The Ten Best Darts Players Of All Time

By Ian John
January 26, 2023

You may recall that we started an ad-hoc series of Ten Best articles a good while ago now, and we’re returning to that this week with a look at the ten best Darts players of all time.

Now this list is perhaps unusual because there is actually no debate in who is the best player there has ever been.

However, there is plenty of debate to be had as to which players make up the positions from 2nd to 10th in this list and what position they should occupy if they are inside the top ten.

Remember, the Cazoo Masters starts this weekend in the UK at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and bet365 Sport will be offering extensive betting both pre-match and In Play as well as outright betting on the tournament as a whole.

So let’s start our rundown of Darts greatest ever players starting with the player that is the obvious choice for number one.

The Ten Best Darts Players Of All-Time

  1. Phil Taylor (England) – 1987 to 2018

Phil Taylor Career Honours

  • World Champion – 14 Times
  • World Matchplay Champion – 16 Times
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 11 times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 214
  • Major Title Wins – 85

By whatever metric you choose to measure this list, Phil Taylor IS the greatest darts player ever and it will take something spectacular and unusual for anyone to come close to what “The Power” achieved in his career.

Taylor holds so many darts records and titles that the World Matchplay trophy now bears his name. Now active on the Seniors tour, Taylor was world number one for 13 years in a row. He has hit 11 televised nine-dart finishes (22 overall) and he is the first player to hit two nine-darters in a single match.

No player comes close to what Taylor achieved in the game and he is rightfully the number 1 in this list.

  • Eric Bristow (England) – 1976 to 2007

Eric Bristow Career Honours

  • World Champion – 5 Times
  • World Masters – 5 Times
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 11 times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 82
  • Major Title Wins – 22

In the halcyon days of darts in the 1970s and 1980s, it was the charismatic crafty cockney Eric Bristow that shone brightest in the limelight. A stunningly consistent performer, he was a five time world champion and amassed 22 major titles in his career.

Bristow was also integral in the career of Phil Taylor, sponsoring the young Stoke star early in his career, in the belief he would go on to be a World Champion. Bristow was right.

Tragically, that was cut short due to a bout of dartitis that he suffered from in the 1990s. If he hadn’t, there’s no telling how many more titles Bristow could have gone on to win. He died in 2020 just hours before a broadcast of Premier League Darts in Liverpool but his legacy will never be forgotten.

  • Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands) – 2005 to Present

Michael van Gerwen Career Honours

  • World Champion – 3 Times
  • World Matchplay Champion – 3 Times
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 6 times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 148
  • Major Title Wins – 45

In terms of sheer innate talent and will-to-win, you will struggle to find a player better than Michael van Gerwen. On his day, van Gerwen is as close to unbeatable as there has been since a prime Phil Taylor and some would say that at his very best, he may have beaten Taylor.

However, van Gerwen has landed just three World titles in his career so far and while more seem certain to follow, he just has not yet converted his incredible talent into more wins on the biggest stages of world darts.

  • Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands) – 1987 to Present

Raymond van Barneveld Career Honours

  • World Champion – 5 Times
  • World Masters – 2 Times
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 – Runner Up Twice
  • Total Tournament Wins – 71
  • Major Title Wins – 14

Barney is just one of a handful of players to have won both the BDO (now WDF) and PDC World Championships, landing that honour on five occasions. The likeable Dutchman has his own Barney Army that follow him on tour which after retiring in 2020, he has now returned back to a year or so later.

With 14 Major wins and a total of 71 tournamenet wins, Barney was Phil Taylor’s long time major rival throughout the late 1990s and into the 2000s and the pair are largely responsible for the growth of darts both here in the UK and also across Europe over that period.

  • John Lowe (England) – 1976 to 2007

John Lowe Career Honours

  • World Champion – 3 Times
  • World Masters – 2 Times
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 6 times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 47
  • Major Title Wins – 15

Old Stoneface was known for his calmness and near perfectly consistent darts throw. In the 1970s and 1980s he was a perennial contender for the top titles, being a three time World Champion in three different decades, as well as winning a number of other BDO Major titles in that period.

