The romance, drama, and thrill of South Korean dramas have taken over the world in the last few years. Mainly addictive to watch for the fluffy romance and good-looking Oppas, Korean dramas have firmly gained our attention due to their interesting concepts.
With a variety of Korean dramas available to watch on Netflix, there are some that have left its audience astounded, delighted, or begging for more. From sadistic Squid Game to fluffy Hometown Cha Cha Cha, viewers have labeled some Korean dramas as the best out there to watch.
So, be it a beginner or veteran viewer, there’s always a craving to watch the best of what is available. Here is a list of the 30 best K-dramas to watch on Netflix for your next binge-fest.
Genre: Romance, Drama
Lee Doo-na is a former idol who has left behind her previous life of glitter and glamor to start a college life. In a shared apartment, she meets Won-joon, a normal college guy. Won-joon immediately becomes interested in Doo-na and what led her to leave her celebrity life behind. A younger man and older woman romance, Doo-na is one of the best K-dramas to watch on Netflix.
Starring: Suzy Bae, Yang Se-jong, Ha Young
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Not for the faint of heart, Squid Game overtook the world with its dark story and great premise. A game of life and death. If you win, you’ll get an unimaginable amount of money, but if you lose, you die.
Starring: Lee Jung-hae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-jun
Crash Landing on You
Genre: Romance, Comedy
A straight-laced and strict North Korean soldier’s life takes a turn when a woman, suspected of being a South Korean spy, literally falls on him from the sky. Sweet, thrilling, and hilarious, the drama beautifully and realistically shows the difference between the two countries that have a contentious relationship.
Starring: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-ji, Park Ji-eun
Extraordinary Attorney Woo
Genre: Law, Romance, Drama
Woo Young-woo is a person on the autism spectrum. She is smart, obsessed with whales, and lacks a little in her social awareness. Her hiring at one of the top law firms causes a ripple, and Woo Young-woo knows that she has to prove herself through her own abilities.
Starring: Park Eun-bin, Kang Tae-ho, Kang Ki-young
Legend of the Blue Sea
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
A fantastical love story of a nobleman and a mermaid ends tragically during the Joseon period. But the lovers reincarnate in modern-day South Korea and meet again, unaware that the tragedy of their past lives may repeat itself.
Starring: Gianna Jun, Lee Min-ho, Lee Hee-jun
Genre: Romance, Law, Drama, Thriller
A mafia lawyer and adopted son to an Italian mafia family, Vincenzo decides to start over after his adopted father’s death, but before that, he has to visit South Korea, the place where he was born. His visit embroils him in a situation involving the residents of Geumga Plaza, and he decides to use his crooked methods of being a mafia lawyer to help them out.
Starring: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, Ok Taec-yeon
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller
Do Bong Soon is a supernaturally strong girl who doesn’t want to get noticed for her powers. She wants to help people but is afraid to be exposed. But after her neighborhood becomes the hunting ground of a vicious killer responsible for women’s disappearances and her best friend is attacked as well, Do Bong Soon knows she can’t sit still, and with the help of her childhood cop friend and CEO of a gaming company, together they decide to capture the killer and rescue girls.
Starring: Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, Ji soo
Descendants of the Sun
Genre: Romance, Medical, Military
After two incomplete dates with a charming army soldier, Mo-yeon, a surgeon, realizes how different their ideologies are. As a doctor, it’s her oath to heal friends and enemies alike. And as a soldier, he kills who he is ordered to. Separating, they go their own ways, but fate interferes, and they end up meeting in a foreign land where together they combat earthquake aftermath, a virus epidemic, and local gangsters.
Starring: Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo
Genre: Action, Drama
An extension of the popular Narcos TV show, Narcos-Saints follows A South Korean entrepreneur businessman who is forced to participate in the secret, undercover operation of weeding out a drug lord called Jeon Yo-hwan who has taken control over the territory of Suriname in South America. It’s hard for the National Intelligence Service to catch the drug lord as he moonlights as a pastor.
