For some, Power Rangers played a special role in their childhoods. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a brand new concept to arrive in the U.S. television market. For years, the people responsible had a tough time convincing their bosses that it was a good investment.
No one believed that the Japanese-based show would skyrocket into success. With millions of dollars in revenue coming in from merchandise alone, they decided to keep the ball rolling. Over the years, with changes in ownership and adapting new storylines, not all series did well. The best Power Rangers series seem to find the sweet spot in appealing to kids with larger-than-life villains and big fight sequences, while still appealing to adults with serial stories and dramatic storyline shifts.
Updated on January 12th, 2023 by Amanda Bruce: For the first time since the Zordon Era of the Power Rangers franchise, the series is going to retain its cast as it moves into a new era. Power Rangers: Dino Fury becomes Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury as the team gains new abilities and travels from Earth to space, much like the original lineup (with a few changes) went from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, to Power Rangers Zeo, to Power Rangers Turbo, and finally to Power Rangers In Space. While the franchise has embraced the legacy of that original era with cameos from past Rangers, and even with original Green Ranger Tommy Oliver becoming a mentor to the team, this move is a real example of the lasting legacy of the series as 30 years later, the show comes full circle, retaining its group of superheroes for more adventures.
Each season of the franchise has its merits, but some are definitely more beloved than others, and that’s clearly reflected in the IMDb ratings for the different seasons. With IMDb as a live website, as fans discover, or rewatch, older seasons on Netflix and rate them on the website, the ratings for the best Power Rangers series remain in flux.
Power Rangers Samurai (2011-2012) – 5.0
Most Power Rangers seasons see those who end up in Ranger uniforms chosen for the job by a mentor, or fate. Instead, Power Rangers Samurai sees the characters at the center of the story inherit their abilities. While it’s still fate for them to fight the bad guys, their samurai skills and weapons are family heirlooms.
The two seasons saw a lot of fans upset that the Red Ranger lost his position in the final hours. That’s a big sticking point for the audience. While his sister Lauren comes out of hiding to lead the team, it pushes Jayden’s growth aside. The audience got their first female Red Ranger, but the story got a shake-up that not everyone thought it needed.
Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (2007) – 5.4
Indiana Jones meets Power Rangers sounds like a good idea on paper. Unfortunately, in execution, it didn’t work out quite as well for an audience of long-time Power Rangers fans.
This version of the team is put together by a man out to make sure that ancient relics are kept out of the hands of the bad guys. Each member of the team has a unique skill set they bring to the group, but their big personalities also cause a lot of friction among the team. Add to that things like one of them discovering that they’re actually an android instead of a human and a tragic alien love story playing out in the background, and there was a lot going on, even by Power Rangers standards.
Power Rangers Turbo (1997-1998) – 5.5
Turbo is the part of the Zordon era that Power Rangers fans like least. In fact, for a lot of the audience, it’s thought of as the worst Power Rangers series, though the IMDb ratings don’t exactly reflect that. It debuted at a time when the original series fans were aging out of the franchise – as were the cast members. As a result, a much younger actor was brought in to be the new Blue Ranger, which could have drawn in a younger audience.
The young Blue Ranger combined with replacing the entire team shortly into the series, however, didn’t win points with the audience, especially when most of the previous characters were fan favorites. Many of them continued to appear in story arcs, just not as Power Rangers until the occasional team-up in later seasons. The movie, with a big adventure to gain new power, is widely considered better than the series itself.
Power Rangers Megaforce (2013-2014) – 5.5
For the twentieth anniversary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Megaforce pulled out all the stops. It adapts a Sentai series that allows the new team of Power Rangers to draw on the same power of every other team in existence, which should make them the most powerful Rangers of all time.
Even with all of that power at their disposal, however, the team is still outmatched by the villains, which creates the occasion for the biggest team-up in history, bringing back members of tons of previous teams for appearances in a massive battle. While fans love that final battle, it’s the lead-up to it that falls flat for a lot of them as the characters are used to fill very specific roles without often getting the chance to be fleshed out.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel (2017-2018) – 5.9
In a bit of a meta move, the Power Rangers become the focus of a broadcast throughout space in Power Rangers Ninja Steel. That’s because the evil alien being intent on getting their power (in this case, ninja stars), runs an intergalactic game show that involves monster battles.
The game show provided a fresh angle for Power Rangers, but, for some reason, the series just didn’t land with fans the same way as most of the older series did. There’s even an attempt to serialize the story more with a family at the center of the team instead of relying solely on the monster-of-the-week format.
Power Rangers Wild Force (2002-2003) – 6.1
While every Power Rangers series strives to be different from the others, this team had a unique twist in that the Rangers weren’t chosen by the mentor or accidentally stumbling onto their powers. Instead, the Rangers were actually chosen by the animals that acted as their zords. They also, for the first time in the franchise, could call on the power of multiple zords.
