Best Limited Series on Netflix in 2022

The 26 highest rated limited miniseries on Netflix according to IMDb.

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best limited series on netflix 2022

Netflix has a huge library of TV series in its Original lineup but some of the best entries are limited series. Also known as event series or mini-series, these shows only run for a single season seeking to tell their story in a succinct package.

The “limited series” or “miniseries” is not a new concept but has been allowed to flourish with the proliferation of streaming services. Traditionally, networks needed shows to last for seasons and seasons to be cost-effective. Storytelling comes in all different shapes and forms and some of Netflix’s best offerings come in the forms of sharp and concise single seasons with a start, middle, and an end.

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26. What/If

Genre: Mystery, Anthology
Mike Kelley
Cast: Jane Levy, Blake Jenner, Keith Powers
IMDb Rating: 6.3

what if netflix limited series

Anthology series are always popular on Netflix and What/If starring Renée Zellweger proved the concept well even if it didn’t quite hit a home run every single episode.

Set across 10 episodes, the limited series takes a look at different morality tales and the effects even the smallest decisions take.

25. Inventing Anna 

Genre: Biopic
Shonda Rhimes
Cast: Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky, Arian Moayed, Katie Lowes, Alexis Floyd
IMDb Rating: 6.9

inventing anna limited series

Shonda Rhimes’s second major project for Netflix came in the form of Inventing Anna. Based on the real-life figure that is Anna Delvey, Garner puts in a sublime performance as she swindles and works her way up the upper echelons of New York society.

While some argued the show would’ve been just as good in a movie format, the writing and acting keep you hooked from the word go.

24. Brand New Cherry Flavor

Genre: Horror
Created by: Nick Antosca and Lenore Zion
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener, Eric Lange
Released on Netflix: August 13th, 2021
IMDb Rating: 7.2

brand new cherry flavor netflix

Coming from Universal Television is Brand New Cherry Flavor which sees an aspiring film director set down her roots in 1990s Los Angeles but soon gets involved with a strange group.

The limited series runs for just under 6 hours in total and is a strange trip so be prepared for some weird stuff if you do dive in.

23. Clickbait

Genre: Crime
Created by: Tony Ayres and Christian White
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel, Phoenix Raei
Released on Netflix: August 25th, 2021
IMDb Rating: 7.2

clickbait netflix

With a total runtime of just over six hours, this series follows a young family man by the name of Nick Brewer who is abducted in a Black Mirror-esque plot.

Filmed in Austrlia, the series was praised around the globe although its final episode is often a controversial subject in online circles.

22. The Eddy

Genre: Musical
Netflix Release Date: May 8th, 2020
Cast: André Holland, Joanna Kulig, Leïla Bekhti
IMDb Rating: 7.2

the eddy netflix limited series

This French-American co-production is one of the most unheard-of limited series on Netflix. When it was released on Netflix, it wasn’t able to produce hardly any buzz and that’s reflected by the only couple thousand IMDb ratings.

The series follows a club owner in France and his ups and downs running a vibrant music venue.

21. Behind Her Eyes

Genre: Mystery Thriller
Netflix Release Date: February 17th, 2021
Cast: Simona Brown, Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman
IMDb Rating: 7.2

behind her eyes

Originating out of the UK, this mini-series follows a single mother who works part-time in a psychiatrist’s office. Her life soon spirals as she finds herself in an affair with her boss and best friends with his wife.

20. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker

Genre: Biopic
Netflix Release Date: March 20th, 2020
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, Carmen Ejogo
IMDb Rating: 7.3

self made limited series netflix

Some of the best-limited series on Netflix have been based around strong female individuals and this series fits firmly in that category.

Starring Octavia Spencer, the series focuses on the trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker who built an empire.

19. The Stranger

Genre: Crime, Mystery
Netflix Release Date:
January 30th, 2020
Richard Armitage, Shaun Dooley, Siobhan Finneran
IMDb Rating: 7.3

the stranger netflix limited series

Netflix is slowly working its way through the Harlan Coben collection of novels and The Stranger has been one of its best creations to date.

The mystery series follows Adam Price on his journey to find out exactly who his friends and family are after the appearance of a stranger.

