The Top 50 Highest-Rating Korean Dramas of All Time


Can you guess which programme won the award?

There’s no stopping our adoration for everything K-drama. We offer you the facts on the Korean dramas that have received the highest ratings on cable TV as part of our ongoing hunt for the greatest K-dramas of all time. Think of it as a must-see list of shows that every true K-fan should watch.

See if your favourite made the top 50 by reading the information below.

Note: The list has been updated to reflect each show’s highest-rated episode as of September 24, 2022, according to Nielsen Korea. Should a new drama receive a higher rating in the future, this could alter. It excludes programmes from public channels (KBS, SBS, MBC), which have a logically higher viewership.

There’s no deterring our love affair with all things K-drama. In our continuous search for the best K-dramas of all time, we give you the lowdown on the highest rating Korean dramas on cable TV. Think of it as an essential tried-and-tested listicle of shows any genuine K-fan should watch.

Read up below to see if your favorite made it to the top 50.

Note: The list has been updated to reflect each show’s highest rating episode as per Nielsen Korea as of September 24, 2022. It’s subject to change should a new drama rate higher in the future. It does not include shows from public channels (KBS, SBS, MBC) which naturally have more viewers.

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1. The World of the Married (2020)

Rating: 28.371%

TV Channel: JTBC

The seemingly ideal life of a respected doctor is shattered when she learns that her spouse is an adulterer. A bitter back-and-forth develops between the two as they each strive to wreak retribution on the other in her quest to demand revenge for his betrayal. The World of the Married broke its own record of 24.44% established just one episode earlier when its finale episode’s TV ratings of 28.37% were posted.

2. Sky Castle (2018)

Rating: 23.779%

TV Channel: JTBC

Four housewives in Sky Castle, a posh neighbourhood, are the focus of this satirical drama. The ladies are ruthlessly ambitious and would do anything it takes to get their kids into Seoul National University.

Starring: Yeom Jung Ah, Lee Tae Ran, Yoon Se Ah, Oh Na Ra, Kim Seo Hyung

3. Crash Landing on You (2019)

Rating: 21.683%

TV Channel: tvN

When the former crashes into North Korean territory following a paragliding accident, the lives of a South Korean heiress and a North Korean military commander clash.

Starring: Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin, Seo Ji Hye, Kim Jung Hyun

4. Reply 1988 (2015)

Rating: 18.803%

TV Channel: tvN

Five childhood friends who still reside in the same Ssangmundong neighbourhood rely on one another as they approach the most challenging period of their adolescent lives.

Starring: Hyeri, Park Bo Gum, Ryoon Joon Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi

5. Goblin (2016)

Rating: 18.680%

TV Channel: tvN

A 939-year-old Goblin, also known as the Protector of Souls, finds himself falling in love with the girl who would put an end to his cursed everlasting life in this romantic fantasy drama.

Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook

6. Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Rating: 18.129%

TV Channel: tvN

During the Shinmiyangyo event in 1871, a young man from a house servant’s family who was born into poverty moves to the United States. He quickly develops into a military commander in the United States who returns to his own country and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter while exposing a terrible plan by foreigners to invade Korea.

Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri

7. Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

Rating: 17.534%

TV Channel: ENA

Woo Young-woo is a brilliant lawyer with savant syndrome who is also socially uncomfortable. Her coworkers at her new job first treat her with prejudice, but case after case shows how talented and resilient she is. Her close friend Dong Geu Ra-mi is at her side, as is Lee Joon-ho, a charming litigator in their company.

Starring: Park Eun Bin, Kang Tae Oh, Joo Hyun Young

8. Mr. Queen (2020)

Rating: 17.371%

TV Channel: tvN

Famous chef Jang Bong-hwan of the President’s Blue House is involved in a brawl in contemporary Seoul that causes him to fall from a skyscraper. When he awakens, he discovers that he has been transported back in time to the Joseon era and that Queen Kim So-body yong’s is now home to his soul. He sets out to discover more about the queen’s life because he can’t get out of this strange circumstance, but instead becomes sucked into the political drama of the Kingdom.

