Back on this famous day in 1999 in the United States the SEGA Dreamcast arrived, now 16 years later on, it remains a classic system still with support from indie developers and a strong fan base.
I want to celebrate the console and its 16th birthday, not with a super sweet-sixteen birthday party on MTV but with a few articles spread out on some famous dates of the system.
I’m starting it all off with what makes any system great and that’s games, the DC has over 600 games spread over the main three gaming regions. Europe got 216 official retail games over about a 19 month period, I myself own 189 of those 216 games as you may or may not know I’m a bit fan of the console.
That’s a fair few games with most being top-class but there is the odd piece of trash in there like any system, I’m not going to go through all 216 games and which is good and which is bad but my personal Top 25 sort of.
It was hard to get it down to 25 games but here they are but not in any sort of rank but alphabetical order, starting with…
Genre: Puzzle Developed by: Sonic Team Available also on: GBA, iOS & Droid Gamerankings: 85.62%
Most Dreamcast owners will be familiar with this puzzle title which was one of the first online multiplayer games on a home console not just that, it also allowed for user created content to be uploaded & shared all over the world.
Crazy Taxi 1 & 2
Genre: Arcade Developed by: Hitmaker Available also on: Crazy Taxi PS2, GameCube, PC, XBLA, PSN, iOS & Droid and The Dreamcast Collection on Xbox 360 & PC. Crazy Taxi 2 PSP Gamerankings: Crazy Taxi 90.19% & Crazy Taxi 2 83.12%
It’s time to make some crazy money in this simple but addictive arcade romp whilst listening to a stellar soundtrack featuring The Offspring. The first as you can tell from the Gamerankings is the better of the two games.
Daytona USA 2001
Genre: Racer Developed by: Genki Available also on: Nothing Gamerankings: 83.48%
More arcade fun with a more traditional racer which on the Dreamcast added a championship mode along with new tracks
Dead or Alive 2
Genre: Fighter Developed by: Team Ninja Available also on: PS2 and Ultimate Edition on Xbox Gamerankings: 91.37%
With mind-blowing graphics at the time, this was one of the best 3D fighters around and still holds up well today.
Genre: JRPG Developed by: Game Arts Available also on: PS2, PC Gamerankings: 88.81%
The Dreamcast didn’t get many JRPG’s but if you are looking for one, then this is one of the best examples around with a unique combat system that has been used in Child of Light. The game has recently got an anniversary version on PC which you use your game saves of a VMU in.
Genre: Action Adventure Developed by: Amuze Available also on: PS2 Gamerankings: 85.00%
The nearest thing to Metal Gear Solid on the Dreamcast without actually playing MGS on the Dreamcast.
Jet Set Radio
Genre: Adventure Sports Developed by: Smilebit Available also on: GBA, PSN, PC, XBLA, iOS & Droid Gamerankings: 91.90%
A unique game that I could have put almost anything as the genre and it would fit in some way, this at the timewas a revolutionary game with its cel-shading that it still looks great today.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes & 2: New Age of Heroes
Genre: Fighter Developed by: Capcom Available also on: MvC PS1, PSN, XBLA. MvC2 PS2, Xbox, PSN, XBLA & iOS Gamerankings: MvC 80.13% & MvC2 90.15%
Marvel vs. Capcom is good but its sequel blew it out of the water with 56 playable characters in what has to be one of, if not the best 2D fighter ever made.
Genre: Action Adventure Developed by: Bioware Available also on: PS2, PC, WiiWare Gamerankings: 88.08%
Bioware might be more famous now for their Mass Effect Trilogy then MDK2 but everyone has to start somewhere and this was my first taste of their games.
Genre: Puzzle Developed by: Namco Available also on: PS1, PC, GameBoy Color Gamerankings: 82.08%
A simple premise you dig down as far you can go in this strange but fun puzzler.
MSR: Metropolis Street Racer
Genre: Racer Developed by: Bizarre Creations Available also on: Nothing Gamerankings: 88.59%
I say this is on nothing else but this inspired Bizarre’s other racing series PGR: Project Gotham Racing with the Kudos system for instance along with how the game played.
NBA 2K & 2K2, NHL 2K
Genre: Sports Developed by: Visual Concepts Available also on: Only NBA 2K2 on PS2, Xbox & GameCube Gamerankings: NBA 2K 88.30% NBA 2K2 92.82% NHL2K 75.98%
The Dreamcast never got any games from EA which meant it missed out on their sports line-up but with SEGA’s deal with Visual Concepts brought some excellent American-Sports games to the system and they continue to do so under 2K banner.
Phantasy Star Online & Version 2
Genre: MMORPG Developed by: Sonic Team Available also on: Xbox, GameCube, PC Gamerankings: Ver1 89.88% Ver2 83.96%
PSO came out in the Europe in 2001 and now 14 years later MMO’s are only just starting too really come to consoles. PSO like the console it originate on was ahead of its time and is still played today on private servers.
