Besides the Hallyu or the hype of K-dramas, Chinese dramas are gaining popularity among global audiences mainly due to diverse themes, unpredictable plotlines, and characters that introduce us to their culture, traditions, and folktales. Another factor contributing to the rise of C-Dramas is their global availability on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Viki, and YouTube. The industry is expanding rapidly, and 2023 has already brought us numerous captivating Chinese dramas that are not to be missed!
You Might Also Like: 10 Best Chinese Dramas You Should Have On Your Watchlist
We have compiled a list of some of the Best Chinese Dramas of 2023 that you can binge-watch.
IMDb rating: 8.6/10
A romance and slice-of-life drama about a girl Xu Hong Dou whose best friend suffers and dies of cancer leaving her utterly distressed and searching for something to fill the void her friend left in her life. To take a break, Xu quits her job and moves away from the city to a rural and beautiful village her best friend had longed to visit once- this journey and her life in the village changes her perspective on life and she discovers new feelings as well as a new self that she didn’t know about.
IMDb rating: 8.6/10
It is a romance story that follows the life of a young girl who falls meets a middle-aged man many times and eventually falls in love with him. However, the story takes a more emotional turn when Xiao Han- the man dies from a terminal illness. This show is as sweet as it is painful to watch a couple that meets through fate and has to face separation also due to fate. The series is directed by Zhoufei Chen and Xiaolei Zhao, and it stars Yi Huang, Sichao Ma, and Zeng Tang in the main roles.
IMDb rating: 8.2/10
This historical thriller drama is based on the Chinese novel ‘Zhang Gong An written by Dafeng Gua Guo. The series is about two young men- Zhang Ping an impoverished but smart dreamer who comes to Beijing to pursue his dream of passing civil exams, and Lan Jue a young minister who likes solving cases- when both cross paths, they form a great team who go about the town solving cases and fighting corruption! This is an interesting mystery series directed by Yang Fan, and Jia Xiao Xiong, and stars Borang Jing, Song Weilong, and Guo Cheng in main roles.
IMDb rating: 8/10
It is a fantasy historical investigative drama that has the lead paring having a ‘hot-cold relationship’. It starts with Su Jiu Er a young and skilled constable who is always feeling cold from the inside meets a member of Quin Kindom’s family Han Zheng who always is full of warmth from the inside. The two opposite spirits- rabbit and wolf meet each other by fate and start solving a murder case together making them close to each other. It is directed by Li Hui Zhu, and stars Kai Wang, and Yitong Li as the lead pair in the series. This show has all elements of excitement and thrill including fantasy characters, a historical plotline, a murder mystery, and a burning romance- a perfect binge-watching pack!
This new Chinese series is a period romance comedy that has got good hype since its release. It is the story of two rival cities Mu-Xi and Xuan-Yue that have never had cordial terms. One of the cities run by Castellan is worried that he has only one daughter and no son to keep their kingdom going. Desperate, Castellan raises his daughter as a boy so that she can take over the city after him. However, destiny takes a twisted turn when Ye Zhaonan, the daughter had to face the heir of the rival city- Liu Xuan Ming. They might be rivals to the public but a love story brews in secret making this alliance difficult and challenging for the two rulers of rival cities.
IMDb rating: 7.5/10
Starring Fan Zhixin, Mozhi Li, and Wang Xu Dong in prominent roles, this mystery romance show has more than just a cliche love story. My Lethal Man is about a girl named Shen Man Ning who is kidnapped and faced with her doppelganger. And before she knows it, her doppelganger Zhuang Xin Yan is killed. Now, forced to live as the fiance of the powerful and mysterious man Xing Cheng. While she is trying to survive the truth, Man Ning comes to know about a 17-year-old truth that could break the wall between her and her fiance. This story is about revelations, love, and a lot of drama.
7. Three Body
IMDb rating: 7.7/10
Three Body is a Chinese science-fiction Television series based on the novel ‘The Three-Body Problem’ authored by Liu Cixin. This show is as interesting and mysterious as its plot sounds! It shows the story of a nanomaterials expert in China Wang Miao, who along with a detective Shi Qiang work on a case about sudden and unknown suicides committed by many people belonging to the science community. On further investigations, they find that the cases are linked with a hidden scientific organization called the ‘Frontiers of Science’, and a famous Chinese video game about aliens. This discovery doesn’t just have to do with the suicides, but also the fate of the world. This famous series is directed by Yang Lei and Vincent Yang. It stars Zhang Luyi, Yu Hewei, Chen Jin, Wang Ziwen, Lin Yongjian, and Li Xiaoran in important roles among others.
