Dragon Ball series has electrifying fight sequences that are intricately choreographed and burst with raw intensity.
Goku's transformation into a Super Saiyan is a memorable and hair-raising moment.
Dragon Ball villains push the heroes to their limits and serve as catalysts for their growth.
When we’re talking about anime, there aren’t many series that can boast fight sequences as electrifying as the ones we’ve seen countless times in Dragon Ball. Sure, some tend to be rather long (sometimes uncomfortably so), but true fans know what the deal is: these aren’t randomly prolonged clashes; they’re intricately choreographed set pieces, and each of them bursts with raw intensity. Every clash you see between Goku and his rivals, whether it’s proud Vegeta or malicious Frieza (brrr), represents high-level animation brilliance, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the small screen.
Do you remember the first time you encountered Goku as a child, lost but determined on Earth? Fast forward through the years, and we witness his metamorphosis into a legendary Saiyan warrior, his power increasing as the challenges he has to deal with also ramp up. Surely you remember that gasp you let out when you saw him achieve Super Saiyan and witnessed that hair-raising transformation. For everyone who loves Dragon Ball as much as we do, these are precious and memorable moments.
Dragon Ball doesn’t skimp on unforgettable villains, mind you. From the monstrous Cell, his menacing silhouette a chilling reminder of his android origins, to the playful yet devastating Majin Buu, each antagonist pushed Goku, Piccolo, and their friends and allies to their limits, forcing them to rise above themselves and be greater than they ever could have imagined. These baddies weren’t just obstacles; they were catalysts, propelling our heroes on their journeys to become champions and legends spoken about across the galaxies.
Which brings us to the reason why we’ve all gathered around this fire for this special Dragon Ball story time. Buckle up, aficionados, as we head off on a journey through time, revisiting some of the most epic clashes ever seen in the anime universe. Let’s look back at some of the best Dragon Ball fights of all time.
The Trunks Saga introduced a great new character in the form of Future Trunks. The son of Bulma and Vegeta, Future Trunks, comes from an alternate timeline to warn our heroes about the impending doom that will soon be upon them when Cell and the Red Ribbon Androids arrive. Future Trunks is only a teenager, but his power and skill levels are off the charts. The young warrior is so mighty that he makes mincemeat of Frieza and his evil father, King Cold. The villainous father and son duo came to Earth to seek revenge for Frieza’s defeat at the hands of Goku.
Future Trunks meets them before Goku can and taunts Frieza, who thinks the boy is a young upstart who will be easily defeated. To his shock and horror, Frieza sees that Future Trunks is a Super Saiyan, sending the evil warlord into a fit of anger and fear, recalling in his mind the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of Goku on Namek. King Cold, meanwhile, is annoyed that Frieza is wasting time quibbling with Future Trunks. King Cold never in his wildest dreams believed that such a young fighter who looks so unassuming could pose a threat to Frieza and himself.
The battle between Future Trunks, Frieza, and King Cold is not the most exciting or the longest. What sets it apart is the devastating power Future Trunks displays when he overcomes Frieza’s energy blasts and outwits Frieza with his expert swordsmanship to slice him to pieces. Future Trunks is merciless, killing King Cold quickly, even after the evil ruler asks for pardon. Unlike Goku, Future Trunks is less willing to show mercy, knowing that these two evil rulers will seek to destroy the Earth and countless other worlds if he does.
11. Goku and Vegeta vs Kid Buu
The Buu Saga is not always among DBZ fans’ favourite eras. Majin Buu is an excellent fighter and was extremely challenging to defeat. Whether he was as good a protagonist as previous or future villains is up for debate. The Buu Saga has its merits, and one of these features is the climax when Goku and Vegeta must team up to defeat the seemingly undefeatable Kid Buu.
After Kid Buu goes bonkers and obliterates the Earth, killing all our heroes, friends, and families, except for a few, including Goku and Vegeta, luckily, they escape the blast by being transported to the Sacred World of the Kai thanks to Kibito Kai using his Kai Kai technique. With Kid Buu regenerating after the blast and continuing his murderous assault across the universe, Goku and Vegeta must find a way to bring everyone back from the dead while mustering the means to defeat Kid Buu.
Goku exhausts himself, attempting to defeat Kid Buu, who evades defeat using his regenerative powers. Realising their predicament, Goku and Vegeta launch a tag-team assault on Kid Buu. The two warriors find that even as a unit, Buu can only be defeated with the assistance of Porunga, the mystical dragon beholden to the Namekian Dragon Balls. Majin Buu is only defeated by a rejuvenated Goku with the assistance of the people of Earth, who, together with our warriors, conjure a spirit bomb that is powerful enough to destroy Kid Buu.
