TV Guide's 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time

by jordanhores | created - 8 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

This list is a list of the greatest game shows in television history based on critical reception, diversity and cultural impact. Including both retro, (pre-1960s,) and modern, (1970s-present.) Excluding those with mixed, negative and panned reception. No specific ranking.

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1. The Gong Show (1976–1980)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Game-Show

Amateur talent contest judged by three celebrities.

Stars: Chuck Barris, Trixie Dejonge, Rocky Bonifield, Gary Owens

Votes: 645

2. Jeopardy! (1984– )

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

A returning champion and two challengers test their buzzer skills and their knowledge in a wide range of academic and popular categories.

Stars: Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Jimmy McGuire, Sarah Whitcomb Foss

Votes: 5,276

3. The Joker's Wild (1972–1991)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

A long-running quiz show hosted by TV veteran Jack Barry, and later by Bill Cullen. In this show, contestants would have to answer questions on a wide variety of topics, with the prize ... See full summary »

Stars: Pat Finn, Michael McKay, Jack Carter, Rod McKuen

Votes: 141

4. Wheel of Fortune (1983– )

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Hosted by Pat Sajak, this game show features 3 contestants who try to solve a puzzle by spinning the wheel and guessing letters in a word or phrase.

Stars: Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Charlie O'Donnell, Jim Thornton

Votes: 2,307

5. Family Feud (1976–1985)

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

Two families compete by trying to outguess the opponents about survey results.

Stars: Richard Dawson, Gene Wood, Johnny Gilbert, Rod Roddy

Votes: 1,746

6. The Price Is Right (1972– )

TV-G | 60 min | Family, Game-Show

Contestants compete for prizes and cash, including cars and vacations, in games that test their knowledge of consumer goods pricing.

Stars: Bob Barker, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson, Holly Hallstrom

Votes: 2,995

7. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1998– )

60 min | Game-Show

The original British version of the quiz show that's become a worldwide hit. Host asks hopeful contestants a series of questions, each more difficult than the last. As the questions get ... See full summary »

Stars: Chris Tarrant, Jeremy Clarkson, Eamonn Holmes, Frank Skinner

Votes: 1,618

8. Match Game (1973–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Game-Show

The five-day-a-week syndicated successor to the popular CBS game show, where two could compete to match fill-in-the-blank phrases with those of the celebrities.

Stars: Gene Rayburn, Johnny Olson, Brett Somers, Richard Dawson

Votes: 1,537

9. Blockbusters (1983– )

30 min | Game-Show

General knowledge quiz for 16-18-year-olds.

Stars: Bob Holness, Peter Tomlinson, Simon Mayo, David Stuart

Votes: 135

10. Card Sharks (1978–1989)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Hosted by Jim Perry, were contestants are asked questions about how 100 people answered a poll question then played a card game where they tried to guess whether the next card drawn from a deck in a sequence would be higher or lower.

Stars: Jim Perry, Janice Baker, Gene Wood, Lois Hamilton

Votes: 322

11. Cash Cab (2005– )

23 min | Game-Show

Add a Plot

Star: John Moody

Votes: 149

12. Double Dare (1986–1988)

TV-Y | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Game-Show

One in a long-running series of game shows, where two-member teams of children compete to answer questions and complete stunts.

Stars: Marc Summers, David Faustino, Staci Keanan, John Harvey

Votes: 1,396

13. Press Your Luck (1983–1986)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

A game show where contestents answer trivia questions and then have to gamble their winnings on a randomly flashing game board.

Stars: Peter Tomarken, Rod Roddy, Charlie O'Donnell, John Harlan

Votes: 560

14. Pyramid (2002–2004)

TV-PG | 30 min | Game-Show

Revival of the classic word association game show, where teams attempt to convey a category of words and/or phrases within a time limit.

Stars: Donny Osmond, John Cramer, Melissa Peterman, Kelly Packard

Votes: 79

15. Win, Lose or Draw (1987–1990)

30 min | Game-Show

Syndicated show produced between 1987 and 1989; debuted in the USA in September 1987. Two teams of three men and three women competed; one person from a team was given the name of a famous ... See full summary »

Stars: Vicki Lawrence, Linda Blair, Zelda Rubinstein, David Naughton

Votes: 127

16. Wipeout (2008–2014)

TV-PG | 42 min | Comedy, Family, Game-Show

Contestants make their way through a giant obstacle course to win a cash prize.

