If you love gaming and gaming consoles, chances are that you loved Sega Dreamcast which was the last console ever made by Sega. Its library of games was pretty darn great and had a lot of variety and range from the classic games like Soulcalibur to fresh games like Powerstone. Its life came to end when it was surpassed by its competition but it is still considered as one of the excellent gaming hardware of all time.
The Dreamcast was the first major console to include a modem as a standard for online play, and also introduced VM memory units (even though they remained largely unused), microphone attachments for voice controlled games like ‘Seaman’ and even high definition visuals with their special VGA box. This impressive console brought some of the basic features that are a staple to today’s consoles and it is a shame that it was discontinued. Now that we have Sega Forever, it is a good idea to check out the console’s line up and here we have listed some of the best Sega Dreamcast Games that are worth trying out.
20 Best Sega Dreamcast Games:
1. Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Adventure 2 is a very popular platform game which was developed by Sonic Team USA and published by Sega in 2001. It is the sequel to Sonic Adventure and it was also the final Sonic game for the Dreamcast console before Sega discontinued the console. The stories are divided into three styles of gameplay – multi-directional shooting for Tails and Eggman, fast-paced shooting for Sonic and Shadow and action-exploration for Knuckles and Rouge. Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles Tails Prower and Knuckles the Echidna try to save the world while Doctor Eggman, Shadow the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat attempts to conquer it.
The game received a lot of positive reviews and was praised for its gameplay variety, visuals and audio but the camera., voice acting and the plot was frowned upon by a few. An enhanced port of this game was released in the year 2002 for the GameCube which is named Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. This version has better textures and multiplayer options. The game is divided into two campaigns: Hero and Dark and each character on each side have a playing style similar to the other characters on the side.
2. Marvel Vs Capcom 2: New Age Heroes
Marvel Vs Capcom 2: New Age Heroes is a fighting game developed and published by Capcom and was initially released in the year 2000 for PlayStation 2 and 3. Dreamcast, Arcade Game, Xbox and iOS. This crossover game features characters from both Capcom’s video game franchise and comic book series published by Marvel Comics. It is the fourth installment in both the Marvel Vs Capcom series as well as the Capcom’s Vs series. The players can select a team of characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes to engage in combat and can try to knock out the opponents.
The game received positive reviews in general but it was criticized for its soundtrack and initial lack of online multiplayer support outside of Japan. It has a lot of changes from the previous iteration and features three-on-three gameplay, a new character assist system and a better control scheme. The game was put in a decade-long hiatus after Capcom lost the use of the Marvel Comics license. But in April 2010, the development to the sequel Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was announced which was released in 2011.
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3. Skies of Arcadia
Skies of Arcadia is a widely popular and loved role-playing video game developed by Overworks for the Dreamcast and was published by Sega in the year 2000. It is one of the best Sega Dreamcast games and the players control Vyse, a young air pirate and his friends who try to stop the Valuan Empire from reviving ancient weapons that can destroy the world. The game features the traditional role-playing game mechanics like turn-based battles and experience point based character progression but has a lot of focus on exploration with the players flying an airship in 3D space. When docked on landmasses or warships, exploration occurs on foot.
It was one of the best reviewed Dreamcast games but was not a big commercial hit. After the Sega’s exit from the hardware industry, it was ported to the Nintendo Gamecube as Skies of Arcadia Legends in the year 2002. The gameplay is very similar to the early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games where the player engages enemies in turn-based battles to earn experience points which make the characters stronger. The world map starts out blank and the player has to explore to reveal the different areas.
4. Shenmue II
Shenmue II is another one of the best Dreamcast games which fall under the action-adventure genre and was developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega for the Dreamcast console in the year 2001. It consists of open-world environments with brawler battles and quick time events. It works well on the platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox and Xbox One. dreamcast and Microsoft Windows. Some of its cool features include day and night system, a lot of minigames, non-player characters with daily schedules and variable weather effects. The main character is the teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki who arrives in Hong Kong in pursuit of his father’s killer where he meets a girl who is a part of his destiny.
