The 300+ Best Competition Shows

Over 11.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The 300+ Best Competition Shows
Voting Rules
Vote up your favorite reality shows with a competitive game angle. No quiz shows or traditional game shows.
Latest additions: Big Time Bake, Battle of the Decades, Fight to Survive
Most divisive: The Voice

These are best reality TV competition series, ranked by fans and critics. Reality shows are among the most-watched programs on TV, and they are easy to produce due to their low production costs, lack of staff, and quick turn-around. Early programs like Survivor and Big Brother gained international audiences who loved watching real people compete for money and fame. High-pressure situations, 24/7 filming, and clashing personalities ensured frequent drama and excitement as alliances and enemies were created and destroyed.

In recent years, more generic reality competition shows have given way to more specialized contests. Dance competition series range from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars to Dance Moms. Travel shows are favorites, as are fashion competitions, talent and singing shows - from American Idol to The Voice to The X Factor - which are consistently among the highest rated programs on TV - ever.

In that spirit, it's time to get competitive. Vote for your favorite reality competition shows to move them up the list. You can also customize and rank your own list by clicking Rerank. Then, check out which reality shows are airing new episodes now.

Ranked by
  • Survivor
    5,264 votes
    Jeff Probst

    An extraordinary display of human resilience and social maneuvering, this legendary series invites contestants to outwit, outplay, and outlast their competitors while stranded in remote locations around the world. The show's format serves as a thrilling examination of human behavior under demanding conditions, with its iconic tribal council sessions providing viewers with unforgettable moments of betrayal, camaraderie, and emotional vulnerability. The diverse array of personalities and backgrounds among the cast members ensures that each season remains captivating and unique, fostering a dedicated fan base that eagerly awaits every new installment.

  • The Amazing Race
    3,959 votes
    Phil Keoghan

    A heart-pounding adrenaline rush that sends teams of two on a whirlwind journey across the globe, this enduring series tests the limits of physical endurance, mental acuity, and interpersonal relationships. Viewers are gripped by the intense race against time as dynamic duos navigate foreign cultures, decipher cryptic clues, and overcome grueling challenges in pursuit of the coveted grand prize. The program's remarkable blend of exotic locales, high-stake rivalries, and touching human moments has garnered a passionate following and numerous accolades, solidifying its status as a must-watch reality competition.

  • RuPaul's Drag Race
    3,365 votes
    RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice

    A groundbreaking series that combines dazzling creativity and fierce competition, this cultural phenomenon showcases the artistry, charisma, and talent of drag queens from around the world. Hosted by the inimitable RuPaul, the show's contestants vie for the ultimate title of "America's Next Drag Superstar" through a variety of fashion, performance, and comedic challenges. With its trailblazing representation of LGBTQ+ culture, ferocious lip sync battles, and heartfelt personal stories, this transformative program has inspired countless fans and established itself as a modern-day classic.

  • The Challenge
    2,994 votes
    T.J. Lavin, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Aneesa Ferreira

    Emerging as a pioneer in the realm of reality competition series, this adrenaline-fueled program introduced viewers to a unique blend of physically demanding tasks and cunning mental challenges. Contestants, often hailing from diverse backgrounds, are pitted against one another in a race to claim the ultimate prize. A true testament to human resilience and teamwork, the show delves into the depths of interpersonal dynamics, frequently sparking alliances and rivalries within the ever-evolving cast. With its innovative format and engaging host, this production set the stage for countless imitations and adaptations in the years to follow.

  • Big Brother
    3,942 votes
    Julie Chen, Phil Proctor, Clayton Halsey

    A psychological experiment turned global sensation, this long-running series thrusts a diverse group of individuals into a confined living space where cameras capture their every move. Participants must form strategic alliances and outmaneuver their peers in a bid for survival, as they are subject to periodic evictions determined by the votes of their fellow housemates. The program's distinctive combination of voyeuristic intrigue and Machiavellian gameplay has captivated audiences for decades, spawning multiple international adaptations and a dedicated fan community.

  • The Great British Bake Off
    678 votes
    Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

    A delightful celebration of culinary prowess and individual passion, this beloved series invites amateur bakers to showcase their skills in a series of intricate challenges. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the English countryside, participants must craft exquisite confections under the watchful eyes of esteemed judges and hosts, while simultaneously fostering a spirit of camaraderie and support. The show's heartwarming moments, stunning creations, and quintessentially British charm have endeared it to audiences worldwide, earning it a devoted and enduring following.