20 Best Sega Dreamcast RPGs Ever Made

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The Sega Dreamcast was revolutionary back when it came out.

But the mounting pressure from Sony’s PS2 (and later Nintendo’s GameCube) was enough to cut the Dreamcast dream short.

Still, its fantastic library of games remains a testament to this pioneering console.

There’s a lot of creativity in the Dreamcast’s RPG roster, and many of the very best games on the console belonged to this genre. So let’s take a look at some of the better Dreamcast RPGs worth playing:


20. Langrisser Millennium (1999) (JP)

Langrisser Millennium Japanese Dreamcast Screenshot

The Langrisser series started in 1987 with the release of Elthlead, a fantastic strategy RPG for PCs.

But Langrisser Millennium has nothing to do with that.

You see, the game was developed by Masaya after most of the Langrisser team had gone on to work on another game (Growlanser).

As such, it strays away from the original formula drastically.

If you’re a Langrisser fan, you’ll hate this game – but for newcomers, the sweet graphics and unique combat system might be enough to keep you hooked.


19. Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm (2000)

Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm gameplay

Draconus is a spiritual sequel to Treyarch’s previous hack-and-slash game, Die by the Sword, with deeper RPG mechanics and great art direction.

Unlike its predecessor, Draconus puts a heavier emphasis on defending and avoiding damage rather than attacking ruthlessly.

In that way, it’s like old-school Dark Souls.


18. Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern (2001)

Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern gameplay screenshot

If you love dragons and high fantasy stories with these mythical creatures at the center, you’ll find yourself right at home in the world of Dragonriders: Chronicles of Pern.

Based on a series of novels by Anne McCaffrey, this fantastic game allows you to visit over 120 locations and interact with 170 characters based directly on the books.

You’ll play as D’Kor, a dragon rider looking for a mate for his rare golden dragon. The in-depth story is the game’s main attractive.

Regrettably, the ambition and effort directed at crafting a deep story and detailed world wasn’t replicated when it came to the gameplay, which is nothing to write home about.


17. Gauntlet Legends (2000)

Gauntlet Legends gameplay Dreamcast

The Gauntlet series was the gold standard for hack-and-slash titles from the mid-80s to the late 90s. Partly because the Gauntlet arcade games let players 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 it set itself apart from other console ports by incorporating features introduced in the sequel – Gauntlet Dark Legacy.

If you like dark fantasy settings and games like Baldur’s Gate or Diablo II, Gauntlet Legends is a no-brainer.


16. Record of Lodoss War (2000)

Record of Lodoss War screenshot

Based on the anime of the same name, Record of Lodoss War recounts the adventures of a hero who’s brought back to life by powerful magic to battle Cardice, the Goddess of Destruction.

The story isn’t anything too innovative.

But it’s more than enough to keep you interested – especially considering the fantastic Diablo-like dungeon crawling gameplay.

To grow as a hero and eventually gain enough power to defeat Cardice, you’ll have to continuously upgrade your equipment and armor instead of earning EXP.

This unique progression system is one of the game’s strongest points.


15. Seventh Cross: Evolution (2000)

Seventh Cross: Evolution gameplay

As I’ve said before, I love games that take scientific subjects like the Theory of Evolution and make them the centerpiece of their gameplay & narrative.

The best example on Sega’s Dreamcast is Seventh Cross: Evolution.

Although like most of these games, it’s not exactly scientifically accurate.

You begin the game as a protist lifeform and slowly evolve by consuming others over the course of six stages.

At the end of each stage, you battle the apex predator and consume them to progress.

It lacks a bit of polish, sure. But Seventh Cross: Evolution is a diamond in the rough.


14. L.O.L.: Lack of Love (2000) (JP)

L.O.L.: Lack of Love screenshot

What’s better than a game about evolution?

Two games about evolution!

Lack of Love is a Japanese title that puts you in control of a single lifeform surviving on a planet that’s undergoing a terraforming process. The rapidly changing environment forces every critter to adapt, and not everyone will make it through.

You get to choose between forming symbiotic relationships and supporting each other or dominating and consuming other species to survive.

One of the best parts about this game is the soundtrack, full of melancholic tunes that remind us that there’s a hard and cruel world out there.

A fan-made translation can be found here.


