Rank "The Challenge" seasons

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Rank "The Challenge" seasons

We've reached another milestone, 35 seasons, 22 years... doesn't matter whichever season you started with and whenever you started, how do all the seasons you've watched stacked up? Power Rank them. Feel free to get creative with your lists too, and add comentary if you wish.



The seasons: Road Rules: All Stars, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Challenge 2000, Extreme Challenge, Battle of the Seasons (2002), Battle of the Sexes, The Gauntlet, The Inferno, Battle of the Sexes 2, The Inferno II, The Gauntlet 2, Fresh Meat, The Duel, The Inferno 3, The Gauntlet III, The Island, The Duel II, The Ruins, Fresh Meat II, Cutthroat, Rivals, Battle of the Exes, Battle of the Seasons (2012), Rivals II, Free Agents, Battle of the Exes II, Battle of the Bloodlines, Rivals III, Invasion of the Champions, XXX: Dirty 30, Vendettas, Final Reckoning, War of the Worlds, War of the Worlds 2, Total Madness




1. The Inferno

2. The Ruins

3. The Inferno 2

4. Cutthroat

5. Dirty 30

6. Battle of the Seasons 2012

7. The Duel

8. Rivals 1

9. Battle of the Exes 1

10. Invasion

11. War of the Worlds 2

12. Rivals 2

13. The Duel 2

14. The Gauntlet 3

15. Battle of the Season (2002)

16. War of the Worlds 1

17. Final Reckoning

18. The Inferno 3

19. Extreme Challenge

20. The Gauntlet 2

21. Fresh Meat

22. Battle of the Bloodlines

23. The Gauntlet

24. Battle of the Sexes 1

25. Total Madness

26. Battle of the Exes 2

27. Battle of the Sexes 2

28. Challenge 2000

29. Fresh Meat 2

30. Rivals 3

31. The Island

32. Vendettas

33. Free Agents


Haven’t Watched:

-Real World/Road Rules Challenge

-Road Rules: All Stars

1. The Inferno 2

2. The Gauntlet

3. Rivals 1

4. The Duel 

5. The Inferno

6. The Gauntlet 2

7. Battle of the Sexes 2

8. Battle of the Seasons 2012

9. Battle of the Exes 1

10. Fresh Meat

11. Rivals 2

12.  Cutthroat

13. The Duel 2

14. War of the Worlds 2

15. Free Agents

16. Battle of the seasons original

17. Battle of the Sexes 1

18. Fresh Meat 2

19. The Gauntlet 3

20. Inferno 3

21. Battle of the Exes 2

22. Extreme Challenge

23. The Ruins

24. Invasion

25. Dirty 30

26. War of the Worlds 2

27. Vendettas

28. Bloodlines

29. The Island

30. Total Madness

31. Final Reckoning

32. Rivals 3


I've seen Challenge 2000, but it's been along time and I can't really remember it.

Haven't seen 

-All Stars

- Road Rules: All Stars

  1. The Inferno II
  2. The Inferno
  3. The Duel
  4. The Gauntlet 2
  5. Cutthroat
  6. Fresh Meat
  7. War of the Worlds
  8. Battle of the Exes II
  9. XXX: Dirty 30
  10. The Gauntlet
  11. Free Agents
  12. Rivals II
  13. Invasion of the Champions
  14. Rivals
  15. The Ruins
  16. Battle of the Seasons (2012)
  17. The Gauntlet III
  18. Battle of the Seasons (2002)
  19. The Duel II
  20. Battle of the Sexes
  21. War of the Worlds 2
  22. Battle of the Exes
  23. Fresh Meat II
  24. Battle of the Sexes 2
  25. The Inferno 3
  26. Vendettas
  27. Final Reckoning
  28. Total Madness
  29. The Island
  30. Rivals III
  31. Battle of the Bloodlines




Inferno 2 just does it for me - Iconic cast, teams were evenly stacked, great format, this is where it REALLY became the Challenge as we know it competition and final wise, Bad ***** truly lived up to their name, Dan was MVP commentary & liners, there were iconic moments that can't be matched level of clean entertainment (Brad vs Miz, Abram vs Darrell, CT vs Karamo, Tonya vs Beth & Robin, Jodi vs Mean Girls, Abram vs Tina, etc.), Tonya had a rough but good arc despite not winning, a team of Landon, Darrell, Mike and Jamie winning is like one of the best team finalist to win in that common 3 guy-1 girl set-up IMO. Inferno had EVERYTHING you could ask for except the eliminations sucked which made me bump it down from first. Gauntlet 2 was very frontloaded with great moments and the final couple episodes brought it down/the final.


