Escape to Another World with the Best Fantasy Series on Netflix
When you’re in the mood to escape entirely, there’s nothing more perfect than a fantasy series. Creating a fully developed, immersive world where monsters, magic, and superpowers are all commonplace, fantasy series provide a mental release from the doldrums of regular life. Netflix offers dozens of fantasy series, but it’s hard to know where to begin.
A genuinely excellent fantasy series offers strong, developed characters, thoughtful and comprehensive world-building, and a substantial dose of the supernatural. It’s a tall order, so we’ve identified the very best fantasy series Netflix has to offer. Next time you feel like you need a new realm, start here.
Developed for Netflix from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular novel series, The Witcher is an epic fantasy tale. Henry Cavill stars as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire. In The Witcher’s fictional land of “the Continent”, monsters and assorted fantasy creatures abound, kingdoms rise and fall, and destiny is inescapable. Gloriously complex as the story works through various places and times, expect to lose yourself in The Witcher’s world completely.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance serves as a prequel for the 1982 Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal. Building on the fantasy world developed by Henson, Age of Resistance keeps with the film’s magic, taking place on the beautifully constructed planet Thra. This high fantasy tale delivers dynamic characters and a captivating plot that will enthrall audiences, young and old. Don’t let the muppets fool you. With an all-star voice cast and masterful storytelling, Age of Resistance is dynamic enough to thrill every fantasy lover.
The Shannara Chronicles
Based on the Sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles takes place in the fictional Four Lands, in a post-apocalyptic future. The series begins when demons begin to return after being banished, leaving its heroes to stop the demon army before destroying the universe. Fast-paced and sure to keep audiences enthralled, this fantasy series aimed at teens is full of gnomes, elves, living trees, and original characters.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
This animated American series centers around 12-year-old Aang, the last survivor of his nation, the Air Nomads. Aang possesses the ability to bend all four elements; earth, wind, fire, and water, and is responsible for maintaining harmony between the world’s four nations. Uniquely blending anime with American style cartoons, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been praised for everything from its themes to its soundtrack and is widely considered “one of the best animated series of all time”.
This ridiculously popular Chinese fantasy series became an international phenomenon upon its release in 2019. Based on the Chinese fantasy novel Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, The Untamed is full of beautifully choreographed fights, slow-burning romance, and elaborate symbolism. Following two soulmates with otherworldly powers who come together to unfurl the past, the series has a serious fandom. With over eight billion views on its original Chinese platform, The Untamed captured the attention of critics and audiences globally as they’ve watched and rewatched the captivating series.
Based on the Lev Grossman novel, The Magicians chiefly follows grad student Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph). Upon passing an exam in magic that he inexplicably performs well in, Quentin accepts an invitation to attend the Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. There he discovers that the premise of his favorite fantasy novels is real, and that’s not always a good thing. Offering impressive special effects, tongue in cheek humor, and tricky twists, this offbeat series is thoroughly entertaining.
Taking a fresh approach to the age-old King Arthur lore, Merlin sets the wizard and the would-be king up as young peers. While Merlin (Colin Morgan) still serves Prince Arthur (Bradley James), he now does so in a world where the current king, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), has banned magic. As Merlin moves from his role as a servant to Prince Arthur to a new king’s close friend, the characters develop surprising depth beyond the legend. Widely praised, this reimagining of the classic story offers a gripping new look at a timeless tale.
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time is a must-watch for any fairytale lover. This series begins as Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) moves to the town of Storybrooke with her 10-year-old son, Henry (Jared Gilmore). As Henry notices similarities between the town’s residents and fairytale characters, audiences learn their mythical backstories. Delightfully original and charming, Once Upon a Time offers a creative new approach to the stories we’ve all heard dozens of times.
Any series that boasts 15 seasons with a committed fan base is worth checking out, and Supernatural doesn’t disappoint. Following two brothers who hunt supernatural beings, the series manages to be fun and funny even while offering legitimate scares. Throughout Supernatural’s record-breaking tenure, the series has taken more risks, creating a fascinating and unpredictable storyline that keeps the series fresh and audiences coming back for more.
The Vampire Diaries
Based on the books by L.J. Smith, this supernatural teen fantasy series immediately engages its audiences. Vampire Diaries takes place in the fictional Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town full of paranormal phenomena. While the show’s focal plot centers on a teenage orphan who falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire, the town’s history and its constant threats from werewolves, ghosts, and witches quickly elevate the drama. With a stellar cast and fantastic writing, this series easily earns its status as one of the best Vampire shows of all time.
The Ministry of Time
The Ministry of Time is a brilliant Spanish fantasy series about a fictional secret government institution. Reporting directly to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Time deals with the repercussions of time travel, patrolling the doors of time so that no one can permanently alter fate. Possibly the best time travel series ever made, this smart and thoughtful show balances history, tragedy, and humor perfectly, creating a fully developed masterpiece.
The Almighty Johnsons
On Axl Johnson’s (Emmett Couling Skilton) 21st birthday, he finds out that his family is full of reincarnated Norse gods. Armed with this new information, it’s now his job to reinstate their powers and ensure their survival. Such is the captivating premise behind the New Zealand comedy-drama fantasy series, The Almighty Johnsons. Witty, sexy, and completely binge-worthy, this innovative series seamlessly blends the commonplace and the ethereal to create an enthralling show.
Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Created by Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia is a computer-animated fantasy series. The story centers around a teenage boy who stumbles upon an amulet that enlightens him to a secret world. Considered the best children’s animation to come along since Avatar: The Last Airbender. Trollhunters won more Daytime Emmys than any other show in 2017. Its success has spawned a trilogy of series by del Toro, with the other series 3Below and Wizards both taking place in Arcadia’s same universe.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell
Based on Susanna Clarke’s novel of the same name, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is a seven-part historical fantasy series set in England during the Napoleonic Wars. By the early 19th century, magic has fallen out of fashion, but Gilbert Norell (Eddie Marsan) and Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) are destined to bring it back. Widely acclaimed upon its release, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell is touted as Harry Potter for adults and offers a thrilling magical adventure.