Naruto Tier List: All Canon Arcs Ranked

All Naruto Fans Assemble! We Are Now Going To Rank All of The Main Story Arcs In The Series.

I am a massive fan of the Naruto series and have watched the anime several times over. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading the original manga, and hold it very dear to my heart. And as such, I think I am well equipped to rank all of the main story arcs in the series in our Naruto Tier List

I am presenting this ranking while taking into account that opinions on the subject can get heated, but bear with me as I attempt to justify my choices and rankings in the detailed article below.

Key Points

  • There are a total of 18 entries in our article.
  • Each one of them is ranked on the basis of the characters’ development and impact on the anime’s storyline.
  • You will observe Pain’s Assault, Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax, and Itachi Pursuit Mission.
  • Among the lowest are Five Kage Summit Kazekage, Rescue Mission, and Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission.


Before we dive any further, the following table shows the rank of all Naruto Arcs.

S RankA RankB RankC RankD Rank
Pain’s AssaultBirth of The TenTails JinjuChunin Exam
Search for TsunadeKazekage Rescue Mission
Fourth Shinobi World War: ClimaxSasuke Recovery MissionKonoha Crush Arc
Land of Waves
Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission
Itachi Pursuit MissionKaguya StrikesKakashi Gaiden
Five Kage Summit
Tale of Jiraiya, the GallantAkatsuki Suppression Mission
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation

Continue reading to learn more.

Similar Article: Naruto Character Tier List

S Tier

Greatest Arcs of the Naruto Tier List
S Tier.

S ranking is the first tier and is usually interpreted as “superb” or “super,” It is the highest ranking. This category of the Naruto Tier list consists of four arcs that are favorites among all fandom fans. The arcs in this tier significantly impact the story and amazing fights with suitable animations.

Pain’s Assault

The antagonist is one of this arc’s most valuable elements, as it has been in many of Kishimoto’s earlier manga arcs. The villains’ perspective is usually understood and sympathized with by Naruto fans. Naturally, this does not indicate that they agree with the villain’s strategy, but doing so unquestionably piques the fan’s interest and heightens the action because it can be challenging to choose a side.

The majority of Kishimoto’s antagonists often choose this path. From the first significant conflict in which viewers first encountered Haku to Gaara in the story arc that followed Obito Uchiha at the end of the series, Pain is the only one who does it better.

Nagato Uzumaki gave birth to Pain by crippling and orphaning countless people due to what the shinobi had done. Pain’s guiding concept was simplicity, and he felt that only by adopting a mentality similar to his own could people truly understand one another.

Chapters 413-453
Episodes 152-175 (Part II)

Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax

This time, Naruto evolved due to his conflict with the other Tailed Beasts. Discovering their real names, pledging to preserve them, and ensuring they are never again used as weapons. As a result, The Nine-Tails Fox now has a fresh perspective on people and is more eager to give Naruto his Complete Tailed Beast Chakara and get over his fear of the Sharingan. After sitting out for two arcs, Sasuke is now back. After encountering Itachi and battling with Kabuto, he returned with a significant personality change.

The four Hokage returns in this arc, and we get the complete story in the first and second. Huge badass Hashirama proves to be a charming and silly individual. His relationship with Madara and the Leaf’s beginnings were terrific, and when he becomes severe, it truly is terrible. Even yet, I admire him for being the Naruto of his era and creating world peace. Tobirama, Despite his biased perception of the Uchiha, the Second Hokage, and Hashirama’s brother, had good intentions for them. 

Chapters 560-639
Episodes 261-289, 296-321 (Part II)

Itachi Pursuit Mission

I will combine this arc with the fated battle between the two brothers, which is anciently Sasuke vs. Itachi. In this arc, we had Sasuke forming Team Habi and him turning on Orochimaru, which was a huge plot twist. We saw Naruto teaming up with Hinata’s team to search for Itachi so he could find Sasuke there and convince him to come back. Deidara and Sasuke Although there were undoubtedly many issues with this bout, it was nonetheless well-staged.

Ignoring the questionable writing choices and other narrative flaws, the battle itself was so colorful and spectacular that it successfully engrossed and captivated me. With the benefit of hindsight, how the Uchiha battle was scripted starts to make sense. It came off as tepid and disappointing despite being built up and bursting with subtle and exuberant emotions at the seams. Itachi struggled to fight to his total capacity for various reasons, and the combat had several strange turns and pauses.