Unpopular opinion: Exes 1 is overrated and forgettable sans the final and road off the back of CT & Diem. Exes 2 was by far superior once the first 2-3 pairs were gone.  

Haven't seen 1-4 and 32 - 35.

1. The Inferno 2

2. The Inferno

3. Battle of the Sexes

4. Battle of the Exes 2

5. Battle of the Seasons

6. The Gauntlet 2

7. The Duel

8. Battle of the Seasons 2

9. The Gauntlet 

10. Free Agents

11. Cutthroat

12. Battle of the Sexes 2

13. Invasion

14. Fresh Meat

15. RIvals 2

16. The Inferno 3

17. Rivals

18. The Gauntlet 3

19. Fresh Meat 2

20. The Ruins

21. Dirty XXX

22. The Duel 2

23. Vendettas

24. Rivals 3

25. Exes 

26. The Island

27. Bloodlines

Inferno 2 being the GOAT season for a lot so far >>>>>>

Inferno 2 being the GOAT season for a lot so far >>>>>>

Not surprising in the least given that it was an amazing season. 

The Inferno, for me, is the best.  Especially the female cast.  Kendal, Mallory, Leah and Christena were amazing one hit wonders.   Julie/Coral, Julie/Veronica, Veronica/Katie, Coral/Trishelle.  Plus legend Holly.  Katie willing to die to beat David.  Katie smoking while in an elimination.  But here's my breakdown

1.  The Inferno

2.  The Inferno 2

3.  The Gauntlet

4.  Battle of The Seasons

5.  The Duel

6.  Cutthroat (very re-watchable)

7.  The Ruins (best eliminations)

8.  The Duel 2

9.  Free Agents (even though i hate how they did the draw)

10.  Fresh Meat 2 (I get people hate Kenny vs. Wes but it was a great season with neither winning)

11.  XXX

12.  Invasion of the Champions

13.  Sexes (Emily quitting hurts this for me)

14.  Inferno 3

15.  Gauntlet 2

16.  Exes

17.  Rivals

18.  Exes 2

19.  Challenge 2000

20.  Sexes 2

21.  War of the Worlds

22.  All Stars

23.  Gauntlet 3

24.  Fresh Meat (it gave us JEK smh )

25.  Seasons 2012 (I know this isn't popular but the competition was lacking that season)

26.  Rivals 2 (I'm shocked this is as popular as it is--maybe I need to rewatch)

27.  Real World vs. Road Rules

28.  Extreme Challenge

29.  Vendettas

30.  Final Reckoning

31.  War of the Worlds 2

32.  The Island

33.  Bloodlines

Haven't watched:  Rivals 3 & Total Madness but guessing they're in the bottom 5 regardless

1. Inferno 2

2. Free Agents.

Don't wanna rank the rest but those r by far the best 2 seasons

It's hard for me to put together a list honestly, there's so many. Let me think.....


Inferno 2



Seasons 2


Exes 2




Cut Throat


Gauntlet 3

Sexes 2

Rivals 2

Final Reckoning

Free Agents

Rivals 3

Gauntlet 2



honestly XXX, Vendettas, Total Madness, Inferno 3 are interchangeable 

Duel 2


Bloodlines is hot trash

I probably missed some but whatever

Saw this Twitter poll....


1. Invasion

2. Total Madness

3. Free Agents

Don't even need to open it. I already know the demographic of who is actually voting lol. 

Well Shit. At least a good season was number 1. I remember there was a list where the fucking RUINS was number 1.

Well Shit. At least a good season was number 1. I remember there was a list where the ******* RUINS was number 1.

do you see that Rivals 3 is #5? Lol


Well Shit. At least a good season was number 1. I remember there was a list where the ******* RUINS was number 1.

do you see that Rivals 3 is #5? Lol

Oh God.

