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I've read way too many comics and watched too many movies to function in normal society.

TV show finales can only go two ways. They’re either loved or hated. Once you’ve spent five or six years talking about a show, poring over its mythology (Lost), admiring its Easter Eggs (Community), or just going from door to door demanding people watch it (Battlestar Galactica), you become heavily invested in how it ends.

Some wrap up everything, others leave you wondering what the deal with the goat was (How I Met Your Mother). One thing is for sure, you talk about the finale way more than most other episodes.

You can’t compare the ending to Lost to the ending of How I Met Your Mother, It’s apples and oranges. The best you can do is go on IMBD and trust in the power of democracy.

Here is a summary of the best, and most satisfying, finales based on their rating on IMDB. Because, you know, science…

5. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation held a very solid 8.6 average throughout its run. For most shows this would be an amazing score, but the finale went one better. "One Last Ride: Part 2" comes in at a whopping 9.7!

One of the reasons Parks and Recreation was a success throughout its run was keeping true to what its fans wanted. The finale certainly delivered on that score. Not only were all the cast members back- yes even Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe- but the story delivered too. A quick look back at how it all began and a slightly teary eyed look into an optimistic future gave a satisfying finale few could have found fault with.

I said a few...
I said a few...

4. Spartacus: War of the Damned

Believe it or not, Spartacus has an average series rating of 8.7! Personally, I loved it but it was often criticised for its brutality and went unrecognised for being a show that combined violence and tender moments in equal measure. Many of the things it was slated for, Game of Thrones is loved for. Go figure.

Anyway, the finale scored a very impressive 9.7. It gave the fans everything they deserved and more. They could have cheated and allowed more of the characters to have a happy ending- but they didn’t. Many of the people that had gone through great trials and had endured extreme hardships fell in the final battle for freedom. In fact, only one of the former gladiators from season one makes it out alive. It’s beautifully fitting for a show that made no promises and often cut down a beloved character in the prime of their life.

The final moments that gave former lead Andy Whitfield a touching tribute were genuinely beautiful. A fitting end for a man, who like Spartacus himself, died bravely at the top of his game.

3. The Office

I’m British. I love a cup of tea and a red phone box and know all the words to the national anthem. And I still like the American version of the show better. It’s funnier, warmer and lacks the slightly smug air of the Ricky Gervais version.

The Office holds an average series rating of 8.8 but what gave the finale a rating of 9.7 is that it gave the fans a sense of closure. Set a year after the rest of the series closed, the finale brings back former lead, Steve Carrell, and the rest of the main cast to discuss the documentary that had acted as the catalyst for the show. It also covered the wedding of Dwight and Angela, which might have been a bit predictable but was a fitting end nonetheless.

2. Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under had all the hallmarks of a cult classic yet managed to maintain mainstream success. Another show with an average rating of 8.8, the finale pulls out all the stops and brings home an astonishing score of 9.8!

The finale had everything. Birth, happiness, sadness, pain. Everything that had made the show captivating was condensed into a single episode without losing what made it special.

The birth of baby Willa 8 weeks early and the reactions of the other characters bring the show to a fitting conclusion and the final scenes remain talked about to this day.

1. Breaking Bad

It’s hardly surprising that Breaking Bad makes this list. The fans of the show treat it as seriously as a religion and it’s easy to see why. I can’t find a single show that holds an average rating of 9.5. It’s unheard of. Most shows would kill to get a single episode at that score.

The finale has an IMBD score of 9.8, as close to perfect as any show is likely to get. Amazing considering it struggled to find an audience in its first season.

The finale, like the others on this list followed the golden rule of finales- give the fans what they deserve! After five seasons, and more twists and turns than a republican politician caught out on Ashley Madison, the finale goes back to the beginning.

Walter White goes home to settle old scores and secure his family’s future and confronts the Neo Nazis that stole his money.

For a show loved for going to the dark places that nice people don’t want to acknowledge exists, the finale goes DARK!

I’m not going to spoil the ending for those still binge watching on Netflix, however, I will say this- the finale, like the rest of the show, transcends TV, and film for that matter, and truly deserves its place in pop-culture. It’s hard to imagine any show delivering so much and giving the fans such an amazing send-off.

So, that’s it. The best rated finales of all time. Personally, I loved the ending to Battlestar Galactica, but I get why some fans threw things at the TV. I also get why people loved Ted ending up with Robyn in How I Met Your Mother, after a few more years with my shrink I may love it too.

One thing is for sure, when a series ends, it leaves a void. At least until the next great show comes along…

What's your favouite series finale? Comment below!
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