Where did the 'S Rank' come from?

I know it's been around for quite some time, but I've wondered where it originated...who decided 'hmm, 'A' is fine for doing great, but we need something even BETTER!'?

I always figured "S" meant "Special". But here's a smidgeon of info on it:


And some nice conjecture:


Anyway it does seem the S rank predates usage in video games in Japan, and actually has its origins in certain Japanese university grading systems.

Originated in Japan at some point, it exists (or should exist) for "perfect" ranking -- some Japanese Universities use it too I've heard so it's not just a game thing.

I assume it stands for SEGA? The only games I've played that use S ranks came from them.

I assume it stands for SEGA? The only games I've played that use S ranks came from them.

Elite Beat Agents, Advance Wars, and the Fire Emblem games are all series I've played with S rankings and which have nothing to do with Sega, so it's not them.

I've always assumed it stood for SPECIAL or something.

I've always wondered about that. Several anime have S-class things, but I have never seen it in a game before. Must be a Japanese thing or something.

I always thought it was from Devil May Cry (S was for Stylish!) but it appears that isn't quite true!

It's definitely a Japanese rating thing. You had S Ranks in the chocobo races in FF7. It's typically the difference between "Pass" and "Perfect".

yugoslavian friend told me his primary (elementary) school used a grading system like that some 25 odd years ago

I always thought S stands for "Super". A is for "you aced it!"

Whenever I think of "S" rank I think of DDR because that's where I heard of it first


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