30. Rivals III - Absolute and utter trash. Cast was pathetic. Challenges sucked. Eliminations sucked. Way too many DQs, quits, etc. I mean by the time episode 6 rolled around, only one team had been eliminated via elimination round. I liked the skull draw thing they did and thats about it. I got about 7-8 episodes in and stopped watching and just updated myself via wikipedia. 

29. Bloodlines - Easily the dumbest format ever created on The Challenge. Family members joining the game? None of which even became mainstays on the show. Stupid concept. 

28. Final Reckoning - Absolutely awful way to end a trilogy. Way too much going on with all the different formats merged into one game. Most of the pairs were stretches and made no sense. Again, I can honestly say I didn't even watch the entire thing. I lost interest after about 5 episodes. 

27. Battle of the Exes II - This season just didn't do anything for me. It was obvious that after CT & Diem were removed, only one of three teams even stood a chance (Johnny & Nany, Wes & Theresa, and Jordan & Sarah). All of the AYTO cast members were trash and none even made an impact on the game short or long term with none of them being mainstays.

26. Invasion - This season could have been so much better if they made it a Ruins 2, since there were some strong new players at the time. But the whole invasion concept was dumb. What would have been cool is if the Champions came in after 3-4 episodes like they did but had been watching the whole time and then did a Fresh Meat style draft and made a Champion/Challenger pair. This season gave us some pretty decent mainstays and made a lot of players names relevent but it was just meh. And considering what it could have been is what makes it so upsetting.

25. Fresh Meat II - No other word describe this season than "dud". While it had some of the most complex and entertaining political moves we've seen, the entire season revolving around Wes and Kenny didn't help. A lot of the challenges felt like they were thrown together last minute with no creativity. Holding breath under water, climbing up a slippery wall, jumping from a platform onto a heavy bag, etc. A little lazy to be honest. The exile was a great upgrade from the first one. All in all, Fresh Meat II does not even remotely hold a light to Fresh Meat 1.

24. The Gauntlet 2 - For an old school big team challenge, this season sucked. Mainly because a lot of the big name players at the time weren't on it (Coral, Rachel, Tina, Veronica, Tonya, CT, Abram, Darrell, Mike, etc). The final was absolute trash, the worst ever. And the way the Gauntlets worked were dumb. It allowed no one to prove themselves as a competitor. Most champions from The Gauntlet 2 should have a * next to their name for how easy their win was.

23. Battle of the Exes - Another season that just didn't do anything for me. I was never a fan of the Exes format and I feel like a lot of pairs that should have been on were not. The challenges were okay but I want to say 3-4 of them were in the same place. One thing this season did do was introduce the Trivia challenge that we see every season now. 

22. Battle of the Seasons 2 - This format around The Island time would have been absolutely incredible. However, it was done too late when most of the cool Real World cast members were not doing challenges anymore. The cast at the time was awful, but looking back it gave us some awesome mainstays that are faces of the challenge today. The challenges were really cool and I liked the mental, strategy, physical, endurance themed elimination rounds and I wish this concept stuck. Overall, the college aged drama and toxicity of the season made it a chore to watch. 

21. Battle of the Sexes 2 - Watched it on and off when it was airing and don't remember too much from it but I do remember certain things that made me eventually love the challenge. I liked the elimination format better where the winning 3 captains choose to eliminate some from the team and the losing 3 captains are voted off by the rest of the team. I feel like this was the last season that had the silly backyard style challenges. A classic season with some surprising early eliminations but I guess its so low because I don't remember too much from it. 

20. The Inferno 3 - This season is low on my list, however, it is the one season I wish I could go back and watch again because it is so hard to find footage for. Even when MTV.com had all the seasons available to stream before they made you log in with a TV provider, The Inferno 3 always had an error code when I tried to select it. The weakest of all the Infernos but it did have some cool challenges and the teams were pretty even. The Abram/Timmy Inferno was epic and Derrick winning was cool to see.

19. Battle of the Sexes - The oldest season I've seen. I watched it once probably a few years ago on YouTube. The challenges were silly backyard type games but the drama on the Girls team was no joke. The Guys played straight up and voted off the player with the least points, which was noble but boring. 

