There are a ton of different steel coasters out there, but which ones are the best? Let’s get started!
#10: Mr Freeze Reverse Blast @ Six Flags Parks
Mr Freeze is one of those rides where it’s hard to describe why you like it but you just do. It’s very intense and well-paced while still remaining ridiculously fun to ride. It’s a pretty short ride but packs a ton into that space including a giant drop and tons of hangtime. The backwards launch is amazing and fairly unique, the theming in the queue is way above average for Six Flags and even for rides in general, and the layout is just incredibly fun. Even better is that this ride is cloned and at two different parks, Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St Louis. I found the Texas one to be slightly smoother but both of them are very smooth, very intense, and very fun.
#9: Powder Keg @ Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO
Powder Keg has an interesting history of being a water coaster, but it got Frankensteined with some S&S magic and became this fantastic ride. Oddly enough it was marketed as a family coaster. I can sort of see it, but it’s still a little more on the intense side. Onto the ride itself. It’s a very well-designed ride. There’s plenty of airtime and the setting is just as good as any of the other coasters at Silver Dollar City, making the sensation of speed fantastic. The launch is powerful and the drop at the end is a little weird but a great finale. Everything about this ride is just fantastic. Definitely one of the best coasters out there and one of the better ones at Silver Dollar City.
#8: Top Thrill Dragster @ Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH
Top Thrill Dragster is one of the tallest and fastest coasters in the world, and oh man is it a rush. It’s incredibly short but the power of that launch and the entire ride make up for it by being incredibly intense and fun. It’s outlandishly smooth and riding in the front row makes you feel like your face is about to come off of your head. The view from the top is amazing. It’s hard to describe how awesome this coaster is but it’s great.
#7: Raptor @ Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH
Yup, another Cedar Point coaster here! However, that doesn’t stop Raptor from being awesome! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big fan of inverts in general. Batman clones are fun but headache machines and Banshee is incredibly overrated. So naturally I wasn’t really looking forward to Raptor, especially when I had a headache already walking into the queue. However, unlike the Batman clones and Banshee, Raptor knows how to balance out its forces and not give me a headache. Seriously, this thing rocks. The inversions are hilariously forceful and the ride is incredibly comfortable and smooth. The pacing is flawless and backs off when you need it to. Thank you B&M for creating such an awesome ride. This is definitely the best invert I’ve been on and one of the best B&Ms out there.
#6: ShockWave @ Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, TX
If you’re at Six Flags Over Texas, chances are you’re more focused on rides like New Texas Giant and Titan, and might even consider this gem skippable. This is how I saw ShockWave during my first visit to SFOT. My first ride was somewhere near the front and was fun, but not the best thing ever. I didn’t go back and instead went to go ride New Texas Giant some more times. However, on my second visit to SFOT, I went to ShockWave and wanted to try out the back row. Wow. Gotta love that classic intensity. The loops are incredibly forceful. The drops give some of the best old school sustained airtime you’ll find on any steel coaster ever and the laterals are amazing. All of this, and it’s one of the smoothest coasters ever made yet was built in 1978. Why can’t all old steel coasters be this smooth?
#5: Diamondback @ Kings Island in Mason, OH
Kings Island is definitely one of the best Cedar Fair parks, and Diamondback is without a doubt their star attraction. It towers over the park and is almost as visible as their Eiffel Tower. Some people may call Diamondback and the other B&M hypers forceless, and sure it’s nowhere near as intense as many other coasters out there and even on this list, but Diamondback is very fun. The floater air is everywhere and the valleys are incredibly forceful. The clamshell restraints are the most comfortable in the industry and just about everything about this ride is very fun. It’s a ride you can be in any mood and any physical condition and get on and still have a great time. It’s one of the most fun rides out there and definitely the best coaster at Kings Island.
#4: Iron Rattler @ Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, TX
Since SFFT is my home park I’ve had the chance to ride Iron Rattler a ton of times, and it’s definitely one of the best coasters ever. It has an incredible pace, very strong airtime, fun overbanks, and an awesome inversion. The first drop is incredible and one of the best out there, and don’t even get me started on the terrain interaction. Wow. This thing has some of the best terrain interaction of any coaster ever. It has giant drops off the quarry wall and some incredibly fun bits on top of the quarry as well. The final drop off the cliff is one of the best moments of sustained ejector air ever, and there’s even a tunnel at the end. Get to SFFT and ride it. You won’t regret it.
#3: Maverick @ Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH
If you’re paying attention, this is the third coaster from Cedar Point on this list. And yeah. Cedar Point is awesome and anyone who likes coasters needs to get there at least once in their life. Now onto Maverick. This ride is crazy. On the outside, it doesn’t look it. It’s not tall at all. Despite that, this is by far the most intense coaster I’ve ridden, and one of the most popular rides at Cedar Point. It does everything you could want, except maybe a big drop. But Maverick doesn’t need a big drop. Its first drop is still amazing and beyond vertical. The transitions are ridiculously forceful. The entire coaster stays low to the ground the whole ride and it really keeps its speed, sort of like the first half of Switchback but even better. It has two fantastic inversions, two insane airtime hills, and a crazy launch mid-ride that really sets the pace for the second half of the ride, which doesn’t let up. Everything in the second half is like the first half times two. It’s that insane. Now, Maverick isn’t necessarily the #3 coaster on this list. Everything from here up is pretty much tied. However, if someone put a gun to my head and told me to list my top ten coasters in order, this is the order I would give. Either way, Maverick is amazing and one of the best coasters in the world.
#2: New Texas Giant @ Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, TX
Like Cedar Point, Six Flags Over Texas is awesome enough to have more than one coaster on this list, and oh man is New Texas Giant a good one. This ride is awesome and probably my favorite RMC. The ride has incredible airtime throughout and keeps a dynamic range of forces so you don’t get bored. The overbanks are incredibly fun as well as the numerous airtime hills and turns. It also has a little bit of theming in the ride such as disco tunnels, a sign above the lift hill’s crest, and an oil derrick in the middle of the land the ride’s built on. It’s far from the best theming but for a Six Flags coaster it’s amazing. This ride goes on forever and manages to not lose its original pace. The funky banked airtime hills are as awesome as they look and the airtime in the tunnels is fantastic. This coaster is by far my favorite coaster in Texas and one of the best in the world.
#1: Millennium Force @ Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH
Millennium Force is one of the most famous coasters in the world. It’s often featured on Travel Channel and is constantly rated the #1 coaster of all time by the Golden Ticket Awards. While it is a little bit overhyped in some aspects, pretty much any coaster with this amount of hype would be overhyped. However, being overhyped does not make it a bad ride at all. Millennium Force is awesome. It has a fantastic first drop that goes on forever, and the speed you get from the first drops seems to stay with you the whole ride. It goes incredibly fast. Not just normal fast, we’re talking insane fast. It never lets up. The view from the lift hill is amazing and the airtime hills actually do deliver airtime. Just about everything this coaster does is awesome and incredibly fun. Riding it in or right after the rain, in incredibly hot weather, or at night turns an amazing ride into the best thing ever made (at least that I’ve ridden). Seriously, it’s awesome. The vibe surrounding the ride is also great and the station music is great for pumping people out. Cedar Point’s crown jewel really is an awesome ride. Go out and ride it today. Even if you’re an intensity junky and find it overrated, you’ll still have fun. It rocks.