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Top 27 Best Dragon Ball Villains Of All Time
Kritika-Posted Nov 6, 2022
The Dragon Ball saga is one of the most popular anime series in the entire anime world. The name Goku is well-known amongst both anime and non-anime fans.
The series has given us many great heroes but it has also introduced us to many formidable villains. With so many series and spin-offs, it can sometimes get a little difficult to keep count of all the amazing antagonists that the Dragon Ball series has debuted.
Thus, I bring to you this list that has been specially curated to not only include all the major villains in the Dragon Ball Saga but also rank them based on their powers and abilities.
27. Emperor Pilaf
The character of Emperor Pilaf was one of the principal antagonists in the main Dragon Ball series. He has appeared as a recurring villain in other Dragon Ball series as well.
He is an impish fellow whose goal is the most generic villain goal ever – using the dragon balls to rule the world.
He is also the leader of the Pilaf gang and quite a ruthless one at that. Pilaf is not strong enough to be considered a major threat.
This is because he does not possess any significant skills or fighting prowess. He controls his minions mostly by the means of torture devices that he keeps in his castles.
It is also sort of hilarious how he often acts as a parent figure for his lackeys by saying he will cut their allowance and other such things.
26. King Piccolo
King Piccolo had quite a devastating entry. He is essentially a demonic Namekian who came upon Earth to cause havoc and pandemonium.
He even brought an army of demonic spawns with him who were going about causing mayhem everywhere. It was revealed only later that King Piccolo is nothing but the evil counterpart of Kami.
He and Kami used to be one single entity. Eventually, Piccolo was separated bearing all the evil, and ultimately became King Piccolo that we know.
Just as one would expect, King Piccolo’s personality is exactly the opposite of Kami’s. Another distinctive characteristic of Piccolo’s personality is his arrogance; he likes to believe that he is the most powerful being.
25. Piccolo Jr.
Though their names sound similar, King Piccolo and Piccolo Jr have distinctly different personalities. This Piccolo is not arrogant but wise.
He is also extremely cunning in battle making him a formidable enemy. He was the principal antagonist of the final Dragon Ball saga.
He put up a tough fight and was a difficult enemy to beat even for Goku. However, Piccolo’s character development in the show was immense.
This man, who started as a ruthless antagonist, gradually turned into a mighty hero. With the beginning saga of Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo was starting to lose all those traits that made him a villain. He even served as a valuable mentor for Gohan.
24. Garlic Jr.
We first saw Garlic Jr. as the main antagonist of the Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone series. However, he was defeated in that arc.
We saw him reappear again in the Garlic Jr. saga as its principal antagonist. Garlic Jr. is a man who holds great resentment and vengeance in his heart, especially toward Kami.
This is because Kami was the reason behind his beloved father getting sealed. Garlic Jr. greatly admired his father Garlic who happened to have the goal of taking over Earth.
Initially, garlic Jr. had planned to acquire all the dragon balls and wished for his father to be unsealed.
Other than Kami, Garlic Jr. also bears hatred toward Gohan. This is because Gohan was responsible for his previous defeat.
He planned to mentally torture him by making him fight his mentor, Piccolo.
23. The Saiyans (Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta)
The Saiyan trio was one of the most formidable enemies that Goku had to face however, it was only because of their arrival that Goku was able to learn that he belongs to the race of Saiyans – the most powerful race of beings in the cosmos, capable of performing great feats.
The three Saiyans that arrived were called – Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta. Raditz was the first one to arrive.
Incidentally, he turned out to be Goku’s brother. Raditz kidnapped Gohan and Goku had to team up with Piccolo to rescue him.
Raditz put up a great fight and rescuing Gohan took a great toll on Goku and Piccolo. After Raditz, Nappa and Vegeta arrived and their arrival was another great landmark for the plot of Dragon Ball.
Just like Piccolo, they eventually come over to the good side but they were formidable villains nonetheless.
Turles belongs to the race of Saiyans too therefore it is not necessary to point out the incredible power he wielded.
Originally, Turles was a part of the Frieza Force. However, his ambitions were far greater. He eventually gathered his group of followers called the Turles Crusher Corps.
Turles, along with his Crusher Corps went on a journey to establish his rule on different planets in the cosmos and reign over them as the authoritative being.
He is the primary antagonist of Dragon Ball Z’s The Tree of Might series. As for his personality, Turles is a true villain.
He is merciless and lacks empathy which became clear from his inhuman treatment of Gohan. It is not that he cannot differentiate between good and evil, he just simply doesn’t care.
