In the history of manga and anime, One Piece is more than a successful voyage. The success of One Piece can be attributed to a diverse set of elements, including its characters, world-building, and captivating story. Mangaka Eiichiro Oda has masterfully crafted the story, where each arc contributes significantly to the overarching plot. That’s why One Piece continues to fascinate fans even after two decades. Though you could watch all the One Piece arcs in order, there are some arcs that have exceeded our expectations and stand out as some of the best in the anime series. That said, it’s time to look at the 15 best One Piece arcs to date and see where your favorite arc ranks. So, keep reading to discover the best moments in this epic pirate journey.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about the story and characters of One Piece. We suggest you watch the anime or read the manga first to avoid ruining the intended experience.
1. Marineford War
- Saga: Summit War Saga
- Episodes: 457-489
- Manga Chapters: 550-580
As Homelander from Prime Video’s TV series The Boys says, “I got to tell you, it was perfect. Perfect. Everything, down to the last-minute details.” Well, that was the reaction of the whole One Piece fandom after watching the Marineford War arc. It was indeed the best way to wrap up the first half of One Piece. Also, this arc perfectly laid the ground for the second-half saga.
A 30-chapter rescue mission to save Ace had everything a die-hard Shonen fan could ask for. This is not just the best arc in One Piece but is also considered the greatest arc in anime history, alongside the Chimera Ant Arc from Hunter x Hunter.
After a decade of patiently building out the world and establishing the characters, the Marineford War arc was nothing but the culmination of the first half of One Piece. An all-out war between our favorite characters and the scariest antagonists, followed by the unexpected entry of Shanks to stop the war. There were no Straw Hat Pirates except Luffy seen in this arc, and still, it is considered the best arc by many.
While Luffy showcased his powers, Oyaji Whitebeard was the show-stealer of this arc, as we mentioned in our strongest Devil Fruits article. One Piece peaked in this arc, and thus, it is probably the best one until the Wano Country arc reaches its conclusion in the anime.
2. Wano Country (All Acts)
- Saga: Wano Country Saga
- Episodes: 890-894, 897-906, 908-1028, 1031-ongoing
- Manga Chapters: 909-1057
The Wano Country arc is the latest arc currently ongoing in the anime, but it recently ended in the manga. Beating the Dressroga saga, it earned the longest saga title with 148 chapters and 140+ episodes. The Wano Country arc was divided into several acts and was perfectly set up in the right order to elevate the further acts.
The story takes place in an ancient Japanese setting involving samurais. Thus, the art style of the anime was especially changed to suit the whole mood of this arc. As this story arc has ended in the manga, we believe it has the potential to become the best arc in One Piece beating the Marineford arc.
This arc featured the untold story of the Wano Country. Here, the Straw Hat Pirates helped the samurai by planning a raid and executing it on Onigashima (currently airing in the anime). Furthermore, it also featured the beautiful backstories of Oden with Roger and Whitebeard. The life of Oden was a spectacular tale, and it was amazingly connected with the main stories of One Piece.
More importantly, each member of the Straw Hat Pirates went against a formidable opponent and emerged victorious, giving us a chance to witness their growth. Also, Law and Kid stole the show with their magnificent powers. Finally, we know that Luffy’s gear five will be animated soon, and well, that’s going to break the internet. But right now, the Wano Country arc ranks second on our list.
3. Egghead Arc
- Saga: Final Saga
- Episodes: 1079 – Ongoing
- Manga Chapters: 1058 – Ongoing
For One Piece manga readers, you know why we have ranked the Egghead arc in the top three. But for anime-only fans, this might be huge news. Yes, after the legendary Wano Country arc, we are getting another major contender for the best arc in One Piece. The Egghead arc is full of action, we have got some of the best battles we have seen in One Piece such as Shanks vs Kid, Garp vs Blackbeard Pirates, and more. And this doesn’t stop, as we even get to see Luffy take on Rob Lucci as well as one of the most powerful admirals, Kizaru.
