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Top 10 Game Shows of All Time (Redux)

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Iconic hosts, memorable catchphrases and wacky antics are what make these shows popular. For this list, we’ve chosen game shows based on a mix of their popularity, entertainment value and how iconic they’ve become in pop culture. However, we’re excluding reality game shows like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” because that’s a list for another day. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 game shows of all time (redux). Special thanks to our users Alex Perrine, Sam Isett, Daniel John, HonkyTonkBuffalo, SCREWCHUCKNORRIS and aldqbigsquare for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Iconic hosts, memorable catchphrases and wacky antics are what make these shows popular. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 game shows of all time (redux).

For this list, we’ve chosen game shows based on a mix of their popularity, entertainment value and how iconic they’ve become in pop culture. However, we’re excluding reality game shows like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” because that’s a list for another day.

#10: “Let’s Make a Deal”

Originally presented by the iconic Monty Hall and now by Wayne Brady, the host of this show chooses competitors out of the audience based on their zany costumes and wacky antics. They’re then offered a prize, and are immediately asked if they want to trade it for what’s behind curtain number one, curtain number two, or curtain number three. And, while some prizes are well worth it, others are just “zonks.” “Let’s Make a Deal” spent over ten years hovering near the top of the daytime ratings, proving that simplicity sells.

#9: “Hollywood Squares”

It’s a game of tic-tac-toe with celebrities, and some trivia thrown in for good measure. The aim of the game? Contestants ask the stars questions, and judge whether or not their answers are correct – and as you can expect, silliness ensues. The host often acted as the straight man on the series, keeping things in order and ensuring things didn’t get too out of hand, and Peter Marshall was the show’s longest-serving emcee. But this was more than just your typical game show: “Hollywood Squares” was about comedy from funny celebs.

#8: “Takeshi’s Castle”

Think you’re in good shape? This Japanese game show definitely put that to the test. As a contestant on “Takeshi’s Castle,” you were forced to complete multiple physical challenges ranging from laser gun assaults to outrunning foam boulders while going uphill and jumping across high rollers to various water or mud-based tests. The goal was to avoid elimination and face Count Takeshi in his castle, and the result was a cult TV classic that spawned several international versions.

#7: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

On this series, contestants answer increasingly difficult multiple-choice questions to win a specific amount of money. But don’t worry if you’re stumped: there are lifelines to keep you from going home. With an iconic and likeable host like Regis Philbin, the potential of a million dollar payday, and enough catchphrases to last a lifetime, “Millionaire” brought the game show format to a new generation and became one of the highest-rated American game shows ever. And that’s our final answer.

#6: “The Weakest Link”

Though many countries have produced their own take on this format, it’s the British version of the quiz show that lands here, thanks in large part to its acerbic host Anne Robinson. Here’s the premise: each contestant must accurately answer a general knowledge question one after the other in order to grow the prize money they could potentially earn. Answer incorrectly and all the money collected so far is lost. But watch out: collect too many wrong answers and you could end up being voted off the team as “the weakest link.”

#5: “Match Game”

This is another show where the hilarity of the comedians is the star of the show. Gene Rayburn is the show’s most iconic host, and it’s been brought back a few times since his era. Competitors fill in the blanks of a statement read by the host, and try to match their answers to what the celebrity panel might say. Raunchy humor, sexual innuendo and double entendres abound, and helped the show consistently win its time slot.

#4: “Wheel of Fortune”

“Wheel” is the United States’ longest running syndicated game show and one of the country’s highest rated game shows – for good reason. “The show debuted in 1975 with Chuck Woolery at the helm, but has most famously been hosted by Pat Sajak since the early ‘80s with help from the lovely Vanna White. “Wheel” combines luck with the skill of deduction, and requires competitors to guess a sentence, one letter at a time. But, be careful not to get too greedy or you may just go bankrupt.

#3: “The Price is Right”

This is the longest-continuously running game show in the history of U.S. television. It was a revamp of the series in 1972 that brought the famous Bob Barker and his skinny mic in as host. Get past Contestants’ Row and you’ll need shopping skills plus a bit of luck to get through the variety of games and onto the Showcase. Barker retired in 2007 and was replaced by Drew Carey, but enthusiastic and eccentric contestants are still lining up to “Come on Down!”

#2: “Family Feud”

“The Feud” keeps coming back to pit families against each other. The show surveys 100 people on a variety of questions, and asks competing families to guess their most popular responses, and the winning family then has a chance at the Fast Money. The flirtatious Richard Dawson served as the show’s original host from 1976 to 1985, and a string of personalities have filled his shoes since, including Steve Harvey. Survey says: This is one of the classic game shows.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Password”
- “The Newlywed Game”
- “Sale of the Century”
- “The Dating Game”
- “Double Dare”
- “Pyramid”

#1: “Jeopardy!”

At the top spot on our list is the ultimate quiz show: “Jeopardy!’ hit the airwaves in its current form in 1984, hosted by the smug but lovable Alex Trebek. And in 2014, Trebek nabbed the Guinness World Record for “the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program),” surpassing Bob Barker. On “Jeopardy!,” contestants use book smarts and pop-culture knowledge to master this trivia juggernaut, and in return they win cash. This is the one show on TV that consistently makes viewers feel dumb, especially if they forget to answer in the form of a question.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite game show? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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