18. The Gauntlet - Another old school challenge was some great game drama. The first season to have elimination rounds, which was a turning point for the challenge. Awesome intro too. I wanted to put it higher but since I've only seen it once and just random clips here and there, I remember other seasons better. 

17. Rivals II - A good sequal to Rivals. The cast was good, even though it did have a few stretches for teams. The challenges and eliminations were kinda lackluster which is why it is so low. CT & Wes winning was awesome to see. The Jordan/Marlon vs. Leroy/Ty elimination was so underrated and should be talked about way way more. Overall it was good.

16. Vendettas - For following an epic milestone in the challenge, this season was a good follow up. I was thinking about putting it higher but I just couldn't justify it. From what I remember, the challenges were pretty cool, eliminations were meh. Derrick vs. Joss was interesting to watch. I really enjoyed watching Tony be as successful as he was. And his alliance with Zach was really cool to see because you could tell it was 100% genuine. And I liked the idea of the solo winner too, so that was cool.

15. Cutthroat - One of the coolest ideas they had. I loved the 3 team format and the school yard style picking was cool and fresh to see teams form so randomly. I am still waiting for a Cutthroat 2 with themed teams. The challenges were really cool and matched the central European vibe the season gave off. The cast was a mixture of old, new, and current for its time. I would have removed and added cast members to make it more interesting but it was a good season.

14. Total Madness - With it being so fresh in my mind, it was a good entertaining season. Something this season had that I don't think many before it had was sportsmanship. The cast got along great it seemed like and I feel like petty rivalries from previous were put to rest and a "best man/woman win" mentality was more present this season than past seasons. The challenges while cool did seem to be carbon copies of ones we've seen before. They had epic elimination rounds and new ones that were interesting. The bunker fit the theme of the location and challenge. 

13. War of the Worlds 2 - Most probably think this is way too high but one reason it is so high is the fact that it was the first big team challenge in 16 seasons, with The Ruins (season 18) being the last big team challenge until this one. Unlike Total Madness, this season had 0 sportsmanship and seemed like an extremely toxic enviornment. The game drama was high, the politics were there, and betrayals occured that were very surprising. Both teams were toxic and it added to the game drama that ensued. The challenges were cool and mostly original and liked the Turncoat twist. I don't watch any other reality shows so I have no idea who I would have replaced certain people with but the UK team should have had better players. 

12. The Ruins - I joined Vevmo before this season aired and I was keeping up with the spoilers. And I remember when the leaked cast was spoiled and I 100% thought it was a fanmade cast. There were so many surprising and exciting returns (Wes, Veronica, Syrus, Darrell, etc) that I thought it was fake. When the premiere came on, I was stoked to see all the Wes, Johanna, Kenny, KellyAnne drama and it didn't dissapoint. The first 2 episodes were crazy. Then when Wes went home, the season kinda fizzled out. The game drama made it awesome, but as far as competition goes, it was trash. The cast still remains one of the best ever assembled though. 

11. War of the Worlds - Loved the format and the Mad Max theme they went with. I always wanted them to do a Veteran/Rookie paired challenge but I didn't like that it ended up going individual. The challenges and eliminations were original. And it gave us some awesome characters to the challenge (Bear, Theo, Georgia, Mattie) and some awful ones (Josh, Ninja, Dee). 

10. XXX: Dirty 30 - This season was pretty epic. This season had the only redemption houses I liked. I liked how every few episodes the players fought their way back rather than waiting until the end of the season to bring them back in. The cast could have been better with some players being removed from actual dirty players. The purge was interesting and surprising. And to anyone who keeps bitching about a Free Agents 2, this was it. Awesome season and very fun to watch.

9. The Duel 2 - The cast was stacked. The challenges were ******, the Duels were okay, but almost all of the match ups were interesting to watch. Probably the most intense premiere to any challenge. Awesome location and the Duel arena was one of the coolest if not the coolest there has ever been. 

8. The Inferno - As classic as classic gets. Real World vs. Road Rules. The biggest downside was how lopsided the competition was. Road Rules dominated. The drama was both entertaining and relevent. The Leah vs. Kendel Inferno remains one of the best simply because of the antics that went on during it, the Katie/Veronica fight, the Coral/Julie fight, amongst other moments are why this challenge was absolutely incredible. Only reason it isn't higher is because it was still back in the day where the daily challenges were kind of gimmicky and silly. 

