The Top 200 Dreamcast Games 2016

The votes are in, and our highly trained team of vote counters can finally rest and put their feet up, and so it falls to me to present to you, the Dreamcast Junkyard nation, the final results. It's been fascinating to watch the votes come in, to see little battles emerge between the great and good of the Dreamcast library as they vied for superiority and public adoration; to see new emerging favourites climb the rankings, and underrated gems fall from grace. At times, there was a very real chance that the top spot could turn out to be a massive surprise, but...well, you'll have to keep reading to see the result.

Remember you can also find the result of our recent Top 10 Indie Games vote here...but lets get on with the show.

Let's start with a few stats (I know how much you all love some stats):
304 games were officially voted for. This doesn't include the 50 or so votes I had to discard due to, erm, the games not being on the Dreamcast.

I've made a couple of changes to the format of the voting compared to the last DCJY poll, so that certain series, mainly story driven ones,  are now separated in the rankings (so for instance the Shenmues, Sonic Adventures and Power Stones are now split into their individual titles, whilst titles such as the NBA 2K series, NFL 2K series and Virtua Tennis/Power Smash are still grouped together.) Let us know on the usual social media platforms which format you prefer, so that in about 3 years when we come to compiling our next DCJY poll, we can totally forget about your feedback and do something completely different anyway. In all seriousness, we do welcome any comments.

33 entries from the last poll drop out completely, with 23 new entries. The discrepancy in these numbers reflect the change to some series entries (so for instance the 2 Sonic Adventure titles were 1 entry, and are now 2)

52 different games gained a vote for 'Best Dreamcast Game', and at the end of the poll there's a brief look at these (I don't want to spoil anything by declaring those results now!)

85 entries were released in all 3 territories; 47 were PAL/US releases, 19 Japanese/US releases and 3 were PAL/Japanese releases; there were also 32 Japanese exclusives, 7 US exclusives, 3 PAL exclusives, 3 Indie releases and 1 Unreleased title (you'll have to read on to find out what that is).

The years listed below are the year the first DC release of a game. If an entry is for a series then all years will be listed, but for the numerous games with a delayed released in 1 or more regions, the earliest year will be listed. It makes it easier to present some more stats at the end of this Poll (I do love stats...).

Enough with the stats! Without further ado, here are the Top 200 Dreamcast Games 2016 - as voted by YOU!


200: TEST DRIVE 6
New Entry
US Exclusive
1999 Infogrames

So we start with a classic.... well, maybe not quite, but Test Drive 6 clearly has it's fans out there, which helps it sneak into the Top 200. Never leaving the US, despite being created by a British developer, this arcade racer is notable for long city tracks, a healthy selection of real world cars, an electro-nu-metal soundtrack (complete with video for the Fear Factory/Gary Numan version of 'Cars') and unfortunately some pretty bad slowdown. The Police chase elements are good fun though.

199: TRIGGER HEART EXELICA
74 places down
Japanese Exclusive - JPN origin
2007 Warashi

A bit of a drop in the rankings for Warashi's 2007 Shmup, notable for being one of the last officially licensed Dreamcast releases, and for it's 'anchoring' game mechanic, where you can capture enemy craft and use them as a makeshift shield of fling them off into the enemy as a projectile. This Japanese exclusive, originally a NAOMI arcade release, is not the best of the genre on the Dreamcast, but remains popular with collectors and gamers alike. 

198: UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
11 places down
Released in all regions
2000 Crave / Ubi Soft

Anchor's mixed martial arts game received a mixed bag of review scores upon release, with some praising the intricate fighting mechanics of the ever popular combat sport, and others wondering what the hell happened when they lost 5 matches in a row within about 3 seconds. Great customisation options allow you to believe you too can be the Ultimate Fighting champion, but more than likely you'll get your face pounded to a bloody pulp.

197: SEGA BASS FISHING 2
(Get Bass 2 in Japan)
80 places down
Japanese and US release
2001 SEGA

A big drop down the ratings for this Bass fishing sequel, as we see our first Sega game this year. The original game made fishing cool (well, sort of), but with the follow up Sega went for a slightly more realistic approach which didn't quite recapture the magic. It's still a decent game in a genre which has a sizeable Dreamcast library, and there's still something quite special about sitting back with the DC fishing controller in hand to engage in a bit of digital fishing.

196: BUST-A-MOVE 4
released in Japan as 'Puzzle Bobble 4'
91 places down
Released in all regions
2000 Acclaim/Taito

Where has all the love gone for Bust-A-Move? The classic puzzle series appearance on the DC wasn't a groundbreaking gaming experience with dozens of innovative additions, but you can't mess with a format that's proven so popular and durable too much. Once described to me as 'Imagine a bubble based pool game with no cues or balls, and lot's of people getting really close to their TV sets to draw a line on the screen to make sure their shot will have the right angle off the side', which, to be fair, wasn't too far off - although why someone decided to explain the concept of the game to me whilst waiting in a queue in Tesco is beyond me. 

195: SEGA WORLDWIDE SOCCER 2000 series
(Sega Worldwide Soccer 2000 / Sega Worldwide Soccer 2000 Euro Edition)
New Entry
PAL exclusive
1999/2000 SEGA

In the absence of a decent FIFA or PES game, we got this, which at the time caused a not inconsiderate amount of angst, especially amongst spotty European teenagers who were forced to have to play good sports games instead. I shouldn't be too harsh on the SWWS games, as Silicon Dreams really did nearly deliver the game we deserved, especially with the Euro Edition release, and the good control and fast paced gameplay, especially with a couple of players, makes up for the lack of finesse in the mechanics. The award for best Soccer game on the DC, however, goes elsewhere...

194: ROOMMANIA #203
20 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 SEGA

This quirky Japanese exclusive retains it's place in the poll this year, which if anything shows DC gamers aren't afraid to try something outside of the box. As Aaron stated in the last DCJY poll, the game consists of you playing an unseen deity invading the life of an average, layabout Japanese man in a crappy apartment and attempting to get his life back on track by whatever means necessary. You spend most of the time watching his rather boring existence, but can interact by moving objects, turning things on and off and chucking balls at him. It's like an interactive version of Big Brother really, but without ego-driven celebrity wannabees, washed up celebrities and Davina McCall. Which is a bonus. 

193: GIANT GRAM series
(Giant Gram - All Japan Pro Wrestling 2 and Giant Gram 2000 - All Japan Pro Wrestling 3)
New Entry
Japanese exclusives
1999/2000 SEGA

Wrestling fans in Japan were lucky; whilst we in the west were left with several Acclaim PS1 ports of varying degrees of quality for our grappling needs, the Japanese received Fire Pro Wrestling D and this, a far more 'simulation' like wrestling series based around the All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. The wrestling action is really of a different class, with it's focus more on the sporting, rather than entertainment, side.

192: BUZZ LIGHTYEAR OF STAR COMMAND
New Entry
PAL and US release
2000 Activision

A slightly surprising new entry this year, Buzz lightyear of Star command, based around the cartoon of the same name, is a simple but fun title that doesn't do anything all that different than the many other licensed kid friendly games of the same type. So expect some running, some platforming, some shooting and lot's of rather similar enemies to beat, all in a family entertainment sort of way. It's a PS1 port so doesn't look exceptional, but there's nothing terrible here. The game was made by Traveller's Tales who of course would soon take the humble Lego brick and turn it into an epic gaming franchise.

191: SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER II X FOR MATCHING SERVICE
94 places down
Japanese exclusive
2001 Capcom

Another big drop in the rankings, Capcom's Super Puzzle Fighter II X made the leap from the Saturn to the Dreamcast with added online play. Playing in a similar manner to block dropping puzzle games like Columns or Puyo Puyo, you match blocks to create fighting moves for your little cartoon deformed versions of Capcom favourites. It's basically Street Fighter mixed with Tetris, and therefore destined for greatness.

190: COOL COOL TOON
50 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 SNK

I could describe Cool Cool Toon as another rhythm game for the Dreamcast, a system which didn't lack for the genre, but that doesn't begin to explain the game. A simple game mechanic (using the analogue stick to move around a large centrally placed circle and pressing the required button at the right time) is all well and good, but as you go on your breakdancing journey you'll encounter all manner of crazy characters. It looks good, sounds good and is fun to play. What more do you need? (it's also completely playable without knowledge of Japanese which is great)

189: NIGHTMARE CREATURES II
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Konami

Konami's DC output was not always of the highest quality, and it wouldn't be unkind to suggest that Nightmare Creatures II has it's fair share of issues - notably the combat is a bit repetitive and it's not exactly a looker - but it makes up for it in suitably creepy atmosphere which will have horror fans lapping it up.

188: RADIRGY
37 places down
Japanese exclusive
2006 Milestone

Milestone's middle child of DC offspring, Radirgy boasts a lovely cel-shaded graphical style which is bright and striking, and a welcome change from the normal style associated with DC vertical shmups. It doesn't do anything highly innovative, and the screen can often become crowded with pick ups that I'm still not entirely sure have any particular use, but it's another decent entry into the genre for the Dreamcast.

187: EXPENDABLE
released in PAL territories as 'Millennium Soldier: Expendable'
9 places down
Released in all regions
1999 Imagineer/Infogrames

Expendable is a great game. It's an old school top down shooter, revelling in an orgy of futuristic weaponry, massive spectacular explosions and a plot involving bad guy aliens and a group of super soldiers. It's not high brow sophisticated entertainment, but it's doubtful you'll notice as you make your way through the games levels, Arnie style, blasting all in your path into bloody, gory piles of goo.

186: PRINCE OF PERSIA : ARABIAN NIGHTS
New entry
US exclusive
2000 Mattel

Another new entry, and another potentially surprising one. Prince of Persia was once my most expensive addition to the collection, after a particularly ill thought out ebay bidding war, and whilst it possibly wasn't worth what I paid for it, the 3D platforming action, based on the classic Prince of Persia game, clearly has it's fans. The adventure on offer can be an engrossing one, but dodgy camera issues can cause some frustration.

185: POP'N MUSIC series
(Pop'n Music, Pop'n Music 2, Pop'n Music 3 append disc, Pop'n Music 4 append disc)
19 places down
Japanese exclusives
1999/2000 Konami

It never made it out of Japan, but the Pop'n Music series was one of the most notable DC rhythm titles, and for maximum enjoyment gamers could use the Pop'n controller to control the action on screen, just like the arcade version. It's good fun, and with 4 releases (2 main games and 2 append discs), there's plenty of music to tap away to. I really do encourage picking up the Pop'n controller to get the most out of the games though.

184: KISS PSYCHO CIRCUS
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Take-Two Interactive

Based on the Todd MacFarlane comic book series, based in turn on the band itself, Kiss Psycho Circus's mix of gothic styled, heavy metal, comic book first person shooting sounds awesome, but this multiplayer-less PC port didn't quite set the world alight. There's nothing majorly wrong with it, some of the enemy designs (cackling clowns with robotic spider legs, for instance) are awesome and paid up members of the Kiss army will be pleased. Quite why there's not a rip-roaring Kiss soundtrack playing in the background (you're restricted to snippets at certain times only) is bizarre, however.

183: NHL 2K series
(NHL 2K and NHL 2K2)
25 places down
Released in all regions
2000/2002 SEGA

Just as with their NBA 2K and NFL 2K series, serious fans of the sport were serviced well by Sega's own Ice hockey franchise. The first Black Box developed title was a little rough around the edges, but after a years gap, Treyarch came back with the splendid NHL 2K2, which spruced things up and delivered a great hockey game for DC gamers.

182: INDUSTRIAL SPY: OPERATION ESPIONAGE
released in Japan as 'Espion-AGE-NTS'
New entry
Japan and US release
1999 NEC Interchannel / UFO Interactive

A new entry, and perhaps a sign that time has been more kind to this tactical spy-em-up than other games? Taking charge of an elite group of skilled agents, you embark on a series of missions infiltrating, stealing and generally getting up to the usual espionage exploits. It is a bit of a confusing game with it's 4 way split screen display, and it's less action more 'Spy Manager 1999', but it certainly is a bit different.

181: FIGHTING FORCE 2
New entry
PAL and US release
1999 Eidos

Seriously? Fighting Force 2? At number 181? Right. Well, there you go, I've proven that democracy and giving the public the vote really is a broken concept. 181st? Sigh. Right. Well, Fighting Force 2 then. A bit of punchy punchy here, a bit of shooty shooty there. A control system made by Satan, enemy AI programmed by a drunken programmer, home life wrecked, passing each day as if it may be their last. And it's number 181st, apparently. Maybe it just didn't click with me..

180: HEAVY METAL GEOMATRIX
32 places down
released in all regions
2001 Capcom

Based on the Heavy Metal comic books, and making the leap from NAOMI to Dreamcast, Heavy Metal geomatrix has it's moments as an arena fighting game, borrowing much from Capcom's other entries in the genre on the DC, Power Stone and Spawn. It's got camera and control issues, but fans of the comic book will like it. The cover art is also fantastic, but the US and PAL covers unforgivably crops the image, with only the Japanese revelling in it's full glory.

179: 4 WHEEL THUNDER
22 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Midway

Part of the short lived 'Thunder' series from Midway, it's actually French developers Kallisto (who also made Ultimate race Pro for the PC) that are behind the action here, as the game hops between off road, all terrain courses and indoor motocross style arenas. Visually splendid, it is a real game of two halves - the off road, all terrain sections are arcade racing greatness, but the indoor arenas feel completely misplaced. The game also suffers from a slightly off putting difficulty level. When the game is good though, it looks and plays really good.

178: BLUE SUBMARINE NO. 6 -TIME AND TIDE-
6 places up
Japanese exclusive
2000 SEGA

One of the few games on this list that really does need a good knowledge of Japanese to fully appreciate, Blue Submarine No. 6 is based on a post-apocalyptic submarine warfare versus mutant hybrids Manga and Animated series. The game mixes cel shaded animation with underwater action sequences, and looks great. A translation guide really is needed to get the storyline despite the action parts displaying English on screen, but it's definitely worth going to the trouble to experience this gem.

177: CHICKEN RUN
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Eidos

Based on Aardman Animations poultry-centric adaption of The Great Escape, Chicken run is like a kid-friendly Metal Gear Solid stealth-em up with a smattering of fun mini games thrown in. Better than most games with a movie license, it does have a slightly unfair difficulty level at times, but many will get a kick out of the idea of a MGS with chickens (which it isn't, really, but i'm sticking with the comparison)

176: FRAME GRIDE
New entry
Japanese exclusive
1999 FromSoftware

FromSoftware may now be known for frustrating and delighting gamers the world over with the tough Dark Souls titles, but their DC output consisted of this Mecha fighting game, similar to their own Armoured core series, in that you control your own heavily customisable mech in battles with other mechs, but with more emphasis on the 2 player versus battles (the game had online functionality) and melee combat. It looks good, plays well enough and who doesn't like fighting as massive mechanical semi-medieval inspired creations anyway?

175: RAINBOW COTTON
no move
Japanese exclusive
2000 Success

Success's Cotton series was great on the arcades and the Saturn as a 2D horizontal scrolling shmup, but this DC release owes more to the 3D into the screen view of Panorama Cotton on the Mega Drive. It's 3D graphics are often gorgeous, and the game has a sort of Burton-esque Halloween feel to it which looks great, but the switch to full 3D is not perfect, especially as the camera centres on Cotton, who takes up the middle of the screen, and centres itself after movement. Cotton blocks the targeting reticle and movement is so fast it's often hard to see whats going on or whether you've actually hit anything. The style of the game, with it's high quality anime sequences and sumptuous visuals, is nearly enough to
forgive it's shortcomings though.

174: WORLD SERIES BASEBALL 2K series
(World Series Baseball 2K1 and World Series Baseball 2K2)
New entry
Japanese and US release
2000/2001 SEGA

With the gaming powerhouse EA not bringing their sports franchises to the Dreamcast due to throwing their toys out of the pram, Sega had to step up to the plate and bat one out of the park with their own sporting output. World Series Baseball is possibly the least renowned of their big 4 US sport series, and the first title, WSB 2K1 was a bit of a disappointment, but with their 2K2 title they delivered a far more robust approximation of America's national past time.


173: NAPPLE TALE: ARSIA IN DAYDREAM
40 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 SEGA

Sega's cool looking Napple tale is one of the Japanese exclusives that really could have been successful if it had made the leap to the western markets, but instead it is left for the more adventurous types to delve into this fairy tale 2.5D platformer with 3D adventuring elements. It's a bit odd in places, but that's no bad thing, and it boasts a superb soundtrack to top it off. Well worth seeking out.


