24 Highest-Rated Chinese Series for 2023 in Douban. Including the Lowest-Rated

Highest-rated Chinese drama 2023

This year, we have watched numerous Chinese series that truly impressed us, but which among these series really impressed "China's Literati?"

We sorted out data from Douban, China's largest and most influential rating platform, often called the home of China's literati (meaning well-educated people who are interested in literature), to come up with this list of 2023's Highest-Rated Chinese series, including the lowest-rated series.

The first 10 series in the list garnered a high score of 8.0+, which show the real pulse of Chinese people on what type of dramas truly captivated them.

Take note: We only included series with more than 50,000 users rating the drama to come up with a credible list.

Top 10:

1. The Long Season - rating: 9.4 (rated by 840,000+users)
  • This is the highest-rated Chinese drama in Douban in 2023
  • Second Most Popular C-Drama in Douban in 2023
  • Episode: 12 
  • Genre: Crime/Suspense/Family
  • Main Leads: Fan Wei, Qin Hao, and Chen Minghao
  • A critically-acclaimed Chinese drama in 2023
  • won the Best Mini-Series at the Seoul International Drama Awards
  • won Best Actor for Fan Wei at the Seoul  International Drama Awards
  • Nominated for Best Creative, Best Lead Actor, Best Newcomer Actress, Best Director, Best Visual Effects at the 2023 Asia Contents Awards and Global OTT Awards (awarding will be on October 8, 2023 in South Korea)
  • Available on Tencent/WeTV
highest rated chinese drama Douban
promotional poster of The Long Season

Plot Summary: Wang Xiang (Fan Wei) is a middle-aged taxi driver living in the fictional city of Hualin in Northern China. His only child, Wang Yang, died mysteriously 20 years ago, a death that remained unresolved. He has an adopted son named Wang Bei.

One day, his cousin-in-law, Gong Biao (Qin Hao) bought a second-hand taxi but before the day ended, the police called as his newly bought taxi was involved in a hit-and-run and therefore must be confiscated. Wang Xiang and Gong Biao later found out that the plate number was fake. 

They needed to do a private investigation of who is the original owner of the plate number to clear Gong Biao's name and recover his taxi. But what they discover is a case that takes them back to the grim incidents 20 years ago regarding a series of unresolved murders in Hualin city, including the murderer of Wang Xiang's son.

2. Three Body - rating: 8.7 (rated by 412,000+ users)
  • 30 episodes
  • Genre: Science-Fiction
  • Main Leads: Edward Zhang, Yu He Wei, Chen Jin
  • Nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 2023 Asia Contents Awards and Global OTT Awards (the ceremony will be on 10.08)
  • Available on Tencent/WeTV
highest rated chinese drama Douban

Plot Summary: This drama is based on a hit sci-fi novel Liu Ci Xin named “The Three-Body Problem. It follows Wang Miao (Edward Zhang), one of China’s leading nanomaterials experts, and Shi Qiang (Yu He Wei), a police detective who specializes in counter-terrorism. 

Shi Qiang has learned of strange goings-on that began taking place in the scientific community many years ago, leading to the apparent suicide of a number of leading researchers. He is determined to get to the bottom of this case, he enlists Wang Miao to help investigate.

Wang Miao agrees but soon begins to learn about a secret organization named The Frontiers of Science, apparently fronted by the mysterious scientist Shen Yu Fei (Li Xiao Ran). 

He also starts to get to know an elderly astrophysicist named Ye Wen Jie (Chen Jin), the mother of one of the now-dead scientists. As Wang Miao digs deeper, he makes remarkable discoveries about events from the past, as well as a strange online virtual reality game named “Three-Body.” 

3. Meet Yourself -  rating: 8.7 (rated by 296,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 40
  • Genre: Modern Romance/Rural Life
  • Main Leads: Liu Yifei and Li Xian
  • Highest-Rated Modern Romance Drama in 2023
  • won Best TV series at the 2023 Seoul International Drama Awards
  • Available to watch on China Huace TV and Viki
highest rated chinese drama Douban

Plot Summary: Xu Hong Dou (Liu Yi Fei) works in the hotel industry. Her life hits a sudden bump when her best friend dies, sending her life into a tailspin. Her work eventually suffers so she decides to take a break and travel to a remote village in search of stillness.

