The Sega Dreamcast was revolutionary when it came out.
But the push of Sony’s PS2 (and later the Nintendo GameCube) was enough to disrupt Dream’s live action dream.
Still, the fantastic game library remains a testament to this revolutionary console.
The Dreamcast’s RPG roster is brimming with creativity, and many of the console’s best games belong to this genre. Let’s take a look at the best Dreamcast RPGs to play:
20. Langrisser Millennium (1999) (SP)
The Langrisser series began in 1987 with the release of Elthlead, a fantasy strategy RPG for the PC.
But Langrisser Millennium has nothing to do with it.
The game was developed by Masaya after most of the Langrisser team left to work on another game (Growlanser).
It therefore differs significantly from the original formula.
If you’re a Langrisser fan, you won’t like this game, but for newcomers, the cute graphics and unique combat system might be enough to get you hooked.
19. Draconus: Cult of Wyrm (2000)
Draconus is a spiritual sequel to Treyarch’s previous game, Die by the Sword, with deeper RPG mechanics and excellent art direction.
Unlike its predecessor, Draconus emphasizes defense and damage avoidance more than reckless attacks.
So it’s like good old Dark Souls.
18. Dragons: Chronicles of Pern (2001)
If you love dragons and high-fantasy stories about these mythical creatures, you’ll feel right at home in the world of Dragon Riders: The Pern Chronicles.
Based on the novel series by Anne McCaffrey, this fantasy game allows you to visit over 120 locations and interact with 170 characters directly inspired by the books.
You play as D’Kor, a dragon rider looking for a mate for his rare golden dragon. The in-depth story is the main attraction of the game.
Unfortunately, the ambition and effort put into creating a deep story and a detailed world are not reflected in the gameplay, which is nothing special.
17. Ghost Legends (2000)
The Gauntlet series was the benchmark for hacker titles from the mid-80s to the late 90s. Partly because Gauntlet arcade games allow players to save their characters and progress with a password.
Gauntlet Legends on the Dreamcast brought the same exciting arcade action to the comfort of your living room, and set itself apart from other console ports by incorporating features introduced in the Gauntlet Dark Legacy sequel.
If you like dark fantasy environments and games like Baldur’s Gate or Diablo II, Gauntlet Legends is a must.
16. Lodos file (2000)
Based on the anime of the same name, Record of Lodoss War tells the adventures of a hero brought back to life by powerful magic and battles Cardis, the goddess of destruction.
The story is not too revolutionary.
But that’s more than enough to keep you satisfied, especially considering the fantastic Diablo-like dungeon gameplay.
To become a hero and amass enough power to defeat Cardice, you must constantly upgrade your equipment and armor instead of earning EXP.
This unique progression system is one of the strengths of the game.
15. Seventh cross: Development (2000)
Like I said, I like games that make scientific topics, like the theory of evolution, a central part of the game and the story.
The best example on the Sega Dreamcast is Seventh Cross: Evolution.
But like most of these games, they’re not really scientifically accurate.
You begin the game as a protist life form and slowly evolve by consuming others in six stages.
At the end of each stage, fight and consume the top predator to advance.
Anyway, it lacks luster. But the seventh cross: Evolution is a rough diamond.
14. L.O.L. : Lack of love (2000) (JP)
What better way to get the most out of the game than to play Evolution?
Two games about evolution!
Lack of Love is a Japanese title that puts you in control of the only surviving life form on a planet that is being terrorized. The rapidly changing environment forces each animal to adapt, and not all will survive.
You can form symbiotic relationships and help each other or dominate and eat other species to survive.
One of the best parts of this game is the soundtrack, full of melancholy melodies that remind us that the world is a harsh and cruel place.
You can find the translation of the fan here.
13. SILVER (1999)
Good western RPGs were rare at the time.
And even though it’s not perfect, SILVER is one of the best games released on the Dreamcast.
In this light-hearted role-playing game, you play as David, a warrior who is on an epic quest to rescue his kidnapped wife.
Although the gameplay is fairly simple, the story is exciting and full of emotion. The perfect rhythm keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
But I’d say the graphics are also a strong point.
Not to mention that the characters are detailed and engaging, and the scenarios and settings have a classic charm.
If you don’t like linear ARPGs and want something different from the usual high fantasy JRPGs, this is a great game to try.
12. Time Stalkers (1999)
Time Stalkers is one of those games where a good idea is masked by a substandard execution – but that doesn’t mean it’s boring.
It’s the opposite.
Stalkers of Time focuses on dungeon crawling with slight fake elements that go along with the JRPG staples, things like turn-based combat and party recruitment.
You can also tame enemy monsters a la Pokémon to overcome ever-increasing challenges.
And don’t even think about sanding.
At the beginning of each randomly generated dungeon, you’ll be reset to level 1 to make sure you’re not overclassified.
There’s definitely a bug in there, but the interesting mechanics and varied gameplay make Stalkers of Time a must-play.
11. Segaga (SGGG) (2001)
I like companies that know how to make jokes, especially when they reflect disturbing realities, like Sega’s disgrace as a console manufacturer.
In Segagaga, you play the role of the young person who recruits the company to put it back on the road to success.
The fight takes the form of shrill cries like those from O… Sir! Attack simulator.
You have to humble the developers and motivate them to work on better games.
The game is full of visual jokes and references to crunch culture, publishing exclusives, SEGA as a company, and the gaming industry as a whole.
10. Sakura Wars 3 : Paris is on fire? (2001) (JP)
Since the international release of Sakura Wars in 2010, Sakura Wars has only been seen outside of Japan: Farewell, my love for the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo Wii.