172: HIDDEN & DANGEROUS
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Talonsoft / Take-Two Interactive

There was a time when these 3D tactical  games seemed to be about to take over the world, and as a fan of Hidden and Dangerous in it's original PC incarnation, I can certainly say that this is one of the better ones. The addition of vehicles was ace, the World war II setting hadn't quite been done to death by this point, and despite some glitchy moments, it was a game with enough depth and tactical elements to bulk out the more action based sections. Is it as good on the DC as the PC? Well, it can feel slightly awkward at times, away from arguably it's natural home, but for fans of the genre, or gamers looking for something a bit different, it's worth giving it a go.


171: AEROWINGS / AERO DANCING series
(AeroWings, AeroWings 2, Aero Dancing i and the 3 Japanese only enhanced versions. Aero Dancing is the Japanese release title)
10 places up
released in all regions (first 2 main entries)
1999/2000/2001 CRI

AeroWings/Aero Dancing has risen slightly in the rankings this year, but still doesn't take the highest Flight sim type game spot. This is unfortunate. Sure, the first game, the one with the Blue Impulse flight display team license in Japan, was a bit boring, but the sequel (Aero Dancing F or AeroWings 2) added guns and no game in the history of the universe has ever been made worse after adding weaponry. Aero Dancing i was the third and final DC iteration, only released in Japan, and added online elements and fine tuned the gameplay, making it in the process a superb title. A good series, but don't limit yourself to the western releases.


170: SILENT SCOPE
79 places down
released in all regions
2000 Konami

Silent Scope was an arcade cabinet notable for having one major attraction - a sniper rifle with built in monitor which effectively conveyed the art of sniping better than any other game could hope. Bit of a problem on the DC then, without a dedicated Sniper rifle? Well, you'd think so, but actually Silent Scope remains a hugely enjoyable shooter, which utilises a picture-in-picture effect as a substitute for highly expensive peripherals. It plays like an action movie, with levels on a size and scale far larger than your standard lightgun game.


169: THE LOST GOLEM
10 places up
Japanese exclusive
2000 Caramelpot

As I've only briefly dipped my toes into The Lost Golem, I'll quote Aaron from the last DCJY poll here
"This small time production that was mostly the work of one person while they were a student, this charming little puzzle game is like the Dreamcast equivalent of an Oliver Postgate children's programme."
It's another Japanese release that begged for a western release, but judging by it's small rise in the rankings, that didn't stop many of you taking the role of the rock golem guiding the bumbling king from one door to another.

168: SUPER STREET FIGHTER II X FOR MATCHING SERVICE
83 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 Capcom

A true gaming classic, re-released for Capcom's online play matching service. The DC isn't lacking for top level 2D fighters, but this finely tuned, arcade perfect version of a title rightfully listed at the very summit of many people's all time gaming lists, is a welcome addition to the library. Can be a bit pricey though... if only there was some way DC gamers could experience top games without forking out huge amounts on ebay...


167: PSYCHIC FORCE 2012
11 places down
released in all regions
1999 Taito

Taito's DC sequel to the Playstation's Psychic Force is a 3D airbourne based combat model inside floating cubes - although all fighting takes place on a 2D plane and not full 3D. Most of the game emphasises projectile weapons or Psychic powers to blast your opponents, rather than close quarters combat. It's mostly an acquired taste, and for the majority the more traditional type of fighters will demand more attention, but it's a quirky game worth spending some time with. 


166: INCOMING
30 places up
released in all regions
1998 Interplay / Imagineer / Rage

Rage really were quite prolific in the early days of the Dreamcast, and Incoming is a perfect type of game to show off a new piece of hardware. It was well known as a way to show off those fancy new 3D cards for PC's, and on the DC it's dynamic lighting did look quite impressive on release. The action sees you defending against a multitude of Alien baddies in a variety of different vehicles, from static artillery guns, to Helicopters and tanks, and the action is relentless. It does repeat itself a little too often, and has the depth of a particularly small, children's paddling pool, but it's undeniably good fun.


165: SNOW SURFERS
released in Japan as 'Cool Boarders Burrrn' and the US as 'Rippin' Riders'
20 places up
released in all regions
1999 UEP Systems / SEGA

As a fan of all things wintry, I can appreciate Snow surfers downhill snowboarding thrills (although there's not much in the way of competition on the DC) and exotic locations. It's not the most refined game of it's type, but fans of strapping a board to their feet and attempting a suicidal trip down an obstacle laden mountain will get some satisfaction. What's with the titles though? They had 3 chances, and each one sucks more than the one before.


164: ARMY MEN SARGE'S HEROES
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Midway

I've got to be honest, I'm surprised by this one. It's not that Sarge's Heroes is a particularly terrible game, or idea - it's perfectly possible to get some enjoyment out of it's toy-based shooter shenanigans, an interesting story element with a melding of real world and 'toy' world, and plenty of stuff to shoot, blow up and destroy - it's just all a bit average. Still, there were those of you out there who rated it, so it must have done something right.


163: URBAN CHAOS
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Eidos

Another new entry for a game many regard as a bit pants. A sign that western gamers will rank mediocre western releases over legitimate Japanese only classics? Maybe. I rate Urban Chaos though. It's proto-GTA style open world has a dark, gloomy atmosphere, and a role reversal from playing as the bad guys to playing as the good, er, girl. Driving commandeered cars around and indulging in a bit of fighting is fun. Yes, so the graphics are a bit rough and it's got a terrible frame rate liable to give seizures to some, and, yes, the controls are a bit ropey, and, yes, okay, the PC version is far, far better... but I don't care, I still like it.


162: VANISHING POINT
18 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Acclaim

Clockwork Games entered the crowded field of DC racers with Vanishing Point, a title which is addictive and feature rich, with extra stuff being unlocked at a ridiculous rate. It doesn't make the best first impression, with PS1 quality graphics and overly sensitive handling, but once you get the hang of things (turning down the sensitivity is a massive help here), and get bitten by the bug of constantly unlocking items, you can't help but be converted to it's cause.


161: STUPID INVADERS
19 places up
PAL and US release
2001 Ubi Soft

Quirky French point and clicker based on a cartoon, which revels in toilet humour, and as good as that sounds. Fans of the genre, a genre we hasten to add that really should have had more representation on the DC, will feel straight at home, with the usual smattering of sometimes obscure puzzles to tax your grey matter. The pre-rendered graphics are bright and appealing and using the same animation team and voice actors as the series gives it a touch of quality.


160: TOMB RAIDER CHRONICLES
10 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Eidos

Lara Croft's escapades on the Dreamcast may not have been career highlights for the digital queen of video games, coming at a time when the original run of titles were looking a little tired, but there's no denying that they do make good adventures. Chronicles comes after Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and is a series of past adventures for Lara. Control issues plagued all early Tomb Raiders, and this is no different, but there's still some enjoyment to be had for fans of the series.


159: STAR WARS EPISODE 1 JEDI POWER BATTLES
6 places down
PAL and US release
2000 LucasArts

George Lucas may have upset a lot of people with Episode 1, a film so disappointing that it made Star Trek V look positively oscar-worthy, but there's no denying that DC gamer's gained 2 good games out of the film. Jedi Power Battles isn't particularly sophisticated, but being able to play as a Jedi is always fun, as any chance to swing lightsabers around on screen brings back childhood memories for many of us. Grab a friend and the game becomes even more thrilling, blasting droids left right and centre.


158: ECW HARDCORE REVOLUTION
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Acclaim

WWF Attitude turns up at number 158...oh wait, sorry, it's ECW Hardcore Revolution. Totally different game. Yep. Although, actually, it's really not. A re-skinned version of WWF attitude with the ECW license is not necessarily a bad thing - Attitude at least had some serious depth and customisation options - but when the game depends more on ground based grappling action rather than using any high flying, high risk moves perhaps more fitting the 'Hardcore' moniker - basically not using the license to any actual effect - it's a bit odd. Not terrible, enjoyable even at times, but does feel like a wasted opportunity.


157: TRICKSTYLE
12 places down
PAL and US release
1999 Acclaim

Trickstyle mixes racing with the extreme sport style, like Wipeout crossed with that hoverboard Marty uses in Back to the Future II. The trick elements are a little under developed, but the racing is good, as you'd expect from a pre-Burnout Criterion Games developed title, and the futuristic scenery is really well visualised.


156: GODZILLA GENERATIONS series
(Godzilla Generations and Godzilla Generations Maximum Impact)
New entry
Japanese exclusives
1998/1999 SEGA

A surprising new entry when you take into account both of the Godzilla games relatively negative reception at the time of release, the ability to control a Japanese movie monster legend clearly is enough to gain some fans. Godzilla generations was one of the first DC games released and saw you rampage through various cities whilst the second was a far more on rails affair, other than the boss battles. It won't impress everyone, but Godzilla fans will more than likely get something positive out of it.


155: JOJO's BIZARRE ADVENTURE
66 places down
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

Living up to it's name, Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is certainly not the most straightforward of their vast array of fighters. Based on the insanely popular Manga, it contains two Arcade titles, mixes up the gameplay with some side scrolling sections, and has a very strange mix of characters with plenty of story to play through. It's taken a bit of a drop this year, but it's another great addition to the Capcom DC library.


154: PEN PEN TRIICELON
30 places down
released in all regions
1998 General Entertainment / Infogrames

Pen Pen is mad. An original launch title for all 3 regions, it's best described as a racing game channelling the spirit of a multi-sports title, and infusing it with the spirit of an insane Saturday morning Japanese cartoon. There's a variety of Pen Pen's to choose from, a mixture of alien Penguins, Sharks, Dogs and Hippos, and you swim, slide and run down various colourful courses in some slightly nightmarish alien olympic style event that probably shouldn't work, but just about does, partly due to it's oddness.


153: SEGA SWIRL
61 places down
PAL and US release
2000 SEGA

Simple puzzle game that garnered a following by it's free status on magazine cover discs, Sega Swirl isn't the most technically advanced of the games on this list, but the best puzzlers get underneath your skin, and that cute looking little worm and the glorification of our beloved Dreamcast swirl does just that.


152: STREET FIGHTER III DOUBLE IMPACT
84 places down
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

Ooh, an 84 place drop? That's got to hurt. Street Fighter III Double Impact is not a bad game; it's just that this collection of the first two versions of Street Fighter III was made somewhat superfluous by the release of Street Fighter III Third Strike, the third, final and best version of the game. The 2D artwork is spectacular, it plays great, on most other consoles it would be one of the best - but in a story worthy of a fighting game plot, it's beaten by it's younger, better looking and smarter kid brother.


151: PSYVARIAR 2
31 places down
Japanese exclusive
2004 Success

Sweeping majestic backgrounds and impressive boss battles, as well as a barrage of enemy fire approaching Giga Wing levels of screen filling chaos, are the hallmarks of this NAOMI port, as is the gameplay mechanic of 'buzzing', where you're rewarded for chaining close runs on enemy bullets. It also has some of the most spectacular explosions in any game ever. Good looks and fun gameplay mechanic combine to give yet another superb DC vertical shmup.


150: FIRE PRO-WRESTLING D
17 places up
Japanese exclusive
2001 Spike

It may look a little basic when compared to the 3D models of Giant Gram or WWF Royal Rumble, but ask any true hardcore wrestling fan, and they will most likely profess a strong preference for this DC entry in the long running Fire Pro-Wrestling series. Isometric grappling action with hundreds of wrestlers, thousands of potential customisation and editing options, and possibly limitless amounts of gameplay. Another superb Japanese exclusive, and one with English patched versions available online.


149: GUNLORD
93 places down
Indie release
2012 NG:DEV.TEAM

The first Indie game to feature in the top 200 takes a major drop in the ratings, but that can be partly explained by our inclusion of a separate Best Indie Games poll (see how Gunlord got on in that here). Gunlord plays like a love letter to early 90's games, boasting some gorgeous 2D artwork, and plays a lot like a souped up Turrican. The soundtrack is superb as well.




148: SPORTS JAM
23 places up
Japanese and US release
2001 SEGA / Agetec

Sports Jam is such an amazing concept for a game, it's odd that more titles don't exist like it. Coming initially from the arcades, it takes numerous sports and cuts them down to a couple of key elements. The graphics are superb, each event is short and sweet, quick to learn and tough to master. As a multiplayer game it's enormous fun.


147: SEGAGAGA
101 places down
Japanese exclusive
2001 SEGA

If Segagaga had ever achieved a western release, I doubt it would have taken a 101 drop down the ratings (ouch!), or be anywhere outside the top 10. It's your job to save Sega, in a 4th wall breaking, tongue in cheek adventure which sees Alex Kidd working in a games shop, numerous Sega characters get cheeky references and a shmup section involving sega consoles. It's a little mad; we're still waiting for a full translation to appear, and it's the most 'Sega' game ever made.


146: SEGA MARINE FISHING
62 places down
Japanese and US release
2000 SEGA

It does take a 62 place drop, but Sega's follow up to Sega Bass set in the open sea remains popular with the DC's loyal angling community. Taking things into the ocean, Sega Marine Fishing is another excuse to get that fishing controller out of it's box.

Ben: "I Love all of Sega's fishing titles, but this is by far the best. The Graphics are beautiful, the variety of fish to be caught is amazing and the depth of the title is surprising with items to be unlocked and bonus games to be had. The fact it's set in the ocean just sets it off..." 

145: RED DOG
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 SEGA / Crave

It's a high new entry for Argonaut games Red Dog, so there's plenty of fans for this all terrain, vehicular destruction title out there. It's another example of how games don't need big budgets and deep storylines to keep gamer's entertained - just give us a big wheeled, go anywhere tank with tons of weapons and the ability to blow lot's of crap up, and we're happy.

144: TOMB RAIDER: THE LAST REVELATION
32 places down
released in all regions
2000 Eidos

Released to a bit of marketing hype from Eidos and Sega's marketing departments, The Last revelation isn't the best adventure that Lara ever embarked on, but as always those gamer's wanting to indulge in a bit of undoubtedly illegal, protected ancient site treasure thievery with an impossibly proportioned posh British lass, are well served. It's not a bad game really, although the controls can be frustrating.

143: FIGHTING VIPERS 2
39 places down
PAL and Japanese release
2001 SEGA

Slightly insane late DC port of the sequel to the popular Saturn and Model 2 arcade fighter notable for battle arenas and armour on your fighters. It's like Virtua fighter but with little emphasis on guarding or parrying, and a whole lot put on delivering super KO moves to knock your opponent over, or through, the arena wall. Looked a bit dated at the time, but it's a decent enough fighter.

142: NBA SHOWTIME: NBA ON NBC
New entry
PAL and US release
1999 Midway

A new entry, but a welcome one for Midway's port of the arcade follow up to the classic NBA Jam. You'll be boom-shaka-laking all over the court with outrageous arcade basketball gameplay that never gets old. Sure, the AI can be a bit patchy and there's a serious lack of game modes (um, 1, actually), but it's in multiplayer mode, with 3 friends crouched around your TV performing spectacular dunks from across the court, that the game shines.

141: TOKYO HIGHWAY CHALLENGE
(Tokyo Xtreme Racer in the US, Shutokou Battle in Japan)
43 places down (previously ranked alongside sequel)
released in all regions
1999 Crave / Genki

I've separated the two Tokyo highway challenge/Xtreme Racer/Shutokou Battle titles this year, simply as so many people voted for both. Take your road ready car on a trip round the Tokyo highway system, flashing lights at opponents for one on one races and win cash to upgrade. It's simple, but good fun. Bettered by it's sequel, it's still a game that surprised many upon launch and has a loyal following.

140: FLOIGAN BROS. EPISODE 1
20 places up
PAL and US release
2001 SEGA

It took a while to appear, and we never did get an episode 2, but Floigan Bros. proves that not everything with 'Episode 1' in the title is a soul-destroying disappointment. Starring brothers Hoigle and Moigle, you take control of the former and interact with the latter, leading to an innovative style of gameplay to overcome the games numerous puzzles. It's a bit short, but the humour is top quality.

139: PLASMA SWORD
(Star Gladiator 2 in Japan)
22 places up
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

Slightly unhinged follow up to Star Gladiator (Arcade and PS1); it's a bit like Street Fighter in 3D if all the characters were weird sci-fi creatures, with amazing backdrops, trippy visual design and tried and tested arcade gameplay. It's seen a rise in the rankings this year, and despite it not being classed as one of Capcom's top tier fighters, it clearly has a fan base, helped by it's ridiculously over the top special moves.

