Ranked: The Best Seasons of ‘Supernatural’

Shows about ghost hunting are all over the TV universe nowadays, including as reality shows. However, fictional shows about hunting ghosts are still a popular genre. Supernatural on CW Network broke this mold, especially because it’s been on for an incredible fourteen seasons. It’ll be back for a fifteenth, though it’ll be its last.

Starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester, respectively, this was more or less a modern take on the Hardy Boys with a more supernatural twist.

While some people have barely noticed the series, devoted fans can easily rank their favorite seasons. It could be a long list, but here’s our own Top Five based on fan relevance.

5. The seventh season

Supernatural cast
Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Most fans would (arguably) place the seventh season as the least favorite of the series run. One of the biggest problems was introducing the purgatory-based characters called the Leviathians. These were supposed to be serious supernatural baddies on the show in killing people off with bad diets. The latter concept just became silly, even if the idea of demonic characters spiking the food supply was a brilliant idea in the abstract.

What bothered some fans was when the Leviathians killed off the Bobby character (played by Jim Beaver). Fortunately, they did bring Bobby back in guest appearances. He’s also back to being a regular on the show now.

What fans have appreciated about Supernatural is the amazing creative risks the writing team have taken. They perhaps experimented a little too much in Season Seven and hit a temporary wall. They did recover creatively by the next season.

4. The third season

Back up a few years and you’ll realize just how long ago Supernatural was on the air. If you can remember back to the 2007-08 writers strike in Hollywood, then you probably remember how it affected Supernatural’s order of episodes that year.

The writers for the show had to scramble to put the show together after the strike. As a result, it led to only 16 episodes rather than the standard 22. While you can argue this was an early realization of shorter seasons working better for shows like this, the narrative still seemed to work out.

During the season, we saw Dean deal with the circumstances of descending into Hell, which seemed outlandish, despite being an example of the creative touches this show dabbled in. Now you know why it’s had such a loyal fan base and has conventions every year.

3. The eighth season

As one of the very best seasons of Supernatural, the eighth year was a bit of a recovery from the seventh. This season took the supernatural elements and turned it into a larger scale war between good and evil. If you remember back, it involved attempting (and failing) to close the gates of Hell.

For fans of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it was also the season we saw his John Winchester (the father of the Winchester bros) return in a guest appearance. Within this time, Morgan was about ready to explode into a bigger superstar playing Negan on The Walking Dead.

2. The fifth season

All Supernatural fans often cite the fifth season as their most favorite of all. However, some place it second since the previous season had some of the show’s most creative ideas.

If you need a good reminder for some of the clever writing the show has employed, just look back at Season Five. We saw the Winchester brothers realize they were being controlled by archangels as a means of destroying civilization. Many episodes also attempted new genre categories, including a little comedy.

Despite the creative moves, ratings continued being tepid. Only a devoted fan base has kept it going.

1. The fourth season

Yes, the fourth season was much bolder in scope when you realize it involved utilizing heavenly angels fighting with the archangels. Fans realized this was heavy-duty stuff for network television.

Really, Seasons Four and Five are arguably the best the show has ever been in exploring the intricacies of Heaven and Hell manifesting though the Winchesters. Season Five was supposed to have been the show’s last, though it’s now arguably stayed long past its shelf life.