Just who exactly is the world’s best darts player? That subject is up for debate and wildly dependent on who you talk to on a given day.

Fortunately, there are some objective rankings that are used to settle the debate to some extent. In fact, many top darts tournaments require that a player be ranked at a certain level to qualify.

The PDC Order of Merit – Darts Player Rankings

The PDC Order of Merit is widely used to determine entry into PDC tournaments. The ranking system is determined by the prize money won in ranking tournaments over the last two years. Events such as the World Darts Championship, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix use the rankings to determine who can enter the tournament.

PDC Order of Merit Rankings

PositionPlayerAmount Earned Over Last 2 Years
1Peter Wright£1,204,000
2Gerwyn Price£1,188,250
3Michael van Gerwen£633,500
4Michael Smith£584,000
5James Wade£574,000
6Gary Anderson£481,500
7Jose de Sousa£456,000
8Jonny Clayton£437,000
9Dimitri Van den Bergh£426,750
10Rob Cross£383,500

Rankings are provided by the PDC Order of Merit as of April 27, 2022.

Of course, the PDC Order of Merit doesn’t have the final say on who the best darts players are. We the fans do.

Below we will lay out some of the players that are widely considered to be among the best in the world. Is there anybody that you think is missing from the list?

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price PDC World Championships 2021

Former semi-pro rugby player Price has steadily become one of the leading lights of PDC darts. Since switching sports he climbed up the PDC Order of Merit all the way to the very top after he won the 2021 PDC World Championship.

He has also won the World Grand Prix and three Grand Slams, including back-to-back wins 2018, 2019, the first of which provided the Welshman with his maiden PDC title. In February 2022 Price became the first player in history to throw three televised nine darters in the same calendar year when he hit two in one night of the Darts Premier League. 

NicknameThe Iceman
NationalityWelsh
Date of Birth7 March, 1985
Premier League5th 2019; 2020
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 2021

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson Champion League of Darts

Anderson is a two-time PDC World Champion and has picked up numerous other trophies on both the BDO and PDC circuits since going pro back in 2001. Despite never getting past the quarter finals stage of the BDO World Championship it was big news when he moved to the PDC in 2009, and since then he has continued his winning ways. Currently, Anderson is one of the biggest names in world darts and this 11-time major winner is one of the favourites for every tournament he enters these days.

NicknameThe Flying Scotsman
NationalityScottish
Date of Birth22 December, 1970
Premier LeagueWinner 2011, 2015
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 2015, 2016; Runner up 2011
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Peter Wright

peter wright pdc world darts championship 2022

Known for his cockatoo-like hairstyle, Peter Wright has proved to be more than just a flashy haircut. After appearing in the 1995 BDO World Championships, Wright spent the next 10 years playing in local leagues in England before resuming his professional career in 2005 under the PDC umbrella. Slow and steady progress has seen the Scotsman rise up the rankings and he now has a number of PDC tournament wins under his belt, including two World Championships and the World Matchplay.

NicknameSnakebite
NationalityScottish
Date of Birth10 March, 1970
Premier LeagueRunner up 2017
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 2020, 2022

Michael Van Gerwen

Michael Van Gerwyn UK Open

A highly ranked BDO player even in his teens, Michael van Gerwen switched to PDC in 2007 but it was not until 2012 that he finally made a real impact on the world of darts. At age 24 the Dutchman became the youngest ever winner of the PDC World Championships in 2014 and his average of 123.40 during a Premier League match in 2016 was the highest ever recorded during a televised match.

NicknameMighty Mike
NationalityDutch
Date of Birth25 April, 1989
Premier LeagueWinner 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 20119
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 2014, 2017, 2019

James Wade

One of the most successful players in the history of the PDC, left-handed Wade became a full-time pro in 2007 and has enjoyed considerable success on the circuit since then which includes winning 11 premier PDC events. While the PDC World Championship has eluded him to date Wade did write his name in the record books by becoming the first player to hit a nine-darter in a televised event back in 2008 in the Grand Slam of Darts.