138: AIRFORCE DELTA
(Deadly Skies in PAL territories)
New entry
released in all regions
1999 Konami

A new entry and top spot in the DC flight 'sim' category, Airforce Delta (Deadly Skies in PAL territories) aims for a more arcade style experience than it's contemporaries, and Konami manages to squeeze in some often exciting moments into the game. It looks good and doesn't require an age to learn non-essential flight mechanics, reckoning that giving players highly expensive aircraft and deadly weaponry is enough. And they were right.

137: GUNDAM: SIDE STORY 0079
no move
Japanese and US release
1999 Bandai

First person mech game set in Australia, and the only Gundam title to make the leap across the Pacific for a release in the US. There are some tactical and strategic elements, a pretty steep learning curve and some expansive missions to get to grips with, so for those who persevere, a deep game is their reward. It holds the same position as the last poll, so scientifically we can say that Gundam: Side Story 0079 is indeed the 137th best Dreamcast game ever.

136: TWINKLE STAR SPRITES
18 places up
Japanese exclusive
2000 SNK

Twinkle star Sprites mixes vertical shmup with puzzle game, with chaotic results. It had seen release previously in the Arcades and on the Neo geo and Saturn, and even though this version is enhanced, it's not the prettiest 'Shmup' on the DC - but it is, probably, the best 2 player option. Chaining kills on your side of the screen sends vanquished enemies to your opponents screen to be avoided, and battles will often result in dramatically awesome, friendship destroying outcomes.

135: GRAND THEFT AUTO 2
61 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Take-Two Interactive / Rockstar

Before GTA became the world destroying franchise monster it is now, GTA 2 appeared on the scene as a slightly disappointing follow up to the tabloid press baiting original. It takes a nod from the PC in visuals, which saw much better dynamic lighting effects compared to the PS1 version, and it's 'one day in the future' setting is an interesting one. Control is an issue, but there's still very little in gaming which beats the raw, deadly car stealing, wanton criminality of a GTA game.

134: TOKYO BUS GUIDE
34 places down
Japanese exclusive
1999 FortyFive

Drive a bus around Tokyo. Worst idea ever or inspired classic? Well, much the latter actually. It's not like 18 wheeler or Crazy taxi, so don't expect to recreate the plot of Speed (if you want to recreate Keanu Reaves acting in said film, feel free though, it won't be too hard), but instead expect a quite inexplicably compulsive simulation of negotiating bus routes without falling foul to local traffic laws. It really is much more awesome than it sounds.

133: TIME STALKERS
(Climax landers in Japan)
40 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Featuring characters from past Climax Entertainment titles (Landstalker, Shining series), Time Stalkers/Climax Landers is a dungeon crawling RPG which has it's fair share of issues, but still manages to keep a strong following (40 places up this year). Whether this is due to the general lack of RPG's available for non-Japanese speakers on the DC is up for debate.

132: VIRTUA COP 2
88 places down
Japanese and US release (US as part of Sega Smash Pack)
2000 SEGA

Released as a stand alone game in Japan, and as a rather out of place inclusion on Sega Smash Pack in the States, Virtua Cop 2 is the DC port of the Arcade follow up to the original Sega police based shooter. It looks much better than the Saturn version, unsurprisingly, and the shooting action is just as satisfying. It's made a significant descent down the rankings this year, but don't let that stop you trying this one out if you have a lightgun and are itching for more compatible titles.

131: WETRIX+
69 places up
PAL and US release
1999 Xicat Interactive / Take-Two Interactive

The Pickford brothers know how to make great games, and with Wetrix they really did create a novel, if slightly odd, puzzler. It's sort of a cross between Tetris and the Civilisation map level editor, with all the deforming of land to store water and stopping your water falling off the map/board. Good fun, and like the best puzzle games when you get the bug, you're going to be coming back time and time again.

130: VIGILANTE 8 : SECOND OFFENSE
('Vigilante 8 Second battle' in Japan)
2 places up
released in all regions
1999 Activision / Syscom

I've never quite worked out whether I love or loathe Vigilante 8 Second Offense. The insane plots for each characters quests, the over the top weaponry, strange funky 70's vibe and huge levels of wanton destruction on offer, are all good. The controls are...challenging, let's say, and the laws of the physics are practically unheard of. It is good, clean, violent, dumb fun. And it's better than than Star Wars Demolition at least (for the 2 people in the world who don't hate Star Wars Demolition... I'm sorry. It's crap.)

129: CARRIER
47 places up
released in all regions
2000 Jaleco / Xicat Interactive / THQ

Another healthy rise up the charts for Jaleco's creepy aircraft carrier based survival horror. In no way inspired by Resident Evil. Nope. Fantastically dark atmosphere and stormy sound effects give a great sense of foreboding to the game, with an unusual and well suited setting allowing the game to stand out.

128: EVOLUTION 2
18 places up (previously ranked with predecessor)
released in all regions
1999 ESP / Ubi Soft

Separated from it's own predecessor, Evolution 2 still manages to climb it's way up the charts this year. Another dungeon crawler RPG, it adds pre-designed dungeons this time to the first Evolution's completely random ones, and follows the continued treasure hunting adventures of Mag Launcher. The PAL release is known for being a bit pricey.

127: DRACONUS : CULT OF THE WYRM
(Dragon's Blood in PAL territories)
New entry
PAL and US release
2000 Interplay / Crave

One of the highest ranked new entries, Treyarch's Hack n' slasher with RPG lite elements focuses on sword combat and magic with predictably engrossing results. The action is relentless, the stages are long, and there's always satisfaction after dispatching the latest batch of enemies. The fantasy medieval setting is well realised, as is the plot, ending up with a solid game.

126: WWF ROYAL RUMBLE
63 places up
released in all regions
2000 THQ / Yuke's

Originally a NAOMI arcade machine converted by Yuke's to the Dreamcast, Royal Rumble doesn't have the depth and customisation options of Attitude, but what it lacks in content it makes up for in gameplay. As well as 8 wrestlers in a ring action, it looks good and cares little for over complication in the control department - this is a game rooted in the arcades after all.

125: NFL BLITZ series
(NFL Blitz 2000 and NFL Blitz 2001)
40 places up
PAL (2000 only) and US release
1999/2000 Midway

The only contender for the NFL 2K's DC football throne, the two NFL blitz games are hugely entertaining digital recreations of the sport which does away with all the boring bits and just focuses on frantic action and ridiculous scoring plays. The first (itself a sequel to the original Arcade, N64 and Playstation Blitz) is great, but the second ups the ante in every department, feeling more at home as a home title and delivering the sort of fun with a sport that few games, bar NBA Jam and Sensible Soccer, have done before.

124: TRIZEAL
68 places up
Japanese exclusive
2005 Triangle Service

The head of the tiny team behind Trizeal gave an impassioned plea to DC fans for them to buy this game before launch, but it takes very little time with the game to realise that any self respecting shmup fan would be doing an injustice to themselves by not playing this gem of a title. It's a pretty standard approach to Vertical shooters, but big, impressive bosses, waves of enemy craft dropping plenty of upgrades and score multipliers, and a challenging set of levels elevate it amongst the pack. It boasts a superb soundtrack to top it all off.

123: PIER SOLAR HD
New entry
Indie release
2015 Watermelon

Watermelon finally managed to release Pier Solar in 2015, and the wait was worth it. Strong 16 bit style visuals and excellent soundtrack ooze charm and an affection for old school RPG's, whilst the enhancements made over the original Mega Drive release show that this isn't just a quick port. The story is strong with a good script, and DC fans have taken the game to heart quickly.

122: STARLANCER
19 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Crave / Ubi Soft

Coming from the same mind as Wing Commander, Chris Roberts brings space combat to the DC and it's an often exhilarating experience. Rather than having you play the role of a lone hero against the universe type, you feel part of a much larger universe (something the series would expand on with the PC only Freelancer - an absolutely essential game), but there's still plenty of intense space combat on offer and the cross over to the DC was handled well - not always easy with the genre.

121: DEMOLITION RACER - NO EXIT
51 places up
US exclusive
2000 Infogrames

Only released in the US, it is therefore quite impressive that Demoltion Racer - No exit has seen such a rise in this years ranking. It's not the most sophisticated of DC racers, but who doesn't like smashing their car into opponents? Racing is a mix of brutality and strategy as neither being the most destructive, or first over the line, guarantees progression. It's a bit of dumb fun, but fun it certainly is.

120: SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
29 places up
PAL and US release
2001 Crave

We're on a bit of a run here with games that have made upwards progression in the poll, and Soldier of Fortune continues the trend, rising 29 places. It's one of the few DC FPS's which didn't focus on the multiplayer, but was always a bit of a second tier title on the PC. Controversial upon it's original release due to it's graphic nature and ability to target specific body parts, as well as slightly dodgy NRA connections, it still fills the single player FPS need quite well. The GHOUL targeting system is tremendous, bettering even some modern day shooters, but you do need to use the keyboard and mouse combo. A decent story and varied levels round off an altogether decent title.

119: TECH ROMANCER
33 places down
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Dropping out of the top 100, Tech Romancer is often Capcom's forgotten DC child. Occupying a place somewhere between Power Stone and Marvel vs Capcom 2, it's at heart a side on fighter despite being in 3D, and fans of other Capcom fighters will feel straight at home. The characters are all mechs and their pilots and could of come out of any Japanese good quality anime, and the main story mode is presented fantastically with mini animated segments with chapter titles and branching storylines. Add in great graphics, VMU mini games and a ton of unlockables and you have a true underrated gem.

118: SONIC SHUFFLE
66 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

A bit of a tumble for everyone's favourite blue hedgehog's 'other' game on the DC. Taking inspiration from the fat Italian plumbers party series, Shuffle puts Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles on a variety of boards, where you have to make your way round collecting rings and playing mini games. It's not Sonic's best adventure, but can be good fun when played with some friends.

117: WORMS WORLD PARTY
40 places down (previously ranked with Worms Armageddon)
PAL and US release
2001 Titus / Virgin Interactive

Due to several votes for both titles, I've split the two Worms games in this years rankings, although to be fair the series doesn't really change all that much between any of it's entries. World Party did the Internet thing, which is the real draw here, and those looking for some worm on worm violence will be quite satisfied.

116: RE-VOLT
61 places down
released in all regions
1999 Acclaim

From knocking on the door of the top 50 club last poll, Re-Volt slips down 61 places, which will annoy the games loyal fanbase. Racing radio controlled cars around a variety of locations, the game has numerous unlockables, great multiplayer action, a stunt mode and numerous other touches which combine with it's solid racing mechanics for a great game.

115: SLAVE ZERO
71 places up
PAL and US release
1999 Infogrames

So we've just had Re-volt tumble down the ranks, and now we have Slave Zero steamroll it's way up 71 places. Everyone loves big stompy robots, and in Slave Zero you get to stomp your mechanical beast around futuristic cityscapes, destroying the tiny little cars and people underfoot and unleashing a formidable arsenal of weapons on the bad guys. Multiplayer mode adds some fun to proceedings.

114: VAMPIRE CHRONICLE
21 places up
Japanese exclusive
2000 Capcom

Mix classic horror characters with Capcom's 2D fighting prowess and you get the ever popular Vampire series (Darkstalkers to those of us in the West). This Japanese only release takes all the content from previous entries, adds in online play and packages it into one game. The characters and stages fit perfectly into the genre, and it's a sad fact that DC gamers in Europe and the States never got to play this at the time on their consoles.

113: L.O.L.
20 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 ASCII

There's a few games on the Dreamcast that can be considered true expressions of the old 'Games as Art' adage, and L.O.L, Lack of Love, is one of them. Removing text and dialog from the game, and therefore any barriers to playing the game, you evolve your creature on an alien world and learn as you go along. Aaron described the game as 'Hauntingly beautiful' in the last vote, and it sums up this beautiful, atmospheric title perfectly.

112: V-RALLY 2: EXPERT EDITION
(Test Drive V-Rally in the US)
6 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Infogrames

Myself and Tom here at the yard are known to be fans of a bit of rallying action, and therefore I'm pleased V-Rally 2 (or Test Drive V-Rally for our American readers) still manages to make it onto this list. Unlike Sega Rally's arcade roots, this is a deep, non-license holding approximation of the WRC, grinding your way through several different rallies and environments to pick up those precious seconds over your rivals. A solid track editor is icing on this particular muddy cake.

111: SHIKIGAMI NO SHIRO II
17 places up
Japanese exclusive
2004 Alfa System

Flying around as an anime character, bereft of any craft, in a pretty standard, bullet hell vertical shmup may not sound like a recipe for success, but it's Shikigami no Shiro II's (aka Castle of Shikigami II) depth which makes it so appealing. 7 characters all play differently, and those who understand Japanese will appreciate the dialogue and stories for each.

110: PROPELLER ARENA
New entry
Unreleased title
2001 SEGA (if it had been released)

So here we have this years highest new entry - a game that didn't even get a release. Sega pulled it's aerial dog fighting title from release due to the events of 9/11, but that didn't stop the game getting leaked, and played by many DC owners with the means to burn games onto disc. It's a glorious game, taking inspiration from FPS deathmatch games, it puts colourful, WW2 era planes into a series of maps where you engage in exciting dog fighting all to an awesome soundtrack. AeroWings, this is not. It's testament to the DC's online fanbase that this game ranks so highly.

109: SHADOW MAN
46 places up
US and PAL release
1999 Acclaim

Significant rise in popularity for Acclaim's comic book inspired Shadow Man, you control the titular character in a voodoo horror style world, which boasts a decent story and some good, spooky adventuring. The design aesthetic is suitably dark, and everyone loves an immortal voodoo warrior, don't they?

108: OOGA BOOGA
11 places up
US exclusive
2001 SEGA

Party-style bash em up gaming diversion from those usually sports simulation obsessed Visual Concepts guys, online play was the big draw here, and the game was bags of fun with great cartoon graphics and simple gameplay. The lone player wasn't the focus here, but its still an enjoyable romp.

Tamás Illés: "Silly and unique concept for a game, great presentation with nice graphics, fitting music, fun gameplay even in single player...what's not to like?"

107: SPACE CHANNEL 5 PART 2
90 places down (previously ranked with Space Channel 5)
Japanese exclusive
2002 SEGA

Ulala returns for this Japanese only sequel (on the DC at least), which has you left, left, left'ing once more in her familiar futuristic rhythm based gaming style. Nearly every vote cast for the game came from someone who voted also for the first title, so the two are separated in the rankings here. SC5 part 2 gained 1 nomination in the 'best DC game' vote, helped no doubt by the awesome soundtrack and Ulala herself, the first lady of DC gaming.

106: ALIEN FRONT ONLINE
4 places up
US exclusive
2001 SEGA

As the title suggests, it was online gameplay, with bundled microphone for voice chat, that Sega were aiming for here, and they succeeded. Whilst the online play itself may be a thing of the past, the single player remains entertainingly explosive, pitting alien craft against tanks in a variety of earth based scenic settings, and a variety of different game modes keeps things interesting too.

105: SEGA GT
46 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Sega's attempt to take Gran Turismo on head first doesn't quite succeed in knocking Sony's racing behemoth off the throne, but it does do a good job. Tons of unlockables, the ability to make your own cars, solid racing and a cool VMU mini game all work in it's favour, but it must be said it looks and feels a little dated when compared to the DC's big racing titles.

104: GIGA WING 2
41 places down (previously ranked with Giga Wing)
Japanese and US release
2001 Capcom

I've separated Capcom's two Giga Wing titles, and it's the chaotic, everything up to 11 sequel which is first to appear in the list. The first game was manic, and Giga Wing 2 casually ups the ante in almost every regard. The 2D backgrounds are replaced with cool 3D ones, and the game descends into an orgy of colour, sound and explosion within seconds. A 4 player option is perhaps a bit too much, but it surprisingly playable and just as utterly insane as you'd imagine.

103: ALONE IN THE DARK: THE NEW NIGHTMARE
35 places up
PAL and US release
2001 Infogrames

It's halloween season as I write this review, and chances are when I play through the DC's spooky halloweeny offerings, Alone in the Dark will almost certainly play a part. It takes elements of it's own genre-defining predecessors and adds elements from Capcom's genre-refining zombie series, to make an atmospheric survival horror title that uses light and darkness to great effect, especially with your trusty torch illuminating the static backgrounds to great effect.

