Following the waves of success of other Japanese animated imports like Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon on U.S. shores, Gundam found great success in the North American when Mobile Suit Gundam Wing debuted on Cartoon Network in 2000.
As a series that changed the way the world looked at giant robots, Gundam has become a cultural icon, expanding its reach beyond the traditional TV shows, movies, video games, and manga collection. Gundam has appeared in postage stamps and is often used to promote advancements in advance personal combat systems in Japan.
There are Gundam museums in Japan dedicated to showcasing the franchise’s iconic mech suits. It’s cultural influence can also be seen in other giant robot works, with the Transformers movies and the mecha-inspired Pacific Rim finding success and a wave of new audiences.
For the uninitiated, the Gundam series can be a complicated and intimidating beast. Its 25-strong TV shows and movies paint a complex canvas, considering the multiple timelines that the Gundam series inhabits within its universe. However, while its many incarnations have touched on different stories, such as coming of age tales to revolutionary wars, one cultural touchstone has remained constant –- its eponymous giant robots.
From the well-received to the downright strange, here are the 8 Most Powerful (And 7 Weakest) Gundam Suits Of All Time, Ranked.
15 Strongest: Gundam Wing Zero
Prominently featured in the successful Mobile Suit Gundam Wing TV show and its beloved sequel the Endless Waltz OVA/movie, Gundam Wing Zero is the creation of five scientists prior to the events of the EVE Wars, who wanted to create a mobile suit powerful enough to overpower the mass-produced OZ-06MS Leo mobile suits.
Piloted by Mobile Suit Gundam Wing main protagonist Heero Yuy, Gundam Wing Zero is a transformable general-purpose mobile suit that’s been designed to be extremely maneuverable.
Its impressive arsenal of firepower includes two machine cannons, two beam sabers, a handheld Twin Buster rifle, and a Wing Shield. It also features the Neo-Bird Mode, a high-speed flight mode for added speed and mobility.
However, what perhaps separates Wing Zero from other mobile suits in the Gundam Wing series is the “Zero System,” a technology that interfaces the pilot’s brain to the mobile suit computer, decreasing reaction times and allowing the pilot to achieve total victory.
14 Weakest: Tequila Gundam
Representing space colony Neo Mexico, Tequila Gundam-- renamed Spike Gundam in the English dub version of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, for obvious reasons-- was an amphibious mobile fighter suit specifically designed for underwater combat. Piloted by Chico Rodriguez, Tequila Gundam was equipped with a Vulcan Gun and Beam Trident.
Its appearance in battle is short-lived as Chico only agrees to be its pilot so that he can escape the Neo Mexico space colony with his terminally ill sister, as her dying wish is to spend her last days near Earth’s oceans.
To escape from the Neo Mexico space colony, pilot Domon Kasshu and his Shining Gundam battle Tequila Gundam, nearly destroying the mobile suit, but giving Chico the escape plan he needs to live with his sister.
While there are now design flaws in Tequila Gundam, there are also some glaring stereotypes visible from its design. After all, it is a sombrero-wearing, mustached mobile suit.
13 Strongest: God Gundam
As the successor of Shining Gundam during the 13th Gundam Fight, the God Gundam is a powerful mobile fighter with a well-balanced arsenal. Piloted by Shining Gundam’s pilot, Domon Kasshu, the God Gundam has four head mounted cannons and two tri-barreled machine cannons mounted on its shoulders for devastating long distance combat.
For close range battles, the God Gundam is equipped with two beam swords and its God Slashers-- two short range spurs hidden in both forearms. Beyond the mobile suit’s traditional armament, the God Gundam also has numerous special attacks, including the all-powerful Bakunetsu God Finger. A special move that’s an upgraded version of Shining Gundam’s Shining Finger move, God Finger allows God Gundam to plunge its hand into an enemy mobile suit, discharging its power to explode its enemy.
To further enhance its abilities in the 13th Gundam Fight Finals, God Gundam also employs Hyper Mode, a mode that changes God Gundam into a high-performance mobile suit. Hyper Mode is powered by the pilot’s emotions, so the more powerful emotional charge there is, the stronger God Gundam becomes.
12 Weakest: Guncannon
While the RX-77-2 Guncannon is an improvement from its prototype, the RX-77-1A Guncannon A, the Guncannon nonetheless was considered a very poor performing mobile suit. As one of the original Gundam suits, the Guncannon was built off of the data from the RXM-1 prototype bipedal robot.
Favoring heavy armor over mobility, the Guncannon model suffers terrible losses against Gundam suits capable of firing beam weapons or powerful conventional weapons, such as the Giant Bazooka.
Its armaments does not come with melee weapons, which means that once an enemy Gundam gets too close, it has no means of protecting itself. Additionally, its poor mobility makes it defenseless at such close proximity.
Its main cannon-- the 240mm cannons-- only hold twenty rounds per cannon which means that, during battles, the pilot has to conserve its ammunition and use it wisely, making winning battles a difficult uphill battle.
