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The Strongest Hokages in ‘Naruto,’ Ranked

Ya gotta be able to sign a lot of forms...WITHOUT getting a cramp.

Something tells me it’s gonna be this kid.

What does it take the be the strongest Hokage in Naruto? A mastery of all the hand signs? Yeah, that’ll help. What about a particularly badass kekki genkai? That works too. But according to a certain character, becoming the greatest Hokage takes only one thing: determination. That, and being the reincarnation of a god-like shinobi of old. But determination really helps. So, if you’ve got the actual god thing, and a lot of determination, you’re good. Except…well, also maybe a love of paperwork? A Hokage has to be really good at paperwork. It is a public office, after all.

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But who is the best Hokage? Let’s discuss.

7. Kakashi Hatake

(image credit: pierrot)

Kakashi Hatake is one of the greatest shinobi who ever lived, bar none. And he became that way without the help of a pure bloodline, reincarnation shenanigans, or the help of a primordial-tailed demon. Kakashi is just a genius, plain and simple. Known as the Copy Ninja, Kakashi knows literally thousands of different ninjutsu, and is able to learn them sheerly by observation (his sharingan eye helps, too). He even invented some of the most powerful ninjutsu ever created, notably the chidori, where the user conjures a localized blade of lightning in their hand. He became a Jonin at an extremely young age and was an accomplished war veteran at the age of twelve. However, Kakashi doesn’t like paperwork, or any kind of responsibility for that matter, so he isn’t higher on this list. His skills are also surpassed by other shinobi, due to extenuating circumstances having to do with, yes, reincarnation. Man, it gets you every time.

6. Tsunade Senju

(image credit: Pierrot)

Lady Tsunade is a tank. She possesses some of the highest levels of raw strength in the entire series. She can crack the Earth and send ninja flying with a flick from a single finger. She was even able to crack the ribcage of Madara Uchiha’s supposedly unbreakable chakra armor with one punch. She is also capable of unparalleled feats of speed and agility, and is a master of the art of evasion. She is the greatest practitioner of the medical arts in the series and is world-renowned for her abilities as a healer. As a descendant of the Uzumaki and Senju clans, she is also blessed with an immense amount of chakra and life force. Plus, she is far more tolerant of paperwork and responsibility than Kakashi, and her reputation as one of the finest ninjas in the world only supports her political career. Why isn’t she higher? There’s just a lot of competition, that’s why.

5. Minato Namikaze

(image credit: Pierrot)

Also known as the Yellow Flash and Naruto’s Dad, Minato Namikaze served as the fourth Hokage until his untimely death. How did he die? He sacrificed his life in order to save his village from the nine-tailed fox, a demon of unimaginable power. If this list was based on merit, instead of strength, he would rank higher, as he was a selfless man who gave his life in order to protect his village. However, he was no slouch when it came to combat prowess and was able to eliminate a thousand enemy ninjas by himself. The Yellow Flash also created the devastating Rasengan techinque, which is an orb of concentrated chakra that can be used at close range or thrown. The Rasengan legacy is carried on by his son, Naruto (who, spoiler alert, follows in his father’s footsteps as Hokage). If Minato had lived longer, he would, no doubt, have surpassed the following ninja on this list, but his time was tragically cut short. He is, however, responsible for creating the greatest Hokage the world has ever known, and that’s quite an achievement in its own right. It’s unknown how well he tolerated paperwork, but, unfortunately, if he’s anything like Naruto, I’m sure he wasn’t a fan.

4. Hiruzen Sarutobi

(image credit: Pierrot)

Hiruzen Sarutobi is the oldest Hokage on this list and was well past his prime when the series began. Nevertheless, he remained one of the strongest Hokage in history, and was able to hold his own against ninja who were decades younger. He most notably defended the Hidden Leaf Village from an assault from Orochimaru, an exceptionally powerful ninja who was still in his prime. The man was so powerful that he was referred to as the God of Shinobi, and personally taught the highest ranking ninjas in the Hidden Leaf Village. In his youth, he was responsible for training three of the most powerful ninja in history: Orochimaru, Jiraya, and the fifth Hokage, Tsunade. His true strength lies in his firm belief in the Will of Fire, a doctrine that states that a village should operate like a large family, and that love is the key to long-lasting peace. His strength also lies in the fact that he was a master of ninjutsu and all five nature releases. He could burn you, drown you, shock you, crush you, and blow you away all at once. But he wouldn’t like it. He was, at his core, a loving and patient man. He also is someone you could really trust with the paperwork. He’s not gonna overlook addendum A6, even though it’s on a different page, that’s for sure. Man follows directions.

3. Tobirama Senju

(image credit: Pierrot)

The little brother of Hashirama Senju was a powerhouse in his own right. He was a master of all five nature releases, and his Water Release technique was especially powerful. He also created a technique called the Flying Thunder God, which allowed him to teleport through spacetime. And, not to fan out too hard, but he created the iconic Shadow Clone jutsu, a favorite of the #1 Hokage, and a summoning technique called Impure World Reincarnation that allows the user to raise the dead. Aside from being an immensely powerful and innovative practitioner of ninjutsu, he was also a skilled and eloquent politician and was responsible for creating an era of lasting peace for the Hidden Leaf Village. If it came down to paperwork alone, you’re looking at the greatest Hokage in the world right here.

2. Harashima Senju

(image credit: Pierrot)

The big brother of Tobirama was one of the greatest shinobi that the world had ever seen. He was a master of a rare and powerful release called the Wood Release, which allowed him to literally create life. He used this technique to defeat the immeasurably powerful Madara Uchiha—in a battle that reshaped the landscape of the Land of Fire—and created a valley known as the Valley of the End. Using the Wood Release, he was able to create a wooden statue as tall as a skyscraper in order to stand against the might of Madara Uchiha’s titantic chakra armor. He is the only other ninja, besides Hiruzen Sarutobi, to achieve the title “God of Shinobi.” And he deserved it. After all, Harashima managed to subdue eight of the nine-tailed beasts by himself. As for paperwork, he could make literal trees, so it’s safe to say he could handle it. But reincarnation, folks. It’s the ultimate nepotism.

Naruto Uzumaki

(image credit: Pierrot)

You guessed it, Naruto Uzumaki is the greatest Hokage the world has ever known. He did it through sweat, hard work, and by befriending the literal demon fox god living inside his belly. Naruto was far from being a prodigy and was widely regarded as a talentless nuisance as a child. Little did his teachers know, he is also the reincarnation of Asura Otsutsuki, which certainly helped him get a leg up over his competitors. Building upon the work of his predecessors, he perfected the Shadow Clone Jutsu and the Rasengan, turning the latter into a devastatingly powerful shuriken that functioned like a handheld hurricane. He was also granted powers from the Sage of Six Paths, which allows him to use Sage Mode, a technique of unimaginable power. As for paperwork? He mellowed out as an adult and begrudgingly gets it done. We all have our crosses to bear.

(featured image: Pierrot)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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