In no particular order are three of my favourites from the Sengoku period:
Known in his time as a master of strategy, and is greatly admired by many past and present, including myself.
Although his alliegances were many, this ultimately enabled the Sanada clan to survive the attacks of many opposing clans.
Anyone who could strike fear into Uesugi Kenshin by the merest mention of his name is indeed a worthy samurai in my book!
Served both the Oda and the Uesugi clans, respectively.
Extroverted and eccentric he may have been, but Maeda Keiji was a formidable warrior soul in my opinion. His exploits at Aizu and Mogami were legendary.
What can one possibly say about the man that isn't already know. One of the greatest swordsmen who ever walked the earth, and was known for his incredible duelling ability, even from a young age.
He also founded the Niten-ryu style of swordsmanship, and is immortalised in numerous works of literature, including Musashi by E. Yoshikawa.
Additionally, he was renowned for having a fierce rivalry with another outstanding swordsman of his time, Sasaki Kojiro.
Out of these three, I would place Miyamoto Musashi at the very top, for very obvious reasons.
''Even through the darkest of days, this fire burns, always...''