Top 10 “Most Watched Historical Chinese Dramas” of All Time

Hey C-Drama Enthusiasts! Are you wondering which costume dramas have been the most-watched in Chinese drama history? Or perhaps you are a costume drama lover and looking for something new to watch but have no idea which one to pick.

Well, worry not, whether you are a seasoned fan or a newcomer, here, we will give you insights into the All-Time Top 10 Chinese costume dramas with the highest viewership on its streaming platform (PS: all the costume Chinese dramas listed here have over 10 Billion Views).

The Queen of Ratings, Zhao Liying’s four dramas are on the list. And the winner of this list, with over 50 Billion Views, is definitely worth watching, especially if you are a fantasy costume drama lover.

Top 10. The Story Of Minglan

  • Views: 14.4 Billion
  • Starring: Zhao Liying, Feng Shaofeng, Zhu Yilong
  • Douban Ratings: 7.9 rated by over 572K users
  • Episodes: 73
  • Premiere Date: 2018
Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time: Story Of Minglan
The Story Of Minglan

The Story of Minglan is another work by the scriptwriter behind ‘Battle Of Changsha (2014)’ and is produced by the same company responsible for ever-popular dramas like Nirvana in Fire Season 1 and Nirvana in Fire Season 2.

Set in the Song Dynasty, the story follows Sheng Minglan (played by Zhao Liying), a quick-witted underdog heroine who hides her true self beneath her quiet demeanor to survive difficult situations, where each of her so-called family members plots against one another, and no actual family love exists.

While some viewers might be initially scared by the number of episodes, if you are someone who enjoys the typical historical genre with family intricacies, multi-layered plotlines, and complex characters, then this series might be the binge-watching option for you.

Where To Watch: Viki, We TV, Tencent Video, iQIYI

Top 9. Ashes Of Love

  • Views: 16.45 Billion
  • Starring: Yang Zi, Deng Lun, Luo Yunxi
  • Douban Ratings: 7.8 rated by over 527K users
  • Episodes: 63
  • Premiere Date: 2018

There must be very few Cdrama fans who don’t know or haven’t watched this drama, especially those who are costume drama lovers.

Based on a fantasy web novel, ‘Ashes of Love’ tells the story of a Flower deity, Jin Mi (played by Yang Zi), and the Fire Deity and second son of the Heavenly Emperor, Xu Feng (played by Deng Lun).

The female lead, Jin Mi, is unable to feel love because she was fed the ‘unfeeling pill’ during her birth by her mother so that she wouldn’t develop any romantic feelings as she grew up, and this secret is kept within the Flower deity world.

However, thousands of years later, an unexpected turn of events takes place when Jin Mi accidentally encounters the Heavenly Phoenix, Xu Feng, leading to a love trial.

As a fantasy costume drama lover, I would say this is a must-watch drama. Also, Yang Zi, the Post-90s Queen in today’s C-entertainment scene, was initially catapulted to the limelight and stardom by this drama.

Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time: Ashes of Love
Ashes Of Love scene

Where To Watch: ViKi, Netflix, We TV

Also, Read: 10 Highly-Anticipated Chinese Dramas ‘Costume Male Gods’ in 2024

Top 8. Nirvana In Fire

  • Views: 19.04 Billion
  • Starring: Hu Ge, Liu Tao, Wang Kai
  • Douban Ratings: 9.4 rated by over 818K users
  • Episodes: 54
  • Premiere Date: 2015

“Nirvana in Fire” is critically acclaimed as one of the best historical Chinese dramas of all time that has contributed to the growing popularity of Chinese TV dramas worldwide.

Adapted from the novel “Lang Ya Bang,” ‘Nirvana In Fire’ is a revenge-themed story. The drama is packed with political intrigue and power struggles within the court that is set in a fictional ancient Chinese kingdom called Liang.

Mei Changshu (played by Hu Ge) is the protagonist of the series, a brilliant strategist, and the leader of the Jiangzuo Alliance whose entire family was wiped out 10 years ago. To seek justice and uncover the truth behind his family’s downfall as they were wrongly accused of treason, he adopts a new identity and works under his enemy’s camp.

