Few fandoms are as enthusiastic and active online as K-pop fans. Whether it’s the songs, the bands themselves, or the communities that grow out of a love for K-pop, something about this genre of music draws people together.
We love the way these tunes inspire people to live their best lives and have fun. That’s why we’re bringing you the top 41 best K-pop songs of all time. From upbeat dance tunes to slow and serious styles, this list represents the best of the best.
1. DNA – BTS
BTS hit the scene in 2013, and fans went absolutely nuts. The hip hop hit “DNA” came out in 2017 to rave reviews. It won the Radio Disney Music Award for Best Song That Makes You Smile. It definitely does that.
2. Alone – Sistar
K-pop isn’t only about boy bands, not by a long shot. Sistar showed up in 2010 and rocked the charts until disbanding in 2017. Their track “Alone” is just one of their many hits. It was on their first mini-album.
3. Step – KARA
For a great party vibe, KARA has you covered with “Step.” The girl band was active from 2007 to 2016, but most of the members signed on to make a 15th-anniversary album in 2022, much to fans’ excitement.
4. AS IF IT’S YOUR LAST – BLACKPINK
Active since 2016, BLACKPINK has four members. This one came out in 2017 and demonstrated an evolution of their overall sound. Critics described this song as “mixed genre” music, which makes sense when you hear it. There’s something for everyone on this track.
5. No Other – Super Junior
Active since 2005, this K-pop super band has released several hit albums. It’s known for having many members—and many top songs. “No Other” came out on their fourth album.
6. Lucifer – SHINee
Active since 2008, this boy band won the hearts of K-pop fans instantly. “Lucifer,” also the title of the album, came out in 2010 and was the sixth-best-selling album in South Korea that year. It’s a high-energy song with some great harmonies.
7. Lotto – EXO
EXO got started in 2012, and the titles of their first three albums were plays on their band name. “Lotto” is an auto-tuned hip hop song that debuted at number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart.
8. Ringa Linga – Taeyang
Dong Young-bae was originally in the boy band Big Bang, but he went solo a few years later as Taeyang, and fans were here for it. “Ringa Linga” came out in 2013 and was dubbed one of the best K-pop songs of the time.
9. Gentleman – PSY
Everybody knows PSY. Active since 2001, this unlikely superstar became famous with “Gangnam Style” and hasn’t stopped since. “Gentleman” continued his comedic take on dance music. His beats are sweet, whether he’s being silly or not.
10. TT – TWICE
Recording since 2015, TWICE releases albums with the label Warner Music Japan. “TT” spent three weeks at the top of the charts. It’s a peppy bop that is filled with girl power and fun for everyone.
11. Palette – IU featuring G-Dragon
Singer, songwriter, producer, and actress, Lee Ji-eun is better known by her stage name, IU. She’s a powerhouse of talent who’s been releasing albums since 2008. She collaborated with rapper and fashion designer G-Dragon for the hit song “Palette,” which was listed among the best K-pop songs of 2017.
12. I – Taeyeon featuring Verbal Jint
Taeyeon got her start in the girl band Girls’ Generation, but she went solo eight years later. She’s known for using a variety of styles in her music, which keeps her music feeling fresh. “I” is in many ways a traditional pop song, but she included some rock musical styles as well in this track, which really makes it stand out from the crowd.
13. A – GOT7
With seven members, GOT7 has been going strong since 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down. They dabble in hip hop, trap, and R&B mostly, though they are mostly considered masters of the K-pop scene. “A” came out in 2014, complete with a great video showcasing their moves.
14. Red Flavor – Red Velvet
This super sweet girl band has been rocking out on the K-pop charts since 2014. They started with four members, but a fifth joined in 2015, rounding out their sound. They’ve explained that there are two “sides” to their musical work.
The Red represents electronic and hip hop sounds and the Velvet represents their songs that are more R&B with jazz and 90s influences—the result is a K-pop group with a truly unique sound. “Red Flavor” hit number one when it came out and has remained a fan-favorite track.
