Watchworthy

The Best Fictional Spies 

Coy Jandreau
Updated November 5, 2019 2.4k votes 495 voters 8.6k views 20 items

Hollywood loves a spy movie, and always has. Throughout TV and movie history there have been plenty of good spy movies and the fictional spies leading the espionage and intrigue are easily some of the most memorable characters in all of film and TV. So who's the best spy character to ever grace the big screen or go undercover on your television? It's time to vote!

These days there's a whole new type of spy action comedy, with spy films like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy. Then there are the classic spy movies and TV shows, many of which are still popular spy franchises today. You've got Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (the 2015 installment starring, as usual, Tom Cruise), a reinterpretation of the classic TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and new James Bond films seemingly every year. In modern entertainment, spies are bigger, cooler, and better than ever!

Fictional spies have been all the rage for decades and with technology catching up, and in many cases surpassing, the super spy tech of old, they're only getting more awesome! Plus, we live in a world where spies are more and more relevant to real life - if not of the Jason Bourne variety, then certainly of the Edward Snowden variety.

So let's take a look at all of the best movie and TV spy characters from over the years and today. Who do YOU think is the very best fictional spy? Vote up the best and most kickass spy characters below and add any of your favorite fictional spies that aren't already listed.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
James Bond is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fictional Spies
Photo:  Quantum of Solace/Sony Pictures
Whether he's a rough around the edges badass like Daniel Craig. A smooth talking, wise cracking, super spy like Pierce Bronson. Or something in between that just oozes cool, calm, and collected like Sean Connery, there's something undeniably awesome about 007 Bond, James Bond. 
Great spy?

More James Bond 

#690 of 3,534 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time #4 of 25 The Most Controversial Casting Decisions of All Time #7 of 141 The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes

Jason Bourne is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fictional Spies
Photo:  The Bourne Identity/Universal Pictures
The spy who changed the genre. Have you noticed how much Daniel Craig's James Bond is influenced by Jason Bourne? We certainly have. Jason Bourne is brilliant, capable, tough, and gets the job done every time.
Great spy?

More Jason Bourne 

All the Jason Bourne Books, Ranked Best to Worst #58 of 3,534 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time #8 of 141 The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes

Ethan Hunt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fictional Spies
Photo:  Mission: Impossible/Paramount Pictures¬†
As played by Tom Cruise in all of the Mission Impossible films. Ethan Hunt is a tactical genius who doesn't believe in an impossible situation.
Great spy?

More Ethan Hunt 

#525 of 3,534 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time #28 of 141 The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes #37 of 101 Movie Tough Guys Without Super Powers or a Super Suit

Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fictional Spies
Photo:  Marvel's The Avengers/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Nick Fury as played by David Hasselhoff in 1998's Nick Fury: Agent of Shield, and by Samuel L Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nick Fury is the man behind the scenes pulling the strings to keep the country safe at any cost. In the MCU he's also the man who thought of, then organized The Avengers.
Great spy?

More Nick Fury 

Nick Fury Comebacks So Intense They Should Come With A S.H.I.E.L.D. #54 of 311 The Best Comic Book Superheroes Of All Time #316 of 3,534 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time