13. SILVER (1999)

SILVER Dreamcast gameplay screenshot

Good Western RPGs were few and far between back in the day.

And while it isn’t perfect, SILVER is one of the best to come out for the Dreamcast.

This lighthearted action RPG puts you in control of David, a warrior on an epic quest to rescue his kidnapped wife.

While the gameplay is rather basic, the story is engaging and emotional. Its perfect pacing will keep you interested the whole way from start to finish.

But I’d say the graphics are also a highlight.

Not to mention the characters are detailed and appealing, and the scenarios and backgrounds have a classic charm.

If you don’t mind linear ARPGs and want something different from the usual high fantasy JRPG titles, this is a great one to try out.


12. Time Stalkers (1999)

Time Stalkers Dreamcast RPG game

Time Stalkers is one of those games where a great idea gets boggled down with less-than-stellar execution – but that doesn’t mean it’s boring.

Quite the opposite.

Time Stalkers focuses on dungeon crawling with some light roguelike elements that go hand in hand with JRPG staples, stuff like turn-based combat and recruiting party members.

You can also tame enemy monsters à la Pokémon to help you confront the ever-increasing difficulty.

And don’t even think of grinding.

You’ll be returned to LVL 1 at the beginning of each randomly-generated dungeon, which assures you won’t become overleveled.

It does have a bug here and there, but the interesting mechanics and varied gameplay make Time Stalkers a must-play.


11. Segagaga (SGGG) (2001)

Segagaga gameplay

I love companies that know how to take a joke – especially when it reflects troubling realities, like Sega’s fall from grace as a console manufacturer.

In Segagaga, you’ll play as a boy who the company recruits to help get them back on track to success.

Combat takes the form of turn-based shout-outs similar to Oh… Sir! The Insult Simulator.

You’ll have to humble the developers into submission, then motivate them to start working on better games.

The game is full of visual gags and takes jabs at crunch culture, the issue of exclusive titles, SEGA as a company, and the gaming industry as a whole.


10. Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning? (2001) (JP)

Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning? Dreamcast screenshot

Sakura Wars has only been a thing outside of Japan since the 2010 international release of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii.

But over in Japan, it has a long history – including Sakura Wars 3 on the Dreamcast.

This strategy JRPG/Dating Sim follows the Flower Division of the Paris Combat Revue – a group of girls who pilot badass mechas against supernatural threats by daylight, and run a cabaret act by moonlight.

It’s a crazy concept.

And that’s part of the charm.

The gameplay is the same as what we’d later see in “So Long, My Love”.

First you talk to the girls, get to know them, and possibly flirt a bit – but there’s a twist.

Your actions during this time will directly affect the pilots’ performance in the coming battle.

Flirting for Dummies might do you as much good in this game as a strategy guide.


9. Pier Solar HD (2015)

Pier Solar HD gameplay screenshot

If you played the original Pier Solar and the Great Architects on the Sega MegaDrive, you can’t miss this well-crafted sequel on the Dreamcast.

The game was released over ten years after the Dreamcast was discontinued through a Kickstarter campaign by the original developer, Watermelon.

It features some of the most appealing graphics I’ve seen on a Dreamcast title, and it’s also available for Wii U, Android, and Ouya.

The story follows a group of friends who set out to find a cure for a mysterious disease, only to become entangled in a conflict that may determine the world’s fate.

It’s a love letter to the classics with over 50 hours of gameplay featuring intriguing puzzles, plenty of side-quests and mini-games, as well as the option to switch between HD and 16-bit graphics on the fly.

Really unique stuff, and absolutely worth a try.


8. Evolution: The World of Sacred Device (1999)

Evolution: The World of Sacred Device Dreamcast gameplay

One of the most talked-about JRPGs on the Dreamcast is Evolution: The World of Sacred Device.

The game follows Mag Launcher, an adventurer with the power to operate Cyframes.

These ancient but powerful artifacts were left scattered around the globe by a long-gone civilization, and adventurers like Mag delve into mysterious ruins and dungeons to obtain them.

The dungeon crawling aspect of the game is entertaining, mostly thanks to creative traps and challenging puzzles.

And combat also manages to set itself apart by putting a major focus on status ailments and other strategic buffs and debuffs.


