Best Netflix shows: 30 fantastic series you need to binge watch

Our best Netflix shows list is an article you'll want to bookmark. Why? Because we update it weekly with the best TV series that the streaming giant has to offer.

The newest entry in our best TV series on Netflix list is All of Us Are Dead. After the wild and unprecedented success of Squid Game, Netflix is bringing us another potentially huge South Korean TV series. This time, however, we're entering full-on horror with a zombie story set in a high school. Get ready to add this program to your own best Netflix series list, then.

But you won't just find horror-centric entries on this best Netflix shows list. Below, we've compiled 29 other TV series that should be on your radar if you haven't binge watched them yet. Other shows you'll want to check out include Netflix Originals in Ozark and The Witcher, as well as licensed content such as Seinfeld.

Our selection of the best Netflix movies and best Netflix documentaries provide alternatives for film and documentary fans as well. But, if you're after a new TV series to immerse yourself in, our best Netflix shows list will give you plenty of options. Check out the 30 best TV series on Netflix US as of January 28, 2022.

All of Us Are Dead

Based on a web cartoon from South Korean production company Naver, All of Us Are Dead is a coming-of-age horror series that is sure to be the next Squid Game.

When a South Korean high school becomes ground zero for a zombie apocalypse, students – including Park Ji-hoo's Nam On-jo and Yoon Chan-young's Lee Chung-san – must fight their way to safety. Or, if they're unsucessful in their escape, become one of the horde's increasing numbers instead.

Comprising 12 episodes between 53 and 72 minutes in length, All of Us Are Dead is a show that you'll need to invest plenty of time in. But, with largely positive reviews lauding its tender tale of high school friendships – albeit a story wrapped in plenty of gore and grisly detail – All of Us Are Dead should be another hit for Netflix's growing South Korean back catalog.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Archive 81

Inspired by the horror podcast of the same name, Netflix's adaptation of Archive 81 has delighted (and scared) fans and critics alike since its initial January 14 release.

Archive 81 stars Mamoudou Athie (Sorry For Your Loss, The Getdown) as Dan Turner, a video archivist who gets pulled into a mystery concerning missing director Melody Pendras (Altered Carbon's Dina Shihabi) and her investigation of a demonic cult.

Unsurprisingly, Archive 81 is full of jump scares and possesses (see what we did there?) a thrilling and somewhat terrifying mystery. It leans heavily into the found footage horror subgenre made famous by the likes of The Blair Witch Project, as well as the James Wan-directed Conjuring film series. Given that Wan serves as a producer on Archive 81, its style, tone and penchant for the supernatural shouldn't come as a huge surprise.

With the original podcast series already on its third season, it won't be a major shock if Netflix renews Archive 81 for more seasons.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

DOTA: Dragon's Blood

Following its well-received first season (or, rather, Book 1), DOTA: Dragon's Blood returns to Netflix less than a year after its predecessor worked its way into Netflix's Top 10 most-watched series list in 47 different world regions.

Picking up the story after Book 1's cliffhanger style ending, DOTA: Dragon's Blood Book 2/season 2 continues to follow the adventures of Davion (Yuri Lowenthal), Selemene (Alix Wilton Regan) and company as they prepare to face a major new threat in JB Blanc's Terrorblade.

Fans of anime, R-rated content and DOTA – the strategy game series that Dragon's Blood is based on – will certainly get a kick out of the new season. And with the stakes greatly increased this time around, you can expect more shocking twists and turns along the way.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Ozark

Netflix's Breaking Bad-esque family crime thriller was popular before the pandemic – then the arrival of a new season in 2020 seemed to supercharge interest in the show. Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde, a financial advisor who drags his family to the Missouri Ozarks in order to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, and keep a cartel boss off his back. Laura Linney plays his wife, Wendy, who arguably develops more than any other character over the course of its twist-heavy run.

It's not always an easy viewing experience, but Ozark is a solid prestige drama with a great ensemble cast. Ozark season 4, divided into two parts, will close out the series. The fourth season's first seven episodes are available to stream now, so don't dither.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

After Life season 3

The final instalment of Ricky Gervais' half-hour dark comedy series has arrived, and it's sure to make tears roll down your face – regardless of whether it's due to laughing too hard or crying at a very emotional moment.

