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The Top 40 Highest-Rating Korean Dramas of All Time

Can you guess which show took the top spot?
The Top 40 Highest-Rating Korean Dramas of All Time
IMAGE Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha/TVN, Twenty-Five Twenty-One/TVN
Can you guess which show took the top spot?

There's no deterring our love affair with all things K-drama. This time, we give you the lowdown on the highest rating Korean dramas of all time 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 40.

Note: The list has been updated to reflect each show's highest rating episode as per Nielsen Korea up until May 9, 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.

1. The World of the Married (2020)

Rating: 28.371%

TV Channel: JTBC

A revered medical doctor's seemingly perfect life is overturned when she discovers her husband's infidelity. In her pursuit to retaliate against his betrayal, a bitter back-and-forth ensues between the two as they both seek to exact revenge on the other. The World of the Married smashed TV ratings after its finale episode rated at 28.37%, breaking its own record of 24.44% which it had set just an episode prior.

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Starring: Kim Hee Ae, Park Hae Joon, Han So Hee

the world of the married highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY World of the Married/JTBC

2. Sky Castle (2018)

Rating: 23.779%

TV Channel: JTBC

This satirical drama revolves around four housewives residing in the exclusive residential area of Sky Castle. Ruthlessly ambitious, the women will stop at nothing to get their children into Seoul National University.

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

sky castle highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Sky Castle/JTBC

3. Crash Landing on You (2019)

Rating: 21.683%

TV Channel: tvN

The lives of a South Korean heiress and a North Korean military officer collide when the former lands into North Korean territory after a paragliding accident.

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

crash landing on you highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Crash Landing on You/TVN

4. Reply 1988 (2015)

Rating: 18.803%

TV Channel: tvN

Five childhood friends who live in the same neighborhood of Ssangmundong rely on each other as they enter the peak of their turbulent teen years.

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

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reply 1988 highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Reply 1988/TVN

5. Goblin (2016)

Rating: 18.680%

TV Channel: tvN

A romantic fantasy drama, the series follows the story of a 939-year-old Goblin, also known as the Protector of Souls, as he ends up falling for the girl destined to end his cursed immortal life.

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

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goblin highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Goblin/TVN

6. Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Rating: 18.129%

TV Channel: tvN

A poor boy born into a house servant's family travels to the United States during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident. He soon grows up to become an American military officer who returns to his homeland and falls in love with an aristocrat's daughter, all while unveiling a sinister plot by foreign nationals to colonize Korea.

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Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri

mr sunshine highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Mr Sunshine/TVN

7. Mr. Queen (2020)

Rating: 17.371%

TV Channel: tvN

In modern-day Seoul, prestigious chef Jang Bong-hwan of the President’s Blue House gets caught in a scuffle that leads him to fall off a building. When he wakes up, he realizes he’s traveled back to the Joseon period, and his soul is now inhabiting the body of Queen Kim So-yong. Unable to escape this odd situation, he sets out to learn more about the queen’s life but ends up getting caught in the Kingdom’s political drama.

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Starring: Shin Hye Sun, Kim Jung Hyun 

mr queen highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Mr. Queen/TVN

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

Rating: 16.582%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

More illicit romances, drama, and betrayal ensue in the second season of Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce). This time around, the melodrama further unravels the crumbling marriages of our three lead radio show professionals as we get to know more about their husbands’ mistresses.

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

love ft marriage and divorce 2
PHOTO BY Love/TV Chosun

9. Itaewon Class (2020)

Rating: 16.548%

TV Channel: JTBC

Ex-con Park Saeroyi and his misfit group of employees work to turn their modest bar into the number one pub in Itaewon. Reaching their goal turns out to be an uphill battle as they deal with the ruthless CEO of Jangga Co., a.k.a. the man responsible for setting off a chain of events that landed Saeroyi in jail in the first place.

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

itaewon class highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Itaewon Class/JTBC

10.Vincenzo (2021)

Rating: 14.636%

TV Channel: tvN

Vincenzo Cassano, a South Korean-born Mafia lawyer in Italy, flees to his homeland after he finds himself caught in between two warring factions. Back in Seoul, he teams up with a spunky female lawyer to exact justice on evil criminals through any means possible.

