The Top 20 HBO Shows Of All Time, Ranked

A detailed look at the 20 best HBO shows of all time, ranked from worst to best.

Complex Originals

Sure, maybe the streaming service is officially called Max now, but we are always going to call it HBO, and there is nothing you can do to stop us. Simply put, HBO has dominated Sunday nights for decades—it is the definition of water cooler TV. There was truly no better way to fend off the Sunday scaries than by impatiently waiting all day for that new episode of Game of Thrones or Succession. A lot is changing at HBO right now with the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc., we've seen projects such at Batgirl get scrapped and 20 HBO original programs that were made exclusively for HBO Max have been removed from the streaming service. While some are worried about how this might impact HBO's legacy going forward, that still doesn't change its over 50 years of history.

HBO initially launched in November 1972 across the United States, airing an NHL game to a mere 365 subscribers. It wasn’t until 1983 that the platform aired its first piece of original content, with programs like Not Necessarily the News, a satirical news show that isn’t too different from one of HBO’s modern staples, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and films like The Terry Fox Story. Since then, HBO has taken over entertainment television, creating a bevy of hit series that many consider to be the best of all time. If you really want to start a fun argument in the bullpen at your office or at the dinner table on a night out, ask the group which show is better, The Sopranos or The Wire. Each of these programs has a legitimate case for being the greatest TV series of all time and an equally passionate fan base that will argue why their respective favorite is the best until they are blue in the face. 

That is just a taste of what’s to follow, as the Complex staff attempted to do the impossible, and rank the top 20 HBO series of all time. There might not be a totally “right” answer here, but check out our entire ranking below. (Editor's Note: mini-series such as Chernoybl and Mare of Easttown were excluded from this list).

20. Entourage (2004-2011)

19. Girls (2012-2017)

18. The Last of Us (2023-Ongoing)

17. Euphoria (2019 - Ongoing)

16. Eastbound and Down (2009-2013)

15. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

14. The White Lotus (2021-Ongoing)

13. Barry (2018-2023)

12. True Detective (2014-Ongoing)

11. Oz (1997-2003)

10. The Leftovers (2014-2017)

9. Insecure (2016-2021)

8. Veep (2012-2019)

7. True Blood (2008-2014)

6. Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999-Ongoing)

5. Sex and the City (1998-2004)

4. Succession (2018-2023)

3. Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

2. The Wire (2002-2008)

1. The Sopranos (1999-2007)

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