NicknameThe Machine
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth6 April, 1989
Premier LeagueWinner 2009, Runner-up 2008 and 2010
PDC World ChampionshipSemi-Finals 2009, 2012, 2013, 2022

Jonny Clayton

Since winning the World of Darts alongside Gerwyn Price in 2020, Clayton emerged from his partner’s shadow to become one of the biggest names in darts. In the year that followed, The Ferret would go on to win the 2021 Masters which provided him with qualification to the Premier League of Darts, an event he would go on to win as well. He would later go on to win his first ranked televised title at the 2021 World Grand Prix.

NicknameThe Ferret
NationalityWelsh
Date of Birth4 October, 1974
Premier LeagueWinner 2021
PDC World ChampionshipsLast 16 2022

Michael Smith

Michael Smith Shanghai Darts Masters

Smith is still waiting for his first premier event win on the PDC tour, although he already has a number of other tournament wins to his name and in 2016 gained entry to the prestigious Premier League of Darts when he was awarded a wild-card spot. He has twice made the finals of the PDC World Darts Championships, losing on both occasions.

NicknameBully Boy
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth18 September, 1990
Premier LeagueDebut in 2016
PDC World ChampionshipsSemi-final 2019, 2022

Other Notable Darts Players – Past and Present

Phil Taylor

The undoubted king of the game of darts, Taylor is a legend in his own life-time. Taylor retired from professional darts after the 2018 World Championship where he yet again made the final. He was denied the perfect send off however when he lost to the unknown qualifier Rob Cross. He has won more than 200 pro tournaments over the course of his career including an astonishing 16 World Championship finals.

Taylor was one of the group of 16 ‘rebels’ who founded the organization which became the PDC in 1994 and he has dominated the sport ever since, creating a string of records which may never be broken.

NicknameThe Power
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth13 August 1960
Premier LeagueWinner 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2012; RU 2013
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 1995; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999;2000;2001;2002;2003;2004; 2005; 2006; 2009; 2010; 2013

Adrian Lewis

A protégé of the legendary Phil Taylor, this Stoke native has risen through the ranks and despite some patchy periods of form has twice won the PDC World Championships. Lewis’ career has been punctuated by some controversial incidents on the oche when on occasion he has been involved in disputes with other players, but in 2016 he returned to his best form to reach the final of the PDC World Championships again.

NicknameJackpot
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth21, January 1985
Premier LeagueRunner up 2011
PDC World ChampionshipsWinner 2011, 2012, Runner up 2016

Robert Thornton

Robert Thornton’s unusual road to the top tier of world darts featured a 20 year lay-off between 1982 and 2002 when he gave up the game to focus on bringing up his children. Since returning to pro darts the Scotsman has won three major titles: the BDO World Masters in 2007, the UK Open in 2012, and the 2015 World Grand Prix.

NicknameThe Thorn
NationalityScottish
Date of Birth17 July , 1967
Premier LeaguePlayed 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2016
World ChampionshipsQuarterfinal 2015

Glen Durrant

Durrant has enjoyed an upsurge in fortunes on the tour in recent years, picking up a number of regional trophies. Duzza is a three-time BDO world champion, but in 2018 announced he was switching to the PDC leaving the BDO, which went into liquidation two years later, without one of its biggest names.

It didn’t take long for Durrant to make his mark on the PDC as he won the Darts Premier League in 2020 at the first time of asking.

NicknameDuzza
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth24, November 1970
Darts Premier LeagueWinner 2020
BDO World ChampionshipsWinner 2017, 2018, 2019

Martin Adams

Wolfie has been a fixture on the darting circuit for many years now and is a rare case of a multiple BDO World Championship winner who did not make the switch over to the PDC. Adams was the longest ever serving England team captain, as he held the position from 1993 to 2011.

NicknameWolfie
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth04 June, 1956
World MastersWinner 2008, 2009, 2010
BDO World ChampionshipsWinner 2007, 2010, 2011

Scott Mitchell

2014 was a breakthrough year for Mitchell during which he won a number of tournaments, but it was 2015 when he really announced himself, winning the BDO World Championship. Since the BDO folded, Scotty Dog has been playing on the PDC Tour but has yet to win a trophy.

NicknameScotty Dog
NationalityEnglish
Date of Birth5 June, 1970
World MastersQuarter final 2014
World ChampionshipsWinner 2015

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(Source of information: PDC website, dartsdatabase.co.uk & wikipedia)