Chinese historical dramas are considered to be one of the most sought-after and demanded genres by fans. That’s because of its mind-blowing, versatile, and creative storylines and cinematic shooting.
For example, the depiction of their fantasy with bright colors, magnificent costumes, and amazing buildings sometimes leaves the audience speechless.
However, the biggest thing that draws audiences back to Chinese historical tv series is the heart-wrenching story with a happy ending and beautifully written characters.
Currently, there are many highly-rated Chinese historical tv shows for you to watch, here is a list of the top 17 that you must watch!
Note: The Chinese historical drama that we include here are not Chinese Wuxia and Xianxia series.
Best Chinese Historical Dramas List
1. Wonderland of Love
“Wonderland of Love” is the latest Chinese historical drama released in 2023. The story follows the story of the emperor’s grandson Li Ni who guards the border and is forced to take responsibility for quelling a rebellion.
Even though Li Ni was the emperor’s grandson, he was never loved by his father and had to settle for being a frontline border general who had no intention of fighting for power.
During a military campaign against the rebels, he met the ambitious Cui Lin, who was the only daughter of General Cui Yi. Cui Lin also concealed her true identity and disguised herself as Lieutenant He.
They often met each other on the battlefield and fought each other. In their competition with each other, they predict each other’s plans and move to fight as winners, but instead, it leads them down the path of falling in love.
This C-drama historical romance has 40 episodes and is available on Viki. Stars Xu Kai and Jing Tian.
2. Story of Kunning Palace
Adapted from the web novel “Kun Ning”. One of the best Chinese historical dramas tells the story of a queen named Jiang Xue Ning who dreams of having supreme power and authority in her life.
But her dreams were shattered after King Shen Jie was mysteriously poisoned and she was taken hostage by the rebels. On the other hand, Xi Wei massacred the entire city and forced Jiang Xue Ning to commit suicide.
At that time, Xue Ning suddenly got a second chance to change her fate by not entering the palace. Even though she had vowed not to enter the palace, several incidents again entangled her with the palace and Xi Wei, the person she hated most.
Released in 2023 and has 38 episodes. You can watch it on iQiyi. Stars Bai Lu, Zhang Ling He, Wang Xing Yue, Zhou Jun Wei, and Liu Xie Ning.
3. A League of Nobleman
A League of Nobleman is the latest Chinese historical drama released in 2023. It tells the story of Zhang Ping, a poor orphan hailing from the provincial part of the country.
He then came to Beijing in an attempt to take the civil service entrance exam but had to make a living making noodles to sell on the city’s streets.
While he is unfashionable in his manners and is a dreamer, he is very perceptive – and also very mischievous. Zhang Ping is also naturally talented at solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries.
Meanwhile, Lan Jue is a mild-mannered young priest who hides a secret from his youth that he doesn’t want to reveal to anyone. But as Lan Jue goes about his business and tries to solve a case, his paths intersect with Zhang Ping.
Despite some misunderstandings, Zhang Ping manages to help Lan Jue solve the case. This incident turned into the start of an extraordinary partnership. But Zhang Ping accidentally finds out a secret.
Regardless, the two men develop a close bond despite their very different backgrounds. And together, they decide to solve all sorts of mysteries, including what really happened to Lan Jue’s father, and rid the palace of corruption once and for all.
This tv show was adapted from the novel “The Mystery of Zhang Guo” by Da Feng Gua Guo. It has 29 episodes and you can watch this Chinese drama on Amazon Prime Video.
4. Love Like the Galaxy
Ling Bu Yi was the adopted son of Emperor Wen and a talented & ruthless general of the Black Armored Army. He is on a personal mission to uncover hidden truths about the past, which has led to the massacre of the entire city and its clan.
On his way, he meets Cheng Shao Shang, a young girl who has been abandoned because her parents went to war.
He was neglected and uneducated to the point of becoming a thorn in the side of his aunt and grandmother until the unexpected return of his parents after years at the front.
Always lacking a loving family, Shao Shang had been looking forward to being reunited with his parents, but years of separation caused estrangement.
Shao Shang, however, is undeterred and determined to live for himself. Due to his unruly, bold, and clever nature, Shao Shang started to attract the attention of several people in the capital, including Ling Bu Yi.
5. The Story of Ming Lan
The series is set in the Northern Song dynasty and the storyline follows Sheng Ming Lan, the 6th daughter of a disfavored concubine-born official.
After losing his mother at a young age, Sheng Ming Lan was raised by his paternal grandmother. Growing up, he learned to hide his true genius and used underhanded methods to survive tough conditions.
It is because all family members are in cahoots with each other and where there is no real family love.
One day he meets Gu Ting Ye, the second son of a wealthy marquis household, who is supposed to have inherited wealth from both his parents and a peerage.
