Rangers were first introduced to Dungeons & Dragons in AD&D 1st edition. They’ve been in the four editions that followed, got a major overhaul in 3.5e and there is a revised ranger for 5th edition. They are a long established core element of D&D, just like dwarves, wizards, and beholders. You can’t really imagine a new edition of D&D without them.
But rangers should never have been introduced in the first place. Rangers were a mistake.
Rangers have always been a somewhat popular class, but I don’t recall ever hearing anyone say that they are happy with the abilities of the class. Many classes had disappointing versions in one edition or another, but rangers have been bad every time. (Though I hear it’s good at combat in 4th edition.) Rangers always being bad has a simple reason. The whole concept it bad. What role are rangers supposed to fill in a party?
Rangers as a class came into existence for a single reason. Someone wanted to play Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. In D&D terms, Aragorn is a fighter, except that… Well nothing except! He lives in the wilderness and is friends with elves? Fighters can do that. He has special herbalism skills? Well, that’s actually a race ability of Numenorians, not a class ability. From what I remember, the book doesn’t mention him doing any sneaky stuff. But of you want a fighter who also sneaks, that’s a multiclass fighter/thief. That’s been an option since first edition.
So Aragorn brings nothing to the table in regards to making a class. Already at that point, the idea of rangers as a class should have been discarded. But it wasn’t, and so generations of game designers tried coming up with things that can make rangers different from fighters. And that’s the problem. Generations of game designers have been trying to find something for rangers to do that doesn’t already fit other classes. So they’ve been throwing everything wilderness themed they could think of at it to see what sticks. Animals as henchmen. Following tracks. Maybe some druid spells. Attack bonus against certain monsters. Well, Drizzt was fighting with two swords… Now you’re no longer eve trying.
The ranger is a bundle of abilities that a warrior living in the wilderness might have, but there is no underlying concept for what what role the class is to fulfill in a party. It’s a bunch of abilities that are all weak in their own right, to not step on the toes of fighters, rogues, and druids who all have their respective niches, but which don’t synergize together to create something more useful than the sum of their parts.
The ranger is a class in search for a justification for its own existence for 43 years. And there isn’t any.