Entertainment

The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made  

Ranker TV
335 votes 45 voters 1.6k views 56 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!

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
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more
2
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson
Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more
3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more
4
The Originals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt
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
5
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
6
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more
7
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend
Homeland is an American political thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The series stars ...more
8
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more
9
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco
Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on Fox for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has ...more
10
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman
Hanna (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American action drama television series, based on the 2011 film of the same name. The story follows the journey of an extraordinary young girl, Hanna (Esme ...more
11
The Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Anthony Michael Hall, Nicole de Boer, Chris Bruno
This series is an American–Canadian science fiction/suspense series starring Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, who discovers he has developed psychic abilities after a coma. The show, ...more
12
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole
Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more
13
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
14
Dark is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel
Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden brings light ...more
15
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas
Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more
16
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas
Hannibal is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in the novel Red Dragon by ...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
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
Suits is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle
Suits is a USA Network legal drama created by Aaron Korsh that stars Patrick J. Adams as Michael "Mike" Ross and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. The first episode debuted on June 23, ...more
19
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines
Lie to Me is an American drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The Lightman ...more
20
Deadly Class is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Benedict Wong, Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor
Deadly Class (Syfy, 2019) is an American television action-thriller series created by Anthony and Joe Russo, based on the Image comic book series. A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop ...more
21
Extant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Halle Berry, Pierce Gagnon, Grace Gummer
Extant is an American science fiction television drama series created by Mickey Fisher and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around astronaut Molly Woods who returns ...more
22
Alias is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly
Alias is an American spy-action television series created by J. J. Abrams, which was broadcast on ABC for five seasons, from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006. It stars Jennifer Garner as ...more
23
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard
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
24
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Bates Motel is an American drama thriller television series developed for television by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin and Anthony Cipriano, and produced by Universal Television for the cable network ...more
25
The Following is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Thriller Series Ever Made
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
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