Fiction The Greatest Dystopian Novels  

Walter Graves
Originally by
17.2k votes 2.1k voters 25.3k views 63 items

List Rules Novels set in a fictional society that is (in some important way) frightening

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Dystopias have become a fascinating genre over the last century as disillusioned writers witnessed and reacted against imperialism, two world wars, including the Nazi and Stalin regime and the treacherous Holocaust. These writers played with the darkest sides of humanity, unearthed by war and technology and used satiric irony to present a destructive vision of the future. Dystopian novels are characterized by a lack of individual freedom, heroes that know something is wrong and contain many WTF moments that make you rethink the current status quo and become aware of the constructed nature of our values and standards.This dystopian novel list is nowhere near a complete list of all dystopian books, but on it are some of the greatest dystopian works of literature of all time (though most is from the 20th and 21st centuries). If you’re a fan of H.G. Wells or George Orwell but are looking for more recent content, the best dystopian books list is the place to be. If your favorite dystopian novel isn’t on the list, make sure to add it so others can find their favorite new read.

If you want dystopia without the reading, check out the greatest dystopian and near-future movies or get some synopses on the 13 best dystopian novels.
list ordered by

1
860 123
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
carlybobarly added George Orwell

2
584 135
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Aldous Huxley

3
674 139
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
George Orwell

4
700 122
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Ray Bradbury

5
479 180
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Lois Lowry

6
459 153
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Margaret Atwood

7
433 145
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Anthony Burgess

8
602 187
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
William Golding

9
676 274
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Suzanne Collins

10
319 110
V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
midnightq2 added Alan Moore

11
289 92
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels

12
311 111
The Road is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
UrsulaScrimgeour added Cormac McCarthy

13
279 116
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
PeteBoyle added

14
152 79
The Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
JustinShim added P. D. James

15
196 97
Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan

16
178 129
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Robert A. Heinlein

17
454 219
Catching Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Suzanne Collins

18
460 232
Mockingjay is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Suzanne Collins

19
215 229
Atlas Shrugged is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Bootsdad added Ayn Rand

20
123 63
A Scanner Darkly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Joseph Stanley added Philip K. Dick

21
167 99
Ready Player One is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
exoticmatter83 added Ernest Cline

22
124 95
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Kazuo Ishiguro

23
333 220
Divergent is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Veronica Roth

24
243 148
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
James Dashner

25
111 68
Utopia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Dystopian Novels
Knight_2k1 added Thomas More