Even at the height of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers mania in the mid-1990s, few people could’ve guessed that the franchise would still be active all these years later as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. There are a lot of reasons for the Power Rangers franchise enduring all these years, but the main one is probably that the series essentially reboots itself every single year– after MMPR‘s multi-season run, that is– with an almost completely new cast of heroes and villains, though there are some key characters that have carried over across multiple seasons. This helps to keep Power Rangers from growing stale and having any one particular story overstay its welcome.
In addition to all of the different Rangers that have come and gone across Power Rangers‘ 20+ different series and three theatrical films, dozens of villains have also been introduced to the franchise. While many people will always consider Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa to be the most iconic villains in Power Rangers history, there are many others that have carved out their own place in the franchise’s legacy– and more to the point of this list, a lot of them are much more powerful than those two.
Of course, you can’t discuss Power Rangers baddies without also drawing attention to some of the completely absurd villains that have shown up throughout the franchise’s history and have only served to give Power Rangers haters more fodder to use in mocking the show.
Here are the 15 Strongest Power Rangers Villains (And 5 Laughably Weak), Ranked.
20 Strongest: Goldar
Part of the reason Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa became such Power Rangers characters is because of the other villains who got their start through the duo. Such is the case with Goldar, who spent time as something of a sidekick to both of them before becoming a threat on his own.
Goldar has the distinction of being the first monster general in franchise history. His gold-plated body not only serves to make him look cool but also be extremely durable against attack. That Goldar showed up in last year’s Power Rangers film is a testament not only to his popularity but also how imposing of a villain he can be– which was nice, since by the end of his time on MMPR he had unfairly become a joke.
19 Weak: Cavity
In 2015-16’s Dino Charge run, we were introduced to a villain that seems more at home on posters in a dentist’s office than being a bad guy on an action series.
In addition to having a tagline that is cheesy even by Power Rangers standards– “the tooth hurts!“– Cavity’s background is that he is a talented baker but uses his skills to make cakes that violently decay the teeth of those who eat them, an effect that is reversed when Cavity is defeated.
He can fire lasers that also decay the teeth of his targets.
Why is Cavity is a villain during a dinosaur-focused season? Because dinosaurs have lots of teeth?
18 Strongest: Dai Shi
No matter how you may personally feel about Jungle Fury, it came at one of the Power Rangers franchise’s lower points popularity-wise. If there is one thing that nobody can take away from Jungle Fury it’s a fantastic big bad in the form of Dai Shi, an ancient dragon who has come back and inhabited the body of martial artist Jarrod.
The relationship between Dai Shi’s spirit and Jarrod was similar to Eddie Brock and the symbiote that turned him into Venom, with Jarrod’s anger only fueling Dai Shi’s power and vice versa. This made Dai Shi a dangerous and formidable opponent to Jungle Fury‘s Power Rangers team, continually growing more powerful as he evolved.
17 Strongest: Octomus The Master
Every Power Rangers villain is handled a bit differently than the others. Some show up right from the start of their series and are constantly tangling with the Rangers, while others hang back and don’t enter the fray until the time is right. The latter was how Octomus the Master approached villainy during the fittingly-titled Mystic Force, spending almost the entire season not being seen or even mentioned by name until his epic appearance in the final episode.
Octomus’ power was as close to godlike– or devil-like– as anyone in Power Rangers history.
It can be tough to live up to that level of build-up, but Octomus disappointed neither fans of the show nor the Rangers themselves in that regarded, being every bit as dangerous and powerful as everyone assumed.
16 Weak: Polluticorn
Like most kid-focused shows, Power Rangers occasionally works some sort of message or lesson into its storylines. During MMPR‘s first season, the Rangers are picking up litter as part of a “clean-up club”– also the name of the episode in question– which inexplicably enrages Rita Repulsa and causes her to create a monster specifically designed to pollute the Earth.
Sure, Polluticorn does initially overpower the Rangers when they face him, but it’s all for naught, as simply knocking off his very prominent unicorn-like horn significantly weakens him. It doesn’t matter how strong you are at your best if you have an easily-exploitable loophole that renders you useless– especially when that loophole is directly tied into your name and gimmick.
15 Strongest: Rita Repulsa’s Frankenstein Monster
It’s important to keep in mind that this is a list of the strongest Power Rangers villains and not necessarily the coolest or most original.
Sure, it’s kind of low-hanging fruit to have a Frankenstein’s monster-like creature serve as a villain.