15. Fantastic Baby – BIGBANG
This boy band has been called the “Kings of K-pop” by fans, and when you hear the power in their music, it’s easy to see why. They were active from 2006 to 2018, and then they returned from hiatus in 2022. Fans were thrilled, for good reason. This hit band has been praised for its use of a variety of genres, from pop to electronic to rock to rap. They’ve managed to seamlessly blend these styles into amazing hit songs.
16. Ice Cream Cake – Red Velvet
Released in 2015, this electronic dance song won the Mnet Asian Music Award for Best Dance Performance by a Female Group, but that’s not the extent of its hype. Critics have called it “addictive,” which explains how it shot so high up on all the relevant charts as soon as it was released. The choice to pair bubblegum pop with the more edgy sounds of electronic dance was a bold decision that gives the song a unique tune that was hard to turn away from.
17. Lion Heart – Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation was active from 2007 to 2017, and then they got back together in 2022 for a 15th-anniversary reunion. Their sound was characterized by bubblegum pop and hip hop dance music. “Lion Heart” appeared on their fifth album of the same name, released in 2015. It’s a catchy song about cheating boyfriends that tackles a sad topic with an upbeat tone.
18. Just One Day – BTS
BTS released this electronic hip hop hit in 2014. It appeared on the album Skool Luv Affair, which was widely popular. It was so popular, in fact, that the album sold out, and later it got a re-release in 2020 for fans who wanted to hear the songs all over again. “Just One Day” features smooth melodies and fantastic rapping that are hallmarks of BTS performances.
19. Crazy – 4Minute
The group 4Minute was the edgy side of K-pop’s girl bands. Active from 2009 to 2016, they released several hit albums that were, in a way, an answer to the bubblegum style of several other girl bands of the time. Many critics worldwide regarded “Crazy” as one of the best K-pop songs of the year in 2015. The trap and hip hop sounds helped 4Minute stand out as a unique group in the genre.
20. Sober – BIGBANG
When this came out in 2016, the album was nominated for the Mnet Asian Music Album of the Year Award, but it lost to EXO. That doesn’t mean it was a flop, by any stretch of the imagination. “Sober” sold well, and fans loved its alt-rock style, which was a deviation from its usual hip hop genre.
21. DADDY – PSY featuring CL Of 2NE1
PSY brings it once again with this absurd song featuring rapper CL of the girl band 2NE1. Released in 2015, it was his third single to reach number one on the charts. Critics remain impressed with PSY’s ability to entertain on multiple levels with his music, infusing his legit beats with off-the-wall humor.
22. Run Devil Run – Girls’ Generation
This 2010 hit came out on the Oh! album and won the Golden Disc Award for Most Popular Star – Song Division. It’s a solid dance song that did great with fans for its excellent pacing and musicality, as well as the edgy sound of its lyrics. A Japanese version came out in 2011, and it did equally well on the charts there.
23. Fire – BTS
We have to say it. This song is fire. Released in 2016, it burned its way up to the top of the charts quickly, including number one on the Billboard US World Digital Song Sales. The video features some segments of high-energy dancing from the guys, who are surrounded by open flames.
24. Sorry, Sorry – Super Junior
This song came out in 2009 with a brilliant black-and-white dance music video. Even without the video, we’re sure this one would have done great. It shot up to the top of the charts within a week, and fans were analyzing the lyrics and the images in the video all over the internet.
25. Electric Shock – f(x)
The group f(x) was active primarily from 2009 to 2016, reuniting briefly in 2019 for a short tour. In that time, they released several albums and made waves in the top charts around the world. Their electro-pop sound made them favorites of the nightclub scene. “Electric Shock” won a Korean Music Award for Best Dance & Electronic Song in 2013.
26. We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 – BTS
This amazing track came out in 2013 on the album 2 Cool 4 Skool. A mix of house, hip hop, and rock, the song came out with a music video highlighting the moves the BTS came to be known for. It is a personal power tune that fans love because it responds to any haters.
