Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Darts Players of All Time
Although darts isn’t among the most popular sports on the planet, it has produced countless memorable players over the years.
With events such as the Premier League propelling the sport to new heights in recent times, more and more darts players are being viewed as genuine superstars.
But who are the best darts players of all time?
Of course, that is a tricky question to answer. But I have decided to rank the top ten greatest darts players in history, so you don’t have to!
Let’s start with my number ten and then work our way up to the GOAT.
10. Adrian Lewis
Although it could be argued that Lewis is no longer among the best arrowmen in the world, there is no denying that he is one the greatest darts players of all time.
After winning his first PDC World Championship in 2011, “Jackpot” became only the third man in history to retain the title a year later. En route to his maiden title, he also became the first player ever to notch a nine-darter in a World Championship final.
With runner-up finishes in five other PDC events, he could have achieved more over the years. Still, that doesn’t stop him from making it onto this list.
9. Martin Adams
At the ripe old age of 65, Adams is still competing in professional darts events around the world.
Although “Wolfie” has refused to switch from the World Darts Federation (WDF) to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), he has still managed to earn huge respect from everyone in the sport.
- BDO World Championship (x3) – 2007, 2010, 2011
- BDO World Masters (x3) – 2008, 2009, 2010
- Finder Masters (x2) – 1996, 2000
The popular and endearing character is a three-time BDO World Champion and a three-time World Masters winner. Remarkably, all six of those triumphs came during a five-year hot streak between 2007 and 2011.
Having registered countless tournament wins across his lengthy career, Adams must be viewed as one of the top darts players of all time.
8. Dennis Priestley
If it weren’t for Phil Taylor (more on him later), Priestley would almost certainly have won many more trophies. I mean, Taylor beat Priestley in no fewer than FOUR World Championship finals between 1996 and 2000.
That didn’t stop “The Menace” from claiming two World Championship titles of his own, though, as he triumphed in 1991 and 1994.
In a different era, Priestley could have achieved more. Even so, he will always be remembered as one of the best darts players in history.
7. John Part
Between 1995 and 2006, Phil Taylor won 11 of the 12 World Championship titles on offer. Notably, John Part was the only man to prevent Taylor from sealing the top prize during that period.
After losing the 2001 final to Taylor, Part gained his revenge two years later – beating his arch-rival 7-6 in the 2003 final. Taylor went on to clinch the next three crowns before Part returned to the top of the podium in 2008.
The Canadian arrowman also won the BDO World Darts Championship back in 1994, along with the 2006 Desert Classic.
6. Gary Anderson
“The Flying Scotsman” is, of course, the greatest Scottish darts player of all time. But he is so much more than that.
Since swapping the BDO for the PDC, Anderson has been immense. The 50-year-old – who is still going strong today – has two World Championships, two Premier League titles, and a host of other triumphs to his name.
|GARY ANDERSON’S PDC MAJORS|
|World Championship||2||15, 16|
|Premier League||2||11, 15|
|Players Championship Finals||1||14|
After going all the way in 2015 and 2016, Anderson had the chance to secure three straight World Championships in 2017. He fell to Michael van Gerwen in the final, though, despite averaging 104.93.
When Anderson is at his brilliant best, nobody can stop him.
5. John Lowe
John Lowe is by no means the most glamorous arrowman in history, but when it comes to rating consistency and longevity, he has to be viewed as one of the all-time greats of the sport.
“Old Stoneface” reached a staggering eight BDO world finals throughout his long career, triumphing on three occasions. Incredibly, each one of his three world titles came in a different decade. That tells you everything you need to know about his persistence.
Along with his three world titles (1979, 1987, 1993), Lowe won the World Masters twice (1976, 1980). On top of that, he claimed five WDF majors and a host of now-defunct majors.
Despite all his trophies, Lowe is renowned for hitting the first-ever televised nine-darter back in 1984 – pocketing a cool £102,000 for his troubles.
