If you are a fan of the DC Universe, you have probably seen many different DC TV shows over the years. Some of them you quote daily, and for some of them, you probably don’t want to remember anymore. Either way, we have seen many adaptations over the years, and in this article, we will focus on the more successful examples of that. With that said, let’s take a look at the 20 best DC shows that are ranked by the IMDb score.
20. Arrow (IMDb score: 7.5)
Arrow follows Oliver Queen, a young playboy billionaire who disappears after a shipwreck on Lian Yu in the North China Sea. Five years later, Oliver returned to America and said he had survived the shipwreck.
In those years, Oliver drastically changed and decided to fight against crime and corruption in Starling City. Oliver decided to do this by taking on a new secret identity; he would call himself “The Hood.” By the time the night would fall, he would go out and fight criminals.
19. Smallville (IMDb score: 7.5)
Before he stepped into the superhero role, Superman was living in a fictional small town called Smallville in Texas. He was known as Clark Kent in his hometown, and in the first few seasons, we follow his high school days.
Like any other teenager, Clark has a complicated relationship, which is also explored in the series. Of course, his superpowers sometimes make those relationships and friendships even more difficult. Having a secret like that sometimes makes connecting to his peers meaningfully impossible.
18. The Flash (IMDb score: 7.5)
Barry Allen is a scientist and crime-scene investigator. Barry went through a traumatic event in his childhood; an unknown costumed man killed his mother. This man framed Barry’s father for the death of his mother. This is why he ultimately joined the sime investigation unit.
While he was working on a project with Dr. Harrison and his team, a massive particle accelerator malfunctioned. This created a freak storm; many people that got caught in it died, and Barry was struck by lightning. The incident left Barry in a coma for nine months after that event, but when he woke up, he discovered he had special powers.
17. Titans (IMDb score: 7.6)
Titans follows the four members of a superhero team called “Teen Titans.” The core of the team are Dick Grayson, who is Batman’s former partner, the extraterrestrial Kory Anders, Rachel Roth, and Gar Logan. The series begins with the origin story of every member, and later in the story, they reunite as a team. New team members arrive after the Titans group is formed. They are joined by Jason Todd, Batman’s newest partner, then the assassin Rose Wilson, and the genetic clone of Superman, Conner Kent.
16. Human Target (IMDb score: 7.8)
Christopher Chance is a unique private contractor, bodyguard, and security expert. This show is, of course, based on a comic book series, but in the show, Christopher integrates himself into his clients’ lives. In the comic books, he takes on his client’s identity to become the target of whoever is going after them.
Chance works with his two partners, Winston and Guerrero. Chance is a character that will put himself on the line so the truth can be revealed. This is also why his former client eventually became his benefactor. Although his partners don’t understand Chance’s motivations, this is revealed in the season finale.
15. iZombie (IMDb score: 7.8)
Olivia Moore is a medical resident who became a zombie. Olivia was attending a boat party when she became an undead creature. To survive, she has to keep a healthy diet, eating human brains. This complicates every aspect of her life now that she has a new hunger for her human friends and family.
She decided to end her relationship and her career, after which she started working at a morgue. There she manages to satisfy her new appetite, but one day she is discovered by her boss. Doctor Chakrabarti decided to help Olivia because he was intrigued by her condition and wanted to learn more about that.
14. Gotham (IMDb score: 7.8)
Gotham is another very underrated DC TV series. The show follows a young Bruce Wayne after the death of his parents, but before he became the vigilante known as Batman. Along with Bruce, we also have other popular characters like Catwoman and Poison Ivy. The two of them are on their own, fighting to survive in the streets of Gotham. Another one of the main characters is James Gordon, a young police officer who we later know as one of Batman’s partners.
Gotham faces all kinds of threats; the most prevalent threat comes from the two main mafia families at the beginning of the show. The Falcone and Maroni families have been at war for quite some time, and they are the two most powerful mafia families in Gotham.
13. Doom Patrol (IMDb score: 7.8)
The Chief is a medical doctor who helps out those shunned by society. He helped the members of the so-called Doom Patrol out by treating them and letting them stay at his mansion. He decided to form a group out of the five individuals he stumbled upon.
The first member we are introduced to is Jane, who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. After that came Rita Farr, whose body turns into a gelatinous state, Larry Trainor, who holds an entity of negative energy inside of him; and finally, Cliff Steele, who was turned into a robot after he survived a car crash.
12. Teen Titans (IMDb score: 7.9)
Teen Titans follows a group of teenage superheroes, the aforementioned Teen Titans, who are the subject of the live-action series as well. Even though their mission is to help save the world from danger, they are still teenagers with everyday struggles.
Robin is the group’s leader; Starfire is an alien princess from the planet Tamaran; then we have half-human Cyborg and half-robot. After that, we have Raven, a mysterious girl from a parallel world, and Beast Boy, who can transform into any kind of animal. In the first season, they are attacked by a supervillain who wants Robin to join him in his endeavors.
11. Preacher (IMDb score: 7.9)
The TV show Preacher premiered in 2016, and its final season was released in 2019. The show was developed by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, who used the original comic book series as the source material. The series follows Jesse Custer, who is not your usual type of preacher.
