30 Best Multiplayer Dreamcast Games: The Ultimate Ranking

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Released in 1999, the Sega Dreamcast was ahead of its time.

It was the first sixth-generation console, with incredible processing power and online capabilities that revolutionized the way people played at home.

Despite being a fantastic system, a series of bad business moves and mounting competition from Sony’s PS2 cut the Dreamcast’s lifespan short – but not before it got some iconic titles like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and plenty more.

Multiplayer games are especially well-represented in the Dreamcast’s library – including excellent arcade ports and pioneering online titles along with the usual couch multiplayer variety.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the best right here.

And while it’s definitely possible to play online on your Dreamcast nowadays (see here), for this list I’ll mainly focus on games that can be enjoyed locally.


30. Tee Off (2000)

Tee Off Dreamcast game

Tee Off is an excellent option if you’re looking for something absolutely anyone can pick up and play with no prior experience.

The game takes the complex sport of golf and boils it down to a few essential elements. Rather than focusing on realism, it strives to be easy and exciting to play for players of all skill levels.

In the same line of thinking, the game replaces the photorealistic graphics you’d see in classic golf video games with colorful 3D characters that’ll appeal to any age group.

I’d recommend trying this out if your 2P is still getting the hang of gaming in general.


29. The NEXT Tetris: Online Edition (2000)

The NEXT Tetris: Online Edition multiplayer gameplay

Who hasn’t played Tetris?

This Russian-designed falling blocks game is timeless, and The NEXT Tetris is the best way to experience this classic on the Dreamcast – especially if you manage to get online on a private server.

Even if you don’t, you can have a lot of fun going head-to-head with a friend in local multiplayer.

Like a few other games, The NEXT Tetris was released in Europe without the online component.

That was a hard pill to swallow for European gamers at the time.

But nowadays, it really doesn’t matter which one you get.


28. Hydro Thunder (1999)

Hydro Thunder gameplay Dreamcast

Hydro Thunder was one of my favorite arcade games as a kid.

I poured countless quarters into this insatiable machine – and got hours of frantic fun out of it.

The Dreamcast port of this iconic speedboat racer brings the same fast-paced action to your living room with no visual loss – even in split-screen multiplayer.

It features several fantastic futuristic speedboats to choose from and many varied levels, including the Arctic Circle, a ship graveyard, and even post-apocalyptic New York.

Each of these tracks is full of secrets and alternative routes to explore.


27. Virtua Cop 2 (2000) (JP)

Virtua Cop 2 / Japanese game screenshot

Despite the game getting localized for Western audiences on other platforms, Virtua Cop 2 was never released in English for the Dreamcast.

Don’t worry, though. The story isn’t what we’re here for. This game shines for its fantastic gameplay, which supports up to two players (as long as you’ve got the lightguns).

You’ll make your way through three extensive levels shooting criminals with extreme prejudice and battle a challenging boss at the end of each stage.

There are plenty of objects to destroy in the background for power-ups and extra points.


26. Outtrigger (2001)

Outtrigger Dreamcast gameplay

Outtrigger is a criminally underrated first and third-person shooter revolving around the Interforce counter-terrorist organization and their hunt for terrorists worldwide.

The game’s split-screen multiplayer lets you and up to three friends choose between four unique characters.

Each character has their own type of gun, heavy artillery, and grenades – and you can create a custom loadout by mixing and matching them.

The North American release of Outtrigger featured a full-fledged online component as well.

This was removed for the European version of the game – but you should still get it for the engaging local multiplayer.


25. Armada (1999)

Armada Dreamcast game

Armada is a unique team-based shoot-em-up that introduces interesting RPG elements to the formula.

It follows you and up to three friends as you fly across the stars hunting down ships from the Armada – a mysterious fleet of aliens who destroyed the Earth hundreds of years before the start of the game.

This shooter can be played as a single-player adventure, but it really shines with a full squad.

And you can focus on clearing the main quests to work your way up to the final boss, or have fun exploring this sci-fi open world. It’s all good.


24. Cannon Spike (2000)

Cannon Spike gameplay screenshot

Named after Cammy’s special move from Street Fighter, Cannon Spike is a unique 3D multi-directional shooter starring many famous Capcom characters.

These include Arthur from Ghosts’ n Goblins, Baby Bonnie Hood from Darkstalkers, and the world-famous MegaMan. They all have their own unique move sets and special attacks, so there’s a lot to try before you’re through with this game.

The single-player campaign isn’t anything special, but playing through it with a P2 is a whole other story.

