• The Sega Dreamcast was a highly ambitious console, featuring innovative features that set it apart from other consoles of its era.
  • The console had an impressive library of games that still hold up well today, showcasing the hardware and pushing boundaries.
  • The Dreamcast is often seen as a failure, but for those who owned one, it was an incredible piece of hardware with innovative features and a robust library of games that excelled in multiple genres.

Released right at the end of the twentieth century, the Sega Dreamcast was one of the most ambitious video game consoles of all time. It boasted many innovative and state-of-the-art features, which ultimately helped to earn the console a very special place in the hearts of many gamers.


Things The Dreamcast Did That Were Way Ahead Of Its Time

The Dreamcast may not have had a lot of success in comparison to other consoles, but in many ways, it was ahead of its time.

As well as being a console that was years ahead of its time, the Dreamcast also boasted an incredible library of games, many of which still hold up surprisingly well to this day. The best Dreamcast games found ways to push the hardware to its limits, not to mention the boundaries of what many thought possible at the time.

Updated January 27, 2024, by Tom Bowen: For those who never got to experience it in person, the Dreamcast is typically seen as a failure and the reason why Sega was forced to bow out of the home console market. For anybody who owned one, though, the Dreamcast was more likely regarded as an incredible piece of hardware that brought with it a slew of innovative new features and ideas and a small, yet surprisingly robust library of games. The best Dreamcast games left a lasting impression on players and are a big part of the reason why many people see Sega’s swansong system as one of the best video game consoles ever made.

13 Phantasy Star Online

Metacritic Rating: 89 (Dreamcast)

Turn based combat on Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast

When MMORPGs began gaining popularity in the mid to late nineties, they were very much a PC thing. At that time, most consoles couldn’t even connect to the internet, let alone do so in a way that would allow players to team up with people all over the world. The Dreamcast changed all that though, with Phantasy Star Online serving as the very first console-based MMORPG.

Though the game was a little rough around the edges and lacked many of the features and mechanics that one might expect from a modern MMORPG, it was still an incredibly impressive achievement for the time. The game garnered a small but loyal fanbase, with some still playing the game even to this day with the help of special custom servers.


Phantasy Star Online

December 21, 2000

12 Power Stone 2

Metacritic Rating: 87 (Dreamcast)

Cult Fighting Games- Power Stone 2

1999 saw the release of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, which helped to define the now popular platform fighter sub-genre. It wasn’t the only popular platform fighter released that year though, with Capcom’s first Power Stone game hitting arcades just a few weeks after Super Smash Bros‘ Japanese release and arriving on the Dreamcast just a week or so later.

Power Stone proved to be so popular that a sequel was released the following year, bringing with it a number of new mechanics and features. Though the series effectively died with the second game, both titles were immensely popular with Dreamcast players and performed incredibly well with critics, comfortably beating out Super Smash Bros. on sites like GameRankings and Metacritic.


Power Stone 2
Capcom , Eidos Interactive

April 27, 2000

11 Metropolis Street Racer

Metacritic Rating: 87 (Dreamcast)


Metropolis Street Racer is a game that oozes style at every opportunity it gets. Its innovative Kudos system encourages players to drive with passion and flair, while its free roam mode served as one of the racing genre’s earliest examples of open-world driving.

The game was developed by Bizarre Creations, who would go on to be responsible for the Project Gotham Racing series on Xbox. MSR is not only one of the best street racing games ever made but also one of the most underrated gems in the Dreamcast’s incredible library.


Metropolis Street Racer
Bizarre Creations

November 3, 2000

10 Ikaruga

Metacritic Rating: 85 (GameCube)


There were a few fantastic shmups on the Dreamcast, with Bangai-O and Gunbird 2 being some of the more notable examples. However, neither could quite compare to Ikaruga, which serves as the spiritual successor to Treasure’s Radiant Silvergun.


The Best Shmups For Newcomers To The Genre

Shoot ’em ups, or “shmups,” can be a hard genre to get into due to their difficulty. These titles are perfect for new players trying their hand.

One of the many things that set Ikaruga apart is its innovative polarity system, with every enemy and projectile being either black or white in color. Players can change the polarity of their ship, allowing them to absorb one particular color rather than being damaged by it.



Treasure, Sega, ESP, Atari

April 15, 2003

9 Crazy Taxi

GameRankings Score: 90% (Dreamcast)

crazy taxi screenshot

Both of the Crazy Taxi games on the Dreamcast are fantastic due to how fun they are to play. A big part of this is down to the games’ soundtracks, with The Offspring featuring prominently throughout the Dreamcast versions of both titles.

Although the second game does get a few extra mini-games and a bit more polish here and there, the soundtrack of the original just about gives it the edge. Players can’t really go wrong with either title though, as both still hold up surprisingly well today.

Crazy Taxi

Crazy Taxi

February 12, 1999

8 Sonic Adventure 2

Metacritic Rating: 89 (Dreamcast)

Shadow and Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2

Contrary to what many people believe, there were actually a few 3D Sonic games before Sonic Adventure, but it was the Dreamcast launch title that finally got the formula right. Granted, it’s no Mario 64, but it’s still a fantastic platformer with a unique approach to storytelling.

