This paper proposes a new approach to find the optimum ratios between sizes of the heat exchangers of the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) system with limited size to maximize the efficiency of the steam turbine (bottom) cycle of combined cycle power plants (CCPP), but without performing the bottom cycle analysis. This could be achieved by minimizing the unavailable exergy (the sum of the destroyed and the lost exergies) resulted from the heat transfer process of the HRSG system. The present approach is relatively simple and straightforward because the process of the trial-and-error method, typical in performing the bottom cycle analysis for the system optimization, could be avoided. To demonstrate the usefulness of the present method, a single-stage HRSG system was chosen and the optimum evaporation temperature was obtained corresponding to the condition of the maximum useful work. The results show that the optimum evaporation temperature based on the present exergy analysis appears similar to that based on the bottom cycle analysis. Also shown is the dependency of size (NTU) ratios between the heat exchangers on the inlet gas temperature, which is another important factor in determining the optimum condition once overall size of the heat recovery steam generator is given. The present approach turned out to be a useful tool for optimization of the single-stage HRSG systems and can easily be extended to multi-stage systems.