The list places Dhoni above F1 racer Fernando Alonso, who is ranked 19th, Lewis Hamilton at 26th place, Novak Djokovic at 28th place, Rafael Nadal at 30th spot and Usain Bolt at 40th rank.
The calculation is based upon the earnings estimates which includes salaries, bonuses and prize money from both club and national teams, as well as endorsement income.
Dhoni has moved up 15 positions in this year's list. He held the 31st rank last year. Sachin Tendulkar is the only other Indian sportsman who features in the list with a rank of 31st and total annual earning of $22 million (Rs.125 crore).
The list is topped by golfer Tiger Woods, who made $78.1 million, last year followed by tennis player Roger Federer who earned $71.5 million and basketball player Kobe Bryant, whose earnings stood at $61.9 million.
According to Forbes, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova topped the list of highest-paid female athletes for the ninth straight year by earning $29 million between June 2012 and June 2013.
American Serena Williams was second on the list with earnings of $20.5 million, followed by Chinese tennis player Li Na on $18.2 million and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka on $15.7 million.