Let me take you on a trip down memory lane as we explore the world of 80s game shows!

From the bigger-than-life hair and neon-bright outfits to the iconic 80s catchphrases and studio audiences, TV game shows of the 1980s are a true blast from the past.

Whether you were tuning in after school or staying up late to catch a new episode, 80s tv game shows were a great source of entertainment and excitement for viewers of all ages and walks of life.

In today’s post, I’m going to help you revisit the top 10 game shows that aired during the raddest decade in history: the decadent 80s! So, get ready to feel some nostalgia and relive the glory days of word puzzles and survey questions that were 80s game shows. These are the

Top 10 Game Shows From The 80s

Press Your Luck

Dazzling lights, catchy tunes, and enough drama to give soap operas a run for their money are what I think of when I think of “Press Your Luck”.

This game show became a bonafide smash hit with audiences all over America soon after its premiere in 1983. Hosted by the one and only Peter Tomarke, Press Your Luck featured a spinning game board whose spaces corresponded to sweet cash, a range of prizes, or the dreaded lose-it-all Whammy!

And with catchphrases like “No Whammies! And “Big bucks, no Whammies!” The show was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon.

Sale of the Century, also known as $ale of the Century

Sale of the Century was a highly popular game show that aired in the 80s, captivating audiences with an exciting format and charismatic host.

In “Sale of the Century” contestants looked to win cash by answering assorted trivia questions and using those winnings to purchase discounted prizes in an exciting “Instant Bargain” round.

“Sale of the Century” was fast-paced and surprisingly intense, which kept audiences coming back week after week. Its slick presentation and high-energy moment-to-moment gameplay turned “Sale of the Century” into a classic of the genre.

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction was one of the most beloved game shows to grace tv screens in the 80s. The game challenged contestants’ wits and vocabulary by presenting them with clever word-chain puzzles.

The game board was filled with letter squares, and players had to complete chains of words starting with the previous word in the chain.

Chain Reaction’s original run was hosted by the very “Dean of Game Show Hosts” Bill Cullen, and thanks to its innovative format and engaging gameplay look, still holds up today.

Card Shark

“Card Sharks” had two runs in the 80s, from 1978 to 1981 and then again from 1986 to 1989, in which it tested its contestants’ luck and skill with a deck of cards.

Hosted by both Jim Perry and then by Bob Eubanks, the game saw players predicting whether the next card in their deck was higher or lower than the previous one. If players predicted their card correctly they would win money, but if they guessed incorrectly they would lose their earnings.

This simple yet engaging format offered plenty of nail-biting tension and kept viewers tuning in week after week.

“Card Sharks” may not be as famous as other game shows of the time, but it keeps a special place in the hearts of many.


In the 80s the beloved board game Scrabble was brought to life with a thrillingly competitive tv version in the form of “Scrabble” the game show.

Hosted by Chuck Woolery, the show had contestants competing to form words from a set of tiles, earning points based on their length and overall complexity. The game was faster-paced than the tabletop version, but successfully maintained its characteristic high-scoring and strategic moments.

The combination of brainpower and entertainment value made for some truly memorable moments, making sure that “Scrabble” is well-deserved a spot in any list of the top 10 80s game shows.

Nickelodeon’s Double Dare

“Nickelodeon’s Double Dare” was immensely popular in the 80s, thanks to the messy physical challenges and clever trivia questions that tested its contestants’ general knowledge and agility.

Hosted by the vivacious television personality and comedian Marc Summers, unlike most game shows, Double Dare pitted two teams against each other in a series of outrageous, messy stunts. Each episode of the game show was unpredictable and hilarious, with neither contestants nor viewers able to predict what would happen next.

“Nickelodeon’s Double Dare” captivated audiences with infectious energy and its larger-than-life antics, and directly inspired countless imitators in the years since.

Win, Lose, or Draw

Win, Lose, or Draw aired from 1987 to 1990 with a format similar to the popular drawing game Pictionary.

Hosted by the inimitable Bert Convy, the show features teams of celebrities and contestants competing to guess words or phrases based on visual clues drawn by their teammates. Episodes were engaging and kept a brisk pace, consistently populated with hilarious moments and high-stakes gameplay.

Whether you liked wordplay or liked art, “Win, Lose or Draw “offered something for everyone, and it’s a shining example of what makes game shows so much fun.

Super Password

“Super Password” was a high-energy take on a classic 70s word-guessing game, Password.

Hosted by Bert Convy, the show featured teams composed of celebrities and regular contestants attempting to guess secret passwords based on simple clues.

“Super Password” had a near-perfect gameplay loop that required players to strike a balance between their mastery of strategy, intuition, and wits. As a result, “Super Password” became a defining hit in the 1980s.

Classic Concentration

Classic Concentration was a popular game show that aired between 1987 and 1991, as a relaunch of 1958’s Concentration game show.

The show featured similar gameplay to the classic children’s memory game and had two contestants competing to match hidden prizes, uncover clues, and solve word puzzles to win.

“Classic Concentration” was a game that was riddled with both strategic and highly suspenseful moments, and thanks to its catchy theme song, colorful graphical style, and engaging gameplay, it became a beloved classic of 80s game shows.

Remote Control

MTV brought us one of the most popular and unique game shows of the 1980s, with Remote Control.

Much like other MTV fare at the time, the quiz show offered a hilarious and irreverent take on 80s culture and featured contestants answering assorted questions about tv and pop culture.

“Remote Control” was full of zany moments, wacky humor, and some truly unexpected twists. Its unique format catapulted “Remote Control” to cult status and it stands as one of the defining moments in game show history.

Merv Griffin’s Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right, Family Feud, did we miss a few? While these television game shows are staples of the 80s and continue to run in syndication on daytime TV, their origin is much older. Check out our list of the best game shows from the 70s for more of your favorites.