The Dragon Ball franchise is a name that continues to ring true with fans across the globe. Its impact affected not only how audiences view anime shows, but also how anime producers would handle intense action-packed combat animations in the future.
Since its debut in 1986, Dragon Ball has garnered significant praise, but it was its sequel, Dragon Ball Z, that truly propelled the franchise to new heights. Dragon Ball Z introduced numerous groundbreaking concepts to the industry and left an indelible influence that continues to resonate to this age.
Today, Dragon Ball remains a beloved icon and is widely regarded as one of the best series of all time. With its immense popularity, it was only natural that numerous licensed games would be created under the Dragon Ball umbrella. These games have varied in their reception, with some achieving status as timeless classics, while others have had room for improvement.
So put on your scouter because this list is going to be over 9000! Prepare for a blast of the best Dragon Ball games ever made, including well-known titles and some hidden gems that might have been hiding in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 proudly stands as an everlasting masterpiece, firmly etched in the memories of fans to this day. The recent teaser for the upcoming Budokai Tenakchi 4 has only increased the fanbase’s excitement for what Bandai Namco may be working on.
Budokai Tenkaichi 3 showcased an incredible lineup of characters, boasting a staggering 161 unlockable fighters and their transformations. This feat was unheard of, as it brought together characters from the original Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and even Dragon Ball GT, making it one of the most revered DBZ games ever created. However, the game’s major flaw lies in its considerable imbalance, with weaker characters like Yamcha becoming little more than punching bags for their more powerful counterparts.
Yet, Despite this drawback, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 still holds its ground and remains a fantastic game that stands the test of time.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot serves as a shining example of how the series can thrive as an action JRPG adventure. Veterans at CyberConnect2, known for their work on the Dot Hack series and Asura’s Wrath, have skillfully captured the essence of the Dragon Ball universe, transforming it into a vast and vibrant world with tons of activity for players to explore.
Kakarot delivers everything that a true DBZ enthusiast desires. With remixed soundtracks taken directly from the original show, it immerses players in a nostalgic audio experience. Covering all the major events from the series, including those leading up to the pre-Dragon Ball Super saga, the game offers a comprehensive retelling of the beloved story. And when it comes to the battles, get ready for heart-pounding intensity as you engage in high-flying, action-packed fights that truly capture the essence of the series.
DBZ Kakarot, like any other action JRPG, offers sudden encounters that will help you grow stronger because this game encourages players to devote time to grinding in order to defeat potent adversaries. All in all, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is a great action JRPG you shouldn’t miss.
Dragon Ball FighterZ isn’t just among the best DBZ games but also stands as one of the greatest fighting games ever created. With an expansive roster boasting up to 44 playable fighters, each character brings unique powers and weaknesses to the table. However, it’s worth noting that even with the most formidable characters, lacking the necessary skills and strategies renders the player powerless.
Dragon Ball FighterZ provides a familiar experience for lovers of fighting games. And if you have a friend who is up for a fierce battle to determine who can unleash the most destructive force and maybe blow planet Earth first, this game is a must-try.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 successfully addresses the shortcomings of its already solid predecessor, resulting in the definitive version of the Xenoverse franchise. With improved mechanics, expanded content, and a more polished overall experience, it stands as the pinnacle of the series.
Only time will tell what the future of Xenoverse holds if Bandai Namco decides to give Xenoverse 3 the green light. However, fans are hoping that the franchise won’t end at three games (if you also consider Dragon Ball The Breakers), as there is still a wealth of untapped potential within the Xenoverse saga.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 corrects all of the flaws of the first two Budokai games, resulting in yet another superb 2D fighting game. If you’re looking for some nostalgia, it’s also one of the best anime games on the PS3 thanks to the HD Collection.
In this 2D fighting game that encompasses the entirety of Dragon Ball Z’s main events, players join forces with Son Goku and the Z fighters on a thrilling journey. Together, they engage in epic, high-octane fist fights, battling against a multitude of formidable adversaries who pose a grave threat to the existence of planet Earth.
Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans ventures into uncharted territory by deviating from the franchise’s trademark 2D fighting style. Instead, This unique instalment takes the form of a turn-based JRPG, a departure that is not often discussed within the Dragon Ball Z gaming community.
Despite being less known these days, it has developed a cult following, and enthusiasts would welcome a sequel in the future any day. Because there is yet unexplored potential in exploring the merging of the DBZ universe with the JRPG genre. And a powerful example is Dragon Ball Z Kakarot which illustrated that fantastic DBZ games can be created with the right team.
Dragon Ball Burst Limit, simply put, is the game you should play if you want to experience the best the Budokai series has to offer. This title serves as an improved version that combines the best aspects of all three Budokai games into one high-definition masterpiece.
