Grab a valiant steed and make haste; it’s time to check out the best Dreamcast RPGs of all time!
Despite its failings, the Dreamcast has achieved legendary status in recent years, and that’s largely down to the legendary adventures available for nerds like me to sink our teeth into.
Whether fighting dragons, wielding swords, or just shouting abuse at Sega employees, the RPGs below all have something unique about them. Many stray into the realms of the weird and wonderful, but that’s why we love them so much.
After all, if we wanted real life solutions to solve when we get home from work, then we’d do the dishes and go about our normal business!
So, which Dreamcast RPGs would make a goblin quail in his hobnail boots? Which are the best titles for instilling pride and valour in the hearts and minds of Dreamcast owners everywhere?
Check out our list below, and may the stars ever shine on your quest, dear reader!
Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern kickstarts this list of the best dreamcast RPGs of all time…
… because nothing says RPG more than a dragon, right?
Fantasy novel fans (which really should be all of you) might well have read all of the Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern books. Well, this game is based on the world Anne created and is choc-a-block with Sci-Fi goodness.
The Dragon Riders of Pern once kept the world secure, beating back evil forces and those that might corrupt civilisation. But that was a long time ago, and the riders have since vanished into legend.
Finding a new Dragon Rider to take up the mantle of protecting the world isn’t as easy as you might think. This game is half strategy, half Dragon-riding action, which is basically the recipe for a successful RPG.
Fans of aimless wandering and chatting to NPCs will feel right at home here. The game has over 170 characters to converse with across 120 locations. Travel between continents on a dragon, and destroy aliens as they attempt to control your homeland!
No, Super Robot Wars isn’t the same as the program that guy from Red Dwarf hosted. It’s a tactical RPG that sees robots battling against each other, pulling off epic attacks with animated scenes accompanying every strike and impact.
Some of you might recognise this title as Super Robot Wars Alpha. The Dreamcast port is basically the same game with a different name; Sega always have to be different!
The Dreamcast version did boast 3D sprites, however, giving fans of the series a whole new experience. It’s much tougher too and has a gnarly new boss to crack too. Still, the mecha warriors on offer are more than up for the job!
Players play as either a Robot or a Super Robot (second one every time for me), acting out an intergalactic storyline filled with ferocious battles and angry anime characters.
One of the coolest things about Super Robot Wars is the skill point system. All RPGs have one, but this time it’s not just your prowess in battle that affects how your character progresses.
Every decision made throughout the game affects how your adventure pans out. They can make the road ahead both easier and more difficult, as well as making more powerful objects appear for those on the right path.
Talk about keeping your head in the game!
Often listed as Lady Gaga’s favourite game, Segagaga takes the 13th spot in this list of the best Dreamcast RPGs of all time!
Ok, so that first part wasn’t true, but this RPG from 2001 is truly for people who are completely gaga for Sega. We’re talking about the people that lie awake at wishing that they were the CEO!
The plot line? Well, players get to actually take the reins of the company and have to get it back on track. It’s set in 2025, so only a few years from the time of writing.
Sega are having money issues, and you have to achieve global domination by battling employees and video game characters along the way…
No, I haven’t lost my mind; this was a real game and a funny one at that! It was advertised with a measly marketing budget of $200 and was one of the last titles released for the Dreamcast…
… a possible example of what the developer thought Sega’s future might be like?
It is a bizarre concept; make no mistake. Players fight other mutant employees and characters by dissing them in battle, wearing their spirits down by shouting insults. These can range from telling them that they’ll always be lonely or that they make terrible games.
As I said earlier, this is one for the proper Segamaniacs out there. There are so many callbacks to old games that you’ll need a notepad to write them all down. It’s definitely an alternative RPG and one that will leave you laughing in a confused yet happy state.
We’re off to the weird and wonderful world of Langrisser Millennium in this next entry.
If you’re a fan of army infiltration games but wish they had more of a Risk-meets-D&D vibe, then this title needs to be in your collection.
Choose from two modes; Map Mode with fortress infiltration-style gameplay, and Battle Mode where the player controls different teams and use their generals to plan strategic attacks.
RPG fans will probably already know all about this epic series. Follow five powerful rulers as they wage war against neighbouring countries and strive to stop a darl fore from returning to the world…
… sounds a bit like the Battle of Five Armies to me… anyone checked for plagiarism here?
Map Mode is my favourite section on this game; it’s real time and more immersive than Battle Mode, giving players a real piece of the action and a chance to get stuck into each skirmish.
Evolution 2: Far Off Promise takes the 11th spot in this list of the best Dreamcast RPGs of all time!
We love an RPG series that feels like we’re playing through a novel, and Far Off Promise feels very much like the second chapter in an epic, adventurous tale.
It follows on from the events of the first Evolution game and follows a boy determined to become the greatest adventurer the world has ever seen…
… he obviously hasn’t heard about Ray Mears or Bear Grylls then…
What is this brave adventurer called, I hear you ask? Well, his name is Mag Launcher, which sounds more like a military canon than an intrepid explorer.
