TV & Movies

Every Season Of Love Island Ranked Best To Worst

Don't fight me on this.

by Alice Broster, Frances Stewart and Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
Love Island/ITV

The ninth (ninth!) series of Love Island now back on our screens, marking the first of two 2023 editions of the celebrated reality TV series. Get ready for Casa Amor, scandalous re-couplings, and cringe-worthy challenges (although, not all the challenges will be making a comeback). From real-life proposals to some extremely muggy behaviour, the nation’s favourite bikini-clad dating show has offered us some of the most sublime moments in reality TV history. So, here’s every season of Love Island ranked from best to worst.

There is no denying that Love Island has provided the nation with some serious entertainment over the years. Watching the creation of the Do Bits Society, or Chris and Olivia raising Cash Hughes, there's little question as to why it takes over our summer – and now, winter.

While all of the couples to come out of the show haven’t exactly walked off happily into the sunset there have been some massive success stories. Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti are thriving outside of the villa, landing their own travel show shortly after winning their season. The same can be said for Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury, who are expecting their first child together. Olivia Buckland married Alex Bowen in 2018 after they met on series two of Love Island. Dom Lever and Jess Shears also tied the knot in 2018 and have had their first baby together. Jamie Jewitt and Camilla Thurlow are still making us all jealous with how truly #familygoals they are, and the winners of Love Island 2016, Nathan Massey and Cara Delahoyde-Massey have tied the knot and have two children together.

It's hard to put your finger on what makes a good season of Love Island but it's impossible not to have a favourite. As a new cast of islanders enter the villa, your mind can't help but wonder back to favourite faces from seasons past.

So, here is every series of Love Island ranked best to worst because there has to be one overall winner.


Series 2

With two of Love Island’s greatest success stories and some of the most memorable islanders to ever come out of the show Love Island 2016 is my winner. From start to finish I was truly invested in the goings on of the villa in 2016 sometimes to the point of tears. Nathan Massey and Cara Delahoyde are one of my favourite couples to come out of the show and by far the most genuine winners. As soon as they coupled when Massey entered the villa their romance was real — and completely adorable to watch. The fact that they have gone on to get married and have two children is the icing on top of the best season of Love Island.

Love Island 2016 also highlighted the double standard for the male and female contestants. Viewers watched former-Miss Great Britain Zara Holland lose her title and leave the villa after spending the night with Alex Bowen. While he got away with it, she faced a massive backlash when she returned home. The way she dealt with the people who slut shamed her was really incredible, standing up for herself all the way. She may have left the villa early but she definitely left her mark.

I would go as far to say that some of the best TV ever came out of Love Island 2016 when Malin Andersson returned to the villa to confront ex Terry Walsh. Even the memory of him walking into the courtyard to see her sitting sipping her drink still gives me shivers. She said all she needed to say, he had no responses it was brilliant TV.


Series 8

A close contender for the best series of Love Island has to be series eight. While it got off to a slow start, the drama soon unfolded when Davide Sanclimenti entered the villa as the first bombshell, followed by Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu. Following their highs and lows as a couple was the best Love Island has ever been, with Davide’s one liners and Ekin-Su’s balcony crawl. It was no surprise that they ended up being the winning couple, stealing the hearts of fans across the nation.

Series 8 also produced the most controversial edition of Casa Amor to date, from Dami Hope’s antics to Luca Bish egging Andrew Le Page on to crack on with Coco Lodge despite being in a solid relationship with Tasha Ghouri. As vexing as that was, it did produce the most iconic line in Love Island history, courtesy of Andrew. He’ll never live that down.

Then there was the reintroduction of Adam Collard, the first time in the series that a previous contestant waltzed back into the villa as a bombshell. Despite acting as though he’d changed his ways from his previous antics in the villa, it was clear back on the outside that he wasn’t as loyal as he was making himself out to be.


Series 4

A close contender also has to be series four. I was completely swept up in the drama of the villa and I don’t think I know anyone who didn’t enjoy it. There was love, a hell of a lot of tears, and some seriously awesome islanders.

It's so sad that their love didn’t last, but one couple that captured the hearts of the nation were Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer. They both had amazing personalities and provided many of the laughs in the villa. They came across as genuinely nice and, dare I say it, loyal people, both to each other and their friends.

Adam Collard, Jack Fowler, and Wes Nelson also walked into our lives in Love Island 2018 and I don’t think I will love in the same way again. But it wasn’t just the male islanders that made Love Island 2018. Laura Anderson showed everyone, everywhere how to shake off being dumped, rise above it, and upgrade not once but twice in six weeks. With some serious sass and amazing outfits, she is one of the real winners of the series. Georgia Steel made sure we will never forget that she is loyal and Samira Mighty had the entire nation backing her to find love.


Series 5

Who knew season five of Love Island would provide us with such sheer entertainment? From Michael's behaviour, which left the nation heartbroken, to Ovie’s announcement that he had a MESSAGE!, it really had everything. It’s little surprise why the likes of Maura Higgins, Amber Gill, and Ovie Soko have achieved such success after leaving the island. They were reality TV gold.

