7 best ‘Walking Dead’ spinoffs, ranked

 Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead.
Credit: AMC

Since its debut in 2010, "The Walking Dead" has become such a well-loved franchise, and it turned me into one of the biggest fans. It instantly charmed audiences with its intense action, realistic characters, and post-apocalyptic world full of savage zombies (correct term being walkers in the show).

The success of this series grew with a universe of spinoffs, each expanding the lore and exploring new places in this dystopian world. From prequels showing the beginning of the apocalypse to individual character stories, these spinoffs have carved their own paths while staying true to the spirit of the original series.

So, which spinoffs should you actually pay attention to? We rank the seven best "Walking Dead" spinoffs based on their storytelling, character development, and overall impact on the franchise.

7. ‘Flight 462’

"Flight 462" is a web series and a spinoff of the popular TV show "Fear the Walking Dead”, which is itself a companion series to "The Walking Dead." This mini spinoff consists of sixteen webisodes, each approximately one minute long.

The story of "Flight 462" takes place on a commercial airplane during the early stages of the zombie outbreak. As the infection begins to spread, passengers and crew must deal with the terrifying realization that the undead are among them. The narrative focuses on the chaos and fear that ensues as the characters try to survive the flight.

It was actually well-received for its suspenseful storytelling and effective use of the webisode format to deliver a compact, thrilling narrative. However, this series is the lowest ranked on our list because the acting isn't particularly great, and it's one spinoff you could easily forget.

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6. ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’

"World Beyond" expands the universe of "The Walking Dead" by focusing on a new generation of survivors. It follows a group of teenagers from the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse, particularly sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope Bennett (Alexa Mansour) and their friends Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston), who leave the safety of their community to embark on a dangerous journey across the country. Their mission is to find Hope and Iris’s father, a scientist working on a potential cure for the zombie virus.

Unlike the other spinoffs in the franchise, "World Beyond" presents the apocalypse from the perspective of younger characters who have grown up knowing only this world. And it’s a very engaging narrative considering we’ve only seen adults navigate the apocalypse.

Though, again, the acting isn't powerful enough to rank it higher on our list, along with some empty episodes that included too much dialogue rather than brutal zombie action.

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5.  ‘Tales Of The Walking Dead’

This is where we move on to some really engaging spinoffs, one of them being "Tales of the Walking Dead," since it does something different by being an anthology series. It offers a fresh perspective by exploring new stories and characters within the same apocalyptic world.

Each episode delves into different aspects of life during the zombie apocalypse while introducing new characters and their struggles. However, it occasionally features known characters from the broader "Walking Dead" universe, providing background stories or filling in narrative gaps that didn’t suit the main show. It’s also something you can watch without having seen “The Walking Dead,” making it the perfect standalone spinoff.

As Brad Newsome from Sydney Morning Herald put it: "There’s life in the old zombies yet! This anthology series brings plenty of new faces and interesting one-off stories to the well-trodden Walking Dead dystopia."

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4. ‘The Walking Dead: Dead City’

A huge favorite of mine has to be "Dead City" purely because of the “Resident Evil” vibes it gives off. The spinoff centers around the beloved characters Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as they venture into post-apocalyptic Manhattan, which has been long cut off from the mainland.

Maggie and Negan’s uneasy alliance is a focal point, as they must work together to survive despite their past conflicts (if you've seen the main show, you'll know why). The series does an excellent job at exploring their relationship as they navigate the dangers of a city teeming with walkers and unfriendly human factions.

If you’re a fan of the franchise who stuck with the show over the years right until the very end (like me), then you'll definitely enjoy this trip to New York. It's a fun series that throws two enemies into the same room and locks the door.

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3. ‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’

Creeping into the top three, we have this highly rated spinoff series that centers around the incredibly popular character Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). It follows his journey after the main show as he somehow finds himself in France. Once he meets Isabelle (Clémence Poésy), she tasks him with the mission of safely transporting a young boy named Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) in exchange for her help.

Separated from his familiar surroundings in the United States, Daryl must navigate this new and unfamiliar terrain, facing unique challenges and encountering new characters along the way. This spinoff offers fans the chance to see Daryl in a different light, facing new types of walker variants and humans that threaten his new friends.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this spinoff. Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg said it "brings the franchise back to life," and I honestly couldn't agree more. Seeing the apocalypse in a completely different location is also refreshing to see when we've always been focused on the United States. Therefore, it has earned its place as the third best spinoff on our list.

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2. ‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’

Now we’re getting into two of the best spinoffs ever in this franchise. "The Ones Who Live" continues the story of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), two of the most iconic characters from "The Walking Dead" universe.

After being separated for a long time, the series explores their efforts to find each other and navigate the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world together. You’ll learn more about their individual experiences during their separation and how those experiences have changed them. It also provides insight into what happened to Rick after he was taken away by the CRM (Civic Republic Military), a mysterious organization that plays a significant role in the larger "Walking Dead" narrative.

What makes this spinoff so damn good is Rick and Michonne's chemistry. Their dedication to one another makes the series feel so special, as it's essentially a love story in an apocalypse. "The Ones Who Live" manages to be sad, sinister, and satisfying all at once.

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1. ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

The trophy for the best spinoff goes to "Fear the Walking Dead," a prequel series that explores the onset of the zombie apocalypse from the perspective of a blended family in Los Angeles. The series starts slightly before the events of "The Walking Dead" and provides insight into how society collapsed as the outbreak began.

Of course, we also see the characters struggle to survive and adapt as they encounter the rapidly spreading undead and other desperate survivors. It's exactly what you would expect to happen in real life.

I’ve put this spinoff in first place just because it was interesting to see how the world completely changed in a matter of days, and it felt chilling to watch. The Clark family, comprising Madison (Kim Dickens), Travis (Cliff Curtis), Nick (Frank Dillane), and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) also make this show exceptional just by portraying realistic people in a world that is falling apart.

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