Netflix's most watched series of 2021 have been revealed

Can you guess which show earned the top spot at Netflix's most watched show of the year?

Sex/Life, Sarah Shahi and Adam Demos
(Image credit: Courtesy: Netflix)

What's more comforting than a warm blanket and a TV binge? Last year gifted us with plenty of enticing selections, but Netflix's most-watched series of 2021 have truly outdone themselves. 

While patiently waiting for the streaming service's 2022 debuts like Inventing Anna or Bridgerton season 2, why not use your time at home to catch up with the top picks from the past 12 months?

The Independent did the honors of calculating the platform's statistics to uncover the top 10 Netflix series of 2021. It goes without saying that you should familiarize yourselves with them all if you haven't done so already. Trust us, the numbers don't lie—there's a lot to love.

Netflix most watched series 2021

Heck, it's dreary out there and we're experiencing some 2020 deja vu, so curl up on your couch with one—or all—of the options below. What do you think about the findings? Do you agree with the top pick?

Lupin - Production Stills - Lupin part 2 release date

(Image credit: Netflix)

10. 'Lupin' part 2 (54 million streams) 

Rejoice! Lupin season 3 is in the works, so we'll be treated to even more espionage adventures from our favorite French thief and master of disguise.  

9. 'Shadow and Bone' season 1 (55 million streams) 

Shadow and Bone is the fantasy YA series-turned-show that hooked literary lovers from the get-go. In this interpretation of Leigh Bardugo's mystical realm, we follow Alina as she uncovers her magical powers and trains with the Grisha to help save the threatened Ravka nation. 

Be sure to read the Shadow and Bone book series before season 2 gets underway!  (And yes, there are enough differences between the book and show that make both formats a must.) 

8. 'Sex Education' season 3 (55 million streams)

Do Otis and Maeve finally get together in Sex Education season 3? If you don't know the answer to this, we highly suggest you get up to speed with one of Netflix's most beloved originals. 

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong, Connor Swindells as Adam Groff in Episode 2 of Sex Education Season 3.

(Image credit: Sam Taylor/NETFLIX)

7. 'Fate the Winx' Saga (57 million streams) 

If you thought your alma mater was challenging, try attending a magical boarding school in Otherworld. Learning how to navigate your magical powers seems simple enough, but when love, rivalries and monsters threaten the status quo, things get intense fairly quickly.

6. 'Sweet Tooth' season 1 (65 million streams) 

Thoughts of a post-apocalyptic world might be difficult for some to imagine, but a boy who's half-human, half-deer has to face a new chapter with a gruff protector.

5. 'Sex/Life' season 1 (67 million streams) 

Is it hot in here, or is it just that Adam Demos shower scene?

Sex/Life, a memoir-turned-series, follows a suburban mother who can't quite shake her previous love life. When her husband uncovers her erotic journal, which recounts a fiery whirlwind with an ex, things get dicey—especially when said ex comes back into her life. 

(Psst: this one is steamy, so be prepared.)

Sex/Life, Sex/Life season 1, adam demos, sarah shahi

(Image credit: Courtesy Netflix)

4. 'Maid' (67 million streams) 

Another book-turned-series, Maid follows a young, single mother as she attempts to give her daughter a better life free from poverty, a father struggling with alcohol addiction and unreliable relatives with mental health issues. 

3. 'Money Heist' season 5 (69 million streams)

Given the thriller's wild success, it's hard to believe that the 2017 hit, originally titled La Casa de Papel, was a flop when it aired on Antena 3. Though the series is over, there are plenty of shows like Money Heist to keep viewers on the edge of their seats...or you could just rewatch the 2021 hit a few times. (No judgment!)

2. 'Lupin' part 1 (76 million streams) 

No surprise here, folks: Lupin star Omar Sy hooked us in from the get-go!

1. 'Squid Game' season 1 (143 million streams) 

Squid Game memes flooded the internet, the cookie game took over and Squid Game dreams disrupted our sleep cycles. The explosive dystopian thriller had everyone talking. 

This interpretation of Korean children's games takes things to horrifying new levels, as the losing players are faced with death for a wrong move.

squid game

(Image credit: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix)
Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.