10 Shows Like 'Game of Thrones' to Watch Next

If you're looking for more high-concept fantasy drama, but maybe with fewer dragons, Metacritic has a few shows for you to discover.
by Allison Bowsher — 

Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in 'Game of Thrones'


It's been three years since Game of Thrones (Metascore: 87) aired its highly debated finale and left viewers with a massive hole in their Sunday night viewing habits. The HBO juggernaut made stars out of its relatively unknown cast, set a new standard for production value on TV, and continues to hold the record for the most Emmy wins by a scripted series (59 awards in total).

Over eight seasons and a whole lot of deaths, Game of Thrones fans quickly learned that the series, based on George R. R. Martin's books, was one filled with incredible fight scenes, violence, sexually explicit content, complicated family dynamics, tested loyalties, love and hate, and of course, dragons. Fans also learned that patience was important, as most seasons had multiple-year breaks between them. 

Thankfully, fans won't have to wait much longer for more action from the Seven Kingdoms. In addition to a Jon Snow sequel that has been greenlit and confirmed to feature the return of Kit Harington to the Night's Watch, the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon will premiere on in August. Set 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones, the series will follow Martin's Fire & Blood novel and cover the creation of the House Targaryen. 

While we have yet to tire of rewatching Game of Thrones (click here for our picks of the most memorable GOT episodes), some other series deserve eyeballs, too, between rewatches and before the arrival of House of the Dragon. Check out 10 shows to watch if you like Game of Thrones, as listed by their Metascore.


Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'


Breaking Bad

Metascore: 87
Best for: Viewers who are OK with deeply dark subject matter and captivating and terrifying characters
Where to watch:

, , iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 5

Like Game of Thrones, the feel-good moments on Breaking Bad are few and far between. Also, like the HBO behemoth, Breaking Bad is a show that gives viewers a bird's eye view of the worst moments in a person's life, then asks the viewer to continue rooting for them. Dark, tragic, and impeccably acted and written, the award-show darling is at its most basic a story about a dying science teacher (played by Bryan Cranston), who teams up with his former student (played by Aaron Paul) to make a few extra bucks selling meth and eventually becomes a drug kingpin. But the series is much more than that, diving into the minds of its complicated characters and showing the evolution of a man who learns that power brings out the worst in him.

"A radical type of television, and also a very strange kind of must-watch: a show that you dread and crave at the same time." — Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker


Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, and Matthew Macfadyen in 'Succession'



Metascore: 83
Best for: Viewers who want to see a scheming, backstabbing family that will make them feel better about their own relatives
Where to watch: 

, , , ,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

If the Targaryen family were transported to present-day New York City, we would expect them to look like the Roys. Owners of a hugely successful multi-media conglomerate, the adult Roy siblings constantly find themselves at odds with each other as they commit despicable acts in order to gain the attention of their unkind and domineering father, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), and control of his company. Like Game of Thrones, Succession is filled with plays for power, cruel family dynamics, and moments of dark humor delivered by a heavy-hitting cast that includes Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin. It's just in a more grounded setting.

"Mostly, though, this is a bold and original work, with great acting and razor-sharp writing. And it's among the best series in the world right now." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in 'Outlander'



Metascore: 76
Best for: Viewers who like the sex in Game of Thrones and history buffs who are OK with a lot of fantasy
Where to watch:

, , Netflix, ,
Seasons: 6 (so far)

While Game of Thrones is based entirely in a fictional world, Outlander uses historical events as the jumping-off point for its romantic drama. After surviving World War II, nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is on her honeymoon in the Scottish highlands when she's transported to 1743. She soon falls in love with a Scottish warrior and Highlander named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and must decide which time period to remain in. Like Game of Thrones, Outlander is also based on a successful book series (from Diana Gabaldon) and features nudity-friendly love scenes, violent battles, and many accents that may require Closed Captioning.

"Outlander is by far the best of these Starz costume dramas I've seen. It knows the stories it wants to tell and the strongest way to tell them." — Alan Sepinwall, HitFix


Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany in 'Orphan Black'

BBC America

Orphan Black

Metascore: 76
Best for: Sci-fi fans who want a show that will keep them guessing throughout each season
Where to watch: 

, , ,
Seasons: 5

If keeping track of the various houses, kingdoms, and histories of each character in GOT doesn't scare you off, check out Orphan Black. The Canadian and British sci-fi series requires viewers to stay mentally engaged to follow the various clones' plotlines, all played by Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany, but the payoff is worth it. The pilot episode introduces Sarah (Maslany), a street-smart ex-pat in Toronto who witnesses the suicide of a woman that looks identical to Sarah. Over the course of five seasons and many versions of Maslany, the truth about Sarah and her seestras is uncovered in a smart, emotional, funny series filled with many clone-on-clone fight scenes.

