15 Best Time Travel K-Dramas, Ranked (According To IMDb)

15 Best Time Travel K-Dramas, Ranked (According To IMDb)

Time travel always adds a level of fun and intrigue to any television show when the drama of the past or future is intermixed with the present. This is often seen in sci-fi TV shows and movies and even in K-dramas and there are countless shows to binge that tantalize fans with time travel themes.

For K-dramas, the past often involves the Joseon era, riddled with political distress, turmoil, and drama. In some cases, K-dramas get creative and use time travel to solve crimes, like a heinous murderer from the past. And some time-travel K-dramas even have a bit of romance to satisfy all viewers.

Updated on July 6th, 2022 by Jom Elauria: Streaming sites like Netflix and HBO Max continue to add K-dramas from popular genres to their libraries, such as sci-fi. Sci-fi K-dramas use a variety of plot points to keep viewers interested, from creating water on the moon as seen on The Silent Sea to featuring parallel worlds like in W – Two Worlds Apart. One common plot device that is often used in sci-fi K-dramas is time travel, so much so that some K-drama viewers actually think that it’s overused. That said, time travel K-dramas are still worth the watch thanks to their excellent storytelling and interesting narratives.

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15 Sisyphus: The Myth (2021): 7.0

Available to stream on Netflix

Cho Seung-woo as Han Tae-sul in Sisyphus: The Myht

This 2021 K-drama has some serious Terminator vibes to it, but it’s full of good laughs, color, and drama. Han Tae-Sul (Cho Seung-woo) is a talented engineer who is determined to uncover the real reason behind his older brother’s murder. If that wasn’t enough, the storyline introduces a character who travels from the future to his current time.

RELATED: 10 Shows To Get You Started On Your K-Drama Journey

In the future, the world is dominated by gangs and military cliques. To survive, you need some serious combat skills. Gang Seo-Hae (Park Shin-Hye) is just the right warrior. She travels back in time to help Tae-Sul on his dangerous journey after learning key evidence about his brother’s death.

14 Familiar Wife (2018): 7.7

Available to stream on Netflix

Joo-hyuk and Hye-won in Familiar Wife

Romance and time travel? Yes, please. Marriage life hasn’t been easy for the main character, Joo-hyuk (Ji Sung). He’s been married for five years but under the immense stress of taking care of both of their parents and children while working. He’s also afraid of his wife’s angry outbursts.

One day, he encounters an old man on the subway who gives him two coins. In a turn of events, the coin sends him back in time. He’s no longer married and living a different life. Now he must decide whether or not to change this fate and rekindle his first love or get his old life back.

13 Splash Splash Love (2015): 7.7

A Scene from the kdrama Splash Splash Love

Splash Splash Love is one of those K-dramas that combine time travel with romance. In the television series, a high-school student gets transported to 15th-century Korea. She soon meets the young King of the kingdom who wants to learn more about mathematics. Thankfully, the heroine of the show is a patient teacher who is more than willing to tutor the King.

Splash Splash Love is a quick and easy watch for K-drama fans as it is one of the shortest K-dramas out there, with only 2 episodes. However, viewers found that the show’s pacing and story are nothing short of excellent.

12 Rooftop Prince (2012): 7.8

Available to stream on Netflix

Prince Lee Gak in Rooftop Prince

Waking up one day in present-day 2012, while actually being from the Joseon era, is a lot. Rooftop Prince has a lot of storylines to process, but it’s well worth it. The crown prince and his two confidants find themselves on the rooftop of Park-ha’s (Han Ji-min) home. The prince realizes he’s time-traveled 300 years into the future.

To make things even more interesting, he sees the long-lost sister of Park-ha who is the spitting image of his late wife, who was found drowned. He’s convinced he will find the answers to his past in 2012 and poses as the grandson of a powerful CEO, who in reality was killed by another family member.

11 Queen In-Hyun’s Man (2012): 7.9

Available to stream on Prime Video

Hee-jin and Bung-do in Queen In-hyun's Man

A Joseon Dynasty scholar meets an aspiring actress in the year 2012. Add some political turmoil and romance and you have a binge-worthy drama in Queen In-Hyun’s Man. In 1694, a noble-born scholar is the only survivor after his family was murdered, but there’s a bigger story at play, as it might be a conspiracy going on as he supports the reinstatement of the deposed queen.

RELATED: 10 Best K-Dramas Set In A School

Due to a talisman, he time travels 300 years into the future and meets an actress. The actress lands her big break posing as the queen from his era in a new drama. They soon meet and he just might fall in love.

10 Faith (2012): 8.0

The Cast of the Kdrama Faith

The K-drama Faith follows the story of a plastic surgeon who gets transported to 14th-century Goryeo. She soon learns that a royal guard warrior was the reason why she was brought back more than 600 years into the past.

The royal guard begs the plastic surgeon to help their injured queen. However, the plastic surgeon has actually caught feelings for her kidnapper. Shinui has captured the hearts of K-drama fans thanks to the stellar performances of the actors, as well as the detailed story that shines a light on Korean history and mythology.

9 God’s Gift: 14 Days (2014): 8.0

Available to stream on Prime Video

Lee Bo-young in God's Gift 14 Days

Released in 2014, God’s Gift: 14 Days is a K-drama about Kim Soo-hyun, a mother who seeks to resurrect her dead child by going back in time. Her child was kidnapped and murdered by a cruel person, and she plans to put a stop to their plan in 14 days in order to save her child.

