Top 30 Best Original Series on Netflix of All Time
Top Best Netflix's Original Series of All Time

Netflix also produces and distributes their own films and television series, which are branded as Netflix Originals.

During a decade, the former red-enveloped movie rental hub has churned out hundreds of OG offerings.

It's getting increasingly difficult to find something good to watch thanks to an overwhelming cornucopia of choice. That's why we're here to provide a guide to some of the very best TV shows you can catch on Netflix. These are the 30 best Netflix original series during a decade.


A whole new take on the teen show, "The End of the F***ing World" is a pitch-black dramedy series. The series is based on Charles Forsman's graphic novel of the same name and follows Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a young rebel, and James (Alex Lawther), who has concerns that he may in fact be a psychopath. The pair end up becoming an unlikely duo and take off as runaways, living dangerously in a fresh, unexpected take on the classic road story. The brilliant second season goes bolder and darker, and you never really know what to expect watching "The End of the F***ing World."

Starring: Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, Steve Oram

Creator: Jonathan Entwhistle

Year: 2017

Runtime: 16 episodes

Rating: TV-MA

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Created by Justin Simien and based on his own 2014 film, "Dear White People" is captivating television that feels timelier than almost anything else on television. The hugely referential and extremely meta series focuses on the lives of students of color at the fictional Winchester College, a predominantly white Ivy League university. While Samantha White (Logan Browning) is a the core of "Dear White People," this is a cutting and hilarious ensemble show through and through. Though the show goes slightly off the rails with its musical-infused fourth season, the show is a landmark for representation and a hugely entertaining and incisive show.

Starring: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton

Creator: Justin Simien

Year: 2017

Runtime: 40 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


For those looking for a unique take on the well-worn romantic comedy genre, "Feel Good" is an excellent choice. The show is a semi-autobiographical story of Canadian stand-up comedian Mae Martin, who stars as a fictionalized version of themself. Her love interest is George (Charlotte Ritchie), who seriously struggles with the very concept of coming out. The series is an unflinching look at queer love and is unafraid to tackle difficult topics like mental health, addiction, and sexual assault. "Feel Good" delivers laughs with bracing honesty and the show's unique perspective is a joy to watch unfold.

Starring: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Lisa Kudrow

Creator: Mae Martin, Joe Hampson

Year: 2020

Runtime: 12 episodes

Rating: TV-MA

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This tremendous documentary series focuses on five legendary directors — William Wyler, Frank Capra, George Stevens, John Huston, and John Ford — and their work on the front lines during World War II. The series is narrated by Meryl Streep, and features talking heads from contemporary directors including Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and Guillermo del Toro. Drawing on fascinating archive footage, the series is an incredible look at filmmaking and the remarkable challenges faced filming on the frontlines. The series is an absolute must for film fans, especially for those interested in the production process.

Creator: Mark Harris, Laurent Bouzereau

Year: 2017

Runtime: 3 episodes

Rating: TV-14


Created by Charlie Brooker, "Black Mirror" is a British anthology series that focuses on stories about the perils of a technology-focused society. It originally started on British Network Channel 4 before moving to Netflix, which has produced more seasons. Each episode is entirely discrete, and the series covers a wide swathe of genres — from a classic sci-fi satire with a twist in "USS Callister" to a beautiful romance in "San Junipero" and straight-up horror in "Black Museum." Performers like Daniel Kaluuya, Andrea Riseborough, Miley Cyrus, and Jesse Plemons have all starred at various points.

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jesse Plemons, Fionn Whitehead

Creator: Charlie Brooker

Year: 2011

Runtime: 22 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


A dashing and irresistible Omar Sy headlines this French crime caper as Assane Diop, aka Lupin, a confidence man and thief who only nabs priceless treasures to avenge the death of his father. But Sy’s charms aren’t the only selling point. The drama, which seduces us with its beautiful love language, delivers nail-biting tension and high-octane action worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. There’s also mystery, action, intrigue and a level of diversity that dares to deconstruct France’s African immigrant community, especially when Assane uses his social invisibility to his advantage.