With upgraded visuals, while retaining the core elements of the gameplay, Dragon Ball Burst Limit offers a refined and polished experience, allowing players to relive their favourite moments with a fresh and updated feel.
Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 offers yet another exciting way to immerse yourself in the thrilling world of the DBZ franchise. As a 3D fighter inspired by Budokai Tenkaichi 3, this game introduces players to a roster of up to 100 playable characters, some of which can only be unlocked by defeating the challenging bosses in Galaxy mode.
Both the original game and its sequel in the Budokai Tenkaichi series are outstanding 3D fighters, but the second instalment is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the saga. For those who grew up playing on the seventh generation of consoles, they are well aware of how great this game is.
Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Bûtoden is a traditional 2D fighting game that boasts an impressive roster of over 100 fighters, allowing players to engage in intense one-on-one and team battles. Staying true to the original manga, the game takes players through various memorable arcs, such as the Saiyan, Frieza, and Cell arcs and more.
Despite it being an older 2D fighter, it maintains a smooth gameplay experience thanks to its beautiful pixel art graphics, fast-paced combat and a thoroughly decent playthrough for you and your friend. It is one of the best anime games on the 3DS, and it’s worth every second of your time. That is if you can find a copy.
Among the Dragon Ball Z games released on the original PlayStation, the series hasn’t enjoyed a significant level of success. However, fortunately, Ultimate Battle 22 is widely regarded as the least flawed game in the series among all the titles available on the system.
The gameplay mechanics in Ultimate Battle 22 may require some adjustment, particularly if you are accustomed to the fast-paced nature of excellent titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Burst Limit. Additionally, the game exhibits noticeable difficulty spikes, especially when facing formidable adversaries such as Cell and Buu. It is recommended to consider playing this game only if you are specifically seeking out the best anime games available on the PS1. Otherwise, there are superior Dragon Ball Z games to explore.
Dragon Ball Origins presents a clever concept by delving into the early adventures of kid Goku, chronicling his courageous journey to gather the seven dragon balls and his endeavours to emerge victorious in the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai martial arts tournament.
Both Dragon Ball Origins games offer a top-down action-adventure experience where players control Goku as he confronts a range of adversaries and formidable bosses, utilizing various techniques. Notably, Goku has the ability to unleash a powerful Kamehameha wave after accumulating sufficient energy. It is unfortunate that these games are exclusive to the DS platform, as they possess the potential for a modern remake or a sort of action RPG sequel with improved visuals and gameplay.
Dragon Ball Z The Legacy of Goku II is one of the finest hidden gems you should check out on the GBA. This GBA-exclusive instalment, developed by Webfoot Technologies, chronicles the events of the Z fighters and their struggle to fend off the looming menace of the androids and Cell.
While Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku has its flaws, the overall concept remains intriguing. Despite its imperfections, this action RPG has a way of captivating players and drawing them into a world where they will spend countless hours battling enemies, levelling up their characters, and engaging in various activities. With its straightforward top-down gameplay, this title doesn’t demand exceptional skills to be enjoyed.
At first sight, Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors may appear to be just another 2D fighter. However, it deviates from the usual fighting game structure, though, since it is an excellent turn-based fighting game. In order to win battles, players must issue commands in a way reminiscent of classic turn-based JRPGs. This distinct gameplay technique distinguishes it from the traditional fighter genre.
Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors stands as another hidden gem within the DBZ game series. It comes highly recommended if you are seeking a refreshing break from the vast selection of 2D fighting games available.
Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo exemplifies the value of continual creativity within the Dragon Ball series, particularly in the action-adventure genre. This game successfully demonstrates how the action-adventure theme blends in with the original Dragon Ball series.
Revenge of King Piccolo is strictly a beat’em up game that plunges players into the events of the original Dragon Ball storyline, where Goku is entrusted with the mission of thwarting King Piccolo’s wicked schemes. If you enjoy the beat’em up genre, this Wii-exclusive title is highly recommended and worth giving a try.
Although Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure may not live up to its name in terms of advanced features, it still offers a satisfying 2D beat ’em-up experience. One of its greatest strengths is its accessibility, as the game is notably easy, allowing anyone to enjoy it without much difficulty.
Adding to its appeal, Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure offers an additional layer of excitement through its shoot’em up segments, where Goku mounts his flying Nimbus and engages multiple enemies on the screen while progressing towards his next destination. Furthermore, the game goes beyond featuring Goku as the sole playable character. By entering a specific code, players can unlock and access a variety of additional characters. All in all, Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure stands as one of the best anime games on the GBA.
I'm just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games. My love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and I recommend that you play it.