But as she works with a private investigator to uncover the mysterious criminal, Kim discovers that there’s more to the crimes than she initially believed. The show was well-received for its solid writing and acting, though there’s a lot left to be desired with its CGI-filled scenes.

8 The King: Eternal Monarch (2020): 8.1

Available to stream on Netflix

Lee Gon and Tae-eul in The King: Eternal Monarch

Fans are in for a treat with this K-drama. Not only does the show have a badass female lead character and a male lead character that’s boyfriend-worthy, but it’s full of riveting action and a story of parallel worlds. In the show, there are two co-existing realities: present-day South Korea and the Kingdom of Corea.

The now King witnessed his father’s murder as a child at the hands of his uncle. He discovers a doorway to the parallel world and uses it to stop his uncle from raising an army. Along the way, he learns who the mysterious figure was that saved his life, but the only way to keep the timeline intact is by traveling back to that exact moment in time.

7 Nine: Nine Time Travels (2013): 8.2

Available to stream on Prime Video

The Kdrama Nine Nine Times Travel

In the K-drama Nine: Nine Time Travels, Park Sun-woo discovers nine incense sticks that could take him back 20 years in time. He uses his time in the past to save his family, who have been victims of a terrible tragedy. However, he needs to be extra careful when he goes back in time, as he can only do it nine times.

Park soon finds out that whatever he changes in the past also resonates and affects his present life. The K-drama won plenty of awards in Korea for its great cast and romantic storyline.

6 Go Back Couple (2017): 8.2

Available to stream on Prime Video

Promotional Art For the K-drama Go Back Couple

Go Back Couple is a Korean miniseries where a couple wishes that they never met each other since they were bought unhappy and exhausted with their marriage. The couple soon finds that they’ve reverted back into their 20-year-old selves and tried to make decisions that will make their future selves happy and satisfied.

The show featured plenty of heartwarming moments that will make viewers swoon. The show is also funny at times and has an ending that will surely tug at the heartstrings of every K-drama fan.

5 Tunnel (2017): 8.3

Gwang-ho and Seon-jae in Tunnel

Tunnel was another K-drama inspired by a famous serial murder case, just like the HBO show Mindhunter. The drama centers around a good detective in 1986 who, after finally finding true love and getting married, takes on a serial homicide case. While chasing a suspect through a tunnel, he finds himself propelled 30 years into the future once he exits the tunnel through the other side and the murderer is still at large.

Distraught over the idea of his life possibly going to ruins without him, he believes that catching the culprit will send him back to his own time. In this future world, he meets familiar characters from his past and a few surprises.

4 Chicago Typewriter (2017): 8.3

Han Se-joo, Jeon Seol and Yoo Jin-oh in Chicago Typewriter

The time travel concept in this drama is described as reincarnation. Three resistance fighters from the 1930s Japanese occupation of Korea find themselves in a new time period in which they are reincarnated as a writer, a fan, and a ghostwriter.

RELATED: 9 K-Drama Remakes That Are More Popular Than The Originals

Switching between the 1930s and the 21st century, these three characters start to see parallels between both time periods. As they start to uncover the truth behind their pasts, they worry it might affect their current present. For fans, the show also interweaves a love story with a memorable romantic kiss.

3 Signal (2016): 8.5

Available to stream on Netflix

Hae-young and Jae-Han in Signal

This K-drama has a storyline that not many shows have explored, but it works wonders in enthralling its audience. The outstanding police procedural show is also a thriller, as it was inspired by real-life crime stories and a murder case, and the show interweaves two different timelines.

While investigating a case, a cold case profiler discovers a walkie-talkie from the year 1989. He deduces that the walkie-talkie transcends time and allows him to communicate with a detective from 1989 for a short period of time. Together, they use their knowledge to stop heinous crimes from ever occurring.

2 Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016): 8.7

Hae Soo and Prince Wang So in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is inarguably one of the most talked-about K-dramas and it has everything from time travel and romance to drama and political intrigue, not to mention some of the most heart-wrenching scenes. Be wary of total solar eclipses, as it is responsible for a 25-year-old woman living in the 21st century to be transported back to the Goryeo Dynasty.

Waking up in a new identity, she is amongst the royal princes of the Wang family. She initially falls for one of the kind-hearted princes, but she is soon pulled in by the brooding and dark fourth prince. During her love story, she gets caught in the middle of political turmoil in a battle for the throne.

1 Mr. Queen (2020): 8.7

Available to stream on Hulu

Character Kim So-yong in Mr.Queen

Mr. Queen will have any viewers laughing from beginning to end, while also clutching onto their seats watching the drama unfold. It’s an unconventional story of time travel that works wonders. A hotshot male chef finds himself transported to the Joseon era, but not as himself but in the body of the Queen Cheorin (Shin Hye-sun) and there’s a mystery behind the queen’s supposed attempt at taking her own life.

Along the way, while trying to conform to the current period as a woman, he gets caught in the political turmoil of the kingdom and the king isn’t the goofy and undermined ruler everyone thinks he is. In reality, he’s cunning, mysterious, and seeking the truth behind those who wish to dethrone him.

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Gabriela Silva
(478 Articles Published)

Gabriela Silva is a List writer for Screen Rant with experience in all things television, film and pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University with previous years experience interning for Cliché Magazine.

With her passion for movies, television and entertainment, she’s interviewed some great actors from Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ to Tati Gabrielle from ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.’

Her love for entertainment reaches a broad range of interests from 90s thriller movies, guilty pleasure teen dramas, action-packed MCU movies to popular K-dramas. You’ll most likely find her binge-watching a new television show or movies on Netflix into the early morning.

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