As any K-drama fan will tell you, there’s nothing like getting sucked into a good show. Whether it’s the heart-wrenching romance, the thrilling action, or the hilarious comedy, there’s something for everyone in the world of Korean dramas.
And with so many great options to choose from, it can be tough to decide which one to watch next. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
According to IMDb users, we’ve rounded up the 11 highest-rated Korean dramas of all time. So whether you’re a K-drama beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s something on this list for you.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn and settle in for good binge-watch.
Highest Rated Korean dramas
Hometown Cha Cha Cha
Hometown Cha Cha Cha was released in 2021 on Netflix, and it was a global hit. It is a South Korean television series including great actors such as Shin Min_a, Kim Soen_ho, Lee Sang_yi, and Kim Ji_hyun. In Hometown Cha Cha Cha, Shin Min_A (as Yoon Hye_Jin) is an intelligent and pretty doctor living in a big city.
But after losing her job, she moved to Gojin and opened her clinic for profit by doing treatment of the patients in Gojin. On the other hand Kim Soen_Ho ( as Hong Du_Sik) is also known as ‘Chief Hong’ in Gojin. He does not have a proper job but is good at everything.
Whenever someone from the village asks for help, Chief Hong immediately appears for use. He helps the elders in the town and does every odd job without getting shy. In the beginning, Yoon Hye_jin clinic does not seem successful because she thinks lowly of the people living in the village.
But after some time, she tried to understand the people in the village, and she started treating them with kindness. In the starting, the main leads had some conflicts between them. But after some time they liked talking to each other. Throughout the drama, both male and female leads have the best chemistry. It has a unique love story. Watch it for a jolly ride of an emotional rollercoaster!
Sky Castle is a 2018-2019 television series. Its first episode was released on November 23, 2021. It has a high rating on each platform. Sky Castle won many awards just after airing. It includes many young and adult actors such as Yum Jang Ah, Lee Tae Ran, Yoon Se Ah, Oh Na Ra, Kim Hye Yoon, and Kim Seo Hyung.
The series shows the desires of high-class parents and how they want their family to be successful at every cost, even by destroying someone’s life. The satirical drama revolves around the residential area “Sky Castle.” It was a luxurious residential area where only rich doctors and professors could live. Residents of the “Sky Castle” had a luxurious life.
In the series, Yeom Jung Ah (as Han Seo Jin) is a determined mother who wants her daughter to get into Seoul National University’s medical school at any cost. She hides her past (that her father was an alcohol addict who sells ox blood and offal) from everyone except her husband.
Lee Tae Ran as Lee Soo Im, who was a new neighbor in the residential area of Sky Castle. She disapproves of the methods that the parents of Sky Castle use for getting their children into any university. But other parents dislike her due to her different mindset. She knew the real identity of Seo Jin as they were friends when they were young. She was Hwang Woo Joo’s stepmother and Hwang Chi-Young’s wife.
Yoon Si Ah as No Seung Hye becomes friends with Soo Im. She was also aching that her husband used for their children. She wants to stop her husband from using the harsh methods of teaching their children. She was the mother of Cha Se Ri, Cha Seo Joon, Cha Ki Joon, and the wife of Cha Min Hyuk. Kim Seo Hyung, as Kim Joo Youn, a well-known tutor, her result rate was 100%.
But she takes only two students per year. Due to this, Seo Jin wants her to be the tutor of her daughter. Seung Hye former student of Lee Myung Joo, attempts suicide just after getting into Seoul national university. Seo Jin keeps this a secret from everyone.
Sky Castle has suspense and the best plot ever. The emotions are played professionally. It was realistic, unlike other fantasy dramas. Sky Castle has the best amount of comedy, mystery, and realism. The characters were well written, and you can feel strong emotion toward them.
Twenty Five Twenty One
Twenty Five Twenty One is a famous 2022 Korean television series. It is directed by one of the famous Korean directors, Jung Ji Hyun. It stars:
- Lee Joo Myung
- Choi Min Young
- Nam Joo Hyuk
- Yoon Joo Man
- Kim Tae Ri
- Choi Tae Joon
- Choi Hyun Wook,
It has 16 episodes. Twenty Five Twenty One became one of the highest-rated Korean dramas and a commercial hit. Its genre is a romantic comedy. In the series, the story revolves around a teenager fencer who aims to become a Korean national fencer. She has big dreams that she wants to achieve and meets a workaholic young man who wants to refurnish his life.