For those who may not know the premise of After Life: Gervais plays a newspaper writer called Tony Johnson, who finds life to be meaningless after his wife dies from breast cancer. Deciding to "punish" the world for his partner's death – Tony goes out of his way to be as horrible to as many people as possible – his plan fails when those around him start pitying him and work to make him a better person.

As you'd expect, season 3 picks up after the second season's shock ending leaves Tony reeling once more. So far, reviews have been mixed for the show's final season, but most critics agree that it brings Gervais' latest gallows humor-style project to a fitting end.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

The Silent Sea

Based on Choi Hang-yong's 2014 novel The Sea of Tranquility, The Silent Sea (which Choi also directs) is set in the near future when a food and water shortage leads to a group of astronauts traveling to the moon and retrieve a mysterious sample from an abandoned research facility.

Squid Game fans will immediately recognize Gong Yoo as The Silent Sea co-protagonist Han Yoon-jae. That may be where the similarities between The Silent Sea and Netflix's most popular show ever end, but this latest South Korean export is an intriguing and spooky sci-fi drama is worth a watch. Yes, it's full of trademark dystopian and horror-esque flair, but it's an enjoyable TV series if sci-fi is your favorite genre of them all.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Cobra Kai

Once a YouTube original, Netflix snapped up the rights to Karate Kid continuation TV show Cobra Kai last year, and turned it into a smash hit. Set 34 years after Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was defeated by Danny LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), the former opens the Cobra Kai dojo once more to teach a new generation of kids how to fight. This sparks Johnny and Danny's old rivalry, and the action spins out from there.

If you love Karate Kid, this show is a lot of fun, and both its leads are in surprisingly great condition considering they're each performing fight stunts in their fifties. Season 3 just landed, so you've got plenty to catch up on – it's one of the best new recent Netflix shows.

Best Netflix shows: 30 fantastic series you need to binge watch

Seasons on Netflix: 4

The Witcher

After a two-year wait, Netflix's most popular fantasy series has finally returned to our screens. The Witcher is, well, a TV adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's best-selling books, which have also been adapted into a series of popular games.

If you were disappointed by the end of Game of Thrones, it's a treat. Henry Cavill plays monster hunter Geralt of Rivia in a story that spans decades and wars between nations. And with season 2 uniting him with other fan favorite characters from the novels, the show's second outing is even better than the first.

The Witcher doesn't quite feel like 'prestige' TV in the way Game of Thrones tried to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's an enjoyable, funny, action-packed and dramatic fantasy series that'll delight Witcher fans and more casual viewers. Season 3 is currently in development, too.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Arcane

Developed by Riot Games, Arcane is an origins story set in the beloved world of League of Legends (LoL). Set before the events of the fan favorite MOBA, Arcane follows the likes of Vi (Hailee Steinfeld), Jinx (Ella Purnell) and Jayce (Kevin Alejandro) as they embark on their respective journeys towards becoming the heroes and villains of Riot's multiplayer game.

With its all-star cast, beautifully unique visuals from French studio Fortiche Productions, and a tale that's built on explosive action and heart breaking narratives, Arcane isn't just a show that services LoL fans. No matter if you're a diehard fan or a relative newcomer to the franchise, Arcane will wow you in equal measure. And, with a second season on the way, there'll be more awesome animation and story content to come.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

You

You has returned for a third pandemic-delayed season – this time casting Penn Badgley's obsessive Joe Goldberg as a father, as he settles down with dangerous partner Love (Victoria Pedretti) in the suburbs. Things don't stay normal for long, of course, but we'll let you discover that for yourself.

Just know that this knotty, twist-heavy and sometimes outrageous show is perfect if you're in the right frame of mind for it. Somehow, too, despite focusing on a character that's so toxic on paper, it manages to keep you engaged with every beat – no wonder Netflix has renewed it for a fourth season.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Seinfeld

The legendary sitcom is now available exclusively on Netflix. Seinfeld is a show about friends Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer, and the various preposterous social situations and awkward encounters that make up their lives. Famously known as a sitcom about nothing, it goes against the feel-good underpinning of its '90s contemporaries and insists its characters never learn any lessons.

