Power Rangers. What started as a show meant for a simple localization project became a worldwide phenomenon. Some fans don’t even know it’s based off a similar series in Japan! I would know, because I was one of the biggest fans around.
For the past 20+ years, Power Rangers has entertained kids of numerous generations. All the while teaching lessons about teamwork, honor, loyalty, trust, friendship, and of course, justice. The most recent season of the show, Power Rangers Megaforce, recently ended with a battle that brought every Ranger from its 20 year history for one epic clash. In tribute to that Legendary Battle, I’m going to countdown EVERY Power Rangers season/series from worst to best. Will your favorite be mine? Do you love a season that I hated? Let me know! After all, this is a show that prides itself on diversity both in cast and in its fans. There’s bound to be conflict.
I should say before I start that this is MY countdown, these are my views and mine alone. I have watched Power Rangers since the beginning, and I love this show, and it honestly hurts me a little to bash certain seasons. However, I feel it’s my duty to at least say why I don’t like them and though these first few aren’t the best, each season has a favorite memory that I cherish. With that, let’s get started!
HONORABLE MENTION: Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers
I feel I have to start with a mini-series season that happened between Mighty Morphin’ and Zeo. Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers featured the Rangers of Aquitar, who became Earth’s new defenders when the Mighty Morphin’ team are turned into kids. Though their run was only ten episodes long, they remain a key part of Power Rangers history. As they returned for multiple episodes in Power Rangers Zeo and are seen in Power Rangers in Space. Also, the Super Megaforce crew had keys for them and used them in battle multiple times.
I give them an honorable mention because they didn’t have a full season and I didn’t think it was right to rank them against the others. Also, the main plot of the series was the Mighty Morphin’ crew getting back to their adult forms. However, as I said, they’re a key part of Power Rangers history, and I would be remiss to not mention the Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers.
#17 Operation Overdrive
When it comes to my least favorite Power Rangers series, there can be only two. So I had decide what was the absolute worst, the answer after some collaboration with my memories quickly became obvious. Operation Overdrive.
The funny thing about Operation Overdrive was that in premise it was solid and very different from other seasons of the show. What it lacked was execution in many aspects. They tried to build up too much of a mythology that quickly bogged it down. It’s also one of the few seasons that had almost too many villains. Between the main two villains Moltor and Flurios (really?), the Fearcats (really?!?), and others come in search for the Corona Aurora and its jewels.
A twist that I remember not paying off was the reveal that the Red Ranger, Mack, was actually a robot. And, wait for it, by the end of the series he became a real boy… REALLY?!?!
On the positive side, this show did feature a memorable anniversary episode with Once A Ranger. Fans often debate how good it is in reality, but the fact that it brought back some of my favorite Rangers ever makes it worth it for me. However, that does not save this series in my eyes, thus it ranks as the worst of the bunch.
Oh, and after rewatching the opening, it also is my least favorite Power Rangers theme song.
#16 Wild Force
For the longest time, Wild Force was my least favorite Power Rangers season. I literally had to fight the urge to name this as the worst. In the end I couldn’t for reasons I’ll explain, but it still ends up near the bottom.
To be fair to Wild Force, this was the first Power Rangers season to not be made by Saban. So there was a lot going against it right off the bat. Sadly, they didn’t surprise us by making a truly epic season their first go round. Wild Force, for me, has some of my least favorite Rangers, including my least favorite (or at least tied for least favorite) Red Ranger in Cole. There’s also Taylor, Danny, and Alyssa who were mediocre to frustrating at best. Numerous episodes had bad acting on the worst scale and many episodes were painful to watch.
Now, I will admit that the ironic part of Wild Force was that it had both one of my favorite villains of all time, and one of my favorite Rangers of all time in Zen-aku and Merrick. That storyline alone would usually bump up a show on a rankings list, sadly, it just wasn’t enough.
The other big plus was the anniversary episode Forever Red, which reunited every Red Ranger in history (save for Rocky). The episode was cool tribute, and was a big reason why Wild Force isn’t on the bottom slot.
Looking back, there are good things about Wild Force, but there was just so much bad it can’t be topped. Thankfully, the next season was Ninja Storm, which was much better.
For both Megaforce and Samurai, I’m combining their two seasons into one for this countdown, because it’s honestly pointless to separate them.
Megaforce was meant to be the tribute season for Power Rangers. As it would eventually allow the Rangers to transform into any Ranger in history, including ones not seen in the US. Sadly, they didn’t capitalize on this idea, and it suffered. The first season of Megaforce was easily one of the most cheesy seasons I’ve ever seen, with both bad acting and bad stories that we were forced to watch in order to get to the good stuff. Troy alone had too much story focus…only to not be given any depth. He and Cole are my least favorite Red Rangers.
When Super Megaforce came around, stuff finally started getting good, then it reverted back to the bad stuff, before finally kicking off the true countdown to the Legendary Battle. In the process, we got to see some good tributes to past seasons, including returns from previous Rangers.
However, though I appreciate the desire for the tributes and callbacks, there could’ve been a LOT more. And as numerous fans are noting, the Legendary Battle itself wasn’t that good. So though there was a lot of good, there wasn’t enough to propel it to the heights it set for itself in episode one.
