10 Shows Like Tulsa King Every Fan Needs to Watch

Tulsa King is the newest addition to the insanely rich repertoire in Sylvester Stallone’s illustrious career. Sly will portray Dwight Manfredi, aka The General, a mafia capo from New York who spent 25 years in prison. After his release, he is exiled to Tulsa without too much support from his mafia family, and he’s forced to build a new criminal empire in a land that isn’t his.

The show will premiere on Paramount+ on November 13, 2022, and by all accounts, it will be an awesome crime drama revolving around the mafia and all its darkest inside secrets. If you want something similar to Tulsa King, I got you. Here’s a list of ten shows like Tulsa King that every crime/mafia genre fan needs to watch. The following is an unranked, alphabetically ordered list.

Better Call Saul (2015-2022)

IMDb Rating: 8.9/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Synopsis: Better Call Saul is a prequel to the renowned Breaking Bad series. It follows a crooked lawyer that was known as Jimmy McGill way before he took the alias Saul Goodman. He works with the worst, pettiest criminals and is known for his hilarious ads on TV.

We follow Saul and the life that he led to get to where he was in Breaking Bad, meeting Jesse Pinkman and Walter White. The duo actually appeared in the final season of Better Call Saul, reminiscing of a scene from Breaking Bad.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: The story revolves around gangsters and the drug trade business in New Mexico, just like Tulsa King will follow the mafia in Tulsa. However, Better Call Saul gives us a look into another side of the business – from the perspective of a crooked lawyer who knows how to bend the law to enable the gangsters to continue doing what they do.

I thought that it would be impossible for Better Call Saul to come anywhere near the awesomeness of Breaking Bad, but after this final season, I have to admit that I was wrong. It’s just as epic, with just as awesome of an ending. I highly recommend it.

Watch the trailer here.

Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

IMDb Rating: 9.5/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Synopsis: Walter White is a brilliant chemist who, due to various circumstances in life, ends up working as a high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has an unborn daughter on the way with his wife, Skyler, along with a son, Walter Jr., who has had palsy since he was a toddler.

When Walt finds out he has terminal lung cancer, he teams up with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, and they start cooking the purest crystal meth the state has ever seen. Walt wants to save money to leave to his family after he dies, but as he dives deeper into the criminal business, it starts to grow on him…

Why it’s like Tulsa King: I don’t even have to say too much – Breaking Bad is one of the best TV shows in history, let alone in the crime genre. The psychological change that Walter White goes through is so gradual and so phenomenally portrayed by Bryan Cranston that one has to acknowledge him as one of the most brilliant actors of our generation.

If you ask Anthony Hopkins, the role that Cranston played was “the best acting I had ever seen – ever.”

Watch the trailer here.

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El Chapo (2017-2018)

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Biography, Crime Drama

Synopsis: El Chapo is a series following the life of Joaquin Guzman, aka El Chapo – a drug kingpin that rose to incredible power during the 80s and the 90s, all the way to his downfall in 2016. The story is inspired by true events.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: This is another story of a gangster going to extreme lengths, teaming up with unexpecting individuals, and leaving a bloody trail behind him s he rises to become the number one mobster. I read a lot about the real-life El Chapo, his connections with the Guadalajara Cartel, and the rise of his own, the Sinaloa Cartel.

The show does a nice job of showing the ruthless nature of running a criminal empire, but if we’re being honest, there are shows in the same genre that are much, much better. Like, for instance, the next show on this list…

Watch the trailer here.

Narcos (2015-2017)

IMDb Rating: 8.8/10

Genre: Biography, Crime Drama

Synopsis: Narcos is the story of Pablo Escobar, one of the biggest, most notorious drug kingpins ever. Throughout the show, we get a chronicled view of the events leading up to Escobar’s rise, fall, and death, from both perspectives – the police’s and Escobar’s.

We see Pablo’s life in Colombia since his criminal beginnings, smuggling stolen goods. However, when he saw how much more lucrative the cocaine business was, he quickly made the transition and became so big he literally didn’t know how to spend all the money he was getting, so he started burying it around Colombia.

After his demise at the end of Season 2, Season 3 shows the aftermath and the battle for power over the business by other Cartels after Pablo’s essentially died with him, leaving a gaping hole full of cash for somebody to claim.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: Narcos is one of my favorite mafia-related shows, as each character did such a masterful job at portraying their characters. We also saw how dealing with such evil and ominous people impacted the lives and the psyche of the police officers involved.

You will, without question, gobble up all three seasons in a binge. Every episode is exciting, and you won’t believe that it’s actually based on a true story. One could argue that the third season was the weakest, but it’s far from being bad. Long live Pedro Pascal!

Watch the trailer here.