27. Oh! – Girls’ Generation
Oh! was the second album by Girls’ Generation, released in 2010. The title song was named the best song of the year by critics and fans. As was standard for them, the bubblegum pop sound is prominent in this track. It got remade in Japanese and did well with that release, as well.
28. Danger – BTS featuring THANH
This song appeared on the first official BTS studio album in South Korea, Dark & Wild, in 2014. “Danger” was its lead single, and it blew up the radio stations with fans demanding to hear it. Many look at this track and its album as the moment BTS officially “arrived” on the K-pop scene.
29. Ice Cream – HyunA
The music video for “Ice Cream” reached ten million views in under a week when it was released in 2012. With what critics called “unique rapping,” this song brought a special style to K-pop that fans love to dance to.
30. LOVE ME RIGHT – EXO
This came out in 2015 on the Love Me Right album, and it’s a standout track. The disco influence pairs perfectly with the hip hop sound that EXO excels at. It’s a fusion of genres that we never knew we needed.
31. Peek-A-Boo – Red Velvet
Red Velvet has never been afraid of trying new styles and genres. For this track, they fused tropical house with their usual hip hop and dance-pop vibes—and the result was fantastic. Critics have praised this group for refusing to fall into one category, which is part of the reason fans continue to love their work.
32. BAE BAE – BIGBANG
BIGBANG released this trap/hip hop mix in 2015 to rave reviews. It reached number two on the Gaon Digital Chart and the US World Digital Song Sales chart. There is a country music influence in this one, too, which creates an interesting musical aesthetic that listeners can’t get enough of.
33. BOOMBAYAH – BLACKPINK
Released in 2016 on the album Square One, this was a hit single that really showcased the band’s electronic dance music style. In 2020, this became the first K-pop debut music video to reach over a billion views on YouTube.
34. Haru Haru – BIGBANG
“Haru Haru” came out in 2008 on the popular album Stand Up. It’s a great pop song that starts off slowly but builds to an exciting level that gets fans dancing. The Japanese version also had great reviews.
35. Bonamana – Super Junior
The title song on their 2010 Bonamana album, this house track uses African and electronic influences to create a unique sound and excellent rhythm. It’s impossible not to dance to this one. That’s likely why it went straight to number one on Music Bank’s K-Chart.
36. Dumb Dumb – Red Velvet
Red Velvet’s 2015 hit “Dumb Dumb” shot to number three on Billboard’s World Digital Songs chart, and later Rolling Stone listed it among the 10 Best Music Videos of the year. The video makes excellent use of color and varied cinematographic styles, matching the fusion of sounds in the song’s genres.
37. Never Ever – GOT7
“Never Ever” is a song on the 2017 album Flight Log: Arrival. It features some of the best of GOT7’s dance and electronic sounds.
38. Party – Girls’ Generation
Here’s another one from the Lion Heart album, released in 2015. It’s an irresistibly catchy song that delivers on Girls’ Generation bubblegum styles. The music video uses bright colors and beach scenes to illustrate the fun of the “Party.”
39. LOVE SCENARIO – iKON
Active since 2015, iKON is a K-pop hip hop group that made its first debut on the reality show WIN: Who Is Next. “Love Scenario” won Song of the Year at the 2018 Melon Music Awards. It’s since become one of their most requested tracks.
40. Ko Ko Bop – EXO
With “Ko Ko Bop,” EXO used a reggae fusion sound that blew audiences away in 2017. It appeared on their fourth studio album, The War. This particular music video sparked a viral dance competition among fans with the hashtag #KoKoBopChallenge.
41. Ring Ding Dong – SHINee
“Ring Ding Dong” is an Afro-electric track on their 2009 extended play, 2009, Year Of Us. It has a hook that grabs you and won’t let go until you’re dancing. It’s even been criticized for being so good it distracts students from their schoolwork.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.