There are so many shows on Netflix, it can be hard to choose. But here are 20 of the best science fiction and fantasy shows that are currently streaming on Netflix. All shows are currently streaming in the US as of the date of this article. The choices are the author's own and may differ from other's preferences, but these are good choices to start with. The show descriptions come from IMDB.

Arrow

  • Date Premiered: 10/10/2012
  • Original Channel: CW
  • Seasons: 8
  • Episodes: 170
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5
  • Cast: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne, Willa Holland
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What's it about? Oliver Queen and his father are lost at sea when their luxury yacht sinks, apparently in a storm. His father dies, but Oliver survives for five years on an uncharted island and eventually returns home. But he wasn't alone on the island where he learned not only how to fight and survive but also of his father's corruption and unscrupulous business dealings. He returns to civilization a changed man, determined to put things right. He disguises himself with the hood of one of his mysterious island mentors, arms himself with a bow and sets about hunting down the men and women who have corrupted his city.

Why should you watch? For the longest time, the story was that Marvel won the movie war and DC won TV. Arrow was the show that launched the CW DC universe and without it, nothing else from the CW would have happened. Much like the MCU's Iron Man, it is the foundation for the CW DC shows.

Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra

  • Date Premiered: 2/12/2005 / 4/14/2012
  • Original Channel: Nickelodeon /
  • Seasons: 3 / 4
  • Episodes: 62 / 52
  • IMDB Rating: 9.3 / 8.4
  • Cast: Dee Bradley Baker, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman / Janet Varney, P. J. Byrne, David Faustino

What's it about?Avatar: The Last Airbender: The world is divided into four elemental nations: The Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. The Avatar upholds the balance between the nations, but everything changed when the Fire Nation invaded. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can stop them. But when the world needs him most, he vanishes. A hundred years later Katara and Sokka discover the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. Together they must help Aang master the elements and save the world.

The Legend of Korra: Taking place 70 years after the events of "Avatar: The Last Airbende r," this story follows the adventures of the Avatar after Aang - a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra. With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air. Her quest leads her to the epicenter of the modern "Avatar" world, Republic City - a metropolis that is fueled by steampunk technology. It is a virtual melting pot where benders and non-benders from all nations live and thrive. However, Korra discovers that Republic City is plagued by crime as well as a growing anti-bending revolution that threatens to rip it apart. Under the tutelage of Aang's son, Tenzin, Korra begins her airbending training while dealing with the dangers at large.

Why should you watch? This is a two-fer so you're actually getting 21 shows in the article. Sorry. Not sorry. They're bundled together because they tell one long story. Although there have been multiple attempts to reboot this show, the original is still the best version.

Jupiter's Legacy

  • Date Premiered: 5/7/2021
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 8
  • IMDB Rating: 6.8
  • Cast: Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb

What's it about? The first generation of superheroes kept the world safe for 90 years. Now the years are different, the world is changing and the enemies are getting stronger. It is time for the new generation of superheroes to accept the legacy of their fathers and to continue their work based on morality and justice.

Why should you watch? Although it was cancelled after only one season (and it was a very controversial cancellation) Jupiter's Legacy is a show that deserves a second chance. The cast is rumored to be trying to find a new home for a second season, so catch up now for when they do.

Lost In Space

  • Date Premiered: 4/13/2018
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 2 (3rd and final season premieres in 2021)
  • Episodes: 20 (Season 3 will bring it to 30 total)
  • IMDB Rating: 7.3
  • Cast: Maxwell Jenkins, Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwell, Ignacio Serricchio, Parker Posey

What's it about? Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survgive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination. Stranded along with the Robinsons are two outsiders who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and a mutual knack for deception. The charismatic Dr. Smith is a master manipulator with an inscrutable end game. And the roguish, but charming Don West is a highly-skilled, blue collar contractor, who had no intention of joining the colony, let alone crash landing on a lost planet.

