Goku is always talked about like one of the most powerful characters in anime. His power seems to have no limits, and he's defeated many different threats powerful enough to destroy the world.
While Goku may have lost fights in the original Dragon Ball and in Dragon Ball Z, at this point he has proven himself to be the strongest person living on Earth. The problem is Goku's opponents aren't just coming from Earth anymore.
Dragon Ball Super has introduced warriors from entirely different universes and they are unlike anything the Saiyan has faced before. As Goku's power continues to soar, he still finds other fighters who can keep up with him, and in some cases beat him. Dragon Ball Super has seen numerous fighters trick, overwhelm, or just plain outclass Goku for the win.
The Saiyan isn't looking so unbeatable anymore thanks to these 10 Dragon Ball Super Characters Who Have Beaten Goku (And 6 Who Fought Him To A Draw).
16 HIT (WON)
Though Hit has no doubt proven to be a worthy adversary for Goku, Hit's victories were more a matter of Goku's bad qualities than anything else.
Goku and Hit first met as representatives of Beerus and Champa in a tournament, and Goku was quickly impressed with how strong Hit was. The fight was ultimately so trying that Goku experimented with his powers in a dangerous way, utilizing the Kaio-ken technique while in his Super Saiyan Blue form. It was a difference maker, but too much for Goku's taste.
The problem was, Hit's powers worked best when he was able to kill his opponent, which was against the tournament rules. So while Goku had found a way to match Hit's time skipping abilities, the Saiyan didn't feel like it was a fair fight. Goku hopped out of the ring, eliminating himself from the tournament and allowing Hit to win. But now Goku just wanted to fight Hit another time, with no holding back.
15 FROST (WON)
Time and again it has been shown that one of Goku's most detrimental qualities is his honor. It's commendable that he holds himself to a certain set of standards in a fight, but it has come back to bite him many times. You can add Goku's encounter with Frost to that list, when the two of them fought as respective representatives of Beerus and Champa in a tournament.
Due to Frost's resemblance to Frieza, everyone initially assumed the worst of him. Over time however, he gained people's trust with his apparent honor. It turned out first impressions were not deceiving in this case, though.
Goku held back on using his full power against Frost, but wanted Frost to show off his final form before the fight finished. Even this was no match for Goku and it looked like Frost was sure to get eliminated. Then Frost gave a taste of his true personality as Goku mysteriously became ill and was helpless to avoid Frost knocking him out of the ring. The dirty tactics gave Frost the win, and was a lesson about not being so trusting for Goku.
14 FREIZA (DRAW)
Frieza is obviously not a new character in Dragon Ball Super, but he is still a prominent part of the franchise. He returned in the series when he was wished back to life and unsuccessfully tried to get revenge against Goku and the Earth in his new Golden form. That didn’t work out so well for Frieza and he was killed and sent back to hell, but that wouldn’t be the last time we saw him.
When the various universes needed to assemble their strongest fighters for a tournament, Goku’s team was one short, so he decided to recruit Frieza. This unlikely alliance proved as tumultuous as you’d think, and Frieza had been hankering for a chance at revenge. Beerus and Whis oversaw a small fight between Frieza and Goku to try and settle the issue, where whoever landed a punch first would win. The end result was Frieza and Goku both landed devastating punches at the same time, meaning Frieza won but he also lost.
It wasn’t the victory Frieza wanted, but it was one small step toward giving Frieza hope he could beat Goku in an all-out fight.
13 WHIS (WON)
While Whis is subservient to Beerus, Dragon Ball Super has revealed that angels are typically stronger than the gods they serve. So though Goku seems to have it in mind that his big goal should be to challenge Beerus again one day and emerge victorious, maybe Whis is the person Goku should be worrying about. Whis has physically subdued Beerus in the past, and even has the power to rewind time, so it seems like he could be an even greater challenge for Goku.
Early in Dragon Ball Super it's very clear that Goku is no match for Whis. Whis elects to train Goku and Vegeta and help them grow in their power, but he also easily and repeatedly demonstrates that he is far stronger than either one of them when he incapacitates them with minimal effort. Goku's training with Whis is a constant reminder of how far Goku has to go as Whis repeatedly bests him.
12 KALE (WON)
Ever since Kale was first introduced, fans were comparing her Berserker Super Saiyan form to Broly. Before fans knew her name she was just thought of as a female version of Broly, but it wasn’t sure if she would actually fight like him. Once we saw Kale’s transformation, though, there was no doubt that DBS just got a character as dangerous as the legendary Super Saiyan. And just like Broly, Kale’s Berserker form turned her into a single-minded powerhouse intent on defeating Goku.
Kale interrupted Goku’s fight with Caulifla to show off her power, and it was incredibly reminiscent of Goku’s battle with Broly. Goku even delivered a point blank Kamehameha that didn’t so much as knock Kale back.
