The Best HBO Show of All Time, According to Critics

These acclaimed HBO series got great reviews over the course of their runs.

HBO used to sell itself with the tagline, "It's not TV, it's HBO." And over the years, the network has become something of the standard for what we expect from television, raising the bar on quality with some of the most acclaimed series in TV history. Choosing the best of the best can be a real challenge, which is why we turned to the critics to find out the greatest HBO shows of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes offers a ranked list of every top-rated HBO show. Naturally, it's quite lengthy, so we just focused on the top 30 picks. You might be surprised by some of the inclusions here, as well as some of the shows that are missing (sorry, Tony and Carrie), but all of the series on this list are worth revisiting—or diving into for the first time. And for more HBO shows to watch, check out these 14 TV Shows You Can Watch on HBO Max From Start to Finish This Weekend.

30
Band of Brothers (2001)

band of brothers
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

29
Flight of the Conchords (2007)

flight of the conchords
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

28
Olive Kitteridge (2014)

still from olive kitteridge
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

27
The Night Of (2016)

Riz Ahmed in The Night Of
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

26
The Wire (2002)

still from the wire
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

25
Silicon Valley (2014)

still from silicon valley
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94 percent

24
Tracey Ullman's Show (2016)

tracey ullman's show
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95 percent

23
I'll Be Gone in the Dark (2020)

i'll be gone in the dark
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

22
Show Me a Hero (2015)

show me a hero
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

21
My Brilliant Friend (2018)

my brilliant friend
Eduardo Castaldo / HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

20
Chernobyl (2019)

still from chernobyl
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

19
Watchmen (2019)

Regina King in Watchmen
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

18
Insecure (2016)

still from insecure
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96 percent

17
Betty (2020)

still from betty
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

16
Sally4Ever (2018)

sally4ever
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

15
Treme (2010)

still from treme
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97 percent

14
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014)

last week tonight with john oliver
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

13
High Maintenance (2016)

still from high maintenance
David M. Russell / HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

And for series you should avoid, find out The Worst TV Shows of 2020, According to Critics.

12
I May Destroy You (2020)

I May Destroy You
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98 percent

11
Barry (2018)

still from barry
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99 percent

10
We're Here (2020)

still from we're here
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

9
The Corner (2000)

still from the corner
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

And for great series on another streamer, check out these 12 Shows You Can Watch on Amazon Prime from Start to Finish This Weekend.

8
Painting With John (2021)

painting with john
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

7
Mr. Show with Bob and David (1995)

mr. show with bob and david
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

6
How To With John Wilson (2020)

how to with john wilson
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

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5
A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019)

a black lady sketch show
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

4
The Defiant Ones (2017)

still from the defiant ones
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

3
Random Acts of Flyness (2018)

random acts of flyness
Rog Walker / HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

And for more recent series worth watching, discover The Best TV Shows of 2020, According to Critics.

2
Los Espookys (2019)

los espookys
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

1
The Larry Sanders Show (1992)

the larry sanders show
HBO

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100 percent

And for more shows you should stream, check out The 50 Best Netflix Shows Ever, According to Critics.

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