The Drama is available in both English and Chinese Dubs on Prime Video, Viki.

Top 7. A Journey Of Flower

  • Views: 22 Billion
  • Starring: Wallace Huo, Zhao Liying
  • Douban Ratings: 7.3 rated by over 206K users
  • Episodes: 58
  • Premiere Date: 2015
Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time

Hua Qian Gu (played by Zhao Liying) is a pure and kind orphan girl, yet she holds a strange and strong demonic power within her. After being saved by the most gentle yet cold-hearted immortal Bai Zi Hua (played by Wallace Huo), she becomes determined to cultivate and repay his debt.

At first, even though Bai Zi Hua hesitates in taking Hua Qian Gu as his disciple knowing that she is his calamity, he later surprisingly accepts her. Qian Gu is very reliant on Bai Zi Hua and wishes for nothing more than to be by his side.

In turn, Bai Zi Hua also promises to protect her. A conspiracy leads to Hua Qiang Gu’s imprisonment and Bai Zi Hua is unable to do anything to help, leading to her death for the sake of peace.

Where to Watch: Yo Yo English Channel (Youtube)

Top 6. Noble Aspirations/ The Legend of Chusen

  • Views: 25.4 Billion
  • Starring: Li Yifeng, Zhao Liying
  • Douban Ratings: 6.9 rated by over 148K users
  • Episodes: 58
  • Premiere Date: 2016
Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time

The amazing part of this series lies in its cast, Apart from Zhao Liying and Li Yifeng as the main leads, all the A-list actors in the industry in the current date, are part of this series like Yang Zi, Cheng Yi, Ren Jialun, Liu Xueyi, Qin Jun Jie, and many more.

Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time
Noble Aspirations cast: Liu Xueyi, Qin Jun Jie, Yang Zi, Cheng Yi & Ren Jialun

One night, Zhang Xiao Fan’s (played by Li Yifeng) entire village is massacred. This incident leaves only his childhood friend Lin Jing Yu and a villager, Uncle Wang, as survivors. The righteous sects adopt Zhang Xiao Fan and Lin Jing Yu afterward, raising them.

However, Xiao Fan encounters challenges in training and acquiring skills. As he grows up, he obtains a forbidden weapon, all the while uncovering some dark secrets about his past and the people around him.

Where To Watch: Viki

Top 5. The Princess Weiyoung

  • Views: 28.2 Billion
  • Starring: Tiffany Tang, Luo Jin
  • Douban Ratings: 4.9 rated by over 73K users
  • Episodes: 54
  • Premiere Date: 2016

Feng Xin’er (played by Tiffany Tang) is the princess of Beiliang, The Northern Wei Dynasty, whose family is killed overnight.

Luckily, Feng Xin’er doesn’t die, but she ends up in her enemy’s land by mistake. She pretends to be Li Wei Young, the Prime Minister’s daughter, to get back at those who hurt her family.

She suffers many hardships but eventually utilizes her wisdom and sense of justice to become a powerful woman while blossoming in a beautiful romance with Tuo Ba Jun (played by Luo Jin) who rescues her.

Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time
The Princess Weiyoung

Aside from a captivating storyline, ‘The Princess Weiyoung’ is best known for its lavish costumes and set designs.

Also, It would likely bring joy to many viewers to learn that, following their several collaborations together, the leads of this drama, Tiffany Tang and Luo Jin are an actual couple in real life. They announced their marriage in 2018, and Tiffany also gave birth in 2019.

Where to Watch: Viki, Netflix, Croton Mega Hit

Top 4. The Legend of Mi Yue

  • Views: 29.49 Billion
  • Starring: Sun Li, Liu Tao, Ma Su
  • Douban Ratings: 6.1 rated by over 117K users
  • Episodes: 81
  • Premiere Date: 2015

Mi Yue (played by Sun Li) is the first stateswoman in the history of China where the story takes place before the beginning of the Qin dynasty. Mi Yue is a young princess who lived in the Kingdom of Chu during the Warring States period.

Politics tore her from Huang Xie. As part of her sister’s dowry, she was sent to Qin as a concubine. As King Huiwen of Qin passes away, she is sent as an ambassador (banishment) to Yan with her son Ying Ji. Despite numerous challenges and hardships, Mi Yue eventually rose to power as the first Empress Dowager in China’s history.

Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time
The Legend Of Mi Yue

You can watch this drama in both Chinese and English dubbed on Letv Official.

Top 3. Fighter Of The Destiny

  • Views: 30.35 Billion
  • Starring: Lu Han,
  • Douban Ratings: 4.3 rated by over 92K users
  • Episodes: 52
  • Premiere Date: 2017
Most Watched Costume Chinese Dramas of All Time
The Fighter of the Destiny

The drama “Fighter of the Destiny” follows Chen Changsheng’s adventures, friendships, and romantic relationships as he strives to change his fate and uncover the truth about his existence.

Chen Changsheng (played by Lu Han) is a young man who was abandoned in a flowing river and found by a Taoist monk. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness and is fated not to live past the age of 20. Changsheng leaves his home to find a cure joining hands with his friends.

Surprisingly, this was the first and only costume drama Lu Han did in his acting career. Although the drama received a mix of reviews, it was still one of the most-watched costume dramas in C-Drama history.

Where To Watch: Viki, Yo Yo TV

Top 2. Princess Agents

  • Views: 48.8 Billion
  • Starring: Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Dou Xiao
  • Douban Ratings: 5.3 rated by over 190K users
  • Episodes: 58
  • Premiere Date: 2017

Chu Qiao (played by Zhao Liying), a powerful martial artist with a tragic and mysterious background with amnesia, gets caught up and turned into a slave. She is thrown into the deserted forest ground, becoming the next hunting target of wealthy young men along with other slaves.

Luckily, She is saved by the Prince of Yanbei, Yan Xun ( Played by Shawn Dou). After that, she joins the influential Yu Wen family and sees firsthand their brutal power struggles. Once she catches the attention of Yu Wen Yue (played by Lin Geng Xin), she undergoes strict training while building a sense of companionship with Yan Xun.

I would say, if you are a wuxia drama lover, you shouldn’t miss this gem. Additionally, You can watch this drama in both Chinese and English dubbed.

Where To Watch: Viki, We TV

Top 1. Ten Miles of Peach Blossom

  • Views: 50 Billion
  • Starring: Yang Mi, Mark Chao
  • Douban Ratings: 6.6 rated by over 348K users
  • Episodes: 58
  • Premiere Date: 2017

The only C-Drama that made history by surpassing 50 Billion views on its original streaming platform. This enchanting fantasy costume saga garnered immense acclaim both locally and internationally.

The Nine-tailed Fox Bai Qian (played by Yang Mi), the youngest daughter of the Fox King and the future Queen of the Fox Clan, is brought to Kunlun Mountain to become a disciple of the God of War, Mo Yuan (played by Mark Chao).

Mo Yuan sacrifices himself to seal a demon lord Qing Cang when the war breaks out. As his disciple, after seventy years, Bai Qian tries to sacrifice herself to re-seal the demon lord, but instead, she is thrown into the mortal realm, causing her to lose all her memories and divine power.

Living alone in a secluded mountain, she saves Ye Hua of the Nine Heavens, who greatly resembles Mo Yuan. The two fall in love and marry each other without knowing the true identity of each other, leading them to face love tribulations.

In this series, Mark Chao plays the dual role of the Crown Prince of Heaven Ye Hua, and The God of War of Kunlun Mountain, Mo Yuan.

As a fantasy costume drama lover, I enjoyed this drama to the fullest. Not to mention its complex story, mesmerizing OST, breathtaking scenery, and the amazing chemistry between the two leads – everything was top-notch. If you are a costume drama lover and haven’t watched this one, then you are missing out.

You can watch it on Viki, Cronton Mega Hit & Netflix.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 “Most Watched Historical Chinese Dramas” of All Time”

  1. Same here, but in Canada. I started with Yanxi Palace – then Rebel Princess and The Untamed. There’s been many more since then. I joined Vicki and they have lots to choose from – I enjoy the Korean historical ones too. My go to, besides Vicki, is YouTube. There are numerous completed series on there. Just finished The Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty – it was really good !

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