i have played rangers, including the crap phb rangers before xanathars, and i have played paladins. IMO you have this backwards - Paladin is nowhere equal to Ranger. They are better in combat, way better before Xanathars came out, but Ranger is a better class and far more fun to play in my experience YMMV.The basic flaw in the Ranger's design is analogous to the flaw in the CR system. They came up with a numerical scoring system and a formula that gives the appearance of rigor, but is actually a joke.
In the case of the Ranger, IIRC they had a way of scoring combat vs ribbon abilities. So, in this scheme, having tons of Ribbons makes up for not having a lot of combat abilities. Except, the reality is a combat ability is not worth one, two, three, or thirty ribbon abilities. It's comparing apples and automatic weapons.
Now, fortunately, the Ranger is not actually bad at combat. It takes a little effort to massage a solid warrior out of the class, but it can absolutely be done. However you will still have a lot of junk on your sheet that is largely useless. It will always feel like it is nowhere close to the equal of the Paladin that you would expect a d10-half-caster to be. There are things you can do to fix this, and I've posted my house rules here, and junk like Favored Enemy ain't it.
Really, the only good thing about Favored Enemy is you don't really feel as obligated to take Hunter's Mark as one of your very few known spells.