Chapters 343-367
Episodes 113-118, 121-126 (Part II)

Tale of Jiraiya, the Gallant

Another great battle in this arc. Do I even need to discuss this fight much? It was just incredible. one of the series’ most fantastic episodes. With intense moments, a lot of emotion, and significant movements and assaults. I am not even mentioning the superb choreography, Not to mention the tragic conclusion. Many characters die away, and many of these deaths are pretty upsetting. I do, however, have a handful that genuinely moved me.

Despite watching the fight several times, this death affected me because Jiraiya wasn’t revived utilizing Edo Tensei. He was the godfather of Naruto. Jiraiya’s relationship with Naruto lasted far longer than other characters at the time of his passing, greatly influencing the character’s development. Although Iruka and Kakashi had served as Naruto’s instructors, Jiraiya and Naruto shared a unique relationship.

This arc completely messed me up because Jiraiya was my favorite character at this time of the story. I remember seeing this episode, and I was like, no, Kishimoto will let him die for the Naruto character’s development. But we all know what happened, so I will place him it the S tier of the Naruto Tier list.

Chapters 368-383
Episodes 127-133 (Part II)

A Tier

Prominent Arcs of the Naruto Tier List
A Tier.

A-tier is an above-average tier where I placed the Naruto arcs, which are the best but lack some potential in the storytelling and overall details. Some of the arcs in this list could be an S-tier for many fans as it is subjective.

Birth of the Ten-Tails Jinchuriki

Even though Sakura has been a letdown throughout this series, I must say that I was amazed by the urgent care she offered Naruto when Kurama was removed from him. She dug into his side and through his ribs to manually pump his heart. She had to concentrate on performing CPR to get air into his lungs the entire time. To stave off Madara, Kishimoto got out the main guns and had Guy make a brave sacrifice. That required utilizing the dramatic pause’s full potential—gate eight.

The rumored eighth gate that has been hinted at during Part One. The rumored eighth gate was supposed to give people powers beyond the Kage. The rumored eighth gate was meant to thank readers for their patience. While the nature of his earlier attacks didn’t strike a chord because they were yet another illustration of how a significant attack equates to some variation of lasers and long-range strikes, once he started getting tight and warping space and slamming Madara’s torso in, it became more apparent what kind of threat he posed.

Chapters 640-677
Episodes 378-393, 414-431 (Part II)

Sasuke Recovery Mission

When it comes to the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, I am going to go with the S tier. This was the first arc when I got around to experience where I was legitimately worried that characters from the Naruto generation would die. To have everything start with Naruto vs. Sasuke on the rooftop. Afterward, Sasuke openly disrespects Naruto or refuses to put his headband on, and how Kakashi steps up for Sakura to save her from being impaled by Naruto and Sasuke because they were going to double penetrate her with the Rasengan and Chidori combo.

We saw how Itachi used his Mangekyo Sharingan on Sasuke and killed his entire clan. All this information, we got it beforehand. In that flashback, all the information we knew about Itachi. It puts it upside down. There were many questions revolving around Itachi and why he left Sasuke alive. And did he slaughter his entire clan to know his limits? What was the purpose of that? Naruto and Sasuke’s fight had an excellent sequence.

Chapters 172-238
Episodes 107-135

Kaguya Otsutsuki Strikes

Getting closure with Obito, losing the Sharingan permanently and putting a stop to the days of “Copycat Kakashi,” and chastising Sasuke for his predicament were all little parts that Kakashi played this time. Here, Obito and Madara are both put to death. The latter makes Kakashi utilize his strength more while giving his life to save his comrade. Similar to Nagato, his final deed was honorable and redeeming. At least he is now with Rin.

Regarding the arc, I will remark that Black Zetsu would be a genuine contender if one were to identify his true star because of his propensity for sex with others. By becoming even more of a Nagato clone and giving up his life to utilizing Rinne Tensei to bring back everyone he had slain throughout the War, Obito was about to enrage readers. Knowing expectations after Neji’s passing, given that Obito was supposed to be yet another antagonist to Naruto, it was a disheartening but not entirely unexpected result.

