15 Best Chinese Dramas You Should Watch
Even if you already are addicted to Chinese dramas, this list will help you increase your addiction! This top list features some of the best, most popular Chinese dramas. You can also watch trailers or even first episodes for these series here, just don’t forget to turn on English subtitles! Also, make sure you vote in the poll for your favorite C-drama!
The Top 15 Chinese Dramas
- Secret of the Three Kingdoms (54 episodes)
- The King's Woman (48 episodes)
- The Endless Love (32 episodes)
- Lost in 1949 (46 episodes)
- Legend of Fuyao (66 episodes)
- Here to Heart (46 episodes)
- Bloody Romance (36 episodes)
- A Love So Beautiful (23 episodes)
- Love Till The End of Summer (46 episodes)
- The Rise of Phoenixes (70 episodes)
- Nirvana in Fire (54 episodes)
- Ashes of Love (63 episodes)
- Love Me If You Dare (24 episodes)
- Love O2O (30 episodes)
- Eternal Love (58 episodes)
15. Secret of the Three Kingdoms
Based on a 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this historical Chinese drama tells us about the historical events of the Han dynasty, which has been ruling the country for 400 years. While the novel describes events that span for more than a century, the drama covers only 20 years: from year 200 till the very decline of the Han Dynasty.
The Secret of Three Kingdoms accurately depicts major historical events, with some liberties though. However, the story will keep surprising you at every turn even if you know the course of the historical events. Notice that the drama is inspired by the novel that had numerous adaptations! If you are looking for a great story-line, give a try to this historical series. However, if you expect a very emotional drama, it's not the best choice for you, look somewhere else.
14. The King's Woman
Betrayal, love, revenge, intrigue, struggle.. does it sound interesting to you? The King's Woman has a lot of such things!
The story revolves around SunLi, the disciple and grand-daughter of a military commander. When chaos comes, she has no choice but to leave her home. In fact, she leaves not alone but with her fellow disciple whom she has known since the very childhood. That's the time when they become dependent on each other even more, and finally, they fall in love. One day he is injured, and SunLi enters the palace and marries Ying Zheng in order to get the medicine. That's when the story gets even a more interesting turn. The girl must fight to live in the harem and gain respect among others.
Basically, it's an obsessive romance drama with a love triangle type of plot, but the basic story is really about the First Emperor of China. If you are looking for an engrossing historical drama with a beautiful cinematography, well developed and multidimensional characters, The King's Woman should be in your must-watch list! Don't hesitate to watch the historical if you don't like palace politics, it's easy to follow since it focuses more on romance.
13. The Endless Love
The story centers on a young guy, a talented painter with a mental disease. The world has lost all its colors to him. At this difficult time in his life, he gets to know a cute girl who becomes his true remedy, helps him heal his mental wounds and fight for his big dreams.
You may not get very emotionally invested into this drama, but if you are in the mood for a good, light watch with likable characters, The Endless Love is just the ticket!
12. Lost in 1949
If you like spy dramas, here's an interesting one for you. The story of Lost in 1949 takes place in Communist China. It tells us the story of two people who get to know each other by chance but happen to fall in love. They both are ready to devote their lives to serve the country.
Basically, the story revolves around a man who is suddenly set free from prison and a woman, a Communist agent, who is ordered to get valuable information for the party. She is returning home to visit the grave of her husband. It happens so that they bump into each other and take each other's briefcase by mistake. While searching for her briefcase with an important transmitter inside of it, the agent becomes acquainted with an intelligent, kind person.
11. Legend of Fuyao
If you seeking a memorable and exciting Chinese drama that you would want to rewatch over and over again, Legend of Fuyao is made for you! You won't regret time put towards this historical/fantasy drama! It has not only political plots but a lot of relationship storylines as well as human growth stories. The growth of Fu Yao herself as a person is perfectly seen in the drama. She grows as a person from a young and stubborn slave girl to a powerful woman who finds her true origins finds power and courage to settle everything to the way it should have been. You can see a natural progression of her character in the story, not just being told she's a cool girl for no reasons. It's really interesting to watch.