21. The Ginyu Force
The Ginyu Force was a group of high-level fighters working for Frieza. They were employed by Frieza to help him conquer multiple planets across the cosmos.
The group is called Ginyu force because of their leader whose name is Ginyu as well. The Ginyu Force warriors were not just strong but were the strongest among all of Frieza’s henchmen.
They consisted of High-Level Executive Class fighters whose abilities far surpassed the rest of Frieza’s lackeys. The Ginyu force members had names resembling dairy products; probably just a quirky move on the mangaka’s part as he has done this before.
They sort of resemble the Super Sentai team as the Ginyu Force consists of a bunch of colorful warriors who are not above posing before the battle.
20. Abo and Kado
Abo and Kado were brothers who worked as a part of Frieza’s Galactic Army as well. Even though they might not seem as formidable opponents now, there was once a time when their might would have posed a great challenge to the heroes and the Saiyans.
They are believed to be just as strong as the Ginyu Force which implies that they were high-level executive class warriors as well.
This villain duo was one of the most important antagonists in the ‘Dragon Ball – The Return of Son Goku and Friends series.
Though they were strong, to begin with, they trained even harder and claimed to have reached Frieza’s level in terms of fighting prowess.
However, they ultimately ended up getting defeated by the Goten and Trunks duo.
We have been talking about his henchmen and lackeys all this while, time to meet the final boss. Frieza is the main antagonist of the Dragon Ball series.
It is hard to rank him because he goes through several power boosts and changes in the course of the show.
The Frieza we are talking about now is Frieza in his initial form. As we can tell from this list itself, Frieza is a villainous leader who commands his army.
He is the son of King Cold, the father of Kuriza and Cooler’s brother. He is a direct descendant of Chilled.
He is one of Goku’s greatest arch-nemesis. He is also the Emperor of large chunks of Universe 7. Indeed, his initial form is quite low on the list but you will find his more evolved form ranked much higher.
18. King Cold
In the Trunks saga, we see King Cold appear as a secondary but extremely formidable antagonist. He used to be the former ruler and emperor of Universe 7 before Frieza took over.
As already mentioned, he is the father of the powerful Frieza; this makes him the father of Cooler and the grandfather of Frieza’s son Kuriza.
He functioned as a shadow member of the Frieza force. King Cold is not rowdy or loud, his behavior is very royal just like his name.
His mannerisms are usually cold, calm, and elegant. King Cold takes great pride in his family and was quite frustrated when Frieza lost to Namek.
He seems to care for his family but is not too emotional about them. His actions are governed by cold, hard logic and nothing else.
Next, we have another member of the Frieza family who is also an absolute badass. Cooler is the eldest son of King Cols making him Frieza’s elder brother.
He appears as the principal antagonist of the Cooler’s Revenge saga. Cooler too, like Frieza, reaches higher levels of evolution later on in the show but we will get to that later.
Cooler is unique even among his highly skilled family members. He was the first to acquire a form that surpasses the true form of his race.
He heads his army called the Cooler Force and you better believe that he is no less ruthless than the rest of his family.
Cooler’s personality is a combination of his father’s and brother’s. He is cold and calculating just like his family members.
His battle IQ might be even better than Frieza’s as he hardly makes the mistake of underestimating his enemies.
16. Meta Cooler
Meta Cooler refers to a race of mass-produced cyborgs who are all clones of the original Cooler. They have been created with the help of the Big Gete Star which can be controlled remotely from the core of the planet.
The army of meta coolers is huge in number; millions of meta coolers were created with the help of the Gete Star.
Although, usually when we say meta cooler we are referring to the meta cooler that Goku had first encountered in battle.
The whole army of Meta Coolers is referred to as the Meta Cooler Corps. As they are all replicas of the original Cooler, Meta Coolers all possess personality traits similar to him making them even more formidable and fearful.
The Meta Coolers later evolve to become their race of superior beings.
15. Androids 16-20
This is another group of villains lumped together but not without good reason. As individuals, they do not represent any considerable amount of threat that would make them formidable villains.
However, together they form a formidable force and are the main antagonists before Cell attacks. Even among these Androids, there are considerable differences in power.
The lower-numbered androids i.e. numbers 19 and 20 are the weakest in the group. When they engage Vegeta in battle, Vegeta can defeat them without much effort.
Needless to say, Android 20 poses even less of a challenge. The Androids 17 and 18 however are a tough crowd to beat.
Android 17 gave Piccolo quite the challenge and Android 18 was able to fight on an equal level with Vegeta himself.
