City rankings disclose strategic information about cities. Due to the nature of rankings, they inherently encourage people to take a relational and competitive view of cities, which contributes to the knowledge base of local economic policy. However, such a view is hampered by poor methodology and the generalist approach typical of many rankings. Especially when they use multiple criteria, this dramatically affects the overall scores and ranking order. In a similar way, finding ‘the best’ or ‘most attractive’ city in general terms may be relevant for high calibre global cities, but such a setting does not reveal much for assessing the role of more specialized middle-sized cities in the lower ranks. It is also difficult to determine how different aspects of ranking should be weighted. If Tokyo is a top city in global corporate headquarters, it may be on the problem side in terms of the cost of housing or living in general. If Helsinki is ranked innovative, it suffers from small scale, remoteness and a challenging climate. Mumbai may be one of the global leaders in attracting offshoring activities, but hygiene, health and infrastructure considerations put it definitively down in multi-criteria-based rankings. Combining a wide range of indicators tends to neutralize rankings, for global cities with multiple strengths will naturally stand out. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (2012) benchmarking of global city competitiveness, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Cities of Opportunity (PwC 2012) and MasterCard’s Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (MasterCard Worldwide 2008) are good examples of such rankings. Their positive impact on local economic policy is, however, that they encourage policymakers and developers to look beyond narrow-minded economic indicators, implying that it is not only the number of headquarters, patents or skilled workers that count in global intercity competition and overall competitiveness, which is certainly true.