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

PHOTO BY Vincenzo/TVN

11. 100 Days My Prince (2018)

Rating: 14.412%

TV Channel: tvN

Lee Yul, a crown prince suffering from amnesia, ends up in the care of Hong Shim, an intelligent but unmarried woman, and her father. Thinking of himself to be a commoner, he weds Hong Shim to save her from being punished by a law that he himself established as a prince.

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

100 days my prince highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY 100 Days My Prince/TVN

12. Hospital Playlist (2020)

Rating: 14.142%

TV Channel: tvN

Five doctors who've been friends since medical school go through the ups and downs of their job in Yulje Medical Center, all while sharing their love for music by forming a band.

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

hospital playlist highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Hospital Playlist/TVN

13. Hospital Playlist 2 (2021)

Rating: 14.080%

TV Channel: tvN

In yet another season of Hospital Playlist, the bond of five college friends turned doctors continue to be tested as they deal with life, death, and everything in between at their hospital.

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

PHOTO BY Hospital Playlist 2/TVN

14. Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

Rating: 12.665%

TV Channel: tvN

The series follows Yoon Hye-jin, a picture-perfect woman who works as a well-respected dentist. However, when her seemingly ideal life falls into shambles, she somehow finds herself moving to the seaside village of Gongjin. In the midst of attempting to restart her career, she crosses paths with, and eventually develops a fondness for, Hong Doo-shik, who’s popularly known in the area as Mr. Hong. Although unemployed, Mr. Hong is a jack of all trades and can take on any odd job if it means helping out the locals of Gongjin.

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

hometown cha-cha-cha
PHOTO BY Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha/TVN

15. Signal (2016)

Rating: 12.544%

TV Channel: tvN

When police lieutenant and criminal profiler Park Hae-Yeong gets hold of a special walkie talkie that can communicate with people from the past, he joins forces with a detective in 1989 to solve three decades of related murders.

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

signal highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Signal/TVN

16. The Lady in Dignity (2017)

Rating: 12.065%

TV Channel: JTBC

A wealthy woman living a luxurious life finds her daily routine tarnished when a mysterious stranger moves into her home as the caregiver to her ill father-in-law.

Starring: Kim Hee Sun, Kim Sun Ah

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the lady in dignity highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY The Lady in Dignity/JTBC

17. Hotel del Luna (2019)

Rating: 12.001%

TV Channel: tvN

Located in downtown Seoul, the peculiar Hotel del Luna has existed for several millennia catering to lost souls. Its CEO, Jang Man Wol, is cursed to run the establishment for all of eternity as punishment for a sin she can't remember. The only way to free herself from her penance is to find someone who's committed a crime far worse than hers. 

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Starring: IU, Yeo Jin Goo

hotel del luna highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Hotel del Luna/TVN

18. Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

Rating: 11.513%

TV Channel: tvN

Set in 1998, this coming-of-age drama follows its young characters as they’re forced to deal with the aftermath of the IMF crisis in Korea. At the center of the story are Baek Yi-jin and Na Hee-do, two individuals who fall in love three years after they first meet at the ages of 22 and 18. Now 25 and 21, their worlds collide in unexpected ways.

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

twenty-five twenty-one
PHOTO BY Twenty-Five Twenty-One/TVN

19. Reply 1994 (2013)

Rating: 11.509%

TV Channel: tvN

Alternating between 1994 and 2013, the series follows six university students all residing in one boarding house in Seoul, where they encounter the daughter of the house's owner, Sung Na-Jung. While experiencing various cultural Korean milestones together, including the emergence of the K-Pop boygroup Seo Taiji and Boys, and the Sampoong Department Store collapse, these seven strangers soon learn to treat each other like family.

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

reply 1994 highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Reply 1994/TVN

20. Our Blues (Currently Airing)

Rating: 11.242%

TV Channel: tvN

Led by a star-studded ensemble cast, Our Blues is set on Jeju Island. Here, the lives of multiple individuals intertwine in unexpected ways as they go through the uncertain motions of life in the province.