Sonic Adventure 2 took everything that made the original game great and improved it, introducing new mechanics, characters, and concepts to great effect. Even the Chao Garden mini-game got a complete overhaul, with the introduction of Hero and Dark Chaos.

Sonic Adventure 2

Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Team USA

June 19, 2001

7 Rez

Metacritic Rating: 89 (PC)


Rhythm games were all the rage around the turn of the century, but producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi was keen to innovate rather than imitate. This led to the creation of Rez, a musical rail shooter like nothing else that had ever come before it.

The game is visually stunning and a lot of fun to play through even today. There are arguably much better ways to experience it than on the Dreamcast though, with the PS VR2 version being particularly impressive when it comes to its ability to trigger Synesthesia in players.


United Game Artists

November 22, 2001

GameRankings Score: 90% (Dreamcast)

Ryu shooting a beam at Chun-Li in Marvel vs Capcom 2

Though most of the best Dreamcast games came courtesy of Sega, Capcom was responsible for its fair share as well. Power Stone and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica​​​​​​ are great examples of this, as too is Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.

Released in the year 2000, the crossover fighting game looks fantastic and features a wide range of playable characters. It also introduces three-on-three battles as well as a newly revamped assist system that would later go on to inspire several other popular fighting games.

marvel capcom 2 cropped

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Capcom, Backbone Entertainment

Capcom, Virgin Interactive

June 29, 2000

5 Jet Set Radio

GameRankings Score: 92% (Dreamcast)


Although Dreamcast players did have access to the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games, Jet Set Radio holds the crown when it comes to the best sports games on Dreamcast. With its carefully curated soundtrack and its stylish cell-shaded visuals, it’s a game that is incredibly difficult to ignore.

Inspired by Japanese rhythm games and anti-establishment ideologies, the game has players spraying graffiti and challenging rival gangs as they skate their way around Tokyo’s Shibuya and Shinjuku wards. It proved to be a massive hit both in Japan and overseas, leading to the release of a sequel for the original Xbox.


Jet Set Radio
Smilebit , BlitWorks

October 31, 2000

4 Skies of Arcadia

Metacritic Rating: 93 (Dreamcast)

Aika and Vyse in Skies Of Arcadia

There are quite a few RPGs available for the Dreamcast, but not too many that really stand the test of time. Phantasy Star Online and Grandia 2 are among those that are still worth checking out, though neither should ever be played before the excellent Skies of Arcadia​​​.


Every Dreamcast Game With More Than One Disc

The Dreamcast’s GD-ROM discs were much smaller than a standard DVD, leading to many Dreamcast games coming on more than one disc.

Developed internally at Sega, the game tells the story of a young sky pirate named Vyse and has players attempting to stop an evil empire from reviving a race of ancient weapons known as Gigas. It’s one of the best RPGs of all time and tops many people’s lists of games that desperately deserve a sequel.

skies of arcadia

Skies of Arcadia

January 27, 2003

3 SoulCalibur

GameRankings Score: 97% (Dreamcast)


Virtua Fighter 3 is a great game, but it is not the best fighting game on the Dreamcast. That honor goes to SoulCalibur, which served as a launch title for Sega’s sixth-generation console and remains one of the most highly-rated games on Metacritic with a Metascore of 98.

SoulCalibur gets just about everything right and the Dreamcast version is arguably the best way to experience it. The eight-way run allows players to move in eight different directions rather than just moving horizontally along the third axis, providing a sense of depth that no other 3D fighting game of the era could come close to matching.




September 9, 1999

2 Shenmue

GameRankings Score: 89% (Dreamcast)


When the first Shenmue game was released in 1999 there was nothing else quite like it. The attention to detail that went into crafting the game’s world really was quite astounding, as too were the cutting-edge visuals and the incredibly ambitious nature of the innovative Yu Suzuki project.

Shenmue helped to lay a lot of the groundwork for modern-day open-world games, while also popularizing things like day/night cycles, in-game mini-games, and the use of quick-time events. The second game was arguably even better, though never received a North American Dreamcast release due to the console’s untimely demise.


November 7, 2000

1 Shenmue 2

GameRankings Score: 90% (Dreamcast)

Shenmue 2

The first Shenmue game allowed players to explore Yokosuka, a small city in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture. In the sequel, though, players find themselves thrown into the sprawling streets of Hong Kong and the walled city of Kowloon that could once be found there. This shift in setting leads to a very different experience, with the cozy feelings evoked by the first game replaced by a sense of wonder, and at times, uncertainty.

Shenmue 2 also brought with it a number of quality-of-life improvements, the most notable of which being the ability to advance time automatically rather than having to wait for certain events to take place. This drastically improves the pacing of the narrative, which tends to be one of the biggest complaints that people have about the first game. It’s everything that a good video game sequel should be and many people’s top pick when it comes to the best Dreamcast game.

shenmue 2-1

Shenmue 2
November 23, 2001


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