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All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2

One Piece is a testament to Oda’s mastery as a mangaka.

Even though it’s on its 31st arc, it has no plans of finishing anytime soon. Plus, it constantly pushes the bar even higher with new and exciting content as the story progresses.

With such a stellar rep, I could only rank half of its main arcs in my previous post, with the action-packed Whisky Peak and the nostalgic Romance Dawn arcs being my absolute favs.

You can read the first part (#16-#31) if you haven’t already.

And if you have, here are the best arcs in One Piece – the top 15!

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SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from One Piece.

15. Baratie Arc

Impact on Audience – 7/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 5/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 5/10

Emotional Depth – 6/10

Action – 6/10

Pacing & Animation – 7/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 4/10

Total score – 63/100

It is the first arc in the East Blue saga that shifted from the regular light-heartedness to a more serious tone by giving the Straw Hats a reality check on the perils of the Grand Line.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Baratie Arc | Source: Fandom

While Zoro took a major L against swordsman extraordinaire Dracule Mihawk, Luffy took a couple of hits before he triumphed over Don Krieg and his indestructible armour.

However, after being inspired by Luffy’s resolute willpower to defeat Don Krieg, Sanji joining the crew as their suave new cook was a silver lining to the whole arc.

Overall, this arc was a joy to watch, as it was jam-packed with great fight scenes, compelling villains and new characters. Plus, Nami’s shock betrayal at the end did a fantastic job of hyping up the Arlong Park arc.

14. Return to Sabaody Arc

Impact on Audience – 9/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 7/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 5/10

Emotional Depth – 6/10

Action – 7/10

Pacing & Animation – 6/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 1/10

Total score – 64/100

As one of the show’s most anticipated arcs, it lived up to everyone’s expectations in so many ways. First off, the crew’s glow-up after the two-year time skip was out of this world!

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Return to Sabaody Arc | Source: Fandom

Luffy’s incredible strength and mastery of Haki, Zoro’s epic swordsmanship and Sanji’s new moves were on full display when they bulldozed through several marines and defeated a couple of Pacifistas.

While Nami’s improved Clima-Tact and Franky’s upgrades got some shine-time, Usopp’s transformation hogged their spotlight with his beefed-up body and modified Kuro Kabuto.

The Impostor Straw Hats were a riot and made great adversaries for a while. Even their conversations with the real Luffy and Chopper were gold.

All in all, the crew’s reunion, Luffy’s declaration of becoming the Pirate King and his heartfelt goodbye to Rayleigh made the arc a great start to their adventures post-time-skip.

13. Whole Cake Island Arc

Impact on Audience – 6/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 9/10

Villains/Final Boss – 9/10

Emotional Depth – 6/10

Action – 8/10

Pacing & Animation – 3/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 2/10

Total score – 64/100

Focusing onthe crew’s mission to rescue Sanji from a political marriage, this arc takes the Straw Hats to Whole Cake Island, the territory of Yonko Big Mom.

While Big Mom’s monstrous strength and immense power proved she was a terrifying adversary, her tragic past as an abandoned and misunderstood kid made her character all the more twisted.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Whole Cake Island Arc | Source: Fandom

It was also great to see Sanji in the spotlight for a change, with his abusive childhood as an unwanted prince being explored and the depth of his kindness being showcased when he butted heads with Luffy.

Additionally, the chaotic battle caused by Bege’s assassination attempt and Luffy’s wedding crashing plan brought in some iconic moments like – Luffy’s hard-earned victory over Katakuri, Brook bravely battling Big Mom and Pedro sacrificing himself for the Straw Hats’ sake.

In the end, it was an emotional and action-packed whirlwind that put the Straw Hats on everyone’s radar.

12. Impel Down Arc

Impact on Audience – 8/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 3/10

Significance on Plot – 8/10

Villains/Final Boss – 8/10

Emotional Depth – 6/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 6/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 3/10

Total score – 65/100

This arc revolves around Luffy’s race to save Ace in the impenetrable and Dante Inferno inspired prison of Impel Down.

Luffy’s rampage through the levels of the prison not only gave us some kick-ass action when he squared off with numerous beasts and guards but also the comebacks of Mr 3, Buggy, Bon Clay and Crocodile.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Impel Down Arc | Source: Fandom

While the former two’s escape attempts provided some laughs to lighten up the tense mood, Bon Clay’s embodiment of a true friend made the arc so much more enjoyable.

The arc also did exceptionally well with its main antagonist, Warden Magellan, as his arrival instantly threw a sense of dread back into the mix when his poison left Luffy inches away from death.

Thankfully, the arc expanded on its supporting characters and introduced Emporio Ivankov, whose ‘treatment’ coupled with Bon Clay’s encouragement brought Luffy back to his feet.