Anya Taylor-Joy delivered one of 2020’s very best performances, in a captivating story about a young woman’s torrid love affair with… chess. Co-creator Scott Frank wrote and sumptuously directed all seven episodes of the Netflix limited series, in which scrappy orphan Beth Harmon plotted to rule a male-dominated sport, despite — or perhaps aided by? — a tranquilizer addiction. Add in an A-plus ensemble (led by Marielle Heller, Bill Camp and Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and you have a hugely satisfying binge that made no bad move.

This show turned rising talent Anya Taylor-Joy into a superstar, "The Queen's Gambit" is an outstanding limited series. The show tells the story of chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy), who battles an addiction to become the best chess player in the world, a rare achievement for a woman at the time. The show has been an enormous success for Netflix, and though there won't be another season, the show has raked in accolades. "The Queen's Gambit" won a staggering 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, and Taylor-Joy won a Golden Globe for her performance.

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Creators: Scott Frank and Allan Scott

Year: 2020

Runtime: 7 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


Anchored by the terrific Justina Machado, this socially conscious sitcom stood out as the rare reboot with something new to say. Reconceived as the story of a single Cuban-American mother raising her two kids with the help of old-school family matriarch Lydia (EGOT Rita Moreno) and friendly building manager Schneider (Todd Grinnell), ODAAT 2.0 embraced difficult conversations surrounding gender and sexuality, addiction, mental health and immigration without ever talking down to its audience. It struck a perfect balance of humor and heart, and left us wanting so much more when Netflix dropped the axe after three seasons. (A fourth season reprieve at Pop TV proved to be something of a cruel joke; it was cancelled again after six episodes.)


The series based on Ann M. Martin’s popular novels did the near-impossible: It took a beloved kids’ book series and turned it into a fun, funny and fulfilling half-hour dramedy that was as entertaining for its intended audience as it was for their parents. The cast was golden. The handling of sensitive topics (first periods, divorce, death) was gentle without being patronizing. The pop culture references were wide-ranging and on-point. Quite frankly: We wanted to be Kristy & Co. when we grew up — which made the show’s unceremonious cancellation after Season 2 all the harder to bear.


Netflix’s wry sendup of true-crime docuseries and podcasts quietly emerged as one of 2018’s funniest — and, somewhat surprisingly, most thoughtful — series. Featuring a slew of pitch-perfect performances, particularly Jimmy Tatro as the delightfully dim-witted Dylan Maxwell, Vandal‘s eight-episode first season was so cleverly executed, we ended up caring about the phallic central mystery as much as we laughed at it.

Top 20 Best Netflix Original Series in 2022


Balancing the gritty reality of inner-city strife with charming humor and a touch of magical realism, this coming-of-age dramedy from Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft never failed to pack an emotional punch. The show’s authentic and entertaining storytelling, which tackled gang and gun violence alongside magical gnomes and high school romances, kept viewers invested across four remarkable seasons. More than its solid story, it was the quality of the writing — every bit as captivating as that RollerWorld mystery — and an exciting roster of memorable characters (including the delightfully laconic Chivo) that solidified the series as one of the streamer’s best.


Sexy and sumptuous, Shonda Rhimes’ first scripted Netflix series — which returns with its anticipated second season on March 25 — never failed to leave viewers as hungry for more of it as its tempestuous lovers were for more of each other. But what catapulted the period drama into the category of “incomparable” wasn’t merely that it was pretty and hot. Its writing was saber-sharp, its acting as thrilling as its central romance, and its racially integrated reimagining of Regency-era London as bold and brilliant as any of Queen Charlotte’s wigs.


This Spanish series is one of Netflix's finest, and its twisty thrills are a delight to behold. Featuring some really fascinating characters, "Money Heist" is about – well, money heists. There's a criminal mastermind known as "The Professor," and they have a scheme to pull off the biggest heist in history by printing billions of euros right in the Royal Mint of Spain. In order to enact their plan, The Professor recruits eight people, each with certain abilities to help pull it all off, and all of them are linked by one thing: they have nothing to lose.

Starring: Ursula Corbero, Alvaro Morte, Itziar Ituño

Creator: Alex Pina

Year: 2017

Runtime: 41 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


This sex-crazed UK comedy is most certainly NSFW, but it’s also one of the most vividly told coming-of-age comedies in years, balancing out its raging hormones with a gentle, bittersweet tone. Dorky teen Otis follows in his sex therapist mom’s footsteps and counsels his peers on their carnal misadventures, with the help of his rebellious crush Maeve.

