying out a plan to knock out Big Mom — one of the Four Emperors herself!
10. Charlotte Katakuri
Charlotte Katakuri is the strongest among Charlotte Linlin’s children, and by extension, the Big Mom Pirates.
He’s the Minister of Flour and the ruler of Komugi.
Hardly the most intimidating of titles, I know… but there’s a good reason why his bounty is the highest among his siblings.
After all, Katakuri is a top-tier combatant who has mastered all three forms of haki to a high degree.
So much that his battle with Luffy probably would’ve gone differently had he not stabbed himself with his spear to even out the odds.
As it stands, Charlotte Katakuri remains as the toughest opponent Luffy has ever beaten in the anime.
Although we’ll likely see this change sooner or later.
Here we have the strongest member of the All Stars and Kaido’s right-hand man himself — King the Conflagration.
King was given his title not only because of his strength, but also because of his ability to remain level-headed in intense situations.
He’s also been known to make good decisions for his crew on-the-fly without Kaido’s orders. Which explains why he got his position.
In addition to having one of the most badass character designs in the show, he also boasts the highest bounty for someone who isn’t a pirate captain.
I mean, this guy is so awesome that he doesn’t even show an ounce of fear when facing Big Mom – even after he knocked over her ship and offended her greatly!
8. Admiral Kizaru
Admirals might’ve appeared in the anime earlier than some of the entries on this list.
But they’re by no means the weaker bunch.
Quite the contrary, since Admirals either dominated or held their own against anyone who isn’t named Whitebeard so far.
Borsalino is one of the three OG admirals and possesses one of the strongest Logia-type Devil Fruits to date.
He’s contended with (and held his own with) the likes of Silvers Rayleigh and Marco the Phoenix — both of whom are coincidentally the right hands of two legendary pirates.
And in my opinion, Kizaru doesn’t even look like he’s trying half the time!
He might be a villain, but no one can deny that Kuzan is one of the most chill characters in One Piece.
Considering that his Devil Fruit lets him control and become ice itself, I’d say it’s pretty poetic in a way.
Sure, he can be a bit lazy and easygoing for someone in his position. But he’s an absolute beast of a fighter – as we’ve seen during the Marineford War.
But even though he can still be classified as a villain because of his former affiliation with the World Government, it’s obvious that Kuzan was among the “kinder” Admirals.
He’s much like Fujitora (who I didn’t bother including in this list altogether), seeing as he doesn’t really fit the “villain” criteria in my opinion.
6. Fleet Admiral Akainu
Sakazuki is someone who does fit the villain criteria down to a T— the “Red Dog” himself.
After the Marineford War, it’s not particularly shocking to say that Akainu has become Public Enemy #1 for the fans.
And rightfully so, as he had single-handedly ruined one of the greatest rescue missions ever executed in any anime.
I’d even go as far as to say that he’s currently the most dangerous foe to Luffy – not only because of his sheer strength, but also since he’s an abysmal matchup for our MC in terms of Devil Fruit Ability.
Considering just how ruthless and bloodthirsty Sakazuki is, I doubt he’d pull any punches once his inevitable face-off with Luffy comes.
Here we have the former Fleet Admiral and one of the strongest marines in the show.
Unlike Akainu, Sengoku doesn’t have a twisted sense of justice – and is generally a good person overall, barring his involvement with the corrupt World Government.
But he did have a brief stint as a minor villain during the Marineford War Arc, as he led the marines during the attempted execution on Portgas D. Ace.
During the war he also showed just why he was chosen as the Fleet Admiral above other contenders.
After all, he did push back against Blackbeard and his crew all by himself, amidst all the chaos, which is no mere feat.
4. Golden Lion Shiki
In addition to Rocks D. Xebec who hasn’t yet made a notable anime appearance, Golden Lion Shiki is among the few villains that lived during Gol D. Roger’s era.
Not only had he sailed the seas during Roger’s time, but he was also powerful enough to be considered the Pirate King’s rival.
During his prime, he had often drawn comparisons with the likes of Whitebeard, Monkey D. Garp, and Gol D. Roger himself.
Heck, he even fought Sengoku and Garp at the same time (all by himself by the way) at Marineford upon hearing of Roger’s death.
If that isn’t him being a true rival to Roger then I don’t know what is…
3. Big Mom
Charlotte Linlin is about as terrible and scary as they come.
Not only is she a Yonko and the ruler of Totto Land, but she has also garnered enough infamy and renown as a pirate that her name alone puts fear into every up-and-comer whose name isn’t Luffy.
During the Whole Cake Island Arc, it’s pretty obvious that Big Mom is way above Luffy’s league, despite Luffy having improved so much already.
All in all, she’s just one of those villains that you never want to piss off — regardless of how comical she looks and acts like at times.
Well, unless you want to find out just what happened to the orphans and Mother Carmel in Sheep’s House…
At the time of this writing, the Strongest Creature and the King of the Beasts himself — Kaido — is the greatest challenge that Luffy must overcome.
This absolute monster of a man is the usurper of Wano – and is arguably the strongest of the Yonko given his sheer power and influence in the New World.
Well, for now anyway.
While it remains to be seen just how Luffy and his crew would deal with Kaido and Big Mom, it must be said that Kaido will always remain as one of the strongest villains in the show.
It’s not often that we see a villain who can outright one-shot Luffy in his strongest form.
1. Marshall D. Teach
For our number one spot, we have a character who’s a close tie with Akainu when it comes to garnering hatred from fans.
He’s the ultimate betrayer, thief, and schemer who patiently waited for his chance to take the spotlight.
And that he did… in the worst way possible.
In fact, he’s actually behind most of the tragedies that transpired in the show, now that I think about it.
Blackbeard (even at his age) is still the man who dealt the final blow to Whitebeard, who was formerly known as the Strongest Man in the World.
What makes him even more dangerous is the nature of his Devil Fruit ability – which allows him to absorb other Devil Fruits.
The fact he managed to absorb Whitebeard’s Devil Fruit ability highlights his frightening potential, making him easily the strongest (and greatest) “final villain” for Luffy.