Top Ten Best Snooker Players

The Top Ten

1 Ronnie O Sullivan

This is easily the most accurate list I've ever seen. It's almost as if mine has been copied. It's not just a balanced opinion it's a gracious one as well as Grizleybear has a lot of positive things to say about all of the top ten contenders. Of course it can never be completely accurate as young players mature like for example Judd Trump who would not be at 10 now. Also older players lose their form as people don't realise that a player walks many miles around the table in a long match and has innumerable mental decisions which are tiring. Add to that the psychological hammering they have to endure and this is the reason why to some extent it's a young mans game. When Joe retired he was so frustrated with his game that he said he couldn't even make a 14 break. Yet in his heyday he made the first 147.

As of 2013 he has won 5 world championship titles which makes the accusation of under achiever carry less weight if any. He is still going strong picking his tournaments and has every chance of extending his world championship tally. For natural talent he is undisputedly the best. But these days Ronnie has everything in his game, potting, the best positional player ever, great safety and a better temperament. Ironically I would say his weakest area is long pots but because of how great his safety has become Ronnie seems to be finding himself in less long pot situations as other players tend to buckle their safety before Ronnie does, letting him in more easily. Snooker would be a poorer game without Ronnie at the table.

Ronnie is the only Snooker player I have personally seen who has not got any worse with age. He has bad years but keeps getting back to his best. Steven Hendry was probably the best in his prime but he went off in later years. Ronnie is the best in every department a perfect all rounder he doesn't even have to look at the table he knows were the ball will end up and figures out the table in a matter of seconds. That's genius not the potting but the reading of the table so fast and effortlessly there is no player like him past or present or future.

Ronnie o'sullivan is most peoples favorite snooker player right now. He is the showman of snooker and that's what the crowd want to see. He's fast with a very quick snooker brain and plays some brilliant shots. The 147 world record clearance he made in just 5 mins and 20 secs in most peoples eyes is trully stunning. Will it ever be beaten its very very unlikely but never say never. Ronnie is in his forties and still going strong over the years he has threatened countless times but he hasn't as of yet. I know he has everyone on his back expecting him to win title after title and I think sometimes because of this he gets so stressed and deserves a break. He could go on and win a few more titles most people would love to see him achieve this. In the mean time though a lot of people would agree to be the best you need a break now and then. he's faced a lot of things in his life for personal reasons and what not and to carry on achieving what he has done is truly remarkable. I hope the ...more

2 Stephen Hendry

Simply the best...
He was untouchable in the 90's when some great players were about including Davis, Higgins, William's and O'Sullivan to name a few.
To win the worlds 7 times in their company and 5 back to back.
Pure genius.
Well over 700 cents in competitive play aswel.
Yes I know Ronnie has beat that now but there is a lot more tournaments thus more opportunities to make the centuries nowadays.
So Hendry gets my vote for greatest ever player all day long.

A cut above O'Sullivan both in quality of play and his professionalism on and off the table.
He invented the, now much-copied, shot of opening the pack as soon as possible. An all-round class act.

Although Ronnie O'Sullivan is the most exciting, entertaining and (probably/arguably) most talented professional snooker player in history (or the professional/modern era at least), I would still say seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry is the greatest to ever play the game.
He was truly the master - A brilliant champion, with an aura of invincibility who could finish off a frame in one visit. An incredible break builder, and of maximums and centuries (who alongside O'Sullivan, as such amazing statistics)

Hendry's influence and impact on the game and the generation/s who've followed (also must mention as Steve Davis in the 1980's, of course) will stand the test of time.

The perfect player (and a great bloke too so it seems, with a cracking sense of humour off the table) - The King of The Crucible, Stephen Hendry.

Comment written by Chris Wilson, a snooker fan.

Best break builder = best snooker player in my opinion. He is the most gifted player with the best snooker brain. Entertaining as hell and a genius. The greatest of all time, always will be

3 Steve Davis

Davis clearly set the bar in snooker and could have had 7 world titles if he hadn't missed that infamous black against Taylor. That said, Hendry was lucky in a way that White bottled his final frame against Hendry in the World Chapionship Final, so we're looking at fractions. For me Davis is the best all round player as he was undoubtedbly the master tactition in the sport. Football managers could only dream of such consistency and the bookies feared his unbeatable reputation. Davis was and still one of the best ambassadors for snooker and for sport in general. He is legendary and a true inspiration to many. A knighthood is well deserved and overdue.

If he'd realised Hendry would follow him and break most of his records, he'd have undoubtedly have won more of everything in his heyday. The most feared player in his prime and first truly top class professional Snooker king that others copied to try to dominate the game.