11 Strongest: Freedom Gundam
Reversed engineered from four Alliance’s prototype Gundams, Freedom Gundam is a mobile fighter with unprecedented firepower.
Offensively, Freedom Gundam is armed with the standard Gundam weaponry. However, what makes Freedom Gundam stand out from other mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, is its beam cannons, beam sabers, a beam rifle, and rail guns capable of devastating its enemies.
The Freedom Gundam also comes equipped with an advanced targeting system, the Multi Lock-On System, that gives it the capabilities of targeting and firing at multiple enemy units at once. Additionally, it features the Phase Shift Armor, a defensive armor system that protects the Gundam from all forms of physical attacks.
Its mobility is enhanced by full flight capabilities and wings capable of deploying the High Mobility Aerial Tactics Mode, enhancing its mobility in atmospheric and space battles. As it has such an extensive loadout, the Freedom Gundam is often nicknamed the “Mobile Suit Killer.”
10 Weakest: Fuunsaiki
One of the strangest Gundam suits to ever be deployed on the battlefield, Fuunsaiki is a support mobile suit that resembles a robotic unicorn. What makes Fuunsaiki a rather unique Gundam is tha,t instead of a human piloting this mobile suit, its pilot is an actual horse. In fact, its Master Asia’s trusted steed, Fuunsaiki, that pilot’s this support Gundam.
Appearing alongside the God Gundam in the 13th Gundam Fight Finals, Fuunsaiki has very limited offensive capabilities, equipped only with a unicorn horn to spear combatants who get too close to its mobile suit rider.
Meant to support the mobile fighter that rides it, Fuunsaiki is used primarily as a mode of transportation. Built to enhance a mobile fighter’s aerial capabilities, Fuunsaiki can transform into its Pedestal Mode which gives its Gundam fighter unprecedented movement through space.
It is used by Master Asia during the 13th Gundam Fight Finals and again by Domon Kasshu after Master Asia’s death in the 13th Gundam Fight.
9 Strongest: RX-78GP02A Gundam 'Physalis'
Developed as part of the military design program, the Gundam Development Project, RX-78GP02A Gundam “Physalis” is one of the four mobile suits built for the Earth Federation, until it was stolen and piloted by Anavel Gato, ace pilot of the Delaz Fleet.
Upon hearing that the Zeon remnants are developing mobile suits capable of nuclear capabilities, Earth Federation build the “Physalis” Gundam as a nuclear deterrent. Equipped with a nuclear warhead, the atomic bazooka, this prototype assault mobile suit also is also armed with the standard head-mounted Vulcan gun armaments and two torso-mounted beam sabers.
Unlike the Guncannon, Gundam “Physalis” carefully balances maneuverability with strong armor capabilities. As a countermeasure to nuclear capable mobile suits, the “Physalis” Gundam carries extensive heat and radiation shielding, allowing it to withstand immense nuclear blasts.
8 Weakest: Zogok
As a prototype of an amphibious mobile suit, the Zogok is perhaps one of the most ill-conceived Gundam suits in the history of the Gundam franchise. Developed as a specialized mobile suit to aid in the assault of Earth Federation’s underground military headquarters located along the Amazon river, the Zogok is a close quarters combat mobile suit armed only with ten boomerang cutter blades and an extendable telescopic arm.
While Zogok’s Extendable Hand is the perfect weapon for close quarter combat-- capable of crushing through most armor thanks to its sheer power-- the boomerang cutter blades raises design questions.
Launched at high-velocity, the boomerang-shaped cutter blades raise questions in regards to the Gundam’s design. Namely, why would an underwater amphibious close quarter mobile suit be equipped with such a poorly devised weapon.
7 Strongest: Zeta Gundam
Featuring a sleeker aesthetic than the commonly-placed blocky facade, the Zeta Gundam was noted for its aerodynamic feel, allowing it to traverse through the battlefields faster than its contemporaries. The titular mobile suit of the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series, the Zeta Gundam has had numerous variants created, as well as numerous pilots.
The Zeta Gundam is armed to the teeth with armor-crushing armament. Alongside the preferred weapons of choice, the Zeta Gundam is also fully stocked with additional weaponry and special equipment such as a beam rifle, an arm-mounted shield, and sealant launchers, a support device used to seal ruptures in spacecrafts and space colonies.
It also comes equipped with a rudimentary version of the Psycommu system, the Bio-Sensor. Similar to Wing Zero’s Zero System, the Bio-Sensor allows its pilot to interface with the computer system to amplify the mobile suit’s power, speed, and strength.
6 Weakest: Big Zam
Featured in the original Gundam series, the Big Zam is a departure from most Gundam suits in that its massive oblong body shape is supported purely by two mechanical legs, and no arms whatsoever. A towering mobile suit, the Big Zam is 60 meters tall and weighs nearly 2000 tons when fully-loaded.
Similar to the mechanical AT-STs in the Star Wars universe, the biggest flaw design of the Big Zam is its massive size and poor mobility.