The Dreamcast version of the game was received positively for its story and scale but the reviews for the port were mixed with the critics finding its graphics poor as compared to the Xbox games. It has since appeared in many lists as the ‘greatest game of all time’ but was a commercial failure and further games in the series entered a period of development hell which lasted for over a decade. The game also includes several minigames and you can spend money on things like capsule toys or arcade games.
5. Power Stone 2
Power Stone 2 is a multiplayer fighting game that was built on the innovative gameplay which was introduced by its predecessor ‘Power Stone’ and allows up to four players to choose from multiple characters and uses items like chairs. tables and rocks in battles. It was released in the year 200 and works well on the platforms Arcade Game, PlayStation Portable as well as Dreamcast. It was originally an arcade game but this one includes some differences from the original like the new character voices, removal of the existing combo system as well as a new horizontal status bar. There are four modes available for the game which are one-on-one, arcade, adventure and original.
The game offers five interactive 3D stages, to begin with along with two boss stages which the players can access in Original mode too. All the modes except the original mode are played according to a storyline where two battles are fought on the regular stages followed by the boss then another battle and the mode ends with the Dr. Erode boss stage. Most of the stages are dynamic and changes as the battles progress and each stage is littered with item boxes which holds a random item that a player has acquired and unlocked in Adventure mode or created in the item shop. They may also contain Power Stones.
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6. Phantasy Star Online 2
Phantasy Star Online is an action role-playing game but also falls under the genres of massively multiplayer online role-playing game and third-person shooter. This popular videogame was initially released in the year 2012 and was published by Sega. It is the successor to the games Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Univers and features similar gameplay. Any version of the game is currently only available commercially in Japan but an unofficial English Patch is available for use with the Japanese PC version. Upon starting the game, the layer can select one of the several servers which are known as ‘Ships’ and can also create and customize their characters to be used in the game.
The user interface controls are alike between the PC and the PlayStation Vita. Players can also pick a starting class and in addition to the core classes Hunter, Ranger and Force, hybrid classes Braver and Bouncer are also available. In episode 3, the advanced classes Fighter, Gunner and Techer are also playable immediately and the classes in this version of the game are interchangeable and every character has access to all classes although they all level individually. The gameplay is mainly action-oriented and features a diverse selection of weapon types and playstyles for the players to choose from.
Rez is another one of the more popular best Dreamcast Sega games developed by the United games artists and published by Sega for the Dreamcast console and PlayStation 2 in the year 2001. this rail shooter music video game has since then seen two remasters – Rez HD and Rez Infinite which were released for Xbox Live Arcade and PS Network respectively in the year 2008 and 2017. Rez is notable for replacing the typical sound effects found in most of the rail shooters electronic music and players can create sound and melodies as they target and destroy enemies in the game. The development team of the game contained a lot of former members of the disbanded Team Andromeda.
The latest version of the game which is Rez Infinite was created for virtual reality and was released to widespread acclaim in the year 2017 and is considered one of the best VR games until date. The player takes control of the onscreen avatar traveling on a predetermined path on the computer network and he has no control over the overall path but only on the avatar’s position on the screen. Avatar targets the enemies by holding a lock on button and fires shots that home in on the target. The game is over if the avatar is hit while at its lowest level possible.
8. Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves
Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves was released for the Dreamcast console in the year 1999 and is originally known as Garou: Mark of the Wolves. It is a fighting game produced by SNK originally for the NEeo Geo system and is the eighth installment in the Fatal Fury series. The game introduces the ‘tactical offense position’ which is a special area on the life gauge and when the gauge reaches this area, the character enters the TOP attack, gradual life recovery, and increased attack damage. It also has a ‘Just defend’ feature which rewards the characters when they successfully block an attack with health recovery and the ability to counterattack immediately.