Even with Goku in his Super Saiyan Blue form, Kale was able to lift him up with one hand and fling him into a pile of rocks. Then Kale’s power became so unwieldy that she began uncontrollably launching energy blasts everywhere. Goku was left knocked down into his base form under a pile of rubble, and it took the warrior Jiren to subdue Kale’s rampage.
11 MONAKA (DRAW)
Anyone who has kept up with Dragon Ball Super knows that Monaka is just a joke conjured up by Beerus. Unfortunately for Goku, that's never been debunked for him. Everyone else is fully aware by now, but Goku still believes Monaka is the strongest person in Universe 7. So in Goku's perception, the fight he wound up having against "Monaka" was one he fought to a draw. In reality it was just Beerus dressed like Monaka, but Goku didn't know that.
Goku's ignorance reached laughable points during this fight, remaining convinced he was fighting Monaka despite the costume tearing and revealing Beerus' purple hands and tail. Goku and the fake Monaka were evenly matched, but Whis stepped in to stop them before the Earth was damaged, saying things had gotten "out of hand" as a clue to Beerus.
Despite seeing the real Monaka alongside the fake Monaka afterwards, Goku just assumed Monaka could split his body in two like Majin Buu. So to Goku at least, this was a draw.
10 FUSION ZAMASU (WON)
While Goku Black and Zamasu fusing together did ultimately lead to their downfall thanks to it giving Zamasu a mortal half, it did also increase his power. This new form was way too much for Goku or Vegeta to handle on their own, so instead they had to fuse together to break out a form that hadn’t been seen since they fought Buu— becoming Vegito.
Super Saiyan Blue Vegito was definitely more powerful than Fusion Zamasu and probably could have killed him given the chance. The Saiyans learned fusing utilizing the Potara earrings was temporary unless used on kais, so Goku and Vegeta split apart before they could get the kill.
Left on their own against Fusion Zamasu, the two Saiayns were helpless. Fusion Zamasu rushed them both and smashed them both into the ground. They likely would have died if it hadn’t been for Future Trunks stepping in to save them, but Goku was taken out of the fight from this point forwards. All Goku could do was lend his energy to Trunks, but he knew he could not take another round with Fusion Zamasu.
9 BEERUS (WON)
The first new major threat seen in Dragon Ball Super is the god of destruction Beerus. King Kai warns that Beerus is even stronger than Majin Buu was and is terrified of his arrival. Goku totally underestimates this new foe and decides to fight him head on. Goku unleashes his best shot by turning into a Super Saiyan 3, but Beerus easily brushes this form aside and beats Goku with hardly any effort.
Of course there had to be a rematch between the two, so using the energy of five Saiyans to help him transform, Goku prepares for round two by becoming a Super Saiyan God. It looks like this will be the difference maker as Goku battles Beerus across the planet and into space. Surprisingly, Goku still can't beat Beerus and admits as much. But Goku did earn the respect of Beerus, and in doing so earned a new ally.
8 TOPPO (DRAW)
Though it was immediately Jiren that caught Goku's eye, he wouldn't get to have that fight until down the road. Instead, Goku got pitted against Jiren's second in command, the enormous Toppo. The mustachioed warrior might remind viewers of the Ginyu Force in his mannerisms, but the Ginyu Force were also no push overs. Toppo followed suit, having an incredible strength hidden beneath his silly antics.
When Goku and Toppo first clash they look evenly matched, but Toppo quickly gains the advantage with what the spectators note is his finishing move: a crushing bear hug. Toppo's grip causes Goku to revert to his base form and he appears defeated, but then he suddenly breaks free by transforming into Super Saiyan Blue.
Goku delivers an up close Kamehameha, but Toppo is still standing and preparing to unleash his most devastating attack. The fight gets stopped here, though, so it all ends in a stalemate.
7 GOKU BLACK (WON)
When Goku Black related how in another timeline he had killed Goku and his family, it enraged the Saiyan. One thing that will make Goku get serious more than anything else is when his loved ones get hurt. Goku brushed aside Zamasu and focused all his intention on hurting Goku Black, slamming him into a nearby skyscraper. But even Goku’s rage was not enough of a match for Goku Black’s power.
Black countered by impaling Goku with about a dozen different rods of energy, leaving Goku suspended in the air screaming. Then for the finishing touch, Black caused all of the energy rods to detonate, causing a huge midair explosion that sent Goku crashing into the concrete below. The attack knocked Goku out of his Super Saiyan Blue form and left him unconscious.
At this moment, it was clear it would take a lot more than just Goku on his own to beat an opponent like this.
