Many people believe that Naruto Shippuden is a step down from the old Naruto, but that isn't really true. Masashi Kishimoto evolved into one of the finest mangaka throughout the series. Naruto Shippuden takes place a few years after the conclusion of Naruto. It has a lot of brilliant arcs that kept fans hooked to the series.
One of the best arcs in the series is the Pain's Assault arc. It has been considered by many to be the best arc in the series. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to call it one of the best arcs in anime history. Pain's Assault focuses on the attack of the Akatsuki leader on the Hidden Leaf. It stretches from episodes 152 to 169 and from episodes 172 to 175. In this post, we will discuss the ten best episodes from the arc.
10 Episode 173: Origin Of Pain (8.3)
In the episode, the past of Pain is revealed. After Naruto finds Nagato, he tells about the Ame Orphans. Nagato, Konan, and Yahiko were saved by Jiraiya, who trained them in order to defend themselves. Nagato was skeptical about Jiraiya as it was a Hidden Leaf shinobi that had killed his parents, but Jiraiya was clearly different. After seeing Nagato's Rinnegan, Jiraiya believed that he was capable of bringing peace to the Ninja World.
9 Episode 165: Nine-Tails, Captured! (8.8)
Naruto went all guns blazing with the power of the Sage Mode. Naruto managed to destroy Pain's Preta Path with the help of natural energy. Pain's Deva Path got rid of Fukasaku and Naruto gets pinned while trying to catch Fukasaku. With Naruto pinned, Pain was brimming with confidence as he would now be able to achieve his dream of gathering all the tailed beasts and destroy the great nations.
8 Episode 162: Pain To The World (8.8)
Without Naruto, the Hidden Leaf suffered a lot of casualties. Naruto was still training at Mt. Myoboku, but Pain wasn't gonna wait around. He went to the Hidden Leaf to negotiate with Tsunade for the Nine-Tails, but Tsunade immediately refused. Pain wasn't gonna take "No" for an answer and he used Shinra Tensei to turn the village into a giant crater.
With the village in trouble, Sakura cried out for Naruto and lo and behold, Naruto produced the best entrance. He arrived in the Hidden Leaf with his allies from Mt. Myoboku.
7 Episode 159: Pain Vs. Kakashi (8.8)
If someone tells me that this episode should be ranked higher then I would absolutely agree with them. This episode contains one of the best fights in Naruto. Kakashi was up against the biggest threat that the Hidden Leaf had faced. He was already at a disadvantage when it came to numbers, but Kakashi wasn't gonna back down without a proper fight. It was a pure joy seeing Kakashi fighting against someone who was much stronger than him. The outcome of the would have been different if Kakashi had information about Pain's ability.
6 Episode 163: Explode! Sage Mode (8.8)
Naruto finally makes his much-awaited entry and by Jove, it is one of the best things you will ever see. The village is in a state despair, Pain had already started his onslaught on the village. It is fair to say that Naruto's entry couldn't have come at a better time. Naruto just unleashes himself completely over the enemies. He uses Rasengan, Frog Kata and even Rasenshuriken in the episode. The Hero of the Leaf had arrived to save it from further destruction.
5 Episode 164: Danger! Sage Mode Limit Reached (8.9)
Naruto took out Pain's Human Path with his Rasenshuriken. By now Naruto's sage mode was running low and Pain was able to sense it. However, Shima and Fukasaku help out Naruto. In just a few seconds, both Naruto and Pain's Animal Path were swallowed up by Gamabunta.
Naruto used the remaining energy to destroy the Animal Path. Soon, Naruto realized that he needed to get rid of the Outer Path in order to defeat Pain.
4 Episode 175: Hero Of The Hidden Leaf (8.9)
Kakashi was killed in his fight versus Pain and now he was in the afterlife, talking to his father Sakumo Hatake. Sakumo told Kakashi that he had saved his comrades and abandoned his mission. They have a nice chat about, but Kakashi's soul begins to fade away as Nagato used one of the techniques of the Rinnegan to revive everyone who had been killed. Just before dying, Nagato entrusts his dreams to Naruto. Konan takes away the bodies of both Yahiko and Nagato before she leaves for Amegakure.
3 Episode 166: Confession (9)
Team Guy was sent on a mission before the invasion of Pain. Neji spotted an injured Gamabunta, whom he recognized as Jiraiya's summoning. Elsewhere, Naruto had been pinned by Pain and surprisingly Hinata stepped up to the occasion. Naruto and Pain both are shocked to see Hinata stepping on to the battlefield. Naruto tried to convince Hinata to leave, suddenly she confessed her love to Naruto and pulls out one of the chakra rods. Hinata ends up taking a massive beating for the guy she loves.
2 Episode 168: The Fourth Hokage (9)
When Naruto was just about to open the seal that had kept the Nine-Tails in check, he was stopped by the Fourth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf. The episode revealed that the Fourth Hokage is actually Naruto's father. Naruto became very emotional and punched Minato in the gut. Minato reseals the Nine-Tails completely and then fades. Naruto becomes normal and enters Sage Mode. Then he proceeds to fight against Pain. After a long jostle, in the end, Naruto manages to beat Pain.
1 Episode 167: Chibaku Tensei (9.1)
Without a doubt, this is one of the best episodes in the series. Naruto was taken aback when he saw Hinata being "killed" by Pain. Naruto becomes furious and transforms into his four-tailed form. Pain is able to momentarily halt Naruto, but the power of Nine-Tails proves to be too much. Naruto launches debris at Pain, who is able to avoid most of it. Naruto's form changes again and he grows two more tails. As Pain is chased by Naruto, who is in the six-tails form, he uses Chibaku Tensei. However, Naruto reaches the eighth-tailed form and begins to break out from the sphere. He is about to give in to the Nine-Tails, but he is stopped by the Fourth Hokage.