There's Law & Order and then there's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit aka SVU. There's often a debate between fans of both as to which one is better, and while this is admittedly a very biased editor take, we've got to say SVU is better by a landslide. Nothing against the original Law & Order! It's been going on for almost 35 years, has had some incredible episodes, and paved the way for its successor. However, SVU is what took things up a notch. The combination of the pairing of Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni as the iconic Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, to the contributions of Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, and Ice-T as Donald, John, and Odafin, and, of course, the compelling storylines has resulted in not only the best Law and Order SVU episodes, but also some of the best television ever.
As long as crime is around, crime shows like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, and Law & Order: SVU will always be around as the latter specifically have and continue to pull from real life cases—similar to some true crime content. Having premiered in 1999, SVU is the longest running primetime live-action series of all time. has got 538 episodes in its catalog which makes a definitive ranking of its best almost impossible. That said, we're going to take a shot at it. Below is a roundup of the best Law & Order: SVU episodes of all time, ranked.
Editors Warning: Due to the episodic contents of Law and Order: SVU, the episode descriptions below contain mentions of rape, incest, and other sexual crimes along with murder.