She soon discovers that life in an agricultural village is not quite as idyllic as she had imagined – navigating fields full of animal droppings and mud isn’t something she is used to! But she soon finds a sort of equilibrium when she meets Xie Zhi Yao (Li Xian). 

Xie Zhi Yao quits a well-paid job in the city to start a tourism business in his home town. Xu Hong Dou soon realizes that she can put her own hotel industry knowledge to good use by helping him. But as they begin to work together, Cupid appears determined to bring them together.

4. An Ancient Love Song - rating: 8.6 (rated by 144,000+users) 
  • This is the highest-rated costume C-drama in 2023
  • Episode: 14
  • Genre: Costume/Fantasy/Time Travel
  • Main Leads: Zhang Yaqin and Guo Jia Nan
highest rated chinese drama Douban

Plot Summary: An Ancient Love Song is a timeless, haunting, and heartbreaking story of love that transcends time. One of the most unique Chinese costume dramas in recent memory where the storyline is set in a reverse time. 

For instance, the opening scene where the demon queen, Lu Yuan, appears in Shen Bu Yan's dream, is actually the last time he would see her alive. Each time Shen Bu Yan travels back to the ancient era, the time is set backward. So he would meet Lu Yuan in a reverse chronological order.

The story follows Shen Bu Yan (Guo Jia Nan), a popular historical fiction author and professor. He has written a book about a demon queen, Lu Yuan (Zhang Yaqin), of the Shang dynasty. After the press conference about his new book, he bought a mysterious jade pendant.

One night he finds himself transported back to the ancient era of the Shang dynasty and meets Lu Yuan. He is quick to discover that not everything he’s read about the past is actually true; especially when it comes to the “demon empress” Lu Yuan.

Well-acquainted with the stories of Lu Yuan, Bu Yan is quite wary of the young woman when they first cross paths. But when it becomes apparent he’s going to have to rely on Lu Yuan’s help, if he’s ever going to uncover the long-forgotten secrets of this ancient Acacia era, Bu Yan has no choice but to set aside his doubts and trust her. 

Setting off together on a journey to uncover the truth, Bu Yan quickly begins to realize that the Lu Yuan recorded in history books is entirely different from the young woman at his side, which makes him wonder if the stories about Lu Yuan have been altered. Read our review of An Ancient Love Song

5. The Knockout - rating: 8.5 (rated by 865,000+ users)
  • The most popular Chinese drama in Douban in 2023
  • Episode: 39
  • Genre: Crime/Suspense/Police investigation
  • Main Cast: Zhang Yi, Zhang Song Wen, Li Yitong, Zhang Zhijian, Wu Gang
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
highest rated chinese drama Douban

Plot Summary: An Xin (played by Zhang Yi), a front-line criminal police officer in Jinghai City, is constantly in a struggle with the black and evil forces, and is never able to bring the criminals to justice. After the national political and legal team education and rectification work, Linjiang Province sent a steering group to Jinghai, combined with the public prosecution, law, and justice departments, to clear the corrupt elements within the political and legal team. 

This crushed the protectionistic measures the black and evil forces had planted in the system, and in one fell swoop, he managed to eradicate the strong group that had been cooped up in Jinghai for many years.

6. Mysterious Lotus Casebook - rating: 8.3 (rated by 468,000+ users)
  • The most popular costume drama in Douban in 2023
  • The second highest-rated costume drama in Douban in 2023
  • Episode: 40
  • Genre: Costume/Martial Arts/Detective
  • Main Leads: Cheng Yi, Joseph Zeng, Xiao Shunyao
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
highest rated chinese drama Douban
From Left: Xiao Shunyao, Cheng Yi, and Joseph Zeng

Plot Summary: Ten years ago, Li Xiangyi ( Cheng Yi), the leader of the Sigu Sect in the martial arts world, was hailed as the unparalleled master of the Xiangyi Sword, shining as a symbol of righteousness. 