6 ARALE (DRAW)
Arale is a blatant joke character who nonetheless came extremely close to beating Goku in an episode devoted to her. The small android girl perceived battle as a game and wanted someone to play with her. Vegeta obliged, thinking it would be a quick and easy fight. Arale proved otherwise when she kicked Vegeta into the air and head-butted him off into the horizon. It fell to Goku to stand between Arale and damaging the Earth, so he blocked her next energy attack with a Kamehameha.
Goku had just barely been able to hold off Arale's attack, but she announced that her next move would be multiple times more powerful than the last. Goku couldn't even pretend to know whether he'd be able to stop what Arale had planned, but fortunately Beerus arrived to settle things his way. If not for the god of destruction, this fight very likely would have been a defeat for Goku, but Beerus allowed it to be called a draw.
5 SORBET (WON)
Of all the characters to take down Goku in Dragon Ball Super, Sorbet would have to be one of the most surprising to do so. It's usually only the biggest and the baddest warriors who are able to make Goku lose a fight, but Sorbet looks about as small as Krillin, and probably is not much stronger either. Still, Sorbet proved it does not always take brute force to win a fight. Sometimes all it takes is some good timing.
As Goku finally gained the upper hand against Golden Freiza, it looked like we were about to get a repeat of their fight on Namek. But Frieza learned the past and had a backup plan this time around.
Sorbet caught Goku unawares, using an energy blast from his ring to instantaneously debilitate the Saiyan. Goku was so fixated on Frieza that he didn't even give any thought to someone as seemingly harmless as Sorbet and he paid for it.
4 ANDROID 17 (DRAW)
The funny thing about Android 17 is despite being around since midway through Dragon Ball Z, Goku had actually never met him before Dragon Ball Super. Like 18, 17 had long since given up on wanting to kill Goku, so Goku was able to approach the android about joining his team in the universal tournament. 17 seems intrigued, but first wants to test out Goku's strength.
17 is shockingly powerful, able to keep up with Goku no problem. After 17 knocks Goku into the sky with a series of body blows, Goku almost goes all out by turning Super Saiyan Blue. Even in this form Goku finds an equal in 17, though. Both fighters acknowledge they're still holding back the last of their power, but 17 suggests they stop now before they hurt the forest he cares for.
Nobody ever would have expected 17 had grown so strong in his time since being absorbed by Cell.
3 ZAMASU (WON)
While Goku may have beaten Zamasu when they were each in their own bodies, this just prompted Zamasu to believe the key to attaining the power he sought was to take over Goku’s body. This triggered a long plan where, in another timeline, Zamasu used the Dragon Balls to wish for him and Goku to swap bodies.
At first this was just confusing for Goku, who couldn’t understand why he now looked like Zamasu. But then the real Zamasu showed up in Goku’s body and made it plain what was going on.
Zamasu used his new body to avenge his previous defeat and kill Goku on the spot. He didn't stop there; also slaughtered both Chi-Chi and Goten. This was truly the last moment where this iteration of Zamasu existed.
When Zamasu killed his old body containing Goku’s mind, Zamasu ceased to exist in this world. From this moment on, he would be known as Goku Black as he terrorized the world of Future Trunks.
2 VEGETA (DRAW)
Naturally Goku's most enduring rival is one who has to fall among the characters who have fought Goku to a draw. Even with all the new faces introduced by Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta is still around, keeping up with Goku, and at times even surpassing him.
When Beerus decided to hit Bulma, Vegeta briefly became stronger than Goku ever had. Vegeta achieved this once again when he began training with Whis before Goku did. Ultimately, neither Saiyan has managed to pull ahead of the other for long.
Goku and Vegeta have sparred numerous times in Super, usually under the supervision of Whis, but they always wind up locked in a draw. Maybe before Super ends we'll see another battle between these two with nothing held back, but at this point it's doubtful there could ever be a definitive winner between these Saiyans. They're likely frenemies for life - always the other's equal, with each training session ending in a tie.
1 JIREN (WON)
The most recent defeat on this list is also one of the most definitive. We have seen Goku go up against opponents he was outmatched by before, but usually he could eventually gain a new transformation that would immediately level the playing field. Things didn't take that typical route in the case of Jiren the Gray.
As soon as the other universes began to get introduced, it was pretty obvious Jiren and Goku would be the fight to wait for. But when the two finally clashed, Goku met more than his match.
The fight wasn't a challenge at all for Jiren. Goku cycled through almost all of his transformations, from his regular Super Saiyan form all the way up to Super Saiyan Blue—none of them had any effect. Then Goku did his typical routine of finding an even greater power, unveiling what was known as the Ultra Instinct.
Even this wasn't enough for Goku to gain the advantage, and though he was able to defend against Jiren for a while, the Ultra Instinct faded and Jiren blasted Goku into the ground.
Who do you think has been Goku's best opponent so far in Dragon Ball Super? Share your thoughts in the comments!