8. Wulin Heroes
IMDb rating: 8.3/10
Wulin Heroes is a romantic comedy period drama about a kind woman pursuing her dreams of becoming the greatest martial artist of all time- she meets a lot of trials, tribulations, and a side that this sinister world hides beneath a shield of weakness. However, on her path filled with struggles she finds a kind and divine doctor Bai Yue. Together they learn a lot about love, and life, and fight the scum who wants to harm Ye Xi and her people. This sweet historical drama directed by Zhu Dong Ning teaches a lesson or two to the viewers along the way about how to live life!
IMDb rating: 7.5/10
It is an intriguing mystery drama series about Shuai Jiamo- an obsessed but brilliant mathematician of the Ming dynasty who comes across a big tax discrepancy. But, in the process to solve this problem, he gets trapped in a web of corruption and lies created by so many ministers and powerful people inside the palace. This series is directed by Anzi Pan and stars Ruoyun Zhang, Yang Wang, and Stephy Qi in prominent roles among others.
IMDb rating: 8.1/10
It stars Yang Chaoyue, and Jeremy Tsui as the lead couple in this period romance drama. The Journey of Chong Zio is about the surviving members of a demon clan who are fleeing the kingdom when their King Ni Lun dies. And, while everyone is grasping for some kind of help, the demon king’s daughter Chong Zi meets the immortal Chu Bu Fu- her life changes a lot! This story directed by Kwok Fai Lau of star-crossed lovers sounds like a must-watch!
11. The Starry Love
IMDb rating: 8.2/10
This fantasy romance show is all about the two sisters and their fate that leads them to a different path than what was destined for them! Yes, this series starts by showing two sisters born to the queen of the human world- one is kind and gentle, while another is smart and intelligent. When the Gods decide on a suitable match for both the sisters, their palanquins interchange and they end up marrying the wrong man! Now, the two mismatched and already in love couples should decide something to stop troubles in the four realms. What’s going to happen now? This sweet and sour series directed by Yui-Bun Chu and Chu Yui Pan, and featuring Chen Xing Xu, Landy Li, Luke Chen, and He Xuan Lin looks so interesting to me!
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
It is a fantasy romance series about Li Susu, an immortal being who must travel 500 years back in time to stop a hostage prince from dying and thereby turning into the devil god. Interestingly, this show belongs to the genre of Xianxia (the story about immortal gods)- a genre that is quite famous in Chinese series. It is important to stop the devil god as he is soon going destroy the four continents and three realms of the world. But the one who is sent on a mission to destroy the king before he turns into a devil has fallen in love- what will happen to the future of these two and the world? This story has more than what we might believe to understand! This C-drama was released in April 2023 and stars Luo Yunxi, Bai Lu, Chen Duling, and Deng Wei in important roles.
13. The Knockout
IMDb rating: 7.7/10
It is a criminal drama series directed by Xu Jizhou that narrates the story of a front-line police officer in the city of Zinghai, An Xin who wants to knock out the evil and corrupted organized crime groups. It is a series that shows how crime has spread its net over the span of 20 years and how it takes a team of educated lawyers, public prosecution, and the justice department to clear this corrupt and dark underworld. It truly opens the viewers’ eyes to the politicians and criminals who run and disrupt the justice sector by foul play. The show stars great actors including Zhang Yi, Zhang Song Wen, Li Yi Tong, and Zhang Zhi Jian among others.
14. Unchained Love
IMDb rating: 7.9/10
This historical romance drama is directed by Wu Qiang and is based on the book Stupa by You Sijie. It stars the charismatic star of Chinese cinema Dylan Wang in the lead role alongside Chen Yuqi. Unchained Love focuses on the love story of a man Xiao Duo who is out on a mission to take revenge on those who killed his brothers but is attracted to Bu Yun Lou, the former emperor’s concubine who should have been killed but is spared. Will the man succeed in taking revenge or choose love over hate? All that is covered in this show is filled with drama, love, and plotting revenge!
15. Road Home
IMDb rating: 7.8/10
It is a romance drama series starring Jing Bo Ran, Tan Song Yun, and Li Min Cheng in important roles. It is about two teenage lovers Gui Xiao and Lu Yan Chen who met in school and as they grew so does their love for each other. Though, destiny had other plans for them. Gui Xiao had to be at the far end of the country to train as a police officer and Lu Yan Chen enters the world of Finance. They try to keep their love afloat with a difficult long-distance relationship until it slowly fades away. Finally, one day they get a chance to connect again- Will this be there another chance at romance or just a one-time meet? That’s what we will find out after watching the show!
These were just a small list of the Best Chinese Dramas of 2023 (so far) and the year has more to give! With the new themes and stories brewed by Chinese creators- we end up wishing for more and more such brilliant content. Hope you liked this list!