Blackbeard’s arrival and his fight with Luffy did well to reveal the former’s formability as a Devil Fruit user and as a future enemy.

But despite the arc’s many unforgettable moments and thorough use of its characters, it was Bon Clay’s sacrifice of staying behind for Luffy’s chance to escape, that solidified it as one of the best arcs in the Summit War Saga.

11. Post-Enies Lobby Arc

Impact on Audience – 8/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 0/10

Emotional Depth – 9/10

Action – 5/10

Pacing & Animation – 9/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 3/10

Total score – 65/100

This arc was a tear-jerker and eye-opener as it features the bittersweet moments of The Going Merry’s funeral and the bombshell revelation of Luffy’s parentage.

Marine Vice-Admiral Garp debuted as Luffy’s grandfather and accidentally revealed that Dragon, the Supreme Commander of the Revolutionary Army, is Luffy’s father.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Post-Enies Lobby Arc | Source: Fandom

Aside from the Straw Hat captain’s shocking family ties, the arc also dropped some intel on the Yonkos, an epic sky-splitting clash between Shanks and Whitebeard, and Ace’s capture after being defeated by Blackbeard’s OP Devil Fruit powers.

While the arc did a great job of laying the foundations for the Marineford arc and adding Franky to the crew, it was Usopp’s tearful apology that made it a fitting end to the Water 7 Saga.

10. Water 7 & Sea Train Arc

Impact on Audience – 8/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 7/10

Significance on Plot – 7/10

Villains/Final Boss – 8/10

Emotional Depth – 8/10

Action – 7/10

Pacing & Animation – 6/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 2/10

Total score – 66/100

The Water 7 arc was an emotional roll coaster ride that featured the crew falling apart as the World Government’s elite assassination squad loomed overhead.

The arc did a fantastic job of portraying the difference in power levels between the CP9 and the Straw Hats by giving them an ominous look and having them thrash the latter effortlessly on their first encounter.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Franky | Source: Fandom

It also boasted one hell of an internal conflict among the crew that resulted in the arc’s hallmark scene of Usopp turning his back on his friends after being beaten bloody by his captain.

While Nico Robin’s mysterious disappearance provided an excellent setup for the Enies Lobby arc, Franky’s debut further upped the ante of the arc, especially with his heart-wrenching backstory involving Tom.

While Water 7 ends on a serious note, the Sea Train arc is filled to the brim with glorious action and humour – Usopp’s alter ego Sogeking, Sanji battling with his hands for the first time, and Zoro splitting an entire train cart in half!

But even though these arcs were a thrilling watch and are regarded as the best, I can’t rank them higher, as One Piece continued to push the bar even further with every arc after.

9. Dressrosa Arc

Impact on Audience – 6/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 7/10

Significance on Plot – 8/10

Villains/Final Boss – 10/10

Emotional Depth – 7/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 3/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 7/10

Total score – 73/100

The final arc in the Dressrosa Saga centred on Luffy and Law’s allied mission to demolish Donquixote Doflamingo and his crooked empire.

Doflamingo is a masterfully written villain with a perfect blend of sinister madness and unbeatable power, accentuated by his twisted yet sympathizable past.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Dressrosa Arc | Source: Fandom

The arc boasts a goldmine of top-notch action, with the final battle against Doflamingo featuring Luffy’s ultimate Gear 4 transformation taking the number one spot.

In addition to the arc’s finale, there were other praiseworthy fight scenes and incredible moments – Zoro filleting the ginormous Pica, Franky withstanding Senor Pink’s attacks and Usopp willing an army into existence as he was crowned God Usopp.

Doflamingo’s brother, Donquixote Rosinate, also made his debut in addition to a slew of new characters. The stark difference in their personalities and pasts was a critical element that saved Law’s life and further emphasized his brother’s brutality.

Oda also managed to put in an entire mini-arc centred on the Dressrosa colosseum, which resulted in the birth of Luffy’s Grand Fleet and Sabo inheriting Ace’s legacy by winning the Mera Mera no Mi.

But despite establishing future plotlines and making the Straw Hats famous, the arc’s slow pacing over 100 episodes limited it from being placed higher in this list.

8. Zou Arc

Impact on Audience – 10/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 7/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 5/10

Emotional Depth – 8/10

Action – 7/10

Pacing & Animation – 10/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 3/10

Total score – 75/100

The Zou Arc takes One Piece’s level of fantasy to new heights by having the crew explore the home of the Mink Tribe, the moving island of Zou, carried on the back of an enormous elephant named Zunesha.