4. Raymond van Barneveld
Only one man has won more world titles than “Barney”. Although four of his five triumphs came in the BDO, few would argue that he isn’t among the greatest darts players of all time.
After sealing four BDO world titles in eight years between 1998 and 2005, the legendary Dutchman moved to the PDC circuit. In the 2007 final, he beat Taylor in what is widely regarded as the best darts match in history.
He has also won the Desert Classic (2007), Grand Slam (2012), and Premier League (2014) through the years, as well as back-to-back UK Open titles in 2006 and 2007.
- BDO World Championship (x4) – 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005
- BDO World Masters (x2) – 2001, 2005
- World Darts Trophy (x2) – 2003, 2004
- International Darts League (x3) – 2003, 2004, 2006
- Finder Masters (x4) – 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004
Van Barneveld retired from darts in 2019 but made a comeback two years later, winning the Players Championship 3 in February 2021 – his first PDC title since 2014.
As one of the top darts players in history, everyone connected to the sport is hoping the 54-year-old sticks around for a little while longer.
3. Eric Bristow
It could be said that Eric Bristow put darts on the map.
Before “The Crafty Cockney” burst onto the scene, darts players were not household names. Across the 1970s and 80s, however, Bristow’s exploits saw the sport’s popularity skyrocket.
Bristow was even awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) – the third-highest ranking Order of the British Empire award.
Sadly, the iconic arrowman passed away in 2018. But he will always be remembered as one of the greatest darts players of all time.
2. Michael van Gerwen
At the age of just 32, Michael van Gerwen has already achieved more than many of the players on this list could even dream of.
The unstoppable Dutchman has won all 11 of the major PDC events he has entered, accumulating a colossal 41 titles between 2012 and today!
The table below details just how dominant he has been in recent times.
|MICHAEL VAN GERWEN’S PDC MAJORS|
|Players Championship Finals||6||13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19|
|Masters||5||15, 16, 17, 18, 19|
|Premier League||5||13, 16, 17, 18, 19|
|World Grand Prix||5||12, 14, 16, 18, 19|
|European Championship||4||14, 15, 16, 17|
|World Series Finals||4||15, 16, 17, 19|
|Grand Slam||3||15, 16, 17|
|UK Open||3||15, 16, 20|
|World Matchplay||2||15, 16|
There is a sense that “MVG” will break just about every record imaginable in the coming years. If he carries on at his current rate, he could even go down as the best darts player in history.
For now, though, one man stands above everyone else.
1. Phil Taylor
You guessed it – Phil “The Power” Taylor is officially the greatest darts player of all time.
With a mammoth 16 World Championships to his name, the Englishman is by far the most decorated man in the history of the sport – and that is without mentioning the countless number of other trophies in his bustling silverware cabinet.
The Stoke-on-Trent native was crowned World Champion a record eight consecutive times between 1995 and 2002, going on to clinch 13 of the 19 titles available until 2013.
Taylor’s tally of 85 major titles is still a fair distance clear of MVG. Even if van Gerwen does end up surpassing that record, many will still view The Power as the best arrowman ever.
Final Word on the Best Darts Players Ever
When Taylor was in his prime, it was difficult to imagine anyone ever surpassing his achievements. However, van Gerwen’s remarkable rise could see him become the greatest darts player in history before too long.
There are also a number of up-and-coming players who could break into the top ten darts players of all time in the coming years.
Gerwyn Price, 36, won the 2021 World Championship and already has five PDC majors under his belt, while Dimitri van den Bergh, 27, continues to climb the world rankings.
Before you go, make sure you check out the honorable mentions below. All of these players came close to making it into my top ten but narrowly missed out.
- Jocky Wilson
- Glen Durrant
- Peter Wright
- Simon Whitlock
- James Wade
- Rod Harrington
If you enjoy wagering on darts, then you will love our ultimate darts betting guide.