10 Shows Like 'Criminal Minds' to Watch Next

Serial killers and profilers are always a hot TV topic; here are 10 more series on which to see them.
by Amber Dowling — 

The cast of 'Criminal Minds: Evolution'


For 15 seasons, the men and women of the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) took down creepy and dangerous serial killers on Criminal Minds, often with long-lasting personal consequences. As the team soared from destination to destination on their private jet, they faced run-of-the-mill cases, killers with multiple arcs, and sometimes people from their pasts that they'd just as soon forget about. 

One thing each case had in common was that it was up to the team to get inside the head of the killer in order to solve the crimes and stop additional deaths. Over its decade-and-a-half run, the show proved episodic television can be just as dark and entertaining as serialized dramas. Of course, as soon as the series got a chance, it came back with Criminal Minds: Evolution, a highly serialized version of the original show.

Along with returning cast members Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, and Adam Rodriguez, Criminal Minds: Evolution stars Zach Gilford as a super smart murderer named Elias Voit who has put together his own network of serial killers over the pandemic. It's a new and evolved iteration of the original, one that marries two current trends: true crime and anthology formats. 

With the debut of Criminal Minds: Evolution, Metacritic put together a list of other serialized shows about serial killers and those who jeopardize everything in order to catch them. From in-depth looks at a killer's mind to shows that hone in on a detective's obsession to solve the case, here are 10 shows, ranked by Metascore, if you like the Criminal Minds franchise.


Jonathan Groff in 'Mindhunter'



Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of true crime and Jonathan Groff
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2

David Fincher's period piece revolves around two FBI agents in the late 1970s as they expand criminal science by getting up close and personal with some bona fide monsters. It's a dramatized look at how the Behavior Science Unit began and what actually goes into profiling psychopaths and killers, with many actors playing fictional takes on real-life killers like Ed Kemper, Richard Speck, and Dennis Rader in the first season. In Season 2 that reach expands into the minds of even more infamous killers including Charles Manson, the Son of Sam, and the BTK Killer. Groff and Holt McCallany head up the profiling team as Holden Ford and Bill Tench, respectively. Anna Torv also stars. 

"The overall aesthetic isn't flashy, but that's the point — this is exhausting, sad work involving both victims and perpetrators who led small lives that have become shockingly big — and the drama is more potent because of how plain-spoken so much of this is." — Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx


From left to right: Archie Panjabi and Gillian Anderson in 'The Fall'


The Fall

Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of U.K. dramas with a crime twist 
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3

This BAFTA-nominated series is the ultimate game of cat-and-cat, as it revolves around a policewoman (played by Gillian Anderson) trying to track down an equally cunning, stone cold serial killer (played by Jamie Dornan). The 17-episode psychological thriller, which unrolls over three seasons, takes place in and around Belfast, offering just as many picturesque shots as it does unnerving ones. It all culminates in a complete ending, offering another glimpse into the mind of a killer and the law enforcer intent at taking him down at all costs. 

"I'd say that The Fall is a deeply moral crime thriller, but that description is too boring for a drama that's electric with suspense and erotic tension and pulpy cliff-hangers. Anderson's performance is riveting." — Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly


From left to right: Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in 'Hannibal'



Metascore: 77
Best for: The Silence of the Lambs fans
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 3

Bryan Fuller's artistic take on the famed fictional serial killer and cannibal inspired plenty of fan art when it debuted in 2013, while critics raved about the chemistry between stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. The entire series explores the early relationship between then-renowned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) and profiler Will Graham (Dancy), whose ability to connect with serial killers is highlighted with graphic visions and eerie music. The audience does get insight into the titular character's dark side, too, which makes for even more delicious complications.

"It's hard to imagine Hannibal scaling new peaks of originality as drama — not with characters and situations that have, in more than one sense, been done to death. At least there's life in the acting and in the show's inventive visuals." — Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture


Michael C. Hall in 'Dexter: New Blood'



Metascore: 76
Best for: Those who root for the antihero
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 8 plus a revival miniseries, Dexter: New Blood

This series, based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, won four Primetime Emmys over its eight-season run. The show revolves around Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a forensic blood spatter expert with the Miami Dade Police Department. His secret? He's also a vigilante serial killer with a strict moral code and conflicted feelings about his chosen work family. The series was considered a must-watch for the first four seasons under showrunner Clyde Phillips' creative reign, but once he departed many felt the series fell apart. Still, its overall Metascore is one of the higher ones for series of this nature, and its fan-favorite status helped it get a revival in 2021, in part to rewrite the ending so many felt disappointed by the first time around.