Jon Wise: 'Moody and Spooky, beautiful graphics, interesting storyline with two different paths, decent controls. Great use of the system'

102: EVIL TWIN
29 places up
PAL exclusive
2002 Big Ben / Ubi Soft

In Utero's Burton-esque platform adventure may have suffered from numerous delays, but it's unique style and approach still managed to win over many despite it's late release in PAL territories only. Playing as Cyprien, you are sucked into a world of pure nightmares, where shadowy enemies and evil creatures lurk around every corner. Being able to transform yourself into a super hero alter ego, gaining powerful abilities is enjoyable, but it's the dark, menacing and brooding atmosphere that is the undoubted winner here.

Callum Turner: "A flawed classic in my eyes, beautiful Tim Burtonesque atmosphere, fun platformer, wonderful soundtrack"

101: STAR WARS EPISODE ONE: RACER
no move
PAL and US release
2000 LucasArts

The best thing to come out of Episode 1, other than time I saw a man beat a Jar Jar binks doll in Toys R Us, tears rolling down his cheeks, shouting about his childhood being destroyed. Episode 1 Racer takes the one scene from the film and turns it into a racing championship which visits numerous Star Wars worlds. The speeds are ludicrous, but with great control, plenty of upgrading ability and some spectacular scenery, it's a winner. It's not a port of Sega's own arcade game, which is a shame, but the N64 original of this title was a classic in it's own right.

100: WORMS ARMAGEDDON
23 places down (previously ranked with Worms World Party)
PAL and US release
1999 Microprose / Hasbro Interactive

The first of the two Worms titles released on the DC, Armageddon needs little introduction to those who have played Team 17's classic before, and if you haven't played one of the many, many versions of this sheep exploding, rocket firing, invertebrate killing gem before....do yourself a favour and pick this up.

99: PUYO PUYO FEVER
8 places up
Japanese exclusive
2004 SEGA

The last last first party Sega release on the DC sees Sonic team continue the series after Compile's bankruptcy. It adds a fever mode and new Puyo blob shapes to the core gameplay so beloved, and splits opinion amongst devoted Puyo Puyo fans. It's utterly charming and colourful style still has a legion of fans today, and can be called 'the best DC game you've not played', due mainly to it's non-western release (on the DC at least).

98: SILVER
79 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Infogrames

Soaring up the rankings, Silver is an under appreciated western RPG on a system severely lacking in competition, but it's charming fantasy world brought to life with 3D characters on superbly drawn 2D backdrops, has clearly won fans over. It's battles are in real time, it's story is a bit generic but engaging enough, and the adventure takes you to some stunning locations all visually realised fantastically. Add some great voice acting and you have an adventure which deserves more attention.

97: ARMADA
46 places up
US exclusive
1999 Metro3D

Although described as an 'Action-RPG', Armada is a slightly weird mix of top down shooter, RPG, dungeon crawler in space and Asteroids clone. Because of the eclectic array of influences, it really doesn't feel like much else out there, which is both good and bad (the grinding for xp in the game is a lesson in patience itself). Planned sequels never really materialised, meaning this DC release is still the only real way of experiencing Armada's particular gaming style.

96: STURMWIND
60 places down
Indie release
2013 RedSpotGames / Duranik

I'll make it simple - Sturmwind is not the 96th best DC game. It's much better than that. But with our inclusion of an Indie voting poll at the same time as the voting for the main list, the Indie titles took a hit, so this drop down the rankings is to be expected. Spectacularly gorgeous looking horizontal shmup with a ton of content, lengthy levels and the superb 3 weapon/life system, this is a shmup for everyone. Equally as good as many licensed DC releases. Check out the Indie top 10 results on the site to see where Sturmwind ended up against it's peers.

Phill Kulas: "So much to do/find/unlock. Long game, lots of replay value, and uh...it might be the best looking/sounding DC game yet.. Gotta treat yourself to this in VGA with a good sound system"

95: VIRTUA STRIKER 2
23 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

The best Soccer game on the DC? Hmm. Well, possibly not, but Virtua Striker doesn't really play like any other soccer game on the DC, with it's arcade roots showing through in limited control over your player and sumptuous graphics. If you approach the game like FIFA and attempt to recreate real life plays you're going to be disappointed, but learn the intricacies of the control system and soon you too will be replaying that last spectacular goal over and over again and marvelling at the aesthetics.

94: MARVEL VS CAPCOM
83 places down (previously ranked with Marvel vs Capcom)
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

Separated from it's own sequel this year, MvC is the third of Capcom's marvel crossover fighting titles (after X-Men vs Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter), and the concept remains one of the greatest in video game history. Take legendary Marvel comic heroes, pit them against the great and good of Capcom's numerous hits, and see them battle it out for supremacy. Genius. Tag team 2D fighting doesn't stray too far from the norm, and the sequel adds so much more, but a strong showing in the rankings here nonetheless.

93: GIGA WING
30 places down (previously ranked with Giga Wing 2)
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

Do you like Shmups? Do you like sense destroying carnage on an epic scale? Do you like to have near-siezure levels of colour and explosions on your TV screen? Do you like to get pumped up by an awesome soundtrack, the opening stage of which relentlessly shouts out 'COME ON' as you rain down death on the assembled enemy masses facing you? Do you like a 2 player mode so hectic you have to take a 2 week holiday in Devon after, just to bring yourself down to normal? Yes, to all of them? You may like to give Giga Wing a go.

92: THE NOMAD SOUL
(Omikron: The Nomad Soul in the US)
29 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Eidos

Quantic dream have created some of the best games ever made, Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) are artistic masterpieces, and before them both came the strange Nomad Soul. It's a mix of genres, part adventure, part fighting, part First person; all mixed together to try and create something special. It succeeds in part, helped by an intriguing system of reincarnation and an epic feeling world, tied together with a decent story. It does have it's shortcomings - none of the bits really play as well as they could - but add in a soundtrack (and appearance) from David Bowie (RIP) and some very impressive ambitions, and a trip to the world of Nomad Soul is one you should make to experience it's, admittedly flawed, charms.

91: GUILTY GEAR X
58 places down
Japanese exclusive
2000 Sammy

Arc Systems work Guilty Gear series has had quite the life after it's DC appearance, with over a dozen entries in the series, but this Arcade port is the follow up to the very first entry. It's mix of 2D manga artwork and heavy metal plays like an interactive animation at times, due to it's smooth, vibrant art design. It's all very over the top, but highly enjoyable. It's taken quite the tumble this year, down from a top 50 spot, which may be a reflection of the games fighting system which can take some getting used to.

90: GUNBIRD 2
3 places down
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Now available as a free to play game on your smartphones, oddly, Gunbird 2 delivers ludicrous stories, over the top, colourful characters and well drawn 16 bit-style sprites. Psyiko's shmup doesn't rely on bullet hell gameplay solely, as the easier difficulty settings offer a more sedate pace. The 2 player mode allows dual stories to emerge for the varied lineup of characters, and even allows you to play dual stories with 1 player alternatively. The game always feels a little like an improved 16-bit shooter, rather than a 'true' DC shmup experience, but it's enjoyable, accessible and fun.

89: MAKEN X
9 places down
released in all regions
1999 Atlus / SEGA

Atlus's foray into the DC library sees a sentient sword, brain hacking of enemies allowing you to become them, a solid storyline, cool graphics and a very stylish design aesthetic, all played out in a first person viewpoint. It's rather unique, and as we discussed on a DreamPod episode, rather enjoyable. The Japanese version has some dodgy Nazi imagery, which isn't present in the western releases.

88: WACKY RACES
no move
PAL and US release
2000 Infogrames

Wacky races loses out in the rankings to be the best Kart-style racer on the DC (*cough*see number 76*cough*), but it is a highly enjoyable racer, and a personal fave. The graphics are excellent, and it really does feel like you're playing a 3D version of the popular racing-themed cartoon series, aided with some excellent soundbites - including the commentator popping up from time to time to give an overview of proceedings. The action revolves around a hub world and 20 odd tracks and arenas to race round, and the handling is excellent (there's actually two handling models, but the kart choice is the preferable one).

87: RESIDENT EVIL 3 NEMESIS
(Biohazard 3 in Japan)
60 places down (previously ranked with Resident Evil 2)
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

The two pre-Code Veronica Resident Evil titles on the Dreamcast have been separated this year, but the third entry in the series still manages a respectable position. The last of the series to use the same engine as the original Resident Evil, the addition of the titular Nemesis gives a horrific stalking presence to the game. It's another classic survival horror, but isn't quite as game changing as the next addition in the series...

86: BOMBERMAN ONLINE
33 places down
US exclusive
2001 SEGA

Bomberman's world wide popularity makes the fact this is a US exclusive a little odd. As the title suggests, Online functionality was the key selling point here, and the single player does suffer a little - it's sadly not as good on your own as say Saturn Bomberman - but as any fan of the series will attest, it's gathering some friends round one tv screen where this game excels. Some new features, plenty of options and nice cel-shaded graphics and animations mean this is another title I wish didn't just stay in the States.

85: GAUNTLET LEGENDS
14 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Midway

Despite hilarious computer generated character artwork, Gauntlet legends does justice to the classic Gauntlet, as it upgrades the gameplay to swanky 3D. This hack and slash-athon plays well, supports 4 players and has plenty of depth and character progression. It's one of the DC games that seem to get more popular as the years go on.

Melanie: "When my mom gave me the Dreamcast, I was like a noob to video games, it was my first. I didn't know how to play properly, but this was the first one I had played fully, because it was easy to understand and good to play with friends too"

84: EVOLUTION
62 places up (previously ranked with Evolution 2)
released in all regions
1999 ESP / Ubi Soft

A big rise for many gamers first RPG experience on the DC, and whilst there are far better entries in the genre, there's something quite appealing about the randomly generated, multi-tier dungeon treasure hunting adventures that Evolution provides. The graphics are smart, the battles are fun, and the game has a certain innocent charm to it that clearly still has its fans.

83: MDK 2
36 places down
PAL and US release
2000 Interplay

Bioware are video gaming geniuses, and MDK 2 is one of their very best. The main characters may appear to be little more than a mad scientist, a violent gun loving robotic 6 limbed dog and a man in a gimp suit, but in actual fact it's just a sign of the ingenius, odd design that MDK 2 displays. This third person shooty adventure has plenty of variety, ingenious levels and superb artistic vision, as well as a rock hard difficulty. None of that stops the game falling out of the top 50 this year though.

82: E.G.G. - ELEMENTAL GIMMICK GEAR
27 places up
Japanese and US release
1999 Hudson Soft / Vatical

Decent rise for E.G.G., showing that this unique and oddball RPG with beautiful hand drawn backdrops is still winning fans all these years later. Controlling your E.G.G. (which is an egg-shaped mecha from an ancient time), you proceed on an adventure which takes plenty of influence from Zelda, solving puzzles, engaging in combat and even the odd race or two. It's not the most technically accomplished title on the DC, but it's different and interesting enough, with a good backstory, to warrant some attention.

81: DINO CRISIS
2 places down
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Resident Evil spawned a hundred copy cat survival horror clones, but I suppose we can let Capcom themselves take a different approach to the genre they helped define. Resi Evil with Dinosaurs? Pretty much, but there's nothing wrong with that, and the sense of impending, bloody death that permeates the game, with high tension atmosphere throughout, does exactly what a survival horror title should.

80: SPAWN: IN THE DEMON'S HAND
35 places up
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Capcom's arena fighter based around Todd McFarlane's ever popular dark comic book series, has several things going for it. It's 4 player action is hugely entertaining, utterly chaotic and slightly confusing. Fans of the series will get a kick out of being able to battle it out with the comic book cast too. And to top it off, the cover art, whilst awesome in PAL and US releases, is outstanding in it's Japanese version. Not everyone likes Spawn, but especially for hardcore fans, it's another good arena fighter for the DC.

79: STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3
(Street Fighter Zero 3 in Japan)
44 places down
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

A big drop for the last entry in the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series. Featuring a ton of modes, great 2D artwork, over 30 characters, the impressively compulsive world tour mode and all the elements that make the Alpha series, and Street Fighter in general, so ever-popular. There are some who prefer the Alpha series to Street Fighter III, although these results put Alpha 3 as only the 2nd of the 4 proper series entries, with one more left to go...

78: MR DRILLER
7 places down
released in all regions
2000 Namco

Namco's arcade port is the spiritual successor to the classic Dig Dug, and has you feverishly searching for air tanks whilst avoiding the ever present threat of falling blocks. It's charming, cute and fun to play, has plenty of modes to play and can now be enjoyed on a variety of platforms, but more importantly still plays well on the DC.

77: RESIDENT EVIL 2
(Biohazard 2 in Japan)
50 places down (previously ranked with Resident Evil 3)
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

The Resident Evil/Biohazard series has given plenty of zombie based thrills to gamers over the years, and whilst Code Veronica is the title most associated with the DC, Resident Evil 2 is arguably the most memorable game in the entire series. It doesn't reinvent what the first title did, but it has enough scares to keep horror fans more than satisified. Sure, the game isn't the biggest looker, and the dialogue is terrible, but it manages to reinforce the games B-Movie feel.

76: LOONEY TUNES SPACE RACE
18 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Infogrames

Aussie developers Melbourne House had a knack at putting out great racers on the DC. Not only did they put out Le Mans, one of the very best in the genre, but they also provided us with, according to these results, the best Kart racer on the console. Space Race looks exactly like it's source material, with film quality backgrounds and spot on recreations of all your favourite Looney Tunes characters. There's plenty of one liners to evoke memories and plenty of ACME registered weapons to cause chaos.

75: NFL 2K series
(NFL 2K, NFL 2K1, NFL 2K2)
15 places up
Japanese and US releases
1999/2000/2001 SEGA

Showing once more that a lack of EA means little to a consoles sporting output, Visual concepts redefined the American Football video game landscape with their 2K series, which boasted stunning visuals and great gameplay to bring the crunch and glamour of the NFL home like never before. Us PAL gamers were sadly overlooked, but it didn't matter, as we had NFL QB club. *sobs*

74: VIRTUAL ON
(aka Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram)
9 places down
Japanese and US release
1999 SEGA / Activision

The reason to own the Twin stick controller, and it's a good one. Tactical robot battler, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram is ported perfectly from it's arcade roots, and remains fiercely popular. It looks and plays great, but investing in the twin sticks really is the key, as they really do make you feel like you're in control of a hulking, destructive robot. Well, sort of.

Scott Heath: "..Think Combat on steroids mixed with Transformers or Robotech/Macross....Great, fast paced gameplay that is infinitely replayable"

João Pires: "So simple yet so complex, so fast-paced yet so reliant on tactics..."

73: TOKYO HIGHWAY CHALLENGE 2
(Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 in the US, Shutokou Battle 2 in Japan)
25 places up (previously ranked with Tokyo Highway Challenge)
released in all regions
2000 Crave / Genki / Ubi Soft

Everything about this sequel improves upon the first game, and the perpetually night time racing on offer here is top class and compulsive. The road network has been increased, the customisation options are deep, the AI is improved, making for more full contact, tight duals, and the graphics remain excellent. There's no versus mode - which is a shame - but the quest mode is so large, with so many opponents, that you probably won't even notice.

Braysen Davis: "I grew up playing Tokyo extreme racer zero and 3 on the PS2..Txr2 is probably the game I've played the most on the Dreamcast."

Juguefre: "It is simply awesome."

72: SPEED DEVILS
87 places up
released in all regions
1999 Ubi Soft

An early racing favourite for the DC, Speed Devils takes influence from numerous 90's racing arcade games, fleshes it out with good single player modes, most importantly the league based championship mode, and has some wildly eclectic, exotic tracks, with memorable moments aplenty - UFO's in Nevada, Tornado in Louisiana to name a couple. Received an online 'update' which messed with the handling (presumably related to combating lag) and neglected the single player nearly entirely, so it's the initial release which is listed here. Gamers still love Speed Devils charms, especially judging by it's surge up the rankings by a massive 87 places this year.


71: 18 WHEELER
23 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Whilst the move to the home may have taken something away from the appeal of the large arcade version of 18 wheeler, there's something entirely Sega about the game which most DC gamers will be drawn to. What it lacks in depth it makes up for in great visuals and sound, as you race across shortened tracks representing the US, battling rival truckers and generally engaging in the sort of public highway chaos that Sega seem to do so well. I love the in cab view with items sliding around the dashboard, and the 2 player mode is excellent.


