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9 Greatest Darts Matches of All Time

Iconic images of darts players that played in the greatest darts matches of all time
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For such a simple game, darts can often have you on the edge of your seats. 

The personalities, unbelievable accuracy combined with relentless consistency and the fast-paced nature of darts matches means that every so often, you end up with some MUST WATCH matches. 

Throughout the years there have been countless battles on the oche and today, we’re going to be looking at some of the greatest darts matches of all time. 

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9. Phil Taylor vs. Adrian Lewis (2013 Grand Slam of Darts Semi-Final)

Date: November 16, 2013 
Venue: Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton 
Highlight: Taylor’s brilliance and Lewis’s fierce competition.  

Let’s get things started with an absolute fireworks display of a match. 

This semi-final match saw Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis, two powerhouses, training partners and England pairing deliver a classic encounter.

Taylor threw a 180 in his first three darts, the pair hit 32 maximums over 25 legs, Taylor averaged 109.46 with Lewis averaging 110.99 (the highest average to lose at the time), this match had it all!

For some unbelievable scoring, Taylor seemed to win with a comfortable 16-9 score but it was anything but comfortable. Taylor later remarked it was “the best he’s ever played”.

8. Dennis Priestley vs. Phil Taylor (1994 World Championship Final)

Date: January 2, 1994 
Venue: Circus Tavern, Purfleet 
Highlight: Priestley’s dominant performance.  

Taylor vs Lewis was a rivalry but in the decade prior it was Taylor vs Priestly. 

Honestly, everyone was Taylors rival. He was so dominant that basically no player liked him!

Priestley could have won a lot more in his career were it not for Phil Taylor.

He was runner-up to Phil Taylor in four World Championships in the 90s, however, in their first finals encounter (out of five) it was Priesley who would reign dominant. 

It wasn’t too much of a ‘classic’ with Taylor only managing a 85.62 average in the final but for Priestley to win 6-1 was a level of dominance that you’ll rarely see against Taylor, never mind in a final. 

Taylor would later go on to dominate this tournament for close to two decades but this loss can be looked at as the start of a darting monster (as Priestley puts it).

7. Raymond Van Barneveld vs. Michael Van Gerwen (2016 World Championship Last-16)

Date: January 2, 2016 
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London 
Highlight: Van Barneveld’s stunning performance.  

Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years to defeat the favorite Michael van Gerwen 4-3 in a clash of titans game. 

Coming into this matchup, MVG had a dominant season winning countless Major titles and won in 25 televised matches in a row going undefeated for 2 months!

It wasn’t looking good for RVB who had lost to MVG 10 times out of 13 in 2015.

Against all odds however, Barney stepped up on the biggest stage to produce an inspired performance. 

MVG had a 105.78 average, a clear winner 90% of the time but Barney held firm to upset the odds. 

Some well timed maximums and 100+ finishes meant that Barney would progress and MVG would crash out with a then record losing average. 

6. Michael Van Gerwen vs. Gary Anderson (2017 Dubai Duty Free Masters Final)

Date: May 25, 2017 
Venue: Dubai Tennis Centre, Dubai 
Highlight: Both players averaged 110+.  

In 2017, Anderson and Van Gerwen met in both the World Championship and The Master finals with MVG victorious in both.

It was, however, a World Series of Darts final that proved the most spectacular encounter between the two. 

Many claim this to be one of the best matches of all time and it perhaps doesn’t get as much recognition simply because some other great games were on the bigger stages like World Championships. 

Still, this match in particular would prove to be historic. 

Both players combined for a 221.34 average with MVG hitting 110.46 and Anderson beating him with 110.88.

This was the highest ever combined average and the first time two players hit 110+ averages in the same match. 

The scoring was simply on another level and Anderson proved victorious with an 11-7 win. 

We think there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of the other matches on this list but if we urge you to sit through one in particular, we’d say watch this match on the video above!

5. Eric Bristow vs. Jocky Wilson (1989 World Championship Final)

Date: January 1, 1989 
Venue: Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green 
Highlight: The clash of two legends.  

Eric Bristow, the five-time world champion, faced his long-time rival Jocky Wilson in a final that is still talked about today. 

TV coverage had been pulled the prior year so this tournament was the first and only to be televised that year and the BDO had also banned drinking on stage in an effort to clean up the image of the game. 

These factors aside, this final went on to become a classic.

Wilson triumphed 6-4 in a match filled with high-quality darts and tension.

