The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

Over 8.3K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time
Voting Rules
Only Chicago Bears players

These are the greatest Bears of all-time. Since the NFL's inception, the Chicago Bears have been a vital part of the league's fabric. One of the classic football franchises (one of the two original NFL teams still in existence), the Bears are known for their punishing brand of black and blue football. The team has had some of the greatest players in football history wear the Dark Navy, Orange and White. When you think of great Chicago Bears, you generally think of defense, especially punishing linebackers. Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher are all considered some of the best linebackers in NFL history and they've all been leaders of the Monsters of the Midway. 

While many consider the best players to play for the Bears to be defenders, one of the greatest offensive weapons played for the Bears. The running back position for the Bears is one of the most prestigious in the entire NFL. That's what happens when you have players like Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, and Red Grange. So whether you like backs, centers, QBs, or receivers, there's a great Bears player at that position, to be sure.

The Bears have won nine championships in its illustrious history, which includes one Super Bowl berth. From that special 1985 team, you'll find many of the defensive stars on this list. They are considered one of the greatest defenses of all time, so you would expect them to be considered some of the best Bears players ever.

Who are the greatest Chicago Bears of all time? Who are the most famous Bears players? With over 100 of the greatest Chicago Bears listed here, it's up to you to decide who was truly the best. If you notice someone who isn't on this list, feel free to add them. Please re-rank and vote to your liking.

Most divisive: James Williams
Ranked by
  • Walter Payton
    5,014 votes
    Running back

    Walter Payton, nicknamed "Sweetness," was a force to be reckoned with during his 13-year career with the Chicago Bears. As an all-around player, he demonstrated incredible versatility, proving himself as not only a strong rusher but also a talented receiver, blocker, and occasional quarterback. Walter ultimately left an indelible mark on the NFL, cementing his status as one of the greatest running backs in history and inspiring future generations of athletes.

  • Dick Butkus
    3,634 votes
    Linebacker, Center

    Dick Butkus personified the gritty, hard-nosed playstyle of the Chicago Bears during the '60s and '70s. As a fierce middle linebacker, he struck fear into the hearts of opponents with his aggressive tackling and intimidating demeanor. Butkus' tenacious mindset and relentless pursuit of the ball revolutionized the position, setting the standard for future generations of linebackers and securing his status as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history.

  • Gale Sayers
    3,323 votes
    Running back, Return specialist

    Gale Sayers, known as the "Kansas Comet," enchanted fans with his breathtaking speed, agility, and ability to find holes in the defense. With an unparalleled capacity for elusiveness, he established himself as a premier running back and return specialist throughout his short but illustrious career. Although injuries cut his time on the field tragically short, Sayers left a lasting legacy with the Chicago Bears and the NFL as a whole.

  • Mike Singletary
    3,212 votes

    Mike Singletary, affectionately known as "Samurai Mike," anchored the Bears' legendary 1985 defense as a tenacious and intelligent middle linebacker. His discerning eyes and relentless work ethic allowed him to effectively diagnose offensive plays and stifle opponents' game plans. Singletary's leadership and consistency were integral components of the team's success, making him an irreplaceable figure in the annals of Bears history.

  • Mike Ditka
    2,952 votes
    Tight end

    Mike Ditka was a trailblazer for tight ends during his playing days with the Chicago Bears, combining brute strength and incredible hands to become a dominant force on the field. His ferocious blocking and ability to stretch defenses as a receiver set the standard for future generations of tight ends, cementing Ditka's place in NFL history. By transitioning into coaching and leading the Bears to a Super Bowl victory, Ditka further solidified himself as one of the organization's most iconic figures.

  • Brian Urlacher
    3,698 votes

    Brian Urlacher skillfully played middle linebacker for the Bears during the 2000s, with his unique blend of size, speed, and intelligence making him a nightmare for opposing offenses. He displayed a knack for playmaking and leadership, guiding the team's defense through one of its most successful periods in recent history. Urlacher's contributions to the Bears were immense, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest linebackers to wear the navy blue and orange.