Starring: Shin Hye Sun, Kim Jung Hyun

9. Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) 2 (2021)

Rating: 16.582%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

In the second season of Love, there are even more illegal relationships, conflict, and betrayals (ft. Marriage and Divorce). This time, the drama intensifies the breakdown of the marriages of our three main radio programme hosts as we learn more about their husbands’ mistresses.

Starring: Lee Ga Ryeong, Sung Hoon, Park Joo Mi

10. Itaewon Class (2020)

Rating: 16.548%

TV Channel: JTBC

With the help of his eccentric staff, ex-con Park Saeroyi strives to become his humble bar Itaewon’s favourite pub. As they contend with the merciless CEO of Jangga Co., also known as the person in charge of starting a series of events that led to Saeroyi’s arrest in the first place, achieving their aim proves to be a challenge.

Starring: Park Seo Joon, Kim Da Mi, Kwon Nara, Ahn Bo Hyun

11.Vincenzo (2021)

Rating: 14.636%

TV Channel: tvN

Vincenzo Cassano, an Italian Mafia lawyer of South Korean descent, leaves for his own country after being embroiled in a conflict between two rival groups. He joins forces with a feisty female lawyer to bring terrible criminals to justice in Seoul by any means necessary.

Starring: Song Joong Ki, Jeon Yeo Bin, Ok Taecyeon, Kwak Dong Yeon

12. Our Blues (2022)

Rating: 14.597%

TV Channel: tvN

Our Blues takes place on Jeju Island and features a star-studded ensemble cast. Here, as several people navigate the ambiguous movements of provincial life, their lives unexpectedly entangle.

Starring: Shin Min Ah, Kim Woo Bin, Lee Byung Hun, Uhm Jung Hwa

13. 100 Days My Prince (2018)

Rating: 14.412%

TV Channel: tvN

The bright, single lady Hong Shim and her father find up taking care of Lee Yul, the crown prince who has amnesia. He marries Hong Shim, thinking of himself as a commoner, to spare her from being punished for breaking a rule he himself made as a prince.

Starring: Do Kyung Soo, Nam Ji Hyun, Kim Seon Ho

14. Hospital Playlist (2020)

Rating: 14.142%

TV Channel: tvN

Five physicians who have known each other since medical school navigate the ups and downs of their careers at Yulje Medical Center while also banding together to share their passion of music.

Starring: Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jeon Mi Do, Kim Dae Myung, Jung Kyoung Ho

15. Hospital Playlist 2 (2021)

Rating: 14.080%

TV Channel: tvN

The friendship of five former college buddies who are now physicians is put to the test in yet another season of Hospital Playlist as they cope with life, death, and everything in between at their hospital.

Starring: Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jeon Mi Do, Kim Dae Myung, Jung Kyoung Ho

16. Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

Rating: 12.665%

TV Channel: tvN

The show centres on Yoon Hye-jin, a stunning woman who works as a well regarded dentist. She ends herself relocating to the coastal resort of Gongjin however after her seemingly perfect existence unravels. In the process of trying to relaunch her career, she meets Hong Doo-shik, also known as Mr. Hong in the community, and gradually grows fond of him. Mr. Hong, who is unemployed, is a master of all crafts and will accept any odd work if it will benefit the residents of Gongjin.

Starring: Kim Seon Ho, Shin Min Ah, Lee Sang Yi

17. Signal (2016)

Rating: 12.544%

TV Channel: tvN

Police lieutenant and criminal profiler Park Hae-Yeong teams up with a detective in 1989 to investigate three decades’ worth of connected murders after obtaining an unique walkie-talkie with time travel capabilities.

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Cho Jin Woong

18. The Lady in Dignity (2017)

Rating: 12.065%

TV Channel: JTBC

A wealthy woman leading a lavish lifestyle discovers that her daily routine is marred when a mystery stranger enters her house to care for her ailing father-in-law.

Starring: Kim Hee Sun, Kim Sun Ah

19. Hotel del Luna (2019)

Rating: 12.001%

TV Channel: tvN

The strange Hotel del Luna, which is situated in the heart of Seoul, has been a haven for wandering spirits for many centuries. Jang Man Wol, the CEO, is sentenced to lead the company for all of eternity as retribution for a sin she can’t recall. The only way she can escape her punishment is to track down a criminal who has done a far greater crime than she has.

