From Dexter to NCIS, here are our top recommendations for other shows Criminal Minds fans are sure to love.
It’s always a bummer when one of your all-time favorite shows comes to an end. Sometimes, though, it just comes to a point when it gave us everything it could, and we must move on. Criminal Minds took us on some seriously twisted and terrifying journeys over the course of its fourteen seasons. With the fifteenth and last season set to premiere next year, fans are already looking for shows that could potentially quench their thirst for crime and mystery.
Because we know exactly how you feel, we did the research for you. Of course, each show is different and brings something new and exciting to the table. While we’re sure no television series will be able to replace Criminal Minds, there are a few shows that deserve your attention. Here are ten similar shows that fans are sure to enjoy.
Updated March 31st, 2020 by Mariana Fernandes: The popularity of crime shows of the liking of Criminal Minds keeps growing. This results in a handful of incredible shows of the genre, so many that fans can hardly keep track of! If you’re done rewatching all the shows we listed at first (with maybe a few sneaky rewatches in between), we’ve updated this list for you. Check out all of the series you simply must watch if Criminal Minds is your favorite go-to!
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
It’s rare for sequels and spin-off shows to live up to the original. This is matter-of-fact for everything from books to movies and, of course, television shows. But even though Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders wasn’t nearly as popular as the original, only running for two seasons, it’s still worth a watch.
We say this because this particular spin-off takes on a similar premise, but this time around takes it a step further by stripping the show of borders and sending the characters on exciting hunts away from home. Starring Gary Sinise and Alana De La Garza, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders might actually surprise you.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
There are certain shows that manage to establish themselves as classics right off the bat. Criminal Minds did it, to the extent of lasting for over a dozen seasons. But five years before the show reached our screens, another one was garnering that classic and iconic status – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
The show lasted for an impressive fifteen years, was nominated for six Golden Globes, and spanned a series of spin-offs. If crime shows are your thing, and especially those that have over three hundred episodes to satisfy your thirst for suspense, then CSI should definitely be on your list!
Interestingly enough, Numb3rs is a show that a lot of people seemed to miss back when it was airing between 2005 and 2010. Even though the series enjoyed mild success and ran for six seasons, it still isn’t surrounded by all the hype it deserved. Whether it is because audiences had their fill of the genre or something else, we’ll never know.
But if you enjoy premises that involve outsiders with outstanding talents joining FBI investigations, then Numb3rs is for you. It follows a mathematician that actually uses equations to help the Bureau solve several crimes. It’s nothing like we’ve seen before, and we’re willing to bet you haven’t either!
Lie To Me
On a similar note as Numb3rs, we introduce to you the ground-breaking show Lie To Me. Now, there are several reasons we can offer to get you to give this show a try. First, there’s the incredible portrayal of the main character, Cal Lightman, by actor Tim Roth. Secondly, there are three seasons you can enjoy.
And last, but not least, it’s all about behavior. Cal is the leading expert on body language and facial expressions, the knowledge he uses to help solve cases. What could be better for a fan of Criminal Minds than a show that goes even deeper into the behavior of criminals and witnesses?
What happens when you bring together a famous mystery novel writer with an NYPD detective? You get Castle! Yes, the show has a much more light-hearted nature than all the others featured in this list. But what sets the show apart is the unbelievable chemistry between the two leads and the mastery with which they carry the plot.
Plus, with eight seasons ready to binge-watch, we promise there are plenty of gruesome and interesting crimes, often paired up with conspiracies, governments, and even the supernatural. If nothing else, make sure you tune in to enjoy the wonderful banter between Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, the actors behind the main characters.
If you don’t feel like leaving the realms of the FBI just yet, then The Blacklist is definitely something you should check out. We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that it’s a pretty interesting tale of a government spy who becomes a witty and ruthless mastermind.
The stellar performance given by James Spader is a good enough reason to watch the show, though it’s full of great characters besides. Crime, drama, and mystery tie together masterfully in this seven-season-long series, sure to captivate any new viewers.