Apart from that, it has surprisingly also revealed some of the fans’ most unanswered questions about Void Century, the Nefertari Family, and major theories. So, One Piece anime fans, get ready to experience two amazing arcs back to back. As for manga readers, the Egghead arc is reaching its conclusion, so let’s see if the ending can bump up this arc to the top of the list.
4. Enies Lobby Arc
- Saga: Water 7 Saga
- Episodes: 264-290, 293-302, 304-312
- Manga Chapters: 375-430
Before Wano and Marineford, the Enies Lobby arc was considered one of the top arcs in One Piece. The Water 7 arc, which came before it, acted as the first act and laid the foundation for the Enies Lobby arc in an intriguing manner. As a result, the hype for this arc was sky-high, and it truly lived up to and even far exceeded the fan expectations. This arc showed us how each Straw Hats member cared for their nakama (crewmate) and the lengths they would go to save them. It also sheds light on the Ohara country and its people, where we learned about the Void century for the first time.
This was the first time Straw Hats went on a rampage against one of the important strongholds of the World Government. The scene where Usopp, no! Soge King sets the World Government’s flag on fire is one of the iconic scenes and will forever live in the minds of One Piece fans rent-free. They openly declared war against the World Government to save their friend and succeeded in the mission. As if Straw Hats going against the CP9 members wasn’t incredible enough, the arc concluded with a mighty fight between Luffy and Rob Lucci.
5. Whole Cake Island
- Saga: Whole Cake Island Saga
- Episodes: 783-877
- Manga Chapters: 825-902
One arc after another, the Straw Hats reach a strange island and end up having the best adventure of their lives. But this time, they invade the home turf of Big Mom, one of the Emperors of the sea, to rescue Sanji. This became one of the best arcs and was celebrated among One Piece fans. It was a thrilling ride to witness the Straw Hat Pirates go against Big Mom, and Soul King Brook emerged as the MVP of this arc in an unexpected way.
The Whole Cake Island arc included many surprising moments such as the Luffy vs Sanji fight, stealing a copy of the poneglyph, and Sanji’s backstory. While we thought Sanji’s backstory was completed in the Baratie arc, Oda surprised us with more information on this childhood. The final act included Luffy vs. Katakuri and the crew escaping Big Mom’s wrath after they ruined Sanji’s wedding to her daughter Charlotte Pudding (one of the popular female characters in One Piece). This arc was absolutely fun and riveting to watch.
6. Arlong Park
- Saga: East Blue Saga
- Episodes: 31-44
- Manga Chapters: 69-95
If there was one scene that had fans glued to their screens, it was the iconic Arlong Park Walk scene in One Piece. This was the first scene where One Piece peaked with the Straw Hats and showed the real nature of the show. This arc had a great story about Nami trying to buy her village back from Arlong, along with the tragic past of her mother getting killed by the Arlong Pirates. In the end, as usual, the Straw Hat Pirates came to the rescue! The Arlong Park arc featured crazy good fights to earn back Nami and her village.
To this day, many have claimed that Arlong Park is the arc that made them heavily invested in the show. While One Piece was all about fun and tomfoolery, this arc was the real deal. One Piece gained an enormous fan following thanks to this arc.
7. Sabaody Archipelago
- Saga: Summit War Saga
- Episodes: 385-405
- Manga Chapters: 490-513
The Sabaody Archipelago arc only had 20 episodes, yet it impressed the fans within such a short span and storyline. The dark king Silvers Rayleigh made his entry in this very arc, and there were lots of revelations throughout the arc. The parallels between Roger and Luffy and Shanks mentioning Luffy to Rayleigh were all so wholesome to watch. But it had one of the, if not the most satisfying moments in the One Piece series, which is Luffy punching the Celestial Dragon. Well, that scene was impeccable and captivated fans, making this one of the best arcs in One Piece.
