Despite darts not being a famous game globally, it hasn’t stopped producing some of the best top darts players in the world.
Darts is more of a traditional game played inside pubs. It is most common in United Kingdown, which is why a lot of darts players are English by nationality.
There are a handful of non-Europen players that play darts professionally. However, no matter how small the game is in recognition, it has never failed to amuse its audience.
Therefore, with World Darts Championship and Premier League, many darts players rise to stardom. But who are the top darts player of all time?
This is a tricky question. However, this article has narrowed it down with 12 players who have taken the darts game to the next level.
Hence, let us quickly view the 12 top darts players of all time without further delay.
12 Top Darts Players of All Time
Further, before hopping into the details about the 12 top darts players of all time, let us quickly view the names present in the list.
|12. Dennis Priestley||England|
|11. Glen Durrant||England|
|10. John Part||Canada|
|9. Martin Adams||England|
|8. John Lowe||England|
|7. Adrian Lewis||England|
|6. Gary Anderson||Scotland|
|5. James Wade||England|
|4. Michael van Gerwen||Netherlands|
|3. Eric Bristow||England|
|2. Raymond van Barneveld||Netherlands|
|1. Phil Taylor||England|
12. Dennis Priestley
Dennis Priestley is a former English professional darts player. He played for the British Darts Organization (B.D.O.) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
He is one of the founding members of PDC. Along with six elite darts players, he left B.D.O. to form their organization, which was then known as World Darts Corporation.
During his time in the B.D.O., he won two major titles, the 1992 World Championship and the 1992 World Master Championship.
However, Priestley couldn’t keep up after his triumphant victory as he never won another major title. After he formed the PDC, he won the first 1994 World Championships.
This marked his only major title victory in the PDC. Aside from that, he had 31 other tournament win throughout his career.
Not to mention, W.D.C. ranked him as world no. 1 in April of 1995. Further, this was the first and the last time he ranked so high.
Nonetheless, he was an exceptional player. Priestley started his darts career at the age of 40. Before that, he was a coal merchant by trade.
Therefore, this shows that the game of darts is an appropriate age to play compared to other sports like basketball or cricket.
11. Glen Durrant
The English professional darts player Glen Durrant currently plays for the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Durrant is also a former player for the British Darts Organization.
In B.D.O., he was a three-time World and Finder Master Champion. As a result, he is one of six darts players to have on the World Championship three or more times.
Similarly, he also won the World Masters twice and World Darts Trophy once. Overall, he has nine major titles in the B.D.O.
After he transferred to PDC in 2019, he won the Premier League. However, he failed to conquer other titles, but he will certainly win all those if he keeps up his game.
Aside from that, he has 29 titles victories in other tournaments aside from PDC and B.D.O. As of now, he is ranked 31st in the world ranking.
Nevertheless, this ranking is certainly going to see some increment over the year.
10. John Part
John Part is a newly retired Canadian professional darts player. He used to play for the British Darts Organization (B.D.O.) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
Currently, he works as a commentator for B.B.C. Part is considered to have a sharp eye and good knowledge of the game, which made him the perfect fit for commentating.
He got this job in 1994 and still had it. Initially, he used to do commentating part-time due to his focus on playing darts.
However, after retiring in 2020, Part became a full-time commentator covering most World Championship games.
Besides that, he is one of six top darts players to have won three World Championships in 1994, 2003, and 2008. Not to mention, he won the 1994 World Championship on his debut.
Further, Jhon also became the only non-European with the PDC World Championships. Similarly, he is the first non-UK player to win the World Championship.
9. Martin Adams
The English professional darts player Martin Adams currently plays for the World Darts Federation. Also, Adams was a former member of the PDC and B.D.O.
Adams is a three-time B.D.O. World Champions. Therefore, he is one of six top darts players to have won the World Championships three or more times.
Similarly, he is also the three-time World Master Champion. Further, Martin was the captain of team England while representing the county darts level.
He held the captain position from 1993 to 2013 for exactly 20 years. This is the longest any player in the history of darts has held the position for.
Aside from that, Adams holds the record with the most consecutive World Championship appearance with 25. From 1993 to 2018, he qualified every time.
However, his long streak ended after he failed to qualify in 2019. In April of that year, he even qualified in 2016, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Nevertheless, he fought back cancer with treatments and medication. Hence, Martin was given a sign to play and prepare for the World Championships in no time.
