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This is probably subject to change but:

1. Season 5

2. Season 7

3. Season 9

4. Season 8

5. Season 4

6. Season 3

7. Season 1

8. Season 2

9. Season 6

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  • 2 weeks later...

My basic opinion on the show is that I love the first 4 seasons, but once twilight got her castle the show really declined. Season 5 was good, but not as much as the first 4 seasons, and it got worse as it went on. Seasons 6-9 were all just okay. I probably only liked about 40% or so of the episodes, the show as a whole lost the charm, direction, and good writing the first 4 seasons had. The biggest issue was that the character arcs were basically all complete by season 5 and they couldn't find interesting things to do with the characters. The interactions between the main characters had become stale and was no longer as interesting or charming. The show tried to do new things with Starlight and the Friendship school, but I don't think it was handled well for a number of reasons. There were still enough good episodes in these seasons to make it worth the watch (as much as a slog as it was), and I do give the show credit for staying consistently okay in the seasons and never getting outright bad unlike other long running shows. However, I still wish it would have ended at season 5 or so that it could have been a great show all the way through. Overall, I would rank the seasons:

1: Season 4: Episodes were consistently great with very few duds, the season's arc was very well handled and made for great character growth, and the premiere and finale were amazing. The episodes constantly did creative and interesting things and they paid off nearly time. it had the charm and humor present in the previous 3 seasons, but with more consistently great quality, better animation, and a great tone. It also had the best variety of songs of any of the seasons. Outside of the premiere and finale, standout episodes include Pinkie Pride, Bats, Three's A Crowd, and Flight to the Finish. Amazing Season.

2: Season 3: I don't understand why people don't like this season. I always hear that it was " rushed"  but Magical Mystery Cure and Keep Calm and Flutter On are the only episodes here that actually feel rushed to me (though I love both those episodes despite their flaws), the rest of the season was filled with mostly great episodes that had the same great quality and style as the great episodes in Season 2. I prefer it over Season 2 because there was only 1 episode here I actively disliked (One Bad Apple) compared to Season 2 having about 6, and the episodes were more consistently great here. Sleepless in Ponyville and and Too Many Pinkie Pies are two of the all time best episodes, and episodes such as The Crystal Empire, Magic Duel, and Wonderbolts Academy are amazing too. Amazing Season.

3: Season 2: Was filled with many amazing episodes (Hurricane Fluttershy is my favorite of the entire show and Canterlot Wedding isn't far behind) and did a great job expanding on the characters and mostly improved the writing quality, animation, and humor from Season 1. However, it is held back from being as good as the following two seasons because while seasons 1, 3, and 4 had only a few bad episodes for me (3 in S1, 1 in S3, 3 in S4), this season had about 6 I disliked (including Dragon Quest, my least favorite of the first 5 seasons). Still, the numerous amazing episodes more than make up for that. Great Season

4: Season 1: Although it is more consistent in quality than Season 2, the best episodes here are nowhere near as good as the best of the following 3 seasons, so I'm still comfortable with ranking it below it. That being said, the episodes were consistently very good, especially in the 2nd half of the season. It also has a distinct charm that was slowly lost as the show went on (which was completely gone by Season 6) and did a great job introducing the world and characters. Great Season

5: Season 5: This is where the show started to go downhill. After Twilight's character arc was basically completed in Twlight's Kingdom, and the others did not have much room to grow after the key arc, the show lost its sense of purpose. There were still plenty of amazing episodes (Amending Fences, Slice of Life, Scare Master, Rarity Investigates, Make New Friends But Keep Discord) but also a good amount that were just okay. (Made in Manehatten, Castle Sweet Castle, Bloom and Gloom) There were no actual arcs here outside of the premiere and finale (I don't count the other map episodes since they are standalone). The episodes Do Princess Dream of Magic Sheep and The Cutie Re-Mark had amazing concepts but were very rushed and disappointing with serious story issues. Episode quality is still overall good, and the show still has some of its old charm, but the golden age of MLP was clearly ending at this point. I would consider this season the transition point between the great first 4 seasons and the mediocre to okay seasons 6-9. Good Season.

