The Best Game Shows In Television History, Ranked

By Rick Gonzales | Published

Best Game Shows in the History of Television

Television game shows have been a staple for viewers going all the way back to 1946 when Cash and Carry, hosted by Dennis James, first hit the airwaves. Since that time, thousands of entertaining game shows have come and gone, have been resurrected, or have never left.

When the FCC lost its Supreme Court battle to rid television of game shows in 1954, viewers were thrilled to know their shows were here to stay.

Throughout its history, there have been numerous popular TV game shows. Some have required contestants to answer questions, while others have called upon a little physical play. Other great game shows included celebrities, and others used music as their hook. Here are 8 of the best game shows in television history. Are any of them your favorites?

8. Let’s Make a Deal

Let’s Make a Deal debuted in 1963 with Monty Hall running the show. Hall would do his best to cajole contestants, who wore some of the craziest costumes, into making a deal that oftentimes ended up being worse than what they already had won. Hall’s version ran for 23 years and after a couple of reboots, the game show returned in 2009 with Wayne Brady and has been dealing ever since.

7. The Match Game

The Match Game was an entertaining panel game show that was hosted by Gene Rayburn. The height of the show came between the years 1973-1982, but the show got its initial start in 1962. The game featured celebrities who would fill in the blank in a statement or question and would have to match their answer with contestants. Of course, the answers would many times be risqué and always humorous.

6. The Newlywed Game

This classic game show, hosted by Bob Eubanks, brought newly married couples to the game show floor to quiz them on how well they knew their partner. What made The Newlywed Game such a fun watch was the arguments couples would get into when they realized that maybe they didn’t know their significant other as well as they first thought.

5. Family Feud

Family Feud is one of the most recognizable game shows on television. The only thing that has changed in this game since it first aired on TV in 1976 is the game host. Richard Dawson was the original host and his schtick was kissing all the female contestants, something that would not fly today. The game show pits family versus family as they try to answer survey questions. Today, the show is hilariously hosted by Steve Harvey.

4. Hollywood Squares

Another celebrity-based game show, Hollywood Squares was a massive hit from 1966-1989. This one had 9 celebrities sitting in tic-tac-toe formation answering questions from the host. Their answers were usually humorous, and it would be up to the contestant to determine if the celebrity was true or false with their answer. A correct answer would give the contestant their X or O.

3. Wheel of Fortune

Believe it or not, but of all the television game shows throughout history, Wheel of Fortune is the longest-syndicated one in the U.S. The show began in 1975 and when it became syndicated in 1983, Pat Sajak (who recently announced his retirement from the game show) and Vanna White took control and have been ever since.

The game is simple – spin the wheel, land on (hopefully) some prize money, and answer the game’s puzzle. It can be addicting.

2. The Price Is Right

The Price is Right enjoyed two iterations of the popular game show. The first came in 1956 and lasted for 9 years. The second came in 1972 when Bob Barker was introduced as the host, something he would do for the next 35 years.

Barker would have contestants “come on down” to see who could get the closest guess on the price of an item. The winner would then join him on stage for another game. The biggest winners would meet in the finale Showcase Showdown.

ken jennings jeopardy

1. Jeopardy!

The original game show Jeopardy! First premiered in 1964 and was hosted by Art Fleming for the next 15 years. Although a hit, the series went on a five-year hiatus in 1979. In 1984, Alex Trebek would lead the charge in the newer, syndicated version and would hold that spot until he sadly passed in 2020.

The game show is well-known for its trivia-based format, but what separates this one from the others is that it is the most intellectually challenging game show ever seen on television. The game show is still finding an audience even after Trebek’s tragic passing.