The 50 Best Sega Dreamcast Games…Ever!

evolveteam September 12, 2014 1
Best Sega Dreamcast Games
Words by Anthony Barbetta, Angelina Montez, Ben Paulson, Collin Hughes, Jager Robinson, and Ryan Scott

Let’s take a journey back to 15 years ago—9/9/99. The most anticipated video game console of the entire decade, the Sega Dreamcast, hits the market a few months before the millennium, breaking pre-order records across the globe. It goes on to usher in the next generation of gaming, promoting 128-bit graphics and revolutionizing the industry with its dynamic hardware set. Despite the machine being discontinued in 2001, it’s remained alive amongst the gaming community thanks impart to its stellar gaming lineup. The best arcade ports, groundbreaking exclusives, innovative sports franchises, and treasured fighters—the selection remains stunning to say the least. We all have our favorites. Pay homage and indulge in the nostalgia as we rank the 50 Best Sega Dreamcast Games…Ever!

Related: The 100 Best Sega Genesis Games…Ever!
Related: 25 Things You Never Knew About the Sega Dreamcast

50. Dynamite Cop

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM1/Sega
Year: 1999
Beat ‘em ups are the action movies of the video game world. Generic plots that don’t always make a lot of sense, but always deliver in terms of violent mayhem. Dynamite Cop placed us in the role of one of three characters as we fought through a cruise ship and an uncharted desert island battling pirates—in an attempt to save the President’s daughter from certain doom. Sounds a bit like something we would watch Bruce Willis’ John McClane encounter on the big screen? That’s because its the sequel to Die Hard Arcade, only without the license. —Paulson

49. Silver

Developer/Publisher: Spiral House Ltd/Infogames
Year: 1999
Considered one of the more favorable RPGs on the console, Silver follows the tale of David as he tries to rescue his wife from the main baddie: Silver. While the graphics and overall game was considered lackluster, the title excelled in one key category, that being voice acting—allowing the characters to be expressive, while not being overly dramatic. Graphics were impressive as well. Many will also remember Silver for its inventive party system. When meeting new people, you could choose who you wanted to adventure with, alongside a myriad of characters. So as you adventure, fight, and explore the unique world, players are also reminded of the valued “Pie Menu” instead of traditional menus know for the time. —Robinson

48. Mars Matrix

Developer/Publisher: Takumi Corporation/Capcom
Year: 2001
Vertical shooters were finally gaining momentum heading into the early 2000s, leading companies like Capcom to get more creative with them. Mars Matrix was a fresh spin on the genre, offering a great deal more options than other titles. The story revolves around humanity finding a legendary chip called ‘Infinity’ that contains the records of a hyper advanced civilization on Mars, and thus a war begins to claim it. The gameplay is slightly different from others in that the ship can be leveled up with experience points, increasing the power of various weapons. Many stages acted like those of RPGs, each with a unique boss that required much talent and thought to get past. Considering its many layers of gameplay, we still wonder how the game never spawned any sequels. —Barbetta

47. Carrier

Developer/Publisher: Jaleco
Year: 2000
Banking on the popularity of the Resident Evil series, this low-key survival horror shooter placed you in separate roles of an investigation team sent out to discover the recent disappearances of another team on an abandoned ship. The game was praised most for its use of 3D characters and large selection of weapons: including a BEM-T3 scope, machine guns, and grenades. The T3 made gameplay easier as it permitted players to view an entire area from a far, while filtering out humans among zombie infestation. The controls were also easy to adapt to than those of RE. —Montez

46. Sword of the Berserk: Guts Rage

Developer/Publisher: Yuke’s/Eidos Interactive
Year: 2000
A big sword, violent landscape, and world infested with an evil curse, it took guts to survive this game. The mighty Dragon Slayer blade provided the conduit for the rage to strike fear into any who stood in Gut’s way. The story takes place between volumes 22 and 23 of the Manga of the same name. 3D-animation captured the vivid medieval world immensely, as Gut raged against a tyrannical king in a world filled with evil. If the gigantic sword wasn’t enough, switching seamlessly between four different weapons in a chain of attacks kept an enraged hack-n-slash gamer happy. —Paulson

