The 15 Best Limited Series on Netflix in 2024

When They See Us from Ava DuVernay currently headlines our list of the best Netflix Original limited series.

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Best Netflix Original Limited Series In 2024

Picture credits: Netflix

Netflix has a vast library of TV series in its Original lineup, but some of the best entries the streamer has ever released are limited series. Also sometimes referred to 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 sharp and concise single seasons with a start, middle, and end.

Below, we’ll look at our favorite limited series, but here are some quick ground rules. First, we’ve limited this list to English-language titles and only include scripted series. That means despite some stunning documentary series designed as mini-series, we’ll have to cover them another day. Second, they have to be Netflix Originals. Sorry, HBO’s Band of Brothers; we would’ve included you otherwise!

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15

The Stranger

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

The Stranger Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

Given half the chance, we’d include every single Harlan Coben series on this list, especially Fool Me Once, given how it dominated the start of 2024 and rose to Netflix’s all-time most-watched list. Alas, we’re limited to 15 below, and it just missed our list. Given that I think The Stranger is the more robust entry, I will have to include that instead.

Netflix is slowly working its way through the Harlan Coben collection of novels, and The Stranger is 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 a stranger appears.


14

Stateless

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

Stateless Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

One of the 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 was released to rave reviews and those continued following the Netflix global rollout.

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 arrested in the inhuman mandatory immigration detention camps.


13

Alias Grace

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

Alias Grace Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

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 Margaret Atwood’s 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). It is still one of the best novel adaptations on Netflix right now.


12

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 Best Limited Series

Picture: Netflix

It’s somewhat of an asterisk on this pick, given that it’s a multi-language series, but we’ll still include it because it is primarily in English. Released just as the world was going to pot, Unorthodox became an awards magnet for Netflix thanks to its incredible performances and heart-tugging story. It’s about a girl who flees from an arranged marriage, hoping to begin a new life abroad.

Certified Fresh on RottenTomatoes, the limited series was praised for its tackling an emotive and hard subject with particular praised landing at the lap of the young Israeli actress Shira Haas.


11

The Fall of the House of Usher

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Genre: Gothic Horror
Cast: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Mary McDonnell, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli, Samantha Sloyan

The Fall Of The House Usher

One of two Mike Flanagan series on this list (sorry, Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, I’m unfairly excluding you as I’m grouping you together) is his final project for Netflix, The Fall of the House of Usher.

Based on the classic tale by Edgar Allan Poe, the series sees a family in turmoil as a promise made to a demon many years ago comes back to haunt the owner of a massive business empire.

It’s got everything you’d expect from a Flanagan series: plenty of mystery and suspense and a great cast that goes above and beyond the already strong writing.

Although this is the last of his output for Netflix from his old deal, I’m still hoping that one day, the streamer and the horror aficionado will return to work with one another again.


10

Painkiller

Created by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster
Genre: Drama, Biopic
Netflix Release Date:
August 10th, 2023
IMDb Rating: 7.4

Painkiller Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

One topic that Hollywood has been covering in various formats (including Netflix following up from this limited series in 2023 with the movie Pain Hustlers) is the pain medication business. Directed by Peter Berg, Netflix’s 6-part series is a memorable and worthy watch.

Told through the lens of people connected to the spread of pain medication from different angles, the series will undoubtedly be drawn into comparisons against Hulu’s take. While some will like one or the other, I found both to be worthy of merit. Both stand on their own two feet. While I thought Hulu’s iteration did a much better job of getting into the drug takers’ daily experience, Netflix’s Painkiller dug into the corruption and scandal side of it much better.


9

Maniac

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

Maniac Netflix Best Limited Series

Maniac is not for the faint-hearted. Easily still one of the best-looking series on Netflix, It features a mind-bending story in a familiar yet unrecognizable alternative world. It should also come as no surprise we’re also going to praise the show’s two leads, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, who star in this aesthetically pleasing series that explores mature tones and some Black Mirror-esque concepts.

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


8

Bodies

Created by: Paul Tomalin
Genre:
 Sci-fi
Cast: Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Shira Haas, Amaka Okafor, Kyle Soller, Greta Scacchi, Tom Mothersdale
Netflix Release Date:
October 19th, 2023
IMDb Rating: 7.3

Bodies Best Limited Series Netflix

Picture: Netflix

We had high hopes for the British series Bodies ahead of its release in October 2023, and we’re pleased to report that it exceeded our expectations. The twisty time-traveling detective mystery series saw four detectives investigating the same murder across multiple time periods, including two in the past, one in the present, and one in the future.

