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31 Best Netflix Original Series Of All Time Ranked

It's hard to go a single day without hearing the word "Netflix." The platform has risen from its humble origins as a DVD delivery service and competitor to Blockbuster to become an unbelievably successful streaming service. New content is constantly being added, ranging from contemporary comedies to dark fantasies. Netflix also produces and distributes their own films and television series, which are branded as Netflix Originals. Though quality certainly varies from exceptional to downright dreadful, there really is something for everyone on the service.

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 31 best Netflix original series.

Updated on June 30, 2022: Netflix adds new original series to its catalog all the time. We'll be keeping an eye on new releases and updating this list with the best of the best. Be sure to check back often to stay updated on the latest and greatest Netflix original series.

31. Money Heist

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

30. Atypical

Created by Robia Rashid, "Atypical" is a wonderful coming-of-age dramedy focusing on the life of 18-year-old Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), who is on the autism spectrum. Sam is very intelligent and extremely passionate about penguins. He works at a tech store with his best friend Zahid (Nik Dodani) and lives at home with his overbearing mother Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), father EMT father Doug (Michael Rapaport), and athletic younger sister Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine). "Atypical" has plenty to interesting say about living as a neurodiverse person and features a great cast and a genuinely compelling story.

  • Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rapaport
  • Creator: Robia Rashid
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 38 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

29. Feel Good

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

28. Five Came Back

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

27. Dear White People

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

26. Space Force

Inspired by President Donald Trump's order that created a new branch of the military called the Space Force, Greg Daniels and Steve Carell — the developer and the star (respectively) of the classic American workplace comedy "The Office" — created a dark, cynical, on-the-job look at what it might actually be like to work for the Space Force in its chaotic early days. Carell plays four-star Air Force general Mark Naird, selected for the thankless and demeaning job of head of the Space Force, where he must contend with all manner of indignities and employees who have no respect for him or the job, particularly the prickly scientists and engineers. All that, plus he has to deal with the fact that other countries' space programs are developing far more rapidly than the red tape-blocked American one ... and that his wife is in prison, and his teenage daughter finds him embarrassing.

25. Hellbound

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

24. The Baby-Sitters Club

Based on the classic young adult novels by Ann M. Martin, "The Baby-Sitters Club" is a modern update on the novels, in which a group of middle-schoolers establishes their babysitting business in the charming town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. While you could dismiss the series as kids' stuff, you'd be missing out on one of the most surprising, charming efforts on television. The girls all come from different walks of life and each has a unique set of skills and problems. It's endlessly charming to watch these young girls go through the trials and tribulations of life, and this series is a warm hug the world desperately needs.

  • Starring: Sophie Grace, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph
  • Creator: Rachel Shukert
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 18 episodes
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

23. Grace and Frankie

One of Netflix's longest-running series is a bit of a surprise hit, as stories about aging women don't typically get the attention they deserve. Thankfully, "Grace and Frankie" is a hugely popular series. The show stars truly legendary actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the titular Grace and Frankie, long-term rivals who become dear friends after their husbands Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen) leave them for one another.

  • Starring: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston
  • Creator: Marta Kauffman, Howard J. Morris
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 82 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

22. The End of the F***ing World

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

21. Squid Game

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-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

20. Saturday Morning All Star Hits!

An ambitious, dark, and unpredictable comedy, "Saturday Morning All Star Hits!" is a tribute, send-up, and deconstruction of kid-oriented entertainment of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Squeaky-clean cartoons are made unsettling and weird, like the "Thundercats"-esque "Strongimals," the talking dinosaur show "Randy," and the deeply sad "Lil' Bruce," which riffs off "Bobby's World." The whole thing is hosted by surfer dude twins Skip and Treybor, both played by co-creator Kyle Mooney. Their relationship is torn apart by ambition, celebrity, and jealousy after Skip's animated cameo on "Strongimals" becomes a cultural sensation. It's dark, bizarre, and utterly hilarious.

  • Starring: Kyle Mooney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Cree Summer
  • Creator: Ben Jones, Dave McCary, Kyle Mooney
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 8 episodes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

19. House of Cards

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

18. Santa Clarita Diet

"Santa Clarita Diet" dares to call out the zombie mythos for what it is: absurd and hilarious. This breezy, diabolical sitcom follows Sheila Hammond, a suburban wife, mother, and high-end real estate agent who gets violently ill, dies, and is reborn. She's pretty much the same, post-resurrection — except for the fact that she constantly craves flesh and blood. Her doting husband Joel is extremely supportive, helping her fetch meals through all manner of illegal tactics. Meanwhile, their shrewd teenage daughter unlocks the mystical secrets of Sheila's plight.

17. Ozark

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.

16. Black Mirror

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. 

15. American Vandal

It's an absolute travesty that the ingenious "American Vandal," one of the funniest shows ever created, was canceled after two seasons. Taking aim a the rise of the true-crime genre, "American Vandal" is a mockumentary series that mimics shows like "Serial" and "Making a Murderer." The first season investigates a high school prank that left 27 faculty cars covered in penis drawings in its wake, while the second focuses on the exploits of "The Turd Burglar" at a private Catholic high school. "American Vandal" is always hilarious, but what's most remarkable is that its parodies are genuinely intriguing, and you'll find yourself hooked on the mysteries.

  • Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro
  • Creator: Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 16 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

14. Making a Murderer

Did Steven Avery do it? That's one of the many questions at the core of "Making a Murderer," the 2015 true-crime series that helped provide an enormous boost in the popularity of the true-crime genre. The docuseries uses painstaking reconstructions, talking heads, and many more devices to try and examine Avery's bizarre story. Once you start, it's incredibly difficult to not watch the whole season in one sitting. Season 2 throws even more twists into the mix, and we still have plenty of questions we hope will get answered one day.

13. Big Mouth

Shocking, disgusting, abrasive, and totally wonderful, Nick Kroll's "Big Mouth" is an extraordinary animated series about kids facing the most mysterious thing of all: puberty. Creator Kroll voices a number of characters in the show, including Nick, hormone monster Maury, and Coach Steve. Surprisingly, the boundary-pushing and provocative show is hardly ever censored, and it's all the better for it. Beneath the constant barrage of funny meta jokes, the show is a deeply sensitive and genuine look at the way kids from all walks of life experience growing up, particularly in relation to their changing bodies.

  • Starring: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein
  • Creators: Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 51 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

12. Queer Eye

Not to be confused with the original "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy," the Netflix "Queer Eye" reboot is a wonderful and life-affirming experience. The reality show has a fairly straightforward premise: a group of five queer men travels around America to change the lives of deserving people, doing everything from showing them new recipes to completely renovating their home. The show is absolutely exuberant, and practically every episode is going to make you laugh and cry. When times feel bleak, there's nothing quite like a joyous celebration of life like Netflix's "Queer Eye."

  • Starring: Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown
  • Creator: David Collins
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 58 episodes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

11. Unbelievable

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

10. When They See Us

"When They See Us" tells the tragically and aggravatingly true story of the "Central Park Five," a group of young Black and Latino men falsely accused and ultimately convicted of a crime they didn't commit. The public was so eager to convict someone for the brutal April 1989 attack on a Central Park jogger that these innocent men took the fall. But how exactly did this sad and frightening legal quagmire come to be, and how did it persist for years? "When They See Us" answers this question with insight, skill, and compassion.

  • Starring: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse
  • Creator: Ava DuVernay
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 4 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%

9. Master of None

Co-created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, "Master of None" is a beautifully realized story of looking for love in contemporary times. Dev (Ansari) is an actor living in New York City and struggling to find purpose, both in his career and in his love life. He's accompanied by his friends Arnold (Eric Wareheim) and Denise (Lena Waithe). Brilliant episodes like Season 1's "Mornings" and Season 2's "Thanksgiving" showcase the series remarkable understanding of humanity in modern times. The show pivoted in Season 3, shifting its focus to Denise and her relationship, and it reminded audiences yet again of what a special show this is.

  • Starring: Aziz Ansari, Lena Waithe, Eric Wareheim
  • Creator: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 25 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

8. I Am Not Okay With This

High school is hard for everyone, but cynical, intelligent Sydney has more to deal with than most. Still reeling from her father's death, she's growing ever more distant from her depressed mother, who works around the clock to support the family. She's also realizing she has feelings for her female best friend and not for the persistent dude with a hardcore crush. On top of all of this, Sydney is struggling to keep her destructive superpowers from killing everyone she knows. Being a misfit has never been this hard, or this compelling.

  • Starring: Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant
  • Creators: Jonathan Entwistle, Christy Hall
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 7 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

7. I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

The sketches featured on "I Think You Should Leave" fall under at least one of two categories: Intensely awkward situations made more awkward by a socially inept person, or wildly silly and ultra-specific scenarios. What results is some of the most highly quotable (and meme-able) comedy around. A man in a hot dog costume crashes his hot dog-shaped car into a fancy store and suggests anyone else is a culprit. A "baby of the year" competition gets heated. A prosthetics-laden prank show host suffers an existential crisis because the prosthetics are just too much to handle. Tim Robinson makes all this, and much, much more, hilarious.

  • Starring: Tim Robinson, Sam Richardson, Patti Harrison
  • Creators: Zach Kanin and Tim Robinson
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 12 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%

6. Orange Is the New Black

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

5. The Queen's Gambit

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

4. BoJack Horseman

"BoJack Horseman" casts a hypnotic spell; from the moment the brilliant theme song starts, it's pretty much impossible to look away. The story is about BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett), a washed-up alcoholic who was once the star of a '90s sitcom, and his efforts to make a comeback into the world of acting alongside his friend Todd (Aaron Paul) and agent and ex-girlfriend Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris). Raphael Bob-Waksberg's show is practically perfect, one of the greatest series of all time, animated or otherwise, and unafraid to examine a deeply troubled, and deeply troubling man.

  • Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie
  • Creator: Raphael-Bob Waksberg
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 77 episodes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

3. The Crown

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
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

From the brilliant comedic minds of Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Robert Carlock ("Mr. Mayor"), "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" is comedy at its most optimistic and uplifting. The delightful Ellie Kemper stars as the titular Kimmy Schmidt, who finds herself readjusting to life in the regular world after being imprisoned in a cult for the last 15 years. While the synopsis reads like a miserable drama, the show is actually the opposite and is seemingly overflowing with joy. The incredible cast includes Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Dylan Gelula, Jon Hamm, and Jane Krakowski, and the show is undoubtedly one of the very best Netflix original series.

  • Starring: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess
  • Creators: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 52 episodes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

1. Stranger Things

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.