70: SPIDER-MAN
44 places up
PAL and US release
2001 Activision

One thing I've never got about that 'Spider-man, Spider-man' theme tune - he doesn't do whatever a spider can, does he? I mean, I don't remember him making a web to trap unsuspecting flies and then consuming them to feed his thousands of ugly little offspring. But whilst he may be a dubious arachnid mimic, he does appear in some good games, and this is possibly one of the best. A full 3D adventure with plenty of baddies to beat up, extras to unlock and tall buildings to expertly swing from, it also boasts authentic comic book style and graphics, top class music and speech and is a joy to play.


69: RECORD OF LODOSS WAR
83 places up
released in all regions
2000 ESP / Kadokawa Shoten / Crave / Conspiracy Entertainment / Swing!

The DC's answer to Diablo, based on a series of novels, manga and anime. This isn't your traditional RPG from Japan, and it's dungeons and dragons vibe and western RPG influences make for a nice change. The graphics are intricate and detailed, and the adventure is suitably stat heavy and sweepingly epic. It seems that Record of Lodoss War get's more popular with age, as it's climbed a huge number of places in this years poll.


68: THE LAST BLADE 2
('Bakumatsu Roman Dainimaku Gekka no Kenshi - Final Edition' in Japan)
1 place up
Japanese and US release
2000 SNK / Agetec

The Last Blade 2 retains a strong position in the rankings, and it's 2D fighter with traditional Japanese samurai themes and characters mix is one of the most interesting on the DC. Beautiful, artistic graphics (the backgrounds are wonderful) and a deep fighting system gives the game a majestic, atmospheric quality.


67: BORDER DOWN
35 places up
Japanese exclusive
2003 G.rev

Soaring into the top 100, G.rev's late, much vaunted horizontal shooter now occupies a place it deserves. The most notable thing here is the border system, where when you lose a life you 'border down' to the next, harder one. It rewards considered play and risk taking, especially as doing well against a boss can see you ascend levels. Graphics and music ooze quality - especially the background artwork. It's also a tough game. Not just 'oh my, this is hard' tough, but 'argh, this is f*$%ing impossible!' tough.


66: NBA 2K series
(NBA 2K, NBA 2K1, NBA 2K2)
12 places up
released in all regions
1999/2000/2001 SEGA

I'm going to say it - the NBA 2K series is the best 'traditional' sporting franchise on the DC. The 3 entries get progressively better; NBA 2K wowed with graphics and slick play, whilst 2K1 added a whole load of extras, including franchise mode, street play and online, and 2K2 just topped it off with slicker presentation and graphics and better defensive play. Single screen multiplayer is a blast too.


65: BANGAI-O
('Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh!' in Japan)
35 places down
released in all regions
1999 Crave / Conspiracy Entertainment / ESP / Swing!

Dropping out of the top 50, Treasure's multi-directional shooter still retains the usual levels of adoration as all of their other titles. Refined from the N64 version, you control your little robot around horizontal levels blowing the hell out of everything with an array of superpowered weapons. It's aesthetically excellent, constantly maniacal and has odd custscenes.

64: COSMIC SMASH
9 places up
Japanese exclusive
2001 SEGA

Much as Rez did, Cosmic Smash takes a simple concept and makes it into a work of art. Like a 21st century hybrid of Breakout and Squash, Cosmic's NAOMI arcade roots make for easy gameplay, with simple controls, but the utterly compelling minimalist graphics and sound will soon hook you as you travel along the underground-style map on the cosmic bus with your transparent skeletal character breaking blocks in a series of rooms with a glowing red ball. Simple, effective, completely addictive. Released as a budget release initially (good luck getting it for budget prices now), even the packaging is a work of art, with it's translucent DVD style case up there with the best.

Anonymous (didn't leave a name!): "It's a simple game when you get down to it. It melds the gameplay of Breakout and Virtua Tennis, and brings minimalistic visuals into a unique package that's easy to pick up and play..."

63: F355 CHALLENGE
21 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

The Dreamcast version of Yu Suzuki's seriously hardcore ode to the Ferrari F355 remains one of the most graphically impressive titles to grace our beloved little box of dreams. Despite it's arcade roots, this is no shallow approximation of racing, as the game lavishes detail on the single car available, and has a seriously realistic handling model. The DC version adds some tracks and modes to the original, but it really is the ridiculously amazing graphics that will turn heads. Not for the casual racing fan, those who put the time into mastering this classic will be justly rewarded.


62: CONFIDENTIAL MISSION
11 places down
released in all regions
2001 SEGA

Hitmaker's assault on this top 200 is an impressive one, what with Virtua Tennis and Crazy taxi still to come (spoiler? What, you thought they wouldn't feature? Don't be silly), and this, possibly the most impressive lightgun shooter on the system. It's heavily James Bond-esque style has lengthy levels, unlockables and extras and superb enemy animation, although the levels don't branch quite as much as, say, HOTD2. It owes more than a passing debt to Virtua Cop, but betters it in every way, and has a great 2 player option as well.


61: ZERO GUNNER 2
14 places up
Japanese exclusive
2001 Psikyo

My personal favourite shmup on the system, Zero Gunner 2 is an absolute joy to play from start to inevitably too soon an ending. Taking more influence from traditional shooters than balls to the wall bullet hell-fests, you control an overpowered helicopter through gorgeous 3D levels and cause destruction on a grand scale with massive, spectacular explosions. The screen scrolls in unpredictable directions, you can rotate the chopper around the screen giving a sense of freedom and movement most shmups wouldn't even dare to contemplate, and the bosses turn from overpowered craft to screen filling robot behemoths, and are utterly spectacular. Various degrees of difficulty should see players of all skill levels being able to enjoy the game in it's fullest, and it's so smooth and beautiful that repeated replays are never a chore.


60: ZOMBIE REVENGE
19 places down
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Look at that artwork. Look at it. When the CGI main characters are more terrifying than the monsters, we should have a problem. But this B-movie worthy House of the Dead spin off plays like the excellent Dynamite Cop/Deka 2 and is one of the most enjoyable titles you can pleasure your DC with.

Christopher Martindale: "The setting is ridiculous, the characters are stereotypical and insane, the voice acting is absolutely terrible, and yet the core gameplay is still enjoyable and engaging - plus, it had proper VMU minigames, for better or worse. It's like playing a super cheesy B-movie"

59: FUR FIGHTERS
13 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Acclaim

Bizarre's third person shooter with cuddly characters is a perennial favourite amongst DC gamers - maybe loads of kids who had DC's convinced their parents that it was a 3rd person cuddle-a-thon or something? Whatever the reason, the 'other' game from MSR's much vaunted developers is a riot, featuring nice, colourful graphics and cute characters and a ton of violent carnage to inflict upon them. 4 player mode is superb too.

Jarrod Novotny: (on why it's great)"It's unique set of characters, weapons, tasks and storyline"


58: SAN FRANCISCO RUSH 2049
9 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Midway

We all know how much our beloved leader here at the DCJY loves San Francisco Rush 2049, but even I was surprised when he approached me with a brown envelope containing several unplayable Japanese visual novels that I need to put on my shelf and never play, gave me a wink and whispered 'Rush 2049. High rank. You know what to do' into my ear in a slightly threatening manner. Well, I won't be swayed by completely fictitious bribes, and Rush 2049 doesn't need any help in ascending the ladder of success, as it's arcade rooted futuristic racing charms has quite the following. The wings and quasi-flying mechanics get much attention, but for me it's the expansive, believable cities of the future that you race around that are most impressive.

Brandon Aaron: "...pure racing fun. The addition of wings make it even more interesting. Great tracks, 4 player mode, lots of hidden routes that keep you exploring every track"


57: D2
8 places down
Japanese and US release
1999 SEGA / WARP

Warp's epic feeling snowy adventure spans 4 discs, blends genres and has an excellent story. Crashing in the Canadian wilderness, you soon encounter a variety of odd monstrous creatures and fellow survivors. The mix of genres is interesting, the graphics are excellent, and whilst some aren't swayed by it's charms and sometimes sedate pace, it has a legion of fans that still enjoy this rather unique adventure.

Nils: "It is completely unique. Even having played the previous 2 games in the series, D2 blew me away with the atmosphere, bizarre plot and amazing graphics (for the interior sections at least). It was one of the few games that I simply could not put down"


56: ECCO THE DOLPHIN: DEFENDER OF THE FUTURE
22 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Looks like this beautiful realisation of an underwater adventure isn't quite as enticing for the DC community as it once was, judging by the drop out of the top 50, or maybe they, like me, just got stuck on one of many tough spots in the game. Persevere though, and you're in for a treat for the senses as Sega's reinvention of the classic Cetacean-em-up is a truly breathtaking experience at times.


55: CAPCOM VS. SNK
34 places down (previously ranked with Capcom vs SNK 2)
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

The 2 kings of the 2D fighter clash head on in this crossover title that plays just as good as the concept sounds. Taking SNK's fighting technique as it's main influence, you assemble a fighting dream team using a ratio system (capped at 4 points, with each fighter ranked 1-4 points accordingly) and battle it out on some of the most beautifully realised stages ever created. A huge amount of extras, ability to link with the NGPC SNK v Capcom game and a classy soundtrack round off the game.
I separated the title from it's own sequel as so many votes mentioned both. Interestingly though, even if they had been combined again this year, they would have seen a slight drop down the list, meaning one thing is clear - more people need to play this series.


54: VIRTUA FIGHTER 3TB
22 places down
released in all regions
1998 SEGA

Another casualty of dropping out of the top 50, Sega's Virtua Fighter 3tb is a flawed 3d fighter, that was somewhat overlooked in it's Model 3 to DC transition when compared with the beautiful curves of Soul Calibur. The core game however remains every bit as good as a Virtua Fighter title should, with the nuanced fighting style taking time to master and fully appreciate, and the versus mode always an entertaining spectacle, especially with two equally matches players.


53: BLUE STINGER
28 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA / Activision

Whilst many may write Blue Stinger off as a rather uninspiring 3rd person horror adventure with serious camera issues (both in it's Japanese and western forms, which differ), there's something to be said about it's schlock horror, tongue in cheek humour and ridiculous storyline (as well as epic sounding musical score) that keeps players coming back, despite it's flaws. Climax Graphics would go onto produce Illbleed, and many of the same observations could be made of that game too.

Rob Marshall: "The game has the right amount of camp, and humour to make it a must play. The characters are just awesome, one is called Dog Bowers and wears cut off jeans. There is a bath scene and Santa suits, zombification and sexy snipers. This game rocks"


52: READY 2 RUMBLE series
(Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and Ready 2 Rumble Boxing round 2)
12 places up
released in all regions (sequel only in PAL and US)
1999/2000 Midway

The Ready 2 Rumble series may have appeared on many platforms, but it always feels to fit in with the DC vibe. Intentionally hilarious, with big, bold colourful characters, and a simple yet addictive gameplay, the series stood out from the crowd and gathered a loyal following. The sequel added more characters but didn't mess with the format massively. 


51: SUPER MAGNETIC NEO
('Super Magnetic Niu Niu in Japan)
85 places up
released in all regions
2000 Genki / Crave

Massive rise up the rankings for this tough magnet-heavy 3D platformer. Lovely graphics and slick presentation suck you into what looks like a charming little game, but I'm sure there's more than a few who found the difficulty level... let's just say, 'tough'. Varied levels, bright visuals and chirpy feel keeps things interesting, but those with issues of anger management may want to have a lie down after a couple of minutes of play.


50: OUTTRIGGER
33 places up
released in all regions
2001 SEGA

Sega AM2's NAOMI first person (and third person) shooter takes on what Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament do and does it...well, sort of better, at times. Best experienced with a keyboard and mouse, it's a different experience than the 2 FPS big boys, with it's arcade roots showing through often, but big, well designed characters and stages keep things pleasantly enjoyable.

49: GAROU MARK OF THE WOLVES
(Fatal Fury Mark of the Wolves in the US)
5 places up
Japanese and US release
2001 SNK

SNK fans were delighted with this late port of the Arcade/Neo Geo final instalment of the Fatal Fury series. It offers up the usual levels of fantastic artwork and animation that SNK were revered for, deep fighting system and great cast of fighters. SNK's final release before going bankrupt, it bookends their awesome contribution to the DC's ever-impressive 2D fighter library.


48: ILLBLEED
34 places up
Japanese and US release
2001 Crazy Games / AIA

The best B-movie video game ever made. Demonic Sonic bosses, ridiculous plot, more horror stereotypes than you can shake a stick, parodies of horror movies, hilarious voice acting and dialogue. It's all fabulously silly, utterly ridiculous, and whilst it has glaring flaws and control issues, it matters not a bit, as the entire game is so completely enjoyable.

Miles Schasteen:
"There's something distinctly "this kind of game could only exist on the Dreamcast", about Illbleed. It's a game, made by lovers of games that satirises the platform and itself. It's offbeat, stylistic, and always keeps the player guessing....it's earned it's obscurity for refusing to fit itself in the mould of survival horror. Illbleed was born of B-movie cult classics and celebrates the fact. It's a low budget slasher where all the blood is ketchup, the actors were friends and you see the boom in the shot the entire movie. It's perfection in it's imperfection."


47: MARS MATRIX
19 places up
Japanese and US release
2000 Capcom

A DC shmup that received a western release, and a rather good one too. Score heavy vertical shmup with a big emphasis on replaying and buying new content, it also looks and sounds impressive.
I'll leave it to Dreamcast Hub's and friend of the Junkyard Stephen Robinson to explain just why he loves Mars Matrix so much:

"Because it's the greatest game in existence. Us mere humans have been blessed with the ability of sight, sound and touch so that one day simply for the chance...nay...OPPORTUNITY to grace our senses with the most beautiful creation ever brought into this world. How does one describe perfection? One couldn't any more convey the brilliance of a flawless sunset, then explain why Mars Matrix is the greatest gift to the world...but I will try..."

(Stephen does indeed then explain it. Space doesn't permit me to fully copy this gushing, adoring, love letter to the game, but I think it's fair to say he likes it quite a bit....)

Michael Giordano: "Tight control, amazing mechanics, and a pretty good soundtrack are all capped off with tens of thousands of bullets and some amazing boss fights"


46: THE KING OF FIGHTERS series
(KoF Dream Match 1999, KoF '99 Evolution, KoF 2000, KoF 2001, KoF 2002)
24 places up (from best result; ranked separately last poll)
Japanese and US releases (2000-2002 Japanese only)
1999/2000/2002/2003 SNK / Playmore

The King of Fighters series on the DC had several releases, and can be separated into two groups - the pre-SNK closing Dream Match 1999 and Evolution, and the Playmore post-SNK 2000-2002 entries. The first 2 are both enhanced versions of their Neo Geo versions, sporting beautiful artwork, and featuring SNK's trademark fighting style which focuses more on traditional combat than the projectile heavy Capcom fighters.
2000 and 2001 both came out in 2002, and are both decent fighters, but 2000 is traditionally seen as an arcade perfect, feature rich beautiful series high point. 2001 is seen as the runt of the litter, but still plays well, and 2002 rounds off the series on the DC with another great game. At their best, King of Fighters games are compelling, beautiful traditional 2D fighters.
(Yes, I know it's confusing that I've put all the games together this year, seeing as we did them in 3 entries last time. It probably was a mistake in hindsight. I blame the several people who voted for the entire series - yes thats right, I'm blaming the result on the voters; it may not be the last time this week that happens)

Nik: "The first time I played this game (KoF DM99/KoF Evolution) I couldn't put it down and remains to this day the best 2D fighter I have ever played period!"

45: LE MANS 24 HOURS
(Test Drive Le Mans in the US)
5 places up
released in all regions
2000 Infogrames / SEGA

Graphically fantastic, Le Mans is the most impressive racer on the DC, if the appeal of racing games to you is the motorsport itself. Playing very similar to Codemasters TOCA/Race Driver/Grid series, it is one part simulation one part arcade, and balances both brilliantly. It features several top tracks, loads of championships and cups to play through and lots of vehicles to drive to your hearts content, with close, well balanced racing throughout. You can drive the full 24 Le Mans in real time, an experience I can only describe as exhilarating exhausting, or scaled down for slightly less obsessed gamers, and the rising and setting sun effect is beautiful. Top graphics, superb handling and balanced gameplay makes Le Mans a total package and I am mad at hell that it's not higher than 45th. 


44: SEGA BASS FISHING
(Get Bass in Japan)
18 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Sega's always been a bit weird, and i'm sure that the sight of a controller based on a fishing rod and the opportunity to play an arcade game revolving around a sport usually associated with sitting next to lakes passing the time away, was met with more than a couple of odd glances. The thing is, no matter how odd, it works perfectly. The controller (and you will want the controller for the game, as just the standard pad is a less compelling experience) feels perfect for the short burst Sega arcade thrills, and it sports the high quality graphics, music and presentation that only Sega seemed to ever fully master. There were many Fishing titles on the console, but this one remains the best.