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

PHOTO BY Our Blues/TVN

21. Prison Playbook (2017)

Rating: 11.195%%

TV Channel: tvN

A star baseball player's bright future hits a dire snag when he's sentenced to one year in prison after defending his sister from sexual assault. Forced to adapt to a life behind bars, he gets reacquainted with a former baseball player and childhood friend, now turned prison guard.

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

prison playbook highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Prison Playbook/TVN

22. The Uncanny Counter (2021)

Rating: 10.999%

TV Channel: OCN

Disguised as employees at a noodle shop restaurant, four demon hunters visit earth to thwart evil spirits from attempting to attain eternal life.

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

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the uncanny counter highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY The Uncanny Counter/OCN

23. The Crowned Clown (2019)

Rating: 10.851%%

TV Channel: tvN

To protect their king during a state of social unrest, the Joseon empire asks Ha Sun, a clown and the king's lookalike, to take his place in the palace. Anxious about being found out, Ha Sun struggles with his new role, especially when he finds himself falling for the beautiful Queen Yoo So-Woon.

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Starring: Yeo Jin Goo, Lee Se Young 

the crowned clown highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY The Crowned Clown/TVN

24. My Kids Give Me a Headache (2012)

Rating: 10.715%

TV Channel: JTBC

A drama that follows a family of three generations, the story starts with eldest daughter Hee Jae whose secret pregnancy causes a storm within her tight-knit family once they find out about her nine month old belly.

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

my kids give me a headache highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Childless Comfort/JTBC

25. Jirisan (2021)

Rating: 10.663%

TV Channel: tvN

This mystery drama follows Seo Yi-kang, a skilled ranger who’s saved countless lives in Mount Jiri. When mysterious rumors start to plague the titular hiking ground, she teams up with ex-military lieutenant and rookie ranger Kang Hyun-jo to patrol the area. New to his job, Hyun-jo takes on the harrowing task after having experienced a traumatizing incident of his own on the mountain.

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

jirisan
PHOTO BY Jirisan/TVN

26. Mine (2021)

Rating: 10.512%

TV Channel: tvN

This Korean drama follows two wealthy and ambitious women in a conglomerate family as they seek the meaning of true love and joy, all while toppling anyone who dares stand in their way.

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Starring: Lee Bo Young, Kim Seo Hyung 

PHOTO BY Mine/TVN

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

Rating: 10.395%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

The third season of the makjang multi-series Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) starts off following the three surprise weddings that closed out season two. It also features two new faces as lead actors Kang Shin Hyo and Ji Young San join the drama in place of lead stars Sung Hoon and Lee Tae Gon.

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

love ft marriage and divorce season 3
PHOTO BY Love/TV Chosun

28. Show Window: The Queen's House (2022)

Rating: 10.335%

TV Channel: Channel A

Born into a wealthy family, Han Sun-joo’s charmed life soon falls apart when her seemingly devoted husband starts an affair with her friend, Yoon Mi-ra. Initially clueless about the man Mi-ra’s coveting, Sun-joo cheers her on, not knowing it will cause the ruin of her own family.

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

show window the queen's house
PHOTO BY The Queens House/Channel A

29. Encounter (2018)

Rating: 10.329%

TV Channel: tvN

Opposites attract in Encounter when divorcee and hotel CEO Cha Soo Hyun, and the innocent and ordinary Kim Jin Hyuk, both searching for a fresh start, cross paths and fall in love during a trip to Cuba. 

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

encounter highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Encounter/TVN

30. Military Prosecutor Doberman (2022)

Rating: 10.081%

TV Channel: tvN

In pursuit of money and fame, Do Bae-man becomes a military prosecutor but remains indifferent to his job while he daydreams of retiring one day. Meanwhile, Cha Woo-in, the only daughter of a chaebol family, enters the same job to get her revenge. Despite working for very different reasons, the two pair up to help each other fight evil in the military.

