23 Best TV Shows on Netflix

Which are the absolute best TV shows on Netflix? There is a huge selection of titles on Netflix – movies and TV shows. We often find ourselves endlessly browsing through titles, not knowing what to watch. This list should help.

RELATED: Best TV Shows on Prime Video

Here is the list of 23 best TV shows on Netflix (ordered by release date):

1. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

This 19 times Emmy-awarded TV show is the third series in the franchise and the sequel that follows Star Trek: The Original Series. The characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation can also be seen in four films – Star Trek: Generation from 1994, Star Trek: First Contact from 1996, Star Trek: The Insurrection from 1998, and Star Trek: Nemesis from 2002. They also reoccur in Star Trek: Picard, a 2020 TV series.

The Next Generation takes place almost a century after the events of the original series from 1966. The now new Enterprise NCC 1701-D with Captain Jean-Luc Picard as its commander sets out on a journey to faraway planets, searching for life and exploring the mysteries of the Milky Way.

2. Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Creators: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor
Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson

While chasing after Maquis rebels, both the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager and the rebel’s spaceship get transported into part of the space 75.000 light-years away from the United Federation of Planets. In order to defeat the high-powered Caretaker, who has orchestrated the whole thing, Voyager must form an alliance with the rebels, since they have a common goal now and that is to go back home safely.

3. That ’70s Show (1998–2006)

Genre: Comedy, Romance
Creators: Mark Brazill, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
Starring: Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

The series follows six high school friends led by Eric Forman and is set in fictional Point Place in the late 70s. The rest of the gang are Donna Pinciotti, Steven Hyde, Michael Kelso, Jackie Burkhart, and Fez. They like to spend the time in Eric’s basement and get high.

4. Prison Break (2005–2017)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Creator: Paul Scheuring
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

When an innocent man (Dominic Purcell) is framed for a crime and sent to prison, awaiting his death sentence, his only hope lies within his younger brother (Wentworth Miller). He will intentionally send himself to prison and then try to pull them both out, relying on an ingenious and carefully thought-out escape plan.

5. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Creator: Vince Gilligan
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Considered by many to be the best TV series ever made, Breaking Bad tells the story of an honest, hard-working man who turns to crime in order to provide a safe future for his family. Walter White (played by Brian Cranston) is a high school chemistry teacher who gets diagnosed with fatal lung cancer and very little time to live. Devastated and worried sick about his pregnant wife and teenage son with cerebral palsy he decides to start making and selling methamphetamine drugs, with the help of a former student.

The series didn’t have many viewers in its beginnings, but the numbers soared during the two final seasons which were put on Netflix.

Making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for its critical acclaim, the show won 16 Primetime Emmys and two Golden Globes. Cranston received the Emmy for Outstanding Lead on four occasions and the other members of the cast got their accolades as well (Aaron Paul – three Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor; Anna Gunn – two Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress).

A prequel series Better Call Saul appeared in 2015 and a sequel film was made as well in 2019 – El Camino, with Aaron Paul in the leading role.

6. Spartacus (2010–2013)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography
Creator: Steven S. DeKnight
Starring: Andy Whitfield, Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett

Based on the story of Spartacus who was the leader of a slave rebellion against Rome in the 1st century BC, the show follows the downfall of a free man and his rise as a slave gladiator. Captured and separated from his wife, Spartacus is basically given the death sentence by being made to fight as a gladiator. When he surpasses all expectations and kills each and every one of his rivals, glory, and fame follow. A man who buys him promises his help in finding Spartacus’ wife in turn for his advancement in training.

Unfortunate events followed the release of the first season, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The lead actor Andy Whitefield was diagnosed with cancer and the show producers made a prequel mini-series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. However, after cancer recurrence and Whitefield’s untimely death, the second season, Spartacus: Vengeance was made, with Liam McIntyre as the lead. Spartacus: War of the Damned was the third and last season, ending in 2013.

7. Sherlock (2010–2017)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian crime fiction stories, the show depicts the eccentric detective Holmes and his friend and helper Watson solving crimes in 21st century London. Hired by both the government and common people, the duo tries to unravel numerous murder mysteries while the challenging and ingenious Moriarty looms over their heads as an ever-present threat.

