With the release of the new Power Rangers movie, hype for the Rangers is at an all-time high-- and much of the marketing for the movie has focused on Zords. These giant mechs were a large part of what makes the show so successful even to this day. At the end of most episodes, the show's villain uses their powers to make their monster of the week grow to massive proportions. The Rangers then call on their mighty Zords to fight the creature. In the earlier seasons the Zords themselves didn't see a ton of action. Instead, they would show up and quickly morph into the Megazord.
The Rangers' Zords changed with almost every single season, meaning that there have been an unimaginable number of Zords over the years. We're here to set the record straight on which ones are the best in the show's twenty-four year history. Before we begin, we're going to set some ground rules: We are ranking these by season and taking every single Zord into account. So, for example, something as cool as the Dragon Zord would offset something like the C Zords, but the result would put the season as a whole somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Here are The Zords Of Every Season, Ranked Worst To Best.
There really wasn't much good that came out of Power Rangers Turbo. After the successful season of Zeo, the show decided to go with an adaption of Super Sentai's tenth anniversary season Kousoku Sentai Turboranger; which was more satirical and comical in nature, often poking fun at the tropes of Sentai. The Power Rangers series was silly and campy, but it always took itself seriously for the most part. The juxtaposition of the "serious" plot of Turbo and the ridiculous footage of Turboranger made for what many consider the worst series of the Zordon Era (if not the entire series altogether).
The Zords of Turbo don't inspire much confidence, either. Unlike previous seasons, in which they were based on dinosaurs and mythical creatures, the Turbo Zords were cars. And not even the "cool, modified" kind either; the Turbo Zords were just single-colored vehicles with no real design features.
Then there's the footage they use... In the Turbo movie it looks okay because they created completely new scenes. In the show, however, the Zords get in on some fast-pace racing action quite often. However, the plots and villains were completely different from the Sentai counterpart, which means that the footage is edited so heavily that you can't even tell what is going on half the time they're on screen.
Power Rangers SPD is often considered the crowning achievement of the Disney Era of Power Rangers. It followed the spectacular Dino Thunder, building upon what made the franchise successful while also adding new elements to the show's lore. This incarnation of the series followed the Power Rangers of Space Patrol Delta, and intergalactic police force that protected the known universe from the forces of evil. After the A-Squad (the elite members of the team) go missing, it's up to the B-Squad to step up and save the galaxy.
Sadly the Zords of Power Rangers S.P.D. leave much to be desired. As was to be expected, the SPD Rangers' vehicles were based on your typical rescue vehicles. This was far from the first time the Power Rangers had Zords that were rescue vehicles and far from the first time they had normal vehicles. Look, we get it; vehicles are always popular with kids. But the designs of the S.P.D. Zords just look so... uninspired. There are two different armored cars, a buggy, a gyro-copter, and a semi truck. The copter is pretty badass, but the rest of these things look like they came straight out of a McDonald's happy meal.
You may or may not know that season three of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers used most of its Zord and Megazord footage from a completely different season of Super Sentai. Then, when the showrunners felt it was time to transition to the Zeo powers, they finally used the actual costumes from the "Ninja" season of Sentai in the miniseries known as Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers.
Because Saban had already utilized the Megazord footage from this Sentai season, the Zords in MMAR are just reskins of the old Rangers' Zords. The Alien Rangers pilot the Battle Borgs, a group of robots who look humanoid and don't even possess the ability to form together as a Megazord. Actually "pilot" is too strong of a word - the Alien Rangers controlled the Battle Borgs via a mental link to the machine. To top this off, they also use the Shogunzords that were utilized by the original Power Rangers.
These Zords aren't necessarily hard on the eyes, but the fact that they cannot form a Megazord makes them one of the worst groups of the series.
We absolutely hate that Time Force is so far down this list. It's arguably the best season of the entire series with sympathetic villains, amazing costume designs, and one of the best teams of the show. Plus, it had Jen Scotts, the only Pink Ranger to ever lead a team of Rangers! Even the concept of the show was original: A futuristic police force from the year 3000 chases a time-traveling villain back to 2001 after he had (seemingly) killed one of their own. In the past they discover that their morphers won't work without their fallen comrade's, so they hunt down his ancestor and make him join the team.
