The South Korean blockbuster TV show ‘Squid Game’ took the world by storm. The drama serial quickly became the most-watched series on Netflix. As its first season came to an end, people started searching for other TV shows like Squid Game.
Squid Game revolves around poor, cash-strapped individuals who are participating in a children’s game to win a huge prize. The participants are taken to a remote island where they will contest for the prize with their lives.
Before we start with our list of TV shows like Squid Game, you may want to check this list of the most-watched Netflix shows back in 2020.
That being mentioned, let’s start with our list!
1. Alice in Borderland | 2016 | 7.6 IMDB
By far the closest TV series to Squid Game is Alice in Borderland. The Japanese TV show revolves around obsessed gamer Arisu. Arisu finds himself in an abandoned version of Tokyo where he and his friends must participate and win dangerous games to survive.
2. 3% | 2018 | 8.1 IMDB
In a world divided between progress and devastation, the last 3 percent of the population lives in paradise, protected by an energy shield. On the other hand, the rest are left outside to survive as they can. They are told that they may rejoin society if they are chosen to go through the process.
The show follows a group of candidates who are part of the 3 percent, as they try to pass the Process and get inside.
3. Battle Royale | 2000 | 8.2 IMDB
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act. A revised version of Kinji Fukasaku’s controversial 2000 film, featuring more gore and graphic violence than the original.
4. The Hunger Games | 2012 | 8.1 IMDB
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem. The capitol forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic.
The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
5. King’s Game | 2017 | 8.3 IMDB
A horror story in which a group of people playing a game called the “King’s Game” start dying one by one. The only way to survive is to figure out the reason for their deaths and to find the King. The series is directed by Yukinori Makabe and written by Yūya Takahashi.
6. Would You Rather | 2012 | 7.1 IMDB
A game show that twists the idea of a typical game show by forcing contestants to choose between their morality or financial gain. Each contestant is presented with a series of dilemmas that pit their greed against their moral center.
The contestants must choose to either take the most money or do the morally right action. The winner takes home $50,000, but the show takes a psychological toll on the contestants.
7. Extracurricular | 2018 | 7.7 IMDB
Suzy Park and Byung-Hoon Lee are the most popular students at their high school. Suzy has had a crush on Byung-Hoon since elementary school. But she has never had the courage to confess her feelings, and Byung-Hoon is unaware of Suzy’s crush on him.
When they both find themselves in the running for student council president, they start to spend a lot of time together. As they do, they develop feelings for each other. However, they must fight against their rival candidates who are determined to win at all costs, even if that means breaking the rules.
8. The Liar Game | 2012 | 8.4 IMDB
The Liar Game follows the story of Nao Kanzaki, a college student who signs up for a mysterious game of liar’s dice. She does this only to find herself trapped in a nightmare where people’s lives are at stake.
The Japanese TV show is written by Shinobu Kaitani and directed by Takahiro Omori, who previously worked on Death Note, Monster, and Durarara!!
9. Belko Experiment | 2017 | 7.7 IMDB
In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans is locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia. The individuals are ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
10. Nerve | 2016 | 6.8 IMDB
The South Korean series Nerve is a drama thriller with a sci-fi twist. In an alternate near-future where technology can be used to play out online as well as offline. High school student Yoo Jin-woo ends up playing the game with someone he doesn’t know and finds himself in a real life-or-death situation.
11. Snowpiercer | 2013 | 7.8 IMDB
In a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer. Snowpiercer is a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine.
The passengers who are in the back of the train live miserable lives and want to climb to the front of the train where the environment is better. The front of the train is run by the engine driver and his guards, who enforce the class system.
The film’s protagonist, Curtis Everett, leads a revolt, during which the train is stopped for the first time in seventeen years.
12. Black Mirror | 2011 | 8.4 IMDB
A speculative anthology series that examines a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide. The series taps into our collective unease with the modern world and each stand-alone episode is a sharp, suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia.
13. Sweet Home | 2015-2017 | 7.2 IMDB
A Japanese doctor, who is married to a Japanese woman, returns to live in Japan after being away for a long time. As a pediatrician, he works at a university hospital and has a successful career. However, his life becomes complicated when his first love, who was his fiancée, who is a pure Korean, appears.
14. As the Gods Will | 2018 | 8.0 IMDB
Based on the manga of the same name, the film follows a group of teenagers who are sent to a rehabilitation facility after various criminal acts. There, they are forced to participate in a game resembling the Japanese game show “Kowarekake no Orgel”.
15. The 100 | 2014 | 8.1 IMDB
Following a nuclear apocalypse, 100 prisoners are sent back to Earth to test its habitability. The earth is now inhabited by deadly creatures. Throughout the season, the 100 struggle to survive and figure out what to do next.
TV Shows Like Squid Game: Some Honorable Mentions
1. Danganronpa: The Animation | 2013 | 8.2 IMDB
Hope’s Peak Academy is an exclusive private school that only accepts the best of the best. Graduates of this elite – yet enigmatic – institution have the world at their fingertips, but getting a cap and gown is easier said than done.
The hallowed halls are ruled by the sadistic administrator Monobear, who declares that the only way to pass the class is by sending a fellow student home in a body bag. If you can get away with murder, you’ll get your diploma. But if you’re caught red-handed, you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of a deadly detention slip!
2. Death Note | 2006 | 8.3 IMDB
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects—and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil.
But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life?
3. Black Bullet | 2014 | 8.3 IMDB
In the year 2021, a parasitic virus known as “Gastrea” infects humans and turns them into monsters. What is left of mankind now lives within the Monolith walls, walls that are made of Varanium, the one and only metal that can withstand Gastrea.
Soon, a young man named Rentarō, a member of the “Civil Security” which oversees the surrounding area, comes across a mysterious girl named Saya.
So, these were the top TV shows with a similar theme to the popular Netflix series ‘Squid Game’. Do you know any other great drama serials like Squid Game? We would love to know.