21 Action K-Dramas That Redefined the Genre, Featuring Squid Game and Mr. Sunshine

Romantic, sci-fi, and action are some of the most-watched genres when it comes to Korean dramas. Action K-dramas have always been a great entertainment source for people of all genders, ages, and times. Interested in starting with action K-dramas? No need to waste time in finding the best ones, we have made it easier for you! Here is a curated list of 21 top-rated best action K-dramas of all time, that can give you the best adrenaline rush while narrating your best stories.

Top 21 Must-Watch Action-Packed K-Dramas That One Must Watch

1. Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Director: Young Woo Jang, Jihyeon Jeong, Eung Bok Lee

Writer: Kim Eun Sook

Cast: Lee Byung hun, Kim Tae ri, Yoo Yeon Seok, Yo Han Byun

IMDb Rating: 8.7/10

Running time: 80 min 

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: Originally titled Miseuteo Shunshain, this action, and romance K-drama features the story of a good-looking young boy in 1871 at the time of the Shinmiyangyo incident who returns to Korea and is enamored of a noblewoman.

2. Chuno (2010)

Director: Jung Hwan Kwak

Writer: Seong il Cheon

Cast: Jang Hyuk, Ji Ho Oh, Lee Da hae, Hyeong jin Kong

IMDb Rating: 8.7/10

Running time: 70 min

OTT platform: KBS

Drama Description: Also named Slave Hunters, this historical action K-drama narrates the tale of Dae Gil- a leader of a group of slave hunters. These slave hunters are hired to find Tae Ha- a slave who freed himself.

3. Healer (2014-15)

Director: Kim Jin Woo, Lee Jung Seob

Writer: Ji Na Song

Cast: Ji Chang Wook, Park Min Young, Tae Mi, Yoo Ji Tae

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Running time: 60 min 

OTT platform: Viu

K-Dramas Description: Originally titled Hilleo, this action crime and comedy K-drama tells the story of Kim Moon Ho who is a popular reporter. Watch this show to witness his life experiences.

4. Sandglass (1995)

Director: Jong Hak Kim

Writer: Ji Na Song

Cast: Min su Choi, Park Sang Won, Hyun Jung Go, Lee Jung jae

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Running time: 70 min 

OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

Drama Description: This best action K-dramas features the story of two men who become friends in the political field.

5. Kingdom (2019-)

Director: Seong Hun Kim, In je Park

Writer: Eun hee Kim

Cast: Ju Ji hoon, Bae Doona, Kim Sungkyu, Kim Hye jun

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Running time: 45 min

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: This horror-action K-drama series features a prince who is trying to protect his kingdom from a mysterious plague.

6. Live (2018)

Director: Yang Hui Kim, Hyeon Woo Myeong, Kyoo Tae Kim

Writer: Hee Kyung No

Cast: Jung Yu mi, Kwang Soo Lee, Sung Woo Bae, Chong ok Bae

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Running time: 60 mins

OTT platform: MAC Drama

Drama Description: Originally titled Laibeu, this K-drama is a mix of comedy, crime, and action. The show’s plot features tales of police officers and their life and work experiences.

7. D.P. (2021-)

Director: Jun Hee Han

Writer: Kim Bo Tong, Jun hee Han

Cast: Kim Seong Gyoon, Sukku Son, Jung Hae in, Koo Kyo hwan

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Running time: 50 min 

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: This crime action K-drama plot revolves around a young fellow’s assignment to catch army deserters. Watch it to know his call of duty.

8. Descendants of the Sun (2016)

Director: Eung Bok Lee

Writer: Kim Eun sook, Won Suk Kim

Cast: Song Joong ki, Song Hye kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji won

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Running time: 60 min 

OTT platform: Viki TV

Drama Description: Originally titled Tae Yang Eui Hoo Ye, this comedy action K-drama features the story of a surgeon and special forces officer.

9. The Fiery Priest (2019-)

Director: Myoungwoo Lee

Writer: Park Jae Beom

Cast: Kim Nam Gil, Kim Seong Gyoon, Lee Hanee, Sung woo Jeon, Jaan Go

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Running time: 35 min

OTT platform: MX player, SBS

Drama Description: Originally titled Yeolhyeolsaje, this crime and comedy action K-drama features a tale of a Catholic priest who is short-tempered. Watch the show to witness how his name comes in a murder investigation.

