With so much content, both exclusive and licensed, streaming service Netflix has become the go-to platform for most people when looking for something new to watch. In fact, there are times that you might take more time browsing through all the available films and shows to choose what to watch than the act of actually watching. But there are some shows that just hit the mark so well that millions of people all over the world watch them as soon as they’re released. The streaming platform has ranked the popularity of their shows according to the total number of hours that all Netflix users worldwide clocked in during the first 28 days since release date, recorded per season. Here are the most watched Netflix shows ever, according to Netflix:
#8 Inventing Anna: Limited Series
511.9 million hours watched in the first 28 days
This limited series was only released early this year, but it has already made it to the list of most popular Netflix shows. Inspired by a true story covered by journalist Jessica Pressler, Inventing Anna shows the many sides of Anna Delvey, a German heiress, a budding yet fearless entrepreneur — or just a con artist. Watch it now.
#7 The Witcher
541 million hours of Season 1 watched in the first 28 days
The Witcher tells the legend of Geralt of Rivia (played by Henry Cavill), a witcher meant to hunt monsters while also serving as the protector of Princess Ciri. Based on stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski with over 15 million copies sold, the series already had a built-in fanbase to capitalize on, including the video game series that has sold over 50 million copies. Watch it now.
#6 All Of Us Are Dead
560.8 million hours watched in the first 28 days
Capitalizing on the popularity of Korean shows, particularly South Korean horror, is All Of Us Are Dead, where things quickly go from bad to worse to worst. After a student infected with a virus breaks free, a high school quickly becomes ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak, and trapped students must escape and fight their way out before the city is bombed. A second season is currently in the works.Watch it now.
569.4 million hours of Season 5 watched in the first 28 days
Based on a character in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Lucifer tells the story of the devil, who gets bored of reigning in Hell and decides to go on earth, where he opens a nightclub and forms an unlikely connection with a homicide detective. The penultimate season of Lucifer brought in millions of viewers to Netflix, drawn to the interesting characters, shocking twists, and dark humor of the show. Fans are especially delighted with the amazing performance of Tom Ellis in the titular role. Watch it now.
656.2 million hours of Season 2 and 625.5 million hours of Season 1 watched in the first 28 days
Adapted from a book series by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton surprised its viewers with a romantic yet risqué story set in Regency-era London. The series follows the members of the eponymous Bridgerton family, as they vie for marriage partner candidates among the young nobles during the social season. The first season focused on Daphne, the fourth child and eldest daughter, while the second season centered on Anthony, the eldest of the family. It has been greenlit for both a third and fourth season, and viewers can expect other Bridgerton siblings to take centerstage in the upcoming episodes. Watch the first and second seasons now.
#3 Money Heist
792.2 million hours, 619 million hours, and 426.4 million hours watched in the first 28 days
Under the guidance of a criminal mastermind known as “The Professor”, eight thieves infiltrate and take hostage the most secure financial institution in Spain to print billions of euros. Money Heist is filled with strategic plans, surprising twists, platonic and romantic relationships, constantly changing alliances, and a strong Spanish identity. The series has become a global phenomenon so successful that it has already prompted a spin-off and a remake even before its final air date. Watch the whole series now.
#2 Stranger Things
1.35 billion hours of Vol. 4 and 582.1 million hours of Vol. 3 watched in the first 28 days
Millions of Netflix viewers have watched the cast of Stranger Things grow up on screen since the first episode aired in 2016 and each season continues to rack up higher numbers than ever before. In case you’re not familiar, the series is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a group of young friends stumble upon another world filled with the supernatural while also trying to unravel secret government plans. The fifth and final season is currently in the works and is slated for a 2023 or 2024 release. Watch it now.
#1 Squid Game
1.65 billion hours watched in the first 28 days
Korean shows, specifically K-dramas, have a certain vibe to them — they have a lot of kilig and romance, even if there’s an added backdrop of crime, mystery, or what-have-you. So the world was shocked when Netflix released Squid Game and gave us a unique show that doesn’t shy away from brutality. Putting a spotlight on the clear divide between the elite and the poor, Squid Game follows 456 cash-strapped players competing in deadlier versions of various children’s games just for a chance to win 45.6 billion won. The show reached number one in 94 countries, becoming the first Netflix series to clock in more than a billion hours in its first month. A second season is currently in the works. Watch the first season now.