21 Best TV Series of all Time That You Must Watch

Is your favorite pastime activity binge-watching series? Are you looking for the best TV series of all time to add to your watch list?

TV series can be very addicting, and choosing the right one can keep you entertained for a long time. There are lots to choose from, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many more that offer a variety of shows.

Some of the TV shows might be obvious to the television lovers, such as Friends, Breaking Bad, and Stranger Things, but you will encounter several other shows that might surprise you.

Let’s have a look at the top TV series with the best ratings.

Quick Overview

Before we move on to the details. Please have a look at the outline of the series with their rating and Genre.

Series IMDB rating Genre
1. Breaking Bad 9.4 Crime, Drama, Thriller
2. Chernobyl 9.4 Historical drama
3. Sherlock 9.1 Crime, Mystery
4. The Office 8.9 Sitcom
5. Peaky Blinders 8.8 Historical Fiction
6. Black Mirror 8.8 Science Fiction, Dystopia, Thriller
7. Dark 8.8 Science fiction
8. Narcos 8.8 Crime Thriller
9. Friends 8.8 Sitcom, Drama
10. Viking: The Viking Sagas 8.8 Historical Drama
11. House of Cards 8.7 Political Drama, Political Thriller
12. Stranger Things 8.7 Drama, Horror, Science Fiction
13. The Queens Gambit 8.6 Period Drama
14. Hannibal  8.5 Psychological Thriller
15. The Handmaid’s Tale 8.4 Dystopia
16. Brooklyn Nine-Nine 8.4 Sitcom
17. How I Met Your Mother 8.3 Sitcom
18. Money Heist 8.3 Crime Thriller
19. Big Bang Theory 8.1 Sitcom
20. The Good Doctor 8.1 Medical Drama
21. Unorthodox 8.0 Drama

Best TV Series of all Time That You Must Watch

The information in this list is based on various sources and websites like Wikipedia and IMDB.

21. Unorthodox

Unorthodox is a mini-series with four episodes that ran on  Netflix on March 26, 2020. With a simple yet captivating storyline, Unorthodox is indeed an underrated gem among TV series.

In addition, IMDB rated this series 8.0 out of 10.

Unorthodox (Source: Wikimedia)

Inspired by an autobiography, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, this series is based on the lives of the Orthodox Jewish community living in Williamsburg.

Moreover, the journey of a Hasidic woman from a strict community to freedom is beautifully portrayed in the series.

Furthermore, Shira Haas has performed stunningly as Etsy.

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20. The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor is a remake of the South Korean drama with the same title. With four seasons and 8.1 ratings on IMDB, The Good Doctor is one of the best medical-based series.

The good doctor
The Good Doctor (Source: variety)

The story of the series focuses on an autistic doctor and his magnificent medical skills.

Although the autistics role is pretty challenging to portray accurately, Freddie Highmore has given a superb performance.

Several actors with actual autism have made an appearance on the series.

18. Money Heist

Money Heist is originally a Spanish series named La Casa de Papel, which means house of paper. It was the most popular TV series and non-English language streaming on Netflix overall in 2018.

This series is about a group planning a heist into banks and mints for a greater purpose. The strategic plans made by the professor are the most exciting part of the series.

Money Heist
Money Heist (Source: cdn.dnaindia)

Although the series’s narrative is mainly based on real-time, it does include a fair share of time jumps and flashbacks.

Soundtrack Bella Ciao of the series became quite popular due to it. 

19. Big Bang Theory

The American sitcom series Big Bang Theory is created by Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre.

The series is mostly based on the lives of four scientists focusing on their friendships and their love lives.

Similarly, the show produced by Warner Bros used a live audience during the shooting.

Big Bang Theory (Source: bsmedia.business-standard)

When it aired in 2007 on CBS, it received mixed reviews. Nevertheless, by the end of the season, it had become one of the iconic sitcoms ever created.

The character of Sheldon Cooper was liked by the fans so much that another series called Young Sheldon was created based on the character’s life. 

17. How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother ran for nine seasons since its release in 2005. This American sitcom is based on a narrative style.

This series has a light-hearted storyline filled with humor, romance, and emotions.

How I met your mother
How I met your mother(Source: img.republicworld)

Ted Mosby narrates his story t children about meeting their mother, and the story of romance and friendships unravels.

