From murder mysteries to police procedurals, crime dramas have become a staple in television, leaving us all on the edge of our seats until the end. 

In this article, I’ll go through nine intense crime dramas that have received critical acclaim and kept me and thousands of others guessing with every twist and turn. 

1 Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)

Breaking Bad (2008–2013)

“Breaking Bad” is a crime drama masterpiece that follows the transformation of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturer. 

As his life spirals into the criminal underworld, the show explores themes of morality, power, and the consequences of one’s choices. 

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This show was a rollercoaster of emotions, but I loved every second. The clever writing and intense scenes make this a must-see!

With its tense and emotionally charged storytelling, “Breaking Bad” keeps viewers hooked from the first episode until the explosive finale.

2 True Detective (2014 – Present)

True Detective

An anthology series with each season featuring new storylines and characters, “True Detective” delves into dark and atmospheric crime investigations. 

Each season provides a different perspective on crime-solving, with complex characters and haunting mysteries. I enjoyed this series because it kept me on my toes and fully invested in the stories.

The show’s compelling performances and thought-provoking narratives have made it a standout in the crime drama.

3 Mindhunter (2017 – 2019)

Mindhunter (2017 - 2019)

Inspired by actual events, “Mindhunter” follows FBI agents as they delve into the minds of serial killers to understand and profile their behaviors. 

This was such an eye-opening series! It gripped me as it unfolded the terrifying motives behind criminals and how they think.

It is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the show offers a chilling and psychologically intense exploration of criminal psychology. 

With meticulous attention to detail and chilling performances, “Mindhunter” is a gripping crime drama.

4 Sherlock (2010 – 2017)

Sherlock (2010 - 2017)

“Sherlock” reimagines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective in a contemporary setting, with Benedict Cumberbatch portraying Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. 

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I enjoyed how the show blends classic detective work with modern technology, offering clever mysteries and charismatic performances. 

“Sherlock” has become a global phenomenon with intricate cases and memorable character dynamics.

5 The Wire (2002 – 2008)

The Wire (2002–2008)

“The Wire” is a critically acclaimed crime drama that explores the interconnected worlds of law enforcement, drug dealers, schools, and the media in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The show offers a nuanced and realistic portrayal of the city’s complex social issues and the challenges faced by both the police and the criminals they pursue. 

With the show’s expansive scope and layered storytelling, “The Wire” has definitely impacted the crime drama genre.

6 Fargo (2014 – Present)

Fargo: The Crocodile's Dilemma (2014)

Inspired by the Coen Brothers’ film of the same name, “Fargo” presents an anthology series each season featuring new characters and storylines, which kept me invested and easily entertained! 

The show blends dark humor, crime, and unexpected twists in its captivating narratives. 

With stellar performances and clever storytelling, “Fargo” has earned critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase.

7 Broadchurch (2013 – 2017)

Broadchurch (2013 - 2017)

“Broadchurch” is a British crime drama investigating a young boy’s murder in a small coastal town. 

The show skillfully explores the impact of the crime on the tight-knit community and the detectives tasked with solving the case. 

With its compelling character development and gripping mystery, “Broadchurch” kept me guessing until the truth was finally revealed!

8 Narcos (2015 – 2017)

Narcos (2015 - 2017)

“Narcos” chronicles the rise and fall of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín drug cartel. This was an enjoyable watch, and it shocked me to discover the ins and outs of how cartels and transactions take place!

The show offers a riveting account of the drug trade and the efforts of law enforcement to bring down one of the world’s most wanted criminals. 

With intense action sequences and a gripping narrative based on actual events, “Narcos” has become a binge-worthy crime drama.

9 Line of Duty (2012 – Present)

Line of Duty

“Line of Duty” follows an anti-corruption unit in the British police force as they investigate corrupt officers and complex criminal conspiracies. 

The show’s intense cat-and-mouse game between the officers and those they seek to expose has undoubtedly earned it a spot on our list!

With its high-stakes investigations and suspenseful storytelling, “Line of Duty” keeps viewers on edge until the end.

Personal Opinion on These Dramatical Masterpieces

These intense crime dramas have been a total thrill for me! 

Each show kept me hooked with its suspense, mystery, and intriguing storylines, which left me guessing until the end. 

From Walter White’s transformation in “Breaking Bad” to the chilling investigations in “Mindhunter,” these crime dramas impressed me.

“True Detective” had me on the edge of my seat with its haunting atmosphere, and “Sherlock” brought a fresh twist to the classic detective story. 

“The Wire” felt honest with its portrayal of crime and its impact on society, while “Fargo” cleverly mixed dark humor with crime.

“Broadchurch” had me emotionally invested in its suspenseful mystery, and “Narcos” took me on a gripping journey through the rise and fall of a drug lord. 

“Line of Duty” hooked me with its intense investigations and the thrilling cat-and-mouse game between corrupt officers and the law.

Crime Dramas That Will Keep You Guessing Until the Very End…

I recommend watching these intense crime dramas if you love crime-solving, mysteries, and captivating characters. 

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You’ll be on the edge of your seat, wholly engrossed in their world. So, grab some snacks, get comfy, and enjoy the exciting ride into the world of crime dramas!

Pia Vermaak

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Pia Vermaak is an accomplished digital marketing agency owner and professional content writer with a remarkable track record in the industry.

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