If you enjoy watching a good crime drama on TV, then you’re really going to love our top 10 list of the greatest crime series ever made. If you haven’t watched one of these, you should. You definitely should.
1. The Wire – # of Seasons: 5 (2002-2008) – Status: Completed

Set in the crime-ridden city of Baltimore, Maryland, ‘The Wire’ goes far beyond a standard crime drama and truly tells the story of an American city dealing with a vast amount of problems. The show begins with a focus on the illegal drug trade, before delving deeper into Baltimore’s other issues.
If you only have time to watch one show on this entire list, it should definitely be this one.
2. Breaking Bad – # of Seasons: 5 (2008-2013) – Status: Completed

A genius high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with lung cancer and finds himself unable to pay for his treatment or to secure his family’s financial future. In a desperate attempt to improve his situation, he begins cooking meth with one of his ex-students.
‘Breaking Bad’ is easily the best crime series since ‘The Wire’ (and we could even see it topping someone else’s top 10 list).
3. Boardwalk Empire – # of Seasons: 4 (Started in 2010) – Status: Renewed for 5th season.

Set during the Prohibition era in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the story of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ mainly focuses on the uncontested crime boss of the city, Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson.
With its unique visual style and the inclusion of some well-known historical figures into the plot, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ snatches up our #3 spot with ease.
4. Deadwood – # of Seasons: 3 (2004-2006) – Status: Completed

How can a show with only three seasons even be in our top 10 list? Because ‘Deadwood’ probably would have been the best show ever, if it had been continued.
Set in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s, this particular crime series features various acts of crime and corruption that riddle the town. As with ‘Boardwalk Empire’ – and ‘The Wire’ for that matter – ‘Deadwood’ featured several historical figures as characters on the show. You could almost say it’s ‘based on a true story’. Almost.
5. True Detective – # of Seasons: 1 (2014) – Status: More seasons to come.

Basing our judgement off of the one season of ‘True Detective’, we firmly placed it at #5 with the expectation that it will probably move up the list as the show adds more seasons. Of course, there is the chance that future seasons completely destroy this crime series and bump it down a few spots (potentially even off the list completely). Only time will tell!
The first season of ‘True Detective’ featured actors Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives during their hunt of a serial killer in Louisiana, which lasted 17 years. The use of multiple timelines give this show a unique feel. There are some scenes in the first season that made us wonder if we should bump it up a few spots on this list!
Future seasons will most likely tell completely different stories with a different cast. We’ll be staying tuned for that!
6. Justified – # of Seasons: 5 (Started in 2010) – Status: Likely to end after season 6.

The main character on ‘Justified’ is U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens (portrayed by Timothy Olyphant), who is transferred from Miami back to his hometown in the hill country of eastern Kentucky (specifically Harlan County).
Being somewhat of an old school, Old West style lawman makes Givens the perfect fit to enforce the law on what you could call hillbilly criminals.
7. Banshee – # of Seasons: 2 (Started in 2013) – Status: Renewed for 3rd season.

An ex-convict and boss thief takes on the identity of the dead sheriff in the town of Banshee. His past catches up to him soon after. Prepare for some of the best fight scenes you’ll ever witness on any TV show.
8. The Sopranos – # of Seasons: 6 (1999-2007) – Status: Completed

Because you can’t have this list without this show on it obviously. In case you’re unaware, it centers on the New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (portrayed by James Gandolfini) as he deals with personal and business problems.
9. Sons of Anarchy – # of Seasons: 6 (Started in 2008) – Status: Likely to end after season 7.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ tells the story of an outlaw motorcycle club in the fictional town of Charming, California. The primary focus is on the club’s vice president (initially) Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller, a biker gang member in his 30s trying to make sense out of his life, while planning for the future.
The club itself mainly deals in illegal arms and by extension has to deal with all the problems that accompany this endeavor. It’s not your average crime drama given the biker twist, so we definitely think this one is worth a watch.
10. The Shield – # of Seasons: 7 – Status: Completed

If you want a straight up ‘cop show’, this is a great one. The plot revolves around a corrupt LA police precinct and primarily Detective Vic Mackey. He, among others in the precinct, isn’t above breaking a few rules to get the job done.
 
Other crime shows worth mentioning: Luther, Dexter, Hannibal, The Blacklist, Orange Is the New Black, Person of Interest, Oz, Hawaii Five-O, and Castle.