True Tales Unfold With K-Dramas Inspired by Actual Events 

Korean dramas are usually popular for showcasing fictional stories and ideal romance plots. But, if you love to watch dramas based on real-life events, note that some K-dramas depict true stories that won’t disappoint you. Here we are carefully picked and assorted 10 top-rated K-dramas with amazing plots based on true stories. Keep scrolling to learn about these historical K-dramas based on true stories. 

Reality in Reels: The Top 10 K-Dramas Based on True Stories

1.  Move to Heaven

Cast: Adam McArthur, Lee Je Hoon, Sanyee Yuan

Director: Sung Ho Kim

Writer: Yoon Ji Ryun 

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.5/10

Drama Description: This 2021 released K-drama is based on a nonfiction essay called Things Left Behind written by Kim Sae Byul. It is the story of an ex-convict who takes care of his nephew with autism spectrum disorder after getting bail from jail. The show takes an interesting twist when the trauma cleaning business is realized to be hard.      

2. Crash Landing On You

Cast: Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin, Seo Ji Hye, Kim Jung Hyun

Director: Kim Hui Won (2019-2020), Jung Hyo Lee (2019-2020)

Writer: Ji Eun Park 

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.7/10

Drama Description: This is a 2019 romantic K-drama that perfectly depicts a North Korean lifestyle. The plot of this drama is based on a 2008 real-life incident involving actress Jung Yang who was in Incheon on a leisure ferry boat. Its story features a billionaire Yoon Se Ri who meets a paragliding accident and ends up in North Korea. 

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3. Signal

Cast: Lee Jehoon, Kim Hye Su, Cho Jin Woong

Director: Won Suk Kim

Writer: Eun hee Kim

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.5/10

Drama Description: This 2016 K-drama has a thrilling, fantasy story based on the Park Chorong Bitnari Kidnapping case and the Hwasong murder case of the Gyeonggi province. The storyline features a police lieutenant and expert criminal profiler who solve such cases and follow their experiences. 

4. Fight For My Way

Cast: Park Seo Joon Kim Ji Won, Jae Hong Ahn

Director: Lee Na Jeong

Writer: Im Sang Choon

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.1/10

Drama Description: This 2017 Rom-Com K-drama follows the story of a taekwondo player Ko Dong Man who has become an MMA fighter along with a department store worker Cho Ae Ra who dreams of becoming a television anchor. The story is loosely based on the life of a mixed martial artist Choo Sung Hoon and his life partner, Yano Shiho. 

5. Reply 1988

Cast: Hyeri Lee, Go Kyung Pyo, Ryu Jun Yeol

Director: Won Ho Shin

Writer: Woo Jung Lee

OTT platform: Prime Video

Rating: 9.2/10

Drama Description: This 2015 release is one of the most historical K-dramas based on true story, Rom-Com K-drama is a precise depiction of the ’88 Olympic games’ held in Korea. The show follows the story of Choi Taek who is a character inspired by a Baduk Player Lee Changho. It tells about how he became a sensation in Baduk at the age of 13. 

6. Hwarang

Cast: Park Seo Joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung Sik 

Director: Yoon Sung Shik

Writer: Park Eun Yeong

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8/10

Drama Description: This 2016 romantic K-drama is based on influential society members of the Silla Period. It features a concept called Hwarang- a group of elite young men that prepared other men to become successful administrators and politicians.  

7. Six Flying Dragons

Cast: Yoo Ah In, Yo Han Byun, Myung Min Kim

Director: Shin Kyung Soo

Writer: Kim Young Hyun, Park Sang Yeon

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.9/10

Drama Description: This 2015 action K-drama revolves around six characters who are placed in the late 1300s, around the end of the Goryeo dynasty. These characters showcase the lives of real individuals of that period. 

8. Taxi Driver

Cast: Lee Jehoon, Esom, Kim Eui Sung

Director: Joon Woo Park (Season 1), Lee Dan (Season 2)

Writer: Oh Sang Ho, Lee Ji-hyun (Season 1 – Episodes, 1–10), Oh Sang Ho (Season 2 – Episodes, 11–16)

OTT platform: Prime Video

Rating: 8/10

Drama Description: This 2021 K-drama is a crime thriller, mystery show that follows the story of a former UDT or underwater demolition team official, who is now a taxi driver. The twist comes in the plot when a serial killer murders his mother and the taxi company where he works also gives a ‘revenge-call’ service. Must binge-watch the drama to follow how he tackles multiple cases, most of which are based on real-life incidents.  

9. The Empress Ki

Cast: Ha Ji Won, Ji Chang Wook, Hye Rin Han

Director: Han Hee, Seong Joon Lee

Writer: David Bannon, Young Chul Jang, Kyung Soon Jung

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 8.4/10

Drama Description: This 2013 K-drama is a must-watch if you like adventurous, historical, and romantic stories. The show is based on the real-life experiences of a Korean woman who became an influential empress in China’s Yuan Dynasty at the time of Goryeo’s rule. It features regal historical elements such as politics, war, love, and regal loyalties. 

10. Queen For Seven Days

Cast: Hyun Sung Jang, Dong Geon Lee, Son Eun Seo

Director: Lee Jung Seob

Writer: Jin Young Choi

OTT platform: Netflix

Rating: 7.7/10

Drama Description: This is a 2017 historical and romantic K-drama based on the true story of Queen Dangyeong alongside King Junjong. The show showcases the tale of the Queen who gained power in the Joseon era, in the early 1500s, but her reign ended abruptly in a week. 

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