Top ten greatest players ever – as voted by Twitter users

Published on 21 August 2023 at 13:00

Former PDC referee Jack Langston (a.k.a TheDartsReferee) recently ran a Twitter poll (or X as it’s now called) to determine how users rank the greatest arrowsmiths the sport has ever seen. His poll gathered thousands of votes and here is how darts fans of Twitter ranked the best players ever.

10. John Part

(Sky Sports, 2017)

It’s difficult to exclude a three time World Champion from any top ten list and Twitter users did not disappoint. The Canadian didn’t rack up a haul of majors in darts, only adding the Desert Classic to his World Championships. But the esteemed dartist turned commentator will forever be remembered as one of the greats. His finest hour came in the 2003 PDC World Championship final against Phil Taylor. Having lost 13 straight World Championship sets to Taylor in the two years prior, he wasn’t much fancied. Part and Taylor battled back and forth in a tightly contested match and eventually, Part hit tops to sink Taylor. Today, Part commands respect from everyone, and every wall, from behind the microphone.


9. John Lowe

(Sky Sports, 2018)

Nobody can deny that John Lowe was not one of the greatest players of his time – of any time. ‘Old Stoneface’ had incredible longevity, proven by his three World Championships in three different decades. He also captured the World Masters twice, the News of the World tournament as well as a host of other titles across the decades. In 1984, Lowe created an historic moment in darts that will forever be repeated. Against Keith Deller, Lowe hit the first-ever televised nine dart leg. He received £102,000 for hitting perfection which remained the largest sum ever earned by a dart player in a single tournament for nearly two decades.


8. Peter Wright

(Sky Sports, 2023)

For a long time, Peter Wright was seen as an underachiever in darts. He possessed incredible ability and produced performances that few could replicate, but for all his talent he only had one major to his name – the 2017 UK Open. This changed in 2020 when he defeated then World Number One Michael van Gerwen to capture the World Championship. This opened the floodgates for ‘Snakebite’ as four more ranking majors followed in the next two years, including the World Matchplay and another World Championship. In 2019, he broke the record for the highest average ever streamed in a PDC event when he averaged 123.53 in a Player’s Championship event. This year has been a struggle for Wright, but his incredible achievements to date solidifies the 53 year old as one of the greats in the sport’s history.


7. Adrian Lewis

(Sky Sports, 2023)

Adrian Lewis’ career is a strange one and his inclusion in lists such as this are always debated. The man from Stoke has won two World Championships back to back, a UK Open, a European Championship and has countless runner-up spots. He achieved all this incredible success before the age of 30 and was understandably touted by many as Phil Taylor’s heir. If you asked a group of darts fans to name the most naturally gifted player of all time, many would be quick to say Adrian Lewis. The darting world was ‘Jackpot’s’ oyster, but his form plummeted, and he went from the elite to fighting to stay in the world’s top 32. Lewis suffered a massive upset in the first round of the 2018 World Championship to unknown German Kevin Münch and struggled in the subsequent years to regain any serious momentum. In 2023, Adrian Lewis stepped away from the sport but despite his struggles over the past few years, his prior achievements place him in esteemed company. Don’t be surprised to see Lewis back on tour in the future as at only 38, he may still have plenty more to give.


6. Gerwyn Price

(Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Darts’ pantomime villain, he may not be liked by everyone, but his unbelievable talent cannot be denied. Price showed a lot of promise in the PDC for many years and reached the 2017 UK Open final, but in 2018 he realised that promise by becoming the first Welshman to win a PDC major. He beat Gary Anderson in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts (which nearly turned into a boxing match) and has gone from strength to strength ever since. His roll of honour shows two more Grand Slam of Darts titles, a World Grand Prix title, and the illustrious World Championship, once again defeating Gary Anderson in the 2021 final. Some may argue his position on the list but it’s hard to argue his inclusion. The Welshman is only 38 years old and the level of play he’s displayed over the last five years suggests many more majors are to come for the former World Number One.