14. Super Android 13
We can lump the lower-level Androids together but the same does not hold for Super Android 13. He is one of Dr. Gero’s most superior creations designed specially to exact vengeance on Goku.
Super Android 13 is the main villain of the Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 series.
Cell believes that this particular android might have been developed as a prototype of him because of its ability to absorb other androids.
Since he is man-made and a creation of Dr. Gero, Super Android 13 shows almost no human emotion. Even if the Androids on their own are not a good enough match for the Super Saiyans, the creation of Super Android 13 changes that power imbalance.
All androids can fuse as one within him and become one huge and formidable threat.
Broly is one of the most essential characters of the Dragon ball series. He has a well-delineated past and character growth story that can easily get the audience attached to him.
Even as a villain, he is mostly misguided. Broly originally belonged to the planet Vegeta just like our beloved character Prince Vegeta.
However, threatened by his power, which far surpassed that of Prince Vegeta, King Vegeta abandoned Broly on another planet called Vampa where he was raised by his foster parents.
The personality of Broly in Dragon Ball Super is vastly different from how he was initially introduced. Initially, we saw him as a psychotic killer with a dangerous split personality.
However, the Broly we see in Dragon Ball Super is a much more sane and honorable man.
12. Perfect Cell
Cell was another result of Dr. Gero’s experiments. He is an improvement on the earlier Androids created by Dr. Gero.
He was specially built to be the strongest warrior yet with multiple strong genetic traits. Cell is also the only Android who has the Red Ribbon insignia on him.
Cell’s special abilities make him the best of Dr. Gero’s creations. He is an Android capable of evolving. As the show progresses, he gets more cold and calculating and a bigger threat on the battlefield.
Even with Cell’s exceptional abilities, he is not much of a threat to the race of Super Saiyans. However, the tables turn when he acquires his final form – Perfect Cell. Perfect Cell is created when all the Androids fuse within him.
We are introduced to Bojack as the principal antagonist of Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound. He has his army called the Galaxy Soldiers.
Bojack as a villain is truly chilling as he can sometimes barely even hide his blood lust. He hardly has any admirable qualities and is almost a reincarnation of pure evil.
He has no sense of loyalty even toward his comrades and won’t think twice before using them as pawns and sacrificing their lives to further his cause in battle.
He is extremely arrogant and feels visibly offended when Gohan gives him a tough fight on the battlefield. Bojack’s strength is immense.
He can fight on par with Super Saiyans and gives Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo quite a tough time.
He is another villain with a personal grudge against Gohan and Goku as they were responsible for a humiliating defeat he had faced earlier.
10. Majin Vegeta
Vegeta is one of the good guys, that is very true, but Majin Vegeta is a reincarnation of the previous evil Vegeta that we get to see when Babidi takes control of his mind.
Babidi, however, could not have done this if Vegeta did not let him. Over the years, as Vegeta fought alongside the Z warriors and grew more and more attached to his new home – Earth, he felt like he was losing his brute strength that was fueled by evil.
Babidi was able to find some lurking traces of evil buried deep within Vegeta’s heart and used them to take over.
Vegeta too thought that maybe awakening his evil side would be his only chance at defeating Goku. In the Majin state, Vegeta evolves to Super Saiyan 2.
In his Majin state, Vegeta becomes ruthless and starts killing mercilessly so that Goku would be forced to engage him in battle.
As we have officially entered the top 10 rankings, from now onwards you will mostly be seeing the main villains of some of the most popular Dragon Ball series.
Janemba is the principal villain figure of the series Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn. He is a demon and is so evil that he may as well be considered a reincarnation of pure evil.
Janemba’s violence does not have a greater cause nor is he looking for exact vengeance. He does evil simply because he enjoys it.
He derives pure sadistic pleasure from battle and anarchy. Janemba is extremely powerful. His abilities allow him to alter the very reality to suit his needs.
He uses his powers selfishly without any regard for how these alterations may affect others.
Hirudegarn is one of those villains who are not just formidable in battle but have an appearance that can cause opponents to cower in fear.
Hindegarn is especially large in stature and is a violent phantom Majin known for destroying and killing anything that comes his way.
He is the main antagonist of the series Dragon Ball Z- Wrath of the Dragon. He has a barely humanoid appearance and can grow even more fierce after undergoing a form of metamorphosis which gives him horns, shoulder brains, and even wings like those of an insect.
Hirudegarn is a mindless monster that does not show any human emotion. He can only be controlled by his master.
Without a master. Hirudegarn becomes a mindless force of immense destruction.