"The nature-nurture question has always been central to the show: had his upbringing been different, would his genetic makeup still have led him onto the same path? Now the stakes have been raised compellingly in that debate." — Gina Bellafante, The New York Times


From left to right: Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in 'Killing Eve'

BBC America

Killing Eve

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of female serial killers
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 4

There are many shows that revolve around male serial killers and criminal profilers, but Killing Eve is all about the complicated female dynamics between MI5 security officer Eve (Sandra Oh) and an assassin named Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The strong acting (both women hold multiple Emmy nominations for their roles, and Comer won in 2019) coupled with the gorgeous international destinations give this show serious clout. But it's the obsessive, cat-and-mouse dynamic between the central women that really makes it worth a watch. Well, that plus creator Phoebe Waller Bridge's dark sense of humor.

"An enthralling trip that follows a familiar path and then suddenly veers off course, never ceasing to shock and satisfy. The series manages to be as gripping as it is kooky and darkly funny, reveling in the tennis match between the two actresses." — Kelly Lawler, USA Today


Idris Elba in 'Luther'

BBC America


Metascore: 75
Best for: Those who love a lead with a dark past
Where to watch: 

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Seasons: 5

Idris Elba stars as the complicated title detective at the center of this psychological crime drama, one who does whatever it takes in order to solve the case — even if it goes against the very law he's sworn to protect. Complicating things is a murderous character named Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), whose personal connections to the detective often get in the way of the chase. Throughout its run the series was nominated for 11 Emmys and was seen as a major catalyst in the ongoing bid to get Elba to play the next James Bond.

"Luther, the story of an impulsive, very intelligent London cop, manages to be an excellent showcase for Idris Elba (The Wire) and an increasingly impressive character drama that goes to some dark and absorbing places." — Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post


Penn Badgley in 'You'



Metascore: 75
Best for: Anyone who really wants to get into a serial killer's head
Where to watch:

, Netflix,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Another psychological thriller, this one is based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name and stars Penn Badgy as the Joe Goldberg, who doesn't set out to kill the women he loves, he just gets too obsessive and too obvious about his obsession and has to take people out to cover his tracks. In each season Joe finds a new woman to obsess over and stalk, with disastrous results. Part of the appeal is watching Joe try to be a good man, all while justifying his terrible actions, and part of it is watching to see what twist comes at the audience next when he fails miserably. 

"You remains a fascinating look at just how hard it is to outwit and outrun your own nature." — Steve Greene, Indiewire


Harry Treadaway in 'Mr. Mercedes'

Audience Network

Mr. Mercedes

Metascore: 72
Best for: Stephen King fans
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3

David E. Kelley is behind this adaptation of King's trilogy in which a psychopathic killer drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of people, killing 16 in the process. Years later, retired detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) is still haunted by the case. Meanwhile, a psychopath named Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) starts sending the ex-law enforcer letters and emails, kicking off a deadly game with even deadlier consequences.

"Mr. Mercedes isn't prestige-class pulp, but it's a quality star vehicle fueled with enough poignancy to make it worth the ride." — Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly


Lucy Hale in 'Ragdoll'



Metascore: 64
Best for: Those fascinated by gruesome cases
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 1

As far as gruesome murders go, Ragdoll is one of the worst. The series' entry point is the murder of six people, whom a killer has then sewn into one (hence the title). When the killer sends the police a list of his next victims, three police officers (including one whose name is on that list) must solve the case before it's too late. Lucy Hale, Thalissa Teixeira and Henry Lloyd-Hughes star in this adaptation of Daniel Cole's novel of the same name. 

"Not for the squeamish. ... Don't try to make sense of any of it. Just cover your eyes and watch if you dare." — Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine


James Purefoy in 'The Following'


The Following

Metascore: 58
Best for: Anyone who's ever been obsessed with cults
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3

Bloody, graphic, and downright violent, this series divided critics from the beginning with its in-depth look at serial killers and those who try to stop them. The series stars James Purefoy as serial killer Joe Carroll, an enigmatic personality who has recruited several die-hard followers from prison. When his cult begins to kill again, retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) heads back into service to try and stop him before more deaths go down.

"The Following, compelling and frustrating from its opening credits, sets viewers up for a season-long, blood-soaked rematch between an evil intellectual and his law-enforcement nemesis." — Sara Smith, The Kansas City Star