7. Rivals - Probably the best format they've ever done and something that I'm surprised wasn't done sooner. The cast was incredible, the challenges were awesome and original. And while the eliminations weren't the most creative, they fit the safari/jungle theme the season had. And this season had the coolest challenge house we have ever had, hands down. The one down side was the challenge was too short with only 8 eliminations and a two part final totalling 10 episodes. I wish it was like Rivals II with 16 teams instead of 14. The T-Bone elimination was classic, the change of locations, and the first ever two day final were just more reasons why Rivals was so great.

6. The Island - Another perhaps surprising placement. There aren't many more entertaining seasons than this one. The Survivor theme they went with was cool to see and the cast interactions were great. It had a real Lord of the Flies attitude about it and the twists and turns throughout made it awesome. I would have made it longer with more Face Offs so that everyone with a key had to win something rather than getting a key by getting voted to stay. Entertainment at its finest and we've never seen anything else like it since and probably won't again.

5. Free Agents - One of the most creative formats we've ever had with the rotating daily challenge format. It made for the typical game politics hard to achieve because your ally could be against you or paired with someone you want to get rid of. The jersey numbers was probably the coolest small addition they've done and its unfortunate that they didn't continue that. The Draw was an awesome addition as well. The cast, while could have been better with some additions that would have made it more epic, was good. I would have liked to see Wes, Derrick, and Darrell instead of Preston, Brandon, and Swift, who were boring and didn't bring much to that season. 

4. The Gauntlet III - A lot may be surprised to see this so high but I loved this season. It was the classic big team season where the Fresh Meat cast members were mainstays, they began to take over games, the mixture of all different seasons and formats interacting was great. For the time, we had old school and new school together. The challenges were creative and original, the Gauntlets were subpar but the game drama and the cast made this season so high on the list for me.

3. The Duel - The first ever individual challenge was just pain epic. This had the most stacked male cast we have ever seen with 9 of the 10 guys being eventual challenge champions, and 7 of those 9 being multiple challenge winners. The format was awesome, the challenges were cool, the eliminations were cool, the house was ******, and Wes winning as the underdog that everyone was against was sick to watch.

2. The Inferno II - It was really hard to choose between The Inferno II being 1 or 2 on my list. I would have it as a tie but I have to rank them properly. This season was the first I watched weekly from the first episode to the last. The new format was awesome and creative for its time. Going away from RW vs. RR for the first time ever to make it a Good Guys vs. ******es was awesome. It gave production an added job to place people on a team based off their personality rather than their original show or their sex. The cast was so even keeled and it was basically flawless from start to finish. The drama was great and the competition was even. I will always remember being in 8th grade watching The Inferno II and loving every minute of it.

1. Fresh Meat - I don't want to say by far but Fresh Meat was amazing. For half the cast being completely new, this cast was perfect. The Alumni could not have been casted better. The Austin alliance being picked off with only Wes left, him not giving a **** about the rest of the veterans putting him in, the game drama, the location, the format, the challenges, the exiles, and the twists and turns were all why this season is my favorite of all time. Coral and Theo being eliminated for the first time ever, Darrell seeing an elimination round, Derrick pitting Theo vs. Darrell, Wes making it to the end with the weakest partner, etc. I can't say enough good things about this season and it will always be my favorite season.

We're about the same age cause I was also 8th grade when the Inferno 2 came out. Haha. Good times waiting for a new episode every week for that season.  

Fresh Meat as your #1 is an interesting choice, but definitely respect your opinion. 

So many different outlooks on here, I love it! And I also was in 8th grade when the Inferno II was out lol

Here we go:

1. Gauntlet I: My favorite cast ever, the Sarah storyline will always be the best underdog story in challenge history, interesting location, fun missions, genuinely nice people but still drama! 

