Korean dramas are epic! This one is not hype; K-dramas are epic, K-drama fam. Y’all agree? We’ve developed a sweet addiction to Korean dramas, with their intriguing and twisty storylines, amazing plots, impeccable setting, and beautiful cast. They bless us with every new release of wonder compiled into drama.
Korean dramas are not just epic; they are addictive as well. You watch one, and you are hooked, I tell you. Is it the suspense, the characters, and the storyline that leaves you anticipating the next thing that will happen? Everything, everything is addictive.
These dramas dish us on a steady, from cheesy love stories to intense action, from history and tales to magic and myth, and all that’s in-between. If there’s something known as “sweet addiction,” it is K-drama. K-drama lovers, can I get an Amen?
At Trybe, we care about your taste, faves, and binge picks, so we have created a list of 15 historical best-of-all-time Korean dramas for your binge satisfaction. Come with me; let me take you on a ride of love, history, and addiction.
1. Scarlet Heart
First on our list is the historical drama, released on the 29th of August, 2016, and graced our screens up until the 1st of November, 2016; the series took us through the story of a 25-year-old modern-day woman who is thrown back in time to a dynasty that dates back to the year 941. She lives in this time and century and experiences love, friendship, hatred, and all that. She experiences life living with the royals of the dynasty at the time, and the whole drama mesmerized us as we watched. Lee Ji-Eun, Kang Ha-nu, and Lee Joon-gi gave us drama back to back with their love triangle drama. This series is definitely a historical binge-worthy pick for you; go download it and enjoy.
2. Mr Queen
This historical drama served us with fantasy and romance spiced up with comedy. It is binge-worthy, and we recommend it for your picks. The series was released on the 12th of December 2020 and continued until the 14th of February 2021. The series served us drama, love, and everything in between. The series ranked number 8 on the list of highest-rated dramas in Korean television history; it took us through the story of a modern-age chef who suddenly finds himself in the body of a queen in the Joseon era. Choi Jun-hyuk and Shin Hye-sun, the main leads in the series, took us on a journey of romance, comedy, and drama and got us hooked on them. We highly recommend adding these to your binge-worthy picks ASAP.
Jumong, the Prince of Legend, the founder of Gorguyeo. This iconic character was a sensational hit in the history of K-drama. The historical story infused with romance and action here and there fascinated us and hooked us. The series, which was released on the 15th of May, 2006, and ran through to the 6th of March, 2007, took us on a story about the life of Jumong. Jumong, who grew from being a dejected, cowardly prince to a ruler of his nation; Jumong, who fought tooth and nail to earn his place and rank; created Gorguyeo and led it to victory for as many years as he lived. He was the true epitome of confidence, diligence, and ultimate success, and he took us on a roller coaster living through his life. Song Li-gook definitely stole our hearts in this series, and we highly recommend it for your picks.
4. Arthdal Chronicles
Arthdal Chronicles is another historical fantasy series that graced our screens and made us marvel. It also helped us deeply expand our imaginative senses. The series was released on the 1st of June 2019 and ran through to the 22nd of September 2019. The story plays out in the time of myth; a land called Arth in an ancient city called Arthdal; we experience Eunseom’s life and how he struggles through life in a bid to resurrect his tribe, and in the process, he discovers his true origins. Song Joong-ki, the main character, has had us stuck on the series like glue, and we can’t wait to see where it all ends.
5. Empress Ki
A series that significantly depicts “girl power” on a whole other level. This historical romance series was released on the 28th of October, 2013, and ran through to the 29th of April, 2014. The series follows the story of the rise of a young woman, born in Goryeo, to the place of power. The woman rose, defying the class system and hierarchies, and eventually secured her place in power with love as a weapon; she became an empress. Ha Ji-won took us on a grass-to-grace journey in this series and had us addicted. We highly recommend it as one of your best picks.
6. Love in the Moonlight
A tale of love, unexpected romance, and coming of age. This historical series was released on the 22nd of August, 2016, and aired up until the 18th of October of the same year. The series caught our eye and got us hooked, and subsequently hit high ratings. The series took us through the coming of age of a crown prince in the 19th century Joseon Dynasty, his growth into a young man, and his love interest in an unlikely partner, a eunuch. We were excited to know if love would thrive above all else, and we absolutely loved the series. Park Bo-gum and Kim Yoo-Jung served us a tale of love and served us well. This is one of our top picks for romantic binge-watching.
7. The Royal Gambler
Another epic series is the story of a prince turned pauper who is a perfectionist in the art of gambling. The prince and his father entered the game zone, and bets were placed on the prince’s life and the king’s entire kingdom, Joseon. The series, which was released on the 28th of March and ran through to the 14th of June, 2016, was a definite thriller for us; it was like watching the world war version of gambling, Father and Son, the King and the Prince. Jang Geun-suk and Yeo Yin-goo took us on an exciting adventure in this historical series, and we highly recommend it for your binge picks.