10. Vegito vs Super Buu
Vegito is one of the most incredible fighters in the galaxy. With the combined powers of Goku and Vegeta, he can overpower and defeat any opponent in battle. In his fight with Majin Buu, Vegeta made the ultimate sacrifice, but despite his noble action, Majin Buu regenerated and eventually evolved into Super Buu. As Goku and Vegeta are dead, the situation looks bleak, but thankfully, both fighters return to do battle against Super Buu. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, Super Buu is unmatched and set to destroy the Earth.
With the situation desperate, Goku pleads with Vegeta to fuse so that Vegito can be unleashed to defeat Super Buu. Vegeta refuses, only agreeing when Goku reminds him that Super Buu has eaten everyone they care about. The tension between Goku and Vegeta is always fun, but it’s even more exciting to witness these two adversaries fuse to become the ultimate warrior. Battling Vegito, Super Buu throws everything at him, but Vegito is too good and counters harder and faster. Vegito takes it to the next level and raises the stakes when he transforms into Super Saiyan.
Even turning Super Vegito into candy wasn’t enough to defeat him. The drawn-out battle is an intense and exciting foray into everything that makes DBZ great. The dialogue is witty and funny, with fantastic action and fighting sequences. Super Buu continues to regenerate, and the only way to defeat him is for Vegito to be absorbed and tear the monster apart from the inside, where he goes into his final transformation to eventually be defeated by Goku, Vegeta and a Spirit Bomb energised by the people of Earth.
9. Goku vs Lord Beerus
Beerus, the god of destruction, is woken from slumber and is itching for a fight. A prophecy once told that Beerus would fight a great warrior. This fighter is Goku, the Super Saiyan god. With the assistance of the dragon Shenron, Goku transforms into god mode and battles against Beerus, who holds immense power and skill as a fighter. Even Super Saiyan 3 was useless against Beerus, and only by unlocking this next level could Goku even begin to pose a challenge to the god of destruction.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods has fantastic visuals that elevate and enhance a great fight between Goku and Beerus. To reach Super Saiyan god level, Goku must receive the power of four other Saiyans. Luckily, Gohan, Goten, Trunks, and Vegeta are there to assist and share their power with Goku so he can transform into a fighter strong enough to match Berrus.
8. Majin Vegeta vs Majin Buu
When the evil wizard Babidi transforms him into Majin Vegeta, Vegeta loses control and returns to his old Saiyan ways. In his new state, he betrays his friends but finds remorse and wants to make amends by beating Majin Buu. A fierce battle ensues, but even in his altered state, wherein he has far greater power than usual, Vegeta comes up short and is constantly undone by Buu’s unbelievable regenerative abilities.
Vegeta senses that drastic action is needed to defeat Majin Buu, save his friends and family, and recover his honour after he allows himself to be possessed by Babidi to beat Goku. Vegeta makes the ultimate sacrifice and blows up Majin Buu, killing himself in the process. Sadly, Vegeta’s sacrifice is in vain, and the infantile villain soon reassembles himself and resumes his terror campaign.
7. Gogeta vs Broly
Frieza uses Broly, a pure-blooded Super Saiyan, to overcome Goku and Vegeta. When it seems that Vegeta has defeated Broly, the Saiyan transforms into his wrathful state and becomes a handful, with Vegeta and Goku unable to contain him. Broly proves too much for our heroes, who must fuse once more to become Gogeta. Broly is naturally kind and mild-mannered but seeks his father Paragus’ approval.
Paragus has a grudge against King Vegeta and uses Broly against Vegeta to exact vengeance. Vegeta even transforms into Super Saiyan Blue to bring Broly down, but the confused warrior becomes unstoppable when Frieza executes Paragus. In his rage, Broly reaches extensive power levels that can only be challenged if Goku and Vegeta fuse. The fight with Broly is a test of raw power, making it one of the best.
6. Goku & Piccolo vs Raditz
Raditz is Goku’s older brother and an early challenger in the Saiyan Saga. Raditz comes to Earth in search of Kakarot. Goku refuses to believe that as a Saiyan, his mission is to subdue the Earth, but Raditz reminds him of his true purpose. Soon, Goku and Piccolo are in the battle of their lives as they go up against Raditz in an epic showdown that sets the standard for the rest of the Saiyan Saga.
