Who would've thought that Breaking Bad would become the phenomenon that it is? It was just supposed to be a small show on cable television about a chemistry teacher who begins cooking methamphetamine with a former student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It became a huge hit and has a solid argument for being the greatest TV show of all time.
Throughout five seasons, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and the rest of the cast were are the top of their game in bringing these characters to life. Creator Vince Gilligan crafted an incredible story that kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Over on IMDb, almost every episode of Breaking Bad has a high rating, but we're here to rank the 10 best.
10 Gliding Over All (9.6)
If you want a taste of how great Breaking Bad is, consider that a 9.6 score is only good enough for the #10 spot on this list. Other episodes scored a 9.6, like the one before this titled "Say My Name," but this got the position due to having more votes. "Gliding Over All" was the eighth episode of the final season.
This was the mid-season finale and it ended on the greatest of cliffhangers. It was something we expected since way back in Season 1 as Hank finally discovered that his brother-in-law was Heisenberg. Reviews were sterling, praising the episode for taking Walt to a new place. It was good enough to earn Michelle MacLaren an Emmy nomination for directing.
9 Confessions (9.6)
Get ready to see a lot of Season 5 on here. Episode 11, "Confessions," truly set the tone for the final stages of this wild tale. The cat-and-mouse game between Hank and Walt was heating up and getting more intense by the moment. That included the infamous confession tape.
Walt played a tape confessing to being Heisenberg, but only because Hank forced him to. He also revealed that Hank's physical therapy was paid for by Walt's drug money. It was one of the best scenes of the entire series. And then it was bested by Jesse finding out that Walt was behind the poisoning of Brock. Incredible drama.
8 Full Measure (9.7)
Season 3 ended on the highest of notes with "Full Measure." This brought to an end another stellar season of Breaking Bad and really got the Gustavo Fring storyline kicked into the next gear. Walt and Jesse realized that they were in danger of being taken out by Gus at some point, so Walter hatched a plan.
He suggested that Jesse kill his replacement Gale, which would keep them in business. The season ending with Jesse pointing a gun at Gale and a trigger being heard is a chilling way to close things out. This episode was met with heavy praise and earned Cranston his third straight Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
7 Crawl Space (9.7)
We journey over to Season 4, with the eleventh episode, "Crawl Space." We had Jesse driving an injured Gus and Mike to a makeshift emergency room, and Hank making Walt drive him to the laundromat/meth lab to investigate Heisenberg. Skyler goes to Saul Goodman for help. There's so much to like about this episode.
And that ending. With Walter, Hank, and his whole family being in danger, Walter needed $500,000 to go into hiding. When he discovered they didn't have enough money because Skyler had to pay some of it to Ted, Walter had a mental breakdown in the crawl space where the cash was held. It's an iconic image of the series.
6 Dead Freight (9.7)
Returning to the fifth and final season, we arrive at "Dead Freight." The fifth installment, this might as well be known as the train heist episode. Walt and his gang plotted to steal methylamine from a train out in the desert. It led to a thrilling episode with a wild conclusion.
Even though Walt put Jesse and Todd's lives in danger for the sake of the meth, they still succeeded. A young boy rode his dirtbike up to them and waved, only for Todd to shoot him dead and give us a chilling ending to the episode. An outstanding effort from the writers, director, actors, and everyone involved.
5 Granite State (9.7)
The penultimate episode of a season is often a big one and that's especially true when it is the episode before a series finale. "Granite State" was the last installment before the show wrapped up for good. It was titled as such because that is the nickname of New Hampshire, which is the state where Walt was hiding out.
This episode saw Walt struggle with his new life away from everyone, while also showing us Jesse getting held captive by Jack and his crew. Walt nearly gave himself up to the police only to change his mind when he heard the Grey Matter owners downplay his contribution. It was the perfect way to end the episode and send Walt into the finale.
4 To'hajiilee (9.8)
This show truly saved its best for last. There are so many episodes listed here from the final season and "To'hajiilee" is no different. The rift between Jesse and Walt was at an all-time high and there was no coming back from it. Jesse even worked with Hank to try and take Walt down.
Yet by the end of this episode, it was Walt and Jesse taking cover from a gunfight together. This was the episode that led right into one of the most insane hours in television history. Critics praised the plot twists and the direction of Michelle MacLaren, with some even calling this a perfect episode.
3 Face Off (9.9)
"Face Off" is the appropriately named Season 4 finale. Walt vs. Gus was the driving force of the series for a long time, with their first meeting coming back in Season 2. Many called this episode, their final confrontation, a masterpiece. Walt teamed with Hector Salamanca to set off a bomb that killed Hector and Gus.
We got an incredible fake-out where it looked like Gus walked out unscathed, only to reveal that half of his face had blown off and he dies. But that wasn't even the biggest moment. This was when it was revealed that Walt was the one poisoned Brock. It let us know that with Gus gone, Walt was officially the new Big Bad for the show entering the final season. This episode was nominated for seven Emmy Awards.
2 Felina (9.9)
When a show is considered to be great, it can be easy to deliver a disappointing finale. Think about Game of Thrones or Dexter. Thankfully, Breaking Bad had one of the best series finales in history. "Felina" felt like a movie that wrapped everything up perfectly, even if we did eventually get a movie that continued the story. It saw Walt return to New Mexico to deliver the rest of his money to his family.
While back in New Mexico, he also targeted the Aryan Brotherhood gang. Walt got revenge for them killing Hank, kidnapping Jesse, and double-crossing him. Knowing the cancer was about to kill him, Walt did everything he had to before dying on his own terms. This episode got overwhelmingly positive reviews and drew in over 10 million viewers, which was easily the most in series history.
1 Ozymandias (10.0)
A perfect 10.0 score is a rare thing on IMDb. "Ozymandias" holds that rating after over 107,000 users ranked it. Directed by Rian Johnson, this episode was the definition of "all hell breaking loose." Everything that Walt had done to this point came to a head and it resulted in the brutal death of his brother-in-law Hank.
We also saw major plot points come out. like Walter Jr. finding out about his parents and Walter admitting that he watched Jane die back in Season 2. Walt kidnapped his own daughter only so he could lie on the phone and exonerate his family from his wrongdoings. It drove home the show's theme that he was doing everything so his family could be secure. This episode earned Cranston another Emmy, as well as one for Anna Gunn and another for the writer, Moira Walley-Beckett. Many consider this to be one of the best episodes of television ever crafted.