The aim of the game is to explore dungeons and ruins, searching for hidden treasures along the way. The same characters from the first title make an appearance once more, and players can uncover hidden weapons and abilities to up their skills on their expedition.
It might look a little cutesy from the pic above, but don’t be fooled. This is one tough cookie to crack and features some Goeman-style weapons that aren’t to be trifled with!
Time Stalkers is another one of our best Dreamcast RPGs with a strong emphasis on exploring dungeons and slaying monsters…
… ok, that could be any RPG in this list, but you get the idea.
Time Stalkers also has the greatest name for any character in any fantasy game; Sword. Yes, gamers take control of Sword, a dude who falls for a pretty girl and ends up falling into a different dimension.
We’ve all been there Sword!
This game has a strong Holy Magic Century look to it and revolves mostly around turn based combat alongside other famous game warriors. The old dude from Landstalker makes an appearance with other notable heroes, all of whom have assumedly fallen foul of this girls flirty tricks too!
So what sets Time Stalkers apart from other games in the genre?
Well, instead of levelling up as play goes on and becoming the ultimate warrior, players have to level up inside each dungeon. You start each task as a newbie and have to work your way up from there!
The battles are all about striking in the right place at the right time, so keep both eyes on your opponent and make every hit count!
Grandia II takes the 9th spot in this list of the best Dreamcast RPGs of time. Imagine the best, most nerdalicious round of Dungeons and Dragons ever made, and you still wouldn’t be close to the might of this title!
Let me set the scene. Players find themselves in a world destroyed during a battle between the gods of darkness and light. Heroes and Villains are constantly at war, and it’s your job to make sure the forces of good prevail.
The best part, however, is that Cam Clarke, the dude that voiced my favourite TMNT Leonardo and also Liquid Snake, provides the voice for the main character!
That main character is Ryudo. Guide him and his companions over a series of exciting locations, all of the bright fields and dank dungeons that make up the bulk of every RPG world.
Hey; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
And let’s not forget the epic battles. Grandia II has a little trick when up it’s sleeve when it comes to the battle system, and that’s the limited movement that each of the characters has.
Fight’s are still turn-based, but players can actually move around and stick an enemy with a sword or chuck some magic their way before returning to their original position.
The storyline is brilliant, as is the insatiable need to up skill points and develop characters. It wouldn’t have made our list of the best Dreamcast RPGs otherwise!
I wonder if some of you guessed that Evolution: The World Of Sacred Device would be appearing somewhere in this list? Yes, the first chapter in the Evolution series takes 8th position, taking us back to where everything first started!
We’ve already learnt about the epic quest that Mag Launcher sets out on in Evolution 2, so think of this as his origins story. After finding a letter from his lost father, Mag protects the girl who delivered it, Linear, and waits in vain for his father to return.
When the army come looking for the same thing his father had been searching for, Mag’s suspicions about his father’s disappearance grow, and the seed of adventure blossoms in his heart.
If dungeon crawling games are your bag, then The World of Sacred Device should be right up your gloomy, unlit street. Take part in epic turn-based battles in randomly generated dungeons, all while looking out for mysterious devices that grant the bearer new abilities.
Unusually for an RPG, certain items can only be won in a lottery rather than being picked up by a character along the way. The battle are big, the team dynamic is fun, and the whole title is one that you’ll enjoy from start to finish!
Elemental Gimmick Gear, sometimes known as EGG, might not be as well known as some of the other best Dreamcast games for the console. Still, it’s a fantastic fantasy adventure that could have come straight from the depths of Tolkien’s mind.
Believe me when I say that EGG is certainly one game that you’ll want to ‘crack’. When it ‘boils’ down to it, this is one of the best Dreamcast RPGs out there and often leaves my brain ‘fried’…
… I’m scrambling for egg jokes now… let’s continue… (scramble… get it..?)
Listen, this game story is so intense that I’d be here days if I tried to explain it all. Just know that you play as a character called ‘the Sleeper’ who was awakened by an archeological machine called the Elemental Gear Gimmick.
It’s top down 2.5D action on hand drawn backgrounds with puzzles galore and mini games thrown in for good measure. The gameplay is immersive and about as unpredictable as a bag full of laser-guided kittens…
… in other words, it’s a blast to play!
Fans of Landstalker and pretty much any Final Fantasy game will be all over this one!
The original Shenmue game is still one of the best titles ever made. Ok, I probably should have done a ‘two for the price of one’ here and included both titles…
BUT, if you had to make me choose, then the original gets my vote. And, seen as though the third title has only just come out in recent years, it seems fitting to start at the very beginning!
And what a beginning; this game cost a whopping $47-million to make! That’s more than some games make in profit!
No wonder the Dreamcast went under! Segagaga is looking more tough to complete by the minute!
Anyway, back to the game. Players take Ryo Hazuki on a mission to get some sweet revenge after the untimely death of his father.
And we already know that everyone loves a good revenge story!
One of the key features of this game is the QTEs that players must make split second decisions in. Each event has a different outcome, and sometimes the right path can be found be chatting with NPCs and gaining the relevant information.