45. Sega Bass Fishing

Developer/Publisher: Sims/Sega
Year: 1999
Despite the simple premise, there was a surprising amount of depth to be found in Sega Bass Fishing, as the fish would behave differently depending on the in-game time of day and weather. This forced player’s to take the environment into account and strategize on the go. The graphics were also phenomenal for their day, especially in regard to the water effects and fish models. Speaking of the water creatures, the bass had a smart enough AI to be a real challenge at times, with the bigger bass hiding beneath piers and docks, and only came out if the player manipulated the lures in just the right way to mimic live bait. —Scott

44. Zombie Revenge

Developer/Publisher: Sega
Year: 1999
The game that was once named Blood Bullet: The House of the Dead Side Story, then renamed Zombies Nightmare, went on to become the fun arcade beat’em up we know best as Zombie Revenge. Lacking the high-powered artillery found in other survival-horror games, players were bound to melee combat, adding to the excitement and thrill of surviving a city filled with the undead. That’s what also made it extremely hard and attributed to the high replay value. In fact, the game was so hard, Sega offered a special code called “Eternal Life” to ease the suffering. —Montez

43. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 1999
Based on the extremely popular cult-classic Anime/Manga of the same title, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure lived up to its wild moniker. The game was handled by the same team behind Street Fighter III, which was clearly seen throughout the game’s fight mechanics. The plot follows the series’ third major story arc known as the stardust crusader arc, in which Jotaro attempts to save his mother from an evil vampire named Dio Brando. Fighting was standard fare for the most part, though the most interesting aspect of the game was the ability of each character called a ‘Stand’ that allowed for different effects based on whether the stand is active or not. With the addition of random ‘special’ stages in the story mode, and a wide cast of characters to play as, it was a noteworthy crossover from its animated form. —Barbetta

42. Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM3/Activision
Year: 2000
Arena-based battles between giant armored robots always make for a great combination. Sensational graphics with anime-inspired art, an exciting soundtrack, and 360-degree views made Oratorio Tangram a smash in Japan. With numerous Virtuoids to choose from and each offering unique attributes, there was something for novice and experts alike. Each robot also came equipped with special attacks and formations to enhance battles. Flight capabilities gave you access to escape enemies as well as gain advantages. Battle in the living room or against a friend across the Sega network was sheer joy. —Paulson

41. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

Developer/Publisher: Midway
Year: 2000
Midway’s zany, yet hilarious boxing game held many differences and improvements over prior titles in the genre such as Punch-Out!!!. One such difference was 3D-rendered graphics that put 2D sprites to shame, adding for more mobility and strategy in the ring. With each successful hit the player’s rumble bar fills until they can unleash a unique ‘Rumble Flurry’ attack, which is essentially a super combo. The other distinction was the progressive wounds such as bruises and swelling that appeared on character’s upon impact. In the end, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing definitely started the chain for Midway’s over-the-top arcade sports games. —Barbetta

40. Project Justice

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 2001
The last game in the Rival School series, Project Justice put a player in control of a team of three fighters (who are all either students or teachers in the fictional city of Aoharu) as they face the “Reverse Society” of ninja assassins. Though an excellent fighter, the most notable feature of this title’s gameplay is its rather surreal comic elements. For example, some of the special moves included interviewing an opponent for the high school newspaper and verbally abusing them until they pass out from shame. Mortal Kombat fatalities these are not, but the comedic elements distinguished it from the hundreds of other fighting games and made it an especially memorable experience. If there is one thing the game could be faulted for, is not keeping its much superior Japanese title, Burn! Justice Academy. —Scott

39. Dead or Alive 2

Developer/Publisher: Team Ninja/Tecmo
Year: 2000
The original DOA was met with mixed fan fare, as gamers complained about the stiffness of the characters. This follow-up became a semi-hit thanks to its updated engine, which allowed for more fluid gameplay. Characters were rendered much better and the detailing of each stage was superb. The game’s amazing visual presence and technical fighting prowess paved the road for the mainstream success that its successor, DOA 3, would achieve on the Xbox.—Montez