Why should you watch? There have been multiple attempts to reboot the cult classic, and this is the latest. But this is also the most faithful to the original. And it also has the blessing of the original Will Robinson, Bill Mumy.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

  • Date Premiered: 9/24/2013
  • Original Channel: ABC
  • Seasons: 7
  • Episodes: 136
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Ian De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons

What's it about? After the Battle of New York, the world has changed. It now knows not only about the Avengers, but also the powerful menaces that require those superheroes and more to face them. In response, Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division assembles an elite covert team to find and deal with these threats wherever they are found. With a world rapidly becoming more bizarre and dangerous than ever before as the supervillains arise, these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready to take them on.

Why should you watch? It took a bit to find its footing, but Agents of SHIELD is a well written story. Although in the beginning it ties into the MCU (with Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury making several appearances in season 1) it quickly breaks off and does its own thing. And that is when the show really shines. Plus, there is a wonderful appearance from Stan Lee in season 1.

Marvel's Daredevil

  • Date Premiered: 4/10/2015
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 39
  • IMDB Rating: 8.6
  • Cast: Charlie Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Eldon Henson

What's it about? As a child Matt Murdock was blinded by a chemical spill in a freak accident. Instead of limiting him it gave him superhuman senses that enabled him to see the world in a unique and powerful way. Now he uses these powers to deliver justice, not only as a lawyer in his own law firm, but also as vigilante at night, stalking the streets of Hell's Kitchen as Daredevil, the man without fear.

Why should you watch? As stated before, it had long been said that Marvel won with movies and DC won with TV. Daredevil is where that began to change. A gritty story, Daredevil doesn't try to do too much. And although he doesn't have the pure size you would expect for the Kingpin, Vincent D'Onofrio brings such a presence to Wilson Fisk that you just want to see more!

Marvel's Jessica Jones

  • Date Premiered: 11/20/2015
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 39
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9
  • Cast: Krysten Ritter, Rachel Taylor, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Tennant

What's it about? Ever since her short-lived stint as a superhero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic private detective in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need. Especially if they're willing to cut her a check.

Why should you watch? Jessica Jones has one of the most intriguing villains in all of the MCU in Kilgrave played brilliantly (and creepily) by David Tenant.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Date Premiered: 1995
  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 26
  • IMDB Rating: 8.5

What's it about? When the Angels start attacking the planet Earth in the year 2015, only a handful of 14-year-old EVA pilots are able to stop them. Young Shinji Ikari suddenly finds himself forced to pilot EVA-01, a giant organic mecha, designed and constructed by NERV, that is the only thing that can stop the Angels.

Why should you watch? Neon Genesis Evangelion is considered THE anime to watch by many anime fans. It is a fun yet serious story and the characters are well written.



Outlander

  • Date Premiered: 8/9/2014
  • Original Channel: Starz
  • Seasons: 5+
  • Episodes: 67+
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4
  • Cast: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Duncan Lacroix

What's it about? Follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world in which her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Why should you watch? Scotsmen, romance, time travel. This show has something for everyone. Also renewed for at least one more season beyond the one currently filming so there is plenty more story coming.

Shadow and Bone

  • Date Premiered: 4/23/2021
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 1+
  • Episodes: 8+
  • IMDB Rating: 7.8
  • Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux

What's it about? In a world where dark forces have taken over, a young mapmaker, Alina Starkov, accidentally discovers that she has the power to change the fate of the war. She is the only one who has the power to summon light and this will make her play a key role in this war.

Why should you watch?Shadow and Bone was highly anticipated and the show did not disappoint when it premiered. It was quickly renewed for a second season so the story will continue to undold.

The Shannara Chronicles

  • Date Premiered: 1/5/2016
  • Original Channel: MTv
  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 20
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2
  • Cast: Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, Aaron Jakubenko, Poppy Drayton

What's it about? An Elvish tree, known as the Ellcrys, is dying. The bad news is that the tree has been the only piece of magic that protects the Four Lands from the Demon World. Amberle Elessedil is the only one who can save the tree. But she has to unlock magic that the Elves haven't used in thousands of years. With the help of Wil Ohmsford, she travels to find the lost magic. But it won't be an easy task.

