The BEST Episodes of Criminal Minds

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Network: CBS

Special Agents Jason Gideon and Aaron Hotchner head up the FBI's most elite profiling team - experts in analyzing criminal minds. Each team member has their specialty. There's Elle Greenaway, who has a background in sexual offences; Derek Morgan, who focuses on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid the smart-but-socially-challenged genius; and Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, the rookie. With each mind-blowing case, they put their lives on the line as they match wits with the most ruthless criminals on earth.

Run (2)

#1 - Run (2)

Season 7 - Episode 24

As the BAU team continues to pursue the bank-robbing serial killers, the team determines that the suspects have a bigger target in the nation's capital, and with one of the team still a hostage, they must work quickly to diffuse an explosive situation. Wedding bells ring for one of the BAU. Prentiss ponders her future.

star 8.49
221 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer

#2 - 100

Season 5 - Episode 9

The BAU team races to help Hotchner find The Reaper and save his family before it's too late.

star 8.38
589 votes
Writers: Bo Crese
...and Back (2)

#3 - ...and Back (2)

Season 4 - Episode 26

The BAU tracks a serial killer who chooses junkies, prostitutes and the homeless off the streets of Detroit as his victims and takes them across the border into Canada. An agent's life is in peril.

star 8.30
415 votes
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero
Revelations (2)

#4 - Revelations (2)

Season 2 - Episode 15

In this conclusion of a special two-part episode, finding the serial killer becomes critical to the BAU when the team realizes Reid is being held captive and a live feed of him being tortured is shown on the internet. Meanwhile, Reid's troubled childhood is revealed in flashback sequences as he drifts in and out of consciousness.

star 8.21
557 votes
Directors: Guy Norman Bee
Writers: Chris Mundy
Demons (2)

#5 - Demons (2)

Season 9 - Episode 24

The BAU continues its murder investigation in Texas, and clues uncover a deep web of corruption that could be the motive for the killings. As one team member's life hangs in the balance, another concerned BAU member must face a sad secret from the past. Garcia is thrust into action to save a colleague.

star 8.20
722 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer

#6 - Lo-Fi

Season 3 - Episode 20

The BAU faces one of its toughest cases when the team is called to New York City to determine if a series of random shootings is the work of one serial killer or a team of killers working together.

star 8.19
511 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Chris Mundy
The Fisher King (1)

#7 - The Fisher King (1)

Season 1 - Episode 22

While on their vacations, each of the team receives a clue from a psychopathic killer challenging them to save his next victim.

star 8.18
576 votes
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero
No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank

#8 - No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank

Season 2 - Episode 23

When the prolific serial killer Frank returns and murders Gideon's girlfriend, Gideon takes off to find him without telling the team where he is going. The BAU must then profile Gideon as well as Frank to find both of them.

star 8.17
485 votes
Writers: Simon Mirren

#9 - Lauren

Season 6 - Episode 18

As Prentiss faces off against Ian Doyle, JJ receives a call and returns to help them find Prentiss and capture Doyle before it's too late.

star 8.17
562 votes
Writers: Breen Frazier

#10 - 200

Season 9 - Episode 14

When JJ is kidnapped, the BAU delves into her time at the State Department to find clues to her disappearance and uncover a secret mission that now puts her life in danger. To help with their search for JJ, the team calls upon Prentiss to help in the crisis.

star 8.16
784 votes
Directors: Larry Teng
Writers: Rick Dunkle
Hit (1)

#11 - Hit (1)

Season 7 - Episode 23

When the BAU goes up against a gang of serial-killing bank robbers in Washington DC, the team tries to negotiate the situation unfolding inside the bank, but the stakes rise when one of their own becomes a hostage.

star 8.16
509 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: Rick Dunkle
The Replicator (2)

#12 - The Replicator (2)

Season 8 - Episode 24

The Replicator zeroes in on the BAU when the killer targets one of the team as the next victim. The team is also called in to investigate a string of deaths in Manhattan tied to apparent ecstasy overdoses. Hotch discovers that his estranged brother is caught in the middle.