However, during a battle with Di Feisheng (Xiao Shunyao), the leader of the Jinyuan Alliance, the two formidable warriors disappeared without a trace in the vast sea. Both the Sigu Sect and the Jinyuan Alliance suffered heavy losses and gradually vanished from the martial arts world. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook

Ten years later, Li Xiangyi changes his identity to Li Lianhua (Cheng Yi), a wandering country doctor who lives in a mobile Lotus House. He has no intention of going back to the martial arts world.  and just want to live in peace with his dog, Fox Spirit. 

However, his peaceful life is disrupted when he encounters Fang Duobing (Joseph Zeng), a young martial artist who works as a detective in the martial arts court of justice whose members are all from the Sigu Sect of Li Xiangyi. He also meets his old foe, Di Fei Sheng. 

Fang Duobing realizes that Li Lianhua is not just an ordinary man and vows to expose his true identity as a fake doctor. Meanwhile, Di Feisheng, who has always regarded Li Xiangyi as his formidable rival, recognizes the inconspicuous country doctor Li Lianhua as Li Xiangyi. He refuses to let him go easily. Read our review on Mysterious Lotus Casebook.  

7. Nothing But You - rating: 8.2 (rated by 141,000+ users)
  • Episode: 38
  • Genre: Modern Romance/Sports
  • Main Leads: Wu Lei and Zhou Yutong
  • Available to watch on Tencent/WeTV
Highest rated Chinese Drama 2023

Plot Summary: This is a sports-themed romance drama about Song San Chuan (Wu Lei), a former benchwarmer in badminton who becomes a tennis player. He meets and falls in love with Liang You An (Zhou Yu Tong), a career woman who is 10 years older than him. Liang You An transitions from being an executive assistant to a tennis club manager and the one who convinces Song San Chuan to switch to Tennis.

8. Thirteen Years of Dust - rating: 8.1 (rated by 122,000+ users)
  • Episode: 24
  • Genre: Crime/Suspense
  • Main Cast: Chen Xiao, Chen Jiabin
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
Highest rated Chinese Drama 2023

Plot Summary: Wei Zheng Rong (Chen Jianbin), an old policeman, led Lu Xing Zhi (Chen Xiao), a newcomer police officer to investigate the truth of the case. Thirteen years ago, there were a series of serial homicides in Nandu whose killer was never captured. 

Due to the limitations of criminal investigation technology at the time, the failure to lock the suspect's case became an unsolved case. However, the physical evidence testing in a murder case 13 years later brought the unresolved serial murder case to the surface again. 

Wei Zheng Rong and  Lu Xing Zhi joined forces for an inspection. After the hard work of a number of veteran criminal police officers, the real murderer was finally found and brought to justice. 

9. Fake It Till You Make It - rating: 8.1  (rated by 80,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 14 
  • Genre: Modern Romance
  • Main Leads: Cai Wenjing and Han Dongjun
  • Available to watch on Mango TV and Viki
Highest rated Chinese Drama 2023

Plot Summary: Tang Ying (Cai Wenjing) is a junior lawyer who works at a Beijing-based legal firm. While taking a flight on a business trip, she falls asleep. A wealthy young investor named Xu Zi Quan (Han Dongjun) is also on the plane, where she overhears him talking about how he never travels in economy class but is willing to do so on this occasion as he has no other choice. 

She thinks he is arrogant and pretentious. He asks a flight attendant to give Tang Ying a blanket and tries talking to her, but she is suspicious of his motives, taking him for a playboy. Their paths cross again shortly after, and Xu Zi Quan realizes that he is falling for her.

Meanwhile, things are not going smoothly for Tang Ying at work, where she is forced to take the wrap for mistakes she didn’t make. Soon after, she meets a wealthy older man named Ma Qi Yuan (Geng Le) who lives in Europe. He falls for Tang Ying and wants to capture her heart. But Xu Zi Quan still wants to win Tang Ying’s heart – and will do whatever it takes to make her fall for him.

10. Legend of Magpie Sword - rating: 8.1 (rated by 62,000+ users)
  • Also known as Legend of the Undercover Chef
  • Episode: 40
  • Genre: Martial Arts-Comedy
  • Main Cast: Zhao Benshan and Song Xiaobao
  • Available to watch on Tencent/WeTV
Highest rated Chinese Drama 2023

Plot Summary: Set in the republican era when Japanese rebellion broke out. The eunuchs of the previous dynasty (believed to be Qing) took over the power. Eunuch Cao (Yang Shulin) of the Eastern Bureau colludes with the pirates to slaughter the people of the martial arts world and plot a rebellion. 