Just about everything about Power Rangers Time Force, except the Zords. Unfortunately, we've had to talk about this before. The Time Flyers are the epitome of lameness in a series that fully embraces its more ridiculous aspects. First off, they really don't have much variety; they come in different shapes, but there's no character to these Zords at all. The only reason that this entry didn't come in dead last on our list is because of the Q-Rex, a giant silver and red dinosaur with cannons on its back that is piloted by the team's sixth Ranger. Good save, Time Force, good save.
Oh Megaforce and Super Megaforce...what could have been. These were the twentieth and twenty-first seasons of the show and acted as the "anniversary seasons" of Power Rangers. In Super Megaforce the Rangers were given the power to use "legendary Ranger keys" to gain the abilities of past Power Rangers. In the finale of the show, every single past Ranger returned to aid the Megaforce team in the fight against the Alien Armada. Despite the perfect opportunity to celebrate the franchises' history, Megaforce and Super Megaforce felt gimmicky and stale.
The Zords of the two series didn't help much. Megaforce had Zords that were a hybrid of animal and vehicle. The Zords of Super Megaforce, though, were uninspired. Oh look, it's a jet... with a pirate hat. It's a semi truck! Oh, wait... it's a treasure chest? It never made sense that the "anniversary season" of Power Rangers used a pirate theme, and the Super Megaforce Zords only added to the confusion.
Power Rangers in Space continued the story that had been going since the first season of MMPR, culminating in the finale of the the Zordon Era with the episode "Countdown to Destruction." Picking up directly where Turbo left off, PR in Space followed the remaining Turbo Rangers as they journeyed to space in search of Zordon and are picked up by Andros, the red Space Ranger. They join forces and spend the rest of the show fighting off Astronema's monsters, hunting down Zordon, and meeting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (seriously).
After seasons in which the Zords were dinos, mythical creatures, animals, and road vehicles, "space ships" were the obvious next direction for the Power Rangers franchise to go. Much like the Turbo Zords, the ones from In Space are only seen in quick flashes thanks to the original footage. The Power Rangers' spaceship and shuttle act as the Megazord's main components, rendering their individual Zords basically obsolete - only used when the Rangers needed their secondary Megazord. Just the sheer lack of Zords places Power Rangers in Space halfway down our list.
Power Rangers Zeo reinvigorated the franchise after the third season of MMPR (and Alien Rangers) began to see a sharp decline in ratings. Zeo gave the team completely new costumes and Zords as well as introduced a new, even more powerful enemy for them to fight in the Machine Empire. Tommy was finally given the role of the Red Ranger (aka the normal team leader) and the show got back to what made the first two seasons great.
The Zords featured in Zeo fall on either side of the spectrum. For starters, they didn't even have individual names; they just went by Zeo Zord I to Zeo Zord V. A couple of these are really cool! The Phoenix, Sphinx, and Taurus Zords look amazing. But then there's Zeo Zords I and II, aka some of the most confusingly designed Zords in Power Rangers history.
Both of these things were made to represent ancient artifacts of the Moai (Easter Island Head) and the Dogu (a Japanese carved figure that is said to have spiritual significance), but there's no way you could tell that just by looking at them! Besides, this came out in the pre-internet age:.How would people have known what these things were?
Then there's Pyramidas, which is an awesome idea in concept, but came off looking like a deformed graham cracker.
What if Power Rangers, Cars, and Tomb Raider had a baby? The result would be Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. This season saw the Rangers scouring the globe in search of artifacts of great power before their enemy can get them. Despite this overhaul of the formula, the Rangers often still found themselves fighting their enemy in a mountainous valley whenever the Megazord was called upon.
While we like to point out just how lame the Zord in Turbo and SPD are for being plain vehicles, the ones in Operation Overdrive completely fix any issues previous vehicular Zords had. All of the vehicles in this series have both practical and tactical operations; the Dump Driver could utilize its bed to trap enemies in a vice, while the Gyro Driver can drop water on forest fires but also is equipped with missiles. The Overdrive Zords are extremely well designed, to boot, proving once and for all that you can make a simple idea and make it work in a complex way.