While its combat capabilities are impressive, a forward-mounted mega particle gun supported by twenty eight smaller particle guns for 360 degrees of fire, along with air-to-air missiles disguised as the claws attached to the feet, a behemoth of this size required immense power.
Powered by four large power plants, the Big Zam is only capable of fighting for twenty minutes in battle before overheating.
5 Strongest: ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam
Successor to the ever-powerful Freedom Gundam, the Strike Freedom Gundam was built with a specific pilot in mind, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED’s main protagonist: Kira Yamato.
Tuned to meet Kira’s sharp senses and ability to adapt to the combat situation, the Strike Freedom Gundam’s design focuses heavily on mobility rather than armor strength. As Kira is rarely hit while he pilots the mobile suit, its mobile capabilities are supported by long range weaponry.
This included impressive armaments ,such as a head-mounted CWIS, rail cannons, and a multi-phase cannon beam. In order to achieve the mobile needs that Kira requires to successfully pilot the Strike Freedom, the Gundam suit features a unique armor-splitting system to improve its movement range at the joints.
Like the Freedom Gundam, Strike Freedom also employs a variant of the Phase Shift Armor, which overcomes the mobile suit’s defensive fragility while giving it near-human flexibility when the Phase Shift Armor is deployed.
4 Weakest: Mermaid Gundam
Built as the ultimate underwater mobile fighter, the Mermaid Gundam represented Neo Denmark during the 13th Gundam Fight. Piloted by Hans Holger, the Mermaid Gundam is one of the most unique looking Gundam suits ever, as it appears to be a Gundam wearing a giant mechanical fish suit.
While the Mermaid Gundam is the ultimate underwater warrior, on land its fish-themed armor is a cumbersome mobile suit, equipped only with a beam net and trident. Once it enters the waterways though, the Mermaid Gundam is a force of nature, transforming into its streamlined Fisherman Mode capable of carrying out high-speed attacks on submerged opponents.
Although the Mermaid Gundam is all but invincible in the water, Neo Denmark exhausted all its resources and budget on creating this perfect aquatic killing machine, meaning that Neo Denmark is incapable of carrying out costly repairs on Mermaid Gundam.
This limitation hinders pilot Hans Holger's fighting abilities, lending to his loss against Neo China’s Dragon Gundam in the Finals.
3 Strongest: Gundam Epyon
The close range companion to Gundam Wing Zero, Gundam Epyon was designed for one purpose: close quarter combat. While both Gundams are piloted by Heero Yuy during Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Gundam Epyon is later piloted by Zechs Merquise, Heero Yuy’s rival in the series.
Devoid of nearly all long range weaponry-- save for two head-mounted Vulcan guns-- Epyon is equipped with devastating close quarter weapons. It has a beam sword that’s connected to the mobile suit’s power source, giving it considerable strength and power against traditional beam swords, the Epyon Claws, mounted to the suit’s forearms, and a Heat Rod, a heated segmented whip-like chain capable of cutting through mobile suits.
The Epyon can also transform into its Dragon Mode, a mobile armor mode that allows it to travel in high-velocity flights, though in this form, its offensive capabilities are limited to the Epyon Claws.
2 Weakest: Guntank II
While the Guntank II is hotly debated among fans as to whether or not its a “true” Gundam suit, the Guntank II deserves a spot on this list since it is one of the first Gundam suits to be mass-produced, especially following the One Year War.
The long range cousin of the Guncannon, the Guntank II is more of a mobile tank than a mobile suit, featuring a pair of recoilless 120mm cannons mounted on its head. It also comes equipped with a several missile and rocket launchers, and an 80mm machine gun as a defensive anti-infantry weapon.
As a vehicle built purely for ground combat, the Guntank’s limited mobility and battle capabilities means that its usefulness is best served during Earth conflicts.
As Gundam suits evolved to be able to perform and maneuver during aerial combat, the Guntank was equipped with a smoke discharger, giving it evasive capabilities which made target acquisition difficult. Once mobile suits developed the technology for beam weapon technology, the Guntank II became obsolete, forcing its design to be retired.
1 Strongest: Gundam Deathscythe Hell
Designed to represent the god of death, Deathscythe Hell is the reconstructed and updated variant of Gundam Deathscythe following its destruction at the hands of OZ, the military wing of the archaic organization Romefeller Foundation.
Updated in every way, Deathscythe Hell was upgraded to be a better mobile suit in space combat. While it specializes in stealth and close combat, Deathscythe Hell is also equipped with two Vulcan cannons for limited long range capabilities.
Stealth is the operative word for Deathscythe Hell, and pilot Duo Maxwell exploits Deathscythe Hell’s offensive and defensive capabilities to their maximum ability, using the Gundam’s enhanced hyper jammers and cloaking ability to sneak in close to enemies before cutting down them down with the updated beam scythe.
Upgraded from the original, the new beam scythe features a second beam blade equipped with a small rocket engine on the end increasing the power of the scythe’s swing. This allows Deathscythe Hell to cut through multiple enemies with ease.
Do you disagree? Which Gundam suit is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section.