Forbes said that Putin, who ranked third last year, showed his dominance in diplomatic maneuvring during the international crisis over Syria, and the fate of fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden who was given asylum in Russia.
"Putin has solidified his control over Russia ("dictator" is no longer an outlandish word to ponder) and the global stage,” Forbes said.
The top spot has been given to Obama every year since Forbes began compiling the ranking in 2009, except in 2010 when Hu Jintao, the former Chinese leader, was deemed the most influential.
It is not the first time Putin, who returned to the Russian presidency last year for a third term that will end in 2018, has been given the accolade.
In a similar survey released by US magazine Foreign Policy in January, Putin was also proclaimed as the most powerful person in the world.
Three other Russians also made it onto the list, which included 72 people. Forbes placed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 53rd place, and Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, in 63rd place. Head of state oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin appeared on the list for the first time in 60th place.