Starring: IU, Yeo Jin Goo

20. Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

Rating: 11.513%

TV Channel: tvN

This coming-of-age drama, which is set in 1998, follows its teenage protagonists as they must deal with the fallout from the IMF crisis in Korea. Baek Yi-jin and Na Hee-do, two people who fall in love three years after they first meet at ages 22 and 18, respectively, are at the focus of the narrative. Now 25 and 21, their worlds unexpectedly converge.

Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Tae Ri, WJSN’s Bona, Choi Hyun Wook, Lee Joo Myung

21. Reply 1994 (2013)

Rating: 11.509%

TV Channel: tvN

The series, which jumps back and forth in time between 1994 and 2013, centres on six university students who share a boarding home in Seoul. There, they run with Sung Na-daughter. Jung’s These seven strangers quickly grow to consider one other like family as they go through many cultural Korean landmarks together, such as the rise of the K-Pop boyband Seo Taiji & Boys and the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store.

Starring: Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Sung Kyun 

22. Under the Queen’s Umbrella (2022-Present)

Rating: 11.285%

TV Channel: tvN

Im Hwa-ryeong, the queen of Joseon, walks with majesty and grace, but her unruly sons make this difficult. As one of them would ultimately have to succeed her on the throne, she attempts to whip them into shape.

Starring: Kim Hye Soo, Kim Hae Sook, Choi Won Young, Bae In Hyuk, Yoo Seon Ho

23. Prison Playbook (2017)

Rating: 11.195%%

TV Channel: tvN

The promising career of a pro baseball player is severely derailed when he receives a one-year prison term for protecting his sister from a sexual assault. As he struggles to adjust to life in jail, he rekindles his friendship with a former baseball star and boyhood buddy who is now a prison warden.

Starring: Park Hae Soo, Jung Kyung Ho, Krystal, Jung Hae In

24. Little Women (2022)

Rating: 11.105%

TV Channel: tvN

The Oh sisters, who were all raised in poverty, become involved in a legal dispute with Korea’s most powerful and affluent family. The three keeps an eye out for one another as they deal with what may be the biggest problem of their lives—70 billion Won has gone “missing.”

Starring: Kim Go Eun, Nam Ji Hyun, Park Ji Hu

25. The Uncanny Counter (2021)

Rating: 10.999%

TV Channel: OCN

Four demon hunters disguised as staff members at a noodle shop restaurant come to earth to prevent wicked spirits from striving to obtain eternal existence.

Starring: Cho Byung Gyu, Yoo Joon Sang, Kim Sejeong, Yeom Hye Ran

26. The Crowned Clown (2019)

Rating: 10.851%%

TV Channel: tvN

The Joseon dynasty invites a clown who resembles their monarch, Ha Sun, to assume his place in the palace during a period of civil turmoil in order to safeguard their ruler. Ha Sun struggles with his new duty because he worries about being discovered, especially as he finds himself falling for the stunning Queen Yoo So-Woon.

27. My Kids Give Me a Headache (2012)

Rating: 10.715%

TV Channel: JTBC

The first generation of the drama’s three-generational family is represented by the oldest daughter, Hee Jae, whose nine-month pregnancy causes a commotion in her close-knit family.

Starring: Uhm Ji Won, Yoo Dong Geun, Kim Hae Sook

28. Jirisan (2021)

Rating: 10.663%

TV Channel: tvN

Seo Yi-kang, a skillful ranger who has helped numerous people on Mount Jiri, is the protagonist of this mystery drama. She joins rookie ranger Kang Hyun-jo, an ex-military lieutenant, to police the hiking area as strange whispers begin to spread there. Hyun-jo, who is brand-new to his position, accepts the terrifying assignment after going through a traumatic event of his own on the mountain.

Starring: Jun Ji Hyun, Ju Ji Hoon, Oh Jung Se

29. Mine (2021)

Rating: 10.512%

TV Channel: tvN

In this Korean drama, two successful and ambitious ladies from a family of business magnates battle anybody who tries to stand in their way as they search for the meaning of genuine love and happiness.