43: CANNON SPIKE
(Gunspike in Japan)
18 places up
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

If you've read the entire list to this point, then you've probably spent about as much time of your life as you would if you gave this Capcom shooter a blast. To say it's short is a bit of an understatement, and the arcade roots here are clearly displayed. But you know what, the game is so much fun, so much blasty, explosive fun, that you probably won't mind. Plenty of classic Capcom characters (although granted it is an odd mix - it does feel like this is the reserve team of Capcom characters.), short levels, awesome graphics and lots of replay value nearly make the extortionate prices that the 2 western releases go for worth it. There's little story to worry about, so picking up the Japanese Gunspike is just as good an experience, and a bit more cost effective.


42: CAPCOM VS SNK 2
21 places down (previously ranked with predecessor)
Japanese exclusive
2001 Capcom

Capcom do it again. Improving on everything that the first Capcom vs SNK game managed to bring to the fight, it is a classic 2D fighter and one that everyone should experience. It refines the ratio system, adds 3 on 3 arcade mode, brings even more fighters from both companies rosters into play, new play styles, and retains and improves on the originals aesthetic brilliance. It remained in Japan only for it's Dreamcast release, but is the 3rd highest ranked Japanese exclusive on this years chart and has plenty of fans who have experienced it's intoxicating action.

Erick Cerriteño: "I love 2D Fighting games and Capcom and SNK games on the Dreamcast!"

James Kaiser: "A brilliant fighter with a brilliant cast of characters."


41: SAMBA DE AMIGO
(includes Japanese only Samba de Amigo ver. 2001)
3 places down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Rhythm games are always popular. It's probably the appeal they hold with non-gamers, other halves or 'normal people' - apparently dancing round like a lunatic is considered more normal than shooting aliens or saving worlds - who knew? Sega of course just didn't want to do any old Rhythm game, no, they decided that their trademarked bright, colourful, happy arcade gameplay was best served by waving a pair of maracas in the air like a lunatic, to 'control' a happy smiling Mexican monkey on screen, all to some insanely catchy tunes (including some Sega classics). Bundled with another one of the DC's line up of unique controllers, it's another game that really only Sega could do.

Mark McCormack: "It's the most fun I've had gaming with friends and strangers."


40: UNDER DEFEAT
20 places up
Japanese exclusive
2006 G.rev

G.rev's shmup masterclass sails into the top 50, and so it should. It doesn't stray far from the beaten path of the vertical shmup, giving you a little bit of movement for your helicopter to allow diagonal firing, and it doesn't have the most advanced power up system. It can even be criticised for some overly long boss battles. It does, however, have stunning graphics. Not just nice, or good, or even lovely. Stunning. Reflections in the water, billowing smoke, beautiful backdrops, wind rustling through foliage  It's a treat for the eyes. Throw in some unlockable content to add some depth, and an interesting not-quite-world-war-2 style, and you have another superb shmup for the DC.

39: UNREAL TOURNAMENT
18 places up
PAL and US release
2001 Infogrames

There was a time when every internet forum in the world had at least 12 threads entitled 'UT VS Q3', and twice as many complaining about them. It was mostly the PC versions, the real dawn of competitive online FPS gaming (an idea that would never last...), but our beloved little console saw it's own battle between the two titans. This year, Quake 3 wins the battle again, but the gap has become far smaller. Unreal Tournament has a better range of weapons, more interesting maps and better modes of play than Quake, but on the DC there's a touch of slowdown on the larger maps that keeps it back. Graphics are great, gameplay is always enjoyable, and it was playable online (the PAL version wasn't. Never did quite get those 6 billion players did we Sega, eh?).


38: LEGACY OF KAIN - SOUL REAVER
1 place up
PAL and US release
2000 Eidos

Crystal Dynamics sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is one of the best adventures you can experience on the DC. It takes the series into full 3D with spectacular results, as you engage in a tale of vampiric vengeance, shifting through the planes of the material and spectral worlds, battling various enemies human and monster alike, and solving some ingenious puzzles that play on the games 2 plane mechanic to solve. The graphics are suitably dark and gothic, with a suitably atmospheric soundtrack, and with a top class story as well, the trip to the world of Nosgoth is a memorable one.


37: PROJECT JUSTICE: RIVAL SCHOOLS 2
6 places up
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Combining the traditional style of Capcom fighters (despite the shift to 3D), with 3 on 3 battles with major emphasis on team up attacks, Project Justice is a blast. The high school setting has a nicely fleshed out story featuring numerous schools (it carries on the story from Rival Schools), and you have to hand it to Capcom for delivering great character design, capturing the many cliched 'high school types' well, and using their individual interests in their own fighting styles. The game looks great and is also packed full of content, not only the deep story modes, but league play, versus modes and plenty to unlock. The Japanese got to experience an odd board game mode as well, which sadly got cut from the western releases. Even without it, Project Justice is a great game.


36: SWORD OF THE BERSERK - GUTS' RAGE
(Berserk in Japan)
22 places up
released in all regions
1999 ASCII / Eidos

The last of the significant rises up the chart, Sword of the Berserk has a loyal fanbase from it's significant and popular Manga and series, and it's DC gaming venture proves popular as well. The story is excellent, as is the hack and slashing adventure gameplay with your massive sword. Really, really massive sword. Cut scenes abound, but they're well done, and the graphics will please fans of the Manga for sticking to the source.


35: SEAMAN
4 places down
Japanese and US release
1999 SEGA / Vivarium

Another quirky title for the DC, as you raise your Seaman by interacting via the microphone. It's a love hate affair with your little pet, as he soon questions your entire existence and becomes quite the annoying presence in your life. Patience is required, as regularly visiting your pet, as well as feeding him, is a must, and clever use of the system clock means you can't get away from him. It's a bit like having a real pet. Only Seaman won't end up chewing on your Dreamcast controller wires and pissing on your copy of Cannon Spike. Also, letting him die in a sadistic vengeful act of digital neglect won't get you thrown in jail.


34: DYNAMITE COP
(Dynamite Deka 2 in Japan)
3 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

You fight a giant pink octopus on a cruise ship. Need I go on? Oh, I do? Erm, well, Dynamite Cop is hugely entertaining, the sequel to Die Hard arcade without the Bruce Willis license (sequel to Dynamite Deka in Japan), and allows you to use just about anything you can find to beat the living crap out of the multitude of enemies you'll encounter - including that pink octopus. The story is just terrible, where rescuing the 'president's daughter' justifies mass killing with ridiculous weapons (no word about the fate of the other 2000 passengers at this time), it's short enough not to overstay it's welcome, but playable enough to warrant more playthroughs, and perhaps best of all, amongst the numerous extras, you get a full version of ancient Sega arcade title Tranquiliser. Fantastic fun.

33: HYDRO THUNDER
12 places up
PAL and US release
1999 Midway

Hydro Thunder was an early release for western gamers eager to expand their burgeoning collections, and boy were they in for a treat. High speed boats race around some wonderfully designed locations in a pure arcade racing game that lacks in modes but makes up for in fun. The graphics are excellent, and the dramatic, varied scenery and locations are superb - long water slides through Greek villages, smoke-billowing volcanoes in tropical paradises, racing with killer whales in the Arctic; there's so much going on that you'll want to slow down and admire it all, but the boost based racing rarely allows for sightseeing. With excellent controls, giving just the right feeling for racing on water, Midway really did deliver the goods with this DC version, miles better than any other version.


32: QUAKE III ARENA
4 places down
PAL and US release
2000 SEGA

Before Call of Duty, Battlefield and their all too serious ilk took control of the FPS genre, it was Quake that was king. Quake III's transition to the DC was much anticipated, and playing with the keyboard and mouse gives a near PC quality experience, including online play, the core of this deathmatch-focused title. Whether fragging mates, strangers or the very impressive AI bots, Quake rarely lets up, and the deathmatch action on offer is near-perfectly tuned and plays very well indeed on the console. Playing with a pad is not the way this should be played, but Sega did a good job at giving that functionality to gamers who lacked the keyboard-mouse setup.


31: THE TYPING OF THE DEAD
11 places down
Japanese and US release
2000 SEGA

An utterly insane concept, brilliantly realised. Initially conceived as a more 'educational' experience, it is without a doubt the worlds greatest typing tutor, taking the House of the Dead 2 and arming you with the power of the keyboard instead. It's utterly fantastic. Fending off a zombie with a swift typing of 'dog' should not work, but the game is played out with fantastic humour, bucket loads of B-movie charm (some deliberate, some possibly not) and genuinely will help with your typing ability. Honestly. Tell your mums, kids, the man at the Dreamcast blog said dispatching zombies with a keyboard is an educational tool. Legit.

30: TOY COMMANDER
(Totsugeki Teketeke Toy Ranger in Japan)
1 place down
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Imagine Micro Machines but with far more freedom, and far more combat, and you're sort of close to the idea of Toy Commander, where you control a variety of toy vehicles in a number of missions around locations within a house. So there's driving up walls and past hobs to knock eggs into pans, flying toy planes round avoiding pet cats, or fighting evil teddy bears. It's variety packed, with tons of missions and loads of different vehicles, and boasts a great multiplayer mode. It's a nostalgic favourite amongst many DC fans.

29: STREET FIGHTER III 3RD STRIKE
6 places down
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Edging out Toy Commander by the smallest of margins, 29th still feels too low for possibly the best Street Fighter version ever. And yes I'm including Street Fighter II. Third Strike, the third and final updated version of Street Fighter III, not only boasts some beautiful 2D art and animation, as well as a glorious soundtrack, it adds new characters (and the return of Chun-Li, which in itself may be worth buying the game for) and new moves. It's beautifully balanced, perhaps the most balanced fighter ever made, and remains a huge fan favourite.

Mark: "I love the graphics, the sound and the atmosphere of the game - and the controls are spot on...Street Fighter IV was a step backwards when compared to Third Strike."

Nick Ecker: "While it was underrated and criticised during it's time, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike has aged like fine wine. Third Strike features some of the finest looking 2D sprites I have seen in a video game to this day, and the Dreamcast port is a perfect translation.... The fighting mechanics were so deep that even today it's used in tournaments for professional players such as EVO."


28: SPACE CHANNEL 5
11 places down (previously ranked with it's sequel)
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

There's nothing quite like Space Channel 5. Ulala, the female icon of the Dreamcast, is an awesome creation, instantly recognisable, and a game which sees you out dancing aliens to boost your TV ratings is the sort of wacky idea that Sega did so well on the console. And it works. It may at heart just be another rhythm title, but it is so slick, so overwhelmingly cool and stylish, that it transcends the usual limitations of the genre. The music is excellent, which is always handy, but it's more than that - it's so utterly fitting to the game, so catchy, that it will have you humming for days after (years, actually).
This year, we separated the two Space Channel's, but if we were to include the two together it would only be a couple of spots higher.



27: DAYTONA USA 2001 
2 places down (Daytona USA in the US)
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Daytona returns to a Sega console with this revamped and enhanced version of the Arcade classic. All the tracks from the Saturn game are included, plus some extras exclusive to this game, and as always there's the option of mirror and reverse versions of the tracks. There's plenty of other extras and customisation available as well. It may not be the arcade perfect port that fans wanted, but arguably it's even better, with a depth unlike other Daytona's, gorgeous graphics, music and impulsive arcade thrills aplenty. It can be a bit of a love-hate game, as the handling can feel horribly sensitive, but there's plenty of DC gamers who love this slice of enhanced 90's Sega at their best.



26: SEGA RALLY 2
4 places down
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Losing the top spot for racing games, Sega Rally 2 was the much anticipated sequel to Sega's groundbreaking original, and it's transition from it's Model 3 arcade origins to the DC was equally eagerly anticipated. Whilst Saturn owners had a wonderful game with a serious lack of content, DC owners could look forward to far more tracks, cars, road conditions and modes. It retained however what made the original a classic, with superb handling as you battle the conditions. 



25: HEADHUNTER
15 places up
PAL exclusive
2001 SEGA

It seems more and more gamers have come around to the appeal of Jack Wade's amnesia driven adventure, the highest ranked PAL exclusive in this years list. Presenting a visually exciting and huge world, Headhunter is a third person title with plenty of stealthy opportunities. And a Motorbike.(it's amazing how many great games on the DC feature the main character on a motorbike, especially when the actual 2 wheel focused games we got were quite average, or in Ducati World's case, woefully wall-climbingly terrible, but, that's the subject of a whole different vote...). Whilst the game wears it's influences on clear display, and the world can sometimes feel a little empty, it's an engrossing title with a simultaneously cinematic and open world feel. And best of all, for all of us PAL gamers, starved of decent exclusives for years, it's one of ours! Stick that where the sun don't shine, Americans!



24: CRAZY TAXI 2
21 places down (previously ranked with Crazy Taxi)
released in all regions
2001 SEGA

It must of been tricky when the inevitable planning of a sequel to Crazy Taxi ended up being next on the Agenda at Sega. I mean, the original was pretty much spot on. It's not a bloody spoiler to say it's ranked quite highly. So what could they do? More cities? A bit more depth? More Bad Religion songs? Make the cars Jump? Wait...what? Jumping cars? Stupid idea.... oh, they actually put that into the game? Awkward.

Crazy Taxi 2 is more of the same, but swapping the Southern Californian blue sky appeal for the mean streets of a New York-a-like city. It plays very much the same, but picking up multiple passengers is a great addition, and whilst the narrow city streets don't quite appeal as much, this is still Crazy Taxi, and therefore a byword for awesome fun. The Crazy Hop, jumping cars, is one of the most ridiculous additions to a game ever, and I am not a fan, but to be honest, even Sega couldn't of messed this one up. 



23: RAYMAN 2: THE GREAT ESCAPE
5 places down
released in all regions
2000 Ubi Soft

What the hell is Rayman? It's a legitimate question on this my 177th game description. And why are his limbs detached and floating? IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE! The only good thing to ever come from the gaming abomination that was the Atari Jaguar (that one was for you Tom!), Rayman's move into the 3rd dimension is an essential entry in the 3D platforming world, combining terrific level design and graphics, smooth controls, and a superbly Gallic sense of humour. The DC was graced with the best version of the game, adding several extras including some fun mini games. I still have no idea what the hell Rayman is though.

Riordan Zentler: "...it's platforming genius. The game feels huge even though it's not, and it's not overwhelming. It has a fairly vast scope for the time and very 'epic' feel to it. It has incredible variation in level design while rarely feeling gimmicky."

Michael Huniu: "An awesome 3D platformer that puts both Sonic Adventure games to shame!"


22: TONY HAWK'S series
(Tony Hawks Skateboarding and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2)
4 places up
PAL and US release
2000 Crave / Activision

Tony Hawk's skateboarding games summed up the feel of the turn of the last millennium better than any other series, or at least for someone like me who surrounded themselves with the music, films and style of the skating scene. The first of the series received a port to the DC and it's awesome fun, but with the second, Neversoft created gaming gold. It added loads to the format, from turning the dial up to 11 making all the jumps feel just that little bit wilder, the inclusion of manuals for the first time to extend those combos just a little more, to refining the whole experience into a total joy to play. Split screen modes are pure gaming nirvana, the soundtrack is an eclectic mix of hip hop, punk and metal, and the level design is simply perfect. There's so much to do in the game, even adding a park editor, which effectively prolongs the games life to epic lengths, that 15 years after purchasing it, I'm still enjoying it, finding new bits to skate, and generally having a blast.  



21: IKARUGA
5 places down
Japanese exclusive
2002 ESP / Treasure

Dropping out of the top 20 (cheers for that, DCJY voting public, I expect some flack for this!), Treasure returns to the shmup genre with this spiritual successor to the acclaimed Radiant Silvergun, and it's a bit of a beauty. Not just in the graphics, which are indeed very pleasing to the eye in their fully polygonal, light sourced, epic feeling grandeur, but in it's joyous gameplay as well. The polarity mechanic, shifting from dark to light, absorbing enemy bullets one minute, taking down lines of them the next, feels unique even now, and with the game sometimes taking on the appearance of a shmup obstacle course, it's the thinking mans shooter. And I haven't even mentioned the games operatic, epic sweeping soundtrack. It's not got much to do, but the quality of the presentation and feel of the action make this a must have.

Richard Hernandez: "I pre-ordered Ikaruga...in 2002! Immediately fell in love with the polarity mechanic. Still amazing today."


