It’s true that fans love Naruto for its deeply rich and complex world-building that incorporates immersive storytelling for its characters and their lives as shinobi. If we’re being honest, though, the biggest attraction of the series is the beautifully drawn and choreographed fight sequences that take Naruto and the gang through fantastic battles that reshape both the characters’ landscape and the story itself.
We’ve seen many awe-inspiring battles throughout Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, and some have been considered the best fight scenes in anime history. Though opinions may vary on which Naruto fights are genuinely the best, the ones that are featured on this list are definitely deserving enough to be in the running.
There are lots of great fights in Naruto, too many to list in a single article, so let’s jump into the most epic ones from the Naruto saga.
Gaara vs. Naruto
One of the most significant battles during the beginning of the Naruto series, the fight between Naruto and Gaara was Naruto’s first big win against a much stronger opponent. The brawl also resulted in Gaara’s change from protagonist to antagonist and marked the first time Naruto converted a “villain” into a friend, setting the tone for the rest of Naruto’s story and for the rest of the series.
Naruto vs. Sasuke
This was the first of two battles between the frenemies of Team 7. The art for the fight sequence is the most fluidly drawn out of Naruto‘s first arc, and the action is almost poetic as the two exchange blows back and forth. The battle also marked a climax in the series as the fight seemed to be the determining factor in whether or not Sasuke would leave the village to become a member of Naruto’s rogue gallery. Full of emotion and intensity, this is one battle that’s seen on almost everyone’s top 10 list.
Minato vs. Obito
The story of Naruto’s birth and how he received the Nine-Tails Chakra is one of the mysteries kept behind closed doors in Konoha. Luckily, fans got to see the events that transpired during the time, and one of the most pivotal moments of the story was the battle between Minato and Obito. Minato fought an intense battle to protect his son from Obito as the Nine-Tails Fox ravaged the Leaf Village with both the village and Naruto’s life at stake. Minato eventually came out victorious, but it came at the cost of his life.
Jiraiya vs. Pain
You’ll find this on many people’s lists as one of the most tragic events in the Naruto series. Jiraiya faces the mysterious leader of the Akatsuki in a one-on-one battle that wasn’t relatively evenly sided. The Legendary Sannin takes on several versions of Pain by himself and even deals some heavy damages to a few of them before he is eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Regardless of the disadvantage, Jiriaya still put up a decent enough fight worthy of the title of Legendary Sannin. He even manages to figure out Pain’s identity and send a message to the Leaf Village before he is ultimately defeated and left to die.
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Naruto vs. Pain
Shortly after Jiraiya’s demise, Pain invades Konoha village and defeats almost all of the Leaf ninjas, leaving him and Naruto to engage in a furious one-on-one battle that pushes Naruto to use everything he has ever learned from his time as a shinobi. The action becomes so intense that Naruto is even forced into his Nine Tail Fox state and almost destroys Pain in unconscious retaliation. However, after using a combination of Sage Mode, Shadow Clones, and Rasengan, Naruto finally defeats Pain and convinces the villain to revive everyone who died during his attacks.
Sasuke vs. Itachi
In a battle between brothers that was years in the making, Sasuke finally tracks down Itachi to exact his revenge for the Uchiha clan and what ensues is a deadly one-on-one match that takes the brothers on an emotional journey of reflection. A lethal tug of war between Sharingan wielders, Sasuke and Itachi’s battle was a pivotal moment in Naruto: Shippuden and is usually on most lists as one of the best battles in the series.
Kakashi vs. Obito
This is usually high on everyone’s list when it comes to the best fight in Naruto. Childhood friends Kakashi and Obito face off in the Kamui dimension in a beautifully detailed battle. The choreography is so crisp and clear to the point that you can follow every move, which makes for an intricate and fluid hand-to-hand combat experience. In addition, the storytelling is intensely emotional as Kakashi and Obito revisit their past with each combination of strikes, strengthening the gravity of the situation while exploring how their individual paths lead them to finally reconvene in their current roles in the Great Ninja War.