38. The Last Blade 2: Heart of the Samurai

Developer/Publisher: SNK
Year: 2001
Originally released as an arcade game, the SNK title became an instant fan favorite. Well, at least for the small number of people that actually played it. Considered the last great 2D fighting game on the console, The Last Blade 2: Heart Of The Samurai ventured into Dreamcast lore. As you enter the 16-character selection screen, the game felt original from its cast to the gameplay. Whether you were using Kaede’s sporadic lightning attacks or Hibiki’s quick reflexes, it was developed well enough to pull you away from any of Capcom’s fighters. —Robinson

37. Hydro Thunder

Developer/Publisher: Blue Shift Inc./Midway
Year: 1999
Hydro Thunder switched up the arcade racer formula by ditching cars in favor of powerboats—a move that proved to be far more exciting. Players selected from a lineup of high-tech water vehicles racing across numerous landscapes from the Article Circle to a post-apocalyptic flooded New York City. Picture trying your best to control a heavy speedboat in rough waters that wrapped around the city—the difficulty alone drove you back to beat each level. —Montez

36. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 1999
The same gorgeous graphics and amazing characters that made Capcom’s 32-bit fighters visually attracting filled Clash of Super Heroes. The true magic of the game was in the tag-team fighting, which brought out the furious competitor in you and the friendly opponent. The roster was impressive for its time and was well balanced despite carrying a variety of no-names from the Marvel universe. Tag teaming your way through tournaments was a true test, as getting past one of the most powerful villains in all of comics, Onslaught, required skill. It was a worthy prelude to what would become arguably the best fighting game of all time: MvC2. —Paulson

35. Outtrigger

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM2/Sega
Year: 2001
Another port of an arcade title, Outtrigger boasts smooth gameplay and graphics that were stunning for the Dreamcast generation. The levels were incredibly detailed, but unfortunately, the trade off was that they were incredibly short—most beatable in a matter of a minute. This game is also notable for being compatible with the mouse and keyboard; given how many serious fans of the first-person shooter genre preferred the mouse and keyboard to the standard gamepad, this was a smart move on Sega’s part. It included four default characters, each with a different type of weapon and varying in speed and jumping ability, but added a character creation mode to allow the player to mix and match the various weapons and attributes. —Scott

34. Headhunter

Developer/Publisher: Amuze/Sega
Year: 2001
Headhunter at first appeared to be nothing more than a standard a third-person shooter. We soon discovered it held true value deep within the confines of the story. We enter the world of Jack Wade, a cop living in a city where criminals must face jail time and have organs removed if they should lose in a sort of underwater coliseum, having those organs transplanted into the wealthier people of society. Jack waking to find he has amnesia must retake tests to get back his headhunter license and help uncover the murder of a large corporation’s CEO. Fun was to be had when chasing targets through the expansive city streets, though the distinct factor of the game came from traveling between levels, as everything played out more like a racing game where you had to keep up with the criminals to enter the next level. From the bone-chilling soundtrack to the tough characters, Headhunter was a hardcore title that only Europeans and pirated US gamers had the luxury of playing. —Barbetta

33. Sonic Adventure

Developer/Publisher: Sonic Team/Sega
Year: 1999
After a horrendous outing on the Sega Saturn, even Sega knew it had to bring its beloved character back in grand fashion. While Sonic’s return wasn’t exactly on par with the previous Genesis outings, it was one of the few launch titles that demonstrated the Dreamcast’s dominant hardware. Sonic Adventure was praised for its awesome graphics and fun soundtrack, though the majority of kudos was reserved for the 3D gameplay, which allowed us to sprint through numerous gorgeous landscapes from beaches to skyscrapers. Featuring classic Sonic set pieces like boosters, loops, and jumps, the game stuck to its roots and brought everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog back to mainstream stardom. —Robinson

32. Armada

Developer/Publisher: Metro3D
Year: 1999
One would not expect a top-down shooter to work well with RPG elements, but somehow Armada mixed the best of both genres to create a truly engaging game. At first glance, it appears to be little more than a Dreamcast-era upgrade of the classic Atari Asteriods, as both games put you in control of alien spaceships fighting off waves of baddies coming from every corner of the screen. However, it featured a customizable protagonist, thorough upgrade system, and cast of fully voiced characters that made Armada so much more than just a standard sci-fi shooter. Armada is also one of those games best played with friends. It was originally designed to be an MMO, and so it made sense that the later levels were best designed for handling a team of players rather than one ship flying solo. —Scott