However, many fans are indeed unsatisfied with the ending of the series.

16. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

If you prefer light humor, then Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the best recommendation. With an IMDB rating of 8.4, this series has eight seasons.

The uniques personalities of each character and the humor-filled police stories captivate the viewers.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Source: media-amazon)

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” created by Emmy Award-winning writer/producers Dan Goor and Michael Schur, was named Best Television Series at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

Quick Fact: Despite its Brooklyn setting, the series was fully shot in Los Angeles.

15. The Handmaid’s Tale

The handmaid’s tale is based on the book The Handmaid’s Tale written by  Margaret Atwood in 1985. The series is ongoing and streams on Hulu.

The Handmaid’s Tale is based on the story of a dystopian society formed in the US following the reduction of fertility in the country.

Moreover, their unique story presents the unusual ways of the newly formed society Gilead.

Fertile women in the community are titled the Handmaids and kept specifically for giving birth to other couples.

The-Handmaid's-Tale -best-tv-series-of-all-time
The Handmaid’s Tale  (Source: api.time)

Furthermore, the very first season of The Handmaid’s Tale won eight Primetime Emmy Awards out of thirteen nominations, winning the Outstanding Drama Series.

Its the first ever streaming series to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama.

14. Hannibal

Hannibal is a Psychological crime thriller drama with an IMDB rating of 8.5. This is must-watch thriller series of all time for mystery and gore lovers.

Adapted from the Thomas Harris classics “Red Dragon” and “Hannibal,” this show sees Mads Mikkelsen take over genius forensic psychologist/cannibalistic serial murderer Hannibal Lecter.

Hannibal (Source: media-amazon)

Moreover, the storyline is quite simple but becomes complex and mysterious as the suspense adds up.

Furthermore, the acting of the characters is unmatched, and the characters are so accurately portrayed.

13. The Queens Gambit

The Queens Gambit is a mini-series released in 2020 streaming on Netflix. It was one of the most popular series in 2020, with an IMDB rating of 8.6.

Based on the novel The Queens Gambit written by Walter Tevis in 1983, this drama represents the story of an orphan, and Beth Harmon, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who grows up to be a chess prodigy.

The-Queens-Gambit (Source: indiewire)

Moreover, the storyline is quite captivating as the chess genius paves her way, winning battles after battles to become the ultimate mastermind in chess.

The strong performance of characters and the drama settings make it one of the most brilliantly created series.

12. Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a science fiction thriller series with three seasons.

In the summer of 2016, the Duffer brothers developed this incredibly popular ’80s exclusive thriller series for Netflix.

stranger-things-Netflix (Source: variety)

Stranger things begin to occur when a young boy disappears, and his family and friends face supernatural beings as they try to bring him back.

If you like watching thrillers, this series is the best one to put on your watch list.

11. House of Cards

Series House of Cards is based on a series with the same name from 1990. With an IMDB rating of 8.7, this series is a must-watch for all political drama lovers.

The four-episode British original series, based on a series of novels by Michael Dobbs, was set following Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister.

House of cards
House of Cards (Source: static01)

House of Cards follows Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th district and the House Majority Whip in modern-day Washington.

He resolves to get his vengeance on those who wronged him after being passed up for Secretary of State.

10. Viking: The Viking Sagas

Michael Hirst produced and wrote the historical drama TV series Vikings for the History channel. It aired in Canada on March 3, 2013, and ended on December 30, 2013.

Viking is based on the lives of ancient Viking clans. The Viking Sagas has a large fan following with their captivating stories of wars and victories and love interesting.

Vikings (Source: flxt.tmsimg)

Vikings is a co-production between Ireland and Canada.

The Emerald Isle was selected as a shooting site due to its Scandinavian resemblance.

9. Friends

Friends is a popular sitcom series that aired from 1994 to 2004 with ten seasons.

This series about the lives of six friends, Joey, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Pheobe, and Ross, is filled with humor and emotions.

Friends (Source: ichef.bbci.co.uk)

The sitcom received 62 Primetime Emmy nominations, with the Outstanding Comedy Series award going to the series in 2002.

Even though the series ended in 2004, it is one of the most viewed series to date.

Owing to popular public demand, Friends: The Reunion was aired in 2021.

8. Narcos

Narcos is a crime thriller produced by Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, and Chris Brancato.

