Star Trek: Every Captain Ranked Worst To Best (2023)

Taking the age old argument of Kirk versus Picard, to its logical conclusion.

Star Trek Captains Ranked 2023 Liam Shaw Todd Stashwick
CBS Media Ventures

A Starfleet captain needs to be a leader, a diplomat, and a strategist, all wrapped in one. The best captains are those who know all their protocols and directives, but also know the right moments to bend those rules for the greater good.

We've seen both legendary and mediocre captains in Trek, and it's interesting to look back and see how they all compare to one another.

It's been quite some time since our last video ranking all of the captains in Star Trek, and since then, there have been a few new additions that deserve to be included. In this list, we're gonna focus only on captains that served an important role in at least one whole season. It wouldn't really be fair to include captains like Rachel Garrett and John Harriman, seeing as they only appeared briefly in canon.

So, with a focus on personal achievements, leadership style, combat skills, and interactions with alien cultures, let's see which of these captains would 'boldly go' and which ones would simply 'go'.

14. Dishonourable Mention: Gabriel Lorca

Star Trek Captains Ranked 2023 Liam Shaw Todd Stashwick
CBS Media Ventures / Paramount Pictures

He may not have actually been a captain, but this list would be incomplete without mentioning Lorca, the mirror universe imposter who was able to pose successfully as his counterpart.

Lorca attempted a coup against the Terran Emperor, but his ship was destroyed in conflict with her warship, and he was thrown into the prime universe due to a transporter malfunction through an ion storm.

He was easily able to slip into Captain Lorca's life, becoming the commanding officer of Starfleet's newest top-secret ship, the Discovery. He hacked Discovery's spore drive to return to his home universe and used Michael Burnham (who he lured aboard the ship) to reach Emperor Georgiou to seek his revenge on her for killing his crew.

Using his experience from the Terran Empire, Lorca was able to coach Stamets and his team into perfecting the Spore Drive, and, despite being a hostile imposter, he led some devastating counter-attacks against the Klingons. He was an undeniably skilled commander and an even better liar.


Marcia Fry is a writer for WhatCulture and an amateur filmmaker.