The 10 Best Skins in League of Legends

Published: September 9, 2014

League of Legends is the most popular game in the world. Some of the purchasable skins for champions are a bit underwhelming but a few stand out from the rest. The skins listed here have some of the best particle effects, animations, voice work and more of all of the skins in the game -- but the thing that truly sets them apart is their flavor and the character they add to the champions.

  1. Championship Riven

    Championship Riven is one of the rarest and most expensive skins you can get. It was given only to those who purchased a particular icon during the few days of the Season 2 World Championship. Some of the best Riven players in the world have paid upwards of $1,000 for this skin due to its prestige and its supposed "smoother animations" although that's just a rumor.

    It's also the only Riven skin that changes particle effects. Her skills emanate a soothing blue, and her reforged sword when she uses her ulti is seriously badass.

  2. Dino Gnar

    Gnar is the latest and cutest champion in League of Legends. Just listen to that voice! He is a ruthless predator and had to be frozen for millennia by an ancient power but look at how fluffy he is!

    Gnar shifts between his playful, childlike form and his super tanky monster form without his control. It's cool to see how this theme of uncontrollable power and transformation translates in to his gameplay. One moment he's a slippery Yordle skirting the edge of a battle, hopping over your head and the next he's throwing a house your face.

    The Dino Gnar skin expands on Gnar's inherent childlike playfulness. He's dressed up in a cute Halloween costume of a pink and green dinosaur and when he transforms he turns into a green stegosaurus-like-thing.

    He also brings down a helicopter during his recall animation.

     

    Dino Gnar is one of the most imaginative skins in League of Legends and it opens up a lot more possibilities with him. Maybe whatever Gnar wears he turns into a bigger version of. What if he wore an airplane costume? Would he become Mega-Airplane Gnar?

  3. Soul Reaver Draven

    Although not quite as flashy as the recently released Primetime Draven, Soul Reaver Draven is a unique take on Draven's character. Draven is an executioner with an ego. He loves killing his victims in the flashiest and most gaudy way possible and he takes pride in his ability to do so. His other skins do a good job of expanding on that theme. Primetime Draven, for example, has a lot of voice lines in which Draven continues to aggrandize himself and refer himself in the third person.

    Soul Reaver Draven, however, takes a much different and much scarier approach. In this skin it's presumed that he's died and come back to life to collect more souls to feed his ego. His new voice makes him sound much more menacing and cool, rather than obnoxious and egotistical. His axes are custom designed to look badass when he spins them. His transformation into a harbinger of souls seems to have changed him. Although he has no new voice lines his tone is more mature and nuanced. Also he looks sick when paired with Championship Thresh.

  4. Dragonslayer Pantheon

    Pantheon is one of the oldest champions in the League and his other skins are extremely underwhelming. Dragonslayer Pantheon changes all of that. This skin is so bad ass Riot released a metal album to go with it.

    The skin was controversial when it came out. At the time Pantheon was almost indisputably the strongest jungler in every stage of the game. He had natural tankiness and unmatched damage -- even early. Shortly after the skin's release Pantheon saw a few nerfs and a few new bugs which prompted Riot to offer refunds to those who purchased the skin. But everyone who got a refund is wrong. Because this skin is awesome -- just look at those wings!

     

    His model received a complete overhaul. His shield appear to be made of dragon scales and his Heartseeker Strike launches a flurry of fiery red spears. The splash art is also unarguably the coolest in the game as it captures him just as he lands after using his Grand Skyfall.

     

    This skin does a great job of expanding on the power fantasy of Pantheon as his base skin isn't very good at conveying just how powerful he is. Pantheon continues to be a top pick even in competitive play and this skin does justice to his strength.

     

  5. PROJECT: Yasuo

    Project Yasuo is the newest skin in League of Legends, and its wicked particle effects, entirely new voice-over, cheeky references to other games, and sci-fi theme cement it as one of the best.

    Yasuo takes a lot of inspiration from host of other video games. His entire skillset is inspired from a fighting game character named Youmu and his background and story derive from American Western films and East Asian folklore. While his other skin, High Noon, expands on his Western film roots, PROJECT: Yasuo takes his character into a new realm altogether and is potentially a sign of new skins in the same vein.

    PROJECT: Yasuo is based off the character design of Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The matching of these two disparate characters might not seem obvious but the similarity between the personalities is clear. They both learn to fight at a young age for the sake of their own survival. They both have misty and unclear pasts and attempt to redeem themselves for their mistakes.

    The particle effects in this skin are unmatched. The new Windwall is a unique and sci-fi take on the old one, and his new Steel Tempest has pixelated effects that are reminiscent of Tron. This skin is definitely a treat to see whenever there's a Yasuo in your game

  6. Spirit Guard Udyr

    The first (and only) Ultimate skin on this list. Spirit Guard Udyr even came with his own comic which you can experience here. This skin grows as you level, and has four unique color sets for each of his animal forms.

