The Akatsuki is an incredibly powerful group of villains in the Naruto series who have shaped the plot in many ways. Different versions of Akatsuki have existed in different eras, however, the most significant one is the one led by Nagato Uzumaki, which was hunting down Tailed Beasts towards the end of part 1 of Naruto.
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All the members of the Akatsuki were exceptionally powerful ninjas and it goes without saying that nearly all of them had the ability to take on even the likes of the Kage and potentially even those who are stronger.
Origin Village: Iwagakure
Deidara was from Iwagakure and certainly a very talented ninja. Once he stole the secret jutsu from the land and incorporated his incredible Explosion Release Kekkei Genkai into it, he became a force to be reckoned with.
The fact that he was able to defeat Gaara, the Fifth Kazekage, is proof of the fact that he was as strong as a Kage and potentially even stronger. That said, within the Akatsuki, Deidara was certainly one of the weaker members.
Origin Village: Takigakure
A part of the immortal duo, Kakuzu was a very skilled Shinobi from the Hidden Waterfall Village. This incredible ninja was almost immortal as he had five hearts in his body that he utilized through Earth Grudge Fear, a forbidden technique that he stole before murdering all the elders of his village.
He was so difficult to take on in combat that even Kakashi struggled against him when he was already weakened. He was certainly on the same level as a Kage and potentially even stronger.
Origin Village: Sunagakure
Sasori was the man responsible for killing the Third Kazekage, who was known to be the strongest Kage in the history of the Hidden Sand Village. That alone qualifies him as an Akatsuki member on the same level as the Kage. Sasori was incredibly overpowered and his skill was such that few could challenge him in battle.
His mastery over poison and, above all, puppetry, was completely out of this world. Sasori was eventually defeated by the combined effort of Chiyo and Sakura, however, without having the antidote prepared before time, both of them would have succumbed in this battle.
Origin Village: Konohagakure, Otogakure
One of the Legendary Sannin, Orochimaru is an exceptionally skilled ninja who was once a part of the Akatsuki as well. Fans already know him to be a worthy candidate for the position of the Fourth Hokage.
Orochimaru always sought more power and his eventual goal was immortality, which he somewhat acquired in his life. It goes without saying that he’s one of the most powerful ninjas to have ever lived.
Origin Village: Amegakure
Yet another incredible member of the Akatsuki, Konan was trained by Jiraiya himself, and her skill with paper manipulation arts was nothing short of extraordinary.
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She is one of the very few ninjas capable of giving Obito a difficult battle and putting him in a near-death state. Konan was extraordinary as a ninja and could easily have been on a level above a Kage.
4 Kisame Hoshigaki
Origin Village: Kirigakure
Kisame was one of the strongest members of the Akatsuki and certainly a force to be reckoned with. He was stronger than the Mizukage of his village and, at the same time, also stronger than many other Kage.
Kisame was an absolute monster in combat, especially when he was equipped with the Samehada. His strength was such that very few could rival him and even a perfect Jinchuriki such as Bee was somewhat struggling against him in combat.
3 Itachi Uchiha
Origin Village: Konohagakure
The genius Uchiha, Itachi was always one of the strongest members of the Akatsuki, and the fact is that his level far surpassed that of an average Kage. He was a genius of the Uchiha line whose strength was so immense that even by his early teenage years, he could defeat an average Kage easily.
Itachi developed tremendously during his time in the Akatsuki and got even stronger, gaining the power to defeat Kage-level ninjas without even looking at them.
2 Nagato Uzumaki
Origin Village: Amegakure
Nagato Uzumaki, the leader of the Akatsuki, was certainly one of the most fearsome members of the group. Nagato possessed the power of the Rinnegan, which rules life and death itself and that is a clear indication of the fact that he was far above the level of an average Kage.
He could blow up villages and do much worse if he wished. The power that he held was godly and that put him in a different realm compared to the average Kage.
1 Obito Uchiha
Origin Village: Konohagakure
Undoubtedly, Obito Uchiha is one of the most powerful ninjas to exist in the Naruto world, and even when he was a part of the Akatsuki, he was forced to be reckoned with. Obito was almost unstoppable in combat and his strength was such that he could easily beat a Kage.
Obito had already taken down the Fourth Mizukage, Yagura, from the shadows and made him his puppet. This was without him even showcasing his real power. Even though Obito did not have the Rinnegan at that point in the story, he was still overpowered and could easily have defeated the vast majority of the Kage.
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