Power Rangers RPM was supposed to be the final season of the show, as Disney was tired of making the series. Despite their desire to cancel after Jungle Fury, they were convinced to give Power Rangers one final season; RPM was set in a dystopian future where a computer virus enslaved and wiped out most of humanity. The Rangers of this season were the last thing standing between the human race and total annihilation. It was actually one of the show's better seasons, with dark undertones and deep characters that never took away from the campiness and heart that the franchise is known for.
This entry goes against everything we believe about awesome Zord design. The Zords of RPM completely clash the tone of the season, with the showrunner even candidly blurting out expletives when he was first shown the Sentai footage he had to adapt!
We've stated before that we don't like the "toy-looking" Zords or ones that are based on useless vehicles... but dangit, these things are just too adorable not to love! Kids love cars. Kids love animals. What could they love more than animal-based vehicles? Unlike some of the other attempts at this concept, these Zords are a little more subtle about their animalistic design... Minus those eyes that are so ridiculous that even the Power Rangers themselves can't help but acknowledge it.
As the most recent series to be completed, Dino Charge and Dino Super Charge revived the idea that each season of Power Rangers was its own self-contained story. After the insanely meta season of Super Megaforce, Dino Charge ended on a note that left some fans scratching their heads and confirmed that it was set in its own universe: Sledge (the season's villain) was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Now that he was defeated, the Rangers discover that they've altered history and that the dinosaurs still exist in modern times. So why are there no dinosaurs in Ninja Steel? Are they going to explain this in the inevitable crossover episode?
Anyway, the Zords of these two seasons are pretty standard dinosaur robots. You can never go wrong with dinos! That said, these Zords are the lowest-ranked of their kind because they look like they're made out of cheap plastic. We know that nowadays the Zords and Megazord are made with CGI (rather than models or a guy in a suit), but that doesn't excuse the cheap look of the Dino Charge robots. They look like they were created with the toys in mind first, and the idea that they were giant battle robots second. Still, we can't dock them too much - they're freaking dinosaurs!
Oh Jungle Fury... such a cool idea lost to poor circumstances. We won't beat around the bush here: Jungle Fury was one of the weaker entries in the show. It had the worst costume design (why do the rangers look like Indy Car drivers?) and occurred during the infamous writer's strike. This meant that two different sets of writers worked on the season, and it's painfully obvious. Jungle Fury had an overarching theme about spiritualist connections to nature; there were no "Zords" in this season but rather "Spirit Animals."
The Spirit Animals are incredible (for the most part). The Rhino, Elephant, Lion, and Bat Spirit Animals are some of the coolest-looking Zords in the entire show. However, we can't put this one higher simply because the "core" Spirit Animals of the Tiger, Jaguar, and Cheetah, all look similar (the Cheetah and Jaguar are near identical). Also, the Chameleon and Penguin Spirit Animals are ridiculously lame in both design and function.
People may be the most familiar with the Zordon Era of Power Rangers, but Power Rangers Lost Galaxy is often in the mix when you ask somebody what their favorite season of the show is. This was the first of the "self-contained" seasons, taking place after Power Rangers In Space but with a completely new story and set of characters.
It was also the first season to show a Power Ranger die in the line of duty (something that wasn't going to leave our young minds anytime soon). If that wasn't enough, it had the Quasar Sabers and the Galactabeasts. Just the sheer awesomeness of the names for these two items are enough to get you pumped up for the show!
The Galactabeasts started out as just giant animals who are saved by the team of Power Rangers early on in the show. However, after they are turned to stone by one of the season's monsters they get revived as the Galactazords, powerful robots that still retain the appearance and personalities of their animal selves. The Galactabeasts encompass everything we love about the early Power Rangers seasons; they have a goofy, overly-complex design but still show off that air of power that so many of the early Zords had. Plus they all look like they've come straight out of a Godzilla movie.
