It's ridiculous to argue stuff like this, but it's also wicked fun. That's why I won't be backing up the following list with numbers or metrics showing you which gangsters offed the most rats, seduced the most twists, or wielded the biggest Tommy gun. What I can tell you is I love gangster movies and, although the genre was ushered into modernity by Jimmy Cagney in White Heat (1949), the true vision of modern gangsters worldwide was realized by Francis Ford Coppola when he made the two best mob movies ever: The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.
That's our starting point. I'm counting the first two Godfather films as one so the following list will begin after GF2 was released in 1974. Since these two movies, who are the greatest gangster characters in film? The Corleone family left behind a daunting legacy. But filmmakers from all over the globe have thrown their hat in the organized crime ring. We've seen mobsters from the States, from the U.K., France, and even Brazil.
The gangster movie is a time-honored cinematic tradition and the characters who emerge from these films are typically unforgettable: charismatic personalities who also happen to be psychopaths (mostly). Movie goers will forgive the killings if their (anti) heroes entertain with panache, and these guys do. So without further "to do" (as Carlito Brigante says), here are the greatest gangsters in film since Coppola gave us Vito, Sonny, Fredo, and Michael Corleone.