31. MDK2

Developer/Publisher: BioWare/Interplay Entertainment
Year: 2000
One of BioWare’s earlier creations also happens to be one of its greatest achievements on the gaming front. Following the defeat of Gunther, the intrepid heroes—Kurt, Max, and Dr. Hawkins—are kidnapped to the planet Swizzle Firma, home planet of the dastardly Shwang Shwing. It is not long before the team uncovers Emperor Zizzy Ballooba was behind the events of the first game. Unlike MDK, players could play any of our heroes, even the gun-toting six-legged dog Max. Ten wild levels of high-resolution 3D environments filled with mini-games and weapons galore, the sequel was a genuine fun title that succeed thanks to its expanded gameplay. —Paulson

30. Power Stone

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 2000
Catching a breather from the Street Fighter series, Capcom looked to develop an original fighting franchise for the Dreamcast that would become a cult-classic amongst console owners. Power Stone is a crazy 3D arena-style fighter that borrowed elements from other popular titles, but had its own flair. The premise behind the story revolved around treasure that grants anyone their dreams if found, so all types of treasure hunters go out and try to claim it as their own prize. Gameplay is pretty standard with multiple characters each garnering their own unique moves and style. But unlike most fighting games there are two elements that changed, one is the fact that in the arena there are sometimes random items for players to pick up and use, as well as power-ups dubbed ‘Power Stones’ that access a unique super-mode for each character to enhance their power—granting access to one of two super moves. Its sequel would go on to up the ante. —Barbetta

29. Typing of the Dead

Developer/Publisher: Wow Entertainment/Sega
Year: 2001
Zombies, secret agents, and words per minute…say what? Most people would not put zombie survival and typing tutors in the same package, but this is what Typing of the Dead was. The simulator was an innovative take on the franchise, putting your fingers to do the work. Typing fast is the name of the game, as obtaining higher scores and maintaining accuracy moved you past all undead obstacles. Sega included mini-games as well that were sprinkled throughout to shake up the action. 30 zombies in 30 seconds, sounds easy, right? No pressure, but if you weren’t on-point then a child was the next to turn. —Paulson

28. Shenmue 2

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM2/Sega
Year: 2001
Answering naysayers of the first game was priority No. 1 for Sega during the development of Shenmue II. Many complained over the slow pace of the original, so in response, the sequel featured an interesting “time skip” feature that allowed for the story to progress much quicker than its predecessor. Adding to its advancements, the team also created more action sequences to promote extra combat. In short, it took everything we loved about the original and improved upon it in on many levels. —Robinson

27. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 2000
As much as everyone favors Street Fighter Alpha 3, Third Strike provided a unique fighting game experience, slowing down the pace and focusing more on strategic maneuvering. Those who played 2nd Impact noticed the Air Parries, Throws/Holds, and Leap attack commands were refined this time around, giving the game a nice flow when executing combos. It was through the simplicity of these minor upgrades that made the game a diehard fan-favorite amongst tournament conformists, becoming the superior alternative for some of the console’s other fast-paced fighting games like the Marvel vs. Capcom series. —Montez

26. Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft
Year: 1999
The sequel to Ubisoft’s charming platformer, which follows the insane adventures of the titular Rayman and his friends in many crazy adventures, was definitely no exception to its concept. Gameplay focused on various forms of platforming, but was changed up from the predecessor by utilizing 3D backgrounds rather than 2D. The goal in each level was to collect a certain amount of Lums in order to progress in the game. Sometimes a level would end with an extra time trial challenge for the player, this if successful then lead to Rayman regaining health and a chance to obtain a power-up. Colorful designs, catchy music, and some fun level designs, Rayman 2 became one of the industry’s most underrated titles. —Barbetta

25. House of the Dead 2

Developer/Publisher: Wow Entertainment/Sega
Year: 1999
One of the more memorable launch titles for the Dreamcast, this port of the arcade classic unfortunately was somewhat hampered by the console’s lack of a light gun accessory. Fortunately, Sega was smart enough to compensate by including the option to increase sight speed, allowing the Dreamcast version to maintain the frantic shooting pace that made the shooter so much fun. The game’s narrative has a certain amount of camp to it, and the voice acting is ridiculously cheesy, but that just helps give the game a distinct character and stops things from ever becoming too serious. Even if the intentional B-movie atmosphere wasn’t your thing, the gameplay was more than solid enough to give The House of the Dead 2 mass appeal amongst Sega fanboys. —Scott