Steve would have won more titles then Hendry and is the greatest original pioneer snooker player to take the level of the game it is today, that in itself is the ultimate tribute to this all time great player to play the game.

At his peak, by far the best. Hendry probably #2. Crying shame that Davis, Hendry and O'Sullivan never played each other when they were all at their best, their careers never really overlapped in that way. What a clash of the Titans that would have been.

4 Joe Davis

15 times world champion and arguably its greatest ever promoter; a man without whom it is doubtful Snooker would have survived as a pastime, much less become a global sport. It is also worth remembering that had Joe Davis not stopped competing in the world championship - which he himself invented to begin with - in 1946, the evidence is that he would likely have won another 20 times. The game was different then, largely because the equipment was much more unreliable, and the techniques relied upon by modern players were simply impossible. In addition the modern player benefits from the experience of earlier players (and most notably one J Davis) and professional coaches. Add to that the fact that Davis wasn't just a snooker player - he was Billiards champion for years as well - and the case is still strong for Joe Davis to be #1. Certainly if any modern player had played him on the older (pre-1973) equipment, they would likely have been trounced. On modern tables I think he would have ...more

The past players were also good and my father always ranked Joe Davis. Both are now dead and my father also ranked Ronnie O Sullivan. He, Joe was at his time the best and was nearly unbeatable from what I have heard or read about him I have noted that the list is mainly close or nearly past Players. Please do not forget the past invented and obviously again also played snooker.

Only 3 people in the world championships when he was winning it. Consistent yes but his record can't really be compared seriously with modern players

He would have destroyed the new easier tables and was 2nd best billiard player ever too!

5 Alex Higgins

Higgins was blessed with more natural ability than he knew what to do with. He played snooker like some unique style of performance art. Aside from him only one other player can be classed as a genuine genius and that is O'Sullivan. Whilst his chaotic lifestyle and self destructive tendencies meant he didn't win as much as he otherwise would have done he did nonetheless win all the snooker 'majors' and was a double masters champion as well as a double world champion. His recovery from 0-7 to beat Steve Davis 16-15 in the 1983 you. K championship final is one of the most astonishing comebacks of all time. His 69 break to level at 15-15 in the 1982 world final is arguably the most famous break of all time but it is sometimes forgotten that in his next match he secured his second world title with a 135 total clearance.

"The one true genius snooker has ever produced" -Steve Davis. Alex is the best snooker player there has ever been. He is the most gifted, the most unique and the most flamboyant. He is largely responsible for what snooker became in the 80's and is definitely responsible for the increase in quality over the last 30 years. Every professional snooker player of today grew up wanting to be Alex Higgins. Jimmy White learnt from him, Ronnie O'Sullivan idolised him and Judd Trump reads about him. He is the creator of modern snooker. He is the reason Steve Davis had to be so consistent, he is reason Stephan Henry came through so young, he is the reason we have Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump. He was a genius, and sadly like most genius in the world, he couldn't handle it. The fact will always remain, if you could play any snooker player from any era, if you could watch any player from any era, it would always be Alex Higgins. Ronnie O'Sullivan made a 5 minute 147, that's amazing but in my ...more

After Alex won his first world championship I had the privelige to referee him on a set of exhibition matches, we had a beer, Vodka and a game of bingo in the club snug, alex had a great time chatting with the old ladies and playing bingo, he was so good with them, so so talented a natural genius but boy when things went wrong he loses himself, if he could have harnessed his temperament maybe he would have dominated the 70s or maybe it was that same temperament that made him the genius that he was. For me the most outstanding natural player of all time

The one true snooker genius. He was the reason many of us watched snooker in the 80's. I remember many late nights watching the excitement he created, especially in the duels with Davis. Rubbed many up the wrong way, but dragged snooker from dingy clubs to a huge audience. Some of the shots and breaks he made were unbelievable. Such a sad end for him, if somewhat caused by his lifestyle. The world of snooker should be ashamed the way it treated one of the greats and by far the most gifted player ever.

6 Jimmy White

Will always be remembered for never winning a world title but that would be unfair to dismiss his case for being listed up there with the best. While Davis, Hendry and John Higgins were probably the 3 most successful players (until O'Sullivan won his last 2 world titles) I like to think of White as being in the top 3 most naturally talented players to ever Grace the game along with Ronnie O'Sullivan and Alex Higgins. Not bad company to be compared with at all.

Great player. Unlucky at least twice in World Cup finals. Goes without saying, had he been more disciplined in his alcohol intake and a little more lucky, he would have been World Champion, and in my eyes was.