The big fight many have been waiting for is about to begin. Sun vs. Moon. Day vs. Night. Orange vs. Banana. Can Naruto truly end the rivalry curse of hatred spun by Black Zetsu? Why does Sasuke think a revolution is a good idea?

Chapters 678-699
Episodes 458-479 (Part II)

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Akatsuki Suppression Mission

I like this arc a lot. The slight change in viewpoint to another cast member during this arc was something I enjoyed. Readers required a palate cleanser after the last arc, and by putting more of a spotlight on Shikamaru, the series went back to a practice that helped make it famous—paying attention to its supporting cast. I did admire the development Shikamaru through during the arc as he started to completely accept the responsibilities of maturity and being a ninja of Konoha, even though the overall execution wasn’t always the best.

Another thing that got under my skin was how the concept of how revenge is inherently harmful was handled. Here, getting back with a massive jerk like Hidan was justifiable and was even depicted as acceptable if you didn’t involve others. Such a representation is problematic since it’s either evil or deliberate when authors write anything that contradicts a recurrent theme.

If such discrepancies are purposefully brought up for analysis in the latter scenario, it is not always bad writing. Perhaps Kishimoto might have used this arc to explore if past viewpoints were too pedantic and whether retribution is all that awful. So I will place it in the A tier of the Naruto Tier list.

Chapters 311-342
Episodes 72-88 (Part II)

Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown

Although Sasuke hasn’t progressed much in this arc, he’s on the sideline as Itachi takes the place of his brother’s fading eyes. Sakura’s growth is also little because she could not kill Sasuke, and now that Naruto has faced him, she has newfound faith in the two.

In terms of auxiliary characters, Killer Bee’s past is eventually revealed. In contrast to Gaara, who had a difficult childhood due to his prickly father, or Naruto, who had a little less difficult upbringing, Killer Bee, despite being bullied by his peers, didn’t give a damn about what they thought of him. It does, however, explain a few things, like how Naruto came to have the demeanor he has and why Minato wasn’t revived alongside the First and Second. While fighting Konan to win Nagato’s Rinnegan and kill Konan, Obito keeps up his war preparations.

Chapters 484-515
Episodes 215-222, 243-256 (Part II)

Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation

In this arc, finally, the Fourth Shinobi World War. The War that we all have been waiting for. Many of you fans have very mixed opinions about this arc because the fights anticipated in the arc were not up to the mark. The Fourth Shinobi World War begins in this arc, especially the conflict with the Impure World Reincarnation. With their clash, Ambush Squad kicked off the Fourth Shinobi World War. While the most outstanding War has already begun, Naruto is attempting to create the Tailed Beast Rasengan.

However, neither of them ever wanted anyone to sacrifice their lives. Killer Bee and Naruto desired to engage the opposition with their supporters. They were supposed to receive some etiquette instruction from Raikage, but Tsunade spoke up for them and persuaded Raikage to let them leave. Nagato and Itachi, therefore, faced them. The two most effective series antagonists. Four of them became involved in the conflict. Even more so than most of the series’ characters, the series’ most intelligent character had a significant influence.

Chapters 516-559
Episodes 261-289, 296-321 (Part II)

B Tier

Average Arcs
B Tier.

Moving down to the B tier, this is not the full tier below. These are just as strong in storytelling as the A-tier arcs, but they have something slightly better. The B tier is a balanced tier where I placed those Naruto arcs with a decent plot and a little world-building.

Chunin Exam

This is not my favorite arc in Naruto, though one thing I will say. When it comes to Chunin Exam Arc, this was hyped. When making the list, this arc was in the top 5 in my head. I think introducing Orochimaru as a villain and having his lingering presence. You get that one moment where Kakashi was somebody we had been fanboying all over. We have seen Kakashi battle Zabuza.

With all this hype about the Sharingan, they take the Chunin Exam. All of them are by themselves, and nobody is there to protect them. They are fighting Orochimaru, and he wants Sasuke’s body. When Kakashi confronts Orochimaru, he is so badass, making himself appear in front of Kakashi with no fear. At this point, the game between Kabuto and Orochimaru and getting all this information about the Third Hokage keep mentioning that if Fourth Hokage was here.

Chapters 34-115
Episodes 20-67

Konoha Crush Arc

When it comes to the Konoha Crush Arc, this is another arc where I think that the Naruto versus Gaara battle and what happened with The Third Hokage and Orochimaru. Those were good fights, but at the same time, if I had to rank it, I could not go in the S tier and even at the A tier.

