Best Romantic Korean Dramas of All Time

By Sandi Thompson
Published: October 19, 2023 (Last updated: April 29, 2024)
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Best Romantic Korean Dramas of All Time

Asking to pick your favorite romantic K-drama is like asking to pick your favorite child. However, the task of choosing a great romantic K-drama has been made easier, because MyDramaList has rated the best romantic Korean dramas of all time! These 10 dramas represent a variety of genres and temperaments, so we’ve listed the other genres represented to help give you a better idea of what each drama entails. We’ve also given you an idea of a drama’s overall vibe. All you have to do is pick one for starters (okay, we have the easier job!)

Best Romantic Korean Dramas of All Time

Hospital Playlist (2020)

Genres: Life, Medical

MLD rating: 9.1 | MDL ranking Overall: #19

Five doctors– one female and four male — have had many romantic entanglements and near-misses since they first met each other 20 years ago as undergrads in medical school. As the title states, the drama takes place in a hospital, so at its heart it’s a medical drama. However, the antics of the middle-aged friends offset the seriousness such a drama could otherwise command.

Flower of Evil (2020)

Genres: Thriller, Crime, Melodrama

MLD rating: 9.1 | MDL ranking Overall: #24

A seemingly loving husband and doting father raises the suspicions of his homicide detective wife, as she investigates a rash of serial murders from 15 years ago. While the romance-with-a-side-of-murder setup with K-dramas can be tiresome, this drama is an exception, bringing a top-notch thriller that will keep you guessing throughout its tense delivery. And the romance—why you’re watching it—is one of the best husband/wife romances in recent dramas.

Alchemy of Souls (2022)

Genres: Action, Historical, Fantasy

MLD rating: 9.1 | MDL ranking Overall: #26

Mages struggle with dark magic known as the “alchemy of souls,” which allows people to switch souls. A fantasy epic romance spanning 30 episodes and two female leads could be a challenge to execute properly, but the drama’s direction was handled deftly. Both female leads delivered a straightforward story, so you stay rooting for our romantic couple throughout.

Reply 1988 (2015)

Genres: Comedy, Life, Youth

MLD rating: 9.1 | MDL ranking Overall: #32

Set during one of South Korea’s most turbulent times, five neighborhood friends must navigate life and love during their high school senior year. The drama featured the writer’s trademark “who’s the husband” plot device, having viewers wonder which male friend the female friend ended up marrying. A slice-of-life drama that gives you all the nostalgic feels, even if you didn’t grow up in that era or country.

Crash Landing on You (2019)

Genres: Military, Comedy, Political

MLD rating: 9.0 | MDL ranking Overall: #52

A South Korean heiress finds herself on the other side of the 38thN parallel after a hang-gliding accident. A chance encounter with a North Korean army office sets off an epic love affair and a military engagement, as well as a real-life marriage and parenthood for the main lead actors.

Dr. Romantic (2016)

Genres: Medical

MLD rating: 9.0 | MDL ranking Overall: #55

“Romantic” in the title doesn’t refer to romantic love, but to an idealized view of reality put forth by our lead character, Teacher Kim. Like Hospital Playlist (see above) the medical genre takes front and center in this drama, but there’s plenty of romantic scheming with doctors, nurses, and administration to be had over the drama’s three seasons.

Mr. Queen (2020)

Genres: Historical, Comedy, Fantasy

MLD rating: 9.0 | MDL ranking Overall: #56

While trying to escape capture, an arrogant Blue House chef has an accident and finds himself in the body of a Joseon-era queen. Definitely a lighter historical drama, with modern comedy bits scattered amongst the old-school palace politics common for this genre.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020)

Genres: Psychological, Comedy, Melodrama

MLD rating: 8.9 | MDL ranking Overall: #64

A gothic fairytale involving a hospital worker whose sole life purpose is his brother and a children’s book author who doesn’t know how to react to love. Haunting and healing all at once.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

Genres:  Law, Life

MLD rating: 8.9 | MDL ranking Overall: #65

Our female lead is a genius, having graduated at the top of Seoul National University Law School due to her impressive IQ. Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, her creative thought process and impressive memory help her with her cases. A sweet romance with a legal assistant coworker brings a charm to this case-specific legal drama.

Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Genres: Military, Historical, Melodrama

MLD rating: 8.9 | MDL ranking Overall: #97

Three men fall in love with a freedom-fighting aristocrat’s daughter in Kim Eun Sook’s Japanese-occupation era drama.  Given the time period, expect your share of angst in this love triangle square.

What do you consider to be the best romantic Korean dramas of all time? Have we missed any off our list? Let us know in the comments below.

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