Squid Game

10 Shows You Can’t Miss If ‘Squid Game’ Had You on the Edge of Your Seat!

By: Matt

Squid Game was a massive hit when it debuted on Netflix in 2021. The Korean action-thriller was a surprise hit, hitting the billion-viewing hour milestone within a few weeks of its release. Now, several years after it first captivated audiences, it’s the single most-watched program in Netflix’s history across a whopping 94 countries!

A second season of Squid Game is coming, and the hype train is going at full speed. But until the new installment of this mega-hit appears on the streaming platform, you’ll need to find other gems to enjoy. Here are ten shows you must check out if you love Squid Game.

1. Black Mirror

Black Mirror

If you haven’t checked out Black Mirror yet, now is the time to do so! There are currently six seasons of this British anthology. Plus, there’s a special and interactive movie with branching narratives!

While very different from Squid Game, Black Mirror has a unique edge. Many call it the modern-day Twilight Zone. Each episode is different, finding new ways to comment on humans’ over-reliance on technology. There’s a wide range of episodes with different genres and themes, but each has a signature bleakness that makes it perfect for those who enjoy Squid Game.

2. Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland

Here’s an exciting Japanese show you can watch on Netflix. It’s based on a Manga of the same name, and many compare it to Squid Game for its similar thematics. Alice in Borderland is about a group trapped in an alternate reality. Like Squid Game, these folks must compete in potentially fatal games to stay alive.

The drama is all there, and many intensely violent scenes ratchet up the tension. However, plenty of tender moments will have you rooting for these characters.

3. Squid Game: The Challenge

Squid Game: The Challenge

Want to see Squid Game play out in real life? This Netflix reality show has you covered! Squid Game: The Challenge got tons of flack before it aired, but it was a surprise hit. This show puts real people in harrowing games, much like the Korean show.

Don’t worry: No one dies in “The Challenge.” However, there is still plenty of drama. The show does a fantastic job of building stories around genuine people. You get to know them and root for them, all while they backstab and lie to get to the prize.

4. 3% (2016-2020)

3% (2016-2020)

Here’s a Brazilian Netflix hit with many similar elements to Squid Game. In 3%, the world divides people into two main groups. There are the elite and the impoverished. In this story, young, impoverished adults get the chance to join the elites, but they must compete to earn a spot.

This show has many ingenious games and challenges, much like Squid Game. However, it’s less violent. Fewer people die, so it’s a great choice for those who want to enjoy the thrill of Squid Game without the gore and shocking violence.

5. Liar Game (TV Mini Series 2014)

Liar Game (TV Mini Series 2014)

Liar Game is like a low-stakes Squid Game. The story started as a Japanese manga, eventually becoming a TV show and a live-action feature film. However, the most-known version of Liar Game is the South Korean version that aired in 2014.

This game is much less intense than Squid Game, but it still dives into what people are willing to do when faced with desperate situations. What’s cool about Liar Game is that it has a direct spiritual connection to Squid Game. Squid Game’s creator cites the show as an inspiration for the global Netflix hit!

6. Physical: 100 (2023)

Physical: 100 (TV Series 2023– )

Physical is another example of Squid Game in the real world. But unlike “The Challenge,” this one isn’t a direct spin-off to Squid Game. Instead, it’s an entirely new program focusing on feats of physical strength. The show stars MMA fighters, military personnel, and more, all competing in physically demanding competitions.

This show isn’t violent. That’s not the goal. Instead, it showcases humans’ physical capabilities while leaning into the high-stakes competition. This show has many impressive moments, and it’s a great spin on the competition reality show format.

7. Hellbound (2021)

Hellbound (2021)

Want to watch something even darker than Squid Game? Check out Hellbound. This certified hit on Netflix is insane at face value. The Korean show features angels descending to Earth to inform sinners of when they’ll die, smoking creatures who violently take them to Hell and more.

It’s a crazy show with all the blood and violence you could ever want. However, some truly inspiring sequences are so over-the-top that you can’t help but stay glued to the screen.

8. All of Us Are Dead (2022)

All of Us Are Dead (2022)

All of Us Are Dead is yet another South Korean smash you can watch on Netflix. This show differs greatly from Squid Game. You won’t find any crazy competition. Instead, you’ll watch some teens facing a zombie outbreak in their school.

This take on the zombie genre is fascinating, and many say it’s a must-watch for Squid Game fans due to its depiction of complex moral struggles. Many of the zombies the key players must take out are friends, creating a new layer of drama with a sprinkle of teenage angst.

9. Mr. Brain (2009)

Mr. Brain (2009)

This show is a psychological science-fiction thriller/drama that makes you question life and memories. It features a brain scientist who finds a way to transfer memories from one person to another. This technology is terrifying, and the show’s depiction of what can happen when something like this is used for personal gain is riveting.

The visuals are amazing, too. As always, superb acting in this Korean drama sells the premise, even if it feels far-fetched.

10. Panic (2021)

Panic (2021)

This original show from Amazon has a unique concept that anyone who grew up in a small town can relate to. It features high school graduates in a small rural area of Texas competing to win enough money for college. The stakes are high for these young adults looking to get out and be something.

Panic isn’t as violent as Squid Game, and the games involved aren’t specifically designed for death. However, things get increasingly risky and personal. Like Squid Game, Panic does a fine job of helping you connect with the main characters, empathizing with their plight.

Hidden Thrills Worth Discovering

It’s hard to beat the high-impact thrills of a show like Squid Game. However, these ten shows offer some great action and drama. Whether you enjoyed the human element of people fighting for a chance at utopia or the shock of what some people are willing to go through for a better life, these shows deliver! Check them out now before the next season of Squid Game is here to put you back in the thick of it all.