Supernatural has been going on on the CW for a long time. Getting consistently renewed, it initially built a cult fan base and has now built a huge one. But it’s also lost some fans along the way, with some claiming that the CW is beating a dead horse. Regardless of opinions, it continues to thrive with ratings and hasn’t been hurt too much by the negativity.
Here are the complete seasons ranked from best to worst—at least in our opinion. You can let us know if you agree, or if you think this is list is totally backward!
13 Season 5
Season 5 is the one where many fans think the show peaked and where it should have ended. With Swan Song being such a perfect finale, it’s easy to see where they’re coming from. Lucifer possessed Sam as his vessel, and Sam managed to lock both he and Michael in the cage. Castiel went back to Heaven, Dean went to live his normal apple pie life with Lisa and Ben… it was as close to a perfect ending as the brothers could have expected to get.
12 Season 4
Season 4 is shortly behind season 5. It was the most cohesive season yet, with far less monster-of-the-week episodes and much more of an overarching plot. Episode 1 saw us introduced to Castiel, who claimed to be an angel (although we weren’t quite sure at the time if this was true). Slowly, we were introduced to the rest, and the battle of Heaven and Hell began.
It wasn’t for everyone, since some preferred the original three seasons, but it was brilliantly written and introduced a lot of fantastic characters.
11 Season 1
Season 1 was a solid introduction to the show as a whole. We met the two brothers, Sam and Dean, and were given insight into their horrifically tragic past. The format was much more of a horror show than the later seasons and even now, watching it gives us that nostalgic feeling that makes us long for the early days that the show has long-since moved away from.
10 Season 3
Season 3 was, like season 5, a place where the show could have ended and been good. The season was spent racing to break Dean’s deal with a demon that would land him in Hell in a year’s time.
It seemed as if they would break it—surely the show isn’t that dark—but at the end, Dean was ripped apart by a Hellhound and our last image was of him in the pit while Sam cradled his broken body. Sure, it would have been a terribly tragic ending, but it would also have been amazingly fitting for the show. And the season itself was amazing, the race bringing us so much horror and tension.
9 Season 2
Season 2 followed a very similar format to 1, with a monster-of-the-week format but with some of the mysteries surrounding the brothers beginning to unravel. In the penultimate episode, we saw the first of the brothers’ deaths (and there would be many to come, though we didn’t know it then). Sam was killed by Azazel’s plan and brought back by Dean making a deal.
It was almost as good as season 1, only overtaken by the first season for that sheer, raw nostalgia.
8 Season 8
Season 8 kicked off in Purgatory and that was part of what made it pretty good. Dean’s race to get to Castiel and get back to the land of the living was pretty awesome.
The season that followed wasn’t quite as good as that initial push, with the storyline being a little blander than we’re used to and making us kind of wish the seasons had ended at five, but it wasn’t bad. At least, not as bad as some of the other seasons. We’re getting to those.
7 Season 9
Season 9 dealt with the fall of the angels, which was a pretty cool concept, but it just wasn’t as good as the earlier ones. Although the villains introduced, like Metatron, could have been awesome, we were constantly reminded of how much better Lucifer was and how much stronger his impact was. When you’ve done the best Big Bad you can, you can’t really top it with a lesser angel, so it didn’t hit as hard as it should have.
Still, it was a solidly entertaining season.
6 Season 11
The Darkness was released in Season 11, an entity that apparently predated God and Death. It almost was the opposite of the villains in 9, where they actually did try to outdo Lucifer and we can’t really fault them for trying but… It still didn’t hit home very hard, and seemed almost ridiculous as they tried desperately to top what they’d done in the past.
They do go to Lucifer for help though, which is an interesting choice.
5 Season 12
They brought back Mary. They introduced Lucifer having a child. Just. What.
This season just started to get ridiculous, and it didn’t do the show any favors. By this point, it was becoming all too clear that the show was scrambling to outdo its past self and wasn’t quite managing it. There’s just nothing that can have impact like Lucifer, or Death, or a brief, vague introduction to God, and this is where we become inclined to agree with the fans that say Supernatural is starting to beat a dead horse here.
4 Season 13
The latest complete season is not the worst. It has the amusing Scooby Doo episode, for one, and the writing isn’t terrible. We also see Claire Novak and get a chance to see Bobby Singer again!
But watching it still gives off that vague feeling that Supernatural is beginning to struggle, that it really can’t do any better than it’s already done. Since it’s been renewed for season 14, they apparently don’t share this feeling, but we can see if it’ll get any better.
Somehow, it’s doubtful that any season will ever end up higher on this list though.
3 Season 10
This season mainly revolves around the Mark of Cain, which is some interesting folklore, and it also involves killing Death, which is a pretty wild concept but at least proves Dean’s love for Sam. It has a few interesting moments (we get to see Chuck again, which is both cool and wild), but it suffers from the same feeling as the previous seasons mentioned and is a little bit more of a slog to get through.
2 Season 6
Season 6 is one of the worst seasons. It’s the aftermath of where the series should have ended, and it feels like it’s just tacked on. Sam is, once again, brought back from the dead and it makes the audience feel as if death just has no consequence for the brothers any more. Which is true. Death is beginning to mean nothing by this point.
Soulless Sam is an interesting concept, but even then, it doesn’t make sense as to why Castiel hid that he brought Sam back, and Cas going dark at the very end just seems wildly unlike him (especially since he’s so quick to apologize when he realizes he’s dying).
1 Season 7
This season is the worst of them. Castiel is gone for most of it, which alienated a lot of fans at the time who had come to love him. They realized their mistake and brought him back, of course.
The Leviathans have the potential to be interesting, but it’s another case of trying to top what they already did the best of. Boo.