Kim Tae Ri, as Na Hee Do, in 1998, was a high school student and a member of the school fencing team of Seonjung Girls’ High School. But due to the IMF crisis in Korea, the fencing team of Seonjung Girls’ High School disbanded. Her fencer idol was Ku Yu Rim, so she did everything possible to get transferred to her school and train with her.
In the present time, Kim Min-Chae, the daughter of Na Hee-do, decides to quit ballet and leaves her house and comes to stay at her grandmother’s house. During her stay at her grandmother’s house, she unexpectedly finds out her mother’s journals, in which the story of her mother’s life was written.
Nam Jo-hyuk as Baek Yi-jin, a workaholic young man from a chaebol family. His family went bankrupt due to some crisis. As his family went bankrupt, he moved on his own, so he could try to regain and empower his life, although debt collectors were always at his door. He met Na Hee-do when he moved to a new place. He did many interviews and did his best to get a job and financially help his family, but he failed at all job interviews.
He did many part-time jobs to help his family. Hee Do was the only hope to him. They comforted each other in their tough times. After failing continuously at many interviews, he got a job as a journalist. They started dating each other, but their profession interfered in their relationship. He loved Hee Do from his all heart and rooted for her. Due to the physical distance between them, he couldn’t tell her about his tough times.
In the final episode, they broke up. This k drama reflects the reality so beautifully. It is heartwarming as well as heart-wrenching at the same time. It was a beautiful masterpiece from the first episode to the last. It is the most realistic k drama in k drama history. It is one of the most comforting Korean dramas.
Hospital Playlist (Korean drama)
Hospital Playlist is a famous Korean television series. Lee Woo-Jung wrote it. Shin Won-ho directed it. It stars:
- Yoo Yeon Seok
- Go Ara
- Jo Jung Suk
- Kwak Sun Young
- Kim Dae Myung
- Ahn Yun Jin
- Jung Kyung Ho
- Shin Hyun Been
- Join Mi Do
The first season of the hospital playlist was released on Netflix on March 12, 2020. Hospital Playlist is one of the top 10 highest-rated Korean dramas. The second season was released on June 17, 2021. The drama revolves around the five best-friends doctors who have been friends since their medical school in 1999.
As Lee Ik-jun, Jo Jung-suk is a general surgery professor, especially in liver transplants. He is recently divorced and raising his son on his own. Yoo Yeon-suk as Ahn Joeng-won, an assistant professor of pediatric surgery. He is the youngest son of the founder of the hospital. He has two older brothers and two sisters. His brothers were priests, and his sisters were nuns.
Jung Kyung ho, as Kim Jun-wan, is an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery, and he is currently in a relationship with Ik-jun’s younger sister. As Yang Seok Hyeong, Kim Dae-Myung plays the role of an assistant obstetrics and gynecology professor. Jeon Mi-do as Chae Song-Hwa, the only female doctor in the group of five doctors.
Her colleagues think she is perfect because she has a great personality, treats her patients kindly, and does hundreds of surgeries successfully. She is well known in the hospital for her humble nature and for being a perfect doctor.
The Hospital Playlist shows the chemistry between five doctors working in the same hospital. This Korean drama covers many topics such as friendship, romance, comedy, family, humor, and love for music and gives the best life lessons. The Hospital Playlist is one of the best medical k dramas.
Crash Landing On You
‘Crash Landing On You’ is one of the popular Korean dramas. It is written by Park Ji-Eun and directed by Lee Jeong-Hyo. This series was released in South Korea on Netflix on December 14, 2019. It is the highest-rated tvN drama. It stars:
- Son Ye Jin
- Seo Ji Hye
- Hyun bin
- Kim Hyun Jung
The crash landing on you, Son Ye Jin as Yoon Siri plays the role of a South Korean heiress. The storm swept her to North Korea. She meets a North Korean captain, who gives her refuge in his house. They fall in love during the time they spend together. While living there, she became close with ajummas and four captain soldiers.