The kaleidoscopic array of sexual desires on display at Moordale Secondary is quietly revolutionary, with one of the strongest LGBTQ ensembles on TV, and all the awkward physical fumbling is matched by equally awkward emotional fumbling — because the heart is a body part, too, you know.


This oddball sitcom about a hopelessly naïve woman who emerges from a cult leader’s bunker nearly ended up on the NBC reject pile — but instead, it got four seasons and a movie at Netflix. It’s a miracle! Ellie Kemper was perfect as the charmingly innocent Kimmy, doing her best to navigate a strange new world, and it also introduced us to the many talents of Tituss Burgess as Kimmy’s flamboyant pal Titus.

The jokes came fast and furious from Tina Fey and her 30 Rock colleague Robert Carlock, and it managed to find a silver lining in Kimmy’s dark life story, thanks to Kemper’s relentlessly optimistic portrayal.


Aziz Ansari’s beautifully shot, leisurely paced rom-com plays like an indie movie, or a missing entry from Woody Allen’s filmography. But its themes are universal, with Ansari’s Dev looking for love — and cooking a lot of great food along the way.

The freewheeling approach allows for lots of narratively rich detours, like the poignant episode chronicling the coming-out story of Dev’s pal Denise, played by Lena Waithe. Season 3 took an even sharper detour, leaving Dev entirely to follow Denise and her wife as their marriage slowly disintegrated. Ansari clearly follows his muse wherever it leads… and we’re happy to follow right behind.


One of Netflix's most unflinching drama series, "Ozark" stars Jason Bateman as Marty, a financial planner who moves his family from Chicago to the Ozarks, as he's on the run after a money-laundering scheme gone wrong. In order to protect the lives of himself and his family, including his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and two kids, Marty needs to launder a whopping $500 million over five years. The show is a great showcase for Bateman, who sheds preconceived notions that he belongs only in comedies, and makes a star out of Julia Garner, who won back-to-back Emmys for Best Supporting Actress.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner

Creator: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams

Year: 2017

Runtime: 44 episodes

Rating: TV-MA

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Gloriously obscene and riotously funny, Netflix’s animated comedy goes waaaay beyond what any live-action series could possibly show us… and we’re so glad it does. We follow a gaggle of seventh graders as they awkwardly approach puberty, aided by “hormone monsters” that encourage them to indulge their newfound urges. Yes, it’s shockingly filthy — don’t say we didn’t warn you — but the fearless storytelling is strangely liberating, and the voice cast is flawless, led by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and boasting an all-time turn from Maya Rudolph as Connie the randy Hormone Monstress.


The Ava DuVernay-helmed miniseries hit hard as it detailed the pursuit of justice — for a brutalized rape victim and for the five teenagers wrongfully accused of the crime. DuVernay’s visionary writing and directing explored the personal feelings of each member of the so-called “Central Park Five” and how they relate to their families, their accusers and each other. Adding to the tragic tale’s power, an outstanding cast delivered gut-punching performances that lingered well after the show’s victorious conclusion.


Top 30 Best Original Series on Netflix of All Time

The first of the streamer’s street-level hero series unarguably was also the best. Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio were pitch perfect as the titular vigilante (aka Matt Murdock) and his frequent foil, Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, and they were supported by a solid cast that included Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson and Rosario Dawson (whose Claire Temple would migrate to Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist).

Laying the template for the Defenders shows that would follow, Daredevil established a New York that was gritty and grounded, but not unfamiliar with the unusual. Throw in what quickly became his trademark, “oner” fight scenes, and it’s easy to see why The Man Without Fear was such a hit.


This Netflix drama’s opening episode dared you to continue watching, exposing us as it did to the plight of a teen rape victim whose tragic-but-shaky testimony elicited side-eye from the cops, and even earned her condemnation. Yet stuck with it we did, and the reward was a compelling tale of two Colorado detectives who went from being perfect strangers to slightly imperfect partners in crimefighting. With heralded performances from principals Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever and Toni Collette, this eight-episode binge was as engaging as it was emotionally wrenching.