The leader of the Magpie Saber Sect, Xi Men Chang Hai (Zhao Benshan) is actually a member of a secret anti-pirate organization. Apart from wiping out the pirates, his other important task is to discover the officials who collude with the pirates. Meanwhile, Eunuch Cao is secretly monitoring all sects for those who oppose him.

To conceal his identity, Xi Men Chang Hai finds his twin brother, Xi Men Chang Zai (also played by Zhao Benshan), who is living in their hometown, and asks the latter to take his place. Although twins, they have different personalities. Chang Hai is a martial artist while Chang Zai is a cook. 

Initially, Chang Zai doesn’t agree to swap identities but is persuaded by Chang Hai’s promise to get him a wife, thus, they exchange places. Chang Zai becomes the leader of a sect and breaks into the thrilling martial arts world.

Chang Zai's first obstacle is facing his brother’s martial arts world family. Hao Meng, the eldest disciple who is dull, Ms. Ye, who is extremely passionate, Zhao De Zhu, the second disciple, who is reckless and impulsive, and Xi Men Rou, the daughter of Xi Men Chang Hai and the most difficult one. 

Chang Zai lies low and tries to muddle through. However, trouble keeps knocking at the door. Gao Da Mao (Song Xiao Bao), the leader of the Celestial Pool Gang, the sovereign of the Five Poison Sect, and others all come to him. Most dangerously, Chang Zai arouses the attention and suspicion of Eunuch Cao!

Rounding up the Top 24 Highest-Rated Chinese Series in 2023:

11. Ray of Light - rating: 8.0 (rated by 80,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 30
  • Genre: Youth/Slice-of-Life
  • Main Cast: Guo Jingfei, Roy Wang, and Ren Min
  • Available to watch on Youku
12. When I Fly Towards You - rating: 7.9 (rated by 99,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 24
  • Genre: Modern Youth Romance
  • Main Cast: Zhou Yiran and Zhang Miao Yi
  • Available to watch on Youku, Viki, and Netflix
13. Fearless Blood -  rating: 7.9 (rated by 59,000+ users
  • Episode: 18
  • Genre: Revolutionary/Suspense
  • Main Cast: Dong Zijian, Zhang Yi, Edward Zhang, Liao Fan, Tong Liya, and Tian Yu
  • Available to watch on Tencent/WeTV
Plot Summary: The drama tells the story of Xu Tian (Dong Zijian), a young man who goes north with a mission to support the revolutionary cause and meets many bloodthirsty and respectable aspirants, allowing Xu Tian to shed his youthfulness and combine his ideals and will.

14. Young Blood season 2- rating: 7.9 (rated by 54,000+users)
  • Episode: 27
  • Genre: Costume/Action/Spy
  • Main Cast: Zhang Xincheng, Zhou Yutong, Wang You Shou, Su Xiaotong, Zeng Wei, Fu Weilun
Background: It continues the story of "Qi Zhai", a team of spies consisting of six youths of different backgrounds; as they enter Western Xia.

15. Under The Microscope - rating: 7.8 (rated by 126,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 14
  • Genre: Costume/Historical
  • Main Cast: Zhang Ruoyun, Wang Yang, and Qi Wei
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
Plot Summary: When Shuai Jiamo, who is obsessed with mathematics, stumbles upon a historical problem in Jinhua County, he meets multiple obstacles in his attempts to correct the mistake, triggering tension between various stakeholders.

16. Lost You Forever part 1- rating: 7.7 (rated by 352,000+ users)
  • Episode: 39 
  • Genre: Costume/Fantasy
  • Main Cast: Yang Zi, Zhang Wanyi, Deng Wei
  • Available on Tencent/WeTV
17. Imperfect Victim - rating: 7.6 (rated by 72,000+ users) 
  • Episode: 29
  • Genre: Crime Suspense
  • Main Cast: Zhou Xun, Liu Yijun, and Lin Yun 
  • Available on iQIYI
Story background: This story is about a sexual harassment case that leads to a rape case, which further leads up to a big corporation and its employees and different people like lawyers/prosecutors.

