Best is subjective.
what is best for me, might not be best for you!
there are straight needle, both long and short..
metal (aluminum, brass, nickel plated, and steel are the most common metals)
woods (birch, ebony rosewood are the most common woods)
plastic (nylon, casean, (a plastic made from milk) hard clear plastic)
Other (glass, mixed, silver, bronze, etc)
Double pointed and circular needles also are available in most of these materials.
some (nickel plated) are smooth and slick, (fast!)
some (bamboo) are smooth and tacky (slow)
some are warm in hand (brass, nickel plated brass, woods, bamboos, and some plastics)
some are cool in hand (aluminum)
some are more flexible, some are more rigid.
some have pointer tips, some rounder tips.
BEST is what is best for you, your yarn and your project.
Best will change --new knitters often like the grippiness of bamboo, (it helps them control stitches and avoid dropping them)
Me, i like the smooth slick feel of nickel plated brass--that allow me to knit fast!