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CoasterForce's Favourite Roller Coasters - 2023 Edition!

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
As we close the books on the year 2023, so too has @Pokemaniac been beckoned back to the Top 10 thread to peruse and aggregate reported rankings across all members who have shared their tiering throughout the year. All-in, 62 CFers participated - one of our largest turnouts ever! And so without further ado, on behalf of @Pokemaniac, @Hixee, and the rest of the CF Team - we present the Top 10 Roller Coasters of CoasterForce!

Methodology

One of the most visited threads in the General Discussions section of the forums is the "Top 10-ish" thread, where people rank their ten (or more) most favourite coasters. We have combed through the thread and collected all the Top 10 lists posted over the past year - from 1 November 2022 to the end of December 2023. Only the top 10 coasters posted by each user are counted, even if some users post their entire Top 20 or Top 30 list. We only count the most recently posted list by each user, since some like to adjust their top 10 list multiple times throughout the season. As such, this list shows which coasters are considered a favourite among the most users, and how highly they rank. But without further adieu, we can compare details on CF's top 25!

The Top 25

RankRoller CoasterAverage RankingAverage Ranking/FrequencyNumber of #1 RankingsNumber of Rides
1Steel Vengeance2.430.091728
2Taron3.700.14527
3Zadra3.730.17522
4Velocicoaster3.860.18321
5Iron Gwazi4.050.20420
6Voyage3.650.21517
7Skyrush4.950.26119
8Ride to Happiness3.790.27314
9Helix3.620.28413
10Shambhala5.130.32116
11Fury 3255.310.33116
12Untamed5.000.33215
13Lightning Rod5.400.36115
14Kondaa5.250.44212
15Maverick5.500.46012
16Intimidator 3054.700.47210
17El Toro5.820.53111
18Mako4.750.5918
19ArieForce One5.000.6308
20Nemesis5.780.6409
21Wildfire6.500.65110
22Millennium Force5.880.7308
23F.L.Y.6.130.7708
24Twisted Colossus4.000.8015
24Kärnan4.000.8025

Key Thoughts/Takeaways
  • Rise of the Intamin Multilaunch? - Zadra has continued an ongoing march up the rankings over the last few years, begging the question of whether it would only be a matter of time before it breaks the #1 slot held by Steel Vengeance. Then enter... Taron? Yes, by a matter of hundredths of a point, Taron eeked out a dead-heat finish with Zadra that put it the smallest slivers ahead in the rankings. While it isn't exactly clear "what" the reason for Taron's resurgence in the polls is... if you'll entertain a theory... you will notice Velocicoaster has also been working its way up the rankings, now cracking the top 5. In a "what's old is new" phenomenon, Taron could be experiencing new-found favor as European members remember they have their own phenomenal Intamin multi-launch on their side of the pond!
  • RMC Nipping at the Heels - Another general trend we've continued to track is Iron Gwazi, which some portend would even eclipse Steel Vengeance on rankings. It nearly halved its distance from the #1 slot, jumping up from #9 to #5 as more CFers had the chance to ride. Will it garner enough love to jump Zadra over the coming years? It is also worth mentioning ArieForce One's debut at #19 in the rankings, a number that most likely will ramp up with more riders in the new year. (For reference, Storm Chaser - a similar, short-style RMC, peaked in #12 slot in 2020)
  • Where's the New For 2023 Coasters? - Overall, we saw a very weak showing of new-for-2023 coasters this year. ArieForce One led overall (#19), with serious digging involved to salvage Toutatis (#37) and Wildcat's Revenge (#44) in the rundown. Other new-hits like Batman Gotham City laid a big goose egg, clearly indicative of CFers being not well traveled people. 😜 These lower rankings are most likely indicative of lower rider counts, albeit our methodology still only considers coasters within CF Top 10s, meaning middling-teen rankings coughWildcat'sRevengecough do not count in our aggregation. Overall, we'll continue to track these coasters, especially to see what more ridership will do for their rankings.
  • Mack and Gravity Group Keeping Things Varied - Ride to Happiness and Helix remain in the mix, joined by Voyage (of Gravity Group) as the non-Intamin-nor-RMC coasters in the Top 10 rankings. We have seen a collective slide of these guys, crowded out by an ever-growing number of RMC and Intamin hits.
  • What Do You Guys Know That I Don't? - We saw a continued churn of popular hits, with some roller coasters on a previous surge (Phantom's Revenge was on a previous hot streak surging up to #23), only to fall completely out this year. Of particular note are Eejanaika (jumping 61 slots) and Nemesis Inferno (Jumping 52 slots) in the biggest increase year-over-year.
Looking at CFers #1 picks, Steel Vengeance continues to lead the majority, but other coasters are quickly approaching (going back to Iron Gwazi continuing to gain in the polls):

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 21.38.42.jpg

As usual, we have a few graphs to break down further CF's top roller coasters, which you can view in the full spreadsheet link at the end of the post. Here is a map of the average roller coaster ranking vs. the number of rides. The higher a roller coaster is charted towards the upper left, the higher it is in the ranking. I have also added a trend line to add further clarity:

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 21.40.00.jpg

As was the case last year, charting out the roller coaster average rankings by the number of rides shows a high correlation with their ranking. Steel Vengeance still takes a definitive runaway victory each way we slice the chart!

