Best game shows of all time, ranked: 'Jeopardy!,' 'Wheel of Fortune,' 'Family Feud,' more

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Let the summer games begin, and we don't mean the Olympics.

As the weather heats up, the broadcast networks are inviting viewers to play along with a string of cool game shows, including the return of ABC's "Celebrity Family Feud" and "Pyramid" on June 11 at 8 and 10 p.m., respectively, Joining those crowd-pleasers are new games including the Steve Harvey-hosted "Funderdome" (June 11 at 9 p.m. on ABC) and CBS' "Candy Crush" (July 9 at 9 p.m.), as well as ABC's "Gong Show" reboot (June 22 at 10 p.m.).

But when it comes to game shows that had all the right moves, here are the best 25, ranked:.

25. 'Card Sharks'

The deal on NBC's "Card Sharks," hosted by
(Credit: Buzzr)

The deal on NBC's "Card Sharks," hosted by Jim Perry, above, from 1978 to 1981, was twofold: Contestants had to predict what percentage of Americans provided a specific answer to a survey question to earn playing cards to beat their opponents in a variation of Blackjack. Bob Eubanks was master of ceremonies when CBS brought back the show in 1986.

24. 'Weakest Link'

Deadpan Brit wit Anne Robinson was the host
(Credit: NBC/Dave Bjerke)

Deadpan Brit wit Anne Robinson was the host of this NBC series that was equal parts "Survivor" and Trivial Pursuit. Nine contestants started out answering trivia questions in a given time limit, while also building up a jackpot with each right answer. After each round, the weakest contestant was voted off by their opponents until only one remained to collect alll the money. The show ran on NBC in prime time from 2001 to 2002 and in a syndicated half-hour versiion with host George Gray from 2002 to 2003.

23. 'The $64,000 Question'

Hal March, right, hosted the popular quiz show
(Credit: AP/Hans Von Nolde)

Hal March, above right, hosted the popular quiz show "The $64,000 Question" from 1955 to 1958. Contestants regarded as experts in a specific field had to answer a series of increasingly difficult questions on the subject with the goal to take home $64,000, Among the future celebrities who took home the top prize were Barbara Feldon, on the category Shakespeare, and Joyce Brothers, who excelled in boxing history. The show ended a few months after Congress began an investigation that some quiz shows had been rigged.

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22. 'Love Connection'

"Love Connection," hosted by Chuck Woolery from 1983
(Credit: FOX/Ray Mickshaw)

"Love Connection," hosted by Chuck Woolery from 1983 to 1994, took "The Dating Game" a step further. After a contestant chose their dream date, both parties got to return to the show to describe how things went. At the end, they had the option to go out again or never set eyes on one another for the rest of their lives. It's no surprise that the bad dates made for far more entertaining shows. Fox brought back the series on May 25 with Andy Cohen, above, serving as host. Another new wrinkle to the update: Same-sex couples are now featured,

21. 'You Bet Your Life'

Truthfully, the game took second place to the
(Credit: AP)

Truthfully, the game took second place to the quick wit of the one, the only Groucho Marx (shown with George Fenneman), who hosted this show in which teams of two contestants answered trivia questions to win a cash prize. And if they said the secret word, a duck would come down with $100 for the pair to split. The series, which began on radio, ran on NBC from 1950 to 1961.

20. 'Deal or No Deal'

Howie Mandel was on the case--26 cases, in
(Credit: NBC Universal/Chris Haston)

Howie Mandel was on the case -- 26 cases, in fact -- in this show that premiered on NBC in 2005. The game was primarily luck -- contestants had to choose from one in 26 suitcases filled with cash, ranging in value from a penny to one packed with a cool million. After each round, the mysterious Banker would call Mandel with a deal to buy the suitcase from the contestant for a certain dollar amount. The prime-time version ended in 2008, but was repackaged for syndication from 2008 to 2010.

19. 'Press Your Luck'

Peter Tomarken was the keeper of the Whammies
(Credit: Buzzr)

Peter Tomarken was the keeper of the Whammies on CBS' "Press Your Luck" from 1983 to 1986. Contestants literally had to press their luck as they hit a button the size of a plunger to stop on a prize space on the giant game board. Unfortunately, the board also was packed with Whammies that if hit could wipe out your bankroll. 

18. 'I've Got a Secret'

Garry Moore, standing, hosted this popular CBS game
(Credit: Everett Collection)

Garry Moore, standing, hosted this popular CBS game show that ran from 1952 to 1967 in which contestants would whisper a secret in his ear and it was up to the celebrity panel to find out what it was. Bill Cullen, seated left, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan and Faye Emerson made up an early incarnation of the panel. Meadows and Emerson were later replaced by Betsy Palmer and Bess Myerson.

