While the Power Rangers franchise continues into its 24th season, there is one Ranger that stands above most others, and that is Tommy Oliver.
The character was first introduced in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and despite only being given a 10-episode initial run he managed to obtain a ridiculous amount of popularity. Since then the character has returned multiple times, including memorable runs as different Rangers in Mighty Morphin, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, and Power Rangers: Turbo.
Everyone has their favorites of course, and that might differ with the rankings on this list. Typically you can attach a favorite Tommy Oliver with the era a Power Rangers fan grows up in, though now that Power Rangers is readily available on streaming networks, old and new fans are getting exposed to versions they might have missed out on originally.
In all those iterations, the part of Tommy is played by actor Jason David Frank, who was supposed to kickstart his own franchise after his Mighty Morphin days. That got derailed due to the character's popularity, which resulted in his unplanned return to the series.
Speaking of generational bias, Frank has noticed that as well.
"Well Green was the first, but what I'm starting to see is generations of kids and people that grew up on the White Ranger," Frank told That Hashtag Show. "Green is probably more dominating now because the older fans are, ya know, we probably dominate the age demographics there, being a Green Ranger fan. So Green was definitely really cool for me, but being the White Ranger was exciting as well."
Don't forget about his later entries either. "What's happening now is that 16- to 17-year-old kids, Doctor Oliver, Dino Thunder, Black Dino Thunder," said Frank. "Any other Ranger? Nope, started on Black Dino Thunder and then they have all of the other seasons that I don't really know much about, but it's crazy to see the generations."
Hit the next slide to see where your favorite Tommy Oliver Ranger lands on the list!
Red Ranger (Turbo)
Power Rangers Turbo as a whole is well liked among the Ranger community, but as a vehicle for Tommy's character, it was in fact the weakest entry in his long career.
While Tommy was just as potent a leader as with past Power Ranger teams, he was more withdrawn from the team outside of missions, though he and Kat remained close. That might have had something to do with how much changed during this era, as Rocky left the group during this time, and the team's mentors Zordon and Alpha 5 took their leave as well.
Still, he did have the stylish Red Lightning Turbozord to call on in battle and retained all of his combat prowess from previous seasons.
The Turbo era was a good one for Tommy, just not nearly the best one.
White Ninja Ranger (Mighty Morphin)
This could really be known as the Tommy and Kimberly years, though you could also say that about his days as the White Ranger... or Green Ranger really. In any case, the destruction of the Thunderzords and their power resulted in an interesting era for Tommy.
Tommy and the other Rangers would seek out Ninjor to gain the Ninja Ranger powers. Tommy kept his White Ranger motif, just with a Ninja spin, and would command the White Ninja Falconzord. The Ninja Zords and abilities were pretty slick actually, and this era of Mighty Morphin focused heavily on Tommy's leadership abilities and knack for facing all odds when Kimberly's safety was concerned.
Red Ranger (Zeo)
Tommy continued his leadership duties with the Zeo Rangers, but it was his personal life that would include the most difficulty.
Tommy showed his resilience during this era time and time again, starting towards the beginning of the series when he received the memorable "Dear John" letter from Kimberly. He would also go on to discover that he has a brother named David Trueheart, and would once again have to overcome mind control thanks to Prince Gasket and the Machine Empire.
Ironically it was Kat, who dealt with mind control herself in the past, and Jason that managed to break the hold over him.
Through all that and more, Tommy continued to lead the team to success, resulting in a Zeo era well worth remembering.
White Ranger (Mighty Morphin)
Plenty of fans were sad to see the Green Ranger era come to an end, but it was followed by another significant era in Tommy Oliver's career as a Ranger.
That would be the White Ranger era, which would see Zordon and Alpha 5 creating an entirely new power set for a mysterious candidate. It turned out Tommy was the new Ranger, and he commanded quite the arsenal. He was equipped with the sentient sword Saba, which gave him command of the White Tigerzord and later the Falconzord.
There is an endless debate about which form Tommy is more powerful in, but to many, the edge falls to the White Ranger. That was addressed a bit during the show when Rita created an evil Green Ranger to battle the other Rangers, resulting in White Ranger Tommy facing down a doppelganger of who he used to be.
This era would also see Tommy assume leadership of the team officially, as Jason, Trini, and Zack would take their leave, letting a new group of Rangers take their place.
Black Ranger (Dino Thunder)
It turns out that Tommy Oliver is quite accomplished even outside of his Power Ranger duties, but he just can't stay away.
During the hiatus between hero gigs, Tommy became an expert in paleontology, thus paving the way for his discovery of the powerful Dino Gems. He would work to keep them safe using his regular persona, but after a few students found them he enlisted them to become Power Rangers.
Oliver would then fight alongside them as the Black Dino Ranger, utilizing the Black Dino Gem's immense power. Tommy had plenty of weapons at his disposal, fighting with the Brachio Staff and his Zord the Brachiozord. When he needed a quick set of wheels he could also call on the Black Thunder ATV.
Tommy was much more in a mentor role here, even though he fought alongside the other Rangers. Much of his character development came internally, like the time he fell into a coma and had to confront all of his previous Power Ranger forms, including both the Green and White Rangers.
Green Ranger (Mighty Morphin)
Yeah, you knew this was coming. After a long analysis, frankly there just isn't any getting around that the Green Ranger is the best version of Tommy Oliver.
Not for lack of trying either, but there is just something about the mystique and origin story of Tommy and his Green Ranger persona that demands your attention. Fans are always partial to a villain-turned-hero scenario, and the "Green with Evil" saga is one of the most beloved storylines in Ranger history.
The Green Ranger has use of the Dragon Shield, which he can share with other Rangers in times of need. When he was evil he commanded the Sword of Darkness, and evil or good he always has the Dragon Dagger. On its own, the Dragon Dagger is already powerful, but once you factor in its ability to call the insanely cool Dragonzord, it is pretty much check and mate.