    Some have complained that this skin should have just been the visual update Udyr needed but Spirit Guard Udyr clearly goes above the call of duty when it comes to skins. The beautifully rendered particle effects, entirely redesigned character, reimagined lore and personality, and redone voices make this clearly more than just a visual update.  You even get four summoner icons you can use outside of the game.

    This skin speaks for itself as one of the best skins in the game. And as an added side effect, you can pretend you're Trick2g when you use it.

  7. Super Galaxy Rumble

    Super Galaxy Rumble is a woefully underrated skin. Which fits, really -- because Rumble is an underrated champion. It's surprising that this skin doesn't get a lot of press, considering it had its own comic book themed login screen animation and music.

    Super Galaxy Rumble is a complete re-imagination of Rumble as a character. He becomes a boisterous super hero with something to say for almost everything he does. He has entirely new names for all of his abilities which he yells out loud for your opponents to hear. His model is entirely redone, and his new mecha-suit is much more menacing and sci-fi than his original skin.

    This skin actually changes the way you play. The original Rumble was in a clunky mecha-suit that seems like it was made together in a Sunday afternoon but this skin turns him into a sleek predator and all of his skills flow nicely and are beautifully animated. Having a skin of this quality be only third best on this list almost seems like not enough.

  8. Infernal Nasus

     

    Infernal Nasus is a new take on Nasus with some added humor elements. The release of this skin coincided with Nasus' visual update and reimagining. His voice went from that of a calm wise man to a fierce angry god.

     

    Riot didn't slack, however, when making the League's favorite pet dog its first legendary skin. For starters, his dance is a comedic reference to Snoop Dog's famous dance from "Drop it Like it's Hot" and is undoubtedly the best reference Riot's ever put into the game. The skin was made with his most iconic aspect in mind, his Siphoning Strike. Whenever he uses it it crashes with a satisfying "WOOSH" and makes a clean line on the ground. Getting a thousand stacks and opening the gates is made so much more enjoyable with this skin.

     

  9. Aether Wing Kayle

    Aether Wing Kayle is another underrated skin but its rarity and unpopularity contribute to its place on the list. It's a reimagining of Kayle and her new regal and justiciar appearance serves her much better than any of her other skins.

    Aether Wing Kayle is indisputably one of the most beautifully animated in the game. When using her Righteous Fury she has a custom sequence of animations for each and every auto attack she does. She hovers and flaps her wings very fluidly as she roams the map and after reaching a certain movement speed threshold she begins to fly. Her sword glows a faint blue but becomes brilliantly bright upon activation of her E and appears to have a real weight to it as she swings it around.

    Perhaps the crowning jewel of this skin is her death animation. She reverts to the stance she has in her taunt and begins glowing as she exits through a dark portal.

    Aether Wing Kayle is a fantastic take on her character and turns her from an angry sister into a harbinger of justice. It's a skin that’s worth its legendary status and the second top spot on this list. 

  10. Arcade Miss Fortune

    Arcade Miss Fortune. Definitely the sexiest splash art in the game but what more does it have to offer to be worth of the title "Best Skin in League of Legends"? Well...

    This skin has a bit of a story. The original idea for this skin came from a piece of community art made back in 2013.

     

    Reception to the idea was good, and a lot of different interpretations of the idea came about over the next year. Cosplays and reimaginations of the skin came about long before its actual release and the community pressure for a skin like this began to build. It seems that Riot liked the idea and ended up releasing this skin to pair up with the new Final Boss Veigar skin.

     

    And they definitely did a good job.

     

     

    The quality and amount of particle effects in this skins are simply unmatched. Her guns are the same toy guns you'd see with those old on-rails arcade shooter games. Her hat resembles the one worn by Mario and Luigi. Her recall animation has her virtually shooting her arch nemesis, Gangplank, in a video game displayed on an old CRT TV screen. Her guns glow a brilliant yellow when using her E, and her Make it Rain makes pixelated shapes rain down in a flurry. Her iconic Double up has a clear difference from her normal auto attack animation, adding clarity to the skin for both the user and the unfortunate victim. Her critical strike animation makes her auto attacks vibrant and even more colorful.

     

    And her ultimate ability is perhaps the best animation of all. It's crisp, it's clear, it's colorful and when you use it it makes you feel powerful. Each and every aspect of this skin is perfectly executed and the skin is greater than the whole of its parts. The skin is a love letter to the League of Legends community and shows that Riot is more than willing to make a skin the community wants.

     

    The skin just makes playing Miss Fortune a much more enjoyable experience and suits her well. Arcade Miss Fortune is the best skin Riot has ever made and there isn't a single thing I would change.

     

There are no doubt other skins that are worthy of being considered one of the best skins in the game, but these are the skins I believe to add the most value to the champion. That value can come in the form of pretty particles, badass voice work, cheeky references, or just making the champion more fun to play. I hope you've discovered a new skin you may like or learned something new about a skin you already love.