Its a trickier question than it seems.
The obvious things access to the all weapons and armor and having the best combat abilities.
To my mind the best published fighters are the Late 2e one and the Pathfinder one (with only slight moods)
The Late 2e fighter got
Access to Weapon Specialization
Usually had a Style Specialization (a few slots here were awesome)
Good saves especially at high level
and by the time players options came out doubled attacks vs 1hd or less monsters
The Pathfinder fighter can be seen in all its glory here and it is bar none my favorite of all the D20 fighters.
If you want a "great fighter thats still just a regular guy" You won't go wrong with the Labyrinth Lord fighter. Its solid and playable but even at high level still just an ordinary guy.
If used with Fighters with Flair and a good set of background rules, you get a very nice fighter that is quick to roll up, down to earth but still fun and easy to play.
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