2. Inferno I: Probably the most iconic challenge of all time, delivers on all fronts.

3. Battle of the Sexes I: Great Cast, Resort Life, Puck's Wedding, Fun Challenges, Ruthie domination, Melissa Confessionals

4. Inferno II: This is how I like my drama, JUST short of the trashy line

5. Dirty XXX - Outcome was far from predictable, well thought out missions, well-balanced cast, Veronica ownage.

6. The Duel II - Awesome locale, killer missions, sick house, and just some really top-notch people (Evan aside)

7. Battle of the Seasons II - Mayyybbee my favorite format, not really teams but not really partners, and no stupid surprises!!! I was HERE for all of the debuts and throwbacks (Trishelle, Lacey, & Alton <3). I have to admit I liked the drama

8. Cutthroat - Again, maaayyybe my favorite format. Cool location, great missions, well balanced cast, the only thing that was predictable was the final.

9. Invasion - The new cast delivered, Shane & Darrell were missed dearly and proved their worth. Format was a bit messy, the Champs got shafted in that only one guy and girl was allowed in the finals.

10. Free Agents - Cool Format, decent cast and challenge, sick house. Outcome could have been better though

11. Gauntlet II - Fun drama, Queen Beth, Captain Derrick, fun missions, very surprising cast and I was HERE for it. That being said the teams were fairly mismatched

12. War of the Worlds II - I'm surprised it's this high, but dug the format. I missed a team challenge so badly. But the format was very tight and well thought out, I appreciated it. Straightforward rules but very surprisig outcomes, how every challenge should be.

13. War of the World I - Greatest partner challenge ever imo. Even though I hate most of them, I can admit that the rookie cast was very strong. Makes most of the rookies they chose for FM and Bloodlines look like unathletic wallpaper. Wish they had stayed as partners the whole time, and if they did dissolve, there should have been one winner for each gender.

14. The Duel I - Just a classicly great challenge, delievered on all fronts

15. Bloodlines - Surprisingly liked it, I dug how it change from pairs, to teams, and then to pairs again. Format was not without its flaws though. They cast some duds too, many of the bloodlines had no business on television.

16. The Ruins - Had SO much potential, but the Challengers were doomed from the start. Other than Derrick all of the winners turn my stomach so a far from satisfying outcome. But to have V, Darrell, Ibis and Syrus on my screen was much needed medicine.

17. Battle of the Seasons - The hurricane episode is one of the best in challenge history, to me it watched like a real world season because they spent so much time talking. I didn't mind it too much because I love so many of the people, but as a Challenge this does drag on a bit. 

18. Fresh Meat II - Interesting location, great casting choices; Landon, Jill & Darrell, but somehow found it lacking. Missions were very underwhelming and the drama and "it" factor was not there. Also a lot of boring Fresh Meat.

19. Battle of the Sexes 2 - Nothing to write home about but a great cast nontheless.

20. Inferno III - Seeing Timmy eliminated like that has always made this a tough season for me. And I am no Tonya fan but what Susie and co did to her is disgusting. Yes I am aware that I'm a Veronica fan, but her treatment of Tonya was largely justified. Points for Kenya though.

21. Vendettas - Veronica & Gibraltar, literally the only take aways for me. The format was absolute shite.

22. Final Reckoning - A strong strong cast, too bad they didn't have a format worthy of them :( 

23. Battle of the Exes I - I don't do themed seasons, because production doesn't enforce them. They should have put this format on hold just a couple more years to collect some more legitimate exes, or just some interesting legitimate exes. Rachel is the only reason this is as high as it is.

24. Rivals II - Again, weak sauce pairings with predictable outcomes. Trishelle and Aneesa are the only things keeping this higher

25. Rivals I - When Aneesa was eliminated, so was my interest. Crap missions across the board

26. Fresh Meat - For some reason it lagged for me, for some reason the Inferno's can pull off non elimination episodes but this one did not. If Coral stayed longer, maybe this would rank higher. Don't know how Jesse, Ryan, Aviv & Chanda ended up on television.

27. The Gauntlet III - Awful cast, just terrible. Thank god Jillian, Frank and the Rookies won. Boring location, boring mission, boring house, VERY satisfying final. Poor Coral Sad

28. The Island - Rachel is again the only this keeping this **** from sinking to the bottom. Worst format ever

29. Rivals III - The sad part is, I would love a rivals seasons now because there are so many to choose from, they didn't even have enough rivalries to justify Rivals I & II imo either.

30. Exes II - No




Big yikes at the island being ranked anything above the bottom 5 let alone 6th