5. Super Saiyan 4
This feels like the natural evolution of the Super Saiyan. It takes Goku back to his Saiyan roots. Black hair, hair-covered upper body and a tail. One of the highlights of GT is this amazing design.
It’s a powerful form as well. Goku turns the table against guys like Baby and the Shadow Dragons. It does become quite weak by the end of the show, which is a shame. Still, it did create the opportunity for Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. That’s more than enough reason for this form to be in the middle of the list.
4. Super Saiyan God
What a way to revive an old franchise. This transformation was the star of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. I love the lore behind this transformation. Also, it’s a unique power. Goku had to perform a ritual with five pure-hearted Saiyans. I guess there are non-screaming methods of transformation in the DBZ universe.
The simplicity of this form stands out the most. It’s Goku’s base look with a purple/red aura. His body also looks more compact than usual. This form also does not have the stamina problems plaguing other forms, such as Super Saiyan 3/Blue.
The main drawback would be its limitations in power. It isn’t as strong as Super Saiyan Blue and didn’t see as much use. Goku uses this power in the Universal Tournament Saga of Dragon Ball Super. It was to conserve stamina, yet, it wasn’t enough power for the tournament.
One of the earliest transformations of Goku is still a powerful force. Kaio-Ken increases the strength and speed of the user, at the cost of immense stamina. The Kaio-Ken itself has many multipliers, such as Kaio-Ken x10.
Goku uses this form to boost another transformation. He says that in his regular Super Saiyan state, his body cannot handle the Kaio-Ken for long. This is no longer an issue with God Ki. Now, Kaio-Ken has become a staple technique in his arsenal, which is fine by me.
The form creates a purple aura, which looks fantastic in motion. The power boost from this ability creates a difference. It gives Goku an edge in close fights. I appreciate Akira Toriyama keeping this transformation relevant to Dragon Ball Super.
2. Super Saiyan
To this day, the original Super Saiyan transformation holds up fine. Believe it or not, there was a time when this transformation was special. It was part of an ancient Saiyan prophecy. A Super Saiyan only appears every thousand years. The prophecy forgot to mention something. When one Super Saiyan appears, at least 10 others will follow.
Everything about this form makes sense. The emotional burst is the best that the series has to offer. Only a handful of other moments can compare. The surge in power was noticeable. Goku felt like a real powerhouse. He went above and beyond his previous level. You don’t need five or more transformations. Have fewer but make them meaningful.
It’s going to take a real beast of a power-up to top this.
1. Ultra Instinct
I did not believe for a second that Dragon Ball Super would give us something better than the Super Saiyan. It took almost the entire show, but they did it.
My favourite aspect of Ultra Instinct is the weight it carries. This is Goku ascending beyond his limitations, like the original Super Saiyan. It’s not a rehash of a previous form with spikier hair. It’s a proper development of his character.
The best part is how awesome Goku looks and acts. He rarely talks when in this form, setting the tone. The silence of Ultra Instinct eclipses the epic Super Saiyan speech. The idea of giving into one’s natural instincts is perfect for Dragon Ball, not to mention the outrageous movements he performs in this form. That damn Kamehameha slide is the crazy fun I love about this show.
There you have it. All of Goku’s forms in order of how badass they are. Looking back on Goku’s evolution was an enjoyable trip. The show has come a long way over the past decades, for better and worse.
Agree or disagree with the order? Let us know what your ranking is in the comments below. To check out our upcoming review of Dragon Ball Super keep it locked to Mammoth Gamers!