Starring: Lee Bo Young, Kim Seo Hyung

30. Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) 3 (2022)

Rating: 10.395%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

Following the three unexpected marriages that concluded season two of the makjang multi-series Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce), the third season begins. Additionally, it has two fresh faces because main actors Kang Shin Hyo and Ji Young San replaced lead actors Sung Hoon and Lee Tae Gon in the drama.

Starring: Lee Ga Ryeong, Park Joo Mi, Jeon Soo Kyung

31. Show Window: The Queen’s House (2022)

Rating: 10.335%

TV Channel: Channel A

Han Sun-joo, who was raised in a rich household, experiences a rapid collapse of her idyllic existence when her ostensibly loving husband has an affair with Yoon Mi-ra, a friend. Sun-joo initially has no idea about the man Mi-ra is lusting for, and she supports her without realising it would bring to the demise of her own family.

Starring: Song Yoon Ah, Lee Sung Jae, Jeon So Min

32. Encounter (2018)

Rating: 10.329%

TV Channel: tvN

In the movie Encounter, the divorced hotel CEO Cha Soo Hyun and the naive and unassuming Kim Jin Hyuk—both looking for a fresh start—meet and fall in love while visiting Cuba.

Starring: Park Bo Gum, Song Hye Kyo, Jang Seung Jo

33. Military Prosecutor Doberman (2022)

Rating: 10.081%

TV Channel: tvN

Do Bae-man joins the military prosecution in search of fortune and notoriety, but he is uninterested in his work and daydreams about retiring in the future. In the meantime, Cha Woo-in, the sole child of a chaebol family, applies for the same position in an effort to exact revenge. The two team up to battle evil in the military while serving very different purposes.

Starring: Ahn Bo Hyun, Jo Bo Ah, Oh Yeon Soo

34. Memories of the Alhambra (2018)

Rating: 10.025%

TV Channel: tvN

After his best buddy betrays him, Yoo Jin Woo, a talented game creator and the fiery CEO of an investment firm, must put his competitive nature to the test. He then decides to visit Granada, Spain after learning about a ground-breaking augmented reality game developed there. He stays at a hostel there and unintentionally gets involved in a number of bizarre happenings with Jung Hee-joo, the proprietor.

Starring: Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye

35. Another Oh Hae-young (2016)

Rating: 9.991%

TV Channel: tvN

This 16 episode fantasy rom-com, also known as Another Miss Oh, plays a protracted game of mistaken identity. Due to their recurring tendency to become embroiled in each other’s lives, two ladies, both called Oh Hae Young, consistently cause confusion in their different workplaces and romantic relationships.

Starring: Eric Mun, Seo Hyun Jin, Jeon Hye Bin

36. Bossam: Steal the Fate (2021)

Rating: 9.759% 

TV Channel: MBN

Ba Woo, a fugitive criminal who operates during the Joseon era, gets money by engaging in Bossam, a traditional practise in which widows are abducted and wedded to other men. His life is turned upside down when he accidentally abducts Princess Hwa In, the daughter of the monarch, while working on one of his assignments.

Starring: Jung ll Woo, Kwon Yu Ri, Shun Hyun Soo

37. The Light in Your Eyes (2019)

Rating: 9.731%

TV Channel: JTBC

Kim Hye Ja unintentionally becomes a 78-year-old lady overnight after finding a watch that allows her to travel through time. Thus begins her convoluted love affair with Lee Joon Ha, a young would-be journalist who chooses to live a sluggish lifestyle rather than squander his own time.

Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Han Ji Min, Kim Hye Ja, Son Ho Jun

38. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)

Rating: 9.668%

TV Channel: JTBC

The CEO of a gaming firm appoints Bong Soon, a little lady blessed with superhuman strength, to be his bodyguard due to an unidentified threat following him. He falls in love with her at first sight, but he must contend with a rival for her heart since she has her sights set on a former classmate who is now a police officer.

Starring: Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik, Ji Soo

39. Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) (2021)

Rating: 9.656%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

Three accomplished ladies who work on a radio show are the subject of this K-drama. When complications start to afflict their blissful marriages, their seemingly perfect lives start to fall apart.

