There is no scarcity of fantasy movies to explore, but television has shown to be an especially effective model for moving the genre forward. Audiences will be treated to blockbuster-quality special effects and production, while the series as a whole will allow for further exploration of the world, lore, and mythology. And whether you have Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, or any of the other streaming services, there are fascinating fantasy worlds just waiting to be discovered on any of them. The below-mentioned best fantasy TV series will take you to another universe and allowing you to forget about the actual world outside your window for a while. Without further ado, let’s dive!
Welcome to Outlander if you enjoy fantasy shows but don’t want your skull to explode from the intricate world-building techniques. Claire Randall is a WWII nurse who unintentionally travels 200 years back in time to 18th century Scotland in Starz’s wandering adventure story. It is there that she meets her true love, a muscular highlander named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). They work together to modify history, deceive royalty, and, most importantly, find time for intense, scorching romance. Outlander, one of the best fantasy TV shows of all time, is an R-rated adventure series, so keep your children away from it.
Another series for those wishing for a truly high-fantasy adventure is “The Witcher.” Geralt of Rivia stars Henry Cavill as the titular monster hunter, with Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) and the witch Yennefer providing additional views (Anya Chalotra). As their three narratives come together, it’s a slow burn, but it’s best experienced with patience and appreciation for the immersion (and yes, “Toss a Coin Your Witcher” will be stuck in your brain for the rest of your life). It maintains its position among the top fantasy TV series.
Game of Thrones
The world of Westeros, built by George R.R. Martin in his unfinished series of novels and given to life on the small screen by HBO, was bound to appear. Sure, the last season was polarizing, but if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t yet been engaged in the narrative of the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and others, keep in mind that it was a phenomenon for a reason. “Game of Thrones” is a wonderfully constructed fantasy vacation with one of television’s most praised casts. Dragons, too. Simply amazing dragons.
The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time, one of the best fantasy TV shows of all time, is another big world with a large cast of characters trying to squeeze into a television show, so it’s no surprise that it’s frequently compared to Game of Thrones, the current fantasy series heavyweight. Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a female sorceress, leads four young people on an epic adventure to ascertain which of them is the Dragon’s reincarnation.
His Dark Materials
What more can you ask for in a fantasy series than alternate universes, armored polar bears, witches, daemons, and a coming-of-age story running through it all? BBC One and HBO’s “His Dark Materials,” based on Philip Pullman’s novel series, captures much of the mystique of that realm with riveting performances from Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson and some stunning graphics. The first few episodes include a lot of explanation, but once the action begins, it really picks up.
The Magicians, Syfy’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy series, was dubbed “Harry Potter for adults” when it initially aired. However, what began as a coming-of-age story about a bunch of twenty-somethings discovering magic at a hidden university evolved into a darkly humorous examination of power, family, and love, and how they mold us. The Magicians, one of the new fantasy TV series, delivered startlingly fantasy peaks and astonishingly grounded emotional lows over the course of five seasons.
The Letter for the King
A little kid, Tiuri (Amir Wilson), finds himself on a mission to deliver a letter to the king warning him of a great darkness threatening the country, set in a medieval society where knights are still very much a thing. If you enjoyed The Witcher, you should definitely read this teen-oriented fantasy series. It shares many of the same aspects, such as a super-smart horse companion, a singing sidekick, and a slew of magic that threatens the realm’s fate. It is considered one of the top fantasy TV shows.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
“The Dark Crystal,” a 1982 film by Jim Henson, is a classic, creating the fantasy world of Thra with then-groundbreaking animatronics and establishing a long-lasting fanbase. So when Netflix announced a prequel series, it had a lot to live up to — and it succeeded admirably. “Age of Resistance” is an aesthetic and storytelling triumph that expands on the lore given in the original while also providing a brand new adventure as three Gelflings set out to start a revolt and protect their world.
The Umbrella Academy
Based on Gerard Way’s comic series, “The Umbrella Academy” follows a group of super-powered adoptive siblings as they reconnect to investigate the mystery of their father’s death — and learn about the impending apocalypse. The Umbrella Academy, one of the best fantasy series on Netflix, features slick action sequences, some unique superpowers, and genuine mystery, but the ensemble cast is where the real magic happens. Each character’s past and interactions with one another unfold slowly and thoughtfully, revealing far more than catches the eye.
Love, Death and Robots
Look no further than “Love, Death, and Robots,” an anthology of shorts all under 20 minutes long, if you’re looking for new sci-fi ideas that are both inventive and intriguing. The shorts all touch on one or more of the eponymous subjects, but they are all unique, spanning numerous animation styles and genres (and many include some graphic violence and sex scenes, so be noted that this entry is not one for the kids). Consider Love, Death and Robots, one of the best fantasy TV series, a taster plate for some entertaining fantasy experiments, while some of the better chapters will make you wish it was a complete meal.