We’ve seen that trope revisiting in countless movies, TV shows, comic books, and video games. In fact, both the Super Sentai series and Power Rangers itself have revisited that well multiple times. All that said, though, Rita Repulsa’s Frankenstein monster during MMPR was surprisingly powerful and proved an incredibly difficult early foe for the Rangers. Not only does he make quick work of them in Ranger form, but he was also winning against their Megazord before the Dragonzord and Tommy show up to help out. Even then, taking him out was no easy feat.
14 Strongest: Knasty Knight
It might seem like we’re leaning a little heavy on MMPR for this list, but those first few seasons simply had some of the toughest villains in Power Rangers history. They actually engaged in battle themselves and didn’t just rely on their minions or using magic from a distance.
Another first-season baddie, Knasty Knight was set up to be menacing before he even shows up to face the Rangers, with his backstory involving him pulverizing the best fighters of entire other planets. What made Knasty Knight an especially tough foe was that he could simply deflect attacks back at the Rangers, which would often result in their weapons being destroyed. Only when the Dino Megazord beat him at his own game by reflecting his powerful energy beam back at him was Knasty Knight finally defeated.
13 Strongest: Rito Revolto
Rita Repulsa is a dangerous foe and has created some of the toughest monsters in Power Rangers history, but she herself isn’t an especially powerful fighter. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t have some tough relatives, though, including her brother– who has a different last name for some reason– Rito Revolto.
First showing up during the MMPR era and continuing on through Zeo, Rito actually managed to destroy the Thunder Megazord.
That’s something Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd had both previously failed to accomplish. Rito also completely demolished the other Zords in spectacular fashion, basically dismantling them piece by piece in a series of heartbreaking scenes that are burned into the memories of millions of longtime Power Rangers fans.
12 Weak: Puzzler
Power Rangers villains are like Mega Man villains– in an effort to ensure that no two are alike, sooner or later you’re bound to run out of ideas and just start getting lazy. We can see the pitch meeting for Puzzler now: “What haven’t we done yet? What other stuff challenges people? How about puzzles? Sure, let’s go with that!” Truthfully, a puzzle-based villain isn’t a terrible idea in and of itself– see: The Riddler.
As with many of Power Rangers‘ worst villains, they took that idea a little too literally with Puzzler. This embarrassing villain– whose primary power is rearranging buildings into mazes– is another unfortunate character to come out of the Dino Charge seasons.
11 Strongest: Lothor
While the Rangers were basically ninjas from the beginning, the first season to truly embrace that idea was Ninja Storm. Despite the promising premise, Ninja Storm wasn’t quite as awesome as it should’ve been.
One of the biggest redeeming factors of the uneven Ninja Storm was big bad Lothor.
Not only is he strong enough to take on all six members of the Ninja Storm Rangers with one hand metaphorically tied behind his back, Lothor was entertaining to watch as he would often break the fourth wall and make humorous asides directly to the audience. As funny as he was fearsome, Lothor made an otherwise disappointing season much more enjoyable.
10 Strongest: Lord Zedd
Despite only appearing in three different variations of Power Rangers shows, Lord Zedd remains the first character that pops into most people’s minds when they picture a Power Rangers villain. It’s a testament to just how powerful and effective of a bad guy he is that he’s so strongly associated with such a long-running show in which he only appeared in a handful of seasons.
What’s especially interesting about Lord Zedd’s legacy is that he was one of the characters that was created specifically for Power Rangers. He wasn’t a carry over from Super Sentai. This distinction might have freed the U.S. writers up to make him much more powerful. Unlike Rita Repulsa, he didn’t just send monsters after the Rangers. Instead, he fought them himself in battles that pushed any incarnation of the team to their limits.
9 Strongest: Sledge
Here’s a Big Bad that redeemed an otherwise goofy lineup of villains from the Dino Charge seasons. Sledge is unique in that his team of baddies wasn’t created or even recruited via normal means. Instead, it was largely comprised of marks he picked up as a bounty hunter before going rogue and just keeping them for himself.
Like Lothor, Sledge mixed comedy in with his evil deeds.
While many fan-favorite Power Ranger villains are the darker, more serious type, it’s always nice to have the occasional antagonist who doesn’t taken himself too seriously. When he wasn’t griping about his wife or his dimwitted underlings, he was beating up on the entire Ranger team without breaking a sweat.
8 Weak: Slob Goblin
Some Power Rangers villains walk a fine line between being silly in an entertaining way, and just being too utterly ridiculous to even enjoy. Named as if he was the Garbage Pail Kids version of a Spider-Man villain, Slob Goblin was another reason why the Ninja Storm season wasn’t one of the best. He even got three episodes with which to embarrass himself and the series in general.
