Fishingdude brings up a good point. It's not the wall as much as it's the drainage details behind it. A wall pushes due to water pressure and freezing. Take away the water, the ability to hold the moisture in the backfill, and/or the freezing temps. and the wall will stay upright and functional, potentially forever. Build a totally overdone block wall with an over-sized footer, a ton of rebar in the footer and the wall, fill the cores, and do everything to make it as durable as possible. Now back fill it with nasty clay based fill, and do a poor job of grading, allowing water to pool behind the wall, and the whole thing could be a broken, leaning mess in a few years. Build another wall without anything but a half way decent footer, no bars, no filled cores, but put a footer drain behind it, backfill with clean 3/4" gravel, cover that with a filter fabric,cap with clay, and then topsoil, properly grade the area behind the wall and it will look good for decades. I have literally seen idiots who managed to kill block walls before the even got done backfilling them, since they couldn't be bothered to understand any of this.