Based on the novel Empress Fuyao by Tianxia Guiyuan, Legend of Fuyao takes place in the universe of 5 kingdoms that are led by the Imperial City of Wuji. After some tragic events, Fu Yao, a slave girl in the Taiyuan Kingdom, embarks on a journey across all kingdoms to find a way to get rid of the curse that blights her life. On this quest, she gets to know the Crown Prince of Wuji and develops feelings for him. Expect a lot of action, court intrigue, adventures and, of course, an epic love story!
10. Here to Heart
Here to Heart is based on the novel The Warm Cord written by An Ning.
If you want to dive into a drama world full of love and hate and revenge at the same time, give it a shot!
It's the story about eternal love. Profound and young love. A young couple has been separated due to a tragic accident. Even a decade can't heal such wounds. They have found new companions but deep in their hearts, they still feel lonely. Will one of them make the first move to come together again or not? Their love is like a war in which no side wants to surrender. He immediately announces he is marrying with another woman. Is it because he wants revenge? Ten years ago his beloved suddenly disappeared saying no word. He still remembers the immense pain he was going through...
9. Bloody Romance
Based on the novel of the same name, Bloody Romance follows a beautiful woman thrown into a chaotic cruel world who has no choice but learn how to survive. A poor daughter of a herbalist was fooled and sold into a brothel. What's more, soon she learns that it's her close person who did it. After an escape from death, she becomes a cold-blooded assassin. Every person she meets is mentally twisted to some degree: psychopaths and sociopaths are some of those strangers she has to deal with. She needs a lot of courage, brain, and blood to maneuver between these murderous and crazy people.
If you like Chinese dramas of this genre (the Legend of Fuyao, for example, is one of such dramas), then this web series is a perfect choice for you. It's another beautiful drama where a female lead is struggling to overcome all the obstacles on her path and becomes stronger along the way.
8. A Love So Beautiful
The storyline centers on school classmates and neighbors - a not-so-genius cheerful girl who likes the "perfect" guy known for his good looks and high grades. Basically, the show tells us about their life in high school: adventures with their classmates and a lot of cute scenes.
If sweet, simple stories is your cup of tea, then don't miss this Chinese series! A Love So Beautiful is an innocent and light drama that takes place mainly during the high school life, though moves on to the adult life later on. Cure relationships and a bunch of heartwarming moments are guaranteed!
7. Love Till The End of Summer
Love Till The End of Summer will be one more Chinese drama in this list that is based on a novel. It is adapted from Guo Jingming's novel of the same name. What is interesting is that the drama spans a period of ten years. It's about young and ambitious school friends whose paths become separate after graduation. Everyone is chasing their dreams but each with their own adversities: struggles, departures, imprisonments, betrayals or deaths of loved ones. They are changing, become doubtful about the friendship as such.
Probably, you have already realized one thing about this show: it shows us in every possible way that life is not bad of roses. It's not always very smooth and easy as we expect it to be. It doesn't have any formulas with steps following which the success is guaranteed. the drama tells us about true friendships and not so pure relations. So, if you already know it will be interesting for you, go ahead and watch it!
6. The Rise of Phoenixes
Do you like to see magnificent thrones, peacock feathers, stunning colorful uniforms on the screen? Well, this Chinese Netflix series is a real explosion in a paint factory! The Rise of Phoenixes will become a true feast for your eyes! Not only the stunning picture but also well made, real characters will make you immediately drawn in!
This historical romance is loosely based on the novel Huang Quan (Phoenix Rise) by Tianxia Guiyuan. That means it doesn't depict all historical facts accurately but is rather inspired by history. Here you have everything any fan of historical genre likes: rebellion, corruption, assassinations and so many other things!