The nation was gripped as the initial unfolding story line of Amy Hart and Curtis Pritchard came to an abrupt end. They looked like contenders to win. However, when Hart sat Pritchard down on the sofas and questioned whether he ever liked her at all, to which Pritchard responded with a bizarre defence about making coffee for everyone, we knew it was all over.

The next high of season five of Love Island was when Maura Higgins entered the villa and the islanders didn’t quite know what had landed. Bringing “fanny flutters” to the villa, being a true girl's girl when push came to shove, and going all the way to the final with Curtis Pritchard, she may not have won but her success since suggests it doesn’t matter.

However, the one real storyline of season five which makes it so unforgettable was Michael Griffith's behaviour towards Amber Gill. Some would go as far to call it “chaldish.” Were they on? Were they off? You’d be excused for not knowing because he was sending out so many mixed signals. His gaslighting ended up being his downfall as he left the villa and she went on to win, building the unstoppable trio of Gill, Yewande Biala, and Anna Vakili. We stan SO hard.


Series 3

While Love Island 2017 may come in at third place for me it isn’t to say that it wasn’t as dramatic as the series that went before it. With some of the most dramatic couplings, scandalous behaviour, and the introduction of Casa Amor, it had its fair share of wow-worthy scenes.

Some of Love Island’s most successful couples came out of the 2017 series. I don’t think I have ever been so overjoyed than when Jamie Jewitt entered the villa and whisked the lovely Camilla Thurlow off her feet. Proving their love was real, the couple are still very much together. In one of the more shocking twists in the show, player Dom Lever left the villa and his old ways behind after Jessica Shears was voted out. The couple are now married and expecting their second baby.

However, it was another couple who really captured the hearts of viewers in series three. The bromance between Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes had me in fits of giggles from the word go. Even Stormzy got involved. While their respective relationships didn’t last outside the villa, the pair have become quite the double act back home appearing on TV and in clubs together. And lets be real, Cash Hughes was the real winner of Love Island 2017.


Series 7

Although the post-lockdown comeback series gave us some memorable moments (thank you, Chloe and Toby), there were some parts that were pretty difficult to watch. Namely, the postcard from Casa Amor that prompted nearly 25,000 complaints to Ofcom after it caused an explosive row between finalists Faye Winter and Teddy Soares. Although Winter and Soares are still loved up a year on, and Ofcom eventually rejected the complaints, the series as a whole faced criticism for heavy-handed production.

But there were still that classic Love Island magic that fans tune in for summer after summer. Millie Court and Liam Reardon’s romance won them the series, and Court’s piano solo in the talent contest has even been immortalised in the trailer for the eighth series (check out the ending). After a rocky relationship with fellow island Jake Cornish, Liberty Poole walked away after she found the greatest love of all - self love. Poole also hit it off with Kaz Kamwi, and as fans watched the friendship unfold, many felt that they were the real winners of series 7. But, it’s called Love Island, not Friend Island.


Series 6

Aka. Winter Love Island 2020. The ITV dating show decamped to South Africa, bringing viewers a nice serving of drama, only months after the summer of 2019. There was no shortage of tears, tantrums, and coupling up, and in February 2020, Paige Turley and Finley Tapp walked away the winners. However, they weren’t the only contestants to come out of the first season of winter Love Island as reality TV royalty. Siannise Fudge and Luke Trotman made it all the way to the final and remained together for two years until their split in November 2021. Demi Jones and Luke Mabbott also made it to the finale, though Mabbott is now engaged to Lucie Donlan from season five.

Some of the biggest shockers in the first (and final) season of Winter Love Island came with Casa Amor. After being fairly settled with Shaughna Phillips, Callum Jones fell for Molly Smith. (Vindicated every so slightly now by the fact that the pair are still together.) Villa fave Mike Boateng coupled up with Priscilla Anyabu and Nas Majeed had his head turned by Eva Zapico. All in all, the first (and only) season of Winter Love Island was a steady one. It had a lot of drama and some of the couples have spent lockdown together, proving that lasting love is possible from a reality TV show.


Series 1

It feels a little bit unfair placing series one of Love Island in last place as it was definitely experiencing a few teething pains. However, it is by far the worst series so far. It didn’t feel like any of the contestants were there to find love and while one engagement and a baby came out of the series, none of the relationships have lasted.

Series one of Love Island was full to the brim with drama. Between Jon Clark’s shock proposal to Hannah Elizabeth and Jessica Hayes playing every male islander off one another to go on to win the show with Max Morley, there were so many twists and turns.

Love Island/ITV

While no one found lasting love on the series, Luis Morrison and Cally Jane Beech were together for a time before they called things off in 2017 after having the first Love Island baby, Vienna. Series one of Love Island also launched Jon Clark’s career on The Only Way Is Essex and winner Max Morly briefly went on to date Laura Anderson from series four of Love Island.

While there's no winning formula when it comes to Love Island, it's clear that it's the islanders that make the show. Series 2 was unmissable for me. I still fawn over the contestants on Instagram and re-watch the series on Netflix.

With a brand new villa and some changes to the usual format, Love Island 2022 is highly anticipated and has already got the nation talking already. Cue the chaos and drama.

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