The season went heavy on the mythology as the group of Rangers trained and saved the world from the Animarium, a floating island hidden from outsiders. It also went heavy on the drama as the villain of the series was responsible for the deaths of the Red Ranger’s parents. The season had a great mix of character development, mythology, and drama all around.
Power Rangers Ninja Storm (2003) – 6.3
Power Rangers Ninja Storm was the first full-length season to be produced when Disney acquired the franchise. Production moved to New Zealand, making for some great scenery for the new footage for the series. The story followed a group of students at a Ninja Academy who ended up becoming Power Rangers simply because they were the only students left after everyone else was kidnapped.
At the time, Power Rangers seasons weren’t shying away from dark topics or life lessons, but still making the story fun for kids. Ninja Storm went a lot lighter with its humor though, incorporating even more slapstick and misunderstandings between characters. It created a bit of a shift for the series.
Power Rangers Dino Charge (2015–2016) – 6.4
Dinosaurs are always a popular theme when it comes to Power Rangers seasons, likely because that’s how the franchise got its start in the U.S. This season not only called back to that with dinosaurs as guardians of the powerful Energems, but it also made a Power Rangers villain responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs on Earth in the first place.
This incarnation intrigued fans because it didn’t fit in with the established continuity of the show (set in a different universe, as some are), and it also featured a fascinating villain. Sledge wasn’t working for an evil empire. Instead, he was a bounty hunter who became obsessed with the Energems himself, which led to him targeting Earth to begin with. The two seasons made for an interesting addition to Power Rangers mythology.
Power Rangers Zeo (1996) – 6.4
Airing in 1996, Power Rangers Zeo was a continuation of Mighty Morphin and continued to use some of the same main actors. At the beginning of the franchise, the company decided to create a continuous sequence between storylines and character groups. After the destruction of their command center, the Rangers find the Zeo crystals intact that lead them to a hidden underground power chamber. Here they reunite with Zordon and Alpha to become the Zeo Power Rangers and the show centers around a new villain, the Machine Empire.
The Zeo season is actually much more mature than the previous three seasons of Mighty Morphin as the characters deal not just with the suiting up to battle villains, but also the consequences of new team members joining and old ones returning. The reality of not being a Power Ranger sets in as the characters age, making for some great storylines. It’s no wonder that it makes it into the top 10 Power Rangers series.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000) – 6.4
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue premiered in 1997 and took a different spin on the ranger’s hidden identities. It was common for the main characters to separate their daily lives from their Power Ranger lives. In the show, they made their status as rangers public knowledge. A government organization called Lightspeed Rescue tap into the Morphin Grid to develop Power Ranger morphers and powers. They recruit four civilians with different areas of expertise and the Captain’s daughter to protect Mariner Bay from demons.
For some kids, the show didn’t quite connect since this was the first season that saw being a Power Ranger as a job instead of a potential conflict with their regular lives. The team wasn’t chosen by an alien being or fate, but instead with files compiled by the government. It didn’t necessarily feel like the same adventure series.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–1996) – 6.5
Sad to say, but one of the lowest-ranked series is the one that started it all. Mighty Morphin was the first show to be adapted from the original Japanese version, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (1992-1993). It follows the same storyline as the Japanese version.
Five teenagers with attitude are selected by Zordon to become Power Rangers to protect the Earth from Rita Repulsa. Saban and FOX used the original fight scenes from the Japanese show and had their actors do voice over. The show became a pop culture sensation in the ’90s. As the show has lasted more than 25 years, however, each season has been able to adjust its concepts, improve its special effects, and build on what’s come before it. It’s no wonder the original series isn’t considered the best when so many other stories have been built based on what it started.
Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008) – 6.6
Power Rangers Jungle Fury was inspired by the animal spirits used to model fighting styles in different forms of martial arts. Each character had their own distinct fighting style inspired by their own « animal spirit » as a result. That wasn’t the only change-up to the series though.
One change for the better, and one that definitely made the show more fun for viewers, was that the mentor was someone who fought alongside the team, and he was a laid-back manager of a pizza place. It made the show have a completely different feel, which might be part of why fans enjoyed it so much.
Power Rangers R.P.M. (2009) – 6.6
Often remembered as the darkest season of the franchise, Power Rangers R.P.M. isn’t set in an idyllic town. Instead, it takes place in the last holdout of humanity in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The world has been taken over by a computer virus that adapted to create its own monsters. The Power Rangers are the last hope to stop it, created, in a twist, by the same person who created the Venjix virus in the first place.
It’s a unique season in that allies of the Rangers die right away, the team isn’t fully formed in the first, or even the second, episode, and the possibility always exists that people with cybernetic implants can be infected by Venjix and set against the Rangers. It’s one of the series with the highest stakes, the most adrenaline, and the most compelling storylines.
Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006) – 6.6
The 2006 show, Power Rangers Mystic Force has a divide between fans who praised the series and others who didn’t care much for its theme. The series still continued to be an adaptation from the original Japanese version.
This show took a different direction and instead focused on a magic element. Evil breaks free from its prison in a magical realm. A sorceress looks for five warriors of legend to become the Mystic Force Rangers. The series did a good job at balancing the comedic elements with the dramatic, but some fans thought aspects of the show, like lost memories and recovered villains, felt too much like a soap opera.
Power Rangers S.P.D. (2005) – 6.6
« S.P.D. Emergency! », automatically comes to mind when thinking about Power Rangers S.P.D. The theme song was catchy and so was the show’s storyline. This time the Rangers are an elite defense group as part of the city’s police force, S.P.D.
Only a select few have the capabilities to make it as Power Rangers. The show takes place a few years in the future. The alien races and humans co-exist on Earth until the Troobian Empire seeks destruction against Earth. It feels like an entirely new world for the Power Rangers franchise, which is part of what makes it so fun. Some of the recruits for the team are criminals instead of squeaky clean kids, and one of the most intriguing (but over too soon) storylines is a group of rangers choosing to work for the bad guys.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers (2019–2020) – 6.7
Taking the fourth spot on the list is one of the most recent Power Rangers shows, Power Rangers Beast Morphers. This is the first series to be produced by the entertainment company owned by Hasbro, Inc. Much like the other series, they used the Japanese fight scenes, props, and costumes. In the near future, Carol Harbor has used the Morphin Grid to develop a substance, Morph-X, that provides clean energy to the city. To protect the city, they combined Morph-X with animal DNA to create Beast Morphers Power Rangers. The Rangers protect the city from an evil computer virus called Evox.
The season uses the idea of virtual reality as well as classic Power Rangers elements to create a unique season. It also featured one of the most anticipated crossovers in Power Rangers, a link back to the darkest season: Power Rangers R.P.M. Longtime fans were delighted to see just how the Venjix virus continued to grow alongside some great characters.
Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004) – 6.7
What happens when a soccer player, a computer expert, an artist, and a teacher are forced to band together to save the Earth? Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Three students come across the Dino Gems used to become Power Rangers.
The famed original White Ranger/Green Ranger Tommy Oliver makes his return as a high school teacher. Fans got to see him back in action as the Black Dino Ranger helping the other Power Rangers fight the villain Mesogog. It added some depth to his character, seeing just how much he learned from his days as a ranger. The series also marked the first time a Power Ranger was partially responsible for the creation of the season’s villain, which was a great turn for the show.
Power Rangers Dino Fury (2021-2022) – 6.8
One of the most recent series takes the series back to its dinosaur-inspired roots, and it’s on track to be one of the best Power Rangers series so far. Power inspired by dinosaurs is used, as always, to fight an alien threat to Earth. The series also has a lot of firsts that made fans excited for it before it even began airing.
For one thing, it’s the first time the Green Ranger has been female in a live-action storyline. It’s also the first time the show would stream exclusively on Netflix as the contract with Nickelodeon ended for the series, giving an even larger audience access to the episodes right away. Dino Fury even marks the first time a Tik Tok star, or any social media star for that matter, has been cast in a lead role for Power Rangers as well. All of that adds up to a landmark series for the franchise.
Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999) – 6.8
There’s no possible way to not sing along to the Power Rangers Lost Galaxy theme song. With a high 6.9 rating, the show took the Rangers to outer space. Four teenagers from Angel Grove travel on Terra Venture to seek a new world. They soon meet the remaining two that will complete the Ranger group as they’re destined to wield the Quasar Sabers.
Though Power Rangers R.P.M. has a reputation for being the darkest series, Lost Galaxy might as well have been a test run for it. It featured the first Ranger death, a reformed villain becoming a team member, and began the first true departure from the Zordon Era of the franchise. It was a breath of fresh air for fans still watching the show and is definitely one of the most beloved by adults who grew up watching it today.
Power Rangers Time Force (2001) – 6.9
In the year 3,000, Time Force is a police agency that monitors and arrests mutants for their crimes. An evil mutant named Ransik escapes and travels back in time to take over the world. In the process, he kills the Red Time Force Ranger. The Time Force team breaks protocol and goes after Ransik to the year 2001. They soon meet a doppelganger of the Red Ranger.
While Ransik is the main villain of the season, the show really made a case for redeeming even the cruelest of bad guys. Ransik and his daughter both found their way back to the side of good, and the season featured one of the most underrated of Power Rangers villains in Frax, who works as Ransik’s right hand, but ultimately betrays him.