That means it's still wickedly funny, all these years later. The first two seasons of Seinfeld are a bumpy ride, but from season 4 onwards there's never a bad episode. Check out our best Seinfeld episodes for recommendations on our favorites. The only disappointment about streaming the show on Netflix is the fact it streams solely in widescreen – but for most people that won't make a big difference.

Seasons on Netflix: 9

Squid Game

Squid Game is Netflix's biggest TV show ever, breaking all kinds of records in 2021 and ensuring that that it'll take a monumental effort from future projects to even have a chance of trying to claim its throne. This South Korean drama comes from the mind of director Hwang Dong-hyuk, and follows a group of indebted citizens invited to risk their lives in a mysterious survival game.

Given the excited furore that has erupted around the show, though, you probably knew that already. Like Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite before it, Squid Game plays on the concept of class division as a catalyst for violence, satirizing reality television by having 456 contestants duke it out in a series of child-friendly games with deadly twists. It definitely leans on tropes first established by Battle Royale (which itself inspired The Hunger Games series), but this show is nonetheless an original and exhilarating way to while away your evenings.

A second season has been confirmed to be in development by its showrunner, too.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Midnight Mass

The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan returns with a new show, this time about a young man (Zach Gilford) who returns to his secluded island home of Crockett to serve a parole sentence. At the same time, a new priest (Hamish Linklater) arrives just as miraculous events start occurring across the island – leading the whole community to embrace religion in an unprecedented fashion. Something dark, however, lurks beneath the surface of this place.

There's a touch of Wicker Man-esque folk horror to this series, which honestly takes a little too long to start getting scary (three episodes, in fact), but it's well worth binging this 7 episode miniseries. Even though some of its discussions around religion are entirely played out, the characterization here is sharp – and Linklater absolutely steals scenes as a new community leader who you don't feel like you can trust.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Sex Education

Starring Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield alongside a slew of previously unknown actors, this British comedy is a treat. It's about the students, parents and teachers of Moordale Secondary School, where Butterfield plays Otis, the son of sex therapist Dr Jean Milburn (Anderson). He teams up with Maeve (Emma Mackey) to open their own in-school sex education clinic, and help fellow students out with their various issues.

It's a very empathetic and heart warming show that expertly explores topical issues around sexual identity and gender, and it's really funny to boot. With season 3 now out on Netflix, too, there's no better time to jump in and catch up on this particular show. Season 4 is now confirmed.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Brand New Cherry Flavor

If you're looking for a weird, wild and definite acquired taste on Netflix right now, no one can argue that new miniseries Brand New Cherry is not that. This '90s-set show is about Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar), an aspiring filmmaker who comes to LA with the intention of making a movie, and pitches to a producer – but it doesn't pan out the way she wants it to.

We'll leave it there for plot specifics, but you will not guess what happens next. This horror-infused thriller show is clearly just meant to be experienced – stylistically, there's a lot to appreciate, and it might remind you of the works of David Lynch of Nicolas Winding Refn (The Neon Demon, in particular). Like we say, this is definitely not for everyone, but by episode 2 you'll know if its...whole deal is for you. Catherine Keener and Manny Jacinto are among those in the supporting cast.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

After a heck of a long wait, offbeat but beloved sketch comedy show I Think You Should Leave returns for another season on Netflix. It won't take you long to binge both seasons – each episode is only 15 minutes long. The basic setup of a lot of its sketches is the same: someone performs a faux pas, then takes that awkward moment to such extremes that it escalates in its strangeness. It's definitely an acquired taste, but then so many of the best things are.

Episode titles like 'They have a cake shop there Susan where the cakes just look stunning' and 'I need a wet paper towel' only underline the strangeness.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Lupin

The word 'Lupin' might make you think of a million anime movies, and this French series literally uses thief character Arsène Lupin as a point of inspiration for its protagonist. Omar Sy plays Assane Diop, the son of a Senegalese immigrant who was wrongly imprisoned for theft, at the behest of his powerful employer.

Decades after his father commits suicide, Assane plots revenge on the employer's family, using 'gentleman thief' skills inspired by the Lupin character. The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier is behind this watchable series – with only five episodes available right now, it won't take you long to get through it.

Part 2 of the show is available now, and two more are coming in the future.

