Welcome to this new segment! Where we will feature the best 100 K-Pop songs of all-time. This segment is to be updated every decade. As not all legendary songs fall in one year.

This is a personal and at the same time an objective view on the best songs in South Korea. Please be reminded that no such list is really bias free and all of this is my PERSONAL OPINION. This is not a FACT, this list is an OPINION.

Let’s just get started with the rules!


  • This list includes all forms of Korean pop, dance, electronic, R&B, rap, hip-hop, alternative, experimental, and/or rap.
  • Excludes Korean classical, indie, trot and/or other non-mainstream/commercial music.
  • This list is exclusive to only singles, promotional singles are excluded.
  • ONLY KOREAN SONGS, no crossover/international singles are allowed.


Song Quality (65%) + Personal Experience (30%) + Others (5%)

The Full Countdown! 100 – 91 // 90 – 81 // 80 – 71 // 70 – 61 // 60 – 51 // 50 – 41

#40 – Warrior’s Descendant (H.O.T)

Year: 1996; Genre: Rap

Top 40 is kicked off by one of the most legendary K-Pop songs of all-time. H.O.T debuted with this song about violence, bullying, suppression of freedom and of human rights. It also tacked artistically the ever-so cathartic feel of teenage angst, depression and human condition. It is a true horror that this song wasn’t revered up to this day.

#39 – Dope (BTS)

Year: 2015; Genre: Hip-Hop

Dope is more than a drug song. It is an anthem of BTS’ popularity and strength. Dope explored everything they hoped they would become. It indeed is strikingly amazing how amazingly accurate these lines are. This is why BTS is still the world leaders of music, despite how you may view their recent stuff. Having an exhilarating discography is better than a fluke.

#38 – FIRE (BTS)

Year: 2016; Genre: Electronic

FIRE literally created the BTS FIRE. A wave that was unprecedented for any idol group ever. It was a beginning of the rise of Bangtan. It is so unconventionally addicting, extravagant and mind-blowing. Indeed, youth is what makes us alive. FIRE is just a song without need of any introduction, everyone has heard of it. FIRE toppled the walls of tyranny and the status quo.

#37 – Tri-Angle (TVXQ, BoA, TRAX)

Year: 2004; Genre: Alternative

Of course! How can I forget one of the best collaborations in the Korean music industry. Like ever. Tri-Angle is just the most creative song SM has released in this period of what I call, the Golden Age of Korean Music. This song excelled technically, creatively, lyrically and conceptually. The violins, the guitar, the drums. It was a feast to behold.

#36 – Run Away (TXT)

Year: 2019; Genre: Alternative

Run Away is a song I really thought would never come out of TXT’s library. But it did. This song is just the epitome of what is set to come for TXT’s amazing discography and surely it sets the bar pretty damn high. It is a quintessential classic that everyone will look forward even after decades. It is an everlasting song full of magic, whimsiness and mystery.

#35 – Rooftop (N.FLYING)

Year: 2019; Genre: Rock

Rooftop is a spark in N.FLYING’s already brilliant list of singles. Rooftop definitely made N.FLYING known to various K-Pop stans and fans all around the world, this song just delivered what was seen as impossible in hindsight. Rooftop is a once in a blue moon song, it encompasses a powerful chorus, breathtaking vocals, and eclectic arrangement. Surely, it will be hard for someone to take it over.

#34 – MIROH (Stray Kids)

Year: 2019; Genre: Electronic

2019 was surely a year, I see. MIROH was more than it’s ever so repetitive sample, megawatt chorus and the punch we would expect from Stray Kids. It set a precedent for whoever won Record of the Year higher at that time. It was just a move that secured their spot as the best rookies of the 4th generation. MIROH employed a fantastic chorus, creative songwriting, lyrical brilliance and just the impact of an actual artist.

#33 – Man In Love (INFINITE)

Year: 2013; Genre: Pop

INFINITE never fails to disappoint. Man In Love was another classic example of a brilliant, exuberant and rich power pop single. Showcasing more than the breathtaking vocals of INFINITE, the technical fluency and creativity of Sweetune was showcased. Man In Love surely stood every test of time.

#32 – Something (Girl’s Day)

Year: 2014; Genre: R&B

Something by Girl’s Day was really sleek and fabolous. At this juncture, nobody would be able to escape the beautiful and heavenly presentation of Girl’s Day. The vocals really were something back in the day. It was more powerful and artistic as I would say.

#31 – Cherry Blossom Ending (Busker Busker)

Year: 2012; Genre: Pop

Cherry Blossom Ending is just the springtime custom of South Korea. It is a vital part of every spring ever since it was released in that magical year of 2012. Ever since that, everyone just covered this song for its amazing musicality, lyricism and artistic appeal. It was just the right amount of commercial, and indie that struck gold to this song until today.