As one of the greatest long-standing RPG franchises of all time, it's hard to pick the best Dragon Quest game ever made. Fortunately, we don't have to. We've listed all the main-series Dragon Quest games, from the early NES releases all the way up to the latest Echoes of an Elusive Age, which was critically acclaimed in its own right. It's up to you, the readers, to decide which release is the best.
Comparable to Final Fantasy in terms of the sheer number of amazing games that we've seen over the years, the Dragon Quest franchise is known for featuring engaging storylines, smart mechanics, and a memorable cast of characters gamers who come to know and love. While some games were only released on specific consoles (like Dragon Quest IX on the 3DS), most of these games —especially the earlier titles — have been remastered and rereleased over the years. And although Dragon Quest X is technically a mainline game (at least in our opinion) it was never released in the West, and, therefore, isn't included below.
Vote up all the best Dragon Quest releases over the years so readers can see which game can truly be crowned the greatest of them all.
- Photo: Chunsoft
Metacritic score: 80%
As the first installment in the Zenithian Trilogy, Dragon Quest IV was also the last Dragon Quest game to see an NES release. Known for its incredibly strong narrative, Dragon Quest IV is an RPG classic that's divided into specific chapters, with each chapter featuring a different group of protagonists.
Shortly after its release it was remade for the PlayStation, where an extra chapter was included.
284A worthy quest?
- Release: 1990
- Developer: Chunsoft
- Platform: Nintendo DS, Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, Android, iOS
- Photo: Square Enix6
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
Metacritic score: 91%
Released on the DS, Dragon Quest IX integrated a new multiplayer option that let players team up with up to three other players (four total) for epic adventures. The game also featured more character customization (likely due to the reliance on multiplayer) and is known for being one of the more difficult games to level up.
Unlike other games in the series, this one focuses more on character development rather than intense and engaging plot points.
2411A worthy quest?
- Release: 2007
- Developer: Square Enix, Level-5
- Platform: Nintendo DS
- Photo: Square Enix7
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
Metacritic score: 86%
The first Dragon Quest game to be developed by Heartbeat (as opposed to Chunsoft), Dragon Quest VI is the final installment in the Zenithian Trilogy.
It's known for sporting much sharper graphics than previous releases (mainly because it was released near the tail-end of the SNES's run) and featured an even more expansive class system.
188A worthy quest?
- Release: 1995
- Developer: Square Enix, Artepiazza
- Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo DS
- Photo: Heartbeat, ArtePiazza
Metacritic score: 78%
As the first PS1 release, Dragon Quest VII had high competition. While Squaresoft was dominating the RPG market with its trio of Final Fantasy epics, Dragon Quest VII featured an extremely rich narrative that included plenty of interesting time-traveling elements.
It's also notable for being one of the longest games in the series, with more side quests than virtually any other game at the time.
177A worthy quest?
- Release: 2000
- Developer: Artepiazza
- Platform: PlayStation