In this drama, as Ri Jeong-hyeok, Hyun-bin has a pleasant personality and helps the locals in the rural village he lives in. While studying to become a concert pianist in Switzerland, his older brother died in a mysterious car accident in North Korea. But after his brother’s death, he returned to North Korea and joined the North Korean military.
As he belonged to a powerful family, he secretly started investigating his brother’s death. After the crash landing of Yoon Siri, he helped her hide from other North Korean officers and protected her. He tried his best to help her escape from North Korea. In the end, Siri returns to her homeland, South Korea.
Seo Ji-Hye, as Seo-Dan, is the fiance of Jeong-hyeok arranged by their parents. They were classmates in middle school. She is a North Korean heiress and a determined cellist. They didn’t have a happy ending in their countries, but they had a happy ending in the final episode in Switzerland.
The series shows romantic comedy, action, emotions, and fairy tails scenes. It is the best drama in Korean cable television history. It’s the highest-rated drama throughout the world. The characters were well played and had the best chemistry between them. It shows the courage to love someone and the braveness to continue on that path. The love between them will conquer everything.
The World Of The Married
The Korean drama ‘The World Of The Married’ was released in 2020 and was a global hit. It was based on the drama series doctor foster, written by Mike Bartlett by BBC drama. It’s one of the highest-rated K-dramas, although some people disliked The World of The Married because of its vulgar scenes. It starring:
- Han So-hee
- Park Hae-Joon
- Kim Hee-ae
Its final episode has the highest rating of 28.371 nationwide. The story revolves around a married couple who betrays each other, which causes a storm of revenge, grief, forgiveness, and healing. Kim Hee-ae plays the role of Ji Sun-woo, a respected family doctor at the best hospital in town. She is also an associate director of Family Love Hospital in Gosan, South Korea.
Jin Sun Woo is married to the hospital director with whom she has a son Lee Joon-young. Park Hae-Joon plays the role of Lee Tae-oh. Ji Sun-Woo was proud that her family had perfect bonding until she discovered that her husband (Lee Tae Oh) was having an affair with a woman named Yeo Da-Kyung.
‘The World Of The Married’ covers significant issues of families and relationships. You will indeed like its rich storyline and plotting.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’ is a South Korean romantic television series. It is directed and supervised by Park Shin-wo. It stars:
- Oh Jung-si
- Kim Soo Hyun
- Oh Jung Se
- Park Gyu-young
- Seo Yea-Ji
It has 16 episodes broadcasted on tvn and was also released on Netflix on June 20, 2020. After its release on Netflix, it became the most famous and high-rated drama in the romantic genre of 2020. This drama received eight to nine nominations and won 2 of them. The drama revolves around the antisocial children’s book writer and selfless psych ward caretaker.
Kim Soo Hyun, as Moon Gang-tae, lives with her older brother Moon Sang-tae. Moon Sang Tae hads autism. They frequently move from one town to another in spring because Moon Sang Tae fears butterflies. This phobia of butterflies is because he witnessed his mother’s murder. Gang tae (Kim Soo Hyun) works as the caretaker of a psychiatric ward at every place he settles in.
While working in a hospital, he meets a famous children’s book writer. The children’s book writer is renowned for having an antisocial personality disorder. Seo Yea-Ji plays the role of Ko Moon-young. She became romanticly obsessed with Moon Gang-tae after she coincidently met him. After that, she started trying to get his attention.
Due to some unexpected situations, he had left his city and moved to Seongjin City, the city where he lived in his childhood. He started working at OK Psychiatric Hospital in that city. Moon young went to Seongjin city to meet him. The trio(Moon young, Gang-tae, Sang-tae) became close friends and started to heal each other emotional wounds.
This Korean drama is very creative. They used fairy tales in the drama to explain the feelings and actions of the character. In other words, this is a perfect healing drama. Its twists, comedy, cast, acting, plot, and everything in this drama are excellent.