Seasons on Netflix: 2 (parts, rather than seasons)

Sweet Tooth

Netflix's latest comic book adaptation couldn't have less to do with superheroes. This post-apocalyptic fantasy series is about a half-human, half-deer boy who travels across the ruined world with a hardened protector – searching for a new life amid the ruins of America.

If you're in the mood for something that just about counts as warm family viewing but has an edge, don't miss Sweet Tooth. If you enjoy it, check out Jeff Lemire's wonderful comics that the show is based on afterwards. Sweet Tooth season 2 is officially on the way.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Love, Death and Robots

Adult CG animated anthology Love, Death and Robots just returned for its second, shorter season of episodes. Like all anthologies, the quality varies between episodes, but taken as a larger work, this show has a lot to give. The ideas vary wildly between comedy and drama, with a dark touch at the heart of the series – what happens if a home-cleaning unit starts trying to kill its owner? What happens if a yoghurt tries to secure world domination? Sometimes, an episode is as simple as a woman being on the run from a killer after witnessing a horrible murder.

The episodes are super short, so you'll fire through this entire series in no time. Love, Death and Robots offers some of the best sci-fi thrills on Netflix – we just wish there was more of it. If you want to watch just the best episodes, check out our handy ranked list of every Love, Death and Robots episode.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Shadow and Bone

Netflix has enjoyed plenty of success with its fantasy TV offerings in recent times. Shadow and Bone, then, had plenty to live up to in a genre that also contains The Witcher, but it more than holds its own with an adventurous and twisting plot, investable characters and lots of drama.

It can take a couple of episodes to get into Shadow and Bone, and there could have been a bit more in the way of action. Once you're invested in its story and characters, though, Shadow and Bone is a world you can easily get lost in – and one you'll want to. Netflix has confirmed it's making Shadow and Bone season 2, too.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Bridgerton

This bold and sexually-charged Netflix period drama, based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels, has quickly become the talk of the ‘ton’. It follows a coterie of young socialites as they navigate a season of balls, betrothals, and betrayals in 1813 London – and attempt to outmanoeuvre the mysterious Lady Whistledown, whose ‘gossip sheets’ are able to make or break a debutante’s reputation overnight.It’s largely a blast, with sharp screenwriting, costumes and backdrops bursting with color, and playful covers of Taylor Swift or Ariana Grande on period-appropriate instruments. Its diverse casting is a relief, too, underlining Bridgerton’s willingness to modernize and shake up an often stuffy genre.

It’s not all smooth sailing, particularly in its troublesome treatment of sexual assault in one unfortunately memorable episode. Given the talent on board, and the generally warm reception, though, we hope the show’s creatives can treat its relationships with a bit more care in Bridgerton season 2.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor

If you're looking for the best Netflix horror TV show, The Haunting of Hill House is it – followed by 2020's successor series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Hill House is about a family returning to their old home to reckon with the events that drove them away from it, a story with many genuinely terrifying moments, brought to life by a terrific ensemble cast (including Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas).

Bly Manor, meanwhile, doesn't entirely reach the same scary heights – it's about an American au pair who looks after some widowed children in another giant old house which itself has plenty of spooky goings-on, but it's a gothic romance at its heart, and admirably different to Hill House. Both are worth binge-watching on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

The Crown

The Crown was Netflix's first big swing at a British prestige drama, the likes of which normally come from the BBC. The show's enormous budget results in a lavish depiction of the life of Queen Elizabeth II, first played by Claire Foy, and most recently portrayed by Olivia Colman in season 3, with a killer ensemble cast to boot.

Even if you have mixed feelings about the royal family in real life, this honest-feeling show is well worth watching. The Crown season 4 – exploring Charles and Diana's relationship, and featuring Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher – is available now, and it's as juicy and compelling as ever. Two more seasons featuring Imelda Staunton as the Queen are planned, too, with The Crown season 5 expected in 2022.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

The Queen's Gambit

This seven-episode miniseries was the best Netflix show of 2020 – and while the subject of chess might not sound exciting, The Queen's Gambit manages to weave it together with a tale of self-actualization, romance and drug abuse. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon, an orphan trained to play chess by a talented janitor, before she challenges the very male-dominated chess scene with her skills. Essentially, her talents land her a slightly better life, but not without a price.

