The Best 21 Sci-fi TV Shows to Watch on Netflix, HBO Max, Prime, Hulu, and Apple TV

Streaming services have surpassed almost every aspect of conventional terrestrial television and cable boxes. The internet-enabled entertainment platform offers instant access to thousands of sci-fi movies and sci-fi TV shows. Both the freshly released, and popular titles from way back when. If you are fan of sci-fi, there has never been a better time to catch up on the genre’s all-time greats on your favorite streaming services. Check out our choices and see if you think they’re as good as we think they are. We’ve ranked the shows from 21 to 1. Let us know if you agree with our rankings.

Netflix | HBO Max | Amazon Prime | Hulu | Apple TV

sci-fi tv shows: love death robots

21. Love, Death + Robots – Netflix

With seemingly countless options of TV series and movies, choosing what to watch on Netflix on any given day can be a dizzying task. For the die-hard fans of science fiction, very few shows give the kind of excitement and thrill that Love, Death + Robots can deliver. It’s a perfect blend of wild imagination and artistry wrapped in a beautifully designed package. Every episode is concise, exhilarating, and often lethal.

sci-fi tv shows: the orville

20. The Orville – Hulu

No one will blame you for saying that The Orville looks a lot like Star Trek, because the former is actually based on the latter. The person behind the series is Seth McFarlane, who also portrays Ed Mercer – the Captain of USS Orville. While similar in some respects to Star Trek, in everything else The Orville is more comedic in nature. It is fun and surprisingly thoughtful at the same time.

sci-fi tv shows: the x files

19. The X-Files – Hulu

If your idea of science fiction revolves around a wide range of topics from cannibals, aliens, monsters, UFOs, and artificial intelligence, then a TV series won’t be more comprehensive than The X-Files. It is a timeless classic and the Monster-of-the-Week format serves to show how a believer (Mulder) and a skeptic (Scully) come together in search for the truth. The X-Files explores the often inexplicable line between science and faith.

sci-fi tv shows: mad max fury road

18. Mad Max: Fury Road – HBO Max

Seasoned critics and scholars agree that Mad Max: Fury Road has it all. The post-apocalyptic theme is taken to an entirely new level with a combination of great acting, choreography, screenplay, stunts, and an overall action-packed craziness. Tom Hardy dealt with the monumental challenge to step into Mel Gibson’s shoes as Max, and he delivered a winning performance. That said, MMFR is one of those movies with Charlize Theron where she basically steals the show. And that’s not an easy feat to pull off when Tom Hardy is an ever-present partner. Her character, Furiosa, seems “furious” all along the road.

sci-fi tv shows: the lost children

17. The City of Lost Children – Amazon Prime

Krank is a Frankenstein-like creature and unable to dream. In The City of Lost Children, this inability to dream makes Krank age much sooner than he should. In his struggle to defy the condition, he comes up with a plan to steal dreams from children’s mind and put them into his own. The protagonist, One, figures out the evil plan and does his best to prevent Krank from embarking on a dream-mining venture.

sci-fi tv shows: solaris

16. Solaris – Apple TV

It is not the 2002 movie starring George Clooney and directed by Steven Soderbergh, but a 1972 Russian film directed and co-written by Andrei Tarkovsky. Unlike most western sci-fi films which, according to Tarkovsky, focused too much on the technological invention, Solaris was an attempt to re-connect the nature of space exploration with human fears of the unknown. The film demonstrates how such a relationship might affect our understanding of life and death. Solaris (1972) still stands today as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever produced.

sci-fi tv shows: hunger games

15. The Hunger Games – Hulu

It has been a while since The Hunger Games came to its conclusion. A prequel to the original series is in development. But still in pre-production and will not see the big screen until at least late next year. About six years ago, at the end of Mockingjay – Part 2, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) said that there were much worse games to play. Perhaps in the prequel more will be revealed about those games. But at the moment the existing films are still as fantastic as ever.

14. Predator – Amazon Prime

A big portion of Predator is military-style combat action deep in the woods of a Central American rainforest. The sci-fi part is single-handedly delivered by the Predator. A hi-tech creature from an alien civilization which apparently is on a visit to Earth for a hunt. The blend of sci-fi and horror was an absolute thrill in this 1987 film. And the visual effects and simplicity of the dialogue still hold up well today. Arnold Swarzenegger is at his physical peak in this fast-paced and somewhat gory movie.

13. Vivarium – Amazon Prime

It is the story of a young couple’s dream of having an ideal home that turns into a creepy tale of imprisonment. The premise of Vivarium bears a resemblance to Episode 73 of the classic sci-fi horror anthology The Twilight Zone titled “It’s a Good Life” in which Peaksville is a concentration camp disguised as a small village under the control of a spoiled child with godlike powers. In Vivarium, Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots become unwitting residents of the village by merely looking at House 9. And being forever forced to return there without understanding how. The show depicts how humans must get along with parasites if they ever want to be set free.

12. Record of Ragnarok – Netflix

For the ardent fans of anime and sci-fi, Record of Ragnarok will give you just the right dose of both to satisfy your craving. The storyline doesn’t run over and over in an endless circle. So the pace makes it an excellent series for a binge watch. Moreover, the familiar tournament-style battles between human and gods are still popular. As those wild and crazy gods always determine that humans are worthless and must be rendered extinct, hence, a tournament! There are numerous Netflix anime shows you can watch now, but Record of Ragnarok deserves a top spot on any list.

