An Amazon Prime subscription is really worth the expense – and gets you a lot more than a fast delivery service. Over the years, Amazon has built its TV offering into a valid Netflix contender, as our best Amazon Prime Series list below showcases.
UPDATE: After a flurry of fantastic new shows (we're looking at you, Good Omens and Too Old To Die Young) there's a lull in new Prime Video shows this week. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to look forward to. Gritty superhero adaptation The Boys is set to hit Amazon on the 26th of July, which will star Simon Pegg, Erin Moriarty (Jessica Jones) and Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl).
One of the best things about Amazon Prime is that it’s home to a mix of stunning event TV, old classics, and a number of Emmy and Golden Globe winners. All thanks to Jeff Bezos's seemingly bottomless pockets and the effort that's gone into some fantastic Amazon Originals series.
The best Amazon Prime TV show list is a snapshot of what is available on Prime right now. Choosing favourites has been tough but the following shows are gilded in our eyes - gold standard television that needs to be binge-watched without delay.
We’ve picked our favourites and now it’s your job to rank them. If there is a particular Amazon Prime show you are fond of, give it an upvote. If we’ve chosen something you hate, then click the downvote button. Oh, and if we’ve somehow forgotten something you loved, let us know below and we’ll make sure it’s added.
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Best Amazon Prime Series
1. The ExpanseStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
The beauty of Amazon Prime - and Netflix - is that these platforms breathe life into previously dead shows, like The Expanse. It's a show about what happens when humans colonise the solar system (spoiler: it ain’t great). Syfy cancelled it after three seasons but Amazon gave The Expanse a new home. Why? Well, for one thing CEO Jeff Bezos is a big fan. We’re glad he did - this is stunning sci-fi and universe-building at its best.
2. The AmericansStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
The Americans is stunning TV. It would be in everyone’s top 10 list, if they had only seen it. Set around the Cold War, the show follows a seemingly normal apple pie-loving American couple who turn out to be Russian spies. Both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are sublime as the spy duo, while the show slowly ratchets up the tension season after season.
3. Tom Clancy’s Jack RyanStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
The Jack Ryan series of movies, those starring Harrison Ford at least, were a lot of fun. While a prequel movie with Chris Pine stumbled, this alternate TV take is well worth a watch. John Krasinski is effortless as Ryan, a CIA analyst forced into the field. As is The Wire’s Wendell Pierce as Jack Greer, Ryan’s mentor - a role that once belonged to James Earl Jones. Big shoes to fill, then, but he manages it. It’s a little Mission: Impossible lite in places but well worth a watch, especially in 4K.
4. Good OmensStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s fantastic book Good Omens gets the TV treatment, thanks to a joint production between the BBC and Amazon Studios. The result is a superb six-part series with one of the best acting pairing seen on TV in recent years. David Tennant and Michael Sheen shine as angels Aziraphale and Crowley, and their job is to stave off the impending apocalypse. Fans of Gaiman will love Good Omens. He was deeply involved, as Terry Pratchett asked Gaiman to write the TV show's script before he passed away. A request we are very glad was fulfilled.
5. BoschStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Bosch is a brilliant, easy watch, and is now in its fifth season. It stars Titus Welliver as the titular Harry Bosch, whose acting raises this show above your average police procedural. As does the writing. Overseen by Eric Overmyer, whose credits include The Wire, Treme and Boardwalk Empire, this is a top-quality show.
6. Battlestar GalacticaStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
This sci-fi reboot takes itself very seriously, and for good reason. It takes the campy Battlestar Galactica show of the 70s and reboots it as event TV, with some heady undertones. Released around the same time as 9/11, there are references to America’s war on terror throughout. And there's a smattering of 1950s communist paranoia thrown in, when it’s revealed early on that any one of the fleet could be a Cylon. There may be one series too many, but Battlestar Galactica is brilliant TV that shines a light on the complexities of human behaviour and terrorism, all the while being based in space.
7. PreacherStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
When Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen announced they were creating a Preacher show, we thought they would turn Garth Ennis’s superb graphic novel into some sort of stoner comedy. How wrong we were. Preacher has its fair share of mayhem, bloody violence and acerbic comedy, but it also has a strong message about religion and asks some serious questions about, and to, god.
8. VikingsStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
On the face of it, Vikings seems a little one dimensional: a whole show based on the pillaging, conquering and brutal world of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. But this is definitely not Game of Thrones on a budget. The character development over the first three seasons is beautifully handled, and Vikings tells what is a simple story really well.
9. FleabagStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
It seems a little trite to heap more praise on a show that it is pretty much universally loved but the thing is (looks to camera, with a wry smile), they’re right. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's adaptation of her own one-woman stage show manages to be stunningly crass, utterly hilarious and tear-inducing all at the same time. Yes, Waller-Bridges is perfect as Fleabag but the rest of the cast are just as good, characters rounded with surgical precision.
10. Mr. RobotStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Sam Esmail created something special in Mr Robot. Its tale of hackers looking to overturn the might of corporate America has never been so pertinent. It doesn’t help, either, that he cast Oscar-winner Rami Malek in the role of Elliot, an anti-social hacker with his fair share of tics. The supporting cast are great too. BD Wong and Christian Slater are brilliant in their roles. And, despite Malek’s heady rise to superstardom, this is a series that will get a proper ending in Season 4.
11. The Marvelous Miss MaiselStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
It was about time a show gave Rachel Brosnahan a chance to shine. After bit parts in movies and a stint on House of Cards, The Marvelous Miss Maisel sees her in fantastic form as a 1950s housewife who decides one day to become a stand-up comic. There’s a lot to love about the show, but Brosnahan’s main performance as ‘Midge’ Maisel steals it - her transformation when she eventually gets on the stage is brilliant to watch.
12. American GodsStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
If you're a fan of Neil Gaiman's work, you're in for a real treat with an Amazon Prime subscription. Now not only can you enjoy American Gods, but Good Omens too. Both TV shows make our list because they're prime examples of deliciously addictive storytelling, rich characters and mind-bending fantasy. Neil Gaiman played a bigger part in the development of Good Omens, but that doesn't mean American Gods isn't a dark and binge-worthy series with some trulyexcellent performances.
13. Sons of AnarchyStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Another stunning piece of television that simply needs to be watched by all. We never thought a drama about rival biker gangs could be anything but schlocky but Sons of Anarchy plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy. Charlie Hunnam is fantastic as Jax, who tries to change his gang for the better.
14. The TickStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Amazon announced it has cancelled The Tick, and that can only be because Amazon doesn’t know how to have fun. It is a superhero parody with heart, and a brilliant cast. Peter Serafinowicz is superb as the titular Tick, the superhero without superpowers, playing it without any knowing wink that he is in on the joke. And that’s the brilliance of the show, which really stepped up in the second season. Unfortunately, Season 2 will now be its last, unless it can find another home - which fans are trying to make happen with the #SaveTheTick hashtag
15. Too Old To Die YoungStream now (Amazon Prime)
Known more for his ultraviolent movies, such as Drive and Only God Forgives, his foray into television is superb as it is brutal. Although Refn prefers to think of Too Old To Die Young as an extended movie, it's been broken down into 12 manageable 'episodes', following a cop played by Miles Teller who goes on something of a revenge spree, ridding the world of some very unsavoury characters. This is uncompromising, unflinching entertainment - and all the better for it.
16. GomorrahStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
Being in the Italian mafia is not fun. It is nothing like the cool Godfather-style portrayals movies have peddled for years. It turns out, if you want to be in the Camorra crime syndicate on whch the show is based, you lead a pretty crappy life. This series is adapted from the true crime book Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano. His account of the Camorra was so close to the bone, he has lived under police protection ever since. This show is as real and compelling as the book.
17. Red OaksStream now (Amazon Prime Video)
The 80s is a TV gold mine. Stranger Things used the era of Walkmans and shell suits as a backdrop for some crazy stuff. Red Oaks tempers the craziness but ramps up the warmth and fun, creating a wonderful coming-of-age story that needs to be seen. It is a show that doesn’t shirk big issues, but they are wrapped in a lot of affection for the era and its characters.