Unlike Ming Lan, Gu Ting Ye was straightforward with his actions and never hid his true self. But that causes her to fall victim to all the plotting and plotting against him, where she ends up losing everything.
Ming Lan and Ting Ye join forces, and through devious schemes and online efforts, they both rise up and work to get justice from those who have wronged them.
This romantic historical Chinese drama was released in 2018 with 78 episodes. It’s available on Viki. This tv show stars Zhao Li Ying and Feng Shao Feng.
6. Nirvana in Fire
In sixth-century China, the Great Liang Emperor orders the unjust execution of his brother-in-law Marshal Lin Xie along with the Lin family, his 70,000 soldiers, and Crown Prince Qi.
But secretly Lin Xie’s son, Lin Shu, survived the massacre. He is currently undergoing medical treatment which completely changed his appearance and left him in a weakened state, unable to perform martial arts anymore.
Lin Shu later changed his name to Mei Chang Su became the head of the boxer world and founded the Jiangzuo Alliance. Twelve years later, Mei Chang Su returns to the capital with a secret plan after being hunted down by Prince Yu and Prince Xian during their fight for the throne.
She decided to secretly help Prince Jing, the Emperor’s out-of-favor son, and wisely get rid of all the cunning palace officials.
The series was released in 2015 with 54 episodes. You can watch one of the best historical Chinese dramas on Viki.
7. My Uncanny Destiny
For generations, the two cities of Mu Xi and Xuanyue have been at war with each other. Both are always trying to subdue each other.
The current old city owner of Mu Xi only has one daughter, Ye Zhaonan, whose gender he secretly hid so that he could one day inherit her.
From an early age, Zhaonan always disguised himself as a boy, until one day when Ye Zhaonan fell off a cliff and met Liu Xuanming, the lord of Xuanyue City, and embarked on a beautiful destiny.
This romantic historical Chinese drama with Enemies to Lovers is released in 2023. It was released in 24 episodes and is available on iQiyi.
8. New Life Begins
This is a Chinese drama about arranged marriage that tells the story of Li Wei, a girl who arrives in Xin Chuan with girls from all over the world because of a marriage selection.
Li Wei over there only wants to work hard and not be chosen, who wants to live comfortably in this hometown. Yet he was chosen by Yin Zheng, one of the six young masters of Xin Chuan, who kept a low profile.
They then forge a relationship, and, together, start a new life in which they face many situations and complement each other in overcoming them.
As Yin Zheng sets up government offices and goes to court, the two gradually develop similar tastes as their hearts align.
They shared three meals and four seasons together and grew up with other brothers and sisters with different personalities and fates, living a warm everyday life as the Xin Chuan family together.
One of the best Chinese historical dramas with happy ending that was released in 2022. It has 40 episodes and you can watch it on Viki.
9. The Long Ballad
This was in 626 AD, when the kingdom, as well as its political center, Chang’an, was shaken to its core by the Xuanwu Gate Incident and the successful palace coup to take over the Tang Dynasty.
Back then, a cunning prince led a bloody coup and killed Li Chang Ge’s family during a raid, though he managed to escape. Now the prince has installed himself on the throne of the Empire and reigns as Emperor Tai Zong.
Li Chang Ge was determined to take revenge and raised a powerful army to overthrow the new Emperor. But his plans fall apart when he suffers an unexpected defeat against the army of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate.
The victorious general, Ashile Sun, decides to keep him in service, casting him as a military strategist when he wants to pursue his own military goals.
The duo forms a formidable military partnership. And over time, she finds herself falling in love with her captor – because she too begins to develop feelings for him.
This Chinese costume drama was released in 2021 with 49 episodes and is available on Netflix. This tv show stars Dilraba Dilmurat, Leo Wu, Liu Yu Ning, Zhao Lu Si, and Alen Fang.
10. The Romance of Tiger and Rose
The storyline of this Chinese series follows the story of Chen Xiao Qian, a woman who works as a screenwriter. After finally selling her TV series script, she soon falls under the tutelage of the male lead, who refuses to take on the role.
Vowing to succeed in his script, he began rewriting it. During her nap, she is taken into her own story, becoming the Third Princess Chen Qian Qian, a side character.
Armed with knowledge of her own script where her character is about to be killed off in the third episode by Prince Han Shuo, the male lead, Xiao Qian is determined to stay alive and find her way home.
It was released in 2020 with 24 episodes. You can watch one of the best Chinese historical dramas with a possessive male lead on Netflix.
11. Story of Yanxi Palace
The series is set in 18th-century Beijing, during the 6th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign. Back then, Wei Ying Luo entered the Forbidden City as an embroiderer to investigate the truth behind her older sister’s rape and murder.
He believed that Imperial Guard Fuca Fuheng was the prime suspect. Ying Luo then sneakily approaches her sister, Empress Fuca Rongyin, and gets transferred to work as her maid.