Apart from these moments, the Straw Hats struggling against the Pacifista and getting sent to different places as they couldn’t do anything was the high point of this arc. That showed the difference in power levels in One Piece and made the crew realize they needed to become a lot stronger. The Sabaody Archipelago arc served as a turning point in the show.
- Saga: Dressrosa Saga
- Episodes: 629-746
- Manga Chapters: 700-801
Before the Wano arc, the Dressrosa arc was considered the longest arc in the show. Although the pacing was slow, the elements of this arc totally made the fans overlook that fact. Here, the Straw Hats were against Doflamingo, who had a tyrannical rule on Dressrosa Island. As fun and colorful as it seemed at the beginning, the story of this arc was pretty grim, as we saw humans being brainwashed and turned into toy slaves.
The Straw Hats, along with Law, were totally spectacular in their individual battles. Moreover, this arc also marked the beginning of God Usopp. Luffy’s fight against Doflamingo was on another level as well. Fujitora’s heartfelt message of his impression of Luffy, along with the Straw Hat becoming a Straw Hat grand fleet, was worth the lengthy plotline. This arc was thoroughly impressive from the start to the end. And with Sabo’s reintroduction, it became one of the best arcs in One Piece.
9. Water 7
- Saga: Water 7 Saga
- Episodes: 229-263
- Manga Chapters: 322-374
The Water 7 arc was a smooth ride on the water-based island. It introduced us to plenty of new characters, and as we mentioned earlier, it flawlessly set the plot for the Enies Lobby arc in One Piece. The moment that impressed fans the most in this arc was when Usopp stood up for Going Merry, which caused a rupture between him and Luffy. This resulted in the gut-wrenching Luffy vs. Usopp fight, and it was heartbreaking in the end.
Moreover, the arc had a magnificent story with the CP9 members disguising themselves as shipwright workers and kidnapping Nico Robin at the end. What started as a fun arc turned pretty serious and will always be recalled by fans for its fights and plotline.
10. Zou Arc
- Saga: Whole Cake Island Saga
- Episodes: 751-779
- Manga Chapters: 802-824
Though the Zou arc is a mini-arc, it left a huge impression on One Piece fans with its limited screen time. The fact that an island is located on top of a giant moving elephant sure sounded pretty crazy, and the creativity of author Oda was unleashed there. Again, there were plenty of new characters introduced here with fresh character designs. Plus, the main story connected with the Wano country arc brilliantly.
The loyalty of the Mink tribe when Jack of the Beast Pirates questioned them and the whole nation lying to save their friend was a top-tier plot twist in the show. Moreover, the facts about Road Poneglyphs and Oden were established clearly, only adding to the hype for the Wano arc back then. It was a short arc, yet it gave us tons of information with an amazing plot. So undoubtedly, Zou deserves a spot on our list of best arcs in One Piece.
- Saga: Arabasta Saga
- Episodes: 92-130
- Manga Chapters: 155-217
The Arabasta arc was the first big arc we encountered in One Piece, and it was worth every minute. Following the events of Whiskey Peak and Drum Island Kingdom arc, the Straw Hat Pirates visited the Arabasta Kingdom to help Vivi save her country from the evil rule of Crocodile. It was also the first arc where we met Ace, and this made it even more memorable. The arc had a great story with amazing fights and a beautiful ending to wrap it up.
Each Straw Hat member was fighting against daunting opponents and there was an all-out war in the country, so it was difficult to find out what would happen in the end. On the other hand, Crocodile was a formidable villain who made Luffy taste bittersweet defeat twice, which allowed Luffy to develop and take him out in their final clash. And while we all thought Vivi would become a member of the Straw Hats, the dream was ruined at the end. However, we got compensated by a beautiful farewell between the members, and it was a happy tear-jerker.
12. Impel Down
- Saga: Summit War Saga
- Episodes: 422-425, 430-452
- Manga Chapters: 525-549
Never in our dreams did we think that we would see a Prison Break-esque arc in One Piece. But Oda surprised us yet again. In this arc, Luffy snuck inside the highly secured Impel Down prison with the help of Boa Hancock in order to save his brother Ace. In a series of crazy events that follow, he ends up with Buggy and other new characters. They all try to escape the prison amidst the chaos inside.