18. Black Earth Rising

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Cast: Michaela Coel, John Goodman, Abena Ayivor
Netflix Release Date: January 25th, 2019
IMDb Rating:

black earth rising netflix limited series

Acquired from the BBC is Black Earth Rising, a limited series that quickly dropped onto the service in early 2019 and to this day still hasn’t got the credit it deserves nor the viewership according to metrics we track.

Here’s what you can expect from the series which consists of 8 hour-long episodes:

“Adopted by a human rights attorney after the Rwandan genocide, legal investigator Kate Ashby confronts her past when she takes on war crimes cases.”

17. Stateless

Genre: Political, Drama
Cast: Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, and Asher Keddie
Netflix Release Date: July 8th, 2020
IMDb Rating: 7.5

stateless netflix limited series

Another excellent acquired Netflix Original limited series is Stateless headlined by Yvonne Strahovski best known for her time on Dexter and Chuck. It was acquired from the Australian network ABC where it released to rave reviews.

It’s based on the real-world story of Cornelia Rau who was detained unlawfully but sees the story play out from the perspective of four people detained in the inhuman mandatory immigration detention camps.

16. Halston

Genre: Biopic
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Dayan, David Pittu
Netflix Release Date: May 14th, 2021
IMDb Rating: 7.5

halston netflix

Headlined by Ewan McGregor, this biopic sees the esteemed actor play the role of Halston a world-renowned business owner who created a fashion empire.

15. Hollywood

Genre: Drama
Created by: Ian Brennan, Ryan Murphy
Netflix Release Date: May 1st, 2020
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier
IMDb Rating: 7.6

hollywood series netflix

Part of Ryan Murphy’s expansive output deal with Netflix included this look back with a fictional twist at Hollywood’s golden years and several actors’ attempts to make it big.

As with all Murphy productions, it is dripping with style and while the ending may have rubbed some people the wrong way, the 7 episode limited series is a great example of what Murphy can produce.

14. The English Game

Genre: History, Sport
Netflix Release Date: March 20th, 2020
Cast: Edward Holcroft, Kevin Guthrie, Charlotte Hope
IMDb Rating: 7.6

the english game limited series netflix

For fans of fabulous British period dramas, give The English Game a punt even if you’re not necessarily a big fan of the glorious game.

It follows the invention of the globally renowned game we’re all familiar with today. It’s a short 6 episodes long but each is bursting with high quality from everything down to script to the incredible costumes.

13. The Liberator

Genre: War, Animation
Netflix Release Date: November 11th, 2020
Cast: Bradley James, Martin Sensmeier, Jose Miguel Vasquez
IMDb Rating: 7.6

netflix originals coming to netflix in november 2020 the liberator

When it comes to unique series, The Liberator certainly meets the bill and that’s probably why it may have been so hard to convince people to jump in given the fact most haven’t even heard about this series before.

The four-episode mini-series is animated in a unique style that then sets out to tell the stories of some of the bloodiest battles in World War 2.

12. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Genre: Comedy
Netflix Release Date: November 25th, 2016
Cast: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson
IMDb Rating: 7.7

One of the earliest miniseries to come to Netflix was this special limited series of Gilmore Girls. The long-running comedy series had been long awaited for more episodes and Netflix was happy to oblige.

The series sees the return of the majority of the main cast and seeks to wrap up some of the existing story threads.

Four episodes in total were released with each one taking place in a different season of the year. Hopefully, this series isn’t the end to Gilmore Girls but for now, this limited series will serve us well.

11. Alias Grace

Genre: Drama, Period-Drama
Netflix Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard
IMDb Rating: 7.8

Nominated for a prime-time Emmy comes a biography period drama that Netflix picked up after its original airing on CBC in Canada. Based on the Margaret Atwood book of the same name, the series focuses on a young girl who is undergoing treatment and trial after the brutal murders of her employer.

The series is excellently produced and features stunning dialogue (no surprise, given the source material), and is still one of the best novel adaptations on Netflix right now.

10. Maniac

Created by: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Patrick Somerville
Comedy, Drama, Sci-fi
Netflix Release Date:
September 21st, 2018
IMDb Rating: 7.8

Maniac is one of the best-looking series on Netflix featuring a whacky mind-bending story and some of Hollywood’s top talent. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone star in this aesthetically pleasing series that explores mature tones and some Black Mirror-esque concepts.

