10 most popular Yugioh characters ranked

Yugi, Jaden and Yusei together (Image via Studio Gallop)
Yugi, Jaden and Yusei together (Image via Studio Gallop)

YuGiOh, one of the most famous anime series, debuted more than 20 years ago. To this day, many admirers remember it fondly. As many fans are already aware, the series aired from 2000 to 2004. There are five seasons and 224 episodes to cover in order for viewers to complete the series.

To keep things interesting, the franchise also dabbles in spin-off content. During this time, several characters from the series piqued fans' interest, initiating a culture of picking favorite characters.

YuGiOh! has a lot of great characters to choose from, with great cards and unique personalities. This article will discuss the top ten fan favorites, from least popular to most iconic.

Note: This list will be based upon the author’s opinion and will contain spoilers from multiple YuGiOh! series.

Who are YuGiOh!’s most iconic characters?

10) Zane Truesdale


Zane's calm and mysterious demeanor captivated audiences from the minute he appeared on screen in the first episode of GX. He became an instant hit a few episodes later when he became the first person on the show to defeat Jaden.

A Cyber Dragon user during his time in the academy, Zane’s deck has been an iconic part of the game since its release. Based upon the idea of ending the opponent quickly with overwhelming power, Zane’s deck was feared by every duelist in the academy.

He would later become a Cyber Dark user, becoming more ruthless and vicious, until a heart condition he developed while in the underground dueling circle left him in a wheelchair.

Zane will always be one of GX’s most iconic duelists, and players of TCG and OCG will continue to enjoy his deck for years to come.

9) Joey Wheeler


Yugi’s bully turned best friend, Joey is one of YuGiOh!’s most recognizable characters out there. Having progressed from a complete novice in the game to the third-best duelist in the world, there is no doubt Joey is an iconic member of the original roster.

His deck never had a concise team around it like most other duelists, but that was always part of why his duels were so entertaining. A coin toss, a boss monster obtained in a previous duel, or his signature Red-Eyes Black Dragon could always turn the tide of battle in his favor.

Joey’s luck and will to keep going even against the worst odds will always be remembered fondly by those who watched the original show. His lessons on what a real friend is will always stay in our hearts. Without a doubt, a great duelist and one of the best characters.

8) Yuma Tsukumo


The protagonist of YuGiOh! Zexal, Yuma was just an average duelist with reckless tendencies. It wasn't until he met Astral, an alien searching for Number Monsters, that he began his journey into becoming one of the best duelists.

His Onomato deck works by summoning monsters that will work as materials for his XYZ plays. During his series, the game was introduced to the previously mentioned XYZ summons, a way to use same level monsters to specially summon a monster. His ace monster Number 39: Utopia, is still a great card, used to this day.

XYZ summons quickly became popular with the fan base, and Yuma’s strategies with his number and Onomato monsters were sure to make the viewers enjoy the show. Yuma went from a kid with a reckless attitude to a brilliant duelist capable of defeating even his partner. He remains one of YuGiOh's favorite protagonists.

7) Yuya Sakaki


YuGiOh Arc-V’s protagonists, Yuya was a simple duelist with the goal of making everyone smile while dueltaining. His father, the concept's founder, vanished on the day of his title bout, and Yuya spent years attempting to reclaim his father's title.

After getting involved in an interdimensional war caused by pieces of himself scattered around 4 universes, Yuya starts to become an expert in his deck. Perfomapal and Odd-eyes monsters were always his go-to cards, and his strategies were smart and calculated.

The Arc-V series featured the introduction of the Pendulum summon mechanic. Fans of the card game were divided when it came to this, but there is no doubt Yuya’s style was able to incorporate this new type of card flawlessly into his duels. Even in his Z-Arc form, Yuya showed proficiency throughout the game and left a mark on the fans.

6) Kite Tenjo


Kite, the famed Number hunter, started the series as one of Yuma’s main antagonists. His heartlessness during his duels was enough to intrigue the fans of the show. We later learned that he was trying to save his sick brother and he needed the number monsters to accomplish this goal.