If the player manages to win all the modes from the arcade mode with at least a rank of ‘AAA’, the player will face the boss Kain R Heinlein which offers an ending once defeating him. The plot of the game portrays ten years after the death of the crime lord Geese Howard in a city of Southtown. A new fighting tournament named ‘King of Fighters: Maximum Mayhem’ starts in the area and several characters related from the previous King of Fighters tournaments participate in it. In June 2016, SNK revealed the cast of the Garou: Mark of the Wolves sequel.
The Soulcalibur series is a weapon-based fighting 3D video game developed by Project Soul and produced by Namco and is the second installment in the Soulcalibur series of games. It was initially released in the year 1998 and supports the platforms Arcade game, Android, Xbox 360, iOS and Dreamcast. The game is centered around the pursuit of the legendary weapon known as Soul Edge which is in the possession of a Warrior known as Nightmare who murders a lot of people to satisfy the blade’s bloodlust. Other warriors pursue Nightmare to get possession of the weapon or to destroy it in order to end his mass murder and free him from its curse.
This game brought many innovations to the fighting game genre because of its emphasis on weapons and a unique eight-way movement feature. It is one of the best Dreamcast titles and is often cited among the greatest games of all time. In the previous versions of the game, the 3D fighters only had limited movement capabilities but in this version, the player has more freedom of movement deepening the strategy of the game. there is also a feature called ‘forgive buffering’ where the player can execute the input for one move before the character has finished recovering from the previous move. The Dreamcast version of Soulcalibur sold in excess of one million copies and is the second biggest selling game on the system.
10. San Francisco Rush 2049
San Francisco Rush 2049 is a racing video game developed by Atari Games and published by Midway Games for the arcade, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and Game Boy Color in the year 1999. As with the previous titles, this one also features a stunt mode in which the players score points for complex successful mid-air maneuvers and landings. The game also includes a multiplayer deathmatch battle mode and race mode for up to four players and has six race tracks, four stunt arenas and one unlockable obstacle course named ‘The Gauntlet’. The single-player mode focuses on outlandish and death-defying shortcuts thus creating a risk and reward structure to the gameplay.
The arcade version of the game is an eight-player game, a sit-down machine with force feedback steering wheels, gear shifts and three pedals. In each stage, the player must race seven other CPU-controlled cars. The racetracks contain a total of 100 coins which when found unlock new cars and paint jobs. Unlike the previous San Francisco Rush titles, this one is set in the future but the same rules apply where you have to get to the finish line before everyone else. Along with the usual style, you can now fly and the tracks themselves include ramps and switches to other routes.
11. Crazy Taxi
Crazy Taxi is an open world racing video game which was developed by Kenji Kanno and his team at Hitmaker and was published by Sega. It is considered to be one of the best Sega Dreamcast games and is the first game in the Crazy Taxi series. It was released in the arcades initially in the year 1999 and was later ported to Dreamcast in the year 2000. The gameplay is based on picking up taxi customers and driving to their destination as fast as possible and along the way, money can be earned by performing stunts like near misses with other vehicles.
The game was received generally positively and has been ported to other consoles and platforms a number of times. It was also re-released for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS and is featured on the Dreamcast collection. The game also became one of the Sega All-Stars on Dreamcast and also earned the title of Greatest Hits and Player’s Choice on PlayStation 2 and Gamecube respectively. The players can select three, five or ten-minute settings or the Arcade rules used in the original version of the game. In the time-limited settings, the cab automatically stops after the time limit is reached but under the Arcade rules, the player starts with an initial time of one minute which can be extended through time bonuses earned for quick deliveries.
12. Project Justice
Project Justice is another one of the best Sega Dreamcast 3D competitive fighting video game which was produced by Capcom and is the sequel to the game Rival Schools: United by Fate. It was initially released as an arcade game in 2000 and ported to Dreamcast in the year 2001. The fighting system of the game is lifted from the original Rival Schools but does have some notable changes like now, each team consists of three characters instead of two. Thus another team-up attack is also available and also adds a new type of attack called the Party-Up attack. The Dreamcast port of Project Justice in Japan also includes a character creation mode.