10. Bridal Mask (2012)

Director: Yoon Sung Shik

Writer: Hyeon Mi Yu

Cast: Joo Won, Gi Woong Park, Se Yeon Jin, Byung Ho Son

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Running time: 60 min

OTT platform: KBS

K-Dramas Description: Originally titled Gaksital, this best action K-drama has a romantic plot set in the 1930s. Watch the show to witness how a Korean police officer secretly puts on the ‘Bridal Mask’ and fights for injustice to Koreans by the Japanese.

11. Hotel Del Luna (2019)

Director: Choong Hwan Oh

Writer: Jeong eun Hong, Mi ran Hong

Cast: Ji eun Lee, Yeo Jin gu, Shin Jeong Geun, Bae Hae sun

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10 

Running time: 80 min

OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

Drama Description: This comedy-action K-drama plot features the story of a man who is invited to keep an eye on a hotel for dead souls.

12. City Hunter (2011)

Director: Hyuk Jin

Writer: Tsukasa Hôjô, Soo jin Choi, Eun kyung Hwang

Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Sang Jung Kim, Ho jin Chun

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Running time: 60 min

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: This action K-drama has a romantic thriller plot that features Lee Yun Seong who is trained by his father’s friend to take revenge.

13. Life on Mars (2018)

Director: Jung Hyo Lee

Writer: Lee Dae II

Cast: Jung Kyung ho, Park Sung woong, Ko Asung

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Running time: 65 min

OTT platform: OCN

Drama Description: Originally titled La i peu on Ma seu, this mystery crime K-drama features a murder investigation and time travel.

14. Squid Game (2021-)

Director and Writer:  Hwang Dong Hyuk

Cast: Lee Jung jae, Park Hae soo, Yasushi Iwaki, Hoyeon

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Running time: 55 min

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: Originally titled Ojing eo geim, this action mystery K-drama features several cash-strapped participants and how they confirm playing a survival game that can make them win 45.6 billion as a prize.

15. Taxi Driver (2021-)

Director: Joon Woo Park

Writer: Carlos, Lee Jae jin, Lee Ji hyun, Sang ho Oh

Cast: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Eui Sung, Pyo Ye Jin, Jang Hyuk jin

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Running time: 70 min

OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

Drama Description: Originally titled Mobeomtaeksi, this crime-action K-drama features a deluxe taxi driver and how he aims to take revenge in the name of his passengers. 

16. W (2016)

Director: Dae Yoon Jung

Writer: David Bannon, Jae Jeong Song

Cast: Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo, Jeong Eu Gene, Kim Eui sung

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Running time: 60 min

OTT platform: Netflix, MBC

Drama Description: Originally titled W Du Gaeui Segye, this fantasy murder mystery K-drama features a surgical resident who is trapped in a webtoon world.

17. Heartless City (2013)

Director: Jung Hyo Lee

Writer: Yoo Sung Yeol

Cast: Jung Kyung ho, Gyu ri Nam, Jae yoon Lee, Chang min Son

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Running time: 60 min

OTT platform: Apple TV

Drama Description: This crime action K-drama revolves around multiple characters who are into drugs and murders.

18. Tale of the Nine-Tailed (2020-)

Director: Nam Hyeong Jo, Shin Hyo Kang

Writer: Woo Ri Han

Cast: Lee Dong Wook, Kim Bum, Kim Yong Ji, Hwang Hee

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Running time: 70 min

OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video
Drama Description: Originally titled Gumihodyeon, this show features the best of a modern horror fantasy drama, set in historical times.

19. Save Me (2017-19)

Director: Seong-soo Kim, Kwon Lee

Writer: Edo Jeong

Cast: Jo Jae Yoon, Ho Jin Chun, Tae Goo Eom, Esom

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Running time: 60 min

OTT platform: Viu

Drama Description: Originally titled Goo hae jwo, this mystery, thriller, and action K-drama is a must-watch to witness a tale of a young girl who visits her family but gets captured in a series of tragic events.

20. 2 Weeks (2013)

Director and Writer: Hyung suk Son

Cast: Lee Joon Gi, Ha Seon Park, Soo-young Ryu, Kim So Yeon

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Running time: 65 min

OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video

Drama Description: This K-drama features Tae San’s story in which has a time of two weeks to save his daughter from leukemia. 

21. Undercover (2021)

Director: Jin-min Kim

Writer: Ba-da Kim

Cast: Hee soon Park, Ahn Bo Hyun, Han So hee, Kim Sang Ho

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Running time: 50 min

OTT platform: Netflix

Drama Description: This action K-drama is the story of a lady who serves as an undercover agent by being a part of a crime ring. 

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