Moreover, he also frequently works as a pundit and commentator for the B.D.O. events. Therefore, he regularly acts as a commentator for the televised coverage of B.D.O. events.
8. John Lowe
John Lowe is a former English darts player. He used to play for the British Darts Organization (B.D.O.) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
Not to mention, Lowe is one of the founding members of PDC. Along with various leading players, he left B.D.O. to form PDC, which was initially called World Darts Council.
Along with Eric Bristow and Jock Wilson, he made the whole darts game industry into what it is today. They were the most dominating darts players of the 1980s.
One of these three top darts players was crowned champion in most of the tournaments held.
Lowe battled with Bristow six times in the World Championships platforms. Unfortunately, Jhon lost to his arched rival, Bristow, in the first four attempts.
However, the fifth time he overcame Bristow and marked his first victory over him. Outside the competing scenario, they both have a very friendly bond.
Aside from that, Lowe has won 15 B.D.O. and W.D.F. titles altogether. In addition, he ranked world no. 1 four times on different occasions.
Similarly, he won the World Championships three times in 1979, 1987, and 1993. Further, he became one of six players to have won the World Championships three or more times.
Not to mention, Jhon was the first person to win the World Championships in three different decades. Along with Phil Taylor, he is one of two-person to achieve this feat.
7. Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis is an English darts player. He is currently playing for the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) since 2004.
Initially, he was a part of the British Darts Organization (BDC), which later broke into the form of PDC. However, Lewis only spends one year in BDC before joining the PDC.
Moreover, he was a protégé of the G.O.A.T. Phil Taylor, whom he trained. As a result, he had was expected to walk in the path of success instantly.
However, Lewis initially struggled to win tournaments in the earlier phase of his career. Nevertheless, he slowly adapted to a new technique that boosted his throwing ability.
Therefore, Adrian instantly rose to fame, winning two back-to-back PDC World Championships in 2011 and 2012.
Likewise, he also captured the 2013 European Championships and 2014 U.K. open. On top of that, he also won the PDC World Cup of darts four times.
Hence, his world ranking improved, leading him to become ranked no. 2. However, unfortunately, PDC suspended Lewis for his altercation against Jose Justicia in 2018.
The altercation cost Adrian a 3-month suspension and a £3,000 fine. Similarly, after he returned from suspension, his form was completely off.
Therefore, his ranking dropped down to 41st in the world. However, he is still considered one of the top darts players of the current generation.
6. Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson is a Scottish professional darts player. He currently plays for the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
He was a former player for the B.D.O. and W.D.F., where he was also ranked as their world no. 1. In PDC, he has won two back-to-back world championships in 2015 and 2016.
In the 2015 tournament, Anderson beat Phil Taylor with a 7-6. Similarly, for the 2016 tournament, he beat Adrian Lewis with a score of 7-5.
Further, the player is well renowned for his high-scoring ability smooth throws. Therefore, he is nicknamed the “The Flying Scotsman” after a famous Scottish steam train.
The Flying Scotsman is currently ranked 6th in the world ranking. This ranking came to form his 31 PDC Pro Tour victories as of February 2020.
With the 31 victories, he ranks third in the all-time list behind Phil Taylor on 70 and Michael van Gerwen on 75.
Besides that, Anderson has won over 85 different tournaments. Furthermore, he is looking forward to increasing this number over the years.
5. James Wade
James Wade is an English professional darts player. He currently plays for the Professional darts Corporation, where he ranks 4th.
Furthermore, he was the former youngest player to win a major PDC title at the age of 24. However, this record has been now broken by Michael van Gerwen at age 17.
Similarly, his eleven PDC victories rank him third in the all-time list behind Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. Overall, Wade has won over 42 different tournaments.
Nevertheless, James has yet to win a World Championship despite being an elite player. He has reached the semi-finals four times but has sadly lost in them.
Nonetheless, the quest for winning a World Championship and becoming world no. 1 still goes on for Wade.
Besides that, he is the first player to defeat the legendary Phil Taylor in the Premier League. Before him, Phil was unbeatable, no one ever imagined he would lose.
However, losing is a part of a game. Hence, it might not be a big deal for the professional darts players to lose, but it was a big deal for Wade to win the game.
Further, he says it was the best match of his life. He loved every single minute of his brawl with his idol Phil.
4. Michael van Gerwen
As of now, he is ranked as no. 3 in the world ranking. However, a few good victories would eventually get him to the no. 1 spot. Further, he was ranked world no.1 from 2014 to 2021.