6: Season 7: It suffered from having a lot of just okay episodes that told decent stories but were lacking the humor and charm needed for me to really enjoy them, and there was no interesting arcs. That being said, there were only a few outright bad episodes, the episodes that were good were really good (Health of Information and Shadow Play especially) and there were some very creative and new concepts here. Okay Season

7: Season 9: Had a streak of really great episodes during the first 3rd of the season (Beginning of the End, Sparkle's Seven, Frenemies, Common Ground) but the rest of the season is just okay. The Young Six were given almost no development (even less than in Season 8), so the season spent a lot of time with bland stories with characters who had already completed their arcs years ago. The Ending of the End's Discord twist was beyond awful and character damaging for Discord. So much more could have been done with having all the creatures unite in the battle, and Grogar could have been a really cool villain if he was real. That being said, The Last Problem was a great although flawed finale. Okay Season

8: Season 8: Filled with many uninteresting episodes that lacked humor and charm, with a lot of character problems. Barely any episodes are given to developing the new characters, instead there are just uninteresting stories with the Mane Six and CMC, whom have no room to grow as characters. That being said, there are still plenty of good episodes here, especially the ones that actually develop the Young Six. The fact that this season tries more new things than Season 6 (despite not giving it anywhere near enough development as it needed) narrowly puts it above Season 6 for me. Best Gift Ever, Hearth's Warming Club, and Sounds of Slience are all amazing episodes. Mediocre Season

9: Season 6: Had the exact same issues as season 8 when it came to having uninteresting and unfunny stories with the main cast whom already had full development. Applejack's Day Off, Pony Point of View, and The Carts Before the Ponies are probably the 3 most boring episodes of the entire show and feel like episodes of a generic toddlers show. Starlight's development is not handled well at all since she has barely any positive interactions with any of the mane 6 outside of Twilight. The premiere is a boring rehash of The Crystal Empire that lacks everything that made it great. That being said, I still do not consider this season to be bad. There are some amazing episodes here such as Gauntlet of Fire, Stranger Than Fan-fiction, The Saddle Row Review, and To Where and Back Again, that still make it worth watching overall. Mediocre Season.

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These rankings shift around a bit for me, but as of now, here is what they are:

  1. Season 2 - This season is a true example of all the good aspects of the series. It took an already great first season, and expanded upon it, being even better. While there are a few bad episodes this season, there are so many great ones that really helped to give this series its identity. The characters were given great development, the stories were fun and impactful, and the episodes overall had this iconic charm to them. I think that this season really was MLP at it's best.
  2. Season 1 - This series really started off with a bang with it first season. While the episodes were on the basic side, they still managed to do a great job at developing this new main cast along with building the world and entertaining its audience. Definitely a great start to this series.
  3. Season 4 - While Twilight becoming an alicorn did negatively affect her character and her dynamic with the rest of the group for me, this season still managed to hold on to that fresh feel of the first few seasons. Plus, this season has some great episodes, with Twilight's Kingdom and Pinkie Pride being two examples.
  4. Season 5 - This is when the show started to lose some of that original charm, but luckily it still brought lots of great stories and character development to the table. Plus, it's a fairly consistent season throughout.
  5. Season 7 - This episode had some really amazing and memorable episodes in it that I still rewatch to this day. That being said, the second halve is considerably weaker than the first, and it doesn't quite have that original charm anymore. Still though, I'd still consider this a pretty solid season.
  6. Season 3 - Like season seven, this season has a few really outstanding episodes that are amongst my favorites. That being said, this season's shortcoming are it's short length and inconsistency.
  7. Season 6 - This season definitely has a bit of a drop in quality from those before it, but I don't hate it. Despite its numerous shortcomings, this season still has a few great episodes and moments that help make it average to slightly above average in my opinion.
  8. Season 9 - This is the first season on this list I'd say I dislike. There are many bland, forgettable, and poorly written episodes that make up this season, with only a handful of good ones to compensate for that. Still, if there is a positive to this season, at least it was an improvement on season 8.
  9. Season 8 - This is definitely the worst season for me. First off, this season heavily focusses around the extremely bizarre, downright terrible concept known as the school of Friendship. Then it adds a whole new set of main characters who are bland and just take away screen time from the more interesting characters. Then on top of that, the screen time the mane six did get often completely butchered their characters . Add that to the season's lineup of mostly bad to lackluster of episodes, and you have the worst season of MLP.
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23 hours ago, Landi said:

Season 4 - While Twilight becoming an alicorn did negatively affect her character and her dynamic with the rest of the group for me, this season still managed to hold on to that fresh feel of the first few seasons. Plus, this season has some great episodes, with Twilight's Kingdom and Pinkie Pride being two examples.

Once Twilight got her castle and became the official Princess of Friendship in Season 5 I do feel that her arc was basically complete and her character became a lot more boring from Season 5 on. She was definitely more interesting as an awkward nerdy student exploring Ponyville than as a stagnant know it all princess, and it was a huge factor in the show's decline. However, I would argue that Twilight's character did not suffer until Season 5.