20: CHUCHU ROCKET!
7 places down
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Sonic Team's cat and mouse puzzler was meant to be the gateway through which the masses would experience online gaming (it'll never catch on), and whilst it mat not have lived up to that, it remains an essential title. It is painfully simple, guide your Space-mice ChuChu's to your coloured rocket ships whilst avoiding marauding KapuKapu's, all the while competing for space with other players. Simple, but utterly hectic, with the screen soon turning into a blur of mice, arrow tiles and cats, it's brilliant. Single player modes, including a puzzle mode and puzzle creation, are okay, but it's the 4 player competition on offer here that is timeless.

Kev Mason: "Multiplayer memories."

19: DEAD OR ALIVE 2
9 places down
released in all regions
2000 Tecmo

Tecmo's Dead or Alive follow up makes the move from NAOMI arcade title to the Dreamcast in all it's beautiful, multi tiered arena, bouncing breast glory. A worthy competitor for Soul Calibur's 3D fighting crown, DOA2 may look even better - which is quite a feat. It's silky smooth throughout, has at times breathtaking scenery and the counter based fighting action is easy to get to grips with. The later Japanese release had a face lift and contains extra stages, costumes and moves. Whether you go for that version, or the western releases, you're still in for a good time.


18: METROPOLIS STREET RACER (MSR)
6 places up
PAL and US release
2000 SEGA

The oft delayed MSR finally arrived on the DC and the sound of thousands of Sony fans dropping their copies of Gran Turismo in slack jawed awe could be heard the world over. It still defines racing on the console. Photo realistic courses set on real world streets in 3 iconic world cities, desirable cars to whizz round in, and a fantastic time feature which sees you race with lighting conditions that matched what those cities would currently be seeing. The kudos system, rewarding not just your racing results but your driving style, was highly original and worked superbly. There's so much to do, so many tracks to race around, that it's easy to lose yourself, and thankfully the control is spot on too, weighty cars with a fine balance between sim and arcade styles. The in car entertainment system features great music and city-specific radio stations. The game's successor, the Project Gotham series, would refine the games features, but it started here, on our little machine, and it's wonderful.

Kevin Murray: "A great racing which, if it hadn't existed, we would be in a world without Project Gotham or Blur, spiritual sequels."


17: VIRTUA TENNIS series
(Power Smash in Japan; second title Tennis 2K2 in the US)
(Virtua Tennis/Power Smash and Virtua Tennis 2/Power Smash 2/Tennis 2K2)
2 places up
released in all regions
2000/2001 SEGA

There was once a world without video games. I know, I know...it's a scary thought. People had to go out and play sports. Real sports, not League of Legends. Tennis, where two people hit a small yellow ball to each other over a net, using sticks with smaller nets inside them, is a popular sport. And once upon a time, going outside was the only way of experiencing it. It wasn't worth it. Then came along Pong, and things changed. People realised they could make computers sort of pretend to be playing tennis. And the world rejoiced. And then realised, actually, this wasn't that great either.
Skip forward a few years, and Sega released Virtua Tennis. And suddenly, it all made sense. Here was a game that so effortlessly recreated the sport, with stunning graphics and simple controls, that it really was like watching the sport on the telly. Sega obviously added some pretty brilliant extras, training levels which added ten pin bowling, robot ball dispensers and prize shoots, but at it's core, it was just such a brilliant digital version of the sport, that nothing since could really do anything more. It's own sequel added a better world tour mode, and female players, and refined the initial release to near perfection. There's probably never been a sports game thats perfected it's source material quite as well. You can even sort of play it with a fishing controller and pretend to be swinging your racket around like a pro. Sort of.


16: GRANDIA II
1 place down
released in all regions
2000 Game Arts / Ubi Soft

Grandia II is one of the few JRPG's that really did light up the DC, and boy is it good. Fantastic graphics and music aside, the game also plays brilliantly - it doesn't do anything particularly original for the most part, but it just does everything so well. The battles are probably the game's greatest asset, highly acclaimed and allowing for far more depth than usual in a JRPG. It also boasts a great story, visually impressive setting, brilliantly realised characters and that soundtrack is godly. The DC version is also the best version of this title, showing up it's PC and PS2 siblings.

Gilbert Nicks: "The story is awesome... the combat system is the best and the visuals are an epic light show."

Samuel Goodwin: "Grandia II still has one of  the best JRPG battle systems of any game, memorable characters and voice acting, and a story that really made you want to keep playing."

Daniel: "Fantastic gameplay, I thoroughly enjoyed mastering the battle system and playing through such a long journey with an amazing soundtrack and classic Anime tropey characters. A must play."


15: MARVEL VS CAPCOM 2 (MvC2)
4 places down (previously ranked with Marvel vs Capcom)
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

The highest ranked game which didn't receive a single 'Best DC game' tie breaker vote, MvC 2 still has a cherished place in the hearts of many DC gamers. Taking that fantastic concept of the first MvC, the comic book giants roster of superheros versus the fighting game giants roster of fighting masters, it runs with it, turns everything up several notches, and turns out a game that is possibly the most exhilarating piece of gaming ever created. There's more characters than you can quite comprehend, the fighting is frantic, chaotic, fast, colourfully explosive and indulgently glorious in it's excess. There's so much to unlock, so much content, that frankly if you get bored of this, you have clearly lost any sense of enjoyment in your soul destroying trudge of a life, and probably knit mittens. For cats. I don't know what else to say. Whenever I think of MvC 2 I just want to shout out 'ARRRRGGHHH' in some sugar-rush of excitement. And you know what? I'm not even the game's biggest fan. I find it just a bit too chaotic. But I can appreciate a classic when I see it.

14: POWER STONE 2
7 places down (previously ranked with Power Stone)
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

Although I like the first Power Stone, something about it left me a little cold (*looks down the remaining list. Realises Power Stone is still to come. Realises it's going to be an awkward writing exercise..*). If Capcom could somehow manage to iron out some of the issues of the first, add a bit more depth and focus maybe, then it could be quite a special sequel. Did they manage it? Oh, yes. And then some. The action is now 4 player chaos, there's tons more weapons to pick up, the levels are varied, scrolling masterpieces, and even though everything is up to 11 now, it somehow feels more tight. The adventure mode adds item collection and mix and match weapon creation, which is just crazy. With 4 players, ad-hoc teams are formed in a second, as 3 players team up on a poor unsuspecting individual who just sits there crying in the corner asking for it all to stop, the other 3 laughing hysterically. A game that can do that is genius.

I have to state that the two Power Stone's split the fanbase. Many (most, in fact) will rate the original higher, perhaps due to the added chaos of the second, but there's an equally vocal set who rate this the better title. Me? Well, the above pretty much sums up my feelings on which I believed should have been higher placed.  I split the two titles this year, if we had included them together, it wouldn't of managed to retain it's 7th place from the last poll, the series sitting around 10th.

Solesoslav: "...great multiplayer fun, pick up and play gameplay and the item system that always keeps you coming back."

Philip Drula: "...look at what Smash Bros is for Nintendo, now imagine that, but better in every way, plus 3-D!...you and a group of friends could waste hours rather fast....ahead of its time."


13: RESIDENT EVIL CODE : VERONICA
(Biohazard -CODE : Veronica- in Japan)
4 places down
released in all regions
2000 Capcom

A drop out of the top 10 for Capcom's best Zombie horror game on the DC. Turning the static backgrounds into glorious 3D looked amazing, and the undead survival horror on offer here is more atmospheric than ever. It doesn't reinvent the Ghoulish wheel, this is still basically a Resident Evil game, but the story is ace, and the upgrade to the graphics does the game the world of good - the scares are just that little bit more terrifying now they look so much better. There's lovely little touches, VMU screen status display for instance, and any true fan of the horror genre can't help but be impressed. Capcom helped make the DC great, and this is one of their finest.

Anomaly: "...CV had great graphics, story, puzzles, atmosphere and soundtrack. The game has classic RE gameplay: survival, puzzles and inventory management first, and action second..."


12: REZ
no move
PAL and Japanese release
2001 SEGA

As I write this, the prospect of a VR Rez on the PS4 headset is getting people very excited, and it's not hard to see why if you've ever experienced this amazing game. Actually, describing it just as a 'game' feels unfair. It's more than that. The embodiment of that oft-used 'Games as Art' adage, it's a mesmerising visual and aural fusion that captivates unlike anything else. At it's heart it's a rather simple rail shooter with multi-lock on function, a bit like Panzer Dragoon, but that's missing the point. Sound is the key to the game. The trance tracks that define each area gain in intensity as you progress, disposing of enemies add sound effects to the mix, and combined with the pulsations of the vibration pack, it creates quite the experience. The visuals, wire frames, blur effects, stylised enemies, laser beams and a variety of other angular looks, fit the sound and experience perfectly. Stick some headphones on, immerse yourself in the game, prepare for an experience like no other.

Mark Palasics: "It's twisted, it's a shmup, It sounds and looks great. Very unique game."

Timothy Joyce: "Rez is utterly unique and more of a game you experience rather than play. The replay value is high with all it's unlockables....stunning visuals backed up by an excellent soundtrack, Rez will live within my memory as one of the all time greats..."

Liam: "Unique. Absorbing game play. Nothing has come close in the genre since."

Tempest: "A sublime, synaesthesic experience about the creation of life."

Andrew: "It's the single most interesting thing Sega ever did."


11: THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2
3 places up
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Virtua Cop may have been the more accomplished lightgun game, but it was the B Movie horror film take on the genre that was the fan favourite, and this sequel takes everything that made the first great and gloriously revels in it's gore soaked zombie blasting action to bring an even better introduction to the DC lightgun. It's not the deepest, despite having a DC original mode alongside the Arcade, but whilst it lasts it's great fun. Excellent monster placement and secret paths are designed perfectly, usually to ramp up the campy horror scares, and the dialogue really is so hideously terrible that it's amazing. The bosses, and actually all of the enemies, are well designed, and the music, a high point of all HOTD games, is superb. One of the best lightgun games ever released, and another example of just how many amazing horror based games the DC has (in fact, HOTD 2 is the highest placed horror themed game, which is nice!)

Devlyn: "Countless hours and quarters of my childhood were spent on this game. The ability to play this near-perfected gun game at home is outstanding."

10: PHANTASY STAR ONLINE series
(Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Online ver. 2)
2 places down
released in all regions
2000/2001 SEGA

This and the 9th placed game could be said to be 'leading the rest', with respectably high voting numbers, but significantly behind the top 8. It's still quite impressive that a game whose genre has since expanded exponentially in number of titles, manages to get into the top 10, but then for a game which has an active community of online DC players in the present day, perhaps that really isn't that surprising at all.
Part of Sega's plan to take over the world of gaming by utilising the online functions of it's machine, Phantasy Star Online takes the classic series of 8 and 16-bit space fantasy RPG's and gives it a rather nifty 21st century makeover. Close teamwork is at the core of the game, hunting for rare items to upgrade your avatars weapons and abilities, and whilst a single player can still play through, it's missing the point somewhat. The graphics are superb, the inclusion of a 'universal translator' so players with different languages could communicate is somewhat ingenious, and whilst it remains a pretty standard RPG in many ways, the real time combat, little nods to other Sega games and compelling setting and gameplay has meant the game remains a popular choice with the DC community.

Nico0020: "Online community that still exists today. Revolutionary for it's time, I had never played anything like an MMO before. Put in thousands of hours and made many friends that eventually became IRL friends. A simple game at it's core with mechanics, story and features that run deeper than expected."

Umberto: "I adore the Monster Hunter series and looking back to PSO, I can clearly see from what it took inspiration. PSO is really fun and simply majestic: the dungeons are immense and envelop the player in the right atmosphere..."


9: POWER STONE
2 places down (previously ranked with Power Stone 2)
released in all regions
1999 Capcom

An eye catching early NAOMI port to the DC, Power Stone may have been from 2D fighting stalwarts Capcom, but it's just about as far away as you can get from their usual fare within the genre. I'm sure someone at Capcom saw what Sega were doing with Virtua Fighter, or Namco with Tekken, and thought that they could turn everything up a notch and do a 3D fighting game properly. And they did. Fighting in tight, compact arenas, using everything you can lay your hands on to beat, blast, shoot, pummel and generally destroy your opponents, it has a superbly realised cast of pseudo-20's styled characters too. Collecting the gems is the real focus, as collecting 3 of them allows you to unleash devastating power attacks. It's got the usual Capcom arcade flair, the graphics are awesome, and whilst the fighting on offer isn't the focused, balanced gameplay that the developers are known for, it's just great fun. Especially in 2 player mode.

Lewis:
"So many memories and personally think it and it's sequel are some of the best fighters ever made."

Nick: "My brother and I first had the demo of this game and played that demo to hell before finally collecting enough money to buy the real deal...I went on to have the NAOMI version of this game so I guess that shows how much I love the game."


8: SHENMUE 2
7 places down (previously ranked with Shenmue)
PAL and Japanese release
2001 SEGA

Last poll, we included the 2 Shenmue's together, but with some major developments in the world of Yu Suzuki's epic adventure in the intervening years, namely, the kickstarter record setting announcement of Shenmue 3, it was interesting to see where this sequel would rank on it's own merit. With no US release, it was time for us PAL gamers to celebrate when Sega brought the game to our usually overlooked shores, and it's testament to the series massive fanbase that it ranks at 8th - in fact, it received significantly more votes than 9th place, and if we only took the votes for 'Best single DC game overall', it would  be 2nd overall.

Shenmue 2 refined the first game to near perfection. The world feels more epic, more open, and rather than being immersed in a foreign culture to the player, but familiar to Ryo as in the first, this time it feels like you're experiencing the culture of a foreign land with him. The graphics are as always excellent, the world feels slightly less detailed than before, but still intricate (and still far more detailed than anything else at the time), and the story is as compelling as it ever was. There's tons to do, plenty of distractions from the main plot, and the upping of the pace, generally fixes some of the issues that Shenmue itself had to confront. It is an amazing, glorious experience, and one of the very best games ever made. But don't just take my word for it, here's a few views from you, the voters:

Andrew Snyder-Spak: "So far ahead of it's time..."

Peter: "Shenmue was incredible...Shenmue 2 improved on it with more interesting and varied areas to explore..."

Dan Baker: "In this game, I WAS Ryo Hazuki! It's literally the only game I was so enthralled with that I forgot to eat..."

Florian Wallin: "...this is the 'Dreamgame' that defines the Dreamcast."

James: "Most immersive open world game ever made."

Nik Thorpe: "I got lost in this game. I'd be up all night grinding away at Lucky hit for money, or trying to beat the street fighters in Kowloon. Both Shenmue games felt more like a living world than any other video games at the time, but there was a sense of danger and adventure to Hong Kong that Yokusuka never conveyed."

Andrew: "It's my home from home."

Lewis David White: "Shenmue 2 is not just a technological masterpiece for the time, but is also a game that is extremely personal to me. Many people play games for escapism, and when I first played the Shenmue series I drew myself into both the Japanese setting of the original and the Chinese setting of it's fantastic sequel..."

Pcwzrd13: "It's the most engaging and breathtaking experience I've ever had in a video game..."

Richard Legarda: "The game play is deeper, the world is larger, and more importantly it is a far darker world than the familiar romps of Yokusuka."

Alex Hajdasz: "A triumph of adventure game design and presentation, Shenmue II outdoes the original in almost every department, and represents one of the finest home console releases of it's era. This is a game with more quality graphics, replay hours and quintessential gaming 'moments' than a hundred titles of similar ilk. Shenmue II is the Dreamcast's swansong; one that sent it out in a blaze of glory."


7: SKIES OF ARCADIA
(Eternal Arcadia in Japan)
1 place down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

So the Dreamcast doesn't have any decent RPG's does it? I mean that's what we hear, right? We all know one of those insufferable arse-cakes that like to bleat about it. Well, I hope you all grab your copies of Skies of Arcadia and beat them into sense, as Skies of Arcadia not only gave us a fantastic JRPG, it gave us one of the very best JRPG's.
Featuring a unique and appealing Sky pirates theme, you fly your airship around, engaging in battles, hunting for treasure and generally getting up to various shenanigans. It features a wonderful cast of characters, main man Vyse is one of Sega's best, and the glorious graphics add to the experience. It's a huge adventure, and whilst it could be said that the turn based random battles can be a little too common (something it's Gamecube remake slightly improved), the combat itself is well done, looks good and is deeply satisfying. The soundtrack is immense, the story is top class. Need we go on?