Jesse is going through a crisis, trying to regain his faith. He has fallen down a path of drinking and chain smoking. After a supernatural event, he gained an unusual power. Along this way, Jesse is accompanied by his ex-girlfriend and an Irish vampire called Cassidy.
10. Superman: The Animated Series (IMDb score: 8.1)
The iconic Superman series came out back in 1996, and the show aired on Kids’ WB. The show has received a lot of praise in terms of its writing, voice acting, and the decision to modernize some of the iconic characters from the comic book series. The decision to have this series deal with many complex themes and handle them with a mature perspective was very refreshing.
The show follows one of the most popular superheroes of all time, Superman, also known as Clark Kent. We follow his journey based on the original comic series, but with some modifications. There is a more restrained approach where the focus is placed on the struggle for the superhero to perform certain spectacular feats.
9. Batman Beyond (IMDb score: 8.1)
Twenty years passed after Batman: The Animated Series, and Bruce is now in his late 50s and still fighting crime in Gotham. In one instance, he got attacked by one of the criminals he was chasing after. Even though he tried not to use the last resort, Bruce almost used a gun after he suffered a mild heart attack.
He was ashamed of himself for having murderous temptations, so he decided to retire. We jump forward again, and Bruce is now 70 years old. All of his enemies are either dead or locked in prison, and his past the point of being able to fight. In one instance, he runs into a young Terry McGinnis, who helps Bruce escape some criminals. Later on in the story, Terry gets his hands on the Batsuit, which takes Bruce some time to accept and let Terry take on this role.
8. Lucifer (IMDb score: 8.1)
Lucifer is another popular DC TV series that follows the devil, who has grown tired of ruling hell and decides to take a vacation in Los Angeles. There, he opens a nightclub and becomes entangled in the city’s crime-fighting scene, teaming up with a detective to solve crimes and punish wrongdoers.
He grapples with his identity, relationships with angels and demons, and growing human emotions along the way. The show is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and features a mix of comedy, drama, and supernatural elements. It ran for six seasons from 2016 to 2021.
7. Watchmen (IMDb score: 8.2)
Watchmen is a TV series set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are outlawed, and the world is on the brink of nuclear war. The story follows diverse characters, including retired vigilantes, police officers, and a mysterious woman with godlike powers. As they navigate political intrigue and personal relationships, they uncover a conspiracy threatening to tear apart their world.
The show is based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It ran for one season in 2019 and received critical acclaim for its storytelling, performances, and visual style.
6. The New Batman Adventures (IMDb score: 8.5)
The New Batman Adventures follows the adventures of the Caped Crusader in Gotham City. The show features a redesigned Batman and his allies, including Robin and Batgirl, as they battle some of the city’s most notorious villains, including the Joker, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze.
The series builds on the success of Batman: The Animated Series and features darker, more mature storylines that explore the psychological depths of its characters. It ran for two seasons from 1997 to 1999 and is widely regarded as one of the best-animated adaptations of the Dark Knight.
5. Harley Quinn (IMDb score: 8.5)
The Harley Quinn is a relatively new animated series by DC that follows the iconic villainess as she sets out to establish herself as Gotham City’s most notorious criminal. Along the way, she recruits a team of fellow supervillains, including Poison Ivy, to help her achieve her goals. The show features a mix of irreverent humor, action, and character development as Harley navigates the ups and downs of her personal and professional life.
4. Justice League (IMDb score: 8.6)
The Justice League is an iconic animated series that brought together some of DC Comic’s most iconic heroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash, to form a team of superpowered beings dedicated to protecting the world from threats too great for any one hero to handle. Together, they face off against various villains, including Darkseid, the Joker, and Lex Luthor.
3. Young Justice (IMDb score: 8.6)
Young Justice is a highly praised animated series that follows a group of teenage sidekicks, including Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash, that form their own team of superheroes. The show explores the challenges and adventures these young heroes face as they balance their personal lives with their duties as superheroes.
Along the way, they discover a vast conspiracy involving a shadowy organization and a threat to the entire planet. The series has been praised for its writing, animation, and mature themes and has developed a dedicated fanbase.
2. Justice League Unlimited (IMDb score: 8.7)
Justice League Unlimited is our second-best series on this list that expands upon the original Justice League series, featuring an even larger cast of DC Comics superheroes and villains.
The show follows the members of the Justice League as they face new threats to the world and universe, teaming up with allies such as the Green Lantern Corps and the Teen Titans. The series explores the personal lives and motivations of its characters while also featuring epic battles and high-stakes storylines.
1. Batman: The Animated Series (IMDb score: 9.0)
Batman: The Animated Series is a groundbreaking animated series that follows the Caped Crusader as he battles villains in Gotham City. The show features a dark and moody visual style and complex storylines that explore the psychological depths of its characters.
Alongside classic villains like the Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman, the series also introduces original characters, such as the vigilante hero, the Phantasm. The series is widely regarded as a classic of animation and has had a lasting impact on the Batman franchise and the superhero genre as a whole.