Despite being a limited series, Manic requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate its complexity, excellent writing, and the hidden storytelling details hidden within.

9. Unorthodox

Genre: Drama
Created by: Anna Winger
Netflix Release Date: March 26th, 2020
Cast: Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, Jeff Wilbusch
IMDb Rating: 8.0

Unorthodox Netflix Limited Series

Since its release, Unorthodox has been an awards magnet thanks to the incredible performances and heart-tugging story.

It’s about a girl who flees from an arranged marriage hoping to begin a new life abroad.

8. Maya and the Three

Genre: Animation, Kids
Netflix Release Date: October 22nd, 2021
IMDb Rating: 8.2

maya and the three netflix

This miniseries comes from the creator Jorge R. Gutierrez and is probably one of the most gorgeous Netflix Original animation titles Netflix has ever released.

The colorful and engaging series follows a princess embarking on a mission to fulfill an ancient prophecy.

7. Five Came Back

Genre: Documentary
Netflix Release Date: March 31st, 2017
IMDb Rating: 8.3

There are plenty of mini docuseries on Netflix but we’ve consciously chosen not to include them on this list however we’re making an exception for Five Came Back, rightly or wrongly.

The three-part mini-series features new and old directors who look back at old archive footage from the frontlines of World War 2. It’s got plenty of big star names involved with Meryl Streep narrating and the likes of Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro being interviewed.

6. Godless

Genre: Western, Drama
Netflix Release Date: November 22nd, 2017
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy
IMDb Rating: 8.3

Ranking in many of 2017’s best-of lists around the web was Godless. The 7-episode Western had a rich narrative and shined thanks to its casting which included the likes of Jeff Daniels, Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scott McNairy, and Tantoo Cardinal.

As well as its multiple award nominations, the series also managed to pick up three Primetime Emmys. It’s set back in the late 1800s and follows a gang leader on the hunt and finds himself in a mining town run by a woman.

5. Unbelievable

Created By: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman
Genre: Crime
Netflix Release Date: September 13th, 2019
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever
IMDb Rating: 8.4

unbelievable netflix limited series

This limited series is based on a true story and combines top talent with sublime writing to create a compelling 8 episodes that led to it getting nominated for 4 Golden Globes.

Throughout the show, you follow the investigation into one girl’s claim of being raped.

4. Maid

Genre: Drama
Created by: Molly Smith Metzler
Netflix Release Date: October 1st, 2021
IMDb Rating: 8.5

maid netflix limited series

Based on a best-selling novel, this series was headlined by Margaret Qualley who plays a young mother who has fleed an abusive relationship and takes up the first job she can to help her and her daughter have a better future.

3. Midnight Mass

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Netflix Release Date: September 24th, 2021
IMDb Rating: 7.7

midnight mass netflix miniseries

Mike Flanagan has become in recent years the king of the horror TV genre with his Haunting entries but in 2021, we saw the release of Midnight Mass which is perhaps his most distinguished title to date.

Set on a remote island, we see the return of a young and charismatic priest to an island where some strange occurrences are happening.

2. The Queen’s Gambit

Genre: Drama, Sport
Created by: Scott Frank, Allan Scott
Netflix Release Date: October 23rd, 2020
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloe Pirrie, Bill Camp
IMDb Rating: 8.6

the queens gambit netflix

Of all the series on this list, it’s hard to think of a limited series that packed as much of a cultural punch as The Queen’s Gambit did.

The series details the life of Beth Harmon who from a young age was identified as being a chess genius and her rise to the top of her game.

1. When They See Us

Genre: Drama
Netflix Release Date: May 31st, 2019
IMDb Rating: 8.9

Reviews for this limited series from Ana DuVernay should speak for themselves with it being referred to as an “emotional rollercoaster” and Slate calling it a must-see TV series that’s “impassioned, worthy, and at times very moving. It is also regularly excruciating.”

The four-episode series seeks to retell the story of the Central Park Five who were wrongly convicted of crimes relating to the death of a woman. It seeks to document the 25-years that followed the incident that led to their eventual exoneration.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.