Mr. Queen (Starring Kim Jung Hyun)
Mr. Queen is one of the most famous Korean dramas in Korean television cable history. Yoon Sung-Sik directed it. It was released on December 12, 2020, to February 24, 2021, on tvN. It stars:
- Shin Hye sun
- Kim Jung Hyun
- Seol In-ah
- Na In-woo
- Chae Seo-Eun
This historical drama is the seventh highest-rated kdramas. Its final episode reached a rating of 17.371 nationwide. Korean historical dramas are famous worldwide due to their classic and rich storyline with perfect plotting.
In the present time, Jang Bong-hwan, as Choi Jin-hyuk, is a chief working at the blue house. An accident occurs to him. After that accident, he finds himself in the body of Queen Kim Cheorin( Shin Hye Sun) in the Joseon era. Kim Jung Hyun, as King Cheoljong, is an even-tempered and kind person. The real power is in the hands of late king Sunjo’s wife, Queen Sunwon (Bae Jong-ok). King Cheoljung only has the name of the king. Seo Eun-sol as Kim So-Yong, the Queen of Joseon, has the soul of a man in her body.
Mr. Queen has many funny scenes, but it also has some outstanding life lessons. Of course, it’s a Korean drama where you find everything. It’s a historical drama with many fun moments, unlike a sad drama. The script is well written, which produces suspense in each episode. The whole drama was like a rollercoaster ride. It’s a perfect mixture of romantic comedy.
Vincenzo (South Korea)
Vicenzo is the most famous mafia Korean television series in the history of Korean Dramas. It was broadcasted on tvN between February 20, 2021, to May 2, 2021. It consists of 20 episodes. After broadcasting on television, it was released on Netflix. This drama is the 6th highest-rated drama on tvN.
Its final episode received a 14.6% rating and became the 9th highest-rated kdrama in Korean television cable history. Vincenzo upheld its position and became one of the top 10 television series worldwide on Netflix. It stars:
- Song Joong ki
- Join Yeo-been
- Yoo Jae Myung
- Ok Taecyeon
- Kwak Dong-Yeon
- Kim yeo jin
In this Korean drama, Song Joong ki plays the role of Park Joo-Hyung / Vincenzo Cassano. An Italian family adopted him at the age of eight. Later he was adopted by Don Fabio, the head of the Cassano family, and joined the mafia world. He was renamed Vincenzo Cassano and became a lawyer. He was the right hand of Don Fabio and his consigliere lawyer.
After the death of Don Fabio, Fabio’s biological son and the new head of the Cassano family tries to kill Vincenzo. Still, he escaped from Italy and flew to Seoul to recover 1.5 tons of gold buried under the basement of Geumga Plaza, secretly by the dead Chinese tycoon. But a Babel Group has illegally taken over the ownership of that building. He reclaims that building and takes the chance to take that buried gold out.
Join Yeo-been plays the role of Hong Cha-young. Among the tenants of Geumga Plaza was a small law firm by Hong Yoo-chan named Jipuragi law firm. At the start, Vicenzo has some friction with Hong Yoo-chan’s daughter. But after her father’s death, she left the babel group and joined the Jipuragi law firm. She joined hands with other tenants and Vincenzo.
Ok Taecyeon plays the role of Jang Jun-woo/Jang Han-soek, an intern working at Bable Group. He is the assistant of Cha-young. He shows himself as a happy, easy-going, chill, and dumb person, but he is the real power of the babel group, the authentic chairman of Babel Group. He is a rival of Vincenzo. Kim Yeo-jin, as Choi Myung-hee, left her law firm and joined Wusang Law Firm as their senior partner and became the attorney of Babel Group. She helps Jun-woo in his schemes.
She appears cool-minded and loves Zumba dance, but the reality is quite the opposite. She is a corrupt person. Kwat Dong-Yeon, as Jang Han-SEO, is the illegitimate son of the previous chairman and half-brother of Jang Jun-woo. He acts as the owner of Babel Group. Jang Jun-woo uses him as his puppet. He appears to be rude, but he is nobler than his brother.
After destroying Babel Group, Vincezo recovers gold from Geumga plaza and buys his island near Malta. He left his mafia world and began to live in peace. This drama shows the cute relationship between the neighbors of Geumga Plaza. It’s a dark comedy and crime drama. Still, this is one of the best Korean dramas. You can’t call yourself a crazy Kdrama fan if you haven’t watched this series.
