Highest rated shows on Netflix: The Must-Watch
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Highest rated shows on Netflix: The Must-Watch

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Highest rated shows on Netflix have become increasingly popular over the years as Netflix continues to produce high-quality original programming. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to determine which shows are truly worth your time. This article will provide an overview of 12 of the highest rated shows on Netflix according to critics and viewers.

Top-Rated Netflix Series

Here are 12 of the highest rated shows on Netflix:

1. Stranger Things (2016 – Present)

This sci-fi horror drama set in the 1980s follows a group of kids in small-town Indiana as they experience supernatural occurrences and secret government experiments. highest rated shows on Netflix like Stranger Things have become synonymous with Netflix’s success. With an 8.7/10 rating on IMDb, Stranger Things is acclaimed for its nostalgic tone, characters, acting, and mysterious storyline.

2. The Crown (2016 – Present)

A historical drama documenting Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, The Crown provides an intimate look at the British royal family. With lavish sets and costumes, the series dramatizes historic events and has won Golden Globes for best drama and best actress. The Crown has a powerful 8.6/10 IMDb rating.

3. Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)

This crime drama tells the story of a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to selling meth to provide for his family after being diagnosed with cancer. Breaking Bad has received immense critical acclaim, especially for its writing, directing, and acting. It’s considered one of the best TV shows of all time with a 9.5/10 rating on IMDb.

4. Ozark (2017 – Present)

Jason Bateman stars in this crime drama as a financial advisor who launders money for a drug cartel and uproots his family from Chicago to the Lake of the Ozarks. Delving into concepts like capitalism and family dynamics, Ozark is a gripping and dark thriller that has a 8.4/10 rating on IMDb.

5. House of Cards (2013 – 2018)

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star in this political drama based on a ruthless congressman who will do anything to gain power. House of Cards was credited with establishing Netflix as a producer of original content and has an 8.5/10 rating on IMDb.

6. Narcos (2015 – 2017)

This crime drama chronicles the origins and rise of infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel. Praised for its examination of power and corruption, Narcos has an 8.8/10 rating on IMDb.

7. Black Mirror (2011 – Present)

This sci-fi anthology series explores the unanticipated consequences of new technologies, often in dark and satirical ways. Each episode functions as a standalone story examining modern society, technology, and human nature. Black Mirror has a 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.

8. Mindhunter (2017 – 2019)

Set in the late 1970s, this psychological crime thriller follows FBI agents as they interview incarcerated serial killers to understand how they think. Mindhunter has been applauded for its writing, directing, and acting, and has a 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.

9. The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

Based on a 1983 novel, this limited series drama follows an orphaned chess prodigy in the 1960s as she struggles with addiction while rising through the chess world. The Queen’s Gambit received two Golden Globes for best limited series and best actress and has a 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.

10. The Last Dance (2020)

This sports documentary miniseries chronicles NBA legend Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls team. With never-before-seen footage, The Last Dance examines Jordan’s life and final championship season with the Bulls. It has a 9.1/10 rating on IMDb, making it one of the highest rated shows on Netflix.

11. When They See Us (2019)

This powerful miniseries dramatizes the true story of the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers wrongly convicted for assault and rape. When They See Us has been acclaimed for its empathy and performances, earning a 9/10 rating on IMDb.

12. Unbelievable (2019)

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning article, this crime drama follows a teen who retracts her rape allegation, and the two detectives who eventually find the truth. Unbelievable has earned praise for handling difficult subject matter with care and nuance. It has an 8.4/10 rating on IMDb.

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Common Elements of Top Netflix Shows

Many of Netflix’s highest rated shows share certain qualities that contribute to their critical and popular success. Here are some common elements:

  • Strong writing and character development: Shows like The Crown, Mindhunter, and When They See Us are acclaimed for their sharp, nuanced writing and multidimensional characters.
  • Top-notch acting: With stars like Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Michael Jordan, Netflix attracts high-caliber acting talent who deliver powerful performances.
  • High production values: Netflix invests heavily in its original shows, from the historically accurate costumes of The Crown to Stranger Things’ perfect 1980s aesthetic.
  • Bingeable formats: Netflix has pioneered binge-watching, with full seasons of shows like Ozark and Narcos available at once to hook viewers.
  • Social commentary: Shows like Black Mirror, House of Cards, and When They See Us offer incisive commentary on contemporary issues.
  • Cultural impact: Series like Stranger Things have become pop culture sensations, while shows like The Last Dance capture zeitgeists.

Why Are These Shows So Highly Rated?

There are several reasons why the shows discussed above are considered among the highest rated on Netflix:

  • They combine mass appeal with critical acclaim, pleasing both general audiences and reviewers.
  • Netflix’s platform allows for creative freedom, attracting top Hollywood talent.
  • algoritms analyze viewer data, helping Netflix determine what types of shows to produce.
  • Production budgets are generous, allowing for high quality sets, costumes, writing, and acting.
  • Netflix caters to binge-watching, releasing full seasons at once to build buzz.
  • The best Netflix shows tap into the cultural zeitgeist and collective imagination.
  • Netflix is willing to take risks on unconventional stories and characters.
  • Shows are marketed heavily to drive viewership and conversation on social media.

In summary, Netflix’s highest rated shows offer the perfect alchemy of critical excellence, mass entertainment, buzzworthiness, and reflection of the cultural moment. The combination elevates them into the upper echelon of acclaimed television.


The 12 shows discussed above represent the best of the best that Netflix has to offer. From Stranger Things to The Queen’s Gambit, these series showcase captivating stories brought to life by talented writers, actors, and directors. While tastes may vary, these highest rated shows on Netflix all have overwhelmingly positive reviews from both critics and everyday viewers. Their places in the Netflix pantheon have been secured. For those looking for their next binge-watch obsession, you can’t go wrong with any of these phenomenal shows.


  • IMDb.com – User ratings for Netflix TV shows
  • RottenTomatoes.com – Critic ratings for Netflix TV shows
  • What’s on Netflix – Listicles of top shows on Netflix
  • Digital Trends – Reviews of Netflix original programming
  • Forbes, Wired, Vulture – Pop culture commentary on Netflix shows


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