Currently in its twenty-fourth season, the Power Rangers franchise shows no signs of stopping. The plans for the sequel to its current season, Ninja Steel, has already been announced. However, it hasn't been yet decided if the sequel will follow the Samurai/Dino Charge route (with the same costumes and Zords rolled over) or if it's going to go the Megaforce/Super Megaforce route and include all new costumes and powers. Hopefully it will be the former, as all the elements of Ninja Steel so far are a great fit for Power Rangers.
Upon first glance the Ninja Steel Zords look like a complete mashup of ideas without rhyme or reason. What on earth do a dump truck, a train, a white dog, a dragon, and a giant ninja have in common? Nothing at all.
If that wasn't enough, the Ninja Steel Megazord looks atrocious! Yet, we can't get enough of these Zords. Maybe it's simply because this is the first season that the cheap CGI used by the show has finally caught up to the quality of the original costumes after all these years? Either way, these Zords are sleek, unique, and somehow fit with the tongue-in-cheek elements of the current season.
In this season of the show, the Power Rangers and their Zords were completely man-made. The Rangers were all adults who worked for the organization Lightspeed Rescue. They each primarily acted as first responders until the evil demon Diabolico returned and unleashed his wrath on the world. Lightspeed Rescue then recruited five different civilians to head up their new team of Power Rangers to defend the city from evil using their newly-created powers.
Maybe its somewhat hypocritical to put the Lightspeed Rescue Zords so high on this list after ragging on the other vehicle Zords so much earlier. The thing is, the Lightspeed Rescue Zords actually fit with the tone and theme of the season. The Red Ranger was a firefighter in his earlier life and thus gets to drive a fire truck Zord. Similarly, the Pink Ranger was a medic and is given an ambulance Zord.
The fact that these Zords were all made by human hands makes us a little more forgiving; it's a slightly less ridiculous than an ancient being deciding to create their battle robots out of modern-day vehicles. Also, the Lightspeed Rescue Rangers got double the Zord power! The trains that carried their vehicles into battle also had the ability to morph together and form a new Megazord all their own.
Dino Thunder is often considered one of the best seasons of the show thanks to its amazing villain, the inclusion of Tommy Oliver as the Rangers' mentor, its fun tone, and the constant callbacks to earlier seasons. The show followed a group of three teenagers who stumble across the ancient Dino Gems with their professor, Dr. Oliver. They become the Dino Thunder Rangers and use their power to take on Mesagog, a being hellbent on reverting the earth back to the days of the dinosaurs. Along the way, Tommy is able to suit up once more as the Black Dino Thunder Ranger.
Like we said before, you can never go wrong with dinosaurs. What's so great about the Dino Thunder Zords is that they each had their own special function that was creatively implemented into their design. The T-Rex had a drill for its tail, the Drogozord could use its wings to create powerful gusts of wind, and Cephalazord used its neck pull back and launch its rock hard noggin' as a projectile. The DinoZords also reflected the Power Rangers' costumes in this series, with the same scaly pattern that appears on their respective pilots.
Power Rangers Samurai and its sequel Super Samurai were the first seasons of the Neo-Saban Era of the show. After RPM, when Disney kicked Power Rangers to the curb, Saban saw the opportunity to buy it back and keep the legacy alive. Although the show was your pretty standard Power Rangers series, it was a welcome return to form after some of the worse Disney seasons. Samurai also featured one of the greatest Zord/Megazord combinations in the entire series.
The Zords of this season were called the Folding Zords - and with good reason. Each individual Ranger held their Zord in a small pentagon-shaped disk on their person. When they needed Megazord power, they would set them down on the ground and draw a Japanese symbol over the disk, causing it to grow to a massive size and fold out into whatever creature it was based on.
The fact that it took the show so long to get to these origami-style Zords is a travesty! The coolest thing about the Folding Zords is that, even after they were transformed, they retained their folded paper look rather than taking on the blocky style that most other Zords are known for.