Why should you watch? The producers were smart and skipped the first book in Terry Brooks' Shannara series instead opting to base the show off the Elfstones of Shannara instead which makes for a better story to begin with. Add in some inspired casting and Terry Brooks himself helping to oversee the show, and you have a must see.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

  • Date Premiered: 1/3/1993
  • Original Channel: CBS
  • Seasons: 7
  • Episodes: 173
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0
  • Cast: Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor, Colm Meaney, Armin Shimmerman, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, Rene Auberjonois, Cirric Lofton, Michael Dorn

What's it about? The stable wormhole discovered by the Deep Space Nine crew is known to the Bajoran people as the Celestial Temple of their Prophets. Sisko, as discoverer of the wormhole and its inhabitants, is therefore the Emissary of Bajoran prophesy. The wormhole's other end is in the Gamma Quadrant, halfway around the galaxy from Bajor. That section of space is dominated by the malevolent Dominion. The Dominion is led by the Changelings, the race of shapeshifters to which Odo belongs. As of the beginning of the sixth season, Cardassia has joined the Dominion, and together they are waging war on the Federation and their Klingon allies. The war is quickly becoming the most costly war ever for the Federation, and the Deep Space Nine crew must fight to protect their way of life.

Why should you watch?Deep Space Nine is often thought of as the red headed stepchild of Star Trek. It doesn't follow the same rules. And unlike its predecessors, it doesn't necessarily follow the "story of the week" format either. Each episode is a separate story but where Deep Space Nine really shines is the fact that each episode is also part of a larger arc.

Stargate SG-1

  • Date Premiered: 7/27/1997
  • Original Channel: Showtime
  • Seasons: 10
  • Episodes: 213
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4
  • Cast: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Michael Jackson, Don S. Davis, Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges

What's it about? General Hammond summons Colonel Jack O'Neill out of retirement to embark on a secret rescue mission. O'Neill confesses that he disobeyed orders to destroy the Stargate on Planet Abydos, and that scientist Daniel Jackson may still be alive. Arriving on Abydos with his team, O'Neill meets up once again with the scientist, who has discovered a giant elaborate cartouche in hieroglyphics. All signs point to the fact that this is a map of many Stargates that exist throughout the galaxy - a development that makes the dream of the SG-1 team to travel throughout the universe in time a reality.

Why should you watch? This is considered to be the best part of the Stargate universe by many fans. With talk of a new series coming, it's definitely time for a rewatch! There are episodes to make you laugh and cry.

Stranger Things

  • Date Premiered: 7/15/2016
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 3+
  • Episodes: 25+
  • IMDB Rating: 8.7
  • Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

What's it about? In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child, which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town, while a few of the locals begin to understand that there's more going on than meets the eye.

Why should you watch?Stranger Things is the biggest Netflix Original to date and it is full of 80s nostalgia. There is a reason this show has gotten a cult following.

Thunderbirds Are Go

  • Date Premiered: 4/15/2016
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 3
  • Episodes: 78
  • IMDB Rating: 6.8
  • Cast: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Rasmus Hardiker, David Menkin, Keyvan Novak, Rosamund Pike

What's it about? Remake of the hit 1960's "Supermarionation" television show. In the 21st century, Jeff Tracy, a former astronaut, amasses a colossal fortune and decides that he must use it to benefit others. His answer to this desire is to create International Rescue, a unique private emergency response service equipped with customized designed vehicles and equipment that enable the organization to react to any crisis whether it be in sea, air, land, or space. Jeff's five sons volunteer to operate as the pilots and field agents, as well as "Brains" (real name unknown) who acts as the teams' technical developer and engineer. In addition, Jeff's friend, Kyrano and his daughter Tanusha aka Kayo (based on the original series Tin-Tin character) agree to be the support staff. In addition to the field team, IR also maintains an intelligence network with Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward and her ex-con chauffeur, Parker as the chief agents in this arm. The series depicts this team as they answer various calls for help around and beyond the world while they prevent enemies like the Hood, Uncle to Kayo, from learning and exploiting their secrets. We join the story when Jeff (and probably Kyrano) is missing - presumed dead - and his family are having to continue with his legacy still hoping he might be found safe. Kayo is now head of security and Grandma (who is a poor cook) is in charge of mealtimes!