11. Moon – Apple TV

Streaming services can often lead you to discover some hidden gems of the cinema world. Take the 2009 sci-fi film Moon for example. It didn’t make as much money as Interstellar. But the story makes you think hard about human ideals in the midst of our growing reliance on artificial intelligence. Moon shares the adventures of miner Sam Bell during his three-years of Helium-3 mining exploration. Accompanied by an AI named GERTY, he stumbles upon a clone of himself on the far side of the moon. The story takes off from there. Give Moon a look, we think you’ll like it!

10. District 9 – Apple TV

There really isn’t much surprising about District-9, a sci-fi film based on human interaction with extraterrestrial beings. But unlike most movies of the same theme where the existence of humans is threatened by the presence of aliens, District-9 offers an opposing perspective that shows how aliens on Earth are at the mercy of humanity. It’s as simple as it is strikingly original. While the action scenes of lasers against bullets are still to be expected, the movie is more about character drama than guns blazing and shows the best and worst of humanity.

9. The Tomorrow War – Amazon Prime

Nothing about The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt, is groundbreaking. There’s a little bit of Starship Troopers in the way the action was directed, and another part seems reminiscent of Interstellar in the dramatic father-daughter relationship. Despite the lack of originality, the movie offers spectacular action with first-rate creatures to boot. It never made its theater release, but currently it is an Amazon Prime movie free offering. We liked it despite its possible borrowed creative roots.

8. Babylon 5 – Amazon Prime

Behind Babylon 5 there was not a massive budget to afford stunning visual effects of the future. However, what it lacked in money, it made up for in fresh ideas of the time. The entire series is now largely regarded as an early form of “novel for television” where each episode serves as a chapter. You will find many similarities between Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Which created a legal controversy that became too cumbersome to be brought to court. Legal issues aside, Babylon 5 turned out to become a top cult show. And now you can binge watch it without all those irritating commercials!

7. Westworld – HBO Max

The original 1973 Westworld was the first feature film to use pixelization effect, simulating the point of view of an android. The low-budget film was transformed into audience-captivating 300-million-dollar series by HBO, spanning 28 episodes in three seasons. Both shows deliver the same basic premise of a robot theme park in disarray. The series features big name stars like Thandiwe Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, and Anthony Hopkins. And it’s one of the few modern shows to be shot on Kodak film for a softer look and later digitized.

6. The Old Guard – Netflix

Four warriors, originating from different wars throughout human history, are blessed with immortality. They stopped growing older at some point in their lives. And whatever wounds they sustained from battles would heal quickly. Now they are hunted by villainous, albeit mere mortal, adversaries looking to uncover the secret of immortality and to monetize it. Based on a comic book of the same name, The Old Guard stays true to the source material for the most part. The straightforwardness of the story makes it one of the most enjoyable and best Netflix science fiction movies right now.

5. Doctor Who – HBO Max

Inside the time travelling machine disguised as an all-familiar British police box, Time Lord is a vagabond exploring the universe to help those in need. Initially intended by the BBC as an educational series that focused on science and history, the series took a major shift toward science fiction beginning in Season 5 of the original classic era. Doctor Who ended in 1989 only to be revived in 2005. Many actors have portrayed the doctor throughout the decades; the latest one (the 13th doctor) is Jodie Whittaker.

4. Futurama – Hulu

During the New Year’s Eve celebration of 1999, pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry fell into a cryogenic tube and woke up exactly 1000 years later. And the rest is history (or the future). Excited by the idea of never having to see his girlfriend again, his celebration is immediately cut short. As he realizes how far-reaching the big government had grown to be. Every mission in his pizza route (he of course remained a pizza deliverer) becomes a fun and perspective-bending adventure.

3. Osmosis – Netflix

A very specific approach into sci-fi genre, Osmosis revolves around the future of dating apps. The series explores the possibility of finding everybody’s perfect soulmate through science. The experiment involves planting a dating app into participants’ brains. Which allows it to collect information based on which it will formulate the characteristics of a perfect match. But Osmosis has another twist in store as the implanted app also reveals everyone’s darkest secrets. The shortcut to a perfect love turns out to be a rough road for soul-searching.

2. The Blackout – Amazon Prime

On the broader scheme of sci-fi, The Blackout offers the old-fashioned story of alien invasion to Earth. Previously, the planet has been attacked by a mysterious form of power that reduced the world into a population without electricity. The only area where the electric power remains is a part of Eastern Europe. Thanks to the moon’s position that blocked the mysterious force. Everyone is now concentrated in the area to defend against a possible extraterrestrial threat. The story is familiar, but the action is enjoyable; it’s as simple as that.

Best Sci-fi Series on Netflix: star trek

1. Star Trek: Next Generation – Hulu

A continuation of the original and animated series, Star Trek: The Next Generation sets out on an adventure in the 24th century with an all new crew. The starship Enterprise-D is now under the command of Captain Picard (portrayed by Patrick Stewart). It originally aired from September 1987 to May 1994, spanning 7 seasons with a total of 178 episodes. Star Trek: The Next Generation was an exceedingly popular show back in the day, captivating 12 million viewers in the 5th season.

What do you think of these shows? We’d love to hear your opinion, so please, drop us a line.
If you liked this, then check out 13 Best Sci-fi Series on Netflix!