The Season 4 premiere and finale had her go through a great arc of finding her role as a princess that was compelling and felt very natural for her character. Since she still lived in the treehouse this season and her princesshood was rarely directly addressed outside of a few episodes, I think that her character still felt the same in Season 4 as in the first 3 seasons, if not as fresh as in the seasons before. In the first 4 seasons she was my favorite pony, in the following 5 she would probably be my 2nd least favorite. I completely understand why people prefer Seasons 1-3 over 4, and I do think that those seasons were more charming than 4, but for me 4 makes up for it with better writing and animation along with more consistent episode quality.

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My ranking, even though I haven't watched the show in years...

1. Season 4
2. Season 7
3. Season 5
4. Season 2
5. Season 1
6. Season 3
7. Season 8
8. Season 6

I still refuse to watch the rest of Season 9. :eww:

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1. Season 2: I think I've already said enough about this season. It represents everything I want out of the show. Outside of how well written the mane six are, the season does a great job with its new characters (for the most part). It's able to build off of the already solid base of season 1 while adding so much new stuff to the table. Great stuff all around.

2. Season 1: I think this is actually more consistently good than season 2, but season 2 just has much higher highs and its lows still aren't that low. So season 1 is very focused on the relationships between the mane six. It's all about establishing these dynamics for the rest of the show to build off of. And it is fun to see these characters bounce off each other. They're all well defined and funny. It's a good start for later seasons to work off of. 

3. Season 6: This is certainly surprising. You'd think that someone so firm in thinking that the show got worse over time would put season 6 lower, but no. I actually kinda like this one. I guess the main problem with the season is Starlight, but she's not in it that much. She has the premiere and finale, No Second Prances, Every Little Thing She Does, and maybe A Hearth's Warming Tail, but that one's debatable. The rest of the season is spent doing the same old routine with the some old characters, but in a good way. There's just a lot of really fun stuff here. Even with the episodes I don't like, there are only 5 that I think are just too boring or genuinely frustrating. I find the rest of the weak stuff to be at least interestingly bad which is certainly better than what seasons 8 and 9 can say. Does this compare to seasons 1 and 2? No. But I do think it's easily the best season after that point.

4. Season 3: This one kinda skirts the line between early season and middle season. It's left in that middle ground where it has some elements of both. That puts the season in a very unique place. I think this season is pretty evenly split between good and bad. It has one of my favorite episodes of the show, but it also has Magical Mystery Cure. So yeah. Kinda mixed, but I feel more positive about it than negative.

5. Season 4: This season is decent. Aside from a couple exceptions, I don't think the good stuff here is that good, but it works. I'd say that about the season as a whole. It works though many problems are starting to show. There are a lot of episodes that are either frustrating or boring and the good stuff just isn't quite good enough to justify them. But the good stuff also takes up a large chunk of the season so I don't know. This is another mixed season, but I think it really is just Pinkie Pride and Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 that make me like it overall.

6. Season 5: This season is really bleh. There's a lot of really boring stuff with some annoying stuff mixed in there. The good episodes mostly aren't that good and the season is a slog overall. But I do appreciate that there is a level of effort still put into things. There are a lot of interesting ideas even if most of those don't work. Also Pinkie's characterization is mostly on point.

7. Season 7: While the second half of the season pretty solid, the first half destroys the season overall. It honestly feels like the show hit burnout by this point. Also there's the awful "legends of magic" stuff. I'd rather have a season that fails in interesting ways than a season that's just boring.

8. Season 9: Here's where we hit the big nosedive in quality. At least season 7 has a decent second half. Season 9 has three really good episodes that keep it above season 8 and give it some level of value. Aside from those three episodes, this season sucks. The arcs are handled horribly and were just bad ideas from the start and a lot of the characters go out on pretty weak notes. 

9. Season 8: Just the fact that the school is in this season and Yakity-Sax exists should be enough to make this the worst season. Add on an attempt to replace the mane six, character regression everywhere, a tone that just feels wrong for the show, and good episodes that are barely good, and you've got a season that I can easily just pretend never happened and lose nothing.

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22 hours ago, bigbertha said:

Season 3 Season 5This one kinda skirts the line between early season and middle later season. It's left in that middle ground where it has some elements of both. That puts the season in a very unique place. I think this season is pretty evenly split between good and meh/bad. It has one of my favorite episodes of the show, but it also has Magical Mystery Cure The Cutie Re-Mark. So yeah. Kinda mixed, but I feel more positive about it than negative.

Dang, with only slight altercations this perfectly describes my opinion on Season 5, lol

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Best to worst

1.  Season 2

2. Season 4

3. Season 5

4. Season 6

5. Season 3

6. Season 1

7. Season 7

8. Season 9

9. Season 8

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