The Walking Dead: Ranking Every Season Of The AMC Zombie Show

Rick Grimes in Walking Dead flashback to premiere
(Image credit: AMC)

Y'all…it’s finally over. The Walking Dead has finally come to an end after its emotional finale. Well, I mean, it’s not really done completely, since there are going to be a plethora of spinoffs, but at the same time, the main show has finally come to an end. 

With eleven seasons, it’s time we did this – I, a fan who was there from the beginning, am going to be ranking every single season of the zombie show, from worst to The Walking Dead’s best seasons. 

Glenn's death in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

11. Season 7 

Oof, I’m going to need to do some explaining for this. 

Look, I love Negan. I’ve gone on for ages about how I think he’s seriously one of the best-written characters on television and why he was arguably the best villain in The Walking Dead. 

But Negan was hands down the only good part about this season. The Savior War didn’t even happen in Season 7 – it was all just build-up, and they were made to be so serious in comparison to the manic energy that the Saviors had in the comics that made them such a fun antagonist. Also, obviously, not a big fan of Glenn’s death – and clearly by the drop in viewers at this point, many others weren’t either. 

Rick and crew shooting in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

10. Season 8

Season 8 of The Walking Dead is just barely inching out Season 7. The Savior War was far too serious compared to the arc we are given in the comics, and let’s get this over with here – freaking Carl dying? Talk about heartbreaking. I mean, come on. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the kid, but he grew on me, and the whole point of the comics was that it was Carl telling Rick’s story to his kids years later. 

Definitely one of the worst deaths in the show, and one of the worst seasons overall. The only thing that saves it is, yet again, Negan. 

Samantha Morton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

9. Season 10

I wanted to love Season 10 so much, but there were so many things wrong with it that made me realize just how bad it was. 

I do think that The Whisperer War was better told than the Savior War, and that’s in part thanks to Angela Kang taking over as showrunner in Season 9, but there were still so many things that felt off. The Whisperers didn’t feel as menacing as they could have been, and were taken out so easily. I felt they should have been an even bigger threat than the Saviors and yet, dispatching them felt like child’s play for our group. 

The only saving graces for Season 10 were, ironically, those last episodes that aired during the pandemic that told individual stories and had really nothing to do with the overarching plot. Negan’s story was one of the best – same with Maggie. I wish they did more of that. 

Rick shooting Sophia in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

8. Season 2

Season 2 was so slow. My god. 

I know that it feels like I don’t like normal-paced seasons but come on, you and I both know that despite Season 2 being an intimate affair in comparison to the grand scheme of everything else that this show has done, it was so slow. The search for Sophia felt like it took ages – and even after she was found, we were still in that dang farm for the whole season. It drove me nuts. 

However, Season 2 did introduce us to Maggie, Beth and Hershel, so I’ll give them that. And, it started the friendship between Carol and Daryl

Daryl and Carol in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

7. Season 11

You know, I actually liked the last season of The Walking Dead. It wasn’t its best season, but I feel like it concluded a lot of decent storylines and wrapped everything up until the next spinoffs come around. While I despised the Reaper storyline, the rest of the season flowed decently well. 

Not only that, but the final episodes really started to set up the spinoffs that are coming – specifically Dead City with Negan and Maggie, and the untitled Rick & Michonne spinoff. It actually made me excited for The Walking Dead again – which was something I didn’t think was possible anymore. 

Rick, Glenn, Bob and Daryl in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

6. Season 5 

Season 5 was a so-so season, just like Season 11. It had its great parts – I absolutely loved the first half featuring Terminus, the cannibals, and the chase to find Beth in the city. Then Beth was killed, and everything went downhill from there. 

The next few episodes were so damn depressing. Like, I know this is a post-apocalyptic show but it genuinely felt like nothing was happening. The only bright light was when Aaron showed up with those pictures and brought our crew to Alexandria and finally they were given some sort of semblance of peace for the time being. But those first couple of episodes after “Coda” were rough – even if “Coda” was one of the best episodes of the show

Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira in The Walking Dead

(Image credit: AMC)

5. Season 9

Season 9 of The Walking Dead gets too much hate, and it’s specifically because Rick was “killed off” (obviously not) in the early parts of the show. But you know what? I’m going to say it – The Walking Dead needed that spark, man. It needed something like that. I feel that Rick leaving gave this show new light. 

It introduced new characters that I grew to like. It gave older characters the chance to shine and form new bonds. It brought in some really cool relationship dynamics I didn’t think would happen (Father Gabriel and Rosita, like really?), and everything worked so well. I seriously love this season – and it was a great set-up for the Whisperer War, despite the end product being…not so great. 

Lennie James in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

4. Season 6

Season 6 introduced so many great things to the world of The Walking Dead. Not only did we get to see the formation of one of the best relationships in The Walking Dead – Rick and Michonne – we got to see more towns introduced, expanding the world in ways we didn’t know before. It also told Morgan’s backstory, which was fantastic too.

We also got a hint of what the fight with the Saviors could be like, but sadly, that was left in the gutter with Seasons 7 and 8 – but the cliffhanger was something else. Had me on the edge of my seat for a whole year. 

The main cast of The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

3. Season 4

Season 4 was a great season. I loved watching the fall of the prison – not for the fact that Rick’s group deserved it, but it was the first real challenge we had seen the survivors encounter in years. The fight with the Governor was great, and the stories that followed each individual group were some of the best stories of the show. 

Like, Daryl and Beth, for example, was a pairing I never saw coming but their episode, “Still,” is one of my favorite ones, personally. And that ending, with all of them in the train car, about to take out Terminus, is my favorite ending. 

The main cast of The Walking Dead during Season 3.

(Image credit: AMC)

2. Season 3

There are so many good things I could say about Season 3. Michonne was introduced. The Governor showed his wrath. The prison was an excellent storyline. Even watching Rick become a total fighter and go into a war against the Governor was great. 

But, to be honest, a big reason I put this so high is that the story was tight and fast-paced, something I needed after the boring story of Season 2. Thank the lord. 

The first zombie Rick kills in The Walking Dead.

(Image credit: AMC)

1. Season 1

I mean, are you even surprised? Season 1 of The Walking Dead was certainly the best. Like Season 3, with fewer episodes, the story was compact and intimate, and it felt almost raw in nature. It’s like if we were in a world that had just turned into a dead wasteland – what would we do? 

I stand by the idea that the reason we like Season 1 so much is because we all see ourselves in these survivor’s shoes. The later seasons are so far down in the post-apocalyptic world that it’s hard to see us surviving that long, but in Season 1, we are all survivors just trying to get by through the sheer kindness of others, and that’s what makes the first season so good – it’s the story of humans just trying to survive, instead of trying to kill each other. 

The Walking Dead was one of my favorite shows for years, and while it’s bittersweet to see the original come to an end, I’m ready for the next phase of zombies – and happy to kiss this show goodbye as a new world starts. Now, time to count down the days until Dead City.  

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.