Total Nerd

The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated May 15, 2020 3.7k votes 337 voters 3.2k views 80 items

List Rules Only science fiction (not fantasy) television series that historically offer galactic levels of excitement.

The top sci-fi TV shows ever aired are some of the most exciting and thought-provoking to watch on television, but which is the best of them all? Determining which science fiction TV series is the best isn't an easy task given the plethora of options available, but this list might make it just a bit easier. These days, with the use of digital streaming, more and more shows people have forgotten are being rewatched, checked out for the first time, or even remade into new classics for new generations to enjoy, but which of these sci-fi shows is the best of them all in terms of excitement?

Would something newer like Star Trek: Discovery beat out a classic on this list like Star Trek: The Original Series, the very show that inspired it? For a science fiction series to be truly exciting, it has to be the kind that depicts more than just cool new tech or rapid-fire sci-fi action scenes - it needs to show a conflict between one or more groups of people, aliens, robots, or whatever in which survival is key. An exciting sci-fi show gets the audience has to get invested in the story.

The only way to find out which are the best is to vote up your favorite sci-fi series below, but remember, this list is all about excitement! Which series is more exciting than the one below it? Don't forget to add your favorite sci-fi show to the list if it's missing and vote for your favorites below!

list ordered by
1
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk

Premiered: 2002

Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more
2
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

Premiered: 1987

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more
3
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

Premiered: 2004

Battlestar Galactica (Sc-Fi, 2004) is an American military science fiction television series developed by Ronald D Moore, and a re-imagining of the 1978 series of the same name. After a ...more
4
Star Trek: The Original ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

Premiered: 1966

Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of ...more
5
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping

Premiered: 1997

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
6
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

Premiered: 2008

Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. An F.B.I. agent (Anna Torv) is forced to work with an ...more
7
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar

Premiered: 2015

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
8
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Premiered: 1963

Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more
9
Stargate Atlantis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, David Hewlett

Premiered: 2004

Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper ...more
10
Babylon 5 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs

Premiered: 1994

Babylon 5 is an American space opera television series created by writer and producer J. Michael Straczynski, under the Babylonian Productions label, in association with Straczynski's Synthetic ...more
11
The Mandalorian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte

Premiered: 2019

The Mandalorian (Disney+, 2019) is an American space opera web television series set in the Star Wars universe created by George Lucas. Taking place after the events in Return of the Jedi, but ...more
12
Star Trek: Deep Space Ni... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton

Premiered: 1993

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. The show is set in the Milky Way galaxy, in the years 2369–2375. In contrast to the setting of ...more
13
Star Trek: Voyager is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson

Premiered: 1995

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series, set in the Star Trek universe. The show takes place during the 2370s, and begins on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy, 75,000 ...more
14
Farscape is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe

Premiered: 1999

Farscape is an Australian/American science fiction television series, produced originally for the Nine Network. The series was conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by Jim Henson ...more
15
Star Trek: Enterprise is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock

Premiered: 2001

Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction TV series and a prequel to the original Star Trek. The series premiered September 26, 2001, on the UPN television network with the final episode airing ...more
16
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
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
17
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

Premiered: 1978

Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson, that began the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk ...more
18
Eureka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra

Premiered: 2006

Eureka (Syfy, 2006) is an American science fiction television series created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia. A U.S. Marshall (Colin Ferguson) becomes the sheriff of a remote cozy little Oregon ...more
19
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright

Premiered: 2016

Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more
20
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy

Premiered: 2018

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
21
Timeless is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
SJSAlias added Timeless Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett

Premiered: 2016

Timeless (NBC, 2016) follows the adventures of an unusual trio; a history professor (Abigail Spencer), a scientist (Malcolm Barrett), and a soldier (Matt Lanter); as they attempt to stop Garcia ...more
22
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

Premiered: 1989

Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam ...more
23
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton

Premiered: 2013

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel ...more
24
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek

Premiered: 2009

Warehouse 13 is a U.S. television science fiction series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on the Syfy network. Executive-produced by Jack Kenny and David Simkins, the dramatic comedy from ...more
25
Lost in Space is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Sci-Fi Series Ever Made
Russell Merryman added Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Taylor Russell

Premiered: 2018

Lost in Space (Netflix, 2018) is an American science fiction web television series created by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and a reboot of the 1965 series. After encountering a rip in ...more