So, I will place it in the B Tier of the Naruto Tier list. I am tempted to put this in the A tier because the death of The Third Hokage is something that messed me up to the point where I would start crying even though he did terrible with my boy Naruto.

I understand it is not as bad as some of the stuff in Shippuden later in the recap. Still, as we were watching that story arc, that was the first time in my entire Naruto watch through where I was like, I am not thoroughly enjoying Naruto at its peak. So I think it must be placed in the B tier alone.

Chapters 116-138
Episodes 68-80

Kakashi Gaiden

I like this arc very much because this was one where we get to see Minato, and this was one of those arcs where we get to see Kakashi’s childhood. We learned the origin of that line, “In The Ninja World, Those Who Break The Rules Are Scum, That’s True. But Those Who Abandon Their Friends Are Worse Than Scum.” We also got to see Obito and Kakashi team up. This was a perfect arc, and yet, at the same time, I think that I cannot put it further than the B tier.

The reason why is that I do appreciate the lore we saw in this arc, but I do not think it fully reached its potential. I know Kishimoto was giving us a few episodes to give us more information about the backstory of Kakashi because, at this point, Naruto was coming out like Kakashi. He was the most popular character in Naruto at that time. A lot of polls I remember seeing had Kakashi at the top.

Chapters 239-244
Episodes 119-120

C Tier

Below-Average Arcs of the Naruto Tier List
C Tier.

The C-tier is a below-average tier where I placed most of those Naruto arcs that are part of the first and the last saga of Naruto. These arcs lack suspense and competitive storytelling compared to the series’ other arcs.

Search for Tsunade

This arc is one of my favorites arc in the series. Although I have to say, as compared to the arcs in the above tiers, this arc had some lacking. However, I would say that the three-way battle between the Legendary Sannin and the development we saw in Tsunade’s character where we got the information about why she is terrified of blood and why she turned her back on the Village and did her own thing. How she almost agreed to Orochimaru’s deal where she had to bait Jiraiya.

We also got to know the history of the Legendary Sannin. At this point, Naruto ran to Kabuto, putting on his work on Tsunade. This arc has so much good stuff, including so many great battles. I feel like this arc serves us the way to move the story forward, so I can’t quite go above the C rank in the Naruto Tier list. 

Chapters 139-171
Episodes 81-100

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Land of Waves

So, for Land of Waves, many Naruto fans praise the Land of Waves arc when looking at it. Everything that Masashi Kishimoto was doing in here. Introducing all these different characters to assist. Kakashi was a super cool mentor for Naruto, and him being introduced as the Jinchuriki of the Nine-Tails Fox even though, at that time, we did not know what Jinchuriki was.

They go out on their first real mission. Team 7 already did a bunch of small missions, but it was their first mission in which Naruto throws a punch for real. The first mission turns out to be way over their skill level. Naruto gets introduced to the darker side of the ninja world. Where he saw Haku, with whom he formed a friendship bond. However, it was a brief one.

Suddenly he found that you might end up fighting allies in this ninja world. Naruto also saw Zabuza as someone like that, mostly coming out as cold blood. Afterward, Haku died. We saw Zabuza turn into tears and go on to full rage mode. We see Naruto developing his ninja way.

Chapters 1-33
Episodes 1-19

Five Kage Summit

The battles were one thing that wasn’t terrible. Although the fights between Sasuke and the various Kage were brief, they were still quite good and indicated what each village leader could do. Unfortunately, Kishimoto did not go into more detail about these leaders’ skills later, given what one would expect from the strongest ninja from each Village. The fight between B and Kisame was a little underwhelming, especially considering that there wasn’t much swordsmanship for a fight between two excellent sworders.

It was the preparation for the Fourth Shinobi World War all up to the point where Konan loses her battle with Obito, and he gets the Rinnegan back. This arc of Sasuke is one of my favorite versions of the character. At this moment, Sasuke did not care about anything. We could see that when he was going into the Five Kage Summit, he was attacking all of the Kages. He was getting his ass whipped, but simultaneously, he was elevating his level. He even survived the Fourth Raikage attack, which no one had previously survived.