A crime he never won a world title. Many a lesser player has; but then again, that adds to the romance of a player justifiably tagged "the peoples champion"

Best wrest player biggest cue power à bit unlucky to come up against the two best match players Steve Davis' and Stephens hendry when they were in their prime but Should have won at least 3 world titles. Some say hè broke under pressure but that is not true I have al so see him play at his best under pressure. Perhaps the wrong lifestyle but for me à gentleman and the greatest character of them all

7 John Higgins

He's definitely worth his place at the top table. Probably 4th behind O'Sullivan, Hendry, Davis. Maybe even a place behind Higgins & white if we're to go by natural raw talent but with his haul of silverware he's certainly a top 5

Agree he is the most complete snooker player. And tremendous longevity - 19 years between his first and most recent world championship final in snooker's most competitive era.

Should be in the top 5 in my opinion. Can't think of anyone who has maintained their performance at the very highest level for as long as John Higgins has. Legend of the sport.

Definitely without doubt top 3 player of all time, even O'Sullivan who is the best player ever said that this man is the second toughest player he has played behind Hendry and he has played them all.

8 Mark Williams

A great champion who had two spells as undisputed number one and then rose to the top a third time after dropping outside the top 40. Possibly the greatest single-ball potter of all time. At his peak (1999-2000 and 2002-2003) the best big match temperament of any player. Won all the biggest titles twice, so why is he ranked below White, Trump, Murphy, Taylor and Doherty, who haven't won them all even once?

Mark Williams is a brilliant long shot potter and on his day he can beat any snooker player on the circuit today and this year after contemplating to give snooker up for good he's come back and won 3 titles (2 ranking,1 non-ranking) well done Mark and he's hoping you can go far in the up coming World Championship.

In my opinion the best player of all time in his prime. He doesn't score as heavily as Hendry or Ronnie, but it doesn't need to make a147 to win a frame. With his unbelievable potting ability, you cannot give him even half a chance because he'll just take it from nothing and score just enough to beat you.

He was class in his prime 99 - early 00's and won all the major trophies more than once against the top players who were all around their own prime too so I think 11th is a bit unfair. He is certainly a top 10 player. Probably 7/8th on my list.

9 Mark Selby

Toughest player the game has ever seen. Even when he is out of form and only playing his B game, he is still very tough to beat. And when he is playing well, he is pretty much unplayable and would beat every player. He's been world number one, for quite some time now and so much farther of everyone else and would take a hell of a lot to take him off the number one spot. Brilliant at matchplay, great safety, can score great as well, and can manage to win even when he's struggling with his form. He's also extremely mentally tough, and also handles defeat in grace (like when he got knocked out of World Championship 2015 in the second round). Great number one to have for the game, and at his best, I am sure he could have beaten even Hendry or Davis or White (who are all excellent too).

The most underrated player in Snooker history. This man had dominated the World Number 1 spot for the last 5 years. At the top of his game, not enough the great and naturally gifted Ronnie O'Sullivan can beat him.
We often talk about players being 'unplayable', on a Selby-good day, there is not a single player that can beat him. But it's not just technical ability, Selby is mentally the best player to play the game. Just when you think you have him on the ropes he has the mental strength to come back and finish you off. An incredible man and an incredible player. Easily in the top 3, if not number 1.

Selby has been ranked number 1 in world at the end of every season in the last 5 year, he can break build as good as the best of them, his safety/ tactical game is the best in the world, and his temperament is the greatest in the history of the game. He is the ultimate all round player with no weaknesses.

A great player, gentleman and also humorous person. One point signs him as an extra player which is his ability to fight in almost lost situations with very good safeplay and positional shots back in a match. I think this may gets more weight when we look a few years further.

10 Judd Trump

Trump and Rocket... Rocket and Trump... Trump is currently my number 1, although Ronnie is more the genius. Trump has been great lately!

Ridiculous. Are you serious people? Above John Higgins. The guy is way behind Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui let alone the likes of Higgins and Williams. He might have some amazing shots but greatness is measured by potting balls in high pressure situations and he seems to fall short most times. Utter nonsense. Ignorance of the highest order. Please understand the game before casting your vote. Disgraceful...

Please, just shut up. You are obviously very confused and deluded. Williams better than Trump? Are you sick? Maybe a few years back but if we're talking about the present, Williams is nowhere near as good as him. You sound like someone who only likes to live in the past and judge people on that

Sorry gents trump should not be in the top ten although I am a fan I am also realistic! And Shaun Murphy should also not be in top 10, Neil Robinson is missing for me " william Delaney

No way is he ranked so highly in an ALL TIME list. He may be ahead of Williams in the current rankings but he is way, way behind him in the all time rankings.