Stars: John Henson, John Anderson, Jill Wagner, Vanessa Lachey

Votes: 6,944

17. Win Ben Stein's Money (1997–2002)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Game-Show

Jeopardy-like game show featuring Ben Stein as both a host and a contestant. The second and third rounds of the game are played by Ben Stein himself as he tries to defend "his" money ... See full summary »

Stars: Ben Stein, Jimmy Kimmel, Nancy M. Pimental, Sal Iacono

Votes: 1,258

18. Whose Line Is It Anyway? (1998–2007)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Game-Show

Improvisational comedy competition show in which four members of the regular cast as comedians and often with guest appearances with other comedians and celebrities and members of the audience perform various comic games and sketches.

Stars: Drew Carey, Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, Laura Hall

Votes: 37,819

19. Tattletales (1974–1977)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Three celebrity couples were panelists. First, either the wives or husbands would go offstage and wear headphones; their spouses would remain on stage. Via closed circuit TV, the ... See full summary »

Stars: Bert Convy, Gene Wood, Jack Clark, Bobby Van

Votes: 166

20. Scrabble (1984–1990)

22 min | Game-Show

For years, one of America's favorite board games was Scrabble, the Selchow & Righter-marketed game introduced in the 1930s. The game was revised and brought to television in 1984 by Reg ... See full summary »

Stars: Chuck Woolery, Charlie Tuna, Jay Stewart, Tom Lancaster

Votes: 86

21. Sale of the Century (1983–1989)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

Updated version of the 1969-1974 NBC game show. Three contestants competed to answer trivia questions, with scoring in dollars. The game was interrupted at certain intervals for Instant ... See full summary »

Stars: Jim Perry, Lou Mulford, Summer Bartholomew, Jay Stewart

Votes: 114

22. What's My Line? (1950–1967)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

Four panelists must determine guests' occupations - and, in the case of famous guests, while blindfolded, their identity - by asking only "yes" or "no" questions.

Stars: John Daly, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, Dorothy Kilgallen

Votes: 1,217

23. You Bet Your Life (1950–1961)

30 min | Comedy, Family, Game-Show

Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation.

Stars: Groucho Marx, George Fenneman, Melinda Marx, Tuulikki Woods

Votes: 544

24. Tic Tac Dough (1956–1959)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

The classic quiz show hosted by Win Elliot. In this game, the contestants are faced with a tic-tac-toe board with a different category in each square. To put their mark (X or O) in the ... See full summary »

Stars: Jay Jackson, Jack Barry, Gene Rayburn, Win Elliot

Votes: 18

25. Beat the Clock (1950–1961)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Classic game show where couples (and sometimes families) competed to win prizes by completing stunts within a time limit.

Stars: Bud Collyer, Dolores Rosedale, John Reed King, Bern Bennett

Votes: 86

26. To Tell the Truth (1956–1968)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Classic game show in which a person of some notoriety and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into ... See full summary »

Stars: Bud Collyer, Kitty Carlisle, Tom Poston, Peggy Cass

Votes: 351

27. The $64,000 Question (1955–1958)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

Among the most influential of the big-money quiz shows, and the undisputed king of the genre of the 1950s, contestants answer questions in a specific field in an attempt to win $64,000.

Stars: Joyce Brothers, Barbara Feldon, Hal March, Lynn Dollar

Votes: 50

28. Who Do You Trust? (1956–1963)

30 min | Game-Show

Married pairs of contestants were asked to answer questions, the husband deciding whether he or she would answer. The original emcee Edgar Bergen was later replaced by Johnny Carson.

Stars: Edgar Bergen, Cornel Wilde, Jean Wallace, Molly Ann Bourne

Votes: 17

29. The Price Is Right (1956–1965)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

The original version of an American icon, "The Price is Right" rewarded contestants with valuable prizes for their ability to price items.

Stars: Bill Cullen, Don Pardo, Johnny Gilbert, Jack Narz

Votes: 190

30. Treasure Hunt (1956–1959)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

The original version of the game show, where contestants use their intuition and luck to help them win cash and prizes by deciding whether to keep the unknown contents of a box they have chosen.

Stars: Buddy Hackett, Jan Murray, Greta Thyssen, Pat White

Votes: 23

31. Let's Make a Deal (1963–1977)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

Monty Hall hosts this hilarious half-hour gameshow in which audience contestants picked at random, dressed in ridiculous costumes, try to win cash or prizes by choosing curtain number 1, 2 ... See full summary »

Stars: Monty Hall, Jay Stewart, Carol Merrill, Wendell Niles

Votes: 381

32. Password (1961–1975)

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

Two celebrity-contestant teams compete to guess words by giving one-word clues in this all-time classic game show.