Goblin: The Lonely And Great God
Guardian: The Lonely And Great God is a South Korean television series. This kdrama was broadcasted on tvN from December 2, 2016, to January 21, 2017. It was written by the most famous South Korean drama writer Kim Eun-sook.
It’s the 5th highest-rated K-drama in cable television history. Its final episode received a rating of 18.68%. This drama is one of those legendary Korean dramas which received many awards. Its stars are Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-Wook, Kim Go-Eun, Yoon In-na, Yook Sungjae, Kim So-hyun,and Jung Hae-in.
Gong Yoo, as Goblin/ Kim Shin, was a military general from the Goryeo dynasty. He was framed as a traitor and killed by his young king. He was cursed to be an immortal, and as a punishment to endure the pain of that, he killed his soldiers. The only way to end his immortal life was to pull out the sword from his body. Only the bride of the Goblin can see and pull his sword out and finish his immortal life.
Kim Go-Eun, as Ji Eun-Tak, is a high school student. She is a jolly and hopeful student living a pathetic life. She is the Goblin’s Bride. She can see ghosts and summon Goblin because of how she was born. Her mother was injured in an accident while pregnant, and the Goblin saves them both. Her mother died when she was nine, and Eun Tak became an orphan.
She was forcefully living a tragic life with her aunt. Her aunt wants the insurance money that her mother left before her death. Eun Tak becomes interested in the Goblin after meeting him. Goblin takes her to his house, so she can peacefully live there to pass her examinations and fulfill her duty of pulling out the sword from the chest of Goblin.
The Goblin is a 939-year-old immortal. He was searching for his bride, who would finally pull out the swords, so he could eventually go afterlife and live peacefully. Yook Sung-Jae, as Yoo Deok-Hwa, was the only grandson of the Yoo family. His family was responsible for taking care of Goblin. He was a kind-hearted rich chaebol. He was a spoiled young man who only cared for Goblin for his new credit cards.
Lee Dong Wook as Grim Reaper/ Wang Yeo is a nice-looking grim reaper(angle of death). He becomes a grim reaper because he has committed the greatest sins in his past life. But he has no memories of it. He falls in love with a chicken restaurant owner named Sunny. He has some supernatural powers that he can see the past life of someone by touching them. He unlocks some of her memories by touching her.
He learned that he was the young king in his past life who killed a goblin and his sister(Kim Sun). Yoo In-na, as Sunny/ Kim Sun, was the younger sister of general Kim Shin. And she became Queen after marrying king Wang Yeo(grim reaper). King Wang Yeo killed her. Yoo Deok-Hwa rented the house to the grim reaper, then he(grim reaper) began to live together with the Goblin.
In the final episodes, Ji Eun-Tak pulls out the sword from the Goblin’s chest, and he is sent to a place between heaven and the world. And everyone except the grim reaper forgets him. He returns after years when Ji Eun-Tak summons him by blowing a candle.
Ji Eun-Tak marries him, but Eun-Tak dies in a car accident. In the grim reaper room, Eun-Tak does not drink the tea of after-life because she wants to remember Kim Shin. In the end, they met again after Eun-Tak was reincarnated. They had a happy ending together.
Goblin is one of the most famous Korean dramas. This drama has the best soundtrack ever. The bromance, comedy, romance, and everything is perfect in this drama.
The Flower Of Evil
The Flower Of Evil is a famous Korean television series aired in 2020. It stars:
- Lee Joon-gi
- Nam Gi Ae
- Jung Seo Yeon
- Choi Dae Hoon
- Kim Soo Oh
- Lim Na Young
- Jang Hee-jin
- Moon Chae-won
- Kim Ji-hoon
- Choi Young-Joon
It was broadcasted on tvN between July 29 and September 23, 2020. It was also aired on apps like Viki, iQIYI, and ViuTV with many subtitles. The leads, Lee Joon-gi and Moon Chae-won, have already worked together in a tvN series named Criminal Minds in 2017.