Starring: Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Drama
A cursed man has been roaming the earth for hundreds of years, looking for his bride, who will rid him of his wretched curse and free him from lonely eternity. A high school girl is a pitiful person as she lives with her relatives who treat her like a servant, and she can also see ghosts, which secludes her from her peers for being weird. Still optimistic and cheerful, this girl’s path crosses the lonely God’s, and both of their fate start to take a turn.
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook
Twenty Five Twenty One
Genre: Romance, Sports
A K-drama about dreams, friendship, and love, Twenty Five Twenty One is one of the best K-dramas to watch on Netflix. Hui-do is a hardworking girl who practices the sport of fencing, but because of budgetary cutdowns in her school, she ends up changing school and endeavors to make the National Fencing Team. Yi-jin is a boy trying hard to rebuild his life after his family’s financial situation took a massive hit after the IMF crisis.
Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Ji-yeon
Genre: Revenge, Drama
Sae-ro-yi gets out of jail after he is imprisoned for attempting to murder a rich businessman’s son. Angry and helpless, he plans revenge while trying to restart his life with his friends by opening a street bar.
Starring: Park Seo-jun, Kim Da-mi, Yoo Jae-myung
The King’s Affection
Genre: Romance, Historical
Due to a common belief during the Joseon dynasty that twin birth is a sign of impending disaster, especially in the royal family, Dam-yi, the daughter of the crown princess, is sent away to live somewhere else and escape death by her mother. Her brother becomes the Crown Prince. Years later, Dam-yi re-enters the royal palace but in a station of a maid. Soon, the twins discover each other’s identity and start switching places for fun, but when the brother dies in an accident outside, she is forced to take his place permanently this time.
Starring: Park Eun-bin, Rowoon, Han Hee-jung
Flower of Evil
Genre: Thriller, Romance
Cha Ji-won is a detective in the case of a serial killer who seems to have returned to his previous ways after years of disappearance. She has a family consisting of a loving husband and an adorable daughter, a perfect family for everyone. But as her investigation proceeds and clues and evidence emerge, shockingly, they all seem to be pointing at her gentle and loving husband.
Starring: Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won, Jang Hee-jin
Genre: Historical, Romance
An American soldier of Korean descent mysteriously goes back to the time of the Shinmiyangyo incident, which changed his as well as hundreds of others fate. Realizing a rising coup, he, along with an aristocrat’s daughter, Ae-sin, decides to change the course of history.
Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok
Genre: Drama, Mystery
With intense scenes, insane plot twists, and drama, Little Women is one of the best K-dramas on Netflix to watch. Three sisters are struggling to get by with dreams and hopes of making it one day while keeping their heads down in this cut-throat world. But when a dead friend leaves them, the owner of 70 billion dollars, and a rich family interferes with their changing luck, the three sisters will do anything to protect what is theirs.
Starring: Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun, Park Ji-hu
One of the K-dramas that shot Lee Min-ho to fame and set his image of a romantic hero is The Inheritors. Between the struggles of inheriting the business empire of their families, a group of young chaebol students navigate the world of friendship, love, and rivalry.
Starring: Lee Min-ho, Park Shin-hye, Kim Woo-bin
Crash Course in Romance
Genre: Drama, Romance
Haeng-son runs a food business selling delicious side dishes. Choi Chi-yeol is a celebrity math teacher who has a psychological condition that makes every food unappetizing to him. Haeng-son has a niece who wants to attend Choi Chi-yeol’s class to get better marks. Both of them get off on the wrong foot at first, but their selfish desires for each other lead to a series of meetings and shenanigans that are heartwarming and hilarious.
Starring: Jeon Do-yeon, Jung Kyung-ho, Lee Bong-ryeon
The Silent Sea
Genre: Thriller, Science Fiction
A team of space scientists and space soldiers take a trip to a mysterious lab on the moon where more than a hundred people died under mysterious circumstances. Set in a futuristic world where water is a scarce resource, their team’s mission is to bring back a mysterious sample left behind in that lab.
Starring: Bae Doona, Gong Yoo, Lee Joon
Genre: Medical, Romance
A delinquent girl with thorns all over her body to keep people from getting close encounters Hong Ji-hong, a biology teacher at school who encourages her to do better and leave her gangster ways. But their pure mentor-mentee relationship is misconstrued, after which they separate. Years later, they meet again in a hospital where they both work as surgeon doctors.
