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Dragon Ball was created in the 80s, and has enjoyed over 30 years as the most successful anime (other than Pokémon) ever. The series began as a manga, which are comics that are created in Japan. What mesmerized viewers worldwide was the action, which almost always overshadowed the plot. Fans tuned in weekly, not only for an amazing storyline, but to watch their favorite characters either train for battle, or do battle. As a child, I remember anxiously waiting for the next episode of Dragon Ball Z to premiere on Toonami, Cartoon Network's flagship programming block that introduced a catalog of anime to Americans, such as Sailor Moon, Gundam, Naruto, YuYu Hakusho, Bleach, and Cowboy Bebop.

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None of those animes could match the pure entertainment value of the fights in Dragon Ball Z though, because no other cartoon at the time offered such senseless non-stop violence. While most villains in other cartoons barley demolished cities, Dragon Ball Z’s villains were annihilating planets and murdering millions of innocent civilians. Yes, It may have taken Goku three episodes to level up, but the ensuing battle made up for all the time waiting. Even the Dragon Ball Z movies, such as Dragon Ball Z Resurrection ‘F’, and Broly- The Legendary Super Saiyan, featured brutal battles that have helped keep the franchise alive for longer than most of its viewers have been walking this planet. With so many battles to choose from, creating a top ten list was no easy task. While Goku is usually the Z Fighter that humiliates the competition, the entire squad has contributed to epic battles on several occasions. Remember when Gohan overpowered his father and defeated Cell, or when Vegeta almost killed Goku? Future Trunks cutting Frieza in half is one of the most memorable scenes in all of anime, and Android 19 being killed by Vegeta is one of the most satisfying to watch.

The battles of Dragon Ball Z define the entire show, and this is our list of the best fights the series has to offer.


10) Vegeta, Gohan, Future Trunks, and Piccolo VS Bojack, Bido, Bujin, Kogu, and Zangya

King Kai and his planet helped form a defense system that locked the murderous Bojack away in a star. After Kai’s planet is destroyed during the Cell Saga, Bojack is released, and immediately heads for Earth. A tournament takes places where Bojack’s minions seek to eliminate all of Earth’s greatest warriors, which leads the Z Fighters into an epic battle. Bojack and his men easily defeat Piccolo, Vegeta, and Future Trunks, but Gohan saves the day by transforming into his Super Saiyan 2 form.


9) Future Trunks VS Frieza and King Cold

This isn’t much of a fight, but more of a total annihilation. Future Trunks arrives to battle the revived Frieza, and a long struggle is anticipated. It never comes to fruition though, as Future Trunks kills both Frieza and his father in moments. It took Goku several episodes to match Frieza’s power the first time around. Future Trunks proved just how powerful he really was by offing Frieza without breaking a sweat.


8) Vegeta VS Android 19

This battle was the first time Vegeta showcased his Super Saiyan form. After Android 19 defeats Goku, Vegeta arrives and parades his new found power. The Androids were the most powerful beings to face the Z Fighters up to this point, and their ability to drain their enemy's energy proved too powerful for a Goku. Acting as cocky and vile as ever, Vegeta proves that deep down, he’s not really a hero. He taunts and toys with Android 19, before he ultimately kills him.


7) Goku VS Vegeta

Although it lacks Super Saiyan action, the first battle between Goku and Vegeta may be the most important fight in all of Dragon Ball Z. After a heated fight, Vegeta transforms into a Great Ape and almost kills Goku. Goku is saved when Vegeta’s tail is cut off and he is forced to return to his original form. While Vegeta was quick to kill, Goku offers mercy after defeating his opponent, a move that would solidify the greatest rivalry in the series. From that point on, Vegeta’s only goal was to be better than Goku, which led both fighters to train harder.


6) Goku and Vegeta VS Golden Frieza

Frieza is impossible to Kill. After being resurrected by the Dragon Balls, Frieza decides to train for the first time in his life. His training leads him to evolve into Golden Frieza, his highest and most powerful form. Golden Frieza battles both Goku and Vegeta, but when he is almost defeated, he destroys the Earth in a last-ditch effort. Luckily Beerus and Whis reverse time which grants Goku the opportunity to kill Frieza. Again.


5) Vegeta and Goku VS Kid Buu

Kid Buu is the most powerful and callous form of Majin Buu. The entire Buu Saga was filled with epic battles, but the final fight was monumental for the series. Goku and Vegeta barely muster enough strength to fight the supervillain after unsuccessfully battling all of his previous forms. Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan 3, and still loses to Kid Buu, who destroys the Earth. After a wish from the Dragon Balls returns Goku to full power, he creates a Super Spirit Bomb, which finally kills Buu.


4) Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Future Trunks, and Piccolo VS Broly

Out of all the Dragon Ball Z villains, Broly made the most memorable debut. The Legendary Super Saiyan was so overpowered that he dismantles all the Z Fighters and scares Vegeta while his friends initially fought the villain. It takes all of the Z Fighters transferring their energy to Goku to allow the Saiyan to defeat the enraged Broly for the first time.


3) Goku VS Beerus

Beerus, the god of destruction, proves to be the most powerful fighter in the universe when he effortlessly defeats Goku. This fight was refreshing, because the Z Fighters had always overcome their enemies up until now. Goku achieved the Super Saiyan God form (or Super Saiyan Blue) during this battle, and still lost. After the fight, Beerus admits that he wasn’t even using his full strength, a true testament to his power.


2) Goku VS Frieza

Possibly the longest fight in all of Dragon Ball Z, the climax of the original Frieza Saga ended in Goku’s first ever Super Saiyan transformation. The showdown between Goku and Frieza had been built up for so long that when it finally happened it elevated the entire series. Ultimately, Frieza’s own attack seals his fate and ensures Goku’s victory. The first time.


1) Gohan VS Perfect Cell

After Goku sacrifices himself to kill Cell, Gohan must step up to defeat the villain that no one else can. Cell’s ruthless attacks on the Z Fighters prompts Gohan to be the first Saiyan to reach Super Saiyan 2. Still, even in his new form, Gohan needs the help of both Vegeta and his father’s spirit to successfully destroy Cell with the most epic Kamehameha in Dragon Ball Z history.