Additionally, it had two eccentric and funny antagonists who were as powerful as the Wardens. It was in this arc that Blackbeard made his entry to recruit vile prisoners as his crew members. You can read all about the members of the Blackbeard Pirates right here.
Right before the Marineford War, this arc was entertaining in its own right. The Impel Down arc was also balanced in terms of action and comedy, which was a treat for fans. Bon-chan, Luffy, and Buggy’s performances made this one of the best arcs.
- Saga: Sky Island Saga
- Episodes: 153-195
- Manga Chapters: 237-302
The Skypiea arc is undoubtedly one of the best arcs in the manga, but it was pretty stretched out in the anime. That’s the reason the entire fandom splits into two when it comes to Skypiea. Nevertheless, it is still celebrated as a great arc in the hearts of many. This arc had a god-like villain, a trip to the sky, and never seen before Straw Hat adventures.
The story of this arc features the war between the God Enel, the Shandians, and the Skypiea people. But what made it more enthralling was its connection to Mont Blanc Noland’s tale and Jaya. It’s a tale of a beautiful friendship, along with the Straw Hats partying at the end. Several connections are being drawn between this and the Wano Country arc, which shows the true goodness of this arc.
- Saga: Whole Cake Island Saga
- Episodes: 878-889
- Manga Chapters: 903-908
If there’s an arc that was short yet created numerous mysteries that are left unanswered to this day, it has to be the Levely arc. Right after the WCI arc, we see the newly updated bounties of One Piece‘s beloved Straw Hat pirates and a meeting of the kings at the holy land. After a long time, we meet Princesses Vivi, Shirahoshi, and Rebecca at the same time. But this is one of the best arcs because of all the mysteries it created. That includes the introduction of Im, a giant Straw Hat, and Shanks meeting the five elders.
To be honest, we were more than flabbergasted at this point after seeing all these new mysteries lining up. Oda has always been a master of creating mysteries and unraveling them later, and this arc fits right in. We hope to get the answers to these underlying mysteries soon.
15. Return to Sabaody
- Saga: Fish-Man Island Saga
- Episodes: 517-522
- Manga Chapters: 598-602
The Return to Sabaody arc was another exemplary mini-arc that did wonders despite its short span. With only 5 episodes, it introduced us to the Straw Hats reuniting after a time skip. To make things even more fun, the fake Straw Hats were hilarious. But when things started to get serious, the Straw Hats were able to flex their powers and showcase their strength as a crew.
A complete overhaul of the Straw Hats’ powers was done after the time skip, and the reintroduction was portrayed perfectly in this arc. The first time they visited Sabaody, they were completely obliterated. However, this arc showed how much they have changed. Thus, Return to Sabaody was another memorable arc that won’t leave our minds.
With 32 story arcs under its belt, One Piece has been captivating audiences for years and is considered one of the greatest anime series of all time. We have compiled a list of the most popular arcs in One Piece, as chosen by fans but with a touch of personal preference. Our list showcases the best of what One Piece has to offer, and we hope you agree with our ranking.
Further, as the story’s end draws closer, we can expect even more cool arcs to be added to the list in the coming years. That said, if you’re a fan of One Piece, let us know your favorite arc in the comments below! Also, if you think we have skipped a major arc, let us know, and we will update our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marineford arc is the most famous arc in One Piece, as it is celebrated by anime fans as one of the greatest arcs in the history of all time.
Previously, the Dressrosa arc was counted as the biggest arc in One Piece. But now, the Wano Country arc has managed to beat it and become the biggest and longest arc in the history of One Piece.
When it comes to the top 3 arcs, it all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. For us, the Marineford arc, the Wano Country arc, and the Enies lobby are the top three arcs in One Piece.