Every Netflix Original Limited Series on Netflix, Ranked

netflix limited series ranked imdb

Netflix has a huge library of TV series in its Original lineup but some of the best series are limited series. Its miniseries library has expanded over the years and below, we’ll walk you through every single one ranked by its IMDb rating. 

The limited series 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. Not every story needs to be told over years however but can’t be confined to a movie-length either.

Before we dig in, we’re going to say upfront we will be only featuring English mini-series below and we’ll also be excluding stand-up special limited series, anime and kids limited series, and docu-series too (with one exception).

We’re also excluding Wet Hot Summer which had two limited series added to Netflix and the two Haunting series too.

So here’s every limited series on Netflix ranked by its IMDb rating from low to high.


The I-Land

Creator: Anthony Salter
Genre: Sci-fi
Cast: Natalie Martinez, Kate Bosworth, Ronald Peet
Netflix Release Date: September 12th, 2019
IMDb Rating: 4.5

the i land netflix limited series

On the experimental side and hence its lower IMDb rating is The I-Land which is a sci-fi series that sees a group of strangers washed up on an island.

It’s largely forgettable and thanks to some horrible early performance most didn’t get very far with this one. Towards the end, it does show glimmers of hope but for the most part, this is one best avoided.


What/If

Creator: Mike Kelley
Genre: Mystery, Anthology
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.


Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever.

Created by: Jeremy Garelick, Daniel Bryan Franklin, Robin Stein
Genre: Comedy, Family
Netflix Release Date: October 19th, 2018
IMDb Rating: 6.4

best worst weekend ever netflix

This coming-of-age limited series aimed at families went relatively unnoticed when it released in the latter half of 2018. The series is aimed at kids and follows Zed and his friends who trying to make the most of their freedom before high school starts.


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 released on Netflix, it wasn’t able to produce hardly any buzz and that’s reflected by the only couple thousand IMDb ratings.

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


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.


The Defenders

Created by: Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez
Genre: Superhero
Netflix Release Date: August 17th, 2016
IMDb Rating: 7.3

The Marvel Cinematic Universe expanded into Netflix with the four Defenders: Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. As with many of their MCU counterparts, after a number of solo seasons (movies in the case of MCU), they teamed up together to tackle a bigger threat.

Although it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t quite meet the heights of Daredevil’s best seasons, The Defenders is an essential watch as part of your Marvel binge on Netflix.


The Stranger

Genre: Crime, Mystery
Netflix Release Date:
January 30th, 2020
Cast:
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.


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.


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.


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.

The four-episode 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.


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.


Maniac

Created by: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Patrick Somerville
Genre:
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.


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.


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 down 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.


Five Came Back

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

There’s 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.


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.


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.


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.


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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