Screenshot 2024-01-04 at 21.40.26.jpg

You may notice several roller coasters that have different average rankings vs. average rankings/rides. If we ranked roller coasters based on average rank alone, it would be a different result. Overall, we still prefer to consider the number of rides to help ensure the rankings are reflective of the entire community vs. a few select members. This shows further skewing this year especially, as everyone's travels were greatly disrupted, limiting access and travel to new roller coasters.

Year-Over-Year Trends

For year-over-year, I highlighted a few key observations above. Some other good takeaways:
  • Zadra was just blocked out by Taron this year - it's a genuine two-horse race between Intamin and RMC these days.
  • New for 2023 coasters had some of the worst showing in the six years we've done these polls. Is it a fatal flaw or a sign of coasters being underrated? Or are this year's new coasters just located further off the beaten track than usual, causing fewer CFers to ride them?
  • Lightning Rod closed out at #13, still a far cry from its top 5 finishes of yore. Will the new lift hill system improve response?
  • Overall, a lot of jockeying for position in the teens; is partly reliant on polling response and turnout.

Roller Coaster201820192020202120222023Change From Previous YearAverage Ranking
Steel Vengeance11111101.0
Taron32244222.8
Zadra-166223-15.8
Velocicoaster---2084410.7
Iron Gwazi----9547.0
Voyage857536-35.7
Skyrush464657-25.3
Ride to Happiness---1568-29.7
Helix735779-26.3
Shambhala14178131510512.8
Fury 32511910171111011.5
Untamed-8991412210.4
Lightning Rod24331013-35.8
Kondaa---2128141421.0
Maverick41111111315-210.8
Intimidator 305251535211216-420.7
El Toro1071281617-111.7
Mako2931233431181327.7
ArieForce One-----19-19.0
Nemesis131214122220215.5
Wildfire211021302021-120.5
Millennium Force162448361922-327.5
F.L.Y.--625235231243.0
Twisted Colossus42127-2624220.4
Kärnan192659--24-32.0

Sample Size is Everything

Again, this heavily relies on sample size and how folks responded with their top 10 rankings. If you feel like a roller coaster got cheated and didn't participate this year, make it a point to drop your top 10 into the thread so we can count it towards next year's count!

We also updated the alternate rankings as we did last year, showing variations to how roller coaster rankings can be measured, such as logging results (to consider strong outliers) and removing top and bottom-most votes for each respective roller coaster (also as a control for outlier votes).

Comparing to Other Polls

We appreciate @coasterbot continuing to provide new annual rankings (https://coasterbot.com/votecoasters), which we added as a final comparison. I also went ahead and added in a Top 25 rankings conducted by our friends over at Buzzed Bars, which shows an interesting comparative skew of top coaster response. Overall, the rankings are relatively close to one another, with a number of unique outliers. Is CF onto something breaking with Taron? ;)

Roller CoasterCF RankCoasterBot RankBuzzed Bars Rank
Steel Vengeance113
Taron22219
Zadra354
Velocicoaster421
Iron Gwazi542
Voyage695
Skyrush7258
Ride to Happiness8313
Helix9#N/A#N/A
Shambhala10#N/A#N/A
Fury 3251176
Untamed1212#N/A
Lightning Rod131914
Kondaa1423#N/A
Maverick151810
Intimidator 305161711
El Toro171512
Mako18#N/A#N/A
ArieForce One19147
Nemesis20#N/A#N/A
Wildfire2121#N/A
Millennium Force22#N/A22
F.L.Y.23#N/A#N/A
Twisted Colossus24#N/A#N/A
Kärnan24#N/A#N/A
Eejanaika#N/A6#N/A
Hakugei#N/A8#N/A
DC Rivals Hypercoaster#N/A10#N/A
Taiga#N/A11#N/A
Batman Gotham City Escape#N/A13#N/A
Toutatis#N/A16#N/A
T Express#N/A20#N/A
Wildcat's Revenge#N/A249
X2#N/A#N/A15
Time Traveler#N/A#N/A16
Hyperion#N/A#N/A17
Twisted Timbers#N/A#N/A18
Pantheon#N/A#N/A20
Iron Rattler#N/A#N/A21
Magnum XL-200#N/A#N/A23
Thunderhead#N/A#N/A24
Outlaw Run#N/A#N/A25

Check Out the Full Rankings!

