ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at Creators.co
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected]t.com Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

We all have our ultimate favorites when it comes to TV series, and critics are quick to put together lists of the top rated TV shows we should definitely be watching.

Although not an official list, the selection below reveals a compilation of some of the best offerings on the small screen right now, many of which are available on Netflix or on Amazon Prime. Take a look to confirm what you love, or to simply discover the best TV shows of all time — there's no particular order.

14. 'Westworld' (2016)

'Westworld' [Credit: HBO]
'Westworld' [Credit: HBO]
  • Creators: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
  • Who's in it? Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, Anthony Hopkins
  • IMDb score: 9.0/10

Westworld was perhaps the most talked-about TV show of 2016, plunging us into a fictional Wild West-themed world in which wealthy guests could release their inhibitions. Interacting in various scripted scenarios and with specially built automatons, we were kept on the edge of our seats in observing these visitors getting their chance to embrace their darkest desires without consequence.

A visually stunning addition to the list of best TV shows of all time, since its release in 2016, has swiftly garnered a following as one of the most-watched HBO original series ever.

13. 'Transparent' (2014)

'Transparent' [Credit: Amazon]
'Transparent' [Credit: Amazon]
  • Creator: Jill Soloway
  • Who's in it? Jeffrey Tambor, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker
  • IMDb score: 7.9/10

When Jill Soloway's Transparent burst onto our screens, it defied all expectations with its compassionate drama about a family patriarch who begins the transition from Mort to Maura.

Not only did the Amazon Original Series won a Golden Globe for the Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy, but Jeffrey Tambor also received immeasurably high acclaim from critics for his role at the heart of the dysfunctional Pfefferman clan.

12. 'Friends' (1994)

'Friends' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Friends' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
  • Creators: David Crane, Marta Kauffman
  • Who's in it? Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
  • IMDb score: 9.0/10

Perhaps the sitcom of the '90s, Friends continues to crop up in pop culture on the regular with its glimpse into the trivial lives of a group of twenty-somethings in New York. Among many things, it brought us Jennifer Aniston and her iconic Rachel haircut so you know it's good.

It's available to stream on right now.

11. 'Mad Men' (2007)

'Mad Men' [Credit: AMC]
'Mad Men' [Credit: AMC]
  • Creator: Matthew Weiner
  • Who's in it? Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser
  • IMDb score: 8.6/10

The moment Don Draper stepped out in a sharp suit, with a whiskey in hand, a beautiful woman on his arm and a Lucky Strike hanging from his lips, he became one of the most influential characters on TV.

Within episodes, the slick focus on the '60s and '70s American dream — and the privileged hustlers adamant they have the best way to sell it — quickly seduced audiences from all over the world. And it's easy to see why — for a brief taster, watch the promo for Season 1 below:

10. 'True Detective' (2014)

'True Detective' [Credit: HBO]
'True Detective' [Credit: HBO]
  • Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
  • Who's in it? Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams
  • IMDb score: 9.1/10

In many ways, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson sparked a trend of high-profile Hollywood actors making a bold foray into television drama, and it's understandable why. Two series in, and this American anthology crime drama from HBO remains one of the top-rated TV shows of all time and has given a host of high-profile Hollywood actors the chance to showcase their talent — Season 2 saw Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams step up to the challenge.

9. 'Breaking Bad' (2008)

'Breaking Bad' [Credit: AMC]
'Breaking Bad' [Credit: AMC]
  • Creator: Vince Gilligan
  • Who's in it? Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
  • IMDb score: 9.5/10

Mention Breaking Bad in casual conversation and you'll often hear a squeal of approval from a loyal fan in the vicinity. Indeed, when the show hit our screens back in 2008, it attracted a cult following within weeks and led to some of the most epic binge-watching sessions of all time.

The premise goes like this: After learning that he has terminal cancer, a high school chemistry teacher uses his skills to produce the world's highest quality crystal meth to support his family. It's as stressful as it sounds.