It’s pretty chaotic, but nothing beats raining fire down on hordes of enemies with a trusted gaming companion.


23. Wacky Races: Starring Dastardly and Muttley (2000)

Wacky Races: Starring Dastardly and Muttley gameplay

This next game on our list is based on a really old-school animation series by Hanna-Barbera where several unusual characters compete in – wait for it – Wacky Races.

Hardly anyone remembers the show nowadays (unless you grew up with it).

After all, it aired back in 1968.

But this Dreamcast game captures its magic and adds some of its own magic, too.

Up to four players can choose one of eleven characters with sleek-looking cars and unique abilities to race over 22 tracks set in landscapes like the Wild West and Mount Rushmore.

Of all the playable vehicles, my favorite is the Mean Machine – operated by the titular villains Dastardly and Muttley, who you might know from their own 1969 show.


22. Bomberman Online (2001)

Bomberman Online screenshot

Bomberman seems to be on every single gaming platform ever created, and the Dreamcast is no exception.

Bomberman Online revolutionized the series by adding online multiplayer.

Still, that’s hardly its main appeal.

The game looks absolutely gorgeous to this day, and it features five unique multiplayer modes that give it some serious replay value.

These include the Battleship-inspired Submarine Rule, and Panel Paint Rule, where you use bombs to paint the playing field in your colors.


21. Star Wars Episode I Racer (2000)

Star Wars Episode I Racer gameplay screenshot

Not everyone likes Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – but if there’s one thing about that film nobody can resist, it’s pod racing.

Star Wars Episode I Racer brings the hazardous sport from the Boonta Eve Classic to the comfort of your living room with solid visuals and even better gameplay.

Driving fast without blowing out your engine is only half of the battle. The real challenge lies in keeping your pod racer in one piece.

There’s a time to make a mad dash for the finish line and a time to slow down for repairs.

This two-player racer is the best-selling sci-fi racing game of all time – surpassing big names in the genre such as Wipeout and F-Zero.


20. Toy Commander (1999)

Toy Commander Dreamcast gameplay

Kids love to create epic scenes in their imaginative minds starring their toys.

Toy Commander on the Dreamcast brings the magic of child’s play to your home console.

The game features several multiplayer modes such as Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.

Each competition occurs in a different area of the house, and up to four players can choose between several toy military vehicles to pilot – including tanks and biplanes.

Despite its steep learning curve, the game is great fun once everyone’s gotten the hang of it.

The visuals are crisp, the environments are inventive, and it’s an excellent way to re-connect with your inner child.


19. The House of the Dead 2 (1999)

The House of the Dead 2 Dreamcast screenshot

We’ve all played The House of the Dead in arcades at some point.

But if you’ve got the lightguns, it can be even better to play it at home with a friend.

The House of the Dead 2 was one of the big-name launch titles that helped the Dreamcast make a splash on release.

The graphics are phenomenal, and gameplay remains just as fluid as it was in arcades.

Moreover, it features some modes not available in the original, including a challenging Boss Rush.

Whether you’re trying to beat a high score or discover all of the branching paths in the campaign, this game will give you and a trusted zombie-killing companion many hours of fun.


18. Sonic Shuffle (2000)

Sonic Shuffle Dreamcast gameplay

Sonic Shuffle is Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario Party – and it can be just as good, as long as you have a little bit of patience.

This party game has Sonic and his friends moving around game boards and playing mini-games precisely the same way you would in Mario Party.

Regrettably, the lengthy loading times and inadequately explained mini-games can put a wrench in your enjoyment of the only real party game on the Dreamcast.

Still, once you and your friends get used to it, there are hours of fun waiting for you in Sonic Shuffle.


17. Ready to Rumble Boxing: Round 2 (2000)

Ready to Rumble Boxing: Round 2 gameplay

I’ve always loved games that include iconic real-life celebrities as playable characters.

It’s such a 90s thing to do!

Ready to Rumble Boxing: Round 2 takes this concept to the next level by letting you play as legendary pop singer Michael Jackson and professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, among others.

While not mentioned by name, the characters Mr. President and First Lady are modeled after Bill and Hillary Clinton, respectively.

After the whole Monica Lewinsky deal, I’m sure Mrs. Clinton would’ve enjoyed a few rounds of Ready to Rumble Boxing against her husband.


16. Tennis 2K2 (2001)

Tennis 2K2 Dreamcast game

There are two fantastic tennis games on the Dreamcast:

Virtua Tennis, and its sequel, Tennis 2K2.

While many people focus on the first game, I prefer Tennis 2K2 for its increased realism and slightly upgraded graphics.

