Curious about the best Dragon Quest games to play in the series? The game series is more than 30 years old and features many games over that time span.
The best place to jump in is always the most recent entry, but that doesn’t mean its the best Dragon Quest game of all time.
Let’s start our rank of the top games in this series below:
Table of Contents
- Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of the Elusive Age
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Dragon Quest Builders 2
- Dragon Quest Heroes II
- Dragon Quest Rivals
- Dragon Quest Games for Veterans
- Dragon Quest I
- Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line
- Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
- Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of the Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of the Elusive Age is the most recent entry in the Dragon Quest series. It features a completely standalone experience that is different from all previous games, making it the perfect starting point for new RPG gamers.
The gameplay isn’t quite an open world game, but the large maps and colorful locations are delightful to explore. You will assemble a loyal cast of companions to help you on your quest of becoming The Luminary reborn.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Dragon Quest 8 started at a PlayStation 2 game but is currently available on the Nintendo 3DS as a remastered title. It was also the first mainline Dragon Quest series that was introduced in Europe, making it a starting point for many European fans.
It is the first title to use the name Dragon Quest in English, dropping the original Dragon Warrior moniker.
Dragon Quest 8 introduces the familiar cel-shading style used in later RPGs. Players assemble a party to defeat the wicked Dhoulmagus, who has cursed the kingdom of Trodain.
Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon Quest Builders departs from the traditional turn-based RPG combat of the previous games. Instead, it borrows heavily from games like Minecraft by offering a survival sandbox experience that is block-based. The game first released in 2016 and requires players to defend the world from classic Dragon Quest threats.
The game is set in Alefgard, the setting of the original Dragon Quest game. It is based on a parallel ending in that game, where the hero accepts half of the world to rule. The deal turned out to be a trap and monsters now rule the world. Players are tasked with rebuilding the world by gathering materials from all over.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Dragon Quest Builders proved to be so popular that a sequel is now in production. It’s slated to be released sometime this year. We do know that the story will be quite different from what is featured in Dragon Quest Builders.
Square Enix has revealed the playable character will escape from the clutches of evil. After washing up on the shores of the Isle of Awakening, you encounter a new friend. Together, you embark on a grand adventure to gather skills and become a builder who can defeat the Children of Hargon.
One big component of Dragon Quest Builders 2 will be co-op gameplay with another person.
Dragon Quest Heroes II
The Dragon Quest Heroes series is a mish-mash of gameplay and characters from Dragon Quest and the Dynasty Warriors series. Square Enix worked with Koei Tecmo to release a hack-n-slash RPG version of Dragon Quest.
Players can move their party to visit various towns on the map, which includes seamless monster encounters. Battle stages let the player progress the main story and behave much like battles in the Dynasty Warriors series.
The game is not a traditional turn-based RPG like most of the other games on this list, so keep that in mind.
Dragon Quest Rivals
Dragon Quest Rivals is a card deck-building game based on the lore from the Dragon Quest series. So far, it has had limited release inside Japan. The gameplay takes a lot of inspiration from other deck-building games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone.
Dragon Quest Rivals is free-to-play and includes microtransactions. The game most recently released on Nintendo Switch, giving fans hope for an English translation. It has been available on iOS and Android since 2017.
Dragon Quest Games for Veterans
Can’t get enough of the hardcore turn-based JRPG action from the mainline Dragon Quest games? Try playing some of the older games that debuted on the NES and SNES. Here are our recommendations for early Dragon Quest games.
Dragon Quest I
Dragon Quest I is the game that started it all, but it was better known in the West as Dragon Warrior for most of its life. Yuji Horii created the series and wanted to appeal to people who had never played a video game before. The game features a password save system in Japan, but the Western cartridges had a battery-backed save system.
You can still find copies of Dragon Warrior around for the NES. ROM sites also have the game available to download if you know how to use an emulator.
Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line
Dragon Quest II expands on the first game by allowing players to have a larger party, more areas to explore, and multiple heroes and enemies in battle. The game also features a fully sailable ship. The combat was inspired by the popular Wizardry PC game series to make it more engaging than the first game.
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
Dragon Quest VI was the first game developed by Heartbeat, as all previous games were Chunsoft games. A remake was released in 2011 for the Nintendo DS, which is the best way to experience this game. The game features the same class system from Dragon Quest III with a few minor adjustments.
In the sixth game, the playable hero is struggling with amnesia and does not remember who he is. After completing a few quests, players discover a new revelation about a second world that exists.
Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest X is the first massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) in the series. It is set in the world of Astoltia, where players are attacked by the Lord of Hell Nelgel and his forces. Players must gather magical gems to seal Nelgel away once again.
The game features real-time combat in an open world environment that also includes a job system with skills and abilities.
The game is only available in Japan for now, though Square Enix has teased bringing it to the rest of the world.