Maybe what truly captivates you about Criminal Minds is the chance to witness the inner workings of a serial killer’s brain in action. Sure, it’s terrifying and disturbing, but that’s half of what makes it so interesting. If that’s the case for you, then there is no better series to watch than Dexter, featuring one of the most prominent serial killers on TV.
Even though the show has already come to an end, it still remains a staple for fans of the genre. The perspective from which the story is told grants you the opportunity to more deeply understand just how a criminal’s mind works.
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service might be a bit more light-hearted than Criminal Minds ever dared to be. However, it’s still a great show that managed to strike a chord with audiences. So much so, in fact, that’s it’s been running for seventeen seasons, retaining most of the original cast.
For some fans of Criminal Minds, it’s the core team and the interactions between the members of the BAU that make the show so interesting. When it comes to playing as a team to solve crimes, the NCIS just seems to knock it out of the park!
Without A Trace
The FBI isn’t comprised solely of the BAU, though. If you know this and truly enjoy any unit coming out of the Bureau, then Without A Trace is the show for you. Just as suspenseful and uncomfortable as Criminal Minds, this series focuses on a unit of the FBI that specialises in missing persons investigations.
With seven seasons originally airing from 2002 to 2009, it’s definitely a binge-worthy show. Plus, it shows a completely different side of the spectrum when it comes to investigative work.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order was an extremely popular show that resulted in a number of equally successful spin-offs. None were quite as successful as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, though. Now airing its twenty-first season, the show has been acclaimed for years for its depiction of the justice system.
It’s not a happy show, and it’s not meant to be. It’s an accurate series of tales that tell the tragic stories of victims of the worst kinds of crimes. If you like your shows on the hard-hitting, relentlessly gritty side, this is a must-watch.
Cold Case is the type of show that always leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, in the best possible sense. On the one hand, witnessing the unit solving murders that happened 10, 20, sometimes even 50 years ago, is extremely exciting. On the other hand, it’s still extremely uncomfortable learning about the ins-and-outs of these awful crimes.
It has the same team spirit as Criminal Minds, and the same eerie feel throughout the entire show. Even though the formulas are far from similar, it’s still a great series to watch if you’re truly into being enveloped by mystery.
Yet another absolutely incredible show to try, if you want to get deeper into the mind of a serial killer in an attempt to understand them, is The Following. It tells the story of such a character: a frightening and formidable man who manages to build a group comprised of other dangerous people who follow his every command.
The show only ran for two seasons and didn’t receive the same amount of acclaim as others featured on this list. However, it’s still a great character study for those who watch Criminal Minds purely for the criminals.
Idris Elba is a truly impressive acting talent, as crime series Luther proves. Playing the part of a brilliant detective who has an unlikely and unnerving friendship with a killer, the show has undertones of Mindhunter running all the way through it.
Fans of Criminal Minds will revel in the main character’s obsession with his work, and even more in the relationship he establishes with this strange ally. It’s definitely worth a watch!
Dark isn’t quite like anything you’ve seen before. It’s quite far from the realms of Criminal Minds when it comes to the formula, but it somehow fits on this list like a tailor-made glove. Maybe it’s the horrifying murders. Maybe it’s the persistent and everlasting sense of doom.
Whatever it is, this German television show should definitely be high on the top of your list if you miss the thrill of Criminal Minds. Sure, it’s not about serial killers, but it’s still grimy, scary, and filled with suspense, which means it checks many of the boxes related to Criminal Minds.
Honestly, is there a better show to watch than Mindhunter if you’re obsessed with Criminal Minds? This Netflix show is the perfect way to trace the origins of the BAU all the way to its inception. Featuring stellar performances, pretty much all the events that transpire on the show are taken from real-life events.
With cases even more bone-chilling (and a setting even more depressing and grey) than we’ve seen on Criminal Minds, this is the perfect series to binge-watch if you’re looking to fulfil your desperate need for more serial killers and FBI action.