Lee Joon-gi as Baek Hee-sung / Do Hyun-soo is a man who is hiding his past and identification from his family. He is hiding his immoral past from his family. Moon Chae-won as Cha Ji-won, Hee-sung/Hyun-soo’s wife, is a detective working on murder cases. They both have a beautiful and cheerful daughter, that is why they seem to be a perfect family.
As a detective, Ji-won works on the series of murders, and she starts revealing her husband’s crimes. And in the end, she concludes that she is married to a killer. Both leads have the best chemistry. Their love, strong bond, and deep care can be seen through their actions. The script was well written.
It is one of the Korean dramas with the best plot, suspense, melodrama, and twist. The final episode of evil flower reached a rating of 6.2% nationwide. This drama has many beautiful and emotional scenes and gives the best life lessons. Applaud to the director. The acting was superb from the first scene to the last.
Move to Heaven (Lee Je-hoon)
Move To Heaven is a famous Korean drama released on Netflix on May 14, 2021. its stars are:
- Lee Je Hoon
- Park Jung Won
- Tang Jun-sang
- Yoon Ji Hye
- Ji Jin-hee
- Yoo Sun
- Lee Jae-Wook
- Jeong Ae Yeon
- Hong Seung-hee
Tang Jun Sang as Geu Ru, a person who has Asperger syndrome. He meets his uncle, who recently got out of prison. He meets him for the first time after the death of his father. Geu Ru works as a trauma cleaner. He is handling his father’s company named ” Move to Heaven.” Geu Ru’s uncle Sang Gu joined his nephew and started working with him. While working with his nephew, they discover the untold stories of the deceased about their traumatic life.
This drama was nominated for ten awards and won 5, including Best Drama Series in Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2021. It feels like a fun ride, an emotional roller coaster. It shows a young man with Asperger syndrome working as a trauma cleaner. This drama shows emotions such as heartbreaking, petty, happiness, empathy, and love.
The Devil Judge
The Devil Judge is a famous Korean series released on Netflix on December 24, 2021. Its stars are:
- Ji-sung as Kang yo han
- Jinyoung as Kim Ga-on
- Kim Min jung as Jung Sun-ah
- Park Gyu-young as Yoon Soo hyun
- kim Jae-kyung as Oh Jinju
- Young-nam Jang as Cha Gyeong-hui
It was broadcasted on tvN between July 3 to August 22, 2021. It consists of 16 episodes. The whole series revolves around the antiutopian version of South Korea, where people hate their leaders and live chaotic lives. Trails are held against the corrupted leaders of Korea. These trials are broadcast live channels where the three-judge fight against corrupted leaders to bring justice and peace.
The people call Kang Yo Han a hero because he punishes corrupted people without mercy. He is a chief judge. he has a mysterious background. He covers his real intentions. Jung Sun Ah(Kim Min Jung) is his greatest rival. She belongs to a low-class family and used to be a servant in the Yoo Han family. But now she has the power to influence the leaders of Korea as she works for SRF.
Prison Playbook is a famous Korean series released in 2017-18. It was broadcasted on cable tv. Its stars are:
- Park Hae soo as Kim Je-hyuk
- Jung kyung ho as Lee Joon-ho
- Jung Hae-in as Yoo Jeong-woo
- Lee Kyu-hyung as Yoo Han-yang
- Kim Sung-Cheol as Lawman
The story revolves around the daily lives of prisoners. The story’s center is Kim Je-hyuk, the baseball pitcher, sentenced to one year of jail time because he was protecting his sister from an assault and the hit person suffered terminal injuries. From high school, Lee Joon Ho is his best friend, Je Hyuk. He used to play baseball with him, but he left as he received injuries during a car accident, due to which he can’t play baseball anymore. Other prisoners think that he is only his fan.
This drama was nominated in 11 categories and won 5, including the Best Drama Award at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2018. This drama has a lot of funny scenes and gives some real-life lessons. It’s the best combo of comedy and drama. It’s perfect from casting and directing to production. Every character portrayed their role well.
Cath is a freelance scriptwriter, copywriter, and wife of a rockstar. She is also a super mom of twin teenagers. Her deep interest and observation of films, dialogues, and interactions between humans turned her into a famous scriptwriter in the town. Her main focus was always mental awareness, as reflected in her work.