8. Jewel in the Palace
Dae Jang Geum is a historical fiction tale of perseverance and rise from grass to grace. The story of an orphan girl who is a cook but somehow became the first female physician to the King in a time when women were relegated to society. She diligently strives to learn and acquire more skills to cure the king of his ailments. She was the Jewel in the Palace, the first of her kind. Lee Youg-ae showed us the rewards of perseverance and diligence and had us addicted. The series was released on the 15th of September, 2003, and ran through to March 23, 2004. We loved it, and we highly recommend it for your best picks on that bucket list of yours.
9. The King’s Affection
A historical tale of romance, love, and a lil bit of comedy, the King’s Affection was epic and sensational, and it definitely had us addicted. The series was set in the time of the Joseon Dynasty, a tale of a twin girl separated from her family because of taboos and abominations of the land. Fate brings her back, and twists and turns took place; the initial separation leaves a gap in her heart that true love eventually fills, and she is forced to take on a responsibility and hide her identity. Park Eun-bin delivered well in this historical tale and definitely had us hooked. The series, released on October 11 and running through to December 14, 2021, is binge-worthy, and we recommend it to you.
10. The Scholar who walks the Night
A historical tale of a budding romance between a vampire scholar and a cross-dressing bookseller, unusual, yes? This epic series tells the tale of entwined past and destinies and the creation of sweet, sweet love. The series, released on the 8th of July, 2013, and ran through to September 10 of the same year, was very addictive, exciting, and adventurous. The supernatural touch to it gave us something to look forward to. Lee Joon-gi and Lee Yu-bi, the main casts of the series, kept us entranced in their tale, so we highly recommend for your binge picks.
11. Detective K
An epic thrilling historical trilogy. Detective K follows the adventures of a detective and his wingman in uncovering mysteries and finding the root of dark matters. The first that came to us was “Secret of the Virtuous Widow,” released on the 27th of January, 2011. Then the second, “ Secret of the Lost Island,” was released on the 11th of February, 2015. And finally, the last of the trio, “Secret of the Bloodsucking Demon,” was released on the 8th of February, 2018. Each story was such a thrill for us as we journeyed with Detective K in uncovering mysteries and exposing long-buried secrets. Kim Myung-min and Oh Dal-Su gave us some “Bad Boys” vibes played in Korean culture, and we loved it. We highly recommend it for your binge satisfaction.
12. Yi San
Also known as Lee San (Wind of the Palace), this historical series took us through a time in the Joseon Dynasty, telling the story of the life of Joseon’s 22nd ruler, King Jeongjo. The series, released on the 12th of September, 2007, and ran through to the 16th of June, 2008, had us enthralled by its tale and storyline. The drama tells the story of a King’s coming of age and ascension to the throne, his injustice to his son and how his grandson, Yi San, sought to save his father and eventually ascended the throne. The series depicts royal politics, inheritance, love and power. Lee Seo-jin and Han Ji-min spiced the series up for us, and we therefore highly recommend as the best pick for you.
The Poet Warrior Youth is a historical tale of a coming-of-age and budding romance. Park Seo-Joon, Go A-ra, and Park Hyung-Sik, graced our screen in this series and perfectly delivered this historical tale to us. The series follows the story of a group of elite men who discover themselves and find friendship and love amidst the ruckus that went on in the Silla Kingdom. A tale of power, politics, loyalty, and love, we were absolutely enthralled by the series. The series, released on the 19th of December, 2016, and ran through to the 21st of February, 2017 is binge-worthy, and we highly recommend it as the best pick for you.
14. The King’s Doctor
This series is a historical medical drama that tells the story of a Veterinarian, a Doctor who specializes in Horse treatment in the Joseon era. This low-class doctor rose through hurdles and became the royal physician personally in charge of the King’s health. A tale of diligence and perseverance, it was released on the 1st of October, 2012, and ran through to the 25th of March, 2013. Cho Seung-woo, who played the role of Baek Kwang-Hyun, the doctor, definitely had us stuck on watching his story, and we highly recommend this as the best pick for you.
15. River where the Moon rises
And finally, on our list of historical recommendations for you is this tale of love. A love story between opposites: a princess and an ordinary man. The historical tale follows the stories of a princess who was raised as an assassin, who later learns of her origin and fights to take back the throne and land that rightfully belongs to her, and also the tale of a man who finds himself in love with her and forsakes his principles to keep her safe. It is a tale that shows the struggle for power and budding romance. The series was released on the 15th of February, 2021, and ran through to the 20th of April of the same year, with the lead characters, Kim So-hyun and Na In-woo, keeping us entranced and addicted. We highly recommend it as the best pick for your binge list.
And that’s a wrap on this list. I hope you enjoyed the journey. You love K-dramas and you are looking to build a list of binge-worthy series. This list contains the best picks for you, recommended by us after thorough research. Add to your list and enjoy.
K-drama lovers hit our comment section, which of these historical tales was your favorite and why? We wanna know.