The best fantasy shows streaming on Netflix

In the world of television, fantasy series can appeal to a wide range of viewers, such as teenagers looking for allegorical depictions of their real-life experiences, and adults, who might want to watch something well-plotted with a fantastical element running through it.

Netflix boasts an impressive library of back catalog series, including several that haven’t aired in years, acquired from major networks. In addition, Netflix produces many of its own series, some of which are worth taking some time to sit down and enjoy. Fantasy, in the era of streaming, doesn’t have to be so out of reach.

10 The Witcher

The Witcher is a fantasy drama based on a video game series, which, in turn, is adapted from a series of novels by Polish author Andrej Sapkowski. Set on “The Continent”, the story follows Geralt of Rivia – a monster hunter – and Cirilla, the princess of Cintra. The two main characters are connected in a mysterious way, and the series has a slow, methodical pace.

The Witcher is full of medieval fantasy action and intriguing characters. With season three on the way, it’s a good time to dive into the world of the continent.

9 Arcana

To think that Arcane is based on the lore of a massively popular multiplayer game is a little confusing. However, the mythos of League of Legends is rich and complex, suitable for world-building. The show stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Bumblebee, Edge of Seventeen) as Violet, aka Vi.

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Along with her sister, the two navigate a powder keg scenario: the technological disparity between the utopian supercity, Piltover, and Zaun, where the 99 percent live. As tensions rise, the sisters are forced to choose sides. Season 2 is currently in production.

8 Shadow And Bone

Based on the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and the Six Crows duology (together, parts of the ever-expanding Grishaverse), Shadow and Bone follows an orphaned cartographer named Alina Starkov, who discovers that Grisha is a being with the ability to manipulate matter at the molecular level. As it happens, Alina’s gifts could potentially serve a greater universal good. However, conspiratorial forces are at work that want to kill Alina, along with the other Grishas she meets on her journey. The series was renewed for a second season based on the second book in the series.

7 Outlander

Outlander is a Netflix show based on the novel series of the same name by Diane Gabaldon. As the books are ongoing, there is no shortage of material for adaptation. The series follows Claire Randall (Caitríona Balfe), a woman whose life in Scotland in 1945 is turned upside down when she is mysteriously sent back to 1743. From there, Claire meets a craftsman named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and becomes involved in an uprising.

The series plays with fictional versions of historical events. Interestingly, the series was developed by Ronald D. Moore, who worked on various Star Trek series, and revived the 2004 series Battlestar Galactica. A seventh season is on the way, with a prequel series in early production.

6 Disappointment

Matt Groening made quite a name for himself with The Simpsons, Futurama and the cult favorite Life in Hell. With his first series for Netflix, Disenchantment, he enters new territory: the world of medieval fantasy. Set in Dreamland, the story follows Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobsen), her elf friend Elf (Academy Award winner Nat Faxon) and a demon named Luci (Eric André).

The series has all the usual Matt Groening-esque sensibilities, plus magic and dragons. Veteran voice actors John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Billy West and many more lend their unique talents to the show. More episodes are reportedly on the way.

5 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Jim Henson’s original 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, is an all-time puppetry classic. Whether or not it is suitable for children is at the discretion of the parents. The Netflix series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, follows a similar story. It follows three Gelflings named Rian, Deet, and Brea, who are tasked with uniting all the wayward Gelfling clans to fight back against the Skeksi.

Additionally, an event called the “Eclipse” begins to take off, threatening the entire planet of Thra. The series was canceled after one season, but it remains an incredible achievement in production and storytelling.

4 Castlevania

Based on the video game series of the same name, Netflix’s Castlevania is an extremely dark fantasy series with lots of action and violence. The first two seasons of the series lift its story from the 1989 game, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, which follows Trevor Belmont, Alucard, Syph, as they team up to fight Dracula and his cohort of villains. Later seasons include elements of other games in the series. The show was developed by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan and the criminally underrated Planetary). While the series has formally come to an end after four seasons, another series in space is in the works.

3 Merlin

Merlin, aka The Adventures of Merlin, may have ended back in December 2012, but that hasn’t stopped tons of people from discovering it on Netflix. As the title suggests, the series follows the Arthurian legend (albeit loosely), focusing on Merlin and King Arthur.

A reimagining of the Merlin legend, it follows a much younger version of the wizard as he becomes a servant – and later a friend – to Arthur, who begins his journey to become the King of Knowledge. Besides, those caught practicing magic were immediately sentenced to death, so Merlin had to be sure not to arouse suspicion.

2 The Magicians

Running for five seasons from 2015 to 2020, Syfy’s Magicians is based on Lev Grossman’s novel of the same name. It follows Quentin Coldwater, who is studying magical pedagogy at Brakebills University.

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There, he learns that the world of magic is much larger than he previously imagined, and that it can potentially cause major problems for humanity. When an incident occurs at school, Quentin and his friends must deal with the consequences. Even though the series is over, there are still 65 solid episodes of fantastic entertainment.

1 Into The Badlands

AMC’s series Into the Badlands premiered in 2015 and ran for three seasons, ending in 2019. The show is notable for its heavy emphasis on martial arts and the use of various fighting techniques throughout the series. The series follows Sunny (Daniel Wu), an incredible warrior, who decides to mentor a teenager named MK (Aramis Knight).

Together, the two enter the Badlands, a realm ruled by warring factions. The show is vast and meticulous in its world-building, following the intertwined fates of many intriguing characters – each with ulterior motives and goals.

NEXT: The 10 Bravest Characters on Fantasy Television

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