Why should you watch? Remakes can be hit or miss. This one is a hit. A faithful reworking of the original, this version doesn't try to be something the original wasn't.

The Twilight Zone

  • Date Premiered: 10/2/1959
  • Original Channel: CBS
  • Seasons: 5
  • Episodes: 156
  • IMDB Rating: 9.0
  • Cast: Rod Serling

What's it about? The Twilight Zone is a place that exists at any moment of time, of space or of mind....but always when you least expect it. When you find yourself in this realm of unlimited possibility, be careful what you say or do. The right decisions may help you find your way back out....sometimes with greater happiness and wealth. The wrong decisions often lead to madness and death, or an eternity trapped in this dimension. Tread warily past the sign post ahead that says you've entered, The Twilight Zone

Why should you watch? There have been multiple reboots of The Twilight Zone but the original is still one of the single most important science fiction shows of all time. So many other shows would not have happened were it not for the original Twilight Zone.

The Umbrella Academy

  • Date Premiered: 2/10/2019
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 2+
  • Episodes: 20+
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0
  • Cast: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Casteneda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher

What's it about? On the same day in October 1989, forty-three infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Seven are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire industrialist, who creates The Umbrella Academy and prepares his "children" to save the world. But not everything went according to plan. In their teenage years, the family fractured and the team disbanded. Now almost thirty years old, the six surviving members reunite upon the news of Hargreeves' passing. Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Vanya and Number Five work together to solve a mystery surrounding their father's death. But the estranged family once again begins to come apart due to their divergent personalities and abilities, not to mention the imminent threat of a global apocalypse.

Why should you watch? Superhero shows and movies are all the rage, of course. And this one takes a different take on the genre. It is a refreshing take to not have the same story told over again.

Vikings

  • Date Premiered: 3/3/2013
  • Original Channel: History Channel
  • Seasons: 6
  • Episodes: 93
  • IMDB Rating: 8.5
  • Cast: Katheryn Winnick, Gustaf Skarsgard, Alexander Ludwig, Georgia Hirst, Adam Copeland

What's it about? The adventures of a Ragnar Lothbrok: the greatest hero of his age. The series tells the saga of Ragnar's band of Viking brothers and his family as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods: legend has it that he was a direct descendant of Odin, the god of war and warriors.

Why should you watch? This is, albeit fictional, a reasonable depiction of life as a Viking. And with Netflix commissioning a spinoff, now is a good time to watch the original!

Voltron: Legendary Defender

  • Date Premiered: 12/20/2019
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 8
  • Episodes: 76
  • IMDB Rating: 8.1
  • Cast: Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Taylor Labine, Kimberly Brooks, Stephen Yeun

What's it about? After Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk, and Shiro are sent into space in a blue lion, they find two "alteans" by the names of Allura and Coran who have been frozen in crypto-pods for ten thousand years. They then discover that they must each pilot one of the robotic lions of Voltron, and defend the universe from an alien species called the "galra", and there evil emperor "Zarkon."

Why should you watch? The original Voltron was big on action but short on story. This reboot fixes that and actually really gives the plot a full reworking. Fans of the original will be pleasantly surprised by how the story's fleshing out makes the show better.

The Witcher

  • Date Premiered: 12/20/2019
  • Original Channel: Netflix Original
  • Seasons: 1+
  • Episodes: 8+
  • IMDB Rating: 8.2
  • Cast: Henry Cavill, Anna Shaffer, Freya Allen

What's it about? The Witcher is an American fantasy drama web television series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix. It is based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than monsters and beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a special gift, the three must learn to navigate independently the increasingly volatile Continent.

Why should you watch? Netflix did its best to stay true to the source material, both the books and the video games, for this tv show. Henry Cavill shines as Geralt, a very different role from his time as Superman.