It brilliantly sets up the Wano Country arc by introducing Oden’s retainers – Inuarashi and Nekomamushi, as well as revealing a Road Poneglyph, the late daimyo’s travels with the Roger Pirates, and Raizo’s safety.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Zou Arc | Source: Fandom

With the retainers’ crushing defeat at the hands of Kaido’s lead performer, Jack, the arc expertly weaves in the birth of the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance with the shared goal of defeating Kaido to free Wano and for Luffy to become the Pirate King.

The arc even sprinkled in some mystery regarding the Void Century when it teased Zunesha’s unknown past and age. It also gave the giant pachyderm a moment of his own when he swept Jack’s entire fleet off the ocean surface.

So overall, it was a wonderful arc that did a great job of kick-starting the Four Emperors Saga.

7. Sabaody Archipelago Arc

Impact on Audience – 8/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 10/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 6/10

Emotional Depth – 10/10

Action – 6/10

Pacing & Animation – 8/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 2/10

Total score – 75/100

As a fiery start to the Summit War Saga, this arc served as a rude wake-up call to the Straw Hats and a setup for the future arcs with the introductions of the Supernovas and the Dark King, Silvers Rayleigh.

Addressing the dark themes of racism and slavery, the arc aptly places the Celestial Dragons as its detestable and immoral antagonists who take full advantage of their ‘divine status’.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Sabaody Archipelago Arc | Source: Fandom

While it was shocking to see the Straw Hats suffer their first defeat at the hands of Kuma and Admiral Kizaru, they needed to realize how easily the elites of the Navy could outclass them.

The arc also did well to showcase the weight of responsibility for his crew’s safety that Luffy bares when he ordered them to retreat and later blamed himself for not saving them.

In the end, Luffy’s inability to immediately bounce back from failure, and the grim reminder that the Straw Hats can’t do as they please, made this arc a unique addition to the Summit War Saga.

6. Arabasta Arc

Impact on Audience – 7/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 8/10

Emotional Depth – 7/10

Action – 9/10

Pacing & Animation – 7/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 6/10

Total score – 78/100

As the epic conclusion to the Arabasta Saga, this arc sees the crew tackling the daunting task of quelling a civil war brewing in the kingdom of Arabasta amidst the threat of Warlord Crocodile.

Besides having a villain that’s experienced, devious, and hard to beat, the arc also boasts some of the best fight scenes since Arlong Park – Luffy overcoming his double defeat to vanquish Crocodile, Zoro besting Mr 1 by cutting steel and Nami’s first solo win against Ms Doublefinger.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Arabasta Arc | Source: Fandom

The arc also dropped some tidbits on the ancient weapon Pluton, rumouring it to be buried under the desert kingdom. Future arcs were also set up with the flaming arrival of Luffy’s elder brother, Ace and his ties to the Whitebeard Pirates.

All in all, the crew’s stellar development and their value for princess Vivi’s friendship, even when she bids them goodbye, is why this arc deserves to be so far up the list.

5. Arlong Park Arc

Impact on Audience – 8/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 7/10

Emotional Depth – 10/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 7/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 3/10

Total score – 79/100

Most fans will agree that the Arlong Park arc is where One Piece officially took off from a silly, light-hearted show to a compelling story that won’t shy away from darker themes.

The arc did an incredible job with Nami’s character. It revealed her tragic past of witnessing Bellemere’s death, being forced to work as the Arlong Pirates’ cartographer, and her village’s freedom being the reason she betrayed her friends.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Arlong Park Arc | Source: Fandom

The arc boasts a fantastic antagonist in Arlong. He was the perfect blend of cunning and demeaning savagery that momentarily gave Luffy a run for his money when he drew blood.

It also expands on Luffy’s character with his gesture of placing his hat on Nami, which signified that all his friends are his treasures and that he would rage if anyone dared to harm them, as seen by his crushing kick which sent Arlong through several floors of his base.

So overall, the crew’s united front to save their nakama and their iconic walk to Arlong Park solidifies this arc’s position among the top 5.

4. Wano Country Arc Part II

Impact on Audience – 7/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 8/10

Villains/Final Boss – 7/10

Emotional Depth – 10/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 7/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 8/10

Total score – 81/100

Part 2 of the Wano Country arc dives straight into the aftermath of Luffy’s failed attempt at besting Kaiduo by giving us his training montage of mastering armament Haki under Hyogoro’s tutelage in Udon’s prison.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Wano Country Arc Part II | Source: Fandom

The sub-arc expands the cast of the Nine Scabbards with the debut of Kawamatsu. It also introduces Kurozumi Orochi as its despicable villain and the depth of his horrid nature with the execution of Yasuie.

It is also packed with incredible moments like – Sanji wrecking Page One in his Germa 66 suit, Zoro getting Enma and his epic showdown against Killer, and Luffy conquering Udon’s prison.