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17. 'Win Ben Stein's Money'

In this "Jeopardy!"-like show that aired on Comedy
(Credit: Comedy Central)

In this "Jeopardy!"-like show that aired on Comedy Central from 1997 to 2002, contestants tried to answer more questions than brainiac Ben Stein and, in the process, win "his" money. The show was hosted by an up-and-comer named Jimmy Kimmel. Unlike "Jeopardy!," if contestants failed to answer in the form of a question more than once, they had to wear a dunce cap.

16. 'The Gong Show'

Both the entertaining and the embarrassingly awful appeared
(Credit: NBC via Getty Images/NBC)

Both the entertaining and the embarrassingly awful appeared on this talent competition hosted and produced by Chuck Barris from 1976 to 1980. Acts from jugglers to contortionists usually had 90 seconds to perform though at any time they ran the risk of getting gonged by one of the trio of celebrity judges. The act with the highest point total from the judges then won the grand prize of $516.32. Among the most notable contestants were a pre-"Annie" Andrea McArdle and vocalist Cheryl Lynn ("Got to Be Real") who won.

15. 'The Dating Game'

Singles searched for the man or woman of
(Credit: ABC via Getty Images/ABC Photo Archives)

Singles searched for the man or woman of their dreams on ABC's "The Dating Game," which Jim Lange hosted from 1965 to 1974. A bachelor or bachelorette would ask three prospective suitors such deep questions as "If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would excite you?" and choose one to join them on a romantic date -- complete with chaperone. Among the "before they were famous" stars seeking true love as contestants were Farrah Fawcett, Tom Selleck, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Mathers.

14 'Concentration'

It sure helped to have a good memory
(Credit: AP)

It sure helped to have a good memory if you were playing "Concentration," which was hosted by Hugh Downs from 1958 to 1969. After contestants matched two prize squares, two pieces of a rebus would be revealed. When contestants correctly solved the rebus, they would win whatever prizes they'd accumulated. More than 7,000 of those picture puzzles were created by the show's producer, Norm Blumenthal, of West Hempstead.

13. 'Let's Make a Deal'

As host of "Let's Make a Deal" from
(Credit: ABC)

As host of "Let's Make a Deal" from 1963 to 1975, Monty Hall was TV's big dealer and the man who introduced the word "zonk" into the English language. Contestants dressed as everything from chickens to hula dancers never knew what kind of prize he had for them behind door no. 1, door no. 2 or door no. 3. Hall, 95, is also executive producer of CBS' daytime reboot starring Wayne Brady that began in 2010.

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12. 'Hollywood Squares'

Tic tac toe was never as clever nor
(Credit: NBC via Getty Images)

Tic tac toe was never as clever nor as amusing than all done up as "Hollywood Squares," which Peter Marshall hosted from 1966 to 1981, It was up to contestants to earn an X or an O by figuring out if one of the nine celebrity "Squares" was answering a trivia question with the truth or a bluff. Regular "Squares" included Cliff "Charley Weaver" Arquette, Rose Marie, Wally Cox and Paul Lynde, whose outrageous answers were always flying just below the censors' radar. Later editions of the show were hosted by John Davidson and Tom Bergeron.

11. 'The Newlywed Game'

It was a classic example of he said,
(Credit: Bob Eubanks Enterprises)

It was a classic example of he said, she said as spouses tried to match responses to questions both naughty (the word "whoopee" was heard a lot) and nice to win a grand prize (often a living room set) on this series that first ran on ABC from 1966 to 1974. The real fun, though, was seeing the reactions from frequently nonplussed host Bob Eubanks. The game has been revived many times, including the current version hosted by Sherri Shepherd on GSN.

10. 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'

ABC hit the jackpot in the summer of
(Credit: Getty Images)

ABC hit the jackpot in the summer of 1999 with this Regis Philbin-hosted trivia game that became a ratings smash, and made phrases like "Is that your final answer?" part of pop-culture history. The prime-time edition was canceled in 2002, but the syndicated daytime version has been a hit for the past 15 years, and has been hosted by Meredith Vieira (2002-13), Cedric the Entertainer (2013-14), Terry Crews (2014-15) and Chris Harrison (2015 to now).