24. Seaman

Developer/Publisher: Vivarium/Jellyvision/Sega
Year: 2000
The family pet goldfish received a massive upgrade. Sega’s Seaman brought hours of mind-bending and evolutionary fun. This is not just another virtual pet game where ignoring their virtual needs holds no consequences, it took diligence to raise a pet from a fish to an amphibian. Seaman used a unique microphone that plugged into the controller to give you the ability of speaking with your new pet. The creature could also be a little sassy at times, forcing us to second-guess what we asked it. As if that wasn’t cool enough already, Leonard Nimoy narrated the game too. —Paulson

23. NFL 2K2

Developer/Publisher: Visual Concepts/Sega
Year: 2001
A football game that was shockingly not developed by EA Sports, NFL 2K2 retained a well-known status amongst millennial sports gamers. Sega took it upon itself to create a series that rivaled the Madden franchise and it did rather well. The AI is what makes the game impressive, as the computer was rather tenacious and hard to get by on the defense end. The offensive AI used three new jukes to avoid the opposition’s defense plays as well. With a lot more polish and realistic feel passing and playing in general, the game serves as one of the best football entries of the era. —Barbetta

22. Samba de Amigo

Developer/Publisher: Sonic Team/Sega
Year: 1999
To call Samba De Amigo a wild dance/rhythm game would be an understatement. The sombrero-wearing monkey that was Amigo was zany enough by himself, but then of course Sega had to add in dancing cactuses, fairies, buildings, sun, and basically a bunch of other on-screen randomness that was simultaneously trance and seizure inducing. Ok, just kidding, but on the real, this game had a lot going on visually. The real treat to Samba was the fact that you had to play with two red maracas as controllers, created specifically for the Dreamcast. They worked fantastically, and made Latin music-filled playtimes a real joy. Definitely one of the most unique games ever created. —Hughes

21. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Developer/Publisher: Crystal Dynamics/Eidos Interactive
Year: 2000
After all the legal troubles surrounding its development, Soul Reaver was finally brought over to the console. And it was awesome. Initially released for the PC and PlayStation, this port was met with high expectations, delivering the magnificent cut scenes with glory and grace. Crystal Dynamics pushed the Dreamcast to its physical limits by dishing out some of the most highly advanced graphics of its gaming generation. The game also featured some awesome finishing moves. So whether it was impaling enemies with weapons or collecting their soul to drain their power, Soul Reaver knew the joys of killing. However, taking out the bosses were not part of it, as those battles made for more thought-provoking challenges. —Robinson

20. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

Developer/Publisher: Treyarch/Activision
Year: 2000
Hailed as an instant classic upon its release, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is still considered not only the best game in the series, but one of the greatest games of all time. It featured an insane amount of customization options, from creating your own skater to editing your own park with the ability to rework the controls suited for one’s playing style. Few games have ever offered so much replay value, as the sheer variety of tricks to try and skills to learn kept players hooked. The sequel had a fantastic soundtrack boasting songs by Rage Against the Machine and Papa Roach, plus it kept with the game’s love of customization, letting players listen to any of the songs at any time through the track switch function. —Scott

19. Quake III: Arena

Developer/Publisher: Raster Productions/Loki Software
Year: 2000
PC gamers couldn’t claim FPS superiority no more, as Quake III: Arena translated the speed, smoothness, and graphical prowess incredibly on the Dreamcast. Engaging in split-screen multiplayer was pretty dope on the console, where as the single-player campaign held up well with a solid story mode. From free-for-all frag fests to intense Capture the Flag matches, the developers of this port brought the heat and made PC gamers’ believers in Sega’s machine. —Paulson