Starring: Lee Ga Ryeong, Sung Hoon, Park Joo Mi

40. Stranger 2 (2020)

Rating: 9.408%

TV Channel: tvN

The second season of the crime drama Stranger finds tensions growing between the police department and the prosecutor’s office as the former calls for discretionary control over brand-new case investigations. The men in blue, on the other hand, are vehemently opposed to the idea and are vying for sole investigation authority.

Starring: Cho Seung Woo, Bae Doona

41. Uncle (2022)

Rating: 9.329%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

A down-on-his-luck singer named Wang Joon-hyuk is given the responsibility of caring for his nephew, who has developed both an anxiety illness and OCD, after his sister divorces her violent husband and withdraws to maintain a low profile.

Starring: Oh Jung Se, Jeon Hye Jin, Lee Kyung Hoon

42. Alchemy of Souls (2022)

Rating: 9.295%

TV Channel: tvN

The cheeky troublemaker Jang Wook, who was raised in an aristocratic family in the country of Daeho, had a rough background. He meets the expert warrior Nak-su in an unlikely setting, and learns fighting tactics from her. The only problem is that Nak-soul su’s is presently imprisoned in the frail body of Mu Deok-yi, his servant.

Starring: Lee Jae Wook, Jung So Min, Shin Seung Ho

43. Lawless Lawyer (2018)

Rating: 8.937%

TV Channel: tvN

In order to bring justice to his mother’s sad murder, former mobster Bong Sang Pil abandons his violent past and trains as a lawyer. By doing this, he transforms a crew of loan sharks into a law company and quickly learns how to deftly navigate legal pitfalls to succeed in their cases.

Starring: Lee Joon Gi, Seo Ye Ji, Lee Hye Young

44. Record of Youth (2020)

Rating: 8.740%

TV Channel: tvN

Two former childhood friends who are now models try their hand at acting and soon come into contact with a rising makeup artist. The trio persists in their endeavours in a world where having a goal is a luxury that not everyone can afford, relying alone on ability and desire to carry them through.

Starring: Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam

45. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018)

Rating: 8.665%

TV Channel: tvN

When the devoted secretary of a narcissistic vice chairman of a corporation abruptly decides to leave her position, misunderstandings result and new connections start.

Starring: Park Seo Joon, Park Min Young, Lee Tae Hwan 

46. Graceful Family (2019)

Rating: 8.478%

TV Channel: MBN

Mo Seok Hee, the lone heir to her family’s business empire, travels back to her native South Korea from the United States to look into the circumstances behind her mother’s strange passing 15 years earlier. She runs across Heo Yoon Do when she gets back, a guy her family’s business hired to hide the crimes her family had done.

Starring: Im Soo Hyun, Lee Jang Woo, Bae Jong Ok

47. Misty (2018)

Rating: 8.452%

TV Channel: JTBC

An aspirant news presenter is unceremoniously named as the main suspect in a murder investigation involving her ex-lover. Her husband is the only man to offer to represent her in court, even though their marriage is in trouble.

Starring: Kim Nam Joo, Ji Jin Hee, Jeon Hye Jin

48. Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014)

Rating: 8.240%

TV Channel: tvN

A man is forced to give up his goals before being thrown into the chilly reality of the business world as an intern with just his high school diploma and knowledge of baduk to help him get by.

Starring: Im Shi Wan, Lee Sung Min, Kang So Ra

49. Familiar Wife (2018)

Rating: 8.210%

TV Channel: tvN

A couple dissatisfied with their marriage fights to maintain their financial stability in this fantasy romantic drama. A typical bank clerk named Joo Hyuk takes two pennies from an unknown stranger on the subway, and as a result, he travels back in time and wakes up married to his first college sweetheart.

Starring: Ji Sung, Han Ji Min, Kang Ha Na

50. Lie After Lie (2020)

Rating: 8.203%

TV Channel: Channel A

Ji Eun Su, who is pregnant, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of killing her husband. She gives birth to her daughter while she is there. She devises a strategy to reconcile with her daughter who was adopted by a sympathetic journalist years after she is set free.

Starring: Lee Yoo Ri, Yeon Jung Hoon, Lee Il Hwa

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