High efficiency is important for successful deployment of any light sources. Continued efforts have recently made it possible to demonstrate organic light-emitting diodes with efficiency comparable to that of inorganic light-emitting diodes. However, such achievements were possible only with the help of a macroscopic lens or complex internal nanostructures, both of which undermine the key benefits of organic light-emitting diodes as an affordable planar light source. Here we present a systematic way to achieve organic light-emitting diodes with ultrahigh efficiency even only with an external scattering film, one of the simplest low-cost outcoupling structures. Through a global, multivariable analysis, we show that scattering with a high degree of forwardness has a potential to play a critical role in realizing ultimate efficiency. Combined with horizontally oriented emitters, organic light-emitting diodes equipped with particle-embedded films tailored for forward-intensive scattering achieve a maximum external quantum efficiency of 56%.