The Empress quickly took a liking to Ying Luo’s intelligent and bold demeanor and even taught her to read and write and became her benefactor.
Meanwhile, Fuca Fuheng falls in love with him and supports his investigation. Realizing that the Fuca brothers are innocent of the crime, Ying Luo turns her attention to the other people in the palace in hopes of finding the culprit.
12. A Dream of Splendor
A Dream of Splendor is one of the best Chinese dramas available on Netflix and tells the story of Zhao Pan Er, a smart tea shop owner in Qiantang. One day he finds out his fiancé left him for another woman after becoming an official in the Bian Jing Capital.
However, he refuses to surrender to his fate and decides to travel to the Capital in search of the truth. On his way there, he meets his two best friends, whose lives he saves and they follow him.
Meanwhile, Gu Qian Fan is a commander in the Capital’s elite squadron nicknamed the “Living Devil”. He was framed by those he swore allegiance to and must find the truth behind the sinister scheme involving the imperial court.
When he first met Zhao Pan Er, they didn’t see eye to eye, but this shrewd businesswoman had caught his eye and as they helped each other, they grew closer to their own goals.
This is one of the best Chinese historical romance dramas with strong female lead. It was released in 2022 with 40 episodes.
13. The Imperial Coroner
It tells the story of the young girl Chu Chu who comes from the coroner family. One day, she meets Prince Xiao Jin Yu, a dignified prince in charge of criminal prosecution who appears weak and sickly.
Prince Xiao lacked reliable personnel to investigate cases, while Chu Chu lacked people to step up, take charge, and be a man.
Together, they manage to unravel a shocking case that has been dragging on for 18 years. After solving the case, he wins the Emperor’s approval and is eventually certified as the Imperial Coroner, fulfilling his life’s purpose.
This tv show stars Wang Zi Qi and Su Xiao Tong. It was released in 2021 with 36 episodes and is available on Viki.
14. The Rebel Princess
The Rebel Princess tells the story of Wang Xuan, a woman who was born in a royal environment who is known to be brave and wise in making decisions. However, due to the rules of the Wang clan, he had to participate in the power struggle.
Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi then made a deal for power. They married before falling in love and joined hands to protect their motherland. Wang Xuan was a woman who did not lose to any man when she rose from humble beginnings.
You can watch one of the historical Chinese dramas with romance on Amazon Prime Video. It was released in 2021 with 68 episodes.
15. Warm on a Cold Night
Su Jiu Er is a young, talented, and attractive policewoman with a keen investigative mind. He was from the Qian Kingdom, which meant he had a spirit like a rabbit and he always felt cold.
He is very attracted to warmth wherever he can find it. During her investigation, she is forced to go undercover, where she meets Han Zheng, a member of the Qi Kingdom’s ruling family.
Han Zheng was imbued with a wolf-like spirit, which gave him phenomenal strength and agility. It also makes the skin very warm to the touch. But he lacks interpersonal skills and is rude and rude to everyone he meets.
However, opposites attract the two to unite. This unlikely duo forms a bond that grows closer as they investigate strange murder cases involving their two kingdoms.
This Chinese historical series with a fantasy romance was released in 2023. It has 36 episodes and is available on Viki.
16. The Sword and the Brocade
This Chinese tv series is set during the Ming Dynasty and the story revolves around the romance between general Xu Ling Yi and concubine Shi Yi Niang’s daughter, which starts from an arranged marriage.
Despite being born into a lowly status, Shi Yi Niang is very strict and believes that women’s views should not be limited to the household. She hoped to rely on her embroidering skills as her ticket to freedom.
However, the once honorable Luo family was in a state of decline. Hoping to save the clan through a marriage alliance, Shi Yi Niang is chosen to be the wife of the Duke of Yongping and the great General Xu Ling Yi.
Things weren’t easy for him because of the Xu family’s bias against him. Despite this, he manages to win their trust through his optimism and sincerity.
Xu Ling Yi was also attracted to her various beautiful qualities such as husband and wife finding love after marriage. Through Xu Ling Yi’s support, Shi Yi Niang opened Xian Ling Pavilion to have her own embroidery workshop.
The Sword and the Brocade is one of the best Chinese historical dramas with the female lead being older than the male. It was released in 2021 with 45 episodes and you can watch it on Viki. This tv show stars Tan Song Yun and Wallace Chung.
17. My Heroic Husband
It tells the story of a modern businessman who travels back to ancient times. She then landed on the body of a man who was to be married off as the husband of Su Tan Er, from a cloth merchant family.
He then begins to incorporate modern methods and ideals to help his friends and fight corrupt local businesses. Eventually, he became involved in state affairs.
This Chinese drama was released in 2021 with 36 episodes. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
So, that was the list of best Chinese historical dramas with romances that ended happily. You can watch the drama we mentioned right now. Thanks for reading this article, have a nice day!