Before we rush to judgment and say that Goku is the strongest saiyan in the DBZ Universe, we have to consider the many mitigating factors in the franchise. For instance, Vegeta is the prince of Saiyans, Broly is a Legendary Super Saiyan, and Raditz wouldn’t have even be defeated had it not been for Piccolo’s help.
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Therefore, we should state our criteria carefully. Firstly, this will only include Saiyans from Universe 7, so no Saiyan introduced in Dragon Ball Super will be included. Furthermore, we’ll put aside any fusion Saiyans, such as Gotenks and Gogeta, because that just doesn’t seem fair. The list will focus on strength, transformation ability, and ultimately the person’s potential. Also, if the person is dead, we will be considering their powers up until the moment of their death to avoid forming any hypothesis on what would have happened had the individual survived. Now that we know what our ranking will be based on, let’s get started.
The older brother of Goku, Raditz was clearly at a higher power level than Goku at the time of their fight. But, it is important to remember that when Gohan got angry, he had a power level that was higher than that of Raditz. Therefore, Raditz’s power level cannot be the highest considering that he took a shot from a kid Gohan and was critically injured from it. He may have had a lot of potential considering that he is Goku’s brother, but he was killed by Piccolo so we will never know what could have happened.
He had a very short-lived time in the Dragon Ball universe. After encountering a spirit bomb, it was quickly over for his life. But, it did not stop him from defeating all of the Z fighters.
The father of Goku and Raditz, Bardock was a very powerful Saiyan. He is a powerful leader in Frieza’s army, so much so that Frieza secretly desired to kill him. When he gets injured in Bardock — The Father of Goku, the doctors reveal that his power level can surpass that of King Vegeta. He is a warrior through and through. Sadly, he is easily killed by Frieza and thus, deserving of the #7 ranking on this list.
Goten is abnormally strong for his age and small stature. He is light years ahead of where Goku was when he was the same age in the first Dragon Ball saga. He is the youngest person to ever become a Super Saiyan, a title that was previously held by his older brother, Gohan. Following the death of Goku, Chi Chi was really adamant about training Goten while she left Gohan to focus on his studies. Goten turned Super Saiyan on a whim, following a fighting match with his mother. It took years of training and the death of Krillin for Goku to even become angry enough to become a Super Saiyan, but Goten is able to turn it off and on at his disposal.
Trunks is one year older than Goten and is only slightly more powerful than him. But, it is shown that Trunks retains a power level greater than that of Goten for a while. He has to power down to Goten’s level in order to perform the fusion dance to create Gotenks. He also beat Goten in the world martial arts tournament, albeit, in a kind of shady way. We see what becomes of Trunks in the future and he is obviously bad-ass, defeating King Cold and Mecha Frieza with a couple slashes of his sword.
Gohan had the potential to surpass his father, seeing how he was able to go Super Saiyan 2 before Goku could, but he let his mother’s influence get the best of him. He started doing that Great Saiyaman mess, and his hype died down. But, his potential is what keeps him towards the top of the list. He is the person who had the ability to beat Cell when nobody else could. He was able to go step-for-step with Super Buu until a piece of Buu snuck up on Gohan and absorbed him. He still remains one of the most powerful Saiyans of all time however. He trained both Trunks and Goten and ultimately sired Pan … even though we don’t like to talk about GT.
If Broly did not die, then he probably would be number one on this list. Broly is the Legendary Super Saiyan. He made Goku and Vegeta look like child’s play and is without a shadow of a doubt the strongest Saiyan in terms of raw power. Sadly, we were unable to see what he would have become had he not been killed. Goku was only able to beat him because he had to take energy from everybody else. Had that not been the case, we would all be doing Broly vs. Superman comparisons instead of Goku vs. Superman comparisons.
The prince of all Saiyans, Vegeta is a very strong saiyan. Sometimes he gets ahead of himself and gets beat up in the process because of it, but he trained extremely hard to get to where he is. He is only one of two Saiyans who are able to go Super Saiyan God, the other being Goku. If he wasn’t always trying to catch up to Goku, then this will be a different story. But, imagine if he went Majin Super Saiyan God? The man would be unstoppable. But, since that is not happening, the only award that Vegeta will be receiving is for the worst hairline in Dragon Ball.
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Come on? Did you really see this going any other way? He has saved the world on multiple occasions, sired two very powerful Saiyans, brought people back to life, and was the first to go Super Saiyan God. The man is resilient. This isn’t even be a debate.