Starring: Park Shin-hye, Kim Rae-won, Yun Kyun-sang
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller
Exciting, thrilling, and with a great premise, W-Two World is a K-drama about a girl whose father is a comic artist, and he disappears one day. While looking in their father’s study for clues, she sees his drawing board which sucks her into the world of comics. Now, she has to help finish the story, look for her dead with the help of the protagonist, and get out before it’s too late, as someone seems to be changing the story.
Starring: Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo, Kim Eui-sung
Genre: Romance, Drama
Life in the 80s was hard, with limited money to spend and average economic standings. But life was also very easy because of the unlimited warmth from everyone around, people helping each other out of tough situations, and a neighborhood felt like a whole family. In this time, five childhood friends grow up and experience first love, sibling rivalry, parents’ nagging, and first heartbreaks.
Starring: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Ryu Jun-yeol
Something in the Rain
A younger man, older woman romance, Something in the Rain sets hearts aflutter with its sweet love story and cozy romance between the protagonists. Jin-ah has developed a distrust of men after being cheated on in relationships and dealing with sleazy senior colleagues in the office. But her encounter with Joon-hee, her friend’s younger brother after years, lit a spark of hope and love as they grow close together after daily interactions.
Starring: Jung Hae-in, Son Ye-jin, Jang So-yeon
All of Us Are Dead
Genre: Zombie, Thriller
In a South Korean High School, a zombie outbreak starts infecting the students, a handiwork of their deranged chemistry teacher. To contain the virus, the remaining uninfected children are left for dead by the school authorities and government and sealed in the school. Now, the students have to protect themselves and try to stay alive in the hope that help is coming.
Starring: Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun
Ju-kyung is bullied all through middle school because of her looks. Starting High School, Ju-kyung learns the power of makeup that can help hide her facial marks as well as hide her true face. In school, she meets Su-ho, who accidentally finds out how she actually looks, entangling both of them together in this silly and sweet K-drama.
Starring: Moon Ga-young, Cha Eun-woo, Hwang In-yeop
Genre: Romance, Historical, Fantasy
A male chef finds himself in the body of a queen after drowning. Mr. Queen is a hilarious comedy K-drama whose premise can only lead to chaos. Now, the chef’s plan is to drown again to go back, but his well-intentioned thoughts are always interrupted by the Queen’s head maid, servants, and her seemingly useless but secretly cunning King’s husband.
Starring: Shin Hye-sun, Kim Jung-hyun, Seol In-ha
Hometown Cha Cha Cha
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Hye-jin quits her job in the city and decides to open a dentist clinic in an oceanside small town. Coming across simple, nosy, and eccentric neighbors, Hye-jin’s life turns for the better in this heartwarming, sweet, and funny romance K-drama.
Starring: Shin Min-a, Kim Seon-ho, Lee Sang-yi
Genre: Revenge, Thriller
Song Hye-kyo’s role in The Glory won her the Best Actress award in the Baeksang Arts Award. The Glory is a thriller, revenge drama about a girl who was bullied severely until she had to change schools to get away from her perpetrators. After years, with the trauma still fresh, she decides to give those villains their just desserts and plans an intrinsic and well-thought-out revenge plan.
Starring: Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun, Lim Ji-yeon
Alchemy of Souls
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
A magic spell that helps two bodies to switch souls is forbidden as it may be misused by dark-hearted individuals for their own gains. In the land of Daeho, there are many young sorcerers who are trying to change their fates while combating sinister forces who want to use the forbidden spell.
Starring: Lee Jae-wook, Go Youn-jung, Hwang Min-hyun
Genre: Horror, Thriller
A young boy who is apathetic and prefers to be by his lonesome self one day wakes up to realize that the world has changed. A strange kind of disease overtakes the world, and the infected turn into zombies. Closed inside their own apartments, the uninfected residents decide to band together to fight off these strange monsters.
Starring: Song Kang, Lee Jin-uk, Lee Si-young