We can't deny that "Unbelievable" is hard to watch. The limited series follows Marie Adler (a brilliant Kaitlyn Dever), a teenager charged with lying about having been raped. Detectives Grace Rasmussen (Toni Colette) and Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) are assigned to the case and uncover a complicated path that leads to the truth. Anchored by brilliant performances, the show is a fascinating story on what it means to believe, and how doubt can seep into your mind and take over, causing you to question everything you once knew. The show is ultimately a rewarding experience and is definitely one of Netflix's best series.

Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever

Creator: Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon

Year: 2019

Runtime: 8 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


The decades-spanning chronicle of Elizabeth II’s reign as queen of England could’ve easily been another stuffy period piece, but it nimbly sidesteps that cliché by boldly exploring the royal family’s personal lives, revealing the flawed humans behind the grand titles. Every frame is a feast for the eyes, and the idea to recast the characters every two seasons was a masterstroke, allowing the show to reinvigorate itself and bring more great actors into the fold. (We honestly can’t decide if we prefer Claire Foy or Olivia Colman as Elizabeth.) Plus, it keeps getting better, with Season 4 hitting new heights thanks to the addition of Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher.

Netflix's most prestigious series, "The Crown" charts the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to contemporary times. Every two seasons the cast changes to reflect the changes in time. Claire Foy and Olivia Colman have all played the Queen so far, with Imelda Staunton set to take up the mantle next. The show has positively dominated award ceremonies, most recently winning every single one of the major seven categories for drama series at the Primetime Emmy Awards. It boasts great performances, world-class production values (including breathtaking costumes), and more political intrigue than you can dream of.

Starring: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Vanessa Kirby

Creator: Peter Morgan

Year: 2016

Runtime: 40 episodes

Rating: TV-MA

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Mike Flanagan’s take on Shirley Jackson’s horror novel was the best type of adaptation: It used the gothic tale as a jumping-off point for a fresh, (literally and figuratively) haunting story of a family forever defined by the terrifying events of a single summer. Hill House’s casting was superb, its attention to detail relentless (those background ghosts still make us shiver) and its central message — that love can trump even the scariest of evils — uplifting.


Sure, there might have been some bumps along the way, but when this groundbreaking prison dramedy was firing on all cylinders — and those first four seasons were damn near perfect — it was among the finest shows on all of TV. What began as a more straightforward adaptation of Piper Kerman’s memoir evolved into something even greater as the series expanded to tell stories spotlighting Chapman’s fellow inmates and gave up-and-comers Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox and Samira Wiley a chance to shine. Its final season was a fine return to form, and culminated in a feature-length finale that offered closure to more than four-dozen colorful characters we’d come to love (and, in some cases, loathe) over the course of seven years.

Created by Jenji Kohan ("Weeds"), Netflix's prison dramedy "Orange Is the New Black" made stars out of many of its cast, including Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling, Taryn Manning, Uzo Aduba, and many more. Sure, the show was all over the place in its impressive seven seasons, picking up and dropped storylines seemingly at a whim, but the show's cast is absolute dynamite, and simply one of the best ensembles in the history of television. For what it gets wrong about prison, it more than makes up for in compelling stories, brilliant character dynamics, and straight-up entertainment.

Starring: Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew

Creator: Jenji Kohan

Year: 2013

Runtime: 91 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


It’d be easy to sum up Netflix’s trippy comedy as a twisted take on Groundhog Day: Protagonist Nadia keeps dying on her 36th birthday, only to be resurrected each time in an endless loop. But throughout its eight-episode first season (Season 2 drops April 20), Russian Doll became one of 2019’s most moving, introspective series, posing uncomfortable questions about a person’s ability to truly change. Anchored by an astounding performance from Natasha Lyonne, the show was all at once heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny — a killer combination, indeed.


Hot off the heels of "Squid Game" came another Korean thriller on Netflix, though "Hellbound" is an entirely different experience. The thriller focuses on the rise of mysterious incidents where angels appear to those who have presumably sinned, telling them that they are bound for hell. When their time comes, vicious monsters violently obliterate them to a pulp and bind them to the underworld. The show features some truly compelling characters and offers a scathing critique of organized religion and the way people blindly follow dominant ways of thinking.

Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min

Creators: Yeon Sang-ho

Year: 2021

Runtime: 6 episodes

Rating: TV-MA


Top 20 Best Original Series on Netflix of All Time

To fully appreciate the South Korean survival drama’s viral success, you have to know this: preview screeners had not been widely distributed to critics, nor was much marketing done Stateside. Instead, Squid Game attracted its millions and millions of eyeballs purely on the merit of its compelling, if often unsettling, narrative, in which 456 strangers are led to compete in deadly versions of playground games. There are characters to cheer for, villians to root against, and one big-ass, creepy doll, all amidst the larger, gripping mystery of who is behind this sick, cruel contest.

Few series have had a collective grip on society quite like the Korean drama "Squid Game." The survival drama cannot seem to stop smashing records, as the show has reportedly been viewed over 1.65 billion (yes, that's right, billion) hours. When watching it, it's not that surprising, as "Squid Game" is incredibly compelling viewing. The show is about a group of debt-saddled people who are invited to participate in a competition playing children's games, with a massive, life-changing cash prize. But these games have incredibly deadly consequences.

Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon

Creator: Hwang Dong-hyuk

Year: 2021

Runtime: 9 episodes

Rating: TV-M

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Photo : Courtesy of Netflix

Only a real mouth breather would exclude from a list of Netflix’s best original series the Duffer Brothers’ genre-bending 1980s time warp. Much more than a mere nostalgia trip or an homage to the movies that inspired its creators, it’s a heart-stopping thrill ride that confidently toggles between horror (Will’s abduction) and comedy (Operation Child Endangerment), sci-fi (Dart’s metamorphosis) and drama (Robin’s coming-out), action (“The Battle of Starcourt”) and romance (we’re rootin’ for ya, Hopper and Joyce!). In fact, so sublime is the show — its writing, acting, directing — it upends the concept of a perfect 10 to deliver something even rarer: a bona-fide Eleven.

Netflix's "Stranger Things" is a delightful nostalgia-tinted sci-fi romp through the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. The first season looks at the mysterious disappearance of Will (Will Byers) and some bizarre supernatural happenings around the town, including the sudden appearance of a young girl with psychokinetic powers named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). The show, created by the Duffer Brothers, is absolutely overflowing with epic moments, and "Stranger Things" have fans hooked and actively anticipating the series' upcoming fourth season. Frightening, dramatic, and hilarious in equal measure, "Stranger Things" is a special experience and a delightful throwback to classic science fiction.

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown

Creator: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

Year: 2016

Runtime: 34 episodes

Rating: TV-14


Yes, a cartoon about a talking horse is an unlikely candidate for a list of the best Netflix shows ever, let alone the number one spot. And BoJack did start out as a solid if unremarkable showbiz satire — but then it began digging deeper into the gnarled psyche of former sitcom star BoJack Horseman and became one of TV’s most penetrating portrayals of mental illness, cartoon or otherwise. It wasn’t afraid to get dark… and boy, did it get dark.

It was funnier than almost any comedy on TV, too — Mr. Peanutbutter was the gift that keeps on giving — and the voice work was superb from Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris and Alison Brie. But ultimately, it was the profoundly honest look at BoJack’s crippling bent towards self-destruction that made the show truly special… and the best original series Netflix has ever produced.


Top 20 Best Original Series on Netflix of All Time
House of Cards

The real-life #MeToo scandal that led to leading man Kevin Spacey’s firing in the sixth and final season (and the Godawful eight episodes that were patched together in the wake of it) will forever cast a shadow over David Fincher’s political thriller. But the show put Netflix on the map, and for good reason. The combustible chemistry between Spacey’s morally rotten politician and Robin Wright’s quietly ambitious wife was the engine that powered — and grounded — those first five occasionally brilliant, albeit uneven, seasons. Theirs was among the most formidable of TV partnerships.

This series is the one that started it all. While it may not really be Netflix's very first original series, it's certainly the one that put Netflix on the map. "House of Cards" made the streamer a big-time awards player, winning 7 Primetime Emmy Awards and racking up a hefty number of nominations along the way. The show stars the since-disgraced Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, a Democrat appointed as Secretary of State.

Few characters in the history of television are more petty and devious. Francis and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) set out on a mission to destroy anyone and everyone who ever wronged them, as their deliciously dramatic, backstabbing ways chart their rise to the top.

Starring: Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Jayne Atkinson

Creator: Beau Willimon

Year: 2013

Runtime: 73 episodes

Rating: TV-MA

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