We looked at 492 of America’s best roller coasters in order to pick an overall top 10 in the nation. How did we do it? We aggregated ratings from the experts (including the American Coaster Enthusiast Awards and multiple years of Amusement Today’s coaster rankings) and combined their scores with ride attributes like top speed, max height, track length, hourly capacity, inversions, and G-forces.
10. Intimidator at Carowinds
Carowinds’ best roller coaster is also the class of North Carolina, a giant steel beast as elegant as it is fierce. You’ll be surprised how smooth the ride is, even after an initial 232-foot drop and 75 mph top speed.
9. New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas
The pride of the Lone Star State, the New Texas Giant blends a classic wooden feel with modern coaster technology. Old coaster enthusiasts will be able to relive the glory days, while young riders will appreciate the twists and turns—maneuvers that just weren’t possible (or at least safe) on old-school wooden coasters.
8. Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion
The Intimidator 305 is a stat geek’s dream: 90 mph, over 5,000 feet of track, and a first drop north of 300 feet. What’s more, its 85-degree angle on the first drop is insanely steep crazy for a full-circuit coaster.
7. Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
This 1999 classic in Busch Gardens is the oldest of the top 10-a testament to its resilience. Even better, Apollo’s Chariot propels riders through a literal forest of trees, a feat of clever design most of its competitors simply can’t match.
6. Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
Top Thrill Dragster is a one-trick pony—but what a trick it is. Riders launch off at an astonishing 120 mph, flying 420 feet high before dropping straight down (yes, 90 degrees) on the other side.
5. El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
El Toro has an iconic, classic look: a rolling spectacle of giant hills and deep valleys, all built above a man-made lake. But it’s the little things that propel El Toro to the #5 spot, like a 181 max height, 70 mph top speed, and 76-degree drop—all particularly impressive for a coaster made out of wood.
4. The Voyage at Holiday World
After waiting in line for over an hour, the last thing guests want is a ride that’s over in under 30 seconds. The Voyage is their answer. Its 6,442-feet track length is the 4th longest in the nation, and the second longest wooden track (the longest is The Beast, in Kings Island, which barely missed a place on this list).
3. Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure
Bright orange, aggressive, and incredibly quick (80 mph), Nitro earns its name, hurtling riders up, around, and above the forest below. Crucially, it’s also a very comfortable ride, with just a simple lap restraint and banked turns that feel like butter.
2. Bizarro at Six Flags New England
Bizarro looms above Massachusetts, daring guests to ride its blazing purple track, complete with a 208-foot drop and 77 mph top speed. Riders praise the coaster’s technical prowess as well as the gorgeous views of the nearby Connecticut River.
1. Millennium Force at Cedar Point
In the end, there can only be one winner, and Millennium Force is the easy choice. The Cedar Point show horse has defied logic for over a decade, fast (93 mph), tall (310 feet), long (6,595 feet), and steep (80 degrees), and yet, as smooth as silk. Coaster fans across America agree: once you ride Millennium Force, no other coaster will do.
The big winners? Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) and Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey), with two coasters each in the top ten. Meanwhile, the West Coast failed to make its mark, with no representatives among the best of the best. For the record, X2 (Six Flags Magic Mountain; Valencia, California) was the best coaster in the West, #22 overall