18. San Francisco Rush 2049

Developer/Publisher: Atari Games/Midway
Year: 2000
Nowadays, racing games try very hard to be as realistic as possible, with gorgeous photorealistic graphics and insanely realistic physics engines to ensure that every time you bump into a cone, your virtual car behaves exactly as a real car would. San Francisco Rush 2049 took the exact opposite approach, and became a glorious success. The exaggerated physics engine of the San Francisco Rush series has always made doing tricks and stunts one of the most fun aspects of the games, and in this version the developers wisely chose to dedicate an entire mode to just doing insane jumps and tricks. The Dreamcast port improved on that mode from the game’s original arcade release, but added a feature that let cars sprout wings, while doing mid-air tricks. This allowed for even more crazy stunts. —Scott

17. ChuChu Rocket!

Developer/Publisher: Sonic Team/Sega
Year: 2000
Known for its style and humor, ChuChu Rocket is often regarded as the first popular game to feature online support. This style of quirky Japanese art, coupled with the Dreamcast’s online capabilities, made it an instant classic. With different game modes like puzzles and stage modes, it was hard to get bored of it. Once you got through the steep learning curve of ChuChu Rocket, you never stopped playing. While many wrote off the game as being a silly kids title, it really did push the limits of the puzzler genre. —Robinson

16. Crazy Taxi

Developer/Publisher: Hitmaker/Sega
Year: 1999
One of the most famous racing games of all time made a huge impact as a launch title on the console. The main goal of this game is just what you might think it is, driving patrons around an open-world setting as fast as possible to earn wages. However, extra money could also be earned by performing insane tricks along the way such as ‘Near Misses’. The aesthetics reflect the goal of the game rather than the insanity of it, by reflecting a normal looking city (generally believed to be San Francisco.), with a wide array of bright tones for the background and buildings. Finally, the sound is what made this game truly insane, with some incredible rock music to act as the background music, a ‘Crazy’ announcer who would shout out your remaining time and performed trick, and some rather realistic noises of powerful engines roaring—embodying the true definition of high-octane racing. —Barbetta

15. Sonic Adventure 2

Developer/Publisher: Sonic Team USA/Sega
Year: 2001
Every second of Sonic Adventure 2 was a visual explosion. Sonic could grind on rails, swing from poles, and displayed a general level of acrobatic prowess on screen that really did leave us breathless to watch. The character needed all of that physical dexterity, too, because of all the cars, fighter jets, and robots that constantly rode his poor little hedgehog behind. The VM units were also treated well here, with the inclusion of the Chao Garden. Throw in the fact that you could either play as Sonic and some of the other heroes to save the world, newest archival Shadow the Hedgehog, or as Dr. Robotnik to conquer it, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the greatest Sonic games ever made. Most definitely one of the last of the great ones. —Hughes

14. NBA 2K2

Developer/Publisher: Visual Concepts
Year: 2001
The final hoorah of the NBA 2K series on the console, Visual Concepts brought its A-game by producing a more refined basketball game that would revolutionize the sports simulation genre. As the game opens to a series of NBA highlights, you start to understand the direction of the game. On top of welcoming legendary ballers like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and numerous others, 2K2 demonstrated unique gameplay mechanics in the form of special dribbles, stealing, zone defenses, and four-player multiplayer. The character models were considered some of the best in the industry at the time, telling the difference between players easily without close inspection. —Robinson

13. Ikaruga

Developer/Publisher: Treasure/Sega
Year: 2001
A game that sold only moderately well, but quickly became a much-beloved favorite among hardcore shoot-‘em-up fans, Ikaruga revolved around its ingenious polarity mechanic. All enemy attacks were either black or white, and the player’s shield could be switched at will between either of the two polarities. While attacks of the opposite polarity would kill you, the player can absorb attacks of the same polarity as their ship’s shield, which would protect them and strengthen their own weapons. This brilliantly designed gameplay style, coupled with the game’s beautiful 3D graphics, made this game a must-own for import gamers. Unfortunately, it was only released for the Dreamcast in Japan; in the US, it was initially released only on the Gamecube. —Scott

12. Grandia 2

Developer/Publisher: Game Arts/Ubisoft
Year: 2000
Grandia 2 stood out most for its unique battle system. It was set up very similar to Final Fantasy’s Real Time Battle system, but with a few exceptions. Limited battlefield movement allowed for deeper strategy than most other RPGs, but the real technique lied in skilled timing commands. An on-screen timer dictated both ally and enemies attacks, and, if timed correctly, attacks could be cancelled, or even countered for tremendous damage, both by the player and by enemies. Ironically, the re-releases onto different platforms were largely considered inferior to the original Dreamcast title. —Hughes

