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The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows 

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Updated May 1, 2020 37.6k votes 7.3k voters 325.9k views 67 items

List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best TV series.

The very best psychological thriller shows incorporate elements of suspense, drama, and intrigue to keep characters - and viewers - guessing. This list of the top psychological thrillers on television is ranked from best to worst, and it includes pictures from the shows when available. A sneaky criminal on the loose? A clever killer outwitting victims and detectives alike? Get a forensic psychologist on the case. Popular psychological thriller TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about which are the most entertaining psychological thriller shows of all time. Don't let your favorite psychological thriller television programs in history get to the bottom of the list- be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of psychological thriller television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

Examples of shows on this list include Twin Peaks and Hannibal. There are many psychological shows on streaming services as well, such as The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and Homecoming on Amazon Video. Many of these psychological thrillers are the most exciting thriller series of all time.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best psychological thriller show of all time?" and "What are the greatest thriller shows with elements of psychology??"

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear

Premiered: 2011

Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. The show features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine ...more
2
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more
3
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller, based on the characters created by novelist Thomas Harris. A gifted FBI profiler ...more
4
The Haunting of Hill Hou... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas

Premiered: 2018

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. A fractured family confronts ...more
5
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
TobuscusHolmes added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...more
6
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
7
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
nicolas.verret added Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more
8
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Shrey Dhingra added Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

Premiered: 2017

Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime thriller television series created by Joe Penhall, based on the true crime book by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. FBI agents Holden Ford ...more
9
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
10
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

Premiered: 2011

The Killing (AMC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Veena Sud, based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen. Seattle homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen ...more
11
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
LoreAlfaro added Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

Premiered: 2013

Bates Motel (A&E, 2013) is an American psychological horror drama television series based on characters from the 1959 novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. After his father's sudden death, teenager ...more
12
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
AnneMarijkeDusseljee added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more
13
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more
14
The Sinner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Darya Valdez added Jessica Biel, Bill Pullman, Christopher Abbott

Premiered: 2017

The Sinner (USA, 2017) is an American anthology drama TV series developed by Derek Simonds, based on the novel by Petra Hammesfahr. Police detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) investigates ...more
15
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
MajaKadic added James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

Premiered: 2013

The Blacklist (NBC, 2013) is an American crime thriller television series created by Jon Bokenkamp. In exchange for immunity from prosecution, a high-profile criminal (James Spader) volunteers ...more
16
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
muybueno16 added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines

Premiered: 2009

Lie to Me (Fox, 2009) is an American crime drama television series created by Samuel Baum. A master of studying facial expressions and involuntary body language, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and ...more
17
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Premiered: 2014

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created by John Logan. Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh ...more
18
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch

Premiered: 2013

The Fall (BBC Two, 2013) is a British-Irish crime drama television series created by Allan Cubitt. Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) sets out to capture a ...more
19
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Premiered: 2014

Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more
20
Lost is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
colekaizanejay added Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Lost (ABC, 2004) is an American drama television series created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof. After a horrific plane crash, a group of strangers are forced to work ...more
21
Dark is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
c.spencebell added Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel

Premiered: 2017

Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web television series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden ...more
22
The Following is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
PrashantBhati added Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

Premiered: 2013

The Following is an American television drama series created by Kevin Williamson and jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The first season follows former FBI ...more
23
Mr. Robot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Luke Albright added Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday

Premiered: 2015

Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam Esmail. Elliot (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who suffers from social anxiety ...more
24
Luther is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley

Premiered: 2010

Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John Luther. Written by Neil Cross, the first series, comprising six one-hour long episodes, premiered on 4 ...more
25
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychological Thriller TV Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011

Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The ...more