Joe Douglas:
"'Epic' is a word that is used all too often to describe games these days, however, there isn't a more fitting description of Skies of Arcadia. An absolutely glorious adventure spanning a huge world full of amazing characters..."

Nathan S: "Unparalleled world-building and unique atmosphere gives it a special place in JRPG history."

Elijah Taylor: "Epic story, lovable characters, insane plot twists, an engaging VMU game to play away from the console, and so much more. This was one of the first games where I really had to think hard about when and how often to play cause I typically spent up to 8 hours at a time on it."


6: SONIC ADVENTURE 2
4 places down (previously ranked with Sonic Adventure)
released in all regions
2001 SEGA

The first defined the Dreamcast's early days - this sequel refined and improved and arguably is a better game. Sonic Adventure 2 pays far less attention to the adventure elements of the first, and instead deals far more with fast paced, action heavy 3D platforming. It's stunning on numerous occasions, and the glorious Sega soundtrack is a perfect fit. It's also got a far darker tone than the first, and feels a little bit like Sonic has grown up. Yes, some of that darker tone comes from the inclusion of Shadow, who depending on your perspective is an inspired gaming character addition, or the most annoying appearance from a hedgehog since that time you discovered one in the remains of a bonfire and had to convince the kids that it was just recreating Vader's funeral pyre scene in return of the jedi...
The game delivers a vast quantity of content:  6 characters on offer, an improved and expanded karting section, 180 emblems to collect, return of the Chaos, multiplayer options, downloadable content for the VMU. It's another glorious outing in the 3rd dimension for Sonic, a sign of all future 3D Sonic games to come...okay, maybe not quite.

Luke Benstead:
"Because I spent my teenage years earning 180 emblems, I still have the save file, and it's still awesome."

Zorch: "The story, the characters, the music, the setting, multiplayer, and of course the hundreds of hours spent in the chao garden (along with taking my chao with me everywhere on the VMU), no other game comes close to how nostalgic this game makes me feel, and I wouldn't have it any other way."


5: JET SET RADIO
(Jet Grind Radio in the US; also includes the De La Jet Set Radio Japanese version)
1 place down
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

Jet Set Radio is one of the most visually eye catching titles ever produced. It's revolutionary cel-shaded graphics and typical Sega bright and colourful look, combine to create something that, at the time, looked like little else out there. It was, and is, an amazing look. The style levels are through the roof too, whether from the excellent soundtrack, which plays an integral role in the game, to the smooth animation, stylised art style, graffiti tagging and just the smooth, flowing way the game plays. It's such an awesome combination - doing the sort of tricks that wouldn't look out of place in a Tony Hawk's game, in a semi open world, full of character. As with many of the games in this top 10, Jet Set Radio can be seen to define the Dreamcast - innovative, exciting, stylish, beautiful and, with it's slightly wonky controls at times, flawed genius.
JSR was significantly ahead of 6th place in the voting, and lost out on 4th place at the last minute - but it was very close to being in the top 3 for much of the voting period.

Fanat:
(specifically about De la Jet Set Radio): "The funky soundtrack, the intriguing conspiracy themed plot, the awesome art style. Graphics still hold up to this day."

Robin Enrico: "..my entire art style as a cartoonist is derived from my love of this game. It's the game I always show people when I want to show off the Dreamcast..."

Joshua: "The cell shaded graphics look wonderful, and since it's so stylised, it holds up even today..."

Joe Winchester: "Spray painting on roller skates, pissing off the fuzz..."

Stolari: "It was like playing a cartoon."


4: SOUL CALIBUR
1 place up
released in all regions
1999 Namco

Back in the late 90's, Namco's Soul Calibur was one of the most eye catching arcade machines, thanks in no small part to it's gorgeous graphics. A sequel to the arcade/Playstation game Soul Edge (Soul Blade in the UK), DC gamers were naturally anticipating the game with relish, but perhaps not even the most optimistic would have seen just what the game would become. Soul Calibur is, quite simply, breathtaking. It boasts graphics of a level so high, so obviously a major step up for console games, that few would have failed to be impressed. They're so detailed, so gorgeous - clothing and hair blowing subtly in the wind, beautiful, living backgrounds, weather effects - they still look amazing to this day. The music? Epic. The gameplay has huge depth, a multitude of moves to learn, but always feeling that any player can get something out of it - whether you want to learn combos with lightning quick reflexes or just button mash, the game fits your playing desire. The cast of characters is immense, but perhaps the very best element of the game is the Mission battle mode. This rule-mixing multi-mission mode adds so much depth over the standard arcade fighting format. Amazing. Soul Calibur sold DC's at the time, and it still remains a beautiful, wonderful 3D fighter.

Adam Lundgren:
"It's simply the most played game on the console and even today I can't get tired of it."

Tom Napior: "For me this represented what the Dreamcast was all about. Fun arcade style gameplay, fantastic multiplayer, crisp graphics and excellent sound to usher in a new generation of gaming."

Luis Zayas: "Simply amazing when released....Even to this day the game holds up well...the fact that they included a ton of extras and modes made it more awesome"

Omnibot 2000: "Gorgeous visuals, massive content, excellent gameplay: the reason why I bought a DC back then."

Rob Baines: "Memories. Friday night, post-pub, stay up late with pals memories. Epic...usually pretty even fights. Finding the 'zone' despite being inebriated ringing out myself whilst trying to be a smart arse..."

3: CRAZY TAXI
no move (previously ranked with Crazy Taxi 2)
released in all regions
2000 SEGA

A world without Crazy Taxi would be, I imagine, a dark, oppressive fascist regime, devoid of fun, devoid of life. It's appearance into the world made everything just a little bit better. Rightly regarded as a classic of the late 90's, the games transition to the DC resulted in a game which was one of the first to make owners of other consoles envious of our little dream box. Seeing the bright yellow cab speeding down the San Francisco inspired hill, dodging trams, cars and vans, bright blue sky and sun-kissed Californian surroundings whizzing by to the sounds of the Offspring and Bad Religion, remains a seminal moment in gaming. The premise is so simple, and Sega didn't have to add much more to the Arcade original (although what it did, including the Crazy box mode, was ace) as it was near perfection already. Masters of the game will be able to string dozens of customers in a row, casual players will just enjoy racing around in insane joy, and it is a sign of a great game when 'one last go' is an often heard phrase whenever the game is on.
Crazy Taxi only just misses out on 2nd spot by the narrowest of margins; both this and number 2 received the same number of votes, but Crazy Taxi received 3 less tie breaker 'Best overall game' nominations.

Brandon Brown:
"Just a great port and always fun to play"

Leanne Foster: "The one game I enjoyed the most, and one I sought out from the Arcades to the home"

Charles Maxwell: "The arcade gameplay is of a very unique structure that still holds up 15+ years to date.."

Stuart Morrison: "...Pure high score bliss...kick ass soundtrack from the Offspring...an intuitive control system...what's not to like"

Michael Weller: "..Hitmaker took something thoroughly mundane from modern life (taxi service) and lathered it with all the Sega arcade goodness that they could muster....They understood the beauty in 'less is more' and had the supreme confidence that the central mechanic of the game would stand on it's own merit..."

DCGX: "..it represents what the Dreamcast was all about: high quality, fun and inventive games"

Elvis Presley: "Because it'd be a rocking and a rolling just like me, baby. A-huh-huh"


2: SONIC ADVENTURE
no move (previously ranked with Sonic Adventure 2)
released in all regions
1998 SEGA

Sonic's first 3D proper 3D adventure after the aborted attempts to create a true-3D experience on the Saturn was the first must have title on the DC. It's a heady mix of 2 styles - thrilling, fast 3D platforming and more adventure like zones where the story progresses and the extra bits can be found. The first of these is the without a doubt the games strength. Playing as one of the 6 main characters, stages twist and turn and interact with set pieces at a breathtaking pace (well, mostly, I'll get onto that in a second) and the fabulous graphics help to deliver a truly 'next gen' experience. Each character brings something different to the party - the mad dash of Sonic, climbing of Knuckles, and the slightly slower gameplay styles of E-102 Gamma and Amy are all well thought out and distinct. Yes, Big the Cat's fishing-based stages are a little tedious, the adventure elements aren't quite as good and just serve as bread to the meat of the hedgehog sandwich,  and the game does have it's fair share of issues, but it doesn't really matter when you factor in all the other extras; pinball, karting, chao.. the game has depth by the bucket load. Wonderfully presented, the game has numerous stand out moments, and despite probably being bettered by it's own sequel, the nostalgic memories of what was many's first DC title are priceless.

Hovik:
"Sonic Adventure IS Dreamcast. Dreamcast IS Sonic Adventure. You can love it, you can hate it, but you can't deny it. And, c'mon, how can you not love Sonic Adventure?"

Kosta: "It's by no means a perfect game, but I simply love the aesthetics and soundtrack"

Samuel Absolom: "The definitive 3D Sonic game, has a lot of fun characters and levels....minus Knuckles.."

Mack Finley: "It was my first Dreamcast game at launch, so full of nostalgia for me. Fun, expansive and timeless"


1: SHENMUE
no move (previously ranked with Shenmue 2)
released in all regions
1999 SEGA

Was it ever in doubt? Not really. A clear margin of victory, more than double the number of 'best overall game' votes (and that was to it's own sequel - it received triple the number that 3rd placed JSR received) and for the 3rd DCJY best games list, Yu Suzuki's masterpiece is a deserved winner. There's been so much said about this game, so much love and passion from it's loyal fan base, that it's hard to describe the game without simply getting a bit emotional. A beautifully realised vision of mid 80's Japan, intricate, highly detailed environments with graphics that were nothing less than mind blowing at the time, an adventure that felt truly epic, with a classic tale of vengeance and redemption. Yu Suzuki is a gaming genius, and there are so many little touches in the game - from playing classic titles in the Arcades, an out-of-time Saturn to play at home (and versions of the Arcade games to win), motorbike section, fighting system, forklift racing...there's a reason the game was the most expensive ever made, and it can be seen in the incredible attention to detail. The music is just incredible, the game is emotionally touching (yes, even with the slightly wooden voice acting of the western releases), and whilst there are plenty who don't 'get' the game, for many, it transcends the medium. How many people gained an interest in Japanese culture from playing this game? I can think of few other games where the words 'emotionally impacted' are said more, when describing Shenmue.  It defines the DC more than any other game, and the memories it invokes in so many..well...I'll just leave some of them here:

Daniel Quince: "...Sat in my tiny caravan bedroom lost in a great story, back in a great time. Sometimes I would just let days pass me by either playing in the arcade, practising Karate or chatting up the terrible voice acted girls... Them's were the days!"

Bridger: "There was nothing like it at the time. You could take your time and explore every area and see the time and detail that was put into every minute of the game..."

James Wakefield: "I know it's an obvious one, but it's the reason I bought a Dreamcast when I was a kid."

Richard Troupe: "Shenmue was a truly revolutionary gaming experience....Shenmue still manages to marvel and astound with its never before seen attention to detail, beautiful soundtrack and stunning atmosphere."

Jonathan: "It was the first time I felt an emotional connection to a game. The story is so deep and the characters are so well developed."

Cameron Allen: "The most engaging video game I have ever experienced.... my wife who does not play video games sat next to me for a complete play through of Shenmue, utterly entranced by the story and characters. With it's time appropriate accuracy and wildly unique feeling I am yet to play a game that matches it's atmosphere."

Mathew: "A game beyond awesome, it really broke me from turn based RPG's and opened my mind to a ton of other games I love today."

Ted: "This is a game that resonated with me deeply. It was a revolutionary game for the time and still holds up well as not only a genre defining game - but as a definition of a new type of media..."

Nicolas Oberlé: "This game allowed me to discover Japan 5 years before my first trip to the country."

Rico Tyrell: "On a personal level, this game started me on my journey to becoming a game programmer..."

Dan Glosier: "It strives to develop a story in a fully imagined world without relying on pure action to keep the player entertained."

Matthew Smith: "Of all the video games that I've ever played, no game more than Shenmue has made me feel like I was visiting a real place. The setting, the music, the character design and the focus on your exploration of everything from the town to your closets make it an unforgettable experience."

Chris: "Shenmue introduced me to not only the wonderful world of the Sega Dreamcast but also the simple joys of exploring a small Japanese town, which subsequently has fueled my love for both video games and Japanese culture ever since."

James Brown: "The single greatest video game that affected m physically and emotionally. Completed it roughly 30+ times...always have slightly different experiences each playthrough..."


Those we left behind:
Several games have dropped out of the rankings compared to the 2013 poll. Some of these are classics, some...not so much. Let's take a moment to remember those that have dropped out of our affections:

Dance Dance Revolution series, Coaster Works, Puyo Puyo Da, Ms Pac-Man Maze madness, Feet of Fury, Sega Extreme Sports, Toy Racer, Atari Anniversary Edition, Irides, Donald Duck Quack Attack, Q*Bert, Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2, Bomber Hehhe!, Chaos Field, 4x4 Evolution, Densya de Go, Frogger 2, Toy Story 2, Sega Tetris, Gundam EEF vs Zeon & DX, Puyo Puyo 4, F1 World Grand prix series, Super Runabout, Wind and Water Puzzle Battles, Rent a Hero no. 1, Rush Rush Rally racing, all the Sakura Taisen games, Mortal Kombat Gold, Dux, Fast Striker and Yu Suzuki Gameworks.

Some More Stats:
So by this point I'm sure those of you who decided to read all of this list have began to regret that decision. I don't blame you. If you need to go feed your cat, or put a cuppa on, really, feel free, I won't take it personally. All we have left to present to you is a few stats to round off the article.

Publisher League Table:
1st: SEGA (68)
2nd: Capcom (27)
3rd: Infogrames (12)
4th: Crave (11)
5th: Ubi Soft (10)

Biggest Gain in the rankings:
Speed Devils (up 87 places from 159th to 72nd)
Propeller Arena (New entry at 110th, so at least 91 places up)

Biggest drop in the rankings:
Segagaga (down 101 places from 147th to 46th)
Yu Suzuki Gameworks (dropped out of the rankings, from 96th, so a drop of at least 105 places)

The rankings if only 'Best Game on the DC' votes are counted:
So as part of the voting, we asked for your ultimate, all time single favourite DC game. I used this as a tie breaker mainly, but I thought having a look at how the results would have turned out just using these would of been interesting. Note: Top spot received more than double the number of 2nd place. It really wasn't even close.

1: Shenmue  (finished first in the main poll)
2: Shenmue 2 (finished 8th in the main poll)
3: Jet Set Radio (finished 5th in the main poll)
4: Sonic Adventure (finished 2nd in the main poll)
5: Soul Calibur (finished 4th in the main poll)
6: Skies of Arcadia (finished 7th in the main poll)
7: Rez (finished 12th in the main poll)
8: Crazy Taxi (finished 3rd in the main poll)
9: Sonic Adventure 2 (finished 6th in the main poll)
10: Phantasy Star series (finished 10th in the main poll)

The 3 best regional exclusives:
Japan exclusive: Ikaruga (21st)
US exclusive:     Bomberman Online (86th)
PAL exclusive:   Headhunter (25th)

The main series:
Several titles are part of larger series, split this year. A quick look at the top 5 if we combined their votes.
1: Shenmue series
2: Sonic Adventure series
3: Power Stone series
4: Crazy Taxi series
5: Soul Calibur

There would have been just a single vote between the Shenmue and Sonic Adventure series. One single vote.

Don't forget, you can also find the Top 10 Indie Dreamcast Games by clicking here or the image below:

And that's it! A massive thankyou to all who voted in this year's poll, and if any of you have read this entire article, I salute you (but you are utterly insane). I want to give a big thanks to Aaron (Gagaman), who created the last two DCJY polls (so I know what he went through when compiling the results!), Tom for the editing, voting form and artwork, and the rest of the DCJY crew, you bunch of rascals.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Great read, thanks for the work you've put in. For the next poll i would prefer a rating system where the 20th ranked game of each voter gets one point,the 19th two points and so on up to number one which gets 20 points. I was quite surprised seeing Shenmue 2 seven places behind its prequel. Maybe thats a cause of your system. Other than that a really nices list!

Spaceturnip said...

The only problem with the voting system you suggest (which was one of the models I looked at when preparing for the voting) is that for many people deciding the exact order of their choices is a difficult one. Picking one ultimate favourite is hard enough for some, when it gets down to whether you want Game A above Game B to be ranked at number 12 or number 13, then it becomes a bit too complicated. It's a fair point though, appreciate the feedback and glad you enjoyed the list.