Coaster Reviews & How I Rate Coasters

Okay, so I take ratings and reviews way too seriously. I admit it. I read reviews on,, Consumer Reports, Car and Driver and Richard Roeper. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m a review addict. Add that to the fact that I’ve always been into numbers and my love of coasters and with that you have:

The Coaster Critic’s Coaster Review Scale

10.0 – Superior/Transcendental
– I can’t find anything wrong with this coaster. It’s perfect or offers such a great experience that the minor flaws are easily overlooked. This is a roller coaster experience that can’t be missed. Coaster enthusiasts, construction workers, soccer moms, celebrities, and anyone with a pulse should ride a coaster like this. El Toro is a great example of a 10. It’s flawless and offers a ride that’s hard to find anywhere else.

9.0 – Excellent – A ‘9’ is just a step below perfect or top notch. It’s fun and may have all of the ingredients of a 10, but something took away from its potential. I reserve anything at a 9.0 or higher for the upper echelon of roller coasters. Hades and Boulder Dash are two excellent coasters that fell short of the superior rating.

8.0 – Great – Just a step below joining the company of the best coasters on planet. These are exceptional roller coasters. Coaster enthusiasts and the general public will love them and quite often give them 10’s. Usually there’s something that I can’t overlook, so it falls short of the 9’s and 10’s. I gave Volcano: The Blast Coaster an 8.5.

7.0 – Good – This is a fun and enjoyable coaster. In my opinion it doesn’t compare to the best coasters around, but it’s a good coaster in it own right. Steel Force at Dorney Park and SheiKra at Busch Gardens Africa are examples of good roller coasters.

6.0 – Above Average – Something makes this coaster slightly better than similar coasters. Viper at Darien Lake is a good example of a 6.0. It’s slightly better than similar steel loopers because of its layout including a tunnel and corkscrews over the queue line.

5.0 – Average – This coaster is on par with the type of coaster it is. It’s not offensive in any way, but also doesn’t stand out in any way. I gave Mean Streak a 5.0.

4.0 – Below Average – Something knocked this coaster down the chart. Maybe the second half of the ride was extra rough or the ride is way too short or just out of date. Luckily, it still has something to offer. Mantis received a 4.0 for its painful ride.

3.0 – Bad – Not a completely terrible coaster, but it missed the mark by a mile. There’s just enough here to warrant riding it and you definitely won’t be impressed. Cedar Creek Mine Ride at Cedar Point and Python at Busch Gardens Africa both received 3’s.

2.0 – Horrible – This sad coaster is saved by something that makes the experience of riding it just barely worth it. And even then, only a coaster enthusiasts could find something enjoyable out of these wrecks. Predator at Darien Lake received a 2.0 for it’s rough ride.

1.0 – Demolish Please – This roller coaster should not be in operation. It has no redeeming value and is probably painful and rough. Cyclone at Six Flags New England is the only 1 I’ve ever given. It’s ultra-rough ride was truly unforgivable.

Half’s can be given for coasters that are in between two scores. I’m a tough critic. After riding over 100 coasters I’ve only given out a handful of 10’s.