Do you love the rush of fear and adrenaline you get from a great roller coaster? You’re not alone. There are more than 2000 roller coasters in operation all over the world, and everybody’s got their favorite. But a few coasters deliver a really special, one-of-a-kind experience. From incredible speed, to gut-churning drops, to head-spinning inversions, there’s something for everybody on our list — so here it is, in no particular order:

The Wildest Rides on the Planet: World’s Top 10 Roller Coasters

Dodonpa

Fuji-Q Highland – Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

Dodonpa was the fastest roller coaster in the world for a few years, and it still launches faster than any other coaster on the planet — a whopping 106 miles per hour in just 1.8 seconds. If you can pry your eyeballs open for a second you’ll get a great view of Mount Fuji sitting serenely on the horizon.

 

Kingda Ka

Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, New Jersey, USA

Holding the record for the tallest roller coaster on the planet, Kingda Ka stands 45 stories high and drops you into a terrifying 418 foot dive that will take your breath away. It’s also currently the world’s second-faster coaster, reaching mindblowing speeds of up to 128 miles per hour.

 

Steel Dragon 2000

Nagashima Spa Land – Kuwana, Japan

Steel Dragon 2000 : World's Top 10 Roller Coasters

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Steel Dragon is a marathon ride — the world’s longest at 8133 feet of pure adrenaline. The one-minute climb to the top of the first hill will have you squirming in suspense. And the drop that follows? 306 feet straight down. Hang on to your hat — this is your introduction to three more minutes of thrills.

 

Silver Star

Europa Park – Rust, Germany

Europe’s second-tallest roller coaster, the Silver Star is smooth, fast, and minimalist. It features a great series of helixes, turnarounds and hills with lots of airtime. The restraint system on this coaster is especially comfortable — no accident, since it’s sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

 

Formula Rossa

Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Want the feeling of racing in a Ferrari? Try the Formula Rossa. The launch system is hydraulic, and gives you the sensation of taking off in a fighter jet. Top speed of this coaster is 149 miles per hour, making it the fastest in the world. Riders are given protective glasses to keep their eyes safe, but dealing with the 1.7 Gs it generates is up to you.

 

Storm Runner

Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

Storm Runner

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Storm Runner was the first coaster to combine inversions with a hydraulic launch. While it’s not a record-breaker anymore, Storm Runner still delivers huge thrills. This freaky ride packs intense acceleration, an 18 story drop, a white-knuckle snake dive and its trademark 135 foot cobra loop all into a high-speed trip that comes in at right around 30 seconds.

 

Colossus

Thorpe Park – Surrey, England

Thorpe Park Colossus

Photo: Stefan 666

Don’t eat anything before you ride the Colossus. It feels like it was designed to make you lose your lunch. It’s a rough ride from start to finish, with 10 loops in just under two minutes. For sheer surprise, the best inversion is probably the last one — it happens when you think the ride is getting ready to pull into the station.

 

Bizarro

Six Flags New England – Agawam, Massachusetts, USA

This coaster used to the called Superman Ride of Steel, but it was revamped to make it a little crazier and renamed for Superman’s twisted doppelganger. Bizarro is loved by coaster fans for its extended airtime and the rush of fear you get from the low sides of the car — they only come up as far as your ankles.

 

Intimidator 305

King’s Dominion – Doswell, Virginia, USA

One of the most intense roller coaster rides you’ll ever scream your way through, the first drop of the Intimidator 305 had to be re-profiled during its first year of operation — people were actually blacking out in the dive. Chances are you’ll still feel a bit queasy as you navigate the 305 foot drop and speeds up to 90 miles an hour.

 

Coney Island Cyclone

Coney Island – Brooklyn, New York, USA

Coney Island Cyclone

Photo: drpavloff

Proof that some things do get better with age, the Coney Island Cyclone first opened in 1927. It’s probably the most famous roller coaster of its generation, and it’s now designated as a historic landmark. But that’s not why you should ride it — despite its age, the Cyclone delivers world-class thrills. The ride begins with a bone-rattling 85 foot drop and rolls into six twisting bends and eight more drops with the aggressive, disjointed movement that’s characteristic of classic wooden coasters.