18. Why Try to Change Me Now - rating: 7.6 (rated by 64,000+ users)
  • Episode: 6
  • Genre: Crime Suspense
  • Main Cast: Dong Zijian, Hai Qing, and Qiu Tian
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
Story Background: Set in China’s hardscrabble, industrial northeast, it tells the story of a young police officer investigating the murder of a taxi driver, only to find a childhood friend may be involved. To solve the case, he explores layer by layer, revealing a past buried 12 years ago.

19. Falling Before Fireworks - rating: 7.6 (52,000+users) 
  • Episode: 23
  • Genre: Modern Romance
  • Main cast: Lu Yangyang, Chen Xinhai
  • Available to watch on iQIYI
20. Youth Memories/Where Dreams Begin - rating: 7.5 (rated by 295,000+users) 
  • Episode: 38
  • Genre: Romance/Slice-of-Life
  • Main cast: Xiao Zhan and Li Qin
  • Available to watch on Tencent/WeTV
21. The Ingenious One - rating: 7.4 (rated by 107,000+users) 
  • Episode: 36
  • Genre: Costume/Action
  • Main cast: Chen Xiao and Mao Xiaotong
  • Available on iQIYI
22. The Starry Love - rating: 7.3 (rated by 116,000+users) 
  • Episode: 40
  • Genre: Costume/Fantasy
  • Main cast: Chen Xingxu, Li Landi, Luke Chen, and He Xuan Lin
  • Available on Youku
23. Back From the Brink - rating: 7.2 (rated by 92,000+users) 
  • Episode: 40
  • Genre: Costume/Fantasy
  • Main cast: Neo Hou and Zhou Ye
  • Available on Youku
24. The Road to Ordinary- rating: 7.2 (rated by 50,000+users) 
  • Episode: 36
  • Genre: Legal Drama
  • Main cast: Jin Chen and Guo Qilin
  • Available on Tencent/WeTV and Viki
Rating of Dramas bannered by popular stars:

1. Hidden Love - rating: 6.7 (rated by 171,000+ users) Starring Zhao Lusi and Chen Zheyuan

2. Prosecution Elite - rating: 6.6  (rated by 76,000+ users) Starring: Dilraba Dilmurat and Tong Dawei

3. Destined - rating: 6.5 (rated by 150,000+ users) Starring Bai Jingting and Song Yi. 

4. Love You Seven Times - rating: 6.2 (rated by 90,000+ users). Starring Ding Yuxi and Yang Chao Yue. 

5. My Journey To You - rating: 6.0 (rated by 70,000+ users). Starring Esther Yu and Zhang Linghe. 

6. Legend of Anle - rating: 5.8 (rated by 103,000+ users) Starring Dilraba Dilmurat and Gong Jun

7. Who is He - rating: 5.7 (rated by 136,000+ users) Starring Zhang Yi

8. Till The End of the Moon - rating: 5.6 (rated by 354,000+ users) Starring Luo Yunxi and Bai Lu

9. Beauty of Resilience - rating: 5.1 (rated by 57,000+ users) Starring Ju Jingyi and Guo Junchen

Lowest-rated Chinese series in Douban in 2023

1. Fireworks of My Heart - rating: 3.2 (rated by 416,000+ users) Starring Yang Yang and Wang Churan

2. Houlang Gen Z- rating: 4.1 (rated by 92,000+ users) Starring Wu Gang, Zhao Lusi, and Luo Yizhou 

3. Journey of Chongzi - rating: 4.8 (rated by 47,000+ users) Starring Xu Zengxi and Yang Chao Yue


Highest-rated Chinese drama in 2023: The Long Season

Highest-rated Costume C-drama in 2023: An Ancient Love Song

Highest-rated Modern Romance C-drama in 2023: Meet Yourself

Most Popular C-drama in 2023 overall: The Knockout

Most Popular Costume C-drama in 2023: Mysterious Lotus Casebook

No rating yet:

1. The Longest Promise
2. The Princess and The Werewolf
3. I am Nobody
4. Twilight (Angelababy and Ren Jialun)

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