7. Evolution 2: Far Off Promise (2000)

Evolution 2: Far Off Promise gameplay

For Evolution’s sequel, the devs decided to continue Mag Launcher’s adventure, searching for mysterious artifacts in ancient dungeons.

The gameplay is more or less the same, with some minor QoL improvements.

Much like its predecessor, Evolution 2 is a well-rounded RPG that doesn’t excel at anything in particular.

Some would go as far as to call it an “expansion” rather than a sequel, since it deviated so little from the original.

Still, the story is amusing. And the characters are just as charming as they were before – if not more.


6. Heroes of Might & Magic III (2020)

Heroes of Might & Magic III Dreamcast gameplay

The latest release to make the list is Heroes of Might & Magic III – a game developed back during the Dreamcast’s lifetime but never released.

Back in 2020, someone managed to get a pre-release build up and running.

Finally, we got to play New World Computing’s RPG masterpiece on Sega’s last machine.

And it’s even more addictive than its predecessor, bringing eight playable campaigns of the same fantastic turn-based strategy gameplay and more detailed graphics.

If you like medieval fantasy settings and large-scale mythical creature battles like you’d see in World of Warcraft or LotR, you’ll love Heroes of Might and Magic III.


5. Elemental Gimmick Gear (EGG) (1999)

Elemental Gimmick Gear gameplay screenshot

If you’re interested in a game that’s both fun to play and pleasing to look at, this unique action RPG is one of the best options for Dreamcast.

Inspired by games like TLoZ and other top-down action RPGs, Elemental Gimmick Gear has you exploring gorgeous hand-drawn environments as you try to uncover the truth behind your egg-shaped battle robot, and learn where it came from.

The best part about this game is the combat, which takes two forms:

Regular ARPG style action in the overworld, and amazing 3D arena battles against bosses.

Your robot fights primarily by spinning and ramming others, so it’s like a steampunk Beyblade. Surprisingly fun.


4. Phantasy Star Online (2001)

Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast gameplay

Back in the day we didn’t have Call of Duty, Fortnite, or League of Legends to go online and play with friends.

In fact, online gaming wasn’t even a thing for the majority of my childhood – or at least, I thought it wasn’t.

Enter Phantasy Star Online, a revolutionary MMORPG that brought online capabilities to home consoles long before most companies even considered adding Ethernet ports to their machines.

I finally got around to trying it out recently on a fan-run server, and I was surprised by what I’d been missing out on.

The addictive co-op gameplay felt like a hack-and-slash World of Warcraft, in a good way.

If you can get this to boot up on a Dreamcast emulator (or get it running however you can) then you’ll likely have a lot of fun.


3. Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 (2001)

Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 gameplay

Most MMORPGs roll out expansions as downloadable content.

But it wasn’t quite so simple for a console-based game like PSO.

The devs’ answer was to release PSO Ver. 2, an updated version of the original game featuring slightly improved graphics and plenty of new content.

The weapon and equipment variety in the original was already great.

But Ver. 2 takes it to the next level.

There are also plenty of new missions, side-quests, bosses, and even two entirely new areas exclusive to online play.


2. Grandia II (2000)

Grandia II Dreamcast screenshot

Grandia II is among the most iconic turn-based RPGs of the early 2000s thanks to its engaging character-driven story, sweet graphics, and excellent gameplay.

The main character has a refreshingly sarcastic personality.

He tends to distrust the parade of charming weirdos he runs into throughout the game – even if some of them end up joining the party.

But what I like most about Grandia II is the relatively fast-paced action for a turn-based game. This is achieved with an Active Time Battle system, similar to that of Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger.

The dungeon crawling is fantastic here, too.


1. Skies of Arcadia (2000)

Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast gameplay

Ask anyone who ever owned a Dreamcast what their favorite RPG was.

You’ll hear stories about Skies of Arcadia around 95% of the time.

This game was the bomb.

There’s a strong sense of adventure, beautiful graphics, a solid soundtrack, and the protagonist is refreshingly witty. Quite simply, he comes off as just a cool dude.

Unlike the edgy RPG protagonists that were so popular in those days.

The game combines standard JRPG combat with large-scale battles between airships and monsters high-up in the sky.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, you’re bound to love this iconic title.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.