As of 9th June, 2010
1. Eden ‘The Master’ Clarke: Consistency over the years has led to a Federer-like dominance of the Tekken arena by this outstanding combatant. He combines a solid foundation of standard striking, unique side stepping and well ingrained timing with an ability to adapt to the playing style of his opponents to achieve the majority of his victories. Many matches are decided before a single strike is thrown as he holds a firm self belief which is usually matched by his opponents own self disbelief. Like Federer though, it is becoming harder and harder to hold onto number 1.
Weaknesses: Few and far between, however, the standard of the opponents has risen and many people are staking their claim to the number 1
Best characters: Julia, Jun, Hwoarang, Lei
2. Russell ‘The Heel’ Gill: Infamous for his low combos, Devil lightning and extravagant victory celebrations, Russell is an unrelenting competitor who lets the results do the talking. He is an adaptive and disciplined fighter and has a vast array of characters, meaning he is unafraid to go into a battle selecting random. One could argue a case for Russell being number 1, but the only One to do that would be Russell. Russell as Baek is extremely frustrating as he has almost mastered a 10 hit combo. There is nothing worse than losing to Russell.
Weaknesses: Motivates his opponents to beat him with his ultra-heel persona
Best characters: Baek, Hwoarrang, Brian, Yoshimitsu
3. Luke ‘The Magician’ Bovino: Luke is an undeniable talent in the Tekken arena and very entertaining to watch as no match is ever over when Luke is playing. Luke has an array of extravagant moves with a number of players. He is willing to risk taking a hit to get out a more difficult move that will cause more damage and stun the fans. Luke can make shitty characters awesome with his unorthodox approach. Many classic Tekken battles feature Luke.
Weaknesses: Known to self capitulate from unlosable positions and usually does so verbally. “I got nothing”
Best characters: Lei, Ganryu, Panda, Kunimitsu
4. Dean ‘The Natural’ Burr: The most unique Tekken player of his generation, Dean possesses an abstract style of fighting that could be compared to a southpaw boxer, or a left handed tennis player. His unparalleled style leads to never before seen combos and is best expressed in the form of Paul - a character who is unusable to most due to his apparent shitness is suddenly near unstoppable when used by Dean. Believed to be low on the rankings only due to a lack of appearances in competition, this gaming master is the only player who Eden does not have 100% self belief in defeating.
Weaknesses: Inexperience means he has not adapted fully to all playing styles, limited character base
Best characters: Paul, Jin, Yoshimitsu, Heihachi
5. Lee ‘The Drifter’ Sullivan: Flip a coin when you are playing Lee. Heads, he plays awesome; Tails, he is almost non existent. Now flip that coin five times during the match and that is Lee. Basing his fight on continuous backing away, Lee will wait until you strike first before offering his counters. One round he will crumble like someone playing Tekken for the first time, the next he will destroy the opponent with effortless ease, all while recounting an embarrassing tale of his childhood.
Weaknesses: One good round, one close round, one shit round.
Best characters: Law, Hwoarang, Brian
6. Jason ‘The Kid’ Bovino: Not a gamer by nature, Jason is instead a Tekken player by occasion, and occasionally he will surprise the much more experienced veterans. Often he uses the forbidden Eddy, but fuck it, someone’s gotta use him. Although over three rounds Jason will usually lose, he always puts up an entertaining battle and for at least one round he can match it with anyone.
Weaknesses: Lack of ambition in the Tekken realm, wastes time with pointless endeavours like writing music and screenplays
Best characters: Eddy, Law
7. Dogman: Never really had a consistent string of Tekken competition to develop his skills and style, Hamish struggles to keep up the pace with the Tekken nerds mentioned above. He can still hold his own, and is a valuable and sometimes surprisingly awesome teammate in 4 player contests. A natural gamer, Hamish has shown potential for greatness in his limited Tekken exposure
Best characters: Law, Julia
8. Helly ‘The Masher’ Vienne: A player from the days of mashing the two punch and two kick buttons in unpredictable excitement. Helly grew up on Tekken with her sisters and is a master of not knowing what buttons she is pressing but managing to do a 10 move combo in the process. Helly rarely plays and when she does, like Jason, it is never for keeps. She is happy win, lose or draw but misses the whole point of playing video games - winning.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t really care
Best characters: Xiaoyu?
Note on ranking system: This is not a points based system. Simply a perceived aggregate of wins and percentages that exists in my own head. Feel free to comment and dispute any of said rankings.