Power Stone & Power Stone 2
Genre: Fighter Developed by: Capcom Available also on: PSP Gamerankings: PS 83.13% PS2 86.99%
Like Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros this isn’t a fighter in a traditional sense as its 1-4 players and has an almost birds eye view of an area where the fights take place. The second is the game to go for as it has up to 4 players and an adventure mode.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Shinji Mikami other games
Genre: Survival Horror Developed by: Capcom Available also on: PS2, GameCube, PSN & XBLA Gamerankings: 93.79%
Code Veronica when it launched was a big deal as it was a new Resident Evil and at the time exclusive to SEGA’s Dreamcast with visuals that put everything else at the time to shame. Many people myself included took notice of the Dreamcast thanks to this game due to it being the true sequel to Resident Evil 2. Speaking of Resident Evil 2 that along with two other Shinji Mikami produced games Resident Evil 3 and Dino Crisis are also available on the Dreamcast.
Genre: On Rails Shooter & Rhythm Developed by: United Game Artists Available also on: PS2, XBLA Gamerankings: 81.54% (PS2 Version)
This may be more famous for a certain peripheral which you used with the PS2 version of the game but even without it remains, one of the most unique games around.
Shenmue & Shenmue II
Genre: Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment Developed by: AM2 Available also on: Shenmue II Xbox with Shenmue as a Movie Gamerankings: Shenmue 89.34% Shenmue II 89.63%
At the start of this I said there would be no ranking but if there was then Yu Suzuki’s master pieces would be Number 1, now let’s find some sailors.
Skies of Arcadia
Genre: JRPG Developed by: Overworks Available also on: GameCube Gamerankings: 90.59%
Okay it’s not sailors its air pirates in what is, part from Grandia II the only other top JRPG on the system. Which even had a mini game for the VMU when on the go.
Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
Genre: Platformer Developed by: Sonic Team Available also on: Sonic Adventure GameCube, PC, XBLA, PSN and The Dreamcast Collection on 360 & PC. Sonic Adventure 2 GameCube, PSN, XBLA & PCGamerankings: SA 86.51% SA2 83.26%
Even though it has the lower score on Gamerankings Sonic Adventure 2 remains my favourite and one of the best 3D Sonic’s made. If you do own a Dreamcast and not collecting then avoid Sonic Shuffle.
Genre: Fighter Developed by: Namco Available also on: XBLA, iOS and Droid Gamerankings: 96.56%
There isn’t many times when you get a fighter come out and its better looking then its arcade version due to what is normally limited console hardware but then SoulCalibur came along at launch of the Dreamcast to show what the system could do. Not many launch games are impressive as this or still stand the test of time.
Space Channel 5
Genre: Rhythm Developed by: United Game Artists Available also on: GBA & PS2 Gamerankings: 84.22%
The Dreamcast is home to many of unique title but none are as successful as Space Channel 5 starring reporter Ulala. The game didget a sequel which if you live in the EU and don’t want to shell out about £60 on a Japanese import for the Dreamcast, it was released on the PS2 and PC, XBLA, PSN & the Dreamcast Collection.
Street Fighter 3’s
Genre: Fighter Developed by: Capcom Available also on: Alpha 3 PS1, Saturn, GBA, PSP, PSN and PS2 as part of Alpha Anthology. Double Impact Nothing. Third Strike PSN & XBLA and Xbox as part of the Anniversary Collection. Gamerankings: Alpha 3 86.48%, Double Impact 79.90%, Third Strike 80.61%
Alpha 3 is very different to the other two Street Fighter’s on the Dreamcast as from the name it’s based on the Alpha series and is very good that it’s one of the only Street Fighters, I like. If you can afford it and due to online not being a selling point for the Dreamcast then get the game on the Saturn. The other two Street Fighters are similar Double Impact remains the only console version of Street Fighter III alongside Second Impact that you can guess what Third Strike is, the third attempt at Street Fighter III.
The House of the Dead 2
Genre: On Rails Shooter Developed by: WOW Entertainment Available also on: PC, Wii and Xbox via House of the Dead III Gamerankings: 76.78%
One of my favourite arcade experiences on the Dreamcast with the Light Gun accessory.
Tony Hawk's Skateboarding & Pro Skater 2
Genre: Sports Developed by: Treyarch Available also on: Tony Hawk Skateboarding PS1, N64, GameBoy Color, N-Gage. Pro Skater 2 PS1, PC, GameBoy Color, GBA, N64. Gamerankings: Skateboarding 94.00% Pro Skater 2 94.86%
As you can see both score highly and higher then there PS1 counterparts as unlike a few ports over to the Dreamcast the game’s uses the power of the system, that’s why Pro Skater 2 on the Dreamcast remains the best Tony Hawk game there has been.
Virtua Tennis 1 & 2
Genre: Sports Developed by: AM3 & Hitmaker Available also on: VT GBA, PC & N-Gage. VT2 PS2. Gamerankings: VT 91.73% VT2 87.22%
The many reason this is here part from being a great arcade tennis game is the fact like two others on this list you can play the first with the fishing rod that the Dreamcast has a motion controlled tennis game before the Wii.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 25 and if you don’t have a Dreamcast then you do check them out on any other system there available on.