star 8.15
265 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer

#13 - Omnivore

Season 4 - Episode 18

Agent Hotchner revisits the first case he worked at the BAU when details come forth that one of the deadliest serial killers in New England's history has struck again after a 10-year hiatus.

star 8.15
474 votes
Writers: Andrew Wilder
The Company

#14 - The Company

Season 7 - Episode 20

When Morgan's sister sees a woman who looks like their presumed-dead cousin, Cindi, it forces Morgan to confront a lie he told his family last year to provide closure and compels the BAU to reopen the case of her disappearance.

star 8.15
526 votes
Writers: Breen Frazier

#15 - Penelope

Season 3 - Episode 9

As a team member fights for life, the BAU continues the search for an attacker that leads the unit to believe the assailant could be someone close to the investigation.

star 8.14
546 votes
Writers: Chris Mundy
Riding the Lightning

#16 - Riding the Lightning

Season 1 - Episode 14

After interviewing a couple on death row for serial murders, Gideon suspects that the woman is actually innocent. But since she's set to be executed in two days, it's a race against time to prove it.

star 8.13
601 votes
Directors: Chris Long
Writers: Simon Mirren
The Fisher King (2)

#17 - The Fisher King (2)

Season 2 - Episode 1

The BAU team continues to unravel the clues given to each of them by a psychopath in order to save his most recent victim. Gideon decides not to focus on the personal aspects of the case. Rather, he tells the team to profile the killer as they would in any other investigation. Reid stays behind to work on a personal connection that could solve the case as one member of the team fights for life.

star 8.12
645 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero

#18 - Legacy

Season 2 - Episode 22

When homeless persons begin going missing mysteriously from the streets in Kansas City, a local detective calls the BAU to investigate the disappearances.

star 8.10
475 votes
Writers: Erica Messer, Debra J. Fisher
The Big Game (1)

#19 - The Big Game (1)

Season 2 - Episode 14

In this special two-part episode, the BAU is called to investigate after a wealthy couple is murdered in their home following a Super Bowl party. The team pursues what they believe might be multiple killers who use webcams to record murders and upload the tapes on the internet. Hotchner, Morgan and Prentiss soon discover the unsub is actually one man with multiple personalities. As they close in on the killer, Reid faces a life-threatening situation.

star 8.08
521 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero

#20 - Derek

Season 11 - Episode 16

When Morgan is abducted, the BAU scrambles to find him and save his life.

star 8.08
1,311 votes
Directors: Thomas Gibson
Writers: Breen Frazier
Mosley Lane

#21 - Mosley Lane

Season 5 - Episode 16

The BAU is called by local authorities in Ashburn, Virginia, to profile a predator who may have been abducting children for at least eight years.

star 8.07
508 votes
Writers: Simon Mirren, Erica Messer

#22 - Masterpiece

Season 4 - Episode 8

When a narcissistic psychopath confesses he has killed seven people and more will die, the team must locate his latest victims before it is too late.

star 8.06
532 votes
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero

#23 - Mayhem

Season 4 - Episode 1

When an SUV carrying members of the team explodes, the rest of the team fights to save them and catch the terrorists responsible for the bombing.

star 8.06
585 votes
Writers: Simon Mirren

#24 - Entropy

Season 11 - Episode 11

The BAU implements an elaborate strategy to try and take down the “Dirty Dozen” hitmen ring, with Reid playing a central role.

star 8.05
1,258 votes
Writers: Breen Frazier
Brothers Hotchner (1)

#25 - Brothers Hotchner (1)

Season 8 - Episode 23

The Replicator zeroes in on the BAU when the killer targets one of the team as the next victim. The team is also called in to investigate a string of deaths in Manhattan tied to apparent ecstasy overdoses. Hotch discovers that his estranged brother is caught in the middle.

star 8.05
607 votes
Directors: Rob Bailey
Writers: Rick Dunkle