Slob Goblin’s backstory is that he is an “Intergalactic Mail Carrier,” thus explaining his physical similarities to something you’d see on a street corner. True to that origin, one of his attacks involves licking his opponents and turning them into stamps. Slob Goblin became moderately powerful when Lothor made him giant-sized, but the Samurai Storm Megazord made quick work of him.
7 Strongest: Ivan Ooze
Being introduced in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, not restricted to the budget of a weekday afternoon live-action television series, Ivan Ooze has the benefit of simply looking a lot better than most early Power Rangers villains. His introduction makes it immediately clear just what a big threat he is when he makes short work of both Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd before then quickly destabilizing the Morphin Grid and robbing the Rangers of their power.
Ivan Ooze called on his army of monsters and robots and used his ooze to turn the entire human race into zombies.
These are higher stakes than Power Rangers typically goes for. He was a villain that couldn’t have been contained within the TV show. He needed his own movie with which to really showcase his power.
6 Strongest: Thrax
Nobody was falling all over themselves to root for Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa to get together, but thankfully, we were spared years of will-they-or-won’t-they tension. That didn’t stop them from eventually having a child together, named Thrax, who has a face that not even an evil father and mother love.
Appearing in just two episodes, during the Operation Ovedrive season, Thrax was part of a powerful supergroup of enemies that were nearly unstoppable to that season’s Rangers. Still, that shouldn’t suggest that Thrax couldn’t hold his own if he were to fly solo. Doubt the power of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa’s offspring at your own peril.
5 Strongest: Master Xandred
Only the rare Power Rangers villain gets to be the primary antagonist for multiple seasons, but such was the case with Master Xandred, who played the role of big bad for both Samurai and Super Samurai.
Master Xandred borders on being all-powerful.
He’s able to withstand most attacks, can change his size at will, has many different types of powerful magic attacks, and has the strength to go toe-to-toe with a Gigizord. The only thing that keeps Xandred from being completely unstoppable is that his more powerful moves require a charge time, and he needs to be soaked in the Sanzu River to be at full strength. Without these trade-offs, Xandred would’ve been a completely unstoppable force– which wouldn’t have made those seasons very interesting to watch.
4 Weak: Mr. Ticklesneezer
Unless you’re already familiar with the infamous Mr. Ticklesneezer, you’re probably looking at the picture above in disbelief that he’s a real villain from Power Rangers.
Rest assured that not only is Mr. Ticklesneezer a very real Power Rangers character from MMPR, but that his “power” is as ridiculous as his look and name. He can collect things into his magical bottle. No, there isn’t more to his power– that’s all he does. Full disclosure: Mr. Ticklesneezer is technically just a character that exists in the dream of Ranger Trini, but that’s still no excuse for this absurd character to have been the main antagonist of an entire episode devoted to him.
3 Strongest: The Machine Empire
In terms of overall importance to the Power Rangers legacy, the Machine Empire– usually led by King Mondo– are significant because they were the first main antagonists in the franchise after Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa. They also ushered in a new era for Power Rangers villains in that they were a single, united army to terrorize the Rangers for the season, rather than a succession of mostly-separate villains with some big bad behind them as had been the tradition before– and since.
While the primary leader of The Machine Empire changed a few times, what never changed was the army’s power and unflinching takedown of anyone who stood in their way, including the Rangers. Beyond that, they just had some of the coolest designs in Power Rangers history.
2 Strongest: Psycho Rangers
It’s always a dicey move to introduce evil doppelgangers of protagonists, as it can easily just feel like a lazy way to come up with a new villain. With that in mind, it’s actually somewhat admirable that the Power Rangers didn’t go that route until the sixth season, which is when it introduced the Psycho Rangers, evil counterparts to the Space Rangers.
The Psycho Rangers were as dangerous as they were interesting to watch, making for some of the most exciting battles in the history of the franchise.
Like any compelling evil versions, the Psycho Rangers had all of the power and ability of the Space Rangers, only they were much more dangerous. They were unencumbered by feelings or morality and only focusing on their evil goals.
1 Strongest: Emperor Mavro
Sometimes it takes a pinch hit from one or two Rangers from previous seasons in order to help a current Ranger team defeat a major enemy. In the case of Emperor Mavro, it took virtually all of the previous Rangers up to that point to join the Mega Rangers of Megaforce in order to take him down. Even then, he spends much of the fight seemingly brushing off all of their strongest attacks as if they were mosquito bites.
For this reason alone, it’s tough not to argue that Emperor Mavro is the out-and-out strongest villain in Power Rangers history. The fact that the main Ranger team matched up against him wouldn’t have even been able to make a dent in him on their own definitely can’t be said for most other Power Rangers villains, if any.
Who’s your favorite Power Rangers villain? Let us know in the comments!