But it has a long history in Japan – most notably Sakura Wars 3 on the Dreamcast.
This JRPG/meets-strategy simulation follows the flowery division of the Parisian Combat Revenues, a group of girls who pilot cool mechas against supernatural threats by day and run cabarets by night.
It’s a crazy concept.
And that’s part of its charm.
The game play is the same as in Bye, my love.
You approach girls, get to know them and maybe flirt a little, but there’s a twist.
Your actions during this period directly affect the pilots’ performance in the coming battle.
Flirting for Dummies can help you in this game as much as a strategy guide.
9. Zonnepier HD (2015)
If you played the original Pierce Sunny and the Great Architects on the Sega MegaDrive, don’t miss this well-made sequel on the Dreamcast.
The game was released more than a decade after the Dreamcast was discontinued as part of original developer Watermelon’s Kickstarter campaign.
It has the most interesting graphics I’ve ever seen in a Dreamcast game, and is also available on Wii U, Android and Ouya.
The story follows a group of friends as they search for a cure for a mysterious illness, but become embroiled themselves in a conflict that could determine the fate of the world.
It’s a love letter to a classic, with over 50 hours of gameplay, engaging puzzles, countless side missions and mini-games, and the ability to switch between HD and 16-bit graphics.
A truly unique product, definitely worth trying.
8. Development: The world of the sacred device (1999)
One of the most talked about JRPGs on the Dreamcast is Evolution: The world of the Holy Device.
The game follows Mag Launcher, an adventurer who has the power to control Cyframes.
These ancient but powerful artifacts have been scattered across the world by a long-dead civilization, and adventurers like Meg are penetrating mysterious ruins and dungeons to get their hands on them.
The dungeon crawling aspect of the game is entertaining, especially with the creative traps and challenging puzzles.
Combat is also excellent when it comes to focusing on status diseases and other strategic buffs and openings.
7. Development 2: A Distant Promise (2000)
For the sequel to Evolution, the developers decided to continue the adventure of Mag Launcher, searching for mysterious artifacts in ancient dungeons.
The gameplay is more or less the same, with some minor quality of life improvements.
Evolution 2, like its predecessor, is a well-designed role-playing game that is nothing special.
Some would even call it an expansion rather than a sequel, since it differs so little from the original.
Still, the story is funny. And the characters are as endearing as ever, if not more endearing.
6. Heroes of Might and Magic III (2020)
The latest release is Heroes of Might & Magic III, a game developed during the Dreamcast era but never released.
In 2020, someone managed to get hold of a preliminary version and get it working.
Finally, we were able to play New World Computing’s RPG masterpiece on Sega’s latest device.
And it’s even more immersive than its predecessor, with eight game campaigns featuring fantastic turn-based gameplay and more detailed graphics.
If you love the medieval fantasy setting and large-scale battles with mythical creatures seen in World of Warcraft or LotR, you’ll love Heroes of Sword and Magic III.
5. Elementary teeth (EGG) (1999)
If you are interested in a game that is both fun and entertaining, this unique action-RPG is one of the best choices for the Dreamcast.
Inspired by games like TLoZ and other action films, Elemental Gimmick Gear sees you exploring beautiful hand-drawn environments as you try to uncover the truth about your egg-shaped fighting robot and find out where it came from.
The best part of this game is the battle, which takes two forms:
Regular ARPG-style action around the world and amazing 3D arena combat against bosses.
Your robot fights by turning and hitting others, it’s like a steampunk Beyblade. Incredibly funny.
4. Fantasy Star Online (2001)
We didn’t used to have Call of Duty, Fortnite or League of Legends to go online and play with friends.
For most of my childhood, online games didn’t exist – at least that’s what I thought.
Phantasy Star Online, the groundbreaking MMORPG, brought online capabilities to home consoles long before most companies thought of adding Ethernet ports to their devices.
I tried it on a fan server recently and was surprised at what I was missing.
The addictive cooperative game is like hacking World of Warcraft – in a good way.
If you can boot it up with a Dreamcast emulator (or get it working that way), you’ll probably have a lot of fun with it.
3. Phantasy Star Online Version 2 (2001)
Most MMORPGs use expansions in the form of downloadable content.
But for a console game like PSO, it wasn’t so easy.
The developers responded by releasing PSO Ver. 2, an updated version of the original game with slightly improved graphics and lots of new content.
The variety of weapons and equipment was already great in the original.
But version 2 takes it to the next level.
There are also many new missions, side missions, bosses, and even two new areas exclusive to online play.
2. Grandia II (2000)
Grandia II is one of the most iconic turn-based RPGs of the early 2000s thanks to its compelling story, stunning graphics, and excellent gameplay.
The main character has a refreshingly sarcastic personality.
He tends not to trust the parade of charming eccentrics he encounters over the course of the game – even though some of them eventually join the group.
But what I like most about Grandia II is the relatively dynamic scenario for a turn-based game. This is achieved through a time-based combat system, similar to Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger.
Also, the exploration of the dungeons here is fantastic.
1. Arcadia Sky (2000)
Ask anyone who owned a Dreamcast what their favorite RPG was.
You hear stories about Arcadia Sky 95% of the time.
That game was great.
There is a strong sense of adventure, beautiful graphics, a solid soundtrack and the main character is refreshingly funny. He just comes across as a tough guy.
Unlike the edgy role-playing protagonists that were so popular at the time.
The game combines standard JRPG combat with large-scale battles between airships and airborne monsters.
If this sounds like you, you are sure to love this iconic title.
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