come out on top—overcome difficulties; be victorious (over one’s competitors):
- Although there were a lot of applicants, Henry was the one who came out on top.
come to the top—
1. reach the top of a mountain, etc.:
- The next little excitement was when we came to the top of the Grand Diable. One has to rope down it.
2. become most important:
- Only the problem of traversing Kazakhstan prevented the khanates from coming to the top of the imperial agenda.