Entertainment

The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made  

Ranker TV
395 votes 37 voters 1.1k views 93 items

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

The best action thriller shows are a rush, perfectly pairing the excitement of an action series with the jumps and tension of thrillers. The best action thriller series ever shown on television pulls the audience to the edge of the seat and keeps them there. If you’ve been looking for the best action thrillers to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the best action thriller series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.

The really good action thrillers basically never let you rest. Not only do you have the edgy anticipation of a great television thriller, but what’s next is probably an intense fight or chase scene. If you’re streaming your shows, their non-stop pace may make you miss commercial breaks. Although more modern action thrillers include comic book shows like Punisher and Legion, older shows such as Prison Break and Alias also provide both action and thrills and some are the most exciting thriller series of all time.

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

list ordered by
1
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy
Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more
2
Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett
Covert Affairs is a USA Network television series starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham. The one-hour drama premiered on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. The show concluded its first season on ...more
3
Taken is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Clive Standen, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano
Taken (NBC, 2017) is a Franco-American drama series developed by Alexander Cary, based on the film trilogy. Former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) must overcome a personal tragedy, in ...more
4
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Action Thriller 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
5
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Action Thriller 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
6
Falling Skies is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Noah Wyle, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight
Falling Skies is an American science fiction post-apocalyptic dramatic television series created by Robert Rodat and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The series stars Noah Wyle as Tom ...more
7
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen
Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more
8
Sacred Games is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
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
9
The Unit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Dennis Haysbert, Regina Taylor, Audrey Marie Anderson
The Unit is an American action-drama television series that focused on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life U.S. Army special operations unit commonly known as Delta Force. The ...more
10
Deadly Class is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Benedict Wong, Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor
Deadly Class (Syfy, 2019) is an American television action-thriller series created by Anthony and Joe Russo, based on the Image comic book series. A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop ...more
11
Condor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Max Irons, Brendan Fraser, William Hurt
Condor (Audience, 2018) is an American television series created by Todd Katzburg and Jason Smilovic, based on the novel by James Grady. Young CIA analyst Joe Turner (Max Irons) has his idealism ...more
12
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Peta Wilson, Don Francks, Eugene Robert Glazer
La Femme Nikita is a Canadian action/drama television series based on the French film Nikita by Luc Besson. The series was co-produced by Jay Firestone of Fireworks Entertainment and Warner ...more
13
V is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch
V is an American science fiction television series that ran for two seasons on ABC, from November 3, 2009 to March 15, 2011. A remake of the 1983 miniseries created by Kenneth Johnson, the new ...more
14
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi
Neon Genesis Evangelion, commonly referred to as Evangelion or Eva, is a Japanese animated television series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno. It was ...more
15
Stan Lee's Lucky Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
James Nesbitt, Amara Karan, Sienna Guillory
Stan Lee's Lucky Man (Sky One, 2016) is a British crime drama television series. The series follows the story of Central London Murder Squad detective Harry Clayton (James Nesbitt), who is ...more
16
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman
Hanna (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American action drama television series, based on the 2011 film of the same name. The story follows the journey of an extraordinary young girl, Hanna (Esme ...more
17
Deep State is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Deep State
18
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley
Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more
19
3% is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Bianca Comparato, João Miguel, Michel Gomes
3% (Netflix, 2016) is a Brazilian dystopian thriller series created by Pedro Aguilera. The show is set in a future wherein people are given a chance to go to the "better side" of a ...more
20
Wynonna Earp is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon
Wynonna Earp (Syfy, 2016) is a Canadian-American supernatural Western horror television series created by Emily Andras, based on the comic book series by Beau Smith. With her unique abilities, ...more
21
Tyrant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom
Tyrant is an American drama television series created by director and writer Gideon Raff and developed by Howard Gordon and Craig Wright. The first season of Tyrant consisting of 10 episodes ...more
22
Tokyo Ghoul is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Natsuki Hanae, Michelle Rojas, Sora Amamiya
Tokyo Ghoul is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who barely survives an encounter with Rize Kamishiro, ...more
23
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Action Thriller 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
24
9-1-1 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Action Thriller Series Ever Made
Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, Peter Krause
9-1-1 (Fox, 2018) is an American procedural drama television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The show explores the high-pressure experiences of police, paramedics and ...more
25
24 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Action Thriller 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