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. Here we will rank 15 of the titles from Best to Worst in the list below.
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 ranking of the top games in this series below:
1) Dragon Quest V: Hand Of The Heavenly Bride
Dragon Quest V is the second game in the Zenithia Trilogy. This game takes the player through an incredible journey that spans three generations of the family’s legacy.
It stays true to the classic RPG that you love and expect from the Dragon Age series, but it introduces brand new ideas that make the game feel fresher than ever before.
In this game, there is a brand new recruitment system that allows you to recruit new monsters that completely changes the way you play the game.
The player is able to tame different monsters, have them join their party, and level them up to provide valuable aid in combat scenarios. Along with this, you are able to make an impactful choice that can change the way the game plays out.
2) 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.
3) Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters Of The Chosen is the fourth installment of the series. It really differentiates itself from the rest of the series because it breaks the entire game up into very different chapters.
Each of these chapters focuses on a different set of protagonists. Each one is looking to save the world. This one does manage to introduce brand new features that were not available on the first three games.
For one, it introduces the chapter-based storytelling, but it also introduced the casino and various AI options that allowed the user to give commands to the members of their party without changing characters.
4) Dragon Quest III: The Seeds Of Salvation
The Seeds Of Salvation was the third installment of the series and it is actually meant to be the first game in the installment when looked at chronologically.
In this game, the user plays as the Hero who is looking to save the world with a group of companions. Throughout the game, you have to travel across the globe stopping at different locations throughout eventually making your way to the lair of the archfiend Baramos.
The gameplay elements of this game had everything you would find and expect in the first two installments, but it featured a much more open-world type of experience.
This allowed players to really roam and experience the world on their own. Also, it introduced a day and night cycle which opened up new branches of characters and quests depending on whether it was day or night.
It even introduced the free swap feature that allowed players to use different characters at their own will.
5) Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels Of The Starry Skies
The Sentinels Of The Starry Skies was one of the biggest sellers in the entire series. This is primarily because it introduced local multiplayer functionality to the Dragon Quest series for the first time.
The game features many of the same gameplay elements of the rest of the Dragon Quest series, but it was specifically designed to be much more difficult than the other games.
In the game, players begin as a city guardian who is sent in order to get tree fruits that are sacred which are said to have the power to grant wishes.
It features a very unique set of characters and it was one of the first in the series to allow the player to create their own heroes with more customization than ever before.
6) Dragon Quest VII: Fragments Of The Forgotten Past
Fragments Of The Forgotten Past is the 7th installment of the series and it quickly became one of the best selling games in the series.
This game is well known for having one of the biggest stories with a single game lasting well over 100 hours.
The story starts with the protagonist’s father bringing a map fragment home from a fishing trip which showed proof the world was made up of many different continents in the past.
Therefore, the game takes the player on a journey to the past by traveling back in time when they still existed and the protagonist and his party members must save the world to regain the continents in the present.
As far as gameplay is concerned, this game had everything previous iterations had but it added the ability to speak with party characters both inside and outside of battles which can add an additional layer to an already fantastic experience.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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 at the time of this writing.
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.
11) 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.
12) 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 in 2019 or 2020. 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.
13) 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.
14) 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.
15) 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.