The main story is about illegitimate daughter of the Qiu Family, who becomes falsely accused of a crime, Consequently, she is banished from her household. In order to survive, she has to cross-dress as a man and attend a prestigious Academy. As a talented girl, she soon enters a court as a Royal Scholar and politician. She is loyal and honest until she is manipulated into thinking that the current dynasty is built upon the corpses of her loved ones, those of a fallen kingdom. Will she want to take revenge?
5. Nirvana in Fire
Based on Hai Yan's novel of the same name, Nirvana In Fire tells the story of betrayal that caused the deaths of 70,000 loyal army soldiers. It tells about how one survivor returns to ensure all the traitors pay the price. The actions take place in one of the most chaotic periods in China's history, in the era when the country was divided into northern and Southern dynasties.
Don't be fooled and think it's another typical revenge drama. It's much more than that. The characters who, let's say, have gone through hell, are not seeking revenge to make themselves feel better, but they are trying to find out the truth.
If you are looking for an intense drama with a complicated, mind-blowing screenplay, beautiful cinematography, top-notch action, incredible characters, and countless intrigues, look no further. This Chinese drama is often compared to Game of Thrones! So, in case with this show, it doesn't really matter if you usually watch Chinese dramas/historical dramas or not. It's so magnificent, that you can't miss this out!
4. Ashes of Love
The next C-drama in the list is quite a lengthy ride, but don't be afraid, you won't be bored one single second! Based on the novel Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost by Dian Xian, Ashes of Love is set in ancient times and tells the romance story of two prisoners - Flower Goddess' daughter and Heavenly Emperor’s son.
Don't be fooled by a somewhat fluffy story in the beginning. This fantasy romance is about romance primarily. It tells us how true love can be so strong that it can go against faith and overcome every obstacle but only after heavy price paid. The show is packed with everything you could wish for: epic battles, power struggles, friendship, family bonds, and loyalty.
3. Love Me If You Dare
Adapted from Close Your Eyes, Stay Close to Me by Ding Mo, Love Me If You Dare will make you get inside the heads of violent criminals because that's exactly what the protagonist of the story does. The thing is, the male lead in this story is a brilliant criminal psychologist. He returns to China from America after working on a serial killer case to work as an analyst and advisor on the most problematic cases in the police department. With the help of his assistant, they delve into the intentions of the criminal mind.
If you are interested in mystery/crime, Sherlock Holmes type of dramas, definitely watch this Chinese television series! It also has the touch of romance and good humor, so you definitely won't be bored! However, if you want to watch this drama for the romantic part only, you won't be satisfied. There is some romance, but that's not what the series focuses on.
2. Love O2O
If you are bored of complicated love stories, if you are in the mood for a refreshing and light drama, Love O2O will give you a breath of fresh air! What is interesting, this sweet and light story focuses on online games. That’s something that gives it some fantasy element and makes students living in the campus interact. Smile-inducing, with a unique plot that is the combination between the real world and game world, it will make you want to binge watch the whole series!
Basically, the story centers on the lives of two people: a gaming expert, the most popular student-boy on campus and a beautiful computer science major. He desperately falls in love with this gorgeous girl the first time he stumbles upon her in the Internet cafe (where she was playing with another gamer). She will know soon that it is not her beauty that he liked, it was her gaming skills!
1. Eternal Love
Having reached 50 billion views (as of August 2018), Eternal Love (also known as Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms) is considered the most watched television drama in China! The series is based on the xianxia novel written by Tang Qi. If you like the words: “Immortals, Gods, Goddesses, and Demons”, dive into this drama! However, chances are that it will blow you away even if you think fantasy/historical genre is not your cup of tea! The romance here is something everyone can enjoy!
Basically, the story is about a romance that stretches thousands of years. It’s about love that stands the test of several lifetimes. Once upon a time, a Fox spirit and the Crown Prince of the Heavens fall in love. However, some bad things happen, so they have to go through many obstacles before they find each other again in another lifetime, another world. Are they destined to bear an entangling love in three lives, in three different worlds?