Project Justice’s single player mode is different from the predecessor and this one has a separate story and free modes in addition. In story mode, players select a portion of the story, grouped by school and play through a storyline which is preset with a limited group of two to six characters. In Free mode, players can select a team of three characters and fight random opponent teams until they get to fight with the boss, similar to the predecessor ‘Rival Schools. The game is centered on Batsu and his friends who must fight back against the evil plot of Kurow and attempt to not let their friendship get destroyed by the conspiracy of a deadly ninja assassin.
13. Quake III: Arena
Quake III: Arena was initially released in the year 1999 and is a multiplayer-focused first-person shooter video game which was developed by id Software and works on Dreamcast, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2. It is the third game in the Quake series and differs from the previous games by avoiding the traditional single-player element and is more focused on multiplayer action. The single-player mode is played against computer-controlled bots. It is known for its minimalist design and extensive customizability of the players’ settings like the field of view, texture detail, enemy model and advanced movement features like strafe-jumping and rocket-jumping.
It was received very well and was highly praised by the reviewers who described the gameplay as fun and engaging with crisp graphics and its focus on multiplayer. It does not have a plot based single player campaign like its predecessors. The story is easy enough where the greatest warriors of all time fight for the amusement of a race called Vadrigar in the Arena Eternal. Continuity with the previous games is maintained by the inclusion player models and biographical information. A mix of the gothic and technological map along with specific equipment is included in this game.
14. The Typing of the Dead
The Typing of the Dead is another one of the best Sega Dreamcast video games and is an arcade game which was developed by WOW Entertainment and published by Sega for the NAOMI hardware in the year 1999 and was ported to Dreamcast in 2000. This educational survival horror game is a modification of Sega’s 1998 light gun arcade game called ‘The House of the Dead 2’ in which the gun is replaced by a computer keyboard. The player plays the role of the secret agent in zombie-infested Venice and must quickly type letters, words and phrases in order to kill the advancing walking dead.
In spite of its genre of educational survival horror video game, it was praised by the critics for its humor, originality and difficulty. A PlayStation 2 port of the game was called ‘The Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic’ and was released in Japan in late 2004. It has the original’s rail shooter style but uses a computer keyboard instead of a gun. The required word, letter or phrase appears in a box along with the enemy and the phrase’s length and complexity increases as the game progresses. All the levels contain specific challenges in which the player must kill a certain number of zombies in a limited amount of time. These levels end with a boss battle that uses an altered form of gameplay like a very long phrase or a question whose answer must be typed correctly.
15. Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio also titled Jet Grind Radio is an action adventure game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega for the Dreamcast console in the year 2000. It runs on a variety of platforms like Java Me, Game Biy Advance, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and many more and was one of the first games to use cel-shaded visuals which give it its cartoon-like appearance. A sequel to the game called ‘Jet Set Radio Future’ was released in the year 2002 for the Xbox platform and a high definition port was released for multiple platforms in the year 2012.
The player controls one of the gangs of youths who skates the streets of a fictionalized Tokyo on inline skates, spraying graffiti and evading authorities. The player explores an open 3D environment and must tag all the graffiti spots in each area before the time runs out at the same time evading authorities who may pursue on foot, in tanks or in helicopters. New playable characters can be unlocked after the player beats them in trick battles. The game received critical acclaim and praise for its style as well as the matching soundtrack with up-tempo music. It was also renowned for its arcade style gameplay.
16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear is one of the best Sega Dreamcast games and is of the tactical first-person shooter genre. It was developed and published by Ubi Soft Milan and Red Storm Entertainment in the year 1999 and is a sequel to the 1998’s Rainbow Six game based on the Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. The game sets the counter-terrorist unit Rainbow against global terrorist organizations that in some cases may have taken hostages or have armed themselves weapons of mass destruction. It was released for multiple platforms like Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Mac OS and many more in the later years.