It is an accurate tale of the drug cartel in Colombia and is mainly based on the life of a Colombian drug leader Pablo Escobar.

Narcos (Source: decider)

Furthermore, the series also follows Escobar’s dealings with drug lords, DEA officers, and other resistance forces.

After Netflix launched Narcos in 2015, it caught the world by surprise.

Although many fans were familiar with the subject, Narcos nevertheless drew huge audiences and received critical acclaim.

7. Dark

Dark is a Netflix German series released in 2017. It is based on the novel Dark written by Daniel Kehlmann. This is one of the best-released fiction series based on time travel.

In the wake of “Stranger Things,” Netflix’s first German-language original series gained extensive attention and proved to be a strong competitor and rival.

Moreover, the series ‘ last part of the gloomy, mysterious third season established startling links among families, friendships, and time.

Dark (Source: gadgets360cdn)

It’s the best science-fiction storytelling, with a beautiful take on time travel and the mysteries and dilemmas that come with it.

6. Black Mirror

Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker is one of the best science fiction series based on a future dystopian society.

This series has five seasons. However, the episodes all have different themes and stories.

With the technology changing every day, Black Mirror provides us a view of the terrifying future technological possibilities and their dark sides.

Black Mirror (Source: cdn.vox-cdn)

The BBC initially commissioned the series. However, it has now been taken up by Netflix and is available on the streaming platform.

The International Emmy Awards presented Black Mirror with the Best TV Movie/Miniseries award in November 2012.

The name “Black Mirror” refers to a blank video screen.

5. Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a historical fiction series created by Steven Knight. The series is set in England and is one of the best historical series available.

The series presents the life of a gang ‘Peaky Blinders’ in Birmingham led by the Shelby family.

The story is based on real life. The gang Peaky Blinders was, in reality, of Birmingham during the 20th century.

Best TV Series Of All Time- Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders (Source: theguardian)

Moreover, they were notorious because of their practice of placing razor blades in their caps to slash their enemies’ foreheads.

Furthermore, the show’s cast is extraordinary, with  Cillian MurphyHelen McCrory, and Paul Anderson as the leading actors.

4. The Office

The office is a comedy sitcom series released on 24th March 2005, currently streaming on NBC. It has a total of nine seasons.

The storyline is based on the lives of office workers in the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

Best TV Series Of All Time- The Office
The Office (Source: IMDB)

It is adapted from the BBC series The Office by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

It is one of the most-watched TV series and has gained spots among the most popular sitcoms ever.

Moreover, the shooting of the series took place using one camera only with no laugh track or audience.

3. Sherlock

Every mystery and suspense lover loves a good detective story, and that’s what precisely this series is about.

Sherlock aired in 2010 and has four seasons.

The series presents us with captivating detective mysteries solved by a detective who has extraordinary problem-solving skills.

Best TV Series Of All Time- Sherlock
Sherlock (Source:indiewire)

The miniseries, co-produced by the BBC and WGBH in Boston for PBS Masterpiece, has earned critical acclaim, earning three Primetime Emmys.

2. Chernobyl

Chernobyl is a drama mini-series based on a real-life nuclear accident. With only one season released in April 1986,  streaming on HBO, this real-life representation of the history with the adaptations is one of the best historical series to be ever made.

This series represents a nuclear plant disaster that occurred in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union.

The response to minimize the effects of the nuclear disaster and the stories of the people affected, including the resident’s firefighters, scientists, and volunteers, are portrayed very realistically.

Best TV Series Of All Time- Chernobyl
Chernobyl (Source: greentourua.)

Despite Chernobyl being laced with radioactive materials, it became a popular visiting destination after the release of this mini-series.

1. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is undeniably the best TV series to watch, with an IMDB rating of 9.4. The show ran on AMC for five seasons, with 62 episodes, from January 20, 2008, until September 29, 2013.

It depicts the narrative of Walter White, an unappreciated and burned-out chemistry teacher who is dealing with lung cancer.

Best TV Series Of All Time- Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad (Source: i1.wp)

To ensure his family’s financial life before he dies, White embarks on a life of crime, working with his former pupil Jesse Pinkman to produce and distribute crystal meth.

He must learn to bargain with other criminal gangs, other crooks, and the cartel as part of the plan.

Sixteen Primetime Emmy Awards, eight Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and four Television Critics Association Awards were among the many honors bestowed to the program.

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