But the real kicker that perfectly set up the next part of the arc was Kaidou and Big Mom’s pirate alliance to find the One Piece and the Ancient Weapons.

3. Enies Lobby Arc

Impact on Audience – 10/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 10/10

Significance on Plot – 9/10

Villains/Final Boss 3 – 9/10

Emotional Depth – 8/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 8/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 6/10

Total score – 88/100

Enies Lobby is regarded as one the best arcs of One Piece, as it flips the usual trope of the Straw Hats adventure to a full-on invasion on one of the World Government’s strongholds.

It boasted fantastic fight scenes with its one-on-one battles like – Luffy demolishing Lucci with his Gear 2 transformation, Sanji’s Diable Jambe that roasted Jabra, and Zoro’s Asura style slicing through Kaku.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Enies Lobby Arc | Source: Fandom

But the spotlight wasn’t only on the strongest trio, as we had – Nami knocking out Kalifa with her Clima-Tact, Chopper destroying Kumadori with his monster form, and Sogeking’s no scope sniping preventing Robin’s recapture.

Even Franky had some shine-time when he burnt the plans of Pluton right in front of Spandam’s face.

The arc also expanded the lore by revealing Robin’s horrific past and teasing the importance of the Void Century and the Ancient Kingdom.

But the reason it comes in 3rd place is the epic moment Luffy declares war on the World Government by ordering Sogeking to burn the flag, which reignites Robin’s passion to live after years of being demonized.

2. Marineford Arc

Impact on Audience – 10/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 6/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 10/10

Emotional Depth – 10/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 5/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 10/10

Total score – 89/100

The Marineford arc is undoubtedly one of Oda’s masterpieces, as it features Luffy’s relentless attempt to save Ace amidst the chaos of a paramount war.

Aside from its god-tier level of action, the arc also prides itself on efficiently using many characters without overshadowing any of them.

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Marineford Arc | Source: Fandom

Even though all eyes were on Whitebeard’s epic battle against the Navy and Luffy bravely facing down THREE Admirals, there were still plenty of unforgettable moments like – Koby standing up to Akainu, Shanks singlehandedly stopping the war, and Blackbeard’s surprise entry at the end.

While it lives up to the hype of Whitebeard’s legendary strength and his stellar pirate crew, it also does exceptionally well at showcasing Luffy’s strength without making him ridiculously OP.

But overall, it was Oda’s decision of sacrificing Ace and Whitebeard to mould Luffy into the future Pirate King, that makes this legendary arc a runner-up to the best.

1. Wano Country Arc Act III

Impact on Audience – 10/10

Impact on Luffy & Crew – 8/10

Significance on Plot – 10/10

Villains/Final Boss – 10/10

Emotional Depth – 10/10

Action – 10/10

Pacing & Animation – 5/10

No. of Impactful Moments – 10/10

Total score – 91/100

Wano Country Act III is best arc in One Piece thanks to Oda’s intricate storytelling and the involvement of numerous subplots like Marineford had. With the focus on an intense (ongoing) battle between Luffy and the Yonko Kaidou, it even deep dives into the One Piece lore like never before!

All Main Story Arcs in One Piece, Ranked from Worst to Best! – Part 2
Wano Country Arc Act III | Source: Fandom

It does justice to Luffy’s remarkable development as we see the Straw Captain put up a fight against the Pirate Emperor despite being beaten bloody in the first part of the arc.

It also showcases Kaidou’s brutality through the New Onigashima Project, Orochi’s decapitation, and his sick ‘parenting’ of Yamato.

Additionally, it even features fight sequences that are absolutely fire – The Akazaya Nine vs the Pirate Emperor, the Straw Hats’ 1v1 battles against the Tobiroppo, and Kid and Law’s face-off against Big Mom.

Oden’s journal not only brings us one step closer to the One Piece but even the Void Century and Joy Boy’s connection to the liberation of Wano.

All in all, this arc is a captivating watch that will certainly go down in anime history.

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About One Piece

One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997.

The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The final words he said at the execution tower were “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you have it. Look for it; I left all of it at that place.” These words sent many to the seas, chasing their dreams, headed toward the Grand Line, in search of One Piece. Thus began a new age!

Seeking to be the greatest pirate in the world, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece. His diverse crew is joining him along the way, consisting of a swordsman, marksman, navigator, cook, doctor, archaeologist, and cyborg-shipwright, this will be one memorable adventure.

Originally Written By Epic Dope

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Vansh Gulati

Vansh Gulati

Meet our very own Hinata Shoyo! - There is no anime or manga that he’s not aware of. Also the go-to guy for all things Epic at EML. He’s on a journey to discover life one bottle of sake at a time!
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