Rogue Spear is based on the same game engine and features gameplay and presentation similar to that of the original Rainbow Six. The term Rogue Spear’ was invented by Clancy and refers to the possession of nuclear weapons by a non-state entity which is equivalent to the terminology ‘Pinnacle-Empty Quiver’. The online multiplayer consists of two modes – cooperative and adversarial. The game was met with mixed reception which lies more along the positive side. The game was the finalist for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ 1999 ‘Action Game of the Year’ award.
Seaman is a pet video game for the Sega Dreamcast console and was developed by Sega, Vivarium Inc., and Jellyvision. It was released initially in the year 1999 and is one of the Dreamcast games to take advantage of the microphone attachment. The face of the Seaman creature is actually that of the game’s producer, Yoot Saito. As a new pet owner, the player has the responsibility of caring for and learning about the enigmatic ‘Seaman’ species using a replica of the discoverer’s laboratory and must figure everything out by themselves like its appropriate care with some guidance from the narrator.
The Seaman is a type of freshwater fish with a very lifelike human face and possesses human mannerisms and behavior with which the player can interact. The player is even required to check in on the Seaman every day in real time or else he could die. The Seaman’s knowledge is random trivia and when he asks for the player’s birthday the player can respond via the microphone and the Seaman will answer with significant events that happened on that date. It was the third best selling Dreamcast game and was generally received with positive reviews for its creativity and voice function.
18. Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Resident Evil: Code Veronica is a survival horror game which was initially released for the Dreamcast console in the year 2000 and was developed by Capcom. It is the fourth major installment in the Resident Evil series and the first to debut outside the PlayStation platform. The story takes place after three months of the events of Resident Evil and follows Claire Redfield and her brother Chris Redfield in their efforts to survive a viral outbreak at both a remote prison island as well as a research facility. Unlike the previous games, Code: Veronica uses a 3D real-time environments and dynamic camera movements instead of the pre-rendered backgrounds.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica was originally intended to be the true sequel to Resident Evil 2 and is still considered as that by the creators. The title received critical acclaim and has been considered both among the best Resident Evil game as well Dreamcast games of all time and a revised version was released which included new cutscenes which revealed more details about the story. Code: Veronica was adapted for Capcom’s Gun Survivor series with Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica and was also adapted for the Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.
Headhunter is an action-adventure video game which was released initially in the year 2001 and was developed by Amuze and published by Sega for Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. It was said to be strongly influenced by the 1980s action movies and science fiction films. The gameplay is that of a third person shooter and the player can control Jack Wade. Jack travels between main levels of the game on his motorcycle and these levels take the form of a racing game with the motorbike’s acceleration and braking which are controlled using the sensitive analog trigger buttons of the Dreamcast control pad.
The game takes place in the near future in a city and criminals are punished for their crimes, not only by serving time in prison but also by having their internal organs surgically removed and transplanted to benefit the wealthier member of the society. The game begins with Jack escaping from a secret laboratory but soon after he faints and falls unconscious. The game’s storyline progresses through standard FMV cutscenes, propaganda commercials and satirical news broadcasts. The game received generally positive reviews from the critics.
20. Grandia II
Grandia II was initially released in the year 2000 and is another one of the best Sega Dreamcast games developed by Game Arts originally for the Dreamcast console as a part of the Grandia series of games. A high definition remastering of the game will be released in 2019 along with one of the original for Nintendo switch and Windows PC. It is set in a fantasy world thousands of years after the battle between Granas, the god of light and Valmar, the god of darkness which nearly destroyed the planet until Valmar was split into pieces and scattered across the land.
The original Dreamcast version of the game received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from the critics and received an aggregate score of 88.1% on GameRankings and 90/100 on Metacritic. IGN ceded the game an Editor’s Choice distinction, calling it a classic of the Dreamcast and noting that its battle system was ‘arguably the most advanced system in play today’. Apart from its turn-based battle system in real time, the game also supports limited movement during battle and the characters can run around or strike the opponents and then retreat. Characters can also use magic from equipped Mana Eggs but it consumes MP and more powerful magic takes longer to cast.