Gonna cheat a bit.
Top 3: Riptor, Sadira, and interchangeably Shadow Jago/Fulgore.
I like Riptor’s moveset. It feels really comfortable and allows for a good combination of rushdown and pokes. Plus I love her design, especially with Color4. Plus one of the coolest retro costumes in the game.
Sadira has a nice level of mobility that allows me to be aggressive, in the air, on the move, and just out of reach. Technically she was my first Killer Instinct character I ever played when I got the free version, too. I also just really like her design, visually.
As for Shadow Jago and Fulgore, both are shotos who put a nice twist on the archetype. Shadow Jago’s insane juggles, teleportation, surged moves, and Ultimate are really good contenders. Fulgore, on the other hand, has crazy vortexes with his fireballs, teleportation, high low stuff, and the devastation beam. Both are really cool visually and have a recognizable silhouette that helps to keep them in the back of my mind.
Now for my bottom 3, I stuck to mostly gameplay.
Bottom 3: ARIA, Cinder, Hisako
ARIA just doesn’t feel good in my hands. I’ve played her enough to get her to 50, but the whole thing with the body switching and losing access to moves as I went -while certainly interesting- doesn’t really get me jazzed. I play her probably less than the rest of the cast. Her visual design is intriguing, but with a few exceptions I don’t like her colors or accessories.
Cinder is a character I feel that I should like, but don’t. I actually quite like his moveset as far as actual moves are concerned, but putting them to use without getting stuffed out of stuff has proved difficult. I’m not super competent with his juggles or bomb tech either. His modern design is alright, and his retro is cool, but it’s definitely not my favorite.
Hisako is a character I’m really heartbroken to put in my bottom 3. Visually and conceptually, she’s probably one of my favorite characters in the game. I’m talking gameplay, though, and as much as it pains me I just don’t click with the Hisako style of play. Her counters and grabs and awesome pokes/manuals make her a really good character, but it’s a bit too reactive for my tastes most of the time, rather than proactive. I’m happy with her inclusion and value her archetype, but something just keeps me from being any good with her. It feels like I’ve been given the cold shoulder.
Honorable mention: Sabrewulf
Wulf could honestly go into by Top 3 OR my Bottom 3 at this point. I feel l like I’ve forgotten how to be the Wulf. I’m dropping combos left and right, doing stupid stuff and missing inputs constantly, and trying to do any of the more effectual stuff hasn’t gone well. I don’t know if I can actually call myself a Sabrewulf main anymore. However, he’s still one of my favorites in design and playstyle. He was the first character I got good enough to go online with. His moveset is imprinted on my heart and mind, his story is still one of the most driving I’ve experienced, his damage is off the charts, and his mixups are so good. I want to relearn to play the Wulf asap, because when I did have him down, his Ultra rhythm was so firmly stuck in my head I was drumming it on my fingers.
That fluffy butthead is one of many reasons I bear the name of Fwufikins. I do wish to get back into my Wulf game.