Watchworthy

The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated April 14, 2020 576 votes 135 voters 7.2k views 61 items

List Rules Only thriller television series that have historically kept you caught up in the action and excitement.

The best thriller TV shows ever aired are some of the most exciting and... well, thrilling series to watch on television, but which are truly the most exciting thriller series of all time? Determining which thriller TV series is the most exciting 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 thrilling shows is the best of them all?

Would something newer like I Am The Night land higher on the list than a classic crime thriller series like Columbo? For a series to be truly thrilling, it has to be the kind that excites the viewer through masterful storytelling, unbearable suspense, and horrific consequences for the people on the screen. The only way to find out which is the most exciting is to vote up your favorite thriller series below, but remember, this list is all about excitement! Which series is more exciting and thrilling than the one below it?

Don't forget to add your favorite thrilling thriller show to the list if it's missing and vote for your favorite below!

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Premiered: 2008

Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by Vince Gilligan. After being diagnosed with cancer, a depressed high school chemistry teacher (Bryan ...more
2
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
3
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller 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
4
Dark is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
5
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

Premiered: 2005

Prison Break (Fox, 2005) is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring.The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced for a something he did not commit, and ...more
6
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
7
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
8
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson

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.
9
Jack Ryan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Mena Massoud

Premiered: 2018

Jack Ryan (Amazon Video, 2018) is an American television series created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, based on the character created by Tom Clancy. When CIA analyst Jack Ryan (John ...more
10
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more
11
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
13
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
14
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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. A CIA ...more
15
Taboo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Tom Hardy, Leo Bill, Jessie Buckley

Premiered: 2018

Taboo (FX, 2017) is a British television drama series created by Tom Hardy, Edward "Chips" Hardy, and Steven Knight. James Delaney (Tom Hardy) returns to England after twelve years in ...more
16
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more
17
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more
18
The Originals is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt

Premiered: 2013

The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries. Vampire-werewolf hybrid Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and his ...more
19
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2011

Person of Interest (CBS, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan. An ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) and a wealthy programmer (Michael Emerson) save ...more
20
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
21
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller 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
22
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
23
The Following is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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
24
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more
25
Lost is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
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