 

9. 'Family Feud'

What game show host kissed more female contestants
(Credit: ABC)

What game show host kissed more female contestants than any other? Survey says, Richard Dawson, the original star of ABC's "Family Feud" from 1976 to 1985. The game pitted two teams each featuring five family members out to match the top answers to survey questions like "During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant?" (The response "September" drew uncontrolled laughter from Dawson.) Other hosts of the show have included Ray Combs, John O'Hurley, Richard Karn, Louie Anderson and current favorite Steve Harvey. Dawson, incidentally, met his second wife, Gretchen Johnson, when she was a contestant on the show.

8. 'Password'

Allen Ludden hosted CBS' "Password," the first game
(Credit: CBS)

Allen Ludden hosted CBS' "Password," the first game show to pair celebrities, such as Carol Burnett and Peter Lawford, with contestants. The highlight of the word-association game, which aired on CBS from 1961 to 1967, was the Lightning Round, when the celebrity had 60 seconds to get their partner to guess five words. Numerous incarnations of "Password" followed, including "Password All Stars," "Password Plus," "Super Password," and most recently, "Million Dollar Password," which Regis Philbin hosted in 2008.

7. 'To Tell the Truth'

Will the real Bud Collyer please stand up?
(Credit: Associated Press)

Will the real Bud Collyer please stand up? Oh wait, he is. Collyer hosted this clever game show in which three contestants all claimed to have the same identity and it was up to celebrity panelists such as Polly Bergen, left, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner to discover which one was telling the truth. Other frequent panelists included Peggy Cass, Tom Poston, Orson Bean and Betty White, who appeared on ABC's prime-time reboot last year. The original version ran on CBS from 1957 to 1968.

6. 'What's My Line?'

The premise was simple but the game playing
(Credit: CBS/STAKMAN)

The premise was simple but the game playing was oftern hilarious as four celebrity panelists, including Arlene Francis, pictured with host John Daly, tried to figure out the occupations of contestants. The high point of the show, which aired Sunday nights on CBS from 1950 to 1967, was when the panelists would don masks and try to figure out the identity of a mystery guest. 

5. 'The $100,000 Pyramid'

There were numerous incarnations of this word association
(Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television)

There were numerous incarnations of this word association game hosted by Dick Clark, starting with "The $10,000 Pyramid" in 1973 and peaking with "The $100,000 Pyramid" from 1985 to 1991. Though Clark was the face most associated with the show, Bill Cullen hosted "The $25,000 Pyramid," a weekly syndicated edition from 1974 to 1979, and John Davidson hosted "The $100,000 Pyramid" in 1991. ABC's prime-time version, hosted by Michael Strahan, returns June 11 for its second season.

4. 'Match Game'

Is "Match Game" the funniest, most irreverent game
(Credit: GSN)

Is "Match Game" the funniest, most irreverent game show ever created? You bet your [blank] it is. Host Gene Rayburn bantered with the panel of celebrities, including series regulars Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly, as they filled in the blanks and attempted to match contestants' answers to typically racy questions. The show was one of CBS' biggest daytime hits from 1973 to 1979. ABC's new prime-time reboot, hosted by Massapequan Alec Baldwin, has upped the naughty factor.

3. 'The Price Is Right'

"Come, on down!" has been the catchphrase on
(Credit: Getty Images /Mark Davis)

"Come, on down!" has been the catchphrase on "The Price Is Right," which has aired weekdays on CBS since 1972, starting with Bob Barker, above as host, and Drew Carey since 2007. An earlier, Plinko-less version of the series with Bill Cullen aired from 1956 to 1964. In that version, contestants could win such high-end prizes as an airplane or a house,

2. 'Wheel of Fortune'

When Merv Griffin came up with the idea
(Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

When Merv Griffin came up with the idea to put a spin on Hangman, "Wheel of Fortune" was born. Chuck Woolery first asked contestants if they would like to buy a vowel--or buy a ceramic Dalmatian--as host from 1975 to 1981, along with letter turner Susan Stafford. Pat Sajak, above right with East Northport contestant Jerry Wichern, took over for Woolery in 1981 and continues to host the show. Stafford's replacement, Vanna White, is also still on the show, and it became a nightly ritual to see what gown she would be wearing.

1. 'Jeopardy!'

Answer: This is unquestionly the best television game
(Credit: Getty Images/Amanda Edwards)

Answer: This is unquestionably the best television game show of all time. Question: What is "Jeopardy!? The ultimate game of knowledge first ran on NBC from 1964 to 1975 with Art Fleming as host. The revival with Alex Trebek, pictured, has been even more popular and is now in its 33rd season.

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