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

military prosecutor doberman
PHOTO BY Military Prosecutor Doberman/TVN

31. Memories of the Alhambra (2018)

Rating: 10.025%

TV Channel: tvN

Yoo Jin Woo, a brilliant game developer, and the strong spirited CEO of an investment company has his competetive nature tested after his best friend betrays him. He subsequently travels to Granada, Spain after hearing about a groundbreaking AR game created by someone from the area. There he stays at a hostel and unwittingly entangles the owner, Jung Hee-joo, into a series of strange events. 

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Starring: Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye

memories of the alhambra highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Memories of the Alhambra/TVN

32. Another Oh Hae-young (2016)

Rating: 9.991%

TV Channel: tvN

Alternatively titled Another Miss Oh, this 16 episode fantasy rom-com involves a long game of mistaken identity. Two women both named Oh Hae Young continually cause confusion in their respective jobs and relationships as they somehow always get entangled in each other's lives.

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

another oh hae young highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Another Oh Hae Young/TVN

33. Bossam: Steal the Fate (2021)

Rating: 9.759% 

TV Channel: MBN

Set in the Joseon period, Ba Woo, an elusive delinquent makes money by doing Bossam—an old practice in which he kidnaps widows to be remarried to other men. While on one of his jobs, his life is upended when he mistakenly kidnaps the king’s daughter, Princess Hwa In.

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

bossam: steal the fate
PHOTO BY Bossam: Steal the Fate/MBN

34. The Light in Your Eyes (2019)

Rating: 9.731%

TV Channel: JTBC

When Kim Hye Ja stumbles upon a watch that lets her travel through time, she accidentally ends up turning into a 78-year old woman overnight. Thus ensues her complicated love story with Lee Joon Ha, a young wannabe reporter who wastes away his own time and has decided to live lethargically instead.

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

the light in your eyes highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY The Light in Your Eyes/JTBC

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35. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)

Rating: 9.668%

TV Channel: JTBC

With an unknown threat lurking behind him, the CEO of a gaming company hires Bong Soon, a petite woman born with supernatural strength, to be his bodyguard. He falls in love with her at first sight but faces competition for her affections seeing as she has her eyes set on a childhood friend who is now working as a police officer.

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

strong woman do bong soon highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Strong Woman Do Bong Soon/JTBC

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

Rating: 9.656%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

This K-drama centers on three successful women who work on a radio show. Their seemingly perfect lives start to unravel when twists and turns begin to plague their happy marriages.

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

love ft marriage and divorce highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Love/TV Chosun

37. Stranger 2 (2020)

Rating: 9.408%

TV Channel: tvN

A sequel to crime thriller Stranger, the second season finds tensions rising between the prosecutor’s office and the police force as the former demands for discretionary power over new case investigations. The men in blue, however, are adamantly against the notion and are fighting for complete investigative authority of their own. 

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Starring: Cho Seung Woo, Bae Doona

stranger 2 highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Stranger 2/Netflix

38. Uncle (2022)

Rating: 9.329%

TV Channel: TV Chosun

After his sister divorces her abusive husband and hides away to keep a low profile, Wang Joon-hyuk, a down-on-his-luck musician, is tasked to take care of his nephew who’s developed both an anxiety disorder and OCD.

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

Uncle Kdrama
PHOTO BY Uncle/TV Chosun

39. Lawless Lawyer (2018)

Rating: 8.937%

TV Channel: tvN

Former gangster Bong Sang Pil leaves his violent past to become a lawyer in order to bring his mother’s tragic death to justice. In doing so, he turns a group of loan sharks into a law firm and soon learns to cunningly skirt through legal loopholes to win their cases.

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Starring: Lee Joon GiSeo Ye Ji, Lee Hye Young

lawless lawyer highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Lawless Lawyer/TVN
 

40. Record of Youth (2020)

Rating: 8.740%

TV Channel: tvN 

Two childhood friends turned models attempt to branch out into acting and soon cross paths with a budding makeup artist. In a world where dreams are a luxury not everyone can afford, the trio pushes through with their pursuits, backed by sheer talent and passion to get them through.

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Starring: Park Bo Gum, Park So Dam

record of youth highest rating korean dramas
PHOTO BY Record of Youth/TVN

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