Entertainment

The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made  

Ranker TV
875 votes 88 voters 2.2k views 62 items

List Rules Vote up the best action dramas that have aired on television.

The best action drama shows are a rush, perfectly pairing the excitement of an action series with the emotion of a drama. The best action drama series ever shown on television breaks up the intrigue and interpersonal tension with moments of physical conflict. If you’ve been looking for the best action dramas to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the best action drama series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.

The really good action dramas keep you watching through either emotional manipulation or awesome action scenes. Will they or won't they? Who cares because one thing they will do is throw some punches or chase after the bad guys. Action dramas are also particularly good at removing main characters from the lineup in dramatic and heartbreaking ways. Mind-bending dramas like Legion and Orphan Black deliver the action as well as shows with a little more emphasis on the fight scenes, such as Xena: Warrior Princess or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Which shows balance being dramas and action series the best? Vote up the best action drama shows, vote down the shows that don't deliver the drama with their adrenaline rush, and add any dramatic action series that are missing.

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26
Rome is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker
Rome is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons were broadcast on HBO, BBC Two, and ...more
27
Xena: Warrior Princess ... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi
Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. The series was created in ...more
28
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris
Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more
29
Doom Patrol is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade
Doom Patrol (DC Universe, 2019) is an American superhero drama web television series based on the DC Comics superhero team. Led by Dr. Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton), the Doom Patrol – ...more
30
Hunter is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, Charles Hallahan
Hunter is an American police drama television show that was created by Frank Lupo, and starring Fred Dryer as Sgt. Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer as Sgt. Dee Dee McCall, which ran on NBC from ...more
31
Avatar: Legend of Korra ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Janet Varney, P.J. Byrne, David Faustino
Book One: Air is the first season of the U.S. animated TV series The Legend of Korra created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Consisting of twelve episodes, it was initially ...more
32
Longmire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips
“Longmire,” a contemporary thriller set in Big Sky country, is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor ...more
33
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Tobias Santelmann
The Last Kingdom (BBC America, 2015) is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories series of novels. In 872 England, an unlikely hero (Alexander ...more
34
Black Summer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jaime King
Black Summer (Netflix, 2019) is an American television zombie apocalypse drama series, created by Karl Schaefer and John Hyams, and a companion prequel series to Z Nation. When a mother (Jaime ...more
35
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jon DeSpirito added Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar
The Expanse (Syfy, 2015) is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. In a future where humanity has ...more
36
Fullmetal Alchemist: Bro... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Kent Williams, Iemasa Kayumi, Vic Mignogna
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an anime adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga by Hiromu Arakawa. Developed by Bones, the series is directed by Yasuhiro Irie and written by Hiroshi ...more
37
Samurai Champloo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Ayako Kawasumi, Koyasu Taketo, Akio Ōtsuka
Samurai Champloo is a Japanese anime series developed by Manglobe. It featured a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, character designer Kazuto Nakazawa and mechanical designer ...more
38
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara
Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 Japanese anime series developed by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro ...more
39
Fullmetal Alchemist is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke, Romi Pak
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine between August 2001 and June 2010; the ...more
40
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Robin Hood is a British television programme, produced by independent production company Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC One, with co-funding from the BBC America cable television channel in ...more
41
Combat! is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Vic Morrow, Rick Jason, Pierre Jalbert
Combat! is an American television program that originally aired on ABC from 1962 until 1967. The show covered the grim lives of a squad of American soldiers fighting the Germans in France during ...more
42
Sacred Games is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Sacred Games Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte
Sacred Games (Netflix, 2018) is an Indian web television thriller series based on the 2006 novel by Vikram Chandra. Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is a troubled police officer in Mumbai who ...more
43
Hellsing Ultimate is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Katie Gray, Crispin Freeman, Victoria Harwood
Hellsing is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. It chronicles the efforts of the mysterious and secret Hellsing Organization, as it combats vampires, ghouls, and ...more
44
Attack on Titan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Marina Inoue, Yuki Kaji, Josh Grelle
Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by giants. Giants are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do ...more
45
Legion is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza
Legion (FX, 2017) is an American cable television series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age, David Haller (Dan Stevens) ...more
46
The Boondocks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Regina King, John Witherspoon, Gary Anthony Williams
The Boondocks is an American adult animated sitcom on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. Created by Aaron McGruder, based upon McGruder's comic strip of the same name, ...more
47
Cobra Kai is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler
Cobra Kai (YouTube Red, 2018) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Robert Mark Kamen, based on The Karate Kid film series. 34 years after being defeated by Daniel LaRusso ...more
48
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Donald Sutherland, David Harewood, Rupert Penry-Jones
This two part drama follows the story of Jim Hawkins, who's unexpectedly drawn into the world of piracy when he discovers Flint's treasure map. However, Long John Silver will stop at nothing to ...more
49
Mr. Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok
Mr. Sunshine (tvN, 2018) is a South Korean television series. After returning to Korea as a United States Marine Corps officer, Choi Yoo-jin (Lee Byung-hun) falls in love with an aristocrat's ...more
50
Danger UXB is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Judy Geeson, Anthony Andrews, Kenneth Cranham
Danger UXB was a 1979 British ITV television series about World War II developed by John Hawkesworth and starring Anthony Andrews as Lieutenant Brian Ash, an officer in the Royal Engineers. The ...more