Babbar made his acting debut in the Aamir Khan production, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na alongside Imran Khan and Genelia D'Souza. His portrayal of the annoying, attention-seeking brother of Genelia's character won him critical appreciation as well as numerous awards. At the 54th Filmfare Awards, Babbar received a Special Jury certificate, as well as nominations for Best Male Debut and Best Supporting Actor. The film went on to become a major commercial success.
Babbar was born on 28 November 1986 and is the son of the actor-politician Raj Babbar and the Actress Smita Patil. His mother died due to complications in childbirth when Prateik was born. Prateik was raised by his maternal grandparents in Mumbai. He has said in interviews that he had a strained relationship with his father while growing up, as his father was "always busy with his other family." However, he has also stated that he and his father were reconciled after Prateik grew to adulthood. Prateik's stepmother is the Actress Nadira Babbar and his half-siblings are Arya Babbar and Juhi Babbar, who are also actors.
Babbar made his screen debut with the 2008 coming of age drama Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, and was praised for his performance in the film. He garnered nominations at various award ceremonies including the Filmfares, Screen Awards, and the Stardust Awards for best debut, winning the last of the three. Babbar played a variety of roles in 2011, appearing in commercially viable projects such as the crime thriller Dum Maro Dum and the political drama Aarakshan, while drawing the attention of critics for his performances in independent films, including the drama Dhobi Ghat and the romantic comedy My Friend Pinto.
Following a battle with substance abuse in 2013, Babbar went through rehab in Mumbai, and attended extensive counselling. After gaining sobriety, he attended acting school taking up a course in method acting at the Jeff Goldberg Studio in 2016. Babbar's first role after the course was in a short film entitled The Guitar. He made his feature film comeback with the comedy drama Umrika, which opened at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to positive response.
In 2018, he made a comeback with the film Baaghi 2, with Tiger Shroff in lead role, where Prateik for first time was portrayed an antagonist role as Sunny.