In addition to his World titles, Lowe will forever be remembered in history as being the first player to hit a nine-dart finish in a televised game, when he did so against Keith Deller in October 1984, earning over £100,000 for doing so.

  • Gary Anderson (Scotland) – 2000 to Present

Gary Anderson Career Honours

  • World Champion – 2 Times
  • World Matchplay – 1 Time
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 Times (Runner Up 1 time)
  • Total Tournament Wins – 78
  • Major Title Wins – 12

Perhaps one of the most naturally gifted and highest-scoring players of all time, there is no doubt that despite 78 tournament wins, 12 majors and two World Titles, Gary Anderson could and perhaps should have achieved more in the world of darts.

Injuries at key periods in his life have not helped him but a series of near misses have also seen him lose out in closely fought contests in the latter stages of the tournament. Anderson still plays today but has dropped down the rankings.

  • John Part (Canada) – 1993 to 2020

John Part Career Honours

  • World Champion – 3 Times
  • World Matchplay – 0 Times (Runner Up 2 Times)
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 Times (Runner Up 2 Times)
  • Total Tournament Wins – 61
  • Major Title Wins – 4

Darth Maple remains the only non-European player to have won the PDC World Darts Championship and he is clearly the greatest player to have originated from the Americas. Part won the 1994 BDO World Title as an unknown debutant at the event, crushing Bobby George 6-0 in a one-sided final.

All the more remarkable was the fact that Part had only received a dartboard on his birthday in 1987, so had gone from novice to World Champion in seven years. A move to the PDC saw him land two further World Titles in 2003 and 2008.

  • Dennis Priestley (England) – 1989 to 2014

Dennis Priestley Career Honours

  • World Champion – 2 Times
  • World Masters – 1 Time
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 Times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 41
  • Major Title Wins – 3

Softly spoken Yorkshireman Dennis “The Menace” Priestley was almost unbeatable for a period in the early 1990s. He was the first player to win both the then BDO and the new PDC World titles (doing so in 1990 and 1994) and he also landed a World Masters crown over that period too.

Rated by Phil Taylor as the toughest player he has ever faced on the oche, the talented Yorkshireman only entered professional darts at the age of 40. Had he started earlier in life, then there’s no doubt more tournament wins and major titles would have come his way.

  • Jocky Wilson (Scoland) – 1978 to 1996

Jocky Wilson Career Honours

  • World Champion – 2 Times
  • World Masters – 0 Wins (Runner Up twice)
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 Times
  • Total Tournament Wins – 18
  • Major Title Wins – 2

Few who saw Jocky Wilson play would believe that the cheery Scot would have the quality to be a two-time World Champion. Wilson’s eccentric ‘jerky’ throw looked like it shouldn’t ever work, but it did, leading him to 18 tournament wins and two Major titles, both World Championships.

The Scot lived in Kirkcaldy all his life and famously is said to have never brushed his teeth, despite being a prolific sweet-eater. Unfortunately, Wilson died in 2012 aged just 62. However his influence on Scottish and indeed World Darts was huge.

  1. Adrian Lewis (England) – 2003 to Present

Adrian Lewis Career Honours

  • World Champion – 2 Times
  • World Matchplay – 0 Times (Runner Up Once)
  • World Grand Prix Winner – 0 Times (Runner Up Once)
  • Total Tournament Wins – 24
  • Major Title Wins – 4

The hugely talented Adrian Lewis has hit a bit of poor form over the last few years that has seen him drop down the world rankings, but ten years ago or so, he proved his quality by landing back-to-back world titles and became the first player to hit a nine-darter in the World Championships Final in the first of those wins over Gary Anderson.

A four-time PDC World Cup of Darts winner alongside Phil Taylor, Lewis has also landed the UK Open and European Championship in his time in the PDC.

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