You can peruse all the data and tables here:
 

Howie

Donkey in a hat
Fascinating reading as always, thanks for the effort, team. 👏👏👏
On the whole, CF has great taste in coasters I'd say. I've been on 9 of the Top 10 and of those at least 6 of them are in my own Top 10, with the other 3 being in a category I'd describe as Top 10 Worthy. Even though some people think I'm weird, my tastes are broadly in line with the masses it seems.
Ridden 20 out the Top 25 this year, up from 17 last year thanks to the Florida trio, so that's good. As always though, the unholy trinity of Fury, Skyrush and L'Rod which have eluded me since the poll began, still do so. Hopefully picking those up, along with ArieForce this year, so fingers crossed for a potential full house in 2024. 🫰

Steel Vengeance tho? Six years at the top, 17 out of 28 riders having it as their number 1. Not just this poll either, many others too. Pretty incredible really. Every year we speculate about whether the gap is closing, about whether it will get dethroned next time but nope, there it is again, still the Daddy. Has any other coaster dominated the polls for this long?
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
Love seeing the old rankings too. I love Maverick, but how the hell was it number 4 back then? Haha.

I've got 70% of the Top 10 ridden, and 50% are also in my Top 10 (Vengeance, VC, Skyrush, Voyage, Gwazi). Got 19/25 as well, having added Untamed and Twisted Colossus this year (though I don't think the latter deserves a spot on here).
 

DelPiero

Strata Poster
I do think that only including the top 10 knocks a lot of really good rides out nowadays.
Anyone with a cred count in the multi-hundreds probably has a bunch of excellent coasters in their 11-20, and from what I can see, this is where most of the 2023 coasters are getting ranked.
It's a shame that great creds, like TTD(V1), Phoenix, Hyperion, Toutatis and Wildcat's Revenge aren't at all visible.

That said, not too much to argue about in that top 20, glad to see Taron still getting the love.
 

Esther7

Roller Poster
Wow, such a great work!👏🏼
I've been on this forum for a short time but I really like reading the statistics about the best roller coasters, it's very interesting and helps me expand my bucket list. Thank you for this! 😊
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
I do think that only including the top 10 knocks a lot of really good rides out nowadays.
Anyone with a cred count in the multi-hundreds probably has a bunch of excellent coasters in their 11-20, and from what I can see, this is where most of the 2023 coasters are getting ranked.
It's a shame that great creds, like TTD(V1), Phoenix, Hyperion, Toutatis and Wildcat's Revenge aren't at all visible.

That said, not too much to argue about in that top 20, glad to see Taron still getting the love.
Yeah we've gone back and forth on if we should open up the coaster entry option beyond a top 10 - one downside is far less folks report beyond their top 10 in the thread, so it would push down our sample rate a bit more/open up to more error and skew.

We have definitely found evidence of a "break in period" with new coaster additions, if only to give time for folks to visit attractions. VelociCoaster and Ride to Happiness debuted at 20 and 15 respectively, and quickly shot up as they gained rider mass. I expect the same for ArieForce One, Batman Gotham City, Wildcat's Revenge; while we all know them to be great rides, we also have to get our butts in their seats to report! :p

It's also curious to compare our rankings against others - you can definitely spot certain levels of bias based on respondents (CF being more Eurocentric undoubtedly pushes up Taron, Buzzed Bars having more American-based coasters, etc.), and does help show how all are capturing varying angles and snapshot of "great coasters". While there's a lot of alignment on Steel Vengeance, VelociCoaster, Iron Gwazi, Zadra, and Voyage - things quickly go to crap afterwards. 😅
 

ValravnIsElite

Roller Poster
I would try to argue with Millennium Force, my #1, being so low, but I haven't been on any of the coasters above it.
I would also like to mention the absence of Hakugei at Nagashima Spa Land from this list. I haven't been on it or Zadra or Steel Vengeance or Iron Gwazi, but based on povs, this looks like a worthy competitor for the #1 spot. People. go to Japan!
 
Whats with the Taron love? I get its themed, but over Lrod and velocicoaster? I don't think so. Also, y'all seem to have some beef against X2 and Ghostrider.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Whats with the Taron love? I get its themed, but over Lrod and velocicoaster? I don't think so. Also, y'all seem to have some beef against X2 and Ghostrider.
I do chock it up to sampling bias - indeed a lot of Taron love was entered! (and in turn, Buzzed Bars returns a lot of X2 love partly driven by a recent SFMM Stumbles, etc.)

It would be fun to dig into demographic data if we had it available to better prove out nationality bias. Generally, CF's polling is more european-centric than peer websites and groups we sampled from!
 
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