11. Space Channel 5

Developer/Publisher: United Games Artists/Sega
Year: 2000
Before Dance Dance Revolution took over the dancing genre, there was a niche title out there that made people jam out by matching rhythm patterns on screen. That game would become Space Channel 5. Featuring one of the most outlandish storylines ever, we followed space Ulala during her interstellar adventures as she’s targets in on a story about aliens kidnapping people and forcing them to dance. The main gameplay mechanics were just what one expected from a rhythm-based command game. Unlike titles such as PaRappa the Rappa, the creators told a story that was more developed, giving us colorful and interesting characters and interesting. And sometimes it wasn’t just a dance scene, as some command spots were during shootouts and other fight scenes. The game also featured an unlockable second playthrough that had various differences in the story from the original one. Between its rocking beats and crazy plot, it encouraged players to move and groove along to the news. —Barbetta

10. Rez

Developer/Publisher: United Games Artists/Sega
Year: 2001
Tackling the role of a hacker, players traveled through Eden to destroy corrupt data and viruses in an attempt to save the technological age. Rez played an integral part in revolutionizing rail shooters from gameplay to its phenomenal soundtrack, remaining a staple for hardcore Dreamcasters. Whether it was the diverse level designs, built around the idea that you were inside a computer, or the music, the game resonated with everyone who played it. Recently, Rez was featured in a museum as part of a collection called “The Art of Video Games”, which speaks for its legacy. —Robinson

9. Power Stone 2

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 2000
If it wasn’t any of the other Capcom or sports games on the console, chances have it you were bringing over this 3D fighter to all-bro house parties. Despite the original being considered a widely popular launch title, the follow-up was the one that brought the real heat. Four-player fights and a new array of crazy weapons weren’t even the half of it. The level design was phenomenal, as each fighting arena was constantly changing. Platforms would elevate, ships sailed right out from under you, and, those who played it could never forget the level where the airship that constituted the fighting stage takes a nosedive, sending all players into a momentary aerial freefall onto a random floating tower to finish out a match. Basically, mayhem was a part of the packaged deal that was Power Stone 2, and not much in gaming (other than Super Smash Brothers) has come close to what this title offered. —Hughes

8. Virtua Tennis

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM-3/Sega
Year: 2000
A great part of Virtua Tennis success came from its almost zen-like simplicity: you’ve got the analog stick to move, one button for the standard stroke, one button to lob, and that’s it. Once you got that, it was time to dive right in to the matches. For many games, this kind of minimalism would be a limitation, but Virtua Tennis had streamlined everything fun about tennis to get to the core of the experience. It’s not like the game had no depth at all—just as in real tennis, strategy is huge, as you must always be thinking of what kind of stroke to send where. Each of the twelve playable tennis champs carried different strengths and weaknesses, and the balls bounced farther or shorter distances depending on the type of court. This was Sega Sports tour de force. —Scott

7. Phantasy Star Online

Developer/Publisher: Sonic Team/Sega
Year: 2001
Sega Chairman Isao Okawa declared 2000 the year of the network game. We already knew PC gamers had been touting their multiplayer capabilities, but had yet to see much on the console front. This all changed with Phantasy Star Online. Up to three of your buddies from anywhere in the world could now play at the same time. A special in-game system automatically translated the shared content to their native languages, so even your cousin who only wanted to speak German could enjoy the game too. Four different zones offered a plethora of environments and baddies to unleash your weaponry on. And with co-op abilities, conquering boss battles with others had never been more satisfying at the time. —Paulson

6. Jet Grind Radio

Developer/Publisher: Smilebit/Sega
Year: 2000
As one of the first games to utilize cel shading, Jet Grind Radio has been in gamers hearts since its millennial release. As a skater grinding and spraying painting throughout the city, the innovative platformer featured one of the most iconic soundtracks ever. Most gamers remember the button-mashing mechanics to finish up spray paint gigs before the dogs arrived. While the option to just skate around town was there, the varied missions added diversity and substance to the game. With tremendous variation and some of the best level design seen, Jet Grind Radio kept us captivated from beginning to end. —Robinson

5. Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Developer/Publisher: Capcom Production Studip/Capcom
Year: 2000
Capcom’s long-running survival horror franchise took a huge leap forward, welcoming an original Resident Evil title that upped the ante from cinematics to gameplay. The story revolves around Claire Redfield raiding the Umbrella Corporation in search of her brother Chris, but is soon trapped on an island infected with the T-Virus and must find a way to escape with her life. Despite maintaining the same camera angles, the major changes came from the use of 3D environments instead of the regular pre-rendered graphics showcased in previous installments. Gunplay was improved to have players dual wield certain types of pistols for targeting multiple enemies, where as the expanded weapons selection added variety to one’s chest. With multiple playable characters, an unlockable battle mode and even more surprises, Code Veronica certainly made the Dreamcast a must-buy at one point. —Barbetta

4. Skies of Arcadia

Developer/Publisher: Overworks/Sega
Year: 2000
At first glance, Skies of Arcadia might resemble a Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior clone, but in reality, the game achieved enough critical acclaim to standout as one of the elite RPGs of its day. Yes, it was a traditional JRPG, in that it contained standard turn-based battles, equipment gathering, special moves, etc. Though this was had a airship-pirate twist to it that really put it over the top. Overworld travel between dungeons and towns was done entirely on the one-and-only airship (long before Wind Waker or Assassin’s Creed 4 brought forth the similar mechanic, except by boat). There were also airship-to-airship battles, well-hidden discoveries and a VM mini-game exclusive to the title. Every moment of the story of Vyse and his loveable airship pirate crew unfolded on an immersive world that really made you feel like an airborne swashbuckler—a feeling we still just can’t forget till this day. —Hughes

3. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Developer/Publisher: Capcom
Year: 2000
The most popular extension of the MvC franchise, the sequel remains arguably the greatest fighting game of all time. One of the biggest reasons for this was its simplified move list, which made it possible to pull off insane combo attacks and three-digit hit finishers, if you were that skilled of course. Boasting a massive roster of 28 characters from both properties and some of the coolest levels, the fighter became our after-school addiction and elevated the genre to such a massive peak that even casual gamers jumped in to experience the phenomena and got their asses whooped in the process. —Robinson

2. Shenmue

Developer/Publisher: Sega AM2/Sega
Year: 2000
The Dreamcast had been searching for a definitive title since its launch, and finally, the call came from an abandoned project that originally spawned on the Sega Saturn. This sprawling epic tale of revenge set the bar high on several levels and showcased the console’s superior potential. Shenmue deeply entrenched you in the role of Ryo, who witnesses the murder of his father and then embarks on revenge. Unlike other games, your decisions mattered, through the use of Quick Time Events (QTE) that shaped the experience. The developers spared no expense in creating a believable world. Everything from realistic weather patterns matched to 1986 Japan to the depth of detail of every action. It was also the first time we were FREE (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment) to move within the world as we choose, even indulging in the Sega nostalgia by playing some of its classic titles featured inside the game’s virtual arcade. —Paulson

1. Soulcalibur

Developer/Publisher: Project Soul/Namco
Year: 1999
Namco’s 3D fighter goes down as arguably the greatest launch title of any console. Soulcalibur introduced a feature that now seems mundane, but at the time was groundbreaking: eight-way running. Before this, characters in 3D fighters had very limited lateral movement, severely restricting range of motion. It was the first game to allow players to move in any direction simply by holding the joystick the direction they wanted to move. What made the game truly remarkable was a variety of gameplay features. There was an amazing cast of characters and surprisingly deep backstory present here. Soulcalibur nearly doubled the number of characters from the previous game and added in fan-favorites like Lizardman, Nightmare, and Ivy. The Dreamcast port also contained an exclusive character, the undead pirate Cervantes, and added in new game modes and new costumes. But it was the upgraded visuals that left us mesmerized, as the game showcased the console’s superior hardware capabilities. It put 90 percent of the PS2 games to shame in the graphics department. All of these facets made it not only best version, but also the best Dreamcast game ever. —Scott

  • Bravo, was happy to see Zombie Revenge on there.