Chapters 454-483
Episodes 197-214 (Part II)

D Tier

Flawed Arcs
D Tier.

The D-tier is considered the bad or the worst tier in the lists. However, worst is a strong word for Naruto arcs because I think there is no arc in Naruto, which is terrible. It’s just that the author Misashi Kishimoto gets better at writing or crafting the later arcs, making fans think that the earlier arcs are nothing compared to the later arcs.

Kazekage Rescue Mission

When it comes to Kazekage Rescue Mission Arc, it was an arc that I would call an above-average arc, even though I know a lot of people liked this arc. There is one thing I will consider: we saw the Akatsuki on their hunt for the Tailed Beasts. During the time skip, we learned that the Akatsuki had ripped the chakra from two other Jinchurikis. We saw Naruto fighting with the Itachi clone at the time, and it was just 30% of his chakra. Same thing with Team Guy fighting with the clone of Kisame.

Meanwhile, Akatsuki managed to extract One Tail Beast from Gaara. We get the backstory and information on what a Jinchuriki is and why Naruto is being haunted. One of my favorite scenes in this arc was when we finally learned about the story of Jinchuriki. We saw this moment where Sakura is looking, and we can see the realization hidden that Naruto is way over her head along with Sasuke because his brother is part of Akatsuki.

Chapters 245-281
Episodes 1-32 (Part II)

Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission

The pace is the first issue I want to address regarding this arc. The entire arc seems unusually dragged out for some reason. It is self-evident after reading the books. Masashi Kishimoto has often attempted to include a cinematic quality in his work, but he went too far this time. Although he would essentially make up for this in the subsequent arcs, it only served to undermine a section of the plot that had so much potential.

There you have the plot outline. It’s so almost useless. The good guys learn about Akatsuki’s spy. The spy is revealed to be Kabuto, who has always been Akatsuki. Orochimaru surprises the group. A fraction of the Kyuubi’s strength is revealed by Naruto. Sasuke owns people left and right as Team 7 momentarily reunites. Orochimaru and his followers escape. Team 7 has fallen short.

What made it worse was that the other two characters jogged in place regarding their positions within the Team 7 storyline, aside from Sasuke betraying Orochimaru and hanging out with the Akatsuki. In this arc, Danzo shows up, and Saik makes his first appearance. We got to see an underrated fight between Four Tail Naruto vs. Orochimaru. We saw the revelation about Tsunade having a power struggle with the elders. Overall, this was below average for me, so that I will place it in the C tier of the Naruto Tier list.

Chapters 282-310
Episodes 33-53 (Part II)

Comparison Table

Naruto ArcTierChapterEpisodes
Pain’s AssaultS 413-453152-175 (Part II)
Fourth Shinobi World War: ClimaxS 560-639261-289, 296-321 (Part II)
Itachi Pursuit MissionS 343-367113-118, 121-126 (Part II)
Tale of Jiraiya, the GallantS368-383127-133 (Part II)
Birth of the Ten-Tails JinchurikiA640-677378-393, 414-431 (Part II)
Sasuke Recovery MissionA172-238107-135
Kaguya Otsutsuki StrikesA678-699458-479 (Part II)
Akatsuki Suppression MissionA311-34272-88 (Part II)
Fourth Shinobi World War: CountdownA484-515215-222, 243-256 (Part II)
Fourth Shinobi World War: ConfrontationA516-559261-289, 296-321 (Part II)
Chunin ExamB34-11520-67
Konoha Crush ArcB116-13868-80
Kakashi GaidenB239-244119-120
Search for TsunadeC139-17181-100
Land of WavesC1-331-19
Five Kage SummitC454-483197-214 (Part II)
Kazekage Rescue MissionD245-2811-32 (Part II)
Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance MissionD282-31033-53 (Part II)


 One of my abilities is to waste a significant amount of time analyzing arcs on how certain great arcs are, and I have decided to use this ability to create what I believe may be the most definitive Naruto Tier List 2023 on the internet. To achieve this goal of my life, I chose 18 arcs from different sagas I liked and put them on a list.

Every Naruto arc is good on its own, but Kishimoto’s writing skills have improved with the progression of the plot of Naruto. It is a great anime and has a lovely fandom, and I would like to recommend every anime fan out there to try watching Naruto once in their lifetime so they can know what they are missing out in their lives.