Committing a crime is always against the law. However, watching crime dramas from the comfort of our home has been our pleasure ever since TV was first invented. Some of the best crime TV series can be found on Netflix. But what are the best Netflix crime shows? That’s just what we are going to solve today.
Read more: Best Netflix shows
Our list includes some of the best TV shows of all time, crime or otherwise. This list is also a list of older shows and newer original Netflix series. One thing is for certain: watching crime and criminals is still a lot of fun. You can sign up for Netflix at the link below.
Best Netflix crime shows:
Of all of the older Netflix crime series, this show may have benefited the most from being on the service. Breaking Bad is about a high-school chemistry teacher who slowly descends into evil by cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatments. It premiered on AMC, but it only became a massive hit after it began running on Netflix.
This could be the best TV show on Netflix, period and some would argue it’s the best one ever made. Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White is one of the best acting performances ever, TV or otherwise. He is helped by a superb supporting cast, including Aaron Paul, who is as good as White’s meth producing partner Jesse Pinkman.
Better Call Saul
Who knew that you could follow up Breaking Bad with a prequel that might be as good, and in some cases, better than the original series. Bob Odenkirk played the slimy attorney “Saul Goodman” in Breaking Bad, but in this prequel series, we see him in the early 2000s as small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill. The series shows how McGill slowly but surely transforms into “Goodman.” We also see some familiar Breaking Bad supporting characters, including Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), earlier in their lives as well.
We have seen tons of organized crime shows in the US, but what above in other countries? Peaky Blinders does just that. It’s set just after World War I in the UK, specifically in Birmingham. It’s based on the real Peaky Blinders crime gang that operated in that city during that time. One of the most interesting parts of this series is that future UK prime minister Winston Churchill is a supporting character, as he is charged with trying to clean up Birmingham of crime, including the Peaky Blinders gang. Cillian Murphy does an excellent job playing the leader of the gang, Thomas “Tommy” Shelby. It’s definitely one of the best crime shows on Netflix.
Based on a true story, Narcos is a crime-drama series that tells the story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the DEA agents who are after him. You get to see the violent nature of Escobar and his men, the way he made and spent money, as well as how he interacted with other cartels that plagued the country during that time.
Narcos ended after three seasons, but a spin-off series, Narcos: Mexico, quickly followed. Although it’s good, it’s not as interesting as the original Narcos series. It remains one of the best crime series on Netflix.
The Blacklist is one of the most popular of Netflix’s non-original scripted series. James Spader plays what may become his most well-known role as Raymond “Red” Reddington. He’s a highly intelligent criminal, who one day turns himself into the FBI. As it turns out, he wants immunity, but in return, he will help the FBI take down people on Reddington’s “blacklist.” It’s a list of dangerous criminals that even the feds are not aware of. He also wants to only work directly with a rookie FBI agent, Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone.
The series has lots of twists and turns during its several seasons, as we learn more about Reddington and his connection to Keene. You can watch the first seven seasons on Netflix right now. It’s one of the most memorable Netflix crime series.
What would happen if an ordinary suburban family found itself in the middle of organized crime? That’s the premise of this terrific Netflix crime show. Jason Bateman plays a Chicago financial advisor who seemingly has a perfect life. The problem is that he’s actually an advisor for a Mexican drug cartel. His financial partner is killed after taking some of the cartel’s money, and Bateman’s character claims he can help the cartel launder even more of their money in the Ozarks. What follows is a deep descent into crime and murder for him and his family. It’s an excellent series, and it will, unfortunately, conclude in 2021 with its fourth season.
This Netflix original is set in the 1970s and revolves around FBI agents who are interviewing serial killers. Their goal is to understand how they think and then use that knowledge to solve open cases. It’s one of the best Netflix shows you can watch, but it’s not for everyone since it’s a bit dark and creepy. This psychological thriller is produced by David Fincher (House of Cards) as well as Charlize Theron, among others.
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Even though there are only two seasons of this series, Mindhunter remains one of the best Netflix crime shows. Hopefully, we will get a third season sometime in the future.
American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson
The real-life crime story about how the US football star was accused and tried for the murder of two people remains one of the most powerful TV limited series ever made. It’s definitely a must for our best Netflix crime show list. O.J. Simpson seemed to be an unlikely suspect for the murder of his ex-wife and another man when their bodies were found in Simpson’s home. However, the evidence starts to mount against the former pro football player and Simpson’s fateful Bronco police chase furthers the case against him.
This mini-series does an excellent job recreating the media frenzy that surrounded this real murder case. It doesn’t really attempt to take sides. Instead, it treats both the prosecution and the defense equally as they present their versions of the case to both the jury and the entire world.
This Netflix limited series was inspired by a real story of a young woman from the Pacific Northwest who was raped. She reported the crime to the police, but eventually, they declined to pursue the case and in fact charged the woman for lying to them. The story then shows how two female detectives, played by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, make a case that a serial rapist has in fact been secretly operating in the area and their struggles to find and arrest him.
This is pretty powerful stuff, and it’s made all the more powerful with the great performances by Collette, Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever as the young victim. It’s not just one of the best Netflix crime series, but one of the best limited series on the service, period.
Criminal Minds (seasons 1-12)
One of the most popular shows on Netflix, period, is Criminal Minds. This show features members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as they criss-cross the country trying to find serial killers and other types of criminals. It’s a procedural that can get into some dark themes and places, but it’s always entertaining. You can watch the first 12 seasons of the show on Netflix.
Criminal Minds lasted for 15 seasons, and if you finish all 12 seasons on Netflix, you can catch seasons 13-15 on Hulu.
You can also stream all 15 seasons of the series over at Paramount Plus.
That’s our look at the best Netflix crime shows. We will update this article with more great shows in this genre in the future.