Stars: Allen Ludden, Elizabeth Montgomery, Ross Martin, Carol Burnett

Votes: 275

33. The Newlywed Game (1966–1974)

TV-PG | 30 min | Game-Show

The original version of the long-running game show, hosted by veteran host Bob Eubanks. Newlywed husbands and wives would take turns answering (often risque) questions while their spouses ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Eubanks, James Farentino, Michele Lee, Keely Smith

Votes: 417

34. Masquerade Party (1952–1960)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

A panel of celebrities met with another celebrity who was in heavy make-up and/or costume; this disguise would always provide clues to the celebrity's actual identity. The panel asked ... See full summary »

Stars: Bert Parks, Ilka Chase, Peter Donald, Ogden Nash

Votes: 15

35. Concentration (1958–1979)

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

Two contestants revealed pieces of a rebus-like puzzle by matching 15 pairs of cash amounts and prizes, then tried to solve it before the other.

Stars: Hugh Downs, Bob Clayton, Wayne Howell, Ed McMahon

Votes: 98

36. Dollar a Second (1953–1957)

30 min | Comedy, Family, Game-Show

A prime-time game show, where contestants earned one dollar for each second that the host's questions were answered correctly. Incorrect replies earned punishment - a stunt had to be performed, a la "Truth or Consequences".

Stars: Jan Murray, Ken Roberts, Dagmar, Riley Murray

Votes: 12

39. You Don't Say (1963–1975)

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

Two teams of two players compete against each other to determine the name of a famous person. One member of the team, who knew the answer, would give clues to his or her teammate.

Stars: Tom Kennedy, John Harlan, Pat Carroll, Betty White

Votes: 30

40. Name That Tune (1953–1959)

Game-Show, Music

The original version of the popular and long-running quiz show, hosted by Red Benson Contestants competed to see who had the more comprehensive knowledge of popular songs by trying to be ... See full summary »

Stars: Pat White, Bill Cullen, Norman 'Red' Benson, Kirk Douglas

Votes: 36

41. The Name's the Same (1951–1955)

30 min | Family, Game-Show

Guests who have the same name as famous persons, fictional characters, or things, are quizzed by celebrity panelists who try to determine their name.

Stars: Joan Alexander, Robert Q. Lewis, Gene Rayburn, Roger Price

Votes: 75

42. I've Got a Secret (1952–1967)

TV-G | 30 min | Family, Game-Show

"I've Got a Secret" debuted on the heels of the successful "What's My Line?" Though "Secret" had somewhat similar rules, there were other elements that gave the show its own distinctive ... See full summary »

Stars: Henry Morgan, Bill Cullen, Garry Moore, Betsy Palmer

Votes: 367

43. Schlitz Playhouse (1951–1959)

30 min | Comedy, Drama

Originally billed as "Playhouse of the Stars" this long running anthology series was originally presented live from New York City. Irene Dunne was briefly the hostess in 1952, and the show frequently used Broadway performers in classic stories.

Stars: James Mason, Irene Dunne, Robert Paige, Walter Coy

Votes: 181

44. Shower of Stars (1954–1958)

60 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A CBS variety show that ran monthly from 1954-1958, broadcast in color. Stars appearing included Betty Grable, Mario Lanza, Jack Benny, Basil Rathbone, Fredric March, Shirley MacLaine and ... See full summary »

Stars: William Lundigan, Jack Benny, Art Gilmore, Mary Costa

Votes: 49

45. Four Star Playhouse (1952–1956)

30 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

This show featured four rotating stars, Charles Boyer, David Niven, Ida Lupino, and Dick Powell in individual episodes consisting of everything from comedy to drama.

Stars: David Niven, Dick Powell, Charles Boyer, Ida Lupino

Votes: 130

46. Goodyear Playhouse (1951–1957)

60 min | Drama

The show featured original plays plus plays adapted from works.

Stars: Walter Matthau, David White, Constance Ford, Gene Lyons

Votes: 52

47. Saturday Night Live (1975– )

TV-14 | 90 min | Comedy, Music

A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.

Stars: Don Pardo, Lenny Pickett, Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson

Votes: 39,579

48. Your Show of Shows (I) (1950–1954)

90 min | Comedy

Live, original comedy originally featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Carl Reiner and Howard Morris joined the show later. Two of the great skits on the show were "The Hickenloopers", a ... See full summary »

Stars: Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Felisa Vanoff, Carl Reiner

Votes: 260

50. The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950–1955)

60 min | Comedy, Romance