The Contenders

11 Ray Reardon

Six times world champion, and four places behind Judd Trump? Pretty obvious that Dracula - an absolute legend of the game, and one of its great, all-time masters - needs to be far higher than this. Top six, at the very least.

A great great player,only Alex Hurricane Higgins was able to raise his game that wee bit more Reardon would have lifted a seventh title in 1982. Certainly one of the all time greats.

Smashed Higgins consistently, and was still spectacular at 50 yrs old. Hendry no1, Joe Davies no2, Reardon has to be no3. Imagine how much O'Sullivan would pout, with the amount of clever safety from old ray..

Should be in the top 5 without question. Dominated the game when Alex Higgins was in his pomp and reached a world final at 50.

12 Shaun Murphy

Most underrated player ever but a complete Gentleman! A lesson to others?

13 Ding Junhui

Another top class player of the modern game along with Selby, Robertson' Trump and Co. But still too soon to be considered along with the all time elites. Time will tell for all this generation of players.

I understand when his achievement is compared to Hendry's but it has to be remembered that tactical play in Hendry's era was superior to the current one.

Ding took Judd Trump apart in the 2013 German Masters... Cue ball control was amazing.

He opens china's market for snooker
inspires hundreds of chinese new stars
brings snooker oversea

14 Neil Robertson

Don't see how trump could be higher than Robertson when comparing their current achievements. Definitely a great of the modern game and can still achieve much more.

Neil Ronertson should be much higher, at least 11th. He has won the triple crown, first player to make 100 centuries in a season 2nd is Ding Junhui with 82 and 3rd is Judd Trump with 62. Neil if better than than both of these players with neither winning the triple crown.

Should probably be higher than Trump but still too soon to be challenging those established players at the top table.

Only overseas player to win the triple crown. In the top 10 for sure. Best adaptable player in the world.

15 Dennis Taylor

Won that famous match against Davis in the world final and in doing so probably kick started the massive T.V. audience to the sport. I think he's doing well though to be considered 12th in my opinion.

A real sticker of a player but not overly blessed with talent.

Winner of the greatest match

16 Fred Davis

Became world champion in the 40's, dominated in the 50's.

Made 10 World finals (or equivalents) in a row - 8 against fellow legend Walter Donaldson, won 8 world championships.

Ranked number 4 in the world when world rankings were first introduced and became the oldest player to make a centuary and oldest to win a World Championship match and the oldest player to make the quarter and semi-finals of the World Championship all in his mid-sixties

In the modern era beat Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor, all whilst he was well past his prime.

Like Ray Reardon, John Pulman, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and his elder brother Joe Davis one of only half a dozen players that can truly be said actually 'dominated' an era.

One of the true ambassadors, pioneers, revolutionaries and legends of the game.

A lovely man and a funny man too made the world championship semi final in 1978 (aged 64) and lost out to Perri Mans after missing a straight pink( known as "the pink that killed Joe Davis") always loved watching him and his character around the snooker table is missed still today.

Without his brother, Fred would have won many more world titles. Always a smiling gentleman, and utterly gracious in victory or defeat

8 time world champion

17 Cliff Thorburn

His style of play was effective but nowadays a similar style may put people off the game and ruin the sports reputation.

First perfect game in a world championship backed by several accomplishments

Only North American to win the World Championship!

Excellent player, underrated

18 Paul Hunter

His life and snooker career cut short! Natural talent that would have achieved so much! River Phoenix of snooker! Lost but not forgotten. RIP.

Allure, prestigious presence! The dandy posing as a gentleman! Exquisite!

A player who due to his untimely death left a terrible loss for his family.As for the game of snooker the world was his Oyster,always brings a certain amount of sadness when talking about PaulHunter

Best ever... would have made it all the way to the top RIP

19 John Spencer

Three time World Champion

20 Pankaj Advani

Great billiards player but never transferred it to snooker

Not a very good player compared to the rest of this list.

One of the best players of the world

He is a great player and a good person

21 Eddie Charlton

Should be higher along with Jimmy White most sussesful player not to win World title but got very close.
Qualified for Worlds into his sixties,
but should be judged at his peak years

22 Marco Fu

I some how like him personally a very good break builder right there at the top with the games best

Hong kong independence

Great break builder

Good break building

23 Kirk Stevens

Made a 147 on tele

24 Ali Carter

One of best player with full of determination

25 Walter Lindrum

More adept at billiards and champion for 20years. Certainly deserves his place in this list as a superb master with the Cue.

No one compares in any game played on the table his records speak for themselves. Best sportsman of all time!

What a crock of crap this table is. Lindrum at 33, he could of used a boomerang and still beat this mob

My grandfather said he had never seen anywhere near walter. He was number one by a country mile

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