It’s a gripping 8-part series that excels thanks largely to a great cast delivered in a sleek package with a pleasant new twist in the all too familiar crime investigation genre.


7

Maya and the Three

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

Maya And The Three Best Netflix Limited Series

Picture: Netflix

This miniseries, created by Jorge R. Gutierrez, is probably one of the most gorgeous original animation titles Netflix has ever released. Sadly, it doesn’t often get the recognition it truly deserves, albeit it did collect a few awards following its release in late 2021.

The visuals are sublime and unique, and the story keeps you engaged with fantastic voice performances. Netflix often makes big swings in unexpected places, and this feels like one of them, and it pays off.


6

Godless

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

Godless Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

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 mostly, in my opinion, to its casting, which included the likes of Jeff Daniels, Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scott McNairy, and Tantoo Cardinal.

The series received multiple award nominations and three Primetime Emmys. It’s set in the late 1800s and follows a gang leader on the hunt who finds himself in a mining town run by a woman.


5

Lost Ollie

Genre: Family, Drama
Created by: Shannon Tindle
Cast: Jake Johnson, Gina Rodriguez, Jonathan Groff, Tim Blake Nelson, Mary J. Blige
Netflix Release Date:
August 24th, 2022
IMDb Rating: 7.7

Lost Ollie Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: Netflix

Despite entering the Netflix lineup in mid-2022 without much fanfare, I will persist as the flag-bearer for Lost Ollie until I’m absolutely blue in the face. It’s a well-crafted mini-series that will keep you smiling like a child throughout and leave you teary-eyed by the end of its short four-episode run.

Made in collaboration with Industrial Light and Magic, the beautiful series follows a lost floppy-eared rabbit teddy that’s lost and going to great lengths to get back to his rightful owner.

Truly one of the biggest hidden gems of the Netflix library.


4

Maid

Genre: Drama
Created by: Molly Smith Metzler
Cast: Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Tracy Vilar
Netflix Release Date:
 October 1st, 2021
IMDb Rating: 8.3

Maid Limited Series Best Of Netflix

Picture: Netflix

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

Maid dominated the Netflix top 10s for weeks following its release, and it’s easy to see why. It is a relatable and uniquely human story that Margaret Qualley expertly portrayed.

Like a few limited series on this list, we still regularly see people hoping for a new season, but beyond a book and a new project from the creator set up at Netflix, you’re going to be out of luck.


3

Midnight Mass

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

Midnight Mass Best Netflix Original Limited Series

Picture: Netflix

Mike Flanagan called Netflix his home for an extended period. While we like most of his output, Midnight Mass stands above the rest as his defining achievement and as one of Netflix’s best limited series.

Set on a remote island, we see the return of a young and charismatic priest to an island where some strange occurrences are happening. While it’s not pure horror like some of Flanagan’s other work, the atmosphere and world-building are second to none. Combining those with great performances from an ensemble with many familiar faces from Flanagan’s prior works it hooked me instantly.


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 Best Limited Series On Netflix

Picture: 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. It dominated Netflix’s then very early versions of the top 10s, led to a rise in take-up among young people of chess, and to this day, still has fans clamoring for a season 2.

The series details the life of Beth Harmon, who, from a young age, was identified as being a chess genius, and this series documents her rise to the top of her game and how tough it is to stay there when battling with addiction.

It’s smart, paced to perfection, and one series that I return to every single year.


1

When They See Us

Genre: Drama
Netflix Release Date: May 31st, 2019
IMDb Rating: 8.8

When They See Us Best Netflix Limited Series

Picture: Netflix

Reviews for this limited series from Ana DuVernay should speak for themselves. It has been referred to as an “emotional rollercoaster,” Slate went onto call it a must-see TV series that’s “impassioned, worthy, and at times very moving. It is also regularly excruciating.” We’d echo all of those sentiments and then some.

The four-episode series seeks to retell the story of the Central Park Five, who were wrongly convicted of crimes relating. It aims to document the 25 years that followed the incident that led to their eventual exoneration. It’s a gripping story from start to finish and shows how powerful Netflix’s limited series can be.


What’s your favorite limited series Netflix has ever released? Let us know in the comments down below.

Written by

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.

 Poster Rating: TV-PG
Language: English
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
Cast: Jonathan Groff, Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson
Season Additions:
  • - Limited Series was added to Netflix on August 24th, 2022