7. Black Goku
Black Goku is a deceiving name because this monster is not the Goku we know and love but rather a reincarnation of Zamasu.
Zamasu’s violence does not come from his thirst for blood or violence like so many other villains on our list.
When he looked upon mortals and how they lived, Zamasu felt a deep sense of disdain and waste. This feeling was so strong that he set his goal to destroy all the mortals and start the universe anew which, he believed, would be superior to the current version.
Though the cause has some form of nobility, it is also a reflection of his immense arrogance as a powerful being.
Zamasu creates Black Goku by stealing Goku from an alternate timeline and fusing him with a future version of Zamasu.
The battle with Black Goku was so intense that its consequences were felt by the entire universe.
6. Cell Max
It seems almost impossible to get rid of Cell. After seeing the formidable version of Dr. Gero’s Perfect Cell, we see Cell in an even improved form when he is reincarnated as Cell Max.
This time, however, Dr. Gero had nothing to do with it; Cell Max is a creation of Dr. Hedo.
This new and evolved bio-android was created by Dr. Hedo to revive the Red Ribbon Army. We do not see Cell Max in its most formidable form as he was prematurely awakened by Magenta.
He does not seem to be too intelligent and acts as a mindless force of destruction. However, he is an extremely tough opponent in battle who can take on cold and calculating fighters like Piccolo. He gets by on pure fighting knowledge and battle skills.
5. Golden Frieza
I know we have discussed Frieza before but his initial form was much weaker than his final form which has cracked our top 5.
Being a prodigy by birth, Frieza had never felt the need to go out of his way to train himself to be stronger.
However, after facing humiliating defeat at the hands of Goku and his comrades, Frieza could not retain his original arrogance.
With the deep desire to exact revenge upon Goku, Frieza trained extremely hard and finally unlocked his final form – Golden Frieza.
Golden Frieza is the ultimate form of the Frieza Force and is immensely powerful. Unlike the other forms that can be frequently used, the Golden Frieza form is non-permanent and acquired.
4. Fused Zamasu
We have yet another version of Zamasu but this one is even stronger than Goku. This is because the fused Zamasu is a level-up and formed by combining black Goku and future Zamasu.
The Fused Zamasu form is the final villain of the Future Trunks saga. The fusion version looks a lot like future Zamasu but also shows distinct traits of Black Goku.
As for his personality, Zamasu in this fusion form is more arrogant than ever. This being of pure evil and destruction is conceited enough to think of himself as the true embodiment of justice.
Fused Zamasu is so strong that he can singlehandedly fend off multiple Super Saiyans coming at him.
He believes himself to be something divine but under his calm exterior there lies bubbling instability.
Now we have finally reached the top 3 and starting is the primary antagonist of the Battle of Gods Saga, Beerus.
Beerus is notoriously known as the God of Destruction of Universe 7 and his brother Champa has the same title in Universe 6.
Beerus is introduced to us as the main villain but he eventually settles in as a side character in the later series.
His appearance is that of a purple, anthropomorphic cat and even his behavior has distinct cat-like qualities. However, if anyone were to take him lightly because of his appearance, that might be the last mistake of their life.
As the God of Destruction, Beerus is almost overpowering. Which is why it is comical when he acts lazy and childlike at times.
Even his arguments with his servants can get pretty comical.
Hit is one of the most powerful antagonists that the Dragon Ball series has seen. He is an assassin from Universe 6 who is most well-known for his fearful Time-Skip ability.
He was Goku’s primary nemesis in the Universe 6 saga and fighting with him is one of the most challenging battles that Goku ever had to face.
He even left the Z warriors dumbfounded when he defeated Vegeta like it was nothing and we all know that Vegeta, at that point, was easily the second strongest member of the Z squad.
Hit’s time skip ability allows him to leap forward in time and this combined with his impeccable speed makes it almost impossible to land a blow on him.
He is even capable of improving midst battle as is visible in his battle against Goku.
Jiren is the main villain of the Universe Survival Saga with power so great that it even outclasses the God of Destruction in his universe.
He is known to be one of the strongest beings in the entire multiverse. The Dragon Ball series has given us one great antagonist after another but none have been as formidable as Beerus.
Beerus is the strongest member of the Pride Troopers and is a prideful and honorable being. He does not behave rashly or act unstable like a lot of the villains on this list.
As a fighter, he is just but does not believe in teamwork; he prefers to work alone, and usually, it’s more than enough to fend off his enemies.
He may be an antagonist but he is not selfish and does not use his powers for achieving self-centered goals.
He is not just someone to fear but also someone who commands respect.
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