dreamcast-feature

The Ten Best Dreamcast Games To Buy

It’s pretty easy to find a list of the top 10 Dreamcast games or some similar scale but what games should go into that list? The Dreamcast had a huge range of titles and whittling it down to ten is pretty much impossible. So we list the ten best games to buy. You won’t be disappointed with these games in your collection and they are the basis for any Dreamcast owner.

We know there are a huge amount of hardcore Dreamcast fans out there. We’re one of them but we’re looking to create a list that every Dreamcast owner, new and old can agree on. The list will obviously miss some important titles, or games that are the top of the genre, but our top ten will at least get your Dreamcast games collection growing. We’ll be making our choices purely on gameplay. Why pick a game that looks beautiful but isn’t very fun? We no longer need to show off how great the DC can look but how it’s games live on ten years later.

If you think we’ve missed a key title in our list then please post in our comments section at the bottom of the page. No need register to join and it’s free too!

 Crazy Taxi

No Dreamcast list would be complete without Crazy Taxi. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeaaaaaahhhhhh! So let’s get it out of the way first. An arcade conversion that involves you driving a taxi around some pretty crazy streets, picking up passangers and dropping them off at their locations in record time. You’re against a strict time limit so you really do need to use all your driving skills and boosting powers to get around. This is pure score attack but is so addictive because of it.

It still looks wonderful today. There is popup, there always was but you won’t notice it too much as the game moves at an extremely fast pace, is vibrant and full of colour. Hook it up to a VGA monitor for an image which still impresses. The world is alive with people, real life locations such as Pizza Hut and KFC and other vehicles. You’ll drive down by the beach, along the motor way and through the city centre. The music is perfect for the game too. Featuring the Offspring and Bad Religion, the sound track is as much Crazy Taxi as the cab itself. You’ll hear passengers yell at you to pick them up and it all adds to the life of the city.

This game has been released on other consoles but it came to the DC first, the DC pad suits it the best and it’s a game you may only play for 20 minutes, but you’ll come back time and time again for another 20 minutes and before you know it you’ve racked up hours just picking up passengers. Add in the Crazy Box full of mini games and this will keep you entertained for a while.

 Soul Calibur

The Dreamcast had a lot of 3D and 2D fighters. If you’re into 2D you can’t do too bad with Street Fighter 3 or Marvel Vs Capcom 2, but for 3D there is only one title you need. That is Soul Calibur. Better than arcade perfect, this Namco developed title (from the makers of Tekken) is the sequel to Soul Edge. One of the best looking Dreamcast games, this fighter allows full 3D movement, features weapons and is one of the smoothest fighting games out there. Moves connect with a force felt like no other, you can combo easily as you move from one move to the next in a smooth motion.

It’s so much more than just an arcade fighting game though. There is a full single player mode that challenges you in a multitude of ways. From multiple fighters to stages where you have to avoid rats killing you, the single player will keep you going for a while and is much more than a computer controlled 2 player mode.

The music is gorgeous, the sound effects perfect and the controls sublime. Even the latter Soul Caliburs have not captured the magic that this game offers. Make sure you pick up an arcade stick too for the ultimate experience.

 Metropolis Street Racer

The real life driving experience… Well almost. MSR is the prequel to the Project Gothem Racing series. Developed by Bizarre Creations, you are pitted in a huge series of street races. Except this time the streets are ones you might know. Featuring multiple square miles of real life streets from London, Tokyo and San Fransico, if you have ever been to these cities, you’ll instantly know where you are in MSR. The team took thousands of pictures and hundreds of hours of video footage to bring to you the actual locations as they were in 1999. Shop fronts are the actual shop fronts. Bins are placed where the bins were, they are digital recreations of these cities. Each track is a part of each city with roads blocked off. One race may see you going past trafalga square and just seeing St James Park in the distance. The next will have you driving through the park. Complete the game and you can drive through each city uninterupted.

For the time this was one stunning racing game. The cars looked like the actual cars they were meant to be. You could read the signs on shop fronts. You could drive along routes you’d walked down just hours before. The handling was exciting too. Each car handled how you expected it to and sounded how it should. Music was provided by Richard Jacques of other Sega games fame featuring a range of fake radio stations and a wonderful will smith rip off.

There are better racing games now, especially PGR4, but this is the game that started it all and driving round London on the Dreamcast still holds a special kind of magic.

 Shenmue

If you’re even mildly interested in the Dreamcast you’ll have heard of Shenmue. Yu Suzuki’s nearly Sega killing project. Set in Japan you play as Ryo, who comes home to see his father brutally murdered. This is a tale of revenge with sadly no ending. No game has come close to matching Shenmue. Still to this day it has more detail than most Xbox 360 games. You can knock on every single door in the game. Talk to every character and touch almost every object. The amount of detail here is vast. From every little shop sign to opening up a draw and being able to touch every object and spin it around.

You must follow clues to find the mysterious Lan Di who killed your father but it won’t be easy. The game is packed with Quck Time Events which are like cut scenes you have control over. You’ll need to fight your way our of situations and talk to the right people. Bored of revenge? Then go and play games at the Arcade or go and get some food for your cat. This is like a second life, only except it’s not your life. Pick this game up, it needs to be in every gamers collection, right next to Shenmue 2.

 Skies of Arcadia

The Dreamcast answer to Final Fantasy 7. If you’ve played FF7 you will notice a lot of similar scenes but that takes nothing away from the JRPG. You are an Air pirate, ships that fly through the air. Without wanting to spoil the story which will make you laugh and cry, your journey starts off as an adventure, to find new lands before things take a turn for the worst. You’ll face multiple random battles (and begin to hate the noise the DC makes when loading battles) much like FF7, you’ll need to learn new moves and battle monsters.