Even if you don't really know how to play chess, these competitive scenes are exciting to watch in The Queen's Job, and Taylor-Joy does a great job of bringing to life a character whose exceptional talents hide the fact that she's constantly grappling with addiction. Based on the novel of the same name, this adaptation counts Scott Frank as one of its co-creators, who previously made another of the best Netflix shows – the Western drama Godless.

This is a great Netflix binge watch: seven episodes is just the right number. Well worth watching.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The Umbrella Academy

Netflix showed it didn't need to collaborate with Marvel to make a great superhero show, as this quirky adaptation of the Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá-created series of comics proves. In Umbrella Academy, superpowered siblings – the Hargreeves – reunite after their adopted father is murdered, and together face a possible apocalypse.

With an excellent ensemble cast that includes the likes of Elliot Page and Robert Sheehan, this breezy and fun show almost makes up for the lack of new Marvel content coming to Netflix. Season 2 is available now, taking the Hargreeves somewhere else entirely, and it's even better than the first season, and The Umbrella Academy season 3 is coming in 2022, too.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Money Heist

Don't let the strangely goofy name put you off. Money Heist, or La Casa del Papel as it's known in Spanish-speaking countries, is a thrilling heist drama about a group of criminals brought together by an enigmatic figure called The Professor to rob the Royal Mint of Spain. With dense characterization, big twists and career-making performances, this is an unusual and clever heist show that'll grip you right away.

While it's been a huge hit with a Spanish-speaking audience for the longest time, Money Heist has now found a big audience in the English-speaking world, too. A new set of episodes just dropped on Netflix, meaning you've got 31 episodes to watch if you've never seen it before, divided over two separate overarching stories about the same set of characters.

Whatever you do, make sure you switch the default dub off and listen to the original Spanish audio with subtitles. This series could be the best Netflix show you've not seen yet – and, with all five parts out now, it's the perfect time to binge watch it.

Seasons on Netflix: 3 (divided into 5 parts)

Better Call Saul

Breaking Bad prequel spin-off Better Call Saul has almost been around for as long as its predecessor, with its fifth season airing right now on AMC. You probably caught the first few episodes of season 1 in the wave of hype around Breaking Bad's finale, but it's worth giving later seasons of this spin-off the same level of attention.

Jimmy McGill's transformation into Saul Goodman is a steady, delicate character study that brings in a whole ensemble cast of memorable new faces, notably Jimmy's older brother Chuck (Michael McKean). It also gives us more time with Breaking Bad favorite Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and other iconic figures from that series which we won't reveal here. Carrying slightly more dark humor than the preceding series, it's absolutely worth catching up on before it ends in 2021 with Better Call Saul season 6.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Mindhunter

David Fincher is no stranger to Netflix, since he directed the first ever episode of House of Cards, but Mindhunter is Fincher going ... well, full Fincher. It's based on John Douglas' book of the same name and charts the life of an FBI profiler whose job it is to track serial killers. It's set in the '70s and later the early '80s, and sees its trifecta of lead characters interviewing famous serial killers in often tense encounters.

Fincher is extremely hands-on, too, directing four episodes of season one and three of season two. Unfortunately, Mindhunter season 3 is on "indefinite hold", but we're hopeful for its eventual return, given that this is some of the director's best work to date.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Stranger Things

When it comes to TV and movies, the '80s is the nostalgia decade of the moment. Filmmakers can't get enough of Ghostbusters, shell suits and Sony Walkmans.

Stranger Things is another brilliant homage to this era. Leaning heavily on Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King, the story revolves around a small town, a group of friends, a missing person and a dodgy science lab. Writing anything else would give away the myriad twists in a show that is full of brilliant creepy fun.

The third season hit last year and it was fantastic, and each subsequent set of episodes just deepens your investment in these kids' stories and friendships. Season 4 is coming in 2022.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Russian Doll

Orange Is The New Black's Natasha Lyonne stars in this dark comedy as Nadia, who keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party in a surreal time loop – much like Groundhog Day.

With its cynical and witty examination of living and dying, Russian Doll switches rapidly between laugh-out-loud hilarity and devastating sadness - it's a must-watch. In June 2019, Netflix announced it had renewed Russian Doll for a second season, which is well-deserved.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

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