8. 'Sherlock' (2010)

'Sherlock' [Credit: BBC]
'Sherlock' [Credit: BBC]
  • Creator: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
  • Who's in it? Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
  • IMDb score: 9.2/10

Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic book series has been adapted countless times over the decades, but it is the 2010 British version that has snagged the best spot as one of the top rated TV shows in recent years. Starring an erratic Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson, it has all the makings of a stellar mystery series. Below is the preview for Season 4 of Sherlock, out now:

7. 'Band Of Brothers' (2001)

'Band of Brothers' [Credit: HBO]
'Band of Brothers' [Credit: HBO]
  • Creators: Phil Alden Robinson, Richard Loncraine, Mikael Salomon, David Nutter, Tom Hanks, David Leland, David Frankel, Tony To
  • Who's in it? Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston
  • IMDb score: 9.5/10

HBO's historic miniseries Band of Brothers is based on a nonfiction book by Stephen E. Ambrose. Expertly produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, it brought fame to an array of future acting greats such as Damian Lewis, Michael Fassbender, Simon Pegg and Tom Hardy, who all initially starred in the series in minor roles.

The show's focus is on a battalion during the Second World War, beginning with their training in 1942 and following them through the duration of the war.

6. 'Game Of Thrones' (2011)

Via HBO
Via HBO
  • Creator: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
  • Who's in it? Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams
  • IMDb score: 9.5/10

These days, it appears that the appeal of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones knows no bounds. With each season, the medieval fantasy catapults its immense fan base right into the social and political struggles of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, a world permeated by dark themes and intricate storylines. Without a doubt, the show is now considered one of the top rated TV shows of all time. If you're unfamiliar with its territory, here's a short synopsis courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes:

"While a civil war brews between several noble families in Westeros, the children of the former rulers of the land attempt to rise up to power. Meanwhile a forgotten race, bent on destruction, plans to return after thousands of years in the North."

And ahead of Season 7 of , here are some of the show's most epic battles:

5. 'The Wire' (2002)

'The Wire' [Credit: HBO]
'The Wire' [Credit: HBO]
  • Creator: David Simon
  • Who's in it? Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn
  • IMDb score: 9.4/10

The Wire is an unsettling glimpse at Baltimore's narcotics scene through the eyes of its dealers and the city's law enforcement services. The epic urban drama does not shy away from violence or hard-hitting themes and every year it is ranked incredibly highly by fans, new and old.

4. 'Firefly' (2002)

'Firefly' [Credit: Fox]
'Firefly' [Credit: Fox]
  • Creator: Joss Whedon
  • Who's in it? Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk
  • IMDb score: 9.1/10

For hardcore fans of sci-fi, Firefly takes us on an intergalactic adventure like no other, which is why outrage was rife when it was cancelled after just one season. Set 400 years in the future, the Joss Whedon-created story follows a former rebel and his crew as they embark on a space mission in a transport ship called the "Serenity."

3. 'Planet Earth' (2006)

'Planet Earth' [Credit: BBC]
'Planet Earth' [Credit: BBC]
  • Creator: David Attenborough
  • Who's in it? David Attenborough
  • IMDb score: 9.5/10

For those who want a break from fictional television series for a second, Planet Earth has it all. Narrated beautifully by the soothing voice of British naturalist David Attenborough, the documentary's high-definition cinematography plunges audiences right into the epicenter of our planet's wonders.

Whether its the exploration of the world's caves, deserts, jungles or deep oceans, there is always something to marvel at in each episode. And when you're done with the first series, there's always Planet Earth II:

2. 'The Sopranos' (1999)

'The Sopranos' [Credit: HBO]
'The Sopranos' [Credit: HBO]
  • Creator: David Chase
  • Who's in it? James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco
  • IMDb score: 9.2/10

When Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) first burst onto the scene in The Sopranos, the show redefined television as we know it. Since its release in 1999, it remains one of the most beloved and rated series around. For those who are unfamiliar with its gritty territory, it centers on a New Jersey crime boss who struggles to cope with pressing mob and family pressures.

1. 'Fargo' (2014)

'Fargo' [Credit: FX]
'Fargo' [Credit: FX]
  • Creator: Noah Hawley
  • Who's in it? Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Kristen Dunst, Ewan McGregor, David Thewlis
  • IMDb score: 9.0/10

When the TV adaptation of the 1996 Coen brothers cult movie hit our screens, expectations were understandably high. Thankfully, FX studio's efforts paid off in what became a series that beautifully channels the meticulous composition and somber mood of a new breed of cinematic television. To date, Fargo's three seasons are highly regarded.

Over the years, a number of big names have starred in the black comedy-crime drama, including Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and currently, Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Goran Bogdan and David Thewlis in Season 3.

What do you think is the top rated TV show of all time?

(Sources: IMDb.com)

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