The 10 Best 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Episodes, According To A Childhood Fanatic

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In the past year or so, just like Pokémon cards have seen a surge in pricing, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have also continued to become more and more valuable. Part of it was always going to happen with time, but the process definitely sped up due to people spending more time indoors, perhaps wanting to get a bit of nostalgia and getting into an old hobby. Worldwide, people are trying to find their old decks and grabbing cards they couldn’t get when they were younger. I myself have started to get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! too, tapping back into what I loved about it as a kid and enjoying what’s new about it as an adult.

When it comes to general discussions about anime, you probably won’t hear Yu-Gi-Oh! mentioned amongst the likes of Hunter x Hunter or many people’s favorite at the moment, Attack on Titan. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a place as one of the better anime series of all time. It’s widely considered to be the best card-based anime of all time and in the show, Duel Monsters is the base for some incredible moments.

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! of all time, with a short paragraph on why we think so. If you’ve already seen the show, you won’t mind there being some information ahead, but otherwise, spoiler alert.

1. Best of Friends, Best of Duelists Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 34)

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When watching the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’re constantly aware of the fact that if they both keep winning duels and star chips, Yugi and Joey will eventually have to battle each other, but it’s sort of kept quiet the entire time. By this episode, they’re deep into their honorable battle and it’s much more of a back and forth than previous episodes would suggest. As close as they are and as much as one cares about what the other is fighting for, only one can come out on top.


2. Champion vs. Creator Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 27)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki

Just as Yugi and Joey have a lot to fight for, Kaiba does too, except he doesn’t have anyone friends to fight for. At this point, his younger brother Mokuba’s soul has already been taken by Pegasus and Kaiba has put his life on the line in the duel against Yugi. This battle is the final step. The show does a great job of pitting Kaiba and Pegasus as perhaps the #1 and #2 duelists in the world and the battle lives up to those expectations.


3. Mime Control Part 3 (Season 2, Episode 18)

Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Malik is one of the best in the entire series. Here in the third and final part, things really heat up. Yugi finds himself against one of the three Egyptian God cards, Slifer The Sky Dragon. It’s so powerful that Yugi ends up feeling defeated and even Kaiba, a frenemy of the group, does his best to motivate him through the battle.


4. The Dark One Cometh Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 43)

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In many ways, though he isn’t mentioned as much in discussions about the anime, Zorc Necrophades is the main villain from Yu-Gi-Oh! We find out that he is the one who has been controlling Yami Bakura throughout the series and that he has larger plans to destroy the entire history of the world. Yuga engages in a battle where losing your life points means losing your life entirely.


5. The Final Duel Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 49)

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The name of this episode really sums it all up. Zorc has been defeated, and now all that’s left is for Yugi and Yami to battle it out. This is a real test for Yugi, of course, who has had Yami by his side through duels almost the entire time that we’ve known him, even before he knew it himself. Yami doesn’t go easy on him either, as in this episode, right at the start of the battle, all three Egyptian God cards are summoned.


6. The Final Duel Part 2 (Season 5, Episode 50)

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In the second part of the duel, Yugi must continue to deal with the strength of Slifer The Sky Dragon, Obelisk The Tormentor, and The Winged Dragon Of Ra, all of whose attack points add up to over 10,000. Yugi is on the defensive but by the end of this episode comes to an intelligent attack, with a trap card too.


7. The Final Duel Part 3 (Season 5, Episode 51)

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There’s a lot of fan service in this episode which comes in the form of callbacks to other cards being played in the series by Yugi and other moves that have worked in big battles. Yugi really pulls out all the stops here and starts putting in some work on Yami’s life points. The only way to really describe this episode and the battle as a whole is an epic finale.


8. The Final Face Off Part 1 (Season 3, Episode 41)


In this battle between Yami Yugi and Yami Marik, a lot is on the line. Yugi and Mai Valentine have been taken captive and will go to the shadow realm if Yami Yugi loses. Here, early on in the duel, the power difference between The Winged Dragon Of Ra and the other two Egyptian Gods is well and truly on display.


9. The Final Face Off Part 5 (Season 3, Episode 45)

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A lot happens in the duel, so without ruining the entirety of it, we’ll just say that this is the fifth and final part of this duel, and things end with a bang. Odion and Ishizu both come into play, and the end of the Battle City tournament is the climax worth building up to. There’s a lot more on the line than a card game, and the show does a great job of conveying it.


10. Yugi vs. Pegasus: Match of the Millennium Part 5 (Season 1, Episode 39)

Yu-Gi-Oh! World

The battle between Yugi and Pegasus has been back and forth, despite the power of Pegasus’ Millenium Eye. With the soul of his granddad, Kaiba, and Mokuba all on the line, Yugi is feeling the pressure but stepping up to the plate as he always does. By part five, Yugi needs the help of the spirit of the puzzle, Téa, Joey, and Tristan, to help him fend off some of Pegasus’ attacks.

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