8. House of Cards (2013–2018)

Genre: Drama
Creator: Beau Willimon
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

The show is an adaptation of the British miniseries of the same name and it follows Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a conniving, scheming, ruthless politician who will stop at nothing to get his revenge on the people who wronged him by robbing him of an important position. Together with his ambitious, power-hungry wife (Robin Wright), Frank will manipulate and maneuver his way up the ladder of hierarchy through money, sex, and corruption.

9. Vikings (2013–)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Creator: Michael Hirst
Starring: Katheryn Winnick, Gustaf Skarsgård, Alexander Ludwig

The show tells the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Viking, who advanced from being a mere farmer to becoming the ruler of the Norse tribes. Believed to be descending from Odin himself, Ragnar gains notoriety by raiding England’s shores and rises to prominence with the help of his family and loyal warrior friends.

10. Outlander (2014–)

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Creator: Ronald D. Moore
Starring: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Duncan Lacroix

In 1945, nurse Claire Randall and her husband Franks are visiting Scotland. After she touches the standing stones they run into, Claire is transported back in time to 1743. She finds herself within a rebel clan MacKenzie who is pursued by the British redcoats. They will suspect that she is a spy.

11. Better Call Saul (2015–)

Genre: Crime, Drama
Creators: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks

Better Call Saul is a Breaking Bad spin-off, depicting the events prior to the BB story. It focuses on one of BB’s characters, a criminal lawyer Saul Goodman and his transformation from an insignificant attorney to a morally corrupt defender of crooks and delinquents.

The prequel got positive reviews and universal acclaim. Its premiere broke the record of the highest-rated series scripted premiere in cable TV history. The critics praised all aspects of the series, judging it to be perhaps the best prequel show ever made. It has received 23 Primetime Emmy nominations along with two Golden Globe Awards.

12. Ash vs Evil Dead (2015–2018)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Creators: Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi, Tom Spezialy
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo

It’s been thirty years since the Evil Dead films and now we see Ash Wiliams living a lonely life, replenishing stocks at the local store and frequenting bars. When a Deadite invasion suddenly occurs, he will have to come to terms with his past, pick up the chainsaw and confront the Evil Dead. His store working buddy Pablo and Pablo’s love interest Kelly will join in and give their best to help vanquish the diabolic creatures.

13. Daredevil (2015–2018)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Creator: Drew Goddard
Starring: Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll

The show was created for Netflix and is set in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It tells the story of Matt Murdock, an attorney during the day, and his heroic alter-ego, Daredevil, who fights crime during the night hours. Despite being blinded in a horrible accident, Murdock/Daredevil surpasses all professional and supernatural obstacles in search of ways to bring justice to the world.

Daredevil was canceled by Netflix in 2018; previously, in 2016, a spin-off series was made by the name of The Punisher, which focuses on the character Frank Castle/Punisher.

14. Jessica Jones (2015–2019)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Creator: Melissa Rosenberg
Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville

A superhero Jessica Jones is trying to rebuild her life after a terrifying experience with a mind-controlling villain. She opens up a detective agency. While battling her demons, she is using her abilities for those in need.

15. Luke Cage (2016–2018)

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Creator: Cheo Hodari Coker
Starring: Mike Colter, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi

After being part of an experiment, a convict ends up with unbreakable skin and superhuman strength. He becomes a fugitive who is trying to rebuild his life in Harlem. Eventually, he will start to fight crime and corruption and become Harlem’s hero.

16. The Defenders (2017)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Creators: Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez
Starring: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

A group of known superheroes, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will team up to fight an organization called The Hand and save New York.

17. The Punisher (2017–2019)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Creator: Steve Lightfoot
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Amber Rose Revah, Ben Barnes

Frank Castle is a man who wants revenge for the murder of his wife and children. Therefore, he becomes the Punisher, a vigilante who will make sure that the right people pay for what they have done. On his vengeful journey, he will realize that things go way deeper and that his family’s unfortunate destiny is just a piece in a big puzzle of conspiracy.

The show is a spin-off of Daredevil and was canceled by Netflix after two seasons had aired.