It features 16 real world-class tennis players like Ai Sugiyama, Monica Seles, and Patrick Rafter.

You may not recognize them anymore, but these were pretty big names in the tennis world back in the day.

You can choose to go head-to-head against your gaming rival or organize a doubles tournament with three couch athletes.


15. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (1999)

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Dreamcast gameplay screenshot

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the ultimate 2D fighter on the Dreamcast – as long as none of your friends is a crazy veteran who’s memorized each and every combo in the game.

Believe me, I’m surrounded by button-mashing junkies.

Even so, I love watching some of my favorite video-game characters like Jill Valentine and Morrigan duke it out with big names in the comic book industry, such as The Hulk and War Machine.

Other than the crisp graphics and fantastic jazzy soundtrack, the game also shines for its massive 56 character roster.


14. Dead or Alive 2 (2000)

Dead or Alive 2 Dreamcast gameplay

Dead or Alive is famous for many reasons, ranging from its unique fighting style to the luscious ladies that make up most of the cast.

And the Dreamcast’s powerful hardware allowed DoA2 to shine in all its glory.

The colors are vivid, the animations are fluid, and every character looks like they just woke up from a beauty nap.

The stages are also a highlight.

They’re dynamic and often multi-tiered, meaning you can strike your opponent so hard, you’ll send them flying into a different area.

This is the perfect alternative to classic button mashers like Marvel vs. Capcom.

Its unique fighting style will put you on equal grounds with your fighter-obsessed friends, making for a balanced and enjoyable multiplayer session.


13. Quake III Arena (2000)

Quake III Arena gameplay on Dreamcast

Quake III Arena was one of the first online arena shooters to reach mainstream gaming, thanks to its impressive visuals and polished gameplay.

Among other things, it introduced much more dynamic movement thanks to strafe-jumping and rocket-jumping.

While getting online nowadays requires jumping through some hoops, you can still enjoy the four-player split-screen multiplayer easily as long as you have the controllers.

It features classic modes like Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All, and Capture the Flag.


12. Unreal Tournament (2001)

Unreal Tournament Dreamcast gameplay

Only one other shooter on the Dreamcast can stand head-to-head with Quake III Arena, and that’s Unreal Tournament.

This incredible first-person arena shooter plays like a dream and looks like one too.

It features unique weapons and plenty of stages designed strategically around pick-up item placement. There’s stuff like Body Armor and Damage Amplifiers scattered around the maps, but going for them without thinking it through will end with a bullet through your digital skull.

The game was well-known for its online component, but local multiplayer is just as good.


11. Gauntlet Legends (2000)

Gauntlet Legends Dreamcast gameplay screenshot

Dungeon crawling with friends never gets old.

And neither does Gauntlet Legends.

This fantasy hack-and-slash was the 2000s equivalent of getting together to play Diablo III over some beers.

Up to four players can explore treacherous lands, raid dank caves, and kill as many ghoulish creatures as time allows.

The game was also released on the N64 and PlayStation, but only the Dreamcast had the processing power to deliver arcade-perfect graphics.

It also features two new levels, remixes others, and introduces us to two new characters: the Jester and Pojo the Chicken.


10. Ikaruga (2002) (JP)

Ikaruga JP Exclusive gameplay for Dreamcast

One of the most unusual shoot-em-ups to make its way to the Dreamcast is Ikaruga, Treasure’s spiritual sequel to Radiant Silvergun (1998).

What makes Ikaruga so unique is how it mixes shoot-em-up action with puzzle-like gameplay through your ship’s changing polarity system.

One polarity lets you absorb black bullets, while the other resists white ones – and you’ll need to switch between them efficiently if you’re to make it through the game.

Ikaruga’s single-player is fantastic, but flying through its five stages with a friend is an exceptional experience.

It was only released in Japan, but you don’t really need to understand the language to enjoy this iconic shoot-em-up.


9. San Francisco Rush 2049 (2000)

San Francisco Rush 2049 screenshot

The sequel to Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA does away with all pretensions of realism in favor of a wacky sci-fi setting and pure, unadulterated fun.

It features wild and exciting levels, flashy graphics, and a fantastic breakbeat/drum & bass soundtrack that flawlessly complements the high-speed action.

This port on the Dreamcast allows up to four players to race in split-screen, without worrying about any loss in visual fidelity.

Basically, this game is arcade-perfect in every mode.


8. Soulcalibur (1999)

Soulcalibur Dreamcast game

Soulcalibur was one of the most influential launch titles on the Dreamcast.

