To explore the feasibility of reducing N application and maintaining high grain yield through rice genetic improvement, 20 rice varieties, including Jingliangyouhuazhan, Shengtaiyou 722, Fengtianyou 553, Wuyou 308, Yuejingsimiao 2, 4HD005, Chuanyousimiao, Hengfengyou 701, Guoyou 9113, Yundan 4, 9311A/R672, Quanxiangyou 6, Huarun 2, Wushansimiao, Tianyouhuazhan, Shenyou 513, Liangyou 336, Chunliangyouyouzhan, Shengtaiyou 018 and Juliangyou 751, were evaluated at a reduced N rate (120 kg·hm-2, 1/3 lower than the local high-yield and high-efficiency practice) in 2015 and 2016. Grain yield, yield components, tillers number, biomass accumulation and allocation, sink-source characters and N uptake and utilization were measured. Significant differences in grain yield were found among the tested varieties, ranging from 4.99 to 7.18 t·hm-2 in 2015 and from 6.22 to 7.73 t·hm-2 in 2016. Compared with the control, Yuejingsimiao 2, the varieties with 10% higher yield in 2015 were Jingliangyouhuazhan, Shengtai you 722, Fengtianyou 553, Wuyou 308, Hengfengyou 7011, Guoyou 9113, 9311A/R672 and Quxiangyou 6, the varieties with 10% higher yield in 2016 were Jingliangyouhuazhan, Shentaiyou 722, Fengtianyou 553, Tianyouhuazhan, Shenyou513 and Juliangyou 751. Among them, Jingliangyouhuazhan (two years), Guoyou 9113, Quxiangyou 6, Shenyou 513 and Juliangyou 751 were greater than 7.00 t·hm-2, which were at least 20% higher than the control variety. Under reduced N input, grain yield were significantly correlated with total biomass and sink size. While no significant correlations were found between grain yield and yield components, tiller number and biomass accumulation at specific growth stages. Varieties with high yield under reduced N input had comparable total N uptake, but higher N use efficiency for grain production (NUEg). These results showed that it is feasible to maintain high yield under reduced N input through genetic improvement. Greater biomass, larger sink size, and higher NUEg are important characteristics for the varieties with high-yield under reduced N input. The findings provide reference for the breeding of varieties with high-yield under reduced N input.