While high-ranked season finales might appear in a flash, most have yet to stand up to these ten greats in a more permanent fashion.
The season finale of Severance briefly became the top-rated TV episode on IMDb. “The We We Are” surpassed the legendary Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias” as the most critically-acclaimed TV episode ever. Of course, the honeymoon phase wore off, but that doesn’t stop that episode from retaining an incredibly high 9.7/10 average on the site. It’s happened other times, as well – new TV episodes hit the top ten before falling to the wayside. These, however, are the top ten most-praised episodes on the site as of today. They have stood the test of time thus far and may do so for years and years to come.
10. House, “House’s Head” (2008, 9.8)
Even though it’s number ten on the list, “House’s Head” has all the ingredients of a hit TV episode – a cliffhanger ending, action (fueled by illicit substances, in this case), and much more besides.
Doctor Who, “Blink” (2007, 9.8)
The classic long-running British series makes its only appearance in this list. “Blink” may be a modern cut, but it has all of the thrills that the decades-long institution has to offer.
Game of Thrones, “The Winds of Winter” (2016, 9.9)
So we see the first of the mega-popular George R.R. Martin-based series appear. This juggernaut, along with Breaking Bad, has seen critical award after critical award piled onto it. “WoW” is an appropriate abbreviation for this one, of course.
Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (2016, 9.9)
Here we go again. With a name like that, this episode has to be incredible. It would be foolish to make this description any longer, as the pen isn’t mightier than the sword in this case.
Breaking Bad, “Felina” (2013, 9.9)
It’s the finale of the most critically-acclaimed show of all time (according to none other than Guinness World Records). Even if “Granite State,” the episode between “Ozymandias” (which comes later on this list) and this one is not one of the top ten, it may just be the greatest one-two-three on the small screen.
Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere” (2013, 9.9)
Adjectives like “harrowing,” “nerve-wracking,” and “seismic” come to mind for this episode perhaps more than anything else on this list.
Breaking Bad, “Face Off” (2011, 9.9)
An iconic moment around midway through the B.B. proceedings (and with a funny title to boot, though we won’t spoil why), “Face Off” is one for the books, with a killer music selection to top it off (“Black” from Danger Mouse & Norah Jones, at the very end, is breathtaking).
Avatar: The Last Airbender, “Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang” (2008, 9.9)
A bit of an outlier, as it’s the only episode on the list from an animated series. Nevertheless, it has the fandom to back it up.
Six Feet Under, “Everyone’s Waiting” (2005, 9.9)
Another anomaly in the list, this episode is nevertheless ranked as one of the finest season finales in history. The birth of a child kicks off the episode, unusual given the name of the show. It spans a century of human life in its course, a synopsis of this wonderful experience we have on Earth. How fitting!
Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias” (2013, 10)
It’s really no contest. It’s the only one with a perfect 10 and a staggering 197,000-plus votes. The third-to-last episode in the show is something that can’t be summed up with this puny write-up. Watch it!