Wales' 1979 world snooker champion Terry Griffiths says Steve Davis was "made to play snooker."
Davis, who won six world titles, has retired at the age of 58.
Griffiths lost to Davis in the 1988 World Championship final and failed to beat the Englishman in seven meetings at the Crucible.
"He changed the way the top professionals looked at their game, because he came in and was putting long hours of practice in," Griffiths said.
"His technique was as perfect as it can be. He wouldn't tell you that, but I'll tell you as an opponent."
Davis was given a standing ovation by the audience at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre after announcing his retirement.
He began his career in 1978 and dominated the sport in the 1980s, winning six world titles and was world number one from 1983 to 1990.
Davis won 28 ranking titles, putting him joint second on the all-time list with Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins.
His last match came on 10 April where he lost against Fergal O'Brien and failed to qualify for this year's World Championship.
Griffiths vividly remembers meeting Davis for the first time at a tournament in Prestatyn, north Wales.
"I watched him and it looked as if he'd been made to play snooker, honestly. I never forgot it. It just looked as if somebody had moulded him," Griffiths told BBC Wales Sport.
"Through the 1980s I wouldn't say he was unbeatable, but he wasn't far from it because he was better than the other players.
"Steve's win ratio was so high against most of us top players that were below him in the rankings that he was always going to be the favourite to win events."
"Steve will be remembered as one of the best players ever ".