Piccolo and Goku were mortal enemies before Raditz’s arrival. Still, Piccolo realises how strong the alien invader truly is and reluctantly teams up with Goku to try to beat Raditz and save Gohan, whom Raditz has kidnapped. Goku and Piccolo use their abilities to subdue Raditz; using his cannon beam, Piccolo delivers a fatal blow to Raditz, but Goku is also hit and sacrifices himself to stop Raditz.
5. Goku vs Majin Vegeta
Vegeta is a proud and often arrogant anti-hero. The Saiyan has had to walk a hard road to redemption. His antagonism toward Goku sprung from jealousy and insecurities that he was not the best fighter in the universe. After his defeat to Goku, Vegeta learns to turn his life around and accepts that his previous life was leading nowhere.
Eventually, he settles down, starts a family, and begins to see Goku as an ally and Saiyan’s brother. Unfortunately, Vegeta’s lingering desire to be the best and his insecurities allow him to be possessed and turn into Majin Vegeta, an evil alter ego that channels Vegeta’s ruthless and selfish persona that characterised his old life as a merciless Saiyan prince. With his mind corrupted, Vegeta betrays his friends and fights Goku, wanting to finally beat him and be the best. The battle is vigorous and intense, and it only ends when the threat of Majin Buu grows ever more menacing.
4. Gohan vs Cell
This intense battle with Cell reveals Gohan’s true power again. Gohan’s transformation into Super Saiyan 2 was incredible and gave viewers chills. Cell is surprised to see how fearless the young Gohan is but foolishly taunts the lad, thinking he won’t be much of a challenge. Cell soon learns that Gohan packs a serious punch, forcing him to up his fighting game. Gohan’s strength and speed enable him to land many severe blows.
The drama of seeing a kid fighting Cell was intense, and seeing the concern of Gohan’s family and friends made the fight all the more memorable. How could a child be so powerful and courageous? It’s a pity we never saw more of this Gohan. This battle is one of the best Dragon Ball fights of all time.
3. Piccolo vs Android 17
This great fight gets little attention. The Saiyan battles get the most praise. Piccolo’s clash with Android 17 is one of the best Dragon Ball Z fights ever, even though it doesn’t feature Goku or Vegeta. Piccolo shows why he is still a formidable warrior, doing battle against Android 17 with intensity and unwavering courage. The fight is intense, moving from the land, water and into the air. Android 17 didn’t quite realise how formidable Piccolo would be in a fight, and after Piccolo lands many lusty blows, the android must reconsider and rethink his strategy.
DBZ is known for legendary trash-talking, filled with humour and wit. This fight is loaded with great dialogue and insults traded back and forth to make this showdown fun and one of the most memorable in the series. Android 17 is cocky and rubs Piccolo the wrong way, angering the Namekian more and more. Unlike other fights featuring Saiyans, this fight is more toned down but features more hand-to-hand encounters, making it more intimate and raising the stakes and the thrill of watching two great fighters do battle. Piccolo merges with Kami and gains an incredible power upgrade, making him more lethal than ever.
2. Goku vs Vegeta
The heart and soul of DBZ is the Saiyan Saga and Goku and Vegeta’s rivalry. Learning so much about Saiyans and their history was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The tension and drama between these two made for excellent viewing. DBZ was filled with depth and emotion amidst all the crazy fights. This epic battle was filled with spectacular sequences, making it an epic showdown and one of the best Dragon Ball fights in history.
Energy blasts and brutal hand-to-hand combat showed how mighty these Saiyan warriors could be. Vegeta’s arrogance gets a reality check when he overestimates himself, thinking that Goku is an inferior Saiyan warrior. The fight has so many twists and turns that it evolves into a visceral and desperate fight for survival, with each warrior giving everything they have to be the winner.
Arguably the best Dragon Ball fight of all time, this titanic battle sees Goku fulfil his destiny to become the greatest fighter in the universe. Frieza was the ultimate antagonist in the series. His coldness and menacing persona were perfectly balanced against Goku’s compassion and benevolence. Frieza and Goku took viewers on a journey that felt like an Odessey.
Goku’s struggle forces him to unlock the mythical Super Saiyan, only known in legend. The emotional journey to this point made viewing the transformation into Super Saiyan an incredible moment for legions of Dragon Ball fans. Frieza’s taunting and his unparalleled skill as a fighter made it seem like Goku would never be able to defeat him. We slowly see Goku reach his potential as Frieza picks off many of Goku’s companions, leaving him with no choice; he has to overcome his greatest opponent or else everything and everyone is lost.
What do you think about the list? Which fight should have been included as one of the best Dragon Ball fights of all time?
Dragon Ball-Dragon Ball Z
A Japanese media franchise for manga, video game, television and film
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