5. Raymond van Barneveld

(Target Darts, 2022)

Few players are as synonymous with darts as Raymond van Barneveld. The Dutch legend has tasted huge success in a career that has spanned nearly 40 years and at 56 years old, is still competing in the PDC inside the top 32. Before joining the PDC in 2006, he won four BDO World Championships, two World Masters, two World Trophies and countless other tournaments. Despite his huge success, he felt the need to challenge himself against the likes of Phil Taylor to cement his legacy as one of the greats. He did just that enroute to the 2006 UK Open title, defeating ‘The Power’ 11-10 at the quarter final stage. Six months later, the Dutchman immortalised himself by capturing the PDC World Championship against Phil Taylor. “The greatest game ever” went all the way to a sudden death leg and ‘Barney’ realised his destiny by pinning tops and defeating Taylor 7-6. Very few players can boast the achievements of van Barneveld, though many would argue he’s somewhat of an underachiever. His last ranking major in the PDC came a few months after his World Championship win with the 2007 UK Open, and despite lifting the Grand Slam of Darts in 2012 and the Premier League in 2014, van Barneveld would have expected more from himself in the PDC.


4. Gary Anderson

(Sky Sports, 2022)

There was never any doubt of Anderson’s inclusion in this list, only his position. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has a CV that boasts two back to back World Championships, two Premier Leagues, a UK Open, a Player’s Championship Finals and a World Matchplay. The Scotsman has won nearly every big title there is to win in the PDC and has crushed the elite players in doing so. At his peak, Michael van Gerwen said only Gary Anderson was able to compete with him at his best which is perhaps the greatest praise of all. The man may have you believe he rarely practices, and who am I to doubt him? His rapid throw and power scoring showcase his massive amounts of natural ability and despite a few injury issues which have affected his form, the 52 year old is still capable of beating everyone and winning anything.


3. Eric Bristow

(Sky Sports, 2018)

You would have struggled to find anyone in 1980s Britain who did not know the name Eric Bristow. Darts fan or not, Bristow was a superstar and the charismatic, cocky, brash ‘crafty cockney’ elevated darts to another level. The five time World Champion was simply better than the rest and he knew it. Bristow faced tough opposition such as Bobby George, Jocky Wilson and John Lowe and though they got the better of him on occasion, Bristow always reigned supreme in the end. The only person who could stop Bristow was himself. In 1986, he developed dartitis, a psychological condition impairing his ability to release the dart. Whilst this affected both his performance and confidence, Bristow still achieved some success after developing the condition due to his sheer ability. In the 1990s however, his form rapidly declined, though he very nearly made another World final in 1997, losing narrowly in the semi-final 5-4 to Phil Taylor. Eric Bristow sadly passed away in 2018 aged 60 but will forever be remembered as one of the best dart players ever and a pioneer in the sport.


2. Michael van Gerwen

(Lawrence Lustig, 2019)

Every dart fan reading this list would have known who would occupy the top two spots before reading it. Michael van Gerwen is simply a darting juggernaut. If there’s been a title to win, he’s likely won it and has shattered all sorts of records along the way. He surpassed Eric Bristow as the youngest World Masters winner aged 17, and in 2016, he shattered the record televised average when he posted a figure of 123.40 in the Premier League (a figure that was threatening to be in excess of 130 for large parts of the game). The 34 year old has already captured three World Championships, three World Matchplays and countless other majors and with ‘The Green Machine’ maybe not even half way through his PDC career yet, the list of titles he is still to win is incalculable. His astonishing talent and dominance has forced his competition to reach higher levels and although MVG isn’t quite the title hoover he was, he’s still one of the favourites in every tournament he enters.


1. Phil Taylor

(Tim Murdoch/PDC)

Was there ever any doubt? Not only is Phil Taylor the greatest dart player to ever live, but he is also arguably the greatest sportsman Britain has ever produced. ‘The Power’ has won 85 major titles including 16 World Championships and has won over 200 professional tournaments. He had a stranglehold on the sport of darts for decades and had often beaten opponents before even toeing the oche due to the sheer aura he possessed. In his final year as a professional, Taylor still managed to win the World Matchplay and reached another World final, only losing to Rob Cross who averaged over 107. Never has one person dominated their sport for so long like Taylor did, and never will anyone again. The term ‘greatest of all time’ is over-used today, but it was made for Philip Douglas Taylor. Nowadays, Taylor is playing on the World Seniors Tour and though he has yet to lift a trophy on that tour, Phil Taylor’s status as the GOAT is firmly cemented.


Article by Connor Cain

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