18. Narcos (2015–2017) – Narcos: Mexico (2018–)

Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Creators: Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato, Doug Miro
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook – Diego Luna, Scoot McNairy, José María Yazpik

The first three seasons of the show center around the rise and fall of the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. They depict his interconnections with other drug barons and the DEA’s (Drug Enforcement Administration) efforts to capture and eliminate him.

The fourth season was turned into a separate companion show. Titled Narcos: Mexico, it portrays the beginnings of the drug trade in Mexico in the 1980s and one man’s attempts to bring all the trafficking under his thumb and make a cartel empire.

19. Designated Survivor (2016–2019)

Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
Creator: David Guggenheim
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Maggie Q

Tom Kirkman (played by Kiefer Sutherland) is a low-ranking member of the Presidential Cabinet in the U.S and is suddenly stopped in his tracks when a terrorist attack on the Capitol kills all that is above him, making him the new President by law. Trying to juggle his professional and private life and find the ones responsible for the horrific attack, he will suffer through a great deal of struggle, his political inexperience crippling him at all times.

20. Altered Carbon (2018–2020)

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Creator: Laeta Kalogridis
Starring: Chris Conner, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Will Yun Lee

Set in the 23rd century, the series presents us with modern technology called the stack, a device to which dying humans can transfer their consciousness and memories and simply plug it into another body when the old one has expired and died. When a wealthy aristocrat is murdered, his mind and soul are naturally transferred to a new body, an ex-soldier is awakened from his hibernation and given the task of finding the rich man’s assassin.

21. Bodyguard (2018– )

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Creator: Jed Mercurio
Starring: Richard Madden, Sophie Rundle, Vincent Franklin

The plot focuses on David Budd, a war veteran with PTSD, who gets a new position – a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. His job is to guard the Home Secretary Julia Montague, yet the problem is that he can’t stand the views she holds and promotes as a politician. This dichotomy of his principles and his actual duty will worsen even more when terrorism steps on the scene.

22. Wu Assassins (2019– )

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Creators: Tony Krantz, John Wirth
Starring: Iko Uwais, Byron Mann, Li Jun Li

The plot is set in modern San Francisco and follows Kai Jin, an ordinary young man working as a chef. When he comes into contact with a mysterious apparition, Kai will be transformed into the Wu Assassin and sent on a quest by the Chinese Triad. He will have to find and retrieve the supernatural powers that have gotten into the wrong hands and his newly acquired and by all means increased martial arts skills are just one form of help that he will get.

23. The Witcher (2019–)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Creator: Lauren Schmidt
Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra

Based on the series of fantasy books by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher recounts events from three separate sides which will eventually merge as their characters are drawn to one another due to undefeatable destiny.

The story follows Geralt of Rivia, a mutant with supernatural abilities who gets hired to kill various fiends and beasts; Princess Cirilla, a girl with yet undiscovered but very potent powers; and Yennefer, a mighty, possessive, and reticent sorceress. At the start, we follow them on their detached paths of adventure, the journey going back and forth in time, until they eventually unite at the end of the season.

20 Best TV Shows on Netflix According to IMDb

According to IMDb, these are the 20 best TV shows on Netflix (from the list above):

  • Breaking Bad (2008–2013) – 9.5
  • Sherlock (2010– ) – 9.1
  • Narcos (2015–2017) – 8.8
  • Better Call Saul (2015–) – 8.7
  • House of Cards (2013–2018) – 8.7
  • Daredevil (2015–2018) – 8.6
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994) – 8.6
  • Spartacus (2010–2013) – 8.5
  • Vikings (2013–) – 8.5
  • The Punisher (2017–2019) – 8.5
  • Ash vs Evil Dead (2015–2018) – 8.4
  • Outlander (2014–) – 8.4
  • Prison Break (2005–2017) – 8.3
  • The Witcher (2019–) – 8.2
  • That ’70s Show (1998–2006) – 8.1
  • Bodyguard (2018– ) – 8.1
  • Jessica Jones (2015–2019) – 8.0
  • Altered Carbon (2018–2020) – 8.0
  • Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001) – 7.8
  • Designated Survivor (2016–2019) – 7.5