Working through these immense open world levels while fighting bad-guys on every side (literally multiple people at once) makes you feel like a crime-fighting god. It might not be a traditional fantasy RPG, but it’s still one of the best and most engaging adventures on the Dreamcast!
Phantasy Star Online, one of Sega’s biggest hitters, takes the 5th spot in this list of the best Dreamcast RPGs of all time!
Imagine being part of a team that does something for the first time in the world of gaming. Now imagine being part of the team that brought PSO to home consoles, the world’s first online RPG.
That’s pretty groundbreaking stuff right there. Critics often refer to this game as a landmark title, and it’s fair to say that without PSO, so many epic adventures wouldn’t even exist…
… jeez, we owe this game so much!
PSO certainly brought online multiplayer to the table, something that most of us take for granted these days. Meeting friends in a digital lobby before all heading off to a random planet for a battle felt as good as jetting into space back in the day.
Ok, PSO does have a single player mode, but it’s nowhere near as exciting. Get online, choose a fighter, churn out some epic preset speech, buy fresh items, and pump up the team for an alien war!
Even though the Dreamcast is dead and buried, a dedicated team of players still keeps the PSO servers running to this very day. I imagine they’re all super hardcore gamers, so you’d need to be really good to take them on!
Next up on our list of the best Dreamcast RPGs is Silver, a game that sees our epic hero not just saving one woman, but every woman on the planet!
That’s right, folks; every living woman has been kidnapped, and as the chosen warrior, it’s up to you to bring them back.
Players control David, a dude whose Wife is kidnapped by the minions of Silver, a ferocious sorcerer who has defiled all the land and bent it to his will. He’s looking for a new bride and wants to choose from every female in the world…
… isn’t that what people use Tinder for these days?
Teaming up with his grandfather, a seasoned warrior that kicks ass first and asks questions later, David must find, free, and save his wife, along with every other wife and daughter in Silver’s fortress.
In a controversial move (as if stealing all the women wasn’t controversial enough), this game boasts real time battles as opposed to turn based skirmishes. It’s a little unorthodox, but it makes for compelling, fast-paced gameplay and certainly knows how to keep gamers hooked!
Collect magic orbs that correspond to different elements and use them to wield magical might against Silver’s forces! TAKE NO PRISONERS!
… Actually, you should be taking them all with you, in all honesty…
Record of Lodoss War: The Advent of Cardice officially wins the prize for the most RPG’ish name out of any of the games in this compendium. Honestly, this could be one of George R. R Martin’s lost texts or something!
How many RPGs feature a legendary warrior? Old news, right? But, how many of them feature a warrior brought back from the dead by a wizard to reunite the ancient warriors of the Lodoss War?
Ok, that’s original enough to tempt me in!
Why must you find all these heroes? Well, the Goddess of Darkness is being resurrected too, and you all have to stop her…
… I think I’d have kept dead; that would have been way easier!
This is a battle heavy game. Skirmishes happen a lot, giving you plenty of chance to increase magical abilities, up defence and skill points, and generally hone your goddess-bashing skills.
Plus, it wouldn’t be a true RPG without giving players the option to make their own weapons and enhance them with special abilities, would it? Imagine Gauntlet: Dark Legacy crossed with Silver, and you should get a feel for what this game is like.
Rent a Hero No. 1 takes the penultimate spot in this list of the best Dreamcast RPGs of all time!
Sega Mega Drive fans should already be well versed with this epic story. The Dreamcast port is a direct remake of the original version from the 90s, following a hero renting his services in order to pay the bill on his rented armour.
Like Segagaga, this is a weird concept but a fun one to play. It’s meant to be a little bit silly (ok, a lot silly), with players having to buy batteries to keep the suit operational along the way.
I don’t think Batman need worry about being dethroned just yet…
Our have-a-go-hero can only do useful things too; there’s no turning to the dark side and bumping off people for money or anything like that.
Having said that, you do knock your father out by accident, but there’s always a few hiccups while training to become a hero, right?
You’ll find Sega references a plenty in this game with lots of callbacks and Easter eggs to spot along the way. Get the right training, become a part time hero, and save the streets when you’re not doing chores!
it had to be, didn’t it! Skies of Arcadia bags the crown as the best Dreamcast RPG ever made!
If you came to this list looking for the ultimate RPG with luscious landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and more explorative scenarios than Indiana Jones on a treasure-hunting binge, then you’ve come to the right place.
Take part in turn-based fights in the air and on the ground, flying spaceships to belting tunes and knocking back imaginatively-creafted enemies left, right and centre.
Yes, this game is so good that I can’t really write proper sentences for being so excited about it!
Fans of epic adventures from the Zelda series will certainly appreciate the storyline in Skies of Arcadia. Twinned with a series of gnarly weapons and the sheer amount of free-exploring available to players, it ends up being one of those titles that you can quite easily lose yourself in.
We’re talking serious inception vibes right here!
The gameplay is very much like an FF title or PSO. Delve into dungeons, hoard items, and destroy monsters in many heated encounters! Garner points, up your team’s stats, and enjoy every second of this magical world!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.