After racing off to a 5-0 lead, Wilson was in inspired form but Bristow pulled back 4 sets to sets to put immense pressure on Wilson. 

Wilson held firm though and won the next set to claim his second and final World Championship title.

4. Keith Deller vs. Eric Bristow (1983 World Championship Final)

Date: April 30, 1983 
Venue: Jollees Cabaret Club, Stoke-on-Trent 
Highlight: Keith Deller’s famous 138 checkout.  

Eric Bristow was a 5 time World Champion and a 5 time runner-up, unfortunately, the best matches he was involved in would see him on the losing side. 

As one of the most memorable upsets in darts history, Keith Deller defeated the great Eric Bristow with a stunning 138 checkout to win 6-5.

This moment is forever etched in the history of the sport.

With Deller back on 138 and having missed several darts at a double to win already in previous legs, Bristow played it safe and instead of going for bullseye, threw a single 18 to set himself up with a D16 finish. 

He’d never make it back to the board though as Deller did the unthinkable and took out an astonishing 138 checkout to win his first and only World Championship. 

3. Rob Cross vs. Michael van Gerwen (2018 PDC World Championship Semi-Final)

Date: December 30, 2017 
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London 
Highlight: Rob Cross’s unbelievable performance under pressure.  

Rob Cross, a former electrician, stunned the darts world by defeating the reigning champion Michael van Gerwen 6-5 in one of the most dramatic semi-finals ever. 

MVG was World No1, defending champion and the favourite going into the World Championships but found himself tied 5-5 with Cross in the semi-finals.

After missing 5 match darts when leading 5-4, Cross took his chance and made it to the final on his debut campaign. 

Cross had only been a pro player for 11 months as he then went on to win the title in his debut year beating Phil Taylor 7-2 in the final. 

This was a true underdog story but one so related to so many people. How often have you daydreamed about quitting your job to go on to darts success? Well, it’s not easy but Cross showed it’s possible. 

The semi-final against MVG will go down in history as one of the best matches of all time as well. 

This is not relevant to the match but some of the YouTube comments had me cracking up for this match. Many commented that they were ready to shave their heads bald as this was clearly the key to making it to a World Championship Final 😂

2. Adrian Lewis vs. Gary Anderson (2011 PDC World Championship Final)

Date: January 3, 2011 
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London 
Highlight: Adrian Lewis threw a nine-darter in the final.  

This was a classic matchup for a number of reasons. 

Adrian Lewis captured his first World Championship title in a match that featured the first-ever nine-darter in a world final. 

It was the last match Sid Waddell commented on at the PDC World Darts Championship before he passed away.

It was the first final where both participants were in their first final and Lewis became the first player to win the PDC title having never won the rival BDO event. 

Wow, quite a bit went into this match then!

Lewis enjoyed a 7-5 victory over Gary Anderson with a display of sheer talent and nerve and this was the catalyst for what was to be an incredible 2-3 year period that put Lewis into the bracket of “one of the best to ever play”.

1. Phil Taylor vs. Raymond van Barneveld (2007 PDC World Championship Final)

Date: January 1, 2007 
Venue: Circus Tavern, Purfleet 
Highlight: The match went to a sudden-death leg.  

This match is often referred to as one of the greatest ever for a few reasons. 

Taylor had won 11 of the last 12 PDC World Championships so was annihilating the tournament by every metric.

RVB had just moved up from the BDO to the PDC and had gone straight to the Championship final in his debut season. 

This looked like a battle of the titans and it didn’t disappoint!

Taylor and van Barneveld battled it out in a final that saw both players push each other to the limit. Van Barneveld eventually triumphed, winning 7-6 in a sudden-death leg, marking his first (and last) PDC World Championship win.

The pair both average 100+ in the final and it will always go down as one of, if not the, best darts matches of all time. 

These matches are just a snapshot of the excitement and skill that darts can offer.

Each one showcases incredible performances, unexpected twists, and the kind of drama that keeps fans on the edge of their seats. 

Whether it’s a historic nine-darter or a tense final leg decider, these matches exemplify the very best of darts.

This is a curated list but obviously some opinion is involved as well.

We’re pretty sure true darts fans will agree with at least 50% of our choices but if you think we’ve missed some obvious ones, don’t worry.

They’ll likely be a part 2 coming soon as this was great to compile and reminisce over some truly great matches so we can’t wait to do it again 👀

If there’s any matches you want to see or think we should have included, let us know in the comments below 👇

Also, if you enjoyed this list, please take a second to hit one of the share buttons below and share it with your darting friends/family. 

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