Best ‘Walking Dead’ Characters, Ranked

These are the Walking Dead characters we can’t stop raving about.

by Kiona Jones
the walking dead best characters
Image: AMC

Ranking the best characters of The Walking Dead isn’t a task I take lightly. But it’s one I take on with pride while looking back on who left fans with the strongest impression and what made them so memorable.

Rick Grimes

Image: AMC

Right off the bat, we’ve got Rick (Andrew Lincoln). There is no Walking Dead ranking without him, not even in the spin-off video game Onslaught. He’s the heart of the series, even though he’s sometimes the most irritating character on screen.

Rick works best when he’s letting his moral compass lead him in the right direction, and dispensing wise words like, “We’re the ones who live.” But he’s often more interesting when he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Like that thing he did with the bridge that one time.

Negan Smith

Image: AMC

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is one of those antagonists of Walking Dead that both pissed fans off and intrigued them in equal measure. No character was safe with him. Yet, no ranking would be complete without him.

The best thing about Negan was his impeccable style. The Worst? His passion for truly inappropriate one-liners (“Sucks, don’t it?) and causing bloody chaos wherever he stepped foot. We’re not even going to get into his BFF Lucille.

Michonne Grimes

Image: AMC

Michonne (Danai Gurira) armed with a katana is one of the most iconic images from The Walking Dead. She’s tough, cool under pressure, and quick on her feet (or with a witty retort). No wonder she’s one of the best characters in the series.

There’s dependable (“Got to see it through”) and then there’s Michonne. While she later married Rick and took his last name, she lost none of her sass or her fighting skills. If anything, she just became more complex as we watched her build a family of her own.

Related: How to Watch ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe in Order

Glenn Rhee

Image: AMC

Characters dying is inevitable in a series like The Walking Dead. Yet, somehow, watching Glenn (Steven Yeun) meet a gruesome death in season 7, episode 1, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” was gut-wrenching.

We’d watched Glenn grow and survive some of the scariest situations while maintaining his status as “a glass-half-full kind of guy”. He’s had so many close calls that it’s honestly shocking that he didn’t die sooner. Glenn was easily one of the best, though, and we’re just glad he stuck around for as long as he did.

Daryl Dixon

Image: AMC

Daryl (Norman Reedus) is proof that it pays not to judge a book by its cover. At first glance, he’s one of those Walking Dead characters that’s going to make problems. However, he turns out to be one of the best assets on the team.

Don’t believe me? Just check out his spin-off series Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon also on AMC. You get to watch him take the post-apocalyptic fight all the way to France. As Daryl would say, “Today’s your lucky day, fellas!”

So, here’s our official ranking of all the best Walking Dead characters. Not everyone is going to agree with it. That’s the thing about fandoms, there’s always something to debate. With so many great characters, does the perfect list even exist? At least you don’t have to fight a horde of zombies to find out.

- This article was updated on September 28th, 2023

About The Author

Kiona has been writing about movies and TV shows for over 2 years now. When they're not hard at work, they're nerding about about the newest Star Trek release or getting into a new book.