RELATED: 21 Best TV Shows Like Narcos & Narcos: Mexico

Narcos: Mexico (2018-2021)

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Synopsis: Narcos: Mexico is a show following the Guadalajara Cartel, starting in the 1980s when Felix Gallardo (Diego Luna) took the helm of the Cartel. Before that, Mexican trafficking was still disorganized and divided, but after Gallardo, Guadalajara Cartel took claim of the business.

Meanwhile, a DEA agent moves to Guadalajara from California with his wife and kid but soon realizes that going after narcos in Mexico is way more than what he bargained for. This is the start of the drug war that is still lasting in the US.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: Again, just like Tulsa King, the show revolves around the mafia and the dark underbelly of the drug business. You might think it’s a sequel to Narcos, but Narcos: Mexico is a completely separate series. You might pick up on a few Easter eggs every now and then, but the series is a stand-alone, well worth your time.

Watch the trailer here.

Ozark (2017-2022)

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, thriller

Synopsis: In Ozark Marty Byrde is a financial advisor from Chicago who gets dragged into the crime business by his partner. He is forced to launder money for a drug cartel and move from Chicago to Missouri Ozark, where he does the laundering for his own financial gain, but primarily for the second-largest Mexican cartel in existence.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: In both shows, the lead character is forced to move states and begin their rise from scratch. Also, both are unaware of what they’re walking into, as neither knows who’s running the crime business in their new areas.

However, we see things from a different perspective – from one of the mobsters in Tulsa King and from the ‘money guy’ that makes sure everything seems clean on paper. They both have to enter unwanted collaborations with the worst people to keep their heads above the water and on their shoulders.

Watch the trailer here.

Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

IMDb Rating: 8.8/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Synopsis: The story of a big gangster family owning the streets of Birmingham, England, in the early 1900s. We mainly follow Thomas Shelby and his brothers, who return home after serving in the British Army during World War I. Shelby becomes the leader of a gang called Peaky Blinders and sets his ambitions way beyond the Birmingham streets.

He creates a crime business empire, not holding back from ending anybody who dares to cross his path.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: Peaky Blinders are number one on many people’s lists when it comes to the best Netflix original shows. The theme is pretty much the same in both shows – mobsters building their own criminal empires. The only difference is, Peaky Blinders is set around the 1920s, so the methodology of operation for the criminals isn’t quite the same.

Watch the trailer here.

RELATED: 18 Best TV Shows Like Peaky Blinders You Have to Watch

Succession (2018-)

IMDb Rating: 8.8/10

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: The Roy family controls the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. It’s a large family with many people involved in the not-so-clean family business. However, when the father steps down as the head of the company, the battle for his place will turn the family upside down and divide it right through the middle.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: Succession is not quite like any show on this list, as it’s not that directly aimed towards the mafia, cartels, or similar ‘families.’ This one follows a different kind of family, but the things they do to achieve their goals are just as brutal. Also, it shows what a powerful resource it can be when you control the media.

It’s really an awesome show, and I just had to put it on the list. The 8.8/10 rating tells you all you need to know to give it a go.

Watch the trailer here.

The Sopranos (1999-2007)

IMDb Rating: 9.2/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Synopsis: Tony Soprano is a mafia boss from New Jersey, and the story of The Sopranos is largely presented from his point of view. However, we get another layer of the story with Tony frequently speaking to his psychotherapist, and we also follow his life outside of crime.

The show is intertwined with an innate, dark sense of humor but also with a whole lot of violence, aggression, and all the darkest sides of the mafia.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: It’s almost blasphemous to compare The Sopranos to any other mafia-related movie, but it’s also so wrong not to put it on the list of the best shows in the crime genre. The Sopranos is a unique show that you just have to watch, not just as a lover of the genre, but as a lover of cinematography in general.

Watch the trailer here.

The Wire (2002-2008)

IMDb Rating: 9.3/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Synopsis: The Wire is, just like The Sopranos, an absolute classic of the genre. The story follows the streets of Baltimore and its world of gangs, drug trade, and law enforcement trying to fight it. We see the story through multiple perspectives – gangsters, cops, politicians, drug addicts, normal citizens, and the media. They all have a part to play in the everlasting war on drugs.

Why it’s like Tulsa King: Last but not least, The Wire is an absolute classic that you have to see to understand. For me, it’s Breaking Bad, then The Wire, then a whole bunch of empty spots before I’d pick the third-best crime show ever.

I won’t even get into the details. All I’m going to say is that, just like Tulsa King, the criminal underbelly of the US is under a microscope, but in The Wire, we’re talking more about thugs than some gentleman-looking mobsters. The Wire is absolutely ruthless.
Watch the trailer here.

  • Luka loves psychological thrillers, horrors, and mysteries. However, high fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel universe. Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast.