Entertainment The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made  

Ranker TV
545 votes 37 voters 54 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.

list ordered by
1
11 7
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more
2
4 0
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jon DeSpirito added Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more
3
9 6
24 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each ...more
4
9 7
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson
Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Blind lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) ...more
5
10 9
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Marvel's The Punisher (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot. Former Force Recon officer Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), known throughout New ...more
6
9 8
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen
Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more
7
8 7
24: Live Another Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
24: Live Another Day Yvonne Strahovski, Kiefer Sutherland, Michelle Fairley
24: Live Another Day, also known as Day 9, is a 24 limited event television series consisting of twelve episodes that premiered on May 5, 2014, and concluded on July 14, 2014, airing on Fox. Sky ...more
8
8 7
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Lucy Lawless, Jaime Murray, Katrina Law
Spartacus (Starz, 2010) is a British television series produced in New Zealand, inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a major slave ...more
9
7 6
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
10
8 8
The Umbrella Academy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix, 2019) is an American television series developed by Steve Blackman, based on the comic book series by Gerard Way. A disbanded group of superheroes reunite after ...more
11
5 5
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen
Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the small ...more
12
2 2
Black Summer is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
6 7
Rome is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
5 6
Doom Patrol is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
4 5
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena is a Starz television miniseries and prequel to Spartacus, which premiered January 21, 2011. The series follows the character Gannicus, the first gladiator ...more
16
8 10
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber
Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more
17
3 5
Hunter is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
2 4
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
2 4
Justice League is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Carl Lumbly, George Newbern, Phil LaMarr
Justice League is an American animated television series which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. It is part of the DC animated universe. The show was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. ...more
20
1 3
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Jon DeSpirito added Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New
Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series set on New Providence Island and a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. The series was created by Jonathan ...more
21
1 3
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
5 8
Justified is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter
Justified is an American television drama series developed by Graham Yost. It is based on Elmore Leonard's short story. Timothy Olyphant portrays Raylan Givens, a tough U.S. Marshal enforcing ...more
23
3 6
The Last Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
3 6
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action Drama Series Ever Made
Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping
Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is ...more
25
3 6
Samurai Champloo is listed (or ranked) 25 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