Besides that, Gerwen has won 148 tournaments altogether throughout his career. As a result, he was recognized as the second most successful player in PDC history, behind Phil Taylor.
Likewise, if Gerwen keeps up his game, he will have more tournament victories than Taylor in no time.
Michael started playing darts at the age of 13. By 17, he became the youngest player to win the B.D.O. ranking event, 2006 World Masters and Winmau World Masters.
Seeing his early success, he was projected to take the competitive scenario by storm. Nevertheless, Gerwen struggled in the initial phases of his career.
However, he turned the tables through his breakout year in 2012. He improved his world ranking from 38th to 4th in just one year.
After his breakout year, Gerwen has never taken a step back. He has always delivered in each tournament and proved worthy of being world no. 1.
3. Eric Bristow
The late Eric Bristow is an English professional darts player. The World Darts Federation named him to world no. 1 five-time in 1980, 1981, and 1983–1985.
He has won a total of 82 titles throughout his playing career. Out of his total titles, 22 are from W.D.F. and B.D.O. major titles. Similarly, 62 of them are individual career titles.
In addition to that, he has also won 20 titles in team events. Nevertheless, out of all these titles, the one that stands out is winning the World and World Masters Championships five times.
Besides that, the M.B.E. committee appointed Bristow as the Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1989.
As a result, one can argue that he was highly successful in his period. He got into the business at the right time as sports started being televised.
His popularity increased as fans loved his arrogant attitude and brilliant gameplay. Television made him into a huge phenomenon in the darts community.
Even the great Phil Taylor looked up to Eric during his rookie years. Bristow mentored the great Phil Taylor and made him into what he is now.
Not to mention, he even sponsored him with £10,000 for his game development. Further, this helped Phil grow and become one of the top darts players.
Moreover, the darts player retired in 2007, after which he worked as a commentator. However, he still used to play darts but not on a competitive level.
2. Raymond van Barneveld
Raymond van Barneveld is a Dutch professional darts player. When talking about top darts players, it is hard not to mention Barneveld.
The 55 year old is one of the most successful Dutch darts players as of now. Further, he is also responsible for increasing the popularity of darts in the Netherlands.
Barneveld has won over 15 major titles, which include five world championships. On top of that, he also has a Primer League trophy.
Likewise, he is also one of three top darts players to have won five world championships. This feat in itself takes Raymond to the next level.
Many fans even say that Barneveld is the greatest darts player ever, even greater than Phil Taylor. However, Raymond himself disagreed with this statement.
Furthermore, he added, saying that it was a pleasure to be in the same conversation as the legend Phil Taylor. Barneveld has beaten Taylor on various occasions.
One such occasion was the 2007 PDC World Championships, where the Dutch darts player had a triumphant victory over the legendary Phil Taylor.
Besides that, he is also a former world’s number one ranked player from January to June of 2008. As of now, he has a world ranking of 55.
1. Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor is a retired English professional darts player. He is simply the G.O.A.T. when it comes to darts. With his steady hands, he has outrun many darts players.
Taylor dominated the entire darts competing scenario for over two decades. He won a total of 214 professional tournaments in his 31-year career.
Out of the 214 titles, 85 are major titles, whereas 16 are world titles. Further, the interesting part is that he won these titles in two different generations.
He was recognized as the king of the World Championship as he won eight consecutive world titles from 1955 to 2002.
No one from this period ever even imagined conquering the title. Every competitor knew it would take more than dedication to defeat Taylor.
His excellence and consistent performance never seem to lack throughout his career. So many good players came and went, but Phil always knew how to deliver.
Moreover, this is also because darts throwing is not as physically competing as other sports such as football or basketball.
Therefore, until and unless there is a vision impairment in the player, they can have a long-lasting career. Likewise, in Phil’s case, they can have a long-lasting prime.
Furthermore, due to his superb and powerful dart-throwing technique, fans nicknamed Tylor “The Power.”
Darts playing may not be as physical as other sports. However, this sport is as challenging as any other game.
To maintain a steady hand to have a good throw is something hard to master. However, no matter how hard a situation is, it has never stopped human beings from trying.
Hence, these individuals have set the tone in darts playing. Their hard work and dedication in their game are unbelievable.
As a result, let’s appreciate the top darts player who made the game of darts as legendry as we know it to be.