You’ll become so attached to the characters that after your 60 hour adventure together you’ll feel empty and miss them. There are so many twists to the story introducing new gameplay elements you’ll have to keep playing just to see what happens next. This is probably the best JRPG on the system and deserves more love from people who never got the chance to play it.

 Chu Chu Rocket

It looks simple. It is simple. You have a board full of mice and cats. You must rescue the mice by guiding them by laying down arrows to rocket ships. But what out for the cats. They follow the arrows too and if they get into a ship they’ll eat a bunch of the mice. To add to this you’ll be competing against 3 other people (real or computer). See a cat? Guide it into someone elses rocket to cause havok but beware of a backlash.

Randomly power ups appear that grant extra mice, extra cats, speed ups and much more. This was also the first Dreamcast title to go online. It proved games could work on a 33k modem and be extreamly addictive. There is also a puzzle mode, which works a bit like Lemmings where you have to solve a puzzle in as few moves as possible to get the mice to the rockets safely. This really needs an update on Xbox Live, but for now this is a great puzzle game for the Dreamcast.

 Space Channel 5

Parrappa the Rapper started the Rhythm Action genre, Space Channel 5 kicks it up a notch. Taking it’s queues from retro 60’s you have to control Space reporter Ulala to music that wouldn’t sound out of place in an Austin Powers movie. Aliens issue commands, you must follow. It is really just Simon Says but with a story, wonderful graphics and a catchy sound track.

The game is not especially deep or long lasting but you’ll keep coming back to get further through the game. Occassionally frustrating but never really unfair, you’ll fall for the atmosphere and the music. This game is a true gem, is cheap and really offers something different.

 Jet Set Radio

We can’t have a Dreamcast list without Jet Set Radio. Think Tony Hawks with tagging and a kicking custom soundtrack. This cel shaded game (one of the first) is gorgeous to look at and sublime to play. The graphical style is iconic and means this game looks as good today as it did ten years ago. The music is similarly impressive with some good beats and tunes that you’ll probably want to download right away.

You control one of a number of bladders who can grind, trick and tag their way around the city. You have to jump around the levels reaching tags to place your own graffiti. There is even a graffiti editor so you can make your own! As you platform and run around the huge levels you’ll face other enemies who you must defeat in races and tagging contests. The game gets increasingly difficult, with each level having time limits and multiple tags. This is a gaming experience you won’t want to miss and is much better than it’s sequel JSRF.

Sonic Adventure

Sonic Adventure was Sonic’s first proper go at doing his thing in 3D. Was it a success? Hell yeah! Developed by Sonic Team before they went a bit rubbish, Sonic is now placed on Earth with a whole bunch of new chums. You’ll get to play as Sonic, Tails, Amy and a bunch of others too. Each character has their own unique set of levels. Some levels are different versions of what other characters have, whilst others are unique to that character.

Sonic Team successfully translated the 2D gameplay of Sonic to a 3D world. Wether your running away from giant killer whales or down the side of the building this is a roller coaster ride of a game. The graphics are wonderfully stylised with a mixture of cartoon and realism creating Sonic’s world. There is lots of platforming to enjoy and a tonne of levels. With 6 characters to play it’ll keep you going for a while and with racing and pinball there is a range of game modes here. If you can find the Downloadable content (probably the first to exist in the console world) You can enjoy new levels and changes to existing ones. This game is great for younger kids as well as adults who used to enjoy Sonic and being a Sonic title needs to be in your Dreamcast collection.

 Toy Commander

Toy Commander puts you in control of the toys. Remember as a kid racing your cars up the walls and around the living room? Flying planes to bomb the car at the same time as it escapes? This is it in digital form. You must defeat Huggy Bear and his army by firing pencils, dropping rubber bombs and cooking eggs. You start out the game in the kitchen having to make breakfast. Using the toys to drop sugar into tea, cooking eggs and turning on the cooker, but before long you’ll have to battle a range of other toys to take back the rooms they control.

The house where the game takes place is beautifully realised, is full of objects and really does make you feel like a kid running around with planes in hand. Everything has a child like innocence to it and you can imagine setting up some of these battles yourself. Sometimes you have to race, other times rescue or destroy other toys. This game isn’t just for kids, its a game for everyone and extremely fun to boot.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Rez – Shoot things to make awesome music. Brilliant on the Dreamcast, even better on the Xbox 360 with Rez HD.
  • Daytona 2001 – It’s Daytona, but on the dreamcast!
  • F355 – The arcade Ferrari game, but on the Dreamcast, stupidly realistic but very rewarding.
  • Power Stone – Think Smash Brothers but in 3D. Mayhem, lots of weapons and lots of fun.
  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 – Possibly the best version of this awesome game.
  • Ikaruga – Follow up to Radiant Silver Gun
  • Samba De Ameigo – Shake plastic maracas in time to a dancing monkey.
  • Marvel Vs Capcom 2 – One of the best 2D fighters out there.
  • Virtua Tennis – Arcade styled tennis game that is extreamly addictive
  • Ready to Rumble – The boxing game that sold the Dreamcast to many people.
  • Seaman – Talk to a fish and have it talk back to you. Extreamly sarcastic, very odd but different.
  • Ecco The Dolphin – The classic Mega Drive game brought into the 3D world.
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica – Fully 3D Resident Evil and the first not to appear on the PSone.
  • Sonic Adventure 2: Follow up to the awesome Sonic Adventure.