Kite is the master of the Photon monsters, and his ace Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon instantly became a fan favorite thanks to its brilliant design and amazing effect. Although later Kite would add diverse XYZ Galaxy-Eyes monsters to his duels, the original will always leave an indelible mark on fans' experience.

Kite became one of the strongest duelists and characters in the show after joining Yuma and his comrades and battled against various strong and dangerous adversaries. He made a comeback during Yugioh! Arc-V, making fans happy to see him again. His deck can still be seen around local card stores, commanded by those fans who love Kite.

5) Jaden Yuki


Following the success of the initial show, plans for a sequel were initiated. With Atem's departure to the afterlife, however, a new protagonist was required, and thus Jaden was born. Jaden, a prodigy in the game but very sluggish and immature outside of duels, swiftly won the hearts of the audience with his endearing demeanor.

The main user of the Elemental Hero deck and later the Neo-spacians, Jaden’s own heroic heart always shines during his duels. Jaden always understood exactly what to do to win by focusing on fusing his monsters in various ways.

Later in the series and after a lot of traumatic events, Jaden became colder and more calculating, but his encounter with Yugi changed that quickly. Jaden’s adventures and monsters made an enormous impact in the community, and even today his Heroes are still a fan favorite archetype.

4) Yusei Fudo


The third protagonist of the Yugioh anime series, now in 5Ds. Yusei was an orphan fighting to survive in a world where the richest people abused the ones below them. But his desire to make things better for the underprivileged led him from junk collector to a saviour of the world.

His Junk deck slowly began to focus into his signature’s dragon’s different forms, but it always maintained the essence that made it unique. The first series to introduce a new summoning mechanic, Synchro Monsters brought with them Stardust Dragon, Yusei’s partner.

His deck ability to utilize every card, even those deemed useless by previous owners, and his cool and fierce attitude, made Yusei one of Yugioh’s best characters. His monsters are still relevant, even to this day.

3) Jack Atlas


The first rival to be arguably more popular than the protagonist, Jack’s confidence and overwhelming way of dueling caught the audience's attention since the beginning. An orphan that grew up with Yusei, he was the latter's first opponent before returning to become his best friend again.

Jack's deck also specializes on Synchro plays, but his strategy is to summon monsters with great attack strength that gradually wears down the opponent. His Red Dragon Archfiend quickly became an iconic design for monsters and has received countless different forms since.

Jack’s pride and self-confidence during his duels, as well as his later appearance in Yugioh! Arc-V, helped him become one of the most iconic duelists ever. His dragon's latest forms are still some of the game’s best monsters to have in your arsenal.

2) Seto Kaiba


Seto Kaiba, the original rival and a hard contender for first place, quickly became a fan favorite. His overconfidence and brilliant strategies propelled him to the world's second-best duelist position, which he fully deserves.

His dragon deck’s ability to summon fierce and powerful creatures, as well as his iconic Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor, are some of the most recognizable cards in the game. His desire to finally defeat the pharaoh and become the King of Games was a constant during the series.

Kaiba’s cold and calculating moves and his genius mind were all he needed to remain as Yugioh’s best rival until now. His Blue-Eyes is still a fan favorite deck, including all the support that has been released since the show ended.

1) Atem/Yugi Muto


No one can talk about Yugioh without remembering the titular Yugi and his other self, the pharaoh Atem. There are no other characters as well-known in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe as they are, and they remain an important component of the game.

With their Dark Magician and various monsters, with the later addition of their Egyptian God cards, Yugi and Atem were able to duel their way out of the grimmest of situations. Their belief in the Heart of the Cards and their fate in their friends will forever be iconic to fans of the show.


Even after their final duel against each other, Yugi and Atem were able to reunite briefly in the Dark Side of Dimensions movie, giving fans a last look at these two legendary duelists together. Without a doubt, the most iconic and popular characters in all of Yugioh.

That was our list of the most popular Yugioh characters. Do you agree with our picks? Would you have picked someone else? Leave it down in the comment section. Follow us here at Sportskeeda Anime for the latest news and content about Yugioh.

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