"But wait," you may ask, "Didn't you say you hated the Alien Ranger Zords because they were all humanoid?" Well yes, we did write that. But comparing the Zords from MMAR to the ones used in Mystic Force is a textbook case of comparing apples to oranges. Many people gloss over Mystic Force when they are going through the Disney Era of the show simply because it is lumped in with the sub-par incarnations of the show that are sandwiched between S.P.D. and RPM (which are considered great). Give it a second chance. After all, it finally reveals what happened to the legendary Rita Repulsa after all these years!
The Mystic Zords are great because unlike the Alien Rangers' Zords they actually have some distinct features. Each of these robots is based on some sort of mystical entity, like a mermaid or a fairy or the Taurus - all with their own unique abilities. The fact that they were a bunch of giant humanoids with major variations in design and size adds to the cohesion of the show's theme (rather than something from, say, Ninja Steel) by making them appear to be an extension of the Power Rangers themselves. The Mystic Zords all had individual weapons that matched their legendary creature, as well.
It may not be highly regarded by most fans of the series, but Power Rangers Ninja Storm will always hold a special place in our hearts. It had arguably the funniest villain of the entire series in Lothor and his goons, plus the Rangers' costumes were universally great across the board. But their mentor was a talking hamster, so yeah, there is that...
Say what you will about the plot of Ninja Storm but its Zords are beyond reproach! The core three are fairly standard; you have your falcon, a lion, and a dolphin. They look all fine and dandy, but the real bread and butter of the Ninja Storm season comes from the "sixth Ranger" Zords (or fourth, fifth, and sixth Rangers in this case). The Crimson and Navy Thunder Rangers have two Zords that are based on beetles; despite looking like something straight out of Big Bad Beetleborgs they actually have really ninja-esque design on top of their wheeled beetle appearance. Then there's Cam's Zord, which is a giant green helicopter that has a ninja star for its blade and can turn into a Zord all on its own. Any argument against their awesomeness is invalid.
Go, go, Power Rangers! Sadly for the sake of brevity we had to condense the Zords from all three seasons of MMPR down into a single entry. But what an entry it is! Season one gave us the Dino Zords that could transform into a giant battle tank before turning into the iconic Megazord that we all know an love. Then, season two introduced the Thunder Zords, which were based on mythical creatures and had more screen time than the originals. Finally, season three gave us the Ninja Zords, animals that were somehow supposed to be related to Ninja Powers. No matter what order you put them in, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the best of the best.
The original Zords were so great because of how limited their technology was. None of the individual Zords was ever able to get into a cheesy-looking fight because there was no way to actually make the Saber-Tooth Tiger move like a real cat. The T-Rex was the only original Zord that ever got to fight on its own besides the Dragon Zord.
Oh boy, don't get us started on the Dragon Zord! This was the best of the best and could probably fill up an entire entry by itself! Just look at that picture above. If the T-Rex and the Dragon Zord standing side by side doesn't hype you up then we don't know what will.
Even in later seasons of MMPR we get the awesome White Tiger Zord and Titanus the carrier Zord. Nothing will ever top the Zords of Mighty Morphin'Power Rangers. Well, except maybe...
This may not be a popular opinion, but while the original Zords are iconic, we are considering every Zord from a particular series. The third season of MMPR had some pretty lame Zords that didn't even hold a candle to the ones that came before it. Wild Force, on the other hand, introduced a bunch of new concepts into the Power Rangers lore as far as the giant mechs go, and had universally good designs across the board.
The best thing about Wild Force was that each and every Wild Zord was alive and fully sentient. The Galactabeasts may have been the first sentient Zords in the show, but the ones featured in this season had their own personalities and were treated as though they were real animals. For example, the Power Rangers had to gain the trust of each of these creatures before they could use them; in short, this series introduced the concept of the Ranger-Zord mutual relationship rather than just presenting the robots as tools to be used.
Also, despite being made out of horrible early CGI, the Wild Zords still look pretty damn cool. Each individual Wild Zord could be switched out at will and added a new function to the Megazord, as well. Sorry guys, but the Zords in Wild Force will probably never be topped.
So, what did you think of our list? Should MMPR have been #1? Is your favorite season ranked too low? Let us know in the comments!