After transferring rights over to Disney, Saban bought back Power Rangers in 2011 and released Samurai soon after. Those hoping for a true return to form under the Saban banner were probably a little disappointed by Samurai, just as I was.
One thing I really did enjoy about Samurai was the use of history to propel the story. And by that I mean how the powers of Samurai were handed down through the generations until they were needed again. It was good to use history both real and fictional to give a good twist on the series. The use of symbols was also a nice touch, as it wasn’t just given to the Rangers, they had to be trained and earned to wield their full power.
Samurai also used a nice twist by revealing that Jayden wasn’t truly meant to be the Red Ranger, but a front so that his sister could train in secret and be ready to lead when the time came.
Though Samurai was an interesting season, it (much like Megaforce to follow) had some very stupid stories, one of which was actually repeated in Megaforce…for reasons unknown. Also, the show followed some very sad stereotypes for some of its characters. After the good seasons Disney had late in its run, many fans wondered if it really was good for Saban to get back the rights. For some…that answer is still unknown.
#13 Mystic Force
Mystic Force is a difficult one to talk about, mainly because it really had a tough time battling the good and bad parts of the show. On one hand, it was a rather dark season, featuring powerful storylines for some of its characters both heroes and villains. On the other hand, other characters had really baffling storylines or were just annoying.
So how did it get so high on the list (or high enough in this case)? Because everything it did right, outweighed everything it did wrong. The focus on magic was really cool, one they full embraced, and Mystic Force actually is the only season in which the Rangers wear capes! And I’ll be danged if it didn’t look cool. The villains were also really good, including the awesome Koragg, and you could feel the intensity of the danger in some of the episodes.
Another cool tidbit is that Mystic Force actually tied back to Mighty Morphin’ with mention of Rita and her role in setting this story up if you will.
Though not the best season, Mystic Force did work on a lot of levels, and had some good plots. But in the overall it was honestly not a fully memorable season, but it was good for what it was. And thus why I consider Mystic Force the tipping point between the bad seasons and the good ones.
If Mystic Force was tipping point for the good and bad seasons of Power Rangers, then RPM is the first true step into the right direction.
RPM was a very good season of Power Rangers, and one that I can honestly say was one of the darkest in the history of the show. Why? Because the entire premise of the show is that after a computer virus (not Skynet) used its robot army to wipe out humanity (still not Skynet), there’s only one city left for humans, and it needs to be protected… enter the Power Rangers.
Aside from its dark overtone, RPM is also different by its use of focus on a Ranger not dressed in Red. The leaders usually get the most spotlight, but with RPM, the story really focused on Dillion, the RPM Black Ranger, and his mysterious past. It was a breath of fresh air to be honest, and it’s because of that that Dillon got on my list of All-Star Rangers team.
The story had to get creative in order to make the premise not feel flat, and they succeeded far more than they failed. The only real fault was in the reveal of the true Doctor K and her friends Gem and Gemma. Then there was Ziggy, who you either loved or hated. Overall though, RPM was really cool, so get in gear and appreciate it!
Ah Turbo, the season fans either love with a passion, or hate with a passion. Polarizing may be a word associated with Power Rangers in regards to certain stories or characters, but rarely is it used for a season. Turbo is the exception. To this day, I see people fight over whether Turbo was epic or mediocre. I fall somewhere in the middle. It certainly wasn’t the worst, but it also wasn’t top tier per se. And yes, I see the irony of RPM and Turbo being next to each other; it happens.
Turbo was truly the transition season for Power Rangers as a whole. After technically starting in the Turbo movie, the series took place right after, and had longtime Rangers Tommy, Adam, Tanya, and Kat pass down their powers to T.J., Cassie, Ashley, and Carlos. Thus marking the first true new team of Rangers since the beginning of the series.
Turbo was fast in almost every sense of the word, and that might have been part of the problem. For me, the biggest downfall was the villain Divatox. The fact that her name includes “Diva” did not bode well. And her scenes were often painful to watch. For other fans, the inclusion of literal kid Justin to the team was a turn-off. Mainly because…well, he was a kid…who transformed into an adult when he morphed…which was weird to some. Me however? I loved it. Because that represented that truly anyone could be a Ranger. And for a kid (at the time) like me that meant everything. I also loved that T.J. became the first African-American Red Ranger. A precedent that set up some truly great Rangers down the line, but it wouldn’t have mattered if they didn’t do it for TJ who, in my mind, is one of the coolest Red Rangers ever.
With Turbo came some very cool inclusions to the Power Rangers universe. From the Phantom Ranger, Blue Centurion, Dimitria, and the soon to be mega-villain Dark Specter, all was very cool as it truly helped build a universe for Power Rangers to explore. And Turbo has one of my favorite endings ever. It shouldn’t be seen as a detriment to Turbo that it fell out of the top ten, it’s just that I loved certain seasons more than it. But I still love Turbo, and I love a lot of things it did. Shift into Turbo!
That takes care of part 1 of this list, check back with us soon to catch the Top ten Power Rangers Series in history! Don’t like what I have already? Want to debate it vehemently? Let’s do it! Just start it off in the comments below.