"An inordinately intelligent sci-fi series in which the flaws only enhance its overall underdog appeal." — Geoff Berkshire, Variety



History Channel


Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of historical series who are OK with a whole lot of blood on screen
Where to watch: 

, , , iTunes, ,
Seasons: 6

Viewers who like the epic battle scenes and flawed characters of Game of Thrones will likely enjoy the historical drama Vikings. The series is based on Ragnar Lodbrok, a famous farmer turned Viking leader who inspired thousands to follow him as he conquered lands and people. Starting with Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), the six-season drama expands to follow the adventures of Ragnar's children, who also have a penchant for bloody wars, big thrones, and memorable haircuts. 

"All involved are dedicated to the cause of making Vikings one of television's most striking series ... evolving from a guilty pleasure at first to a first-rate tale of substance and even subtlety mixed with the cold steel of primal warfare." — Ed Bark, Uncle Barky


James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in 'Westworld'



Metascore: 71
Best for: Sci-fi fans who want a show with an incredible ensemble cast and stunning landscapes
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 4 (so far)

Although show creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy based their series on the 1973 film by Michael Crichton, the latest version of Westworld has established its own space in pop culture history. Boasting the most-watched first season in HBO history (yes, even bigger than Game of Thrones), Westworld uses an adult amusement park and thousands of androids to explore ethical questions around love, sex, violence, and personal redemption. Like Game of Thrones, Westworld does not pan away from moral dilemmas and disturbing subject matter, with storylines eventually expanding beyond the theme park to explore control and free will in regular society. Its large ensemble cast includes Thandiwe Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright.

"Vivid, thought-provoking television that entertains even as it examines the darker side of entertainment." — Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times


Grogu and Mando in 'The Mandalorian'


The Mandalorian

Metascore: 71
Best for: Star Wars fans and anyone who enjoys action mixed with sci-fi
Where to watch:

Seasons: 2 (so far)

Do you want characters and planets with complex and detailed backstories and histories that rival the Seven Kingdoms? The Jon Favreau space-themed Western has a galaxy of them. Pedro Pascal plays the titular Mandalorian, a bounty hunter tasked with retrieving and eliminating Grogu. But not even a trained fighter can resist the cuteness of Baby Yoda. That is not the way. Instead, Mando and his little green friend set off on a series of adventures in a quest to protect The Child. In love with The Mandalorian, you may fall.

"This is a visually stunning, consistently entertaining space-spaghetti-Western serial." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


'The Borgias'


The Borgias

Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of historical dramas who are okay with a whole lot of nudity and sex
Where to watch: 

, , , , Netflix, ,
Seasons: 3

Game of Thrones fans who are comfortable with the show's penchant for nudity and sex scenes will likely be titillated and educated by Showtimes' The Borgias. The historical drama fictionalizes the story of the Borgia family, who wielded their power throughout Italy to take over the church and rule those around them with no regard for human life. Created by director Neil Jordan, the bloody, violent, and dramatic series stars Jeremy Irons as the very sinful Pope Alexander VI. We don't remember our history textbooks being this entertaining.

"This glossy, gossipy look at the Renaissance in the time of Machiavelli isn't a history lesson, it's a lurid family drama that happened to change the course of history." — Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times


Henry Cavill in 'The Witcher'


The Witcher

Metascore: 62
Best for: Drama fans who enjoy the fantasy, battle (and boobs) of Game of Thrones
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2 (so far)

The Witcher is one of the closest shows to GOT in terms of looks and feel, but with slightly fewer characters to track. Multiple timelines exist and eventually converge in the book-turned-TV fantasy series, which stars Henry Cavill as the monster Geralt of Rivia, aka The Witcher; Freya Allan as Princess Ciri; and Anya Chalotra as the half-elf, half-sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg. Epic battle scenes and evil characters abound in the Netflix series, which also has a big dose of magic. Plus, there's a lot of snow and terrifying trees, two things fans of Game of Thrones know well.

"Into the absence left by Game of Thrones strides The Witcher, perhaps the most credible of several recent attempts to capture its predecessor's robust claim on audience affections." — Daniel D'Addario, Variety


'The Wheel of Time'

Prime Video

The Wheel of Time

Metascore: 55
Best for: Fantasy fans who want an easily digestible fantasy story
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1 (so far)

Adapted from Robert Jordan's best-selling book series of the same title, The Wheel of Time is Game of Thrones-lite, with fight scenes and landscapes that, while impressive, are not of the same quality as the HBO drama. Set in a medieval-inspired fictional period, the show has a welcomed feminist slant that cements women as the most powerful beings in the world. Rosamund Pike stars as Moiraine, a high-ranking member of the magical Aes Sedai sect. Moiraine's quest to find the next Dragon leads her to a small village where five lifelong friends will find out whether they are the chosen one who will save or destroy the world.

"The writers keep the plot wheel turning as characters are chased from one location to the next, action is adequately sequenced, and magic is performed (albeit rendered goofily)." — Chancellor Agard, Entertainment Weekly