It features improved graphics superior to the arcade original, which played a significant role in hyping Sega’s new console.

You may have tried this excellent 3D fighter on other platforms – but the Dreamcast version is the only one to include Cervantes, a maleficent pirate who’s become one of the series’ most beloved characters.

It may not have the in-depth character customization of the last few entries in the series.

But the great combat mechanics and attention to detail were all there from the beginning.


7. Samba de Amigo (2000)

Samba de Amigo gameplay

Most people know Sonic Team for, well, Sonic games.

But their fantastic rhythm party game Samba de Amigo was one of the best titles on the Dreamcast.

There’s nothing quite like watching your friends and loved ones shake their maracas around to the beat of 90s hit Latin American songs like Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.

The maraca controllers were pretty innovative and helped everyone get into the right mindset for this ridiculous rhythm game.

Along with swinging your maracas to the beat of the music, the game also features several fun mini-games like Guacamole (Whack-a-Mole) and Strike A Pose.


6. Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 (2001)

Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 / Dreamcast screenshot

One of the Dreamcast’s biggest draws back in the day was Phantasy Star Online – and Ver. 2 is the best way to experience this classic MMORPG.

There are all kinds of missions, including fetch quests, hunting, and epic battles against overpowered bosses you’d have trouble defeating by yourself.

Fortunately, you could go online and enlist the help of fellow adventurers.

This updated version includes new equipment, weapons, missions, and monsters. There are even two entirely new areas to explore!

PSO is a piece of gaming history that revolutionized console gaming as we know it.


5. Ooga Booga (2001)

Ooga Booga gameplay Dreamcast

If you’re looking for a unique experience you can only get on the Dreamcast, Ooga Booga is definitely one way to go.

This action/fighting game pits four witch doctors against each other for the Volcano Goddess’ favor.

To prove themselves, they’ll smack each other with shamanic sticks, throw shrunken head grenades, and ride boars to victory.

Other than the base characters – Hottie, Fatty, Twitchy, and Hoodoo – the game features a fair amount of unlockable characters, including the witch doctor version of Abraham Lincoln.

The game was prominent as an online multiplayer pioneer, but it can also be enjoyed locally by up to four players.


4. Re-Volt (1999)

Re-Volt Dreamcast gameplay screenshot

There’s something about driving tiny RC cars that makes it orders of magnitude more fun than full-sized ones.

And that’s certainly true in this title.

Re-Volt lets up to four players race through gigantic (in comparison) environments such as museums, construction sites, and supermarkets.

While racing is definitely fun, the best part about Re-Volt is the Battle Tag mode – a hybrid between tag and hot potato that’ll get you and your friends riled up as few other games can.

There’s also a Stunt Arena and a Time Trial mode for when your friends aren’t around.


3. Worms Armageddon (1999)

Worms Armageddon Dreamcast gameplay

Worms never gets old.

This turn-based tactical shooter brings together appealing cartoony graphics, fantastic humor, and brain-teasing gameplay that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

And it’s worth mentioning that this game has near-infinite replayability.

The inherent chaos of each match means no two games play out the same way.

Worms also supports deep rule customization, allowing you to create new and exciting “modes” when you need a change of pace.

The best part? You only need one controller to pass around your whole squad!


2. ChuChu Rocket! (2000)

ChuChu Rocket! Dreamcast screenshot

One of the most unique and engaging multiplayer puzzle games you’ll find on the Dreamcast is ChuChu Rocket!

The game’s goal is to guide a group of mice – or ChuChus – toward a rocket by placing down directional arrows to help them find their way.

It may sound simple on paper, but when you’ve got three other players guiding their own mice and a bunch of KapuKapus (cats) trying to eat them, it becomes absolute mayhem.

Multiplayer is actually pretty strategic too, as it involves wrestling prime real estate from your fellow players to place your arrows.


1. Power Stone 2 (2000)

Power Stone 2 Dreamcast game screenshot

Just like the N64 had Super Smash Bros., the Dreamcast had Power Stone 2.

This frenetic fighting game pits four friends against one another in a 3D arena.

You can move wherever you want and hit whoever you want with whichever of the 120 different items you prefer. These include weapons, vehicles, power-ups, and more.

They may not be as famous as SSB’s crossover characters.

But PW2 features a wealth of diverse wacky fighters, including the gypsy dancer Rogue, the evil chef Gourmand, and the pristine princess Julia Whitepearl.

And if you’ve never played this before, one great way to assure your victory over your friends is to grab all three Power Stones as they appear – making you unstoppable for a little while.

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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.