Dragon Quest is one of the oldest JRPG franchises that you can still play today.
The first Dragon Quest title was released in 1986 (Japan Version) and 1989 (US Version) for the Famicom/NES platform.
This series is proven to be popular worldwide, as evidenced by many subsequent games being released under the Dragon Quest and related titles, with the latest release being Dragon Quest XI – Echoes of the Elusive Age, which is the latest installment for the main series released for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
Some older titles in the series were also being remastered for various platforms, which include the current-gen consoles, PC, and mobile platforms.
This series is created by Yuji Horii, and the games are published by Square Enix.
Each game offers the similar type of gameplay elements, with the main feature being the turn-based battle system.
The games also have consistent art styles and gameplay elements without much changes from the first title.
So far, the Dragon Quest franchise has 11 titles in the main series, but there are other spin-off titles being released throughout the years.
Our list of best Dragon Quest games
Here are the 20 best Dragon Quest games that you should play now:
Dragon Quest IV
Dragon Quest IV is the fourth installment in the Dragon Quest series, which offers multiple quests in the storyline.
It was initially released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1992 as Dragon Warrior IV.
This game offers a five-chapter storyline, with each chapter allowing you to control different protagonists.
Additionally, you will also see the improvements in the battle system, allowing you to determine the strategy used by your party members in battle.
There’s an additional chapter in the Nintendo DS version of the game, featuring the continuation story of the fifth chapter.
- The storyline in this game is simpler to explore, as it is presented in chapters.
- The title has been remade for PlayStation, Nintendo DS, and mobile platforms with improvements over the original.
- Various elements from previous titles are still available, such as day and night cycles, three-level keys, and ship/vehicle for world travel.
- The remake of this game includes an additional chapter.
- This game has received various awards from Famitsu and Nintendo Power.
Dragon Quest XI
Dragon Quest XI is the latest Dragon Quest title included in the main series released for the modern consoles.
It was initially released in Japan for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 consoles in 2017.
The gameplay style for this game is still the same as the previous titles in the series, with the turn-based battle system, no random encounters, the same exploration style, and more.
It offers the most modern graphics with the same art styles as its predecessors.
- It is currently the Dragon Quest title that offers the best graphics.
- It won the Famitsu Award and Titanium Award in 2018.
- It adds the free-roam camera option to the battle system, allowing you to move your character during battle.
- It still retains the consistent style of gameplay and graphics of the Dragon Quest series.
- It is developed with Unreal Engine 4, with the Definitive Edition released on Nintendo Switch.
Dragon Quest VIII
Dragon Quest VIII can be considered a special Dragon Quest title because this is the first Dragon Quest game that uses 3D graphics for its game world.
In this game, you can see the world of Dragon Quest in the 3D environment as opposed to the 2D graphics of previous games.
This game was first released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 (Japan Version).
It was one of the fastest-selling PlayStation 2 games upon its release in 2004.
This game revolutionizes the Dragon Quest franchise, which becomes the foundation for the subsequent releases of this series.
- It is the first Dragon Quest game that offers 3D environment and 3D graphics.
- You can change the camera movements and switch to the first-person perspective.
- It features large landscape areas and full-sized buildings in this game.
- It features the same turn-based battle system.
- It features a lot of graphical improvements in the battle scenes.
Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon Quest Builders is one of the spin-offs in the Dragon Quest series, offering you a different gameplay when compared to the main series.
In Dragon Quest Builders, the gameplay is similar to Minecraft, where you can build various buildings with blocks that you obtain throughout the game world.
In this game, you will fight monsters like Slimes and others, which are unique in the Dragon Quest universe.
It is the game that encourages you to be creative in what you build so that you can have a better chance to survive.
- It is a block-building game similar to Minecraft, which is set in the Dragon Quest universe.
- You can build any building in this game to survive from monster attacks.
- It is a sandbox action RPG that allows you to do whatever you like in this game.
- It still retains the same character styles as any other games in the series.
- It shares the same world as the original Dragon Quest, which is Alefgard.
Dragon Quest Heroes
Dragon Quest Heroes is a spin-off to the main Dragon Quest series with a distinct difference in the gameplay element.
In Dragon Quest Heroes, it is hack-and-slash as opposed to turn-based.
The gameplay is similar to Dynasty Warriors series from Koei Tecmo.
However, there are still some RPG elements in this game.
It still retains the similar world, art styles, graphics, and other elements unique to the main series.
In this game, there are 13 characters that you can choose for your adventure.
- This game features the combination of hack-and-slash and RPG elements.
- The gameplay is similar to the Dynasty Warriors series because the developer is the same.
- You can choose from 13 characters with unique abilities.
- It offers an interesting storyline with the usual art styles, graphics, monsters, and many other elements unique to the Dragon Quest series.
- There are many characters in the main series included in this game, whether as playable characters or NPC.
Dragon Quest V
Dragon Quest V is the fifth installment of the main Dragon Quest series, featuring the regular RPG elements with turn-based battle system.
It still uses the top-down 2D graphics with the art styles similar to the previous titles in the series.
This game was initially released only in Japan for the Super Famicom in 1992.
Subsequently, it received various remasters for other platforms.
The main difference in this game from the previous titles in the series is that you will be allowed to include the monsters that you have fought as your battle allies by taming them.
- You can let monsters to join your party by taming them.
- You can control your allies manually if you want.
- While the original Dragon Quest V for the Super Famicom allows only up to 3 party members in battle, you can use up to 4 party members in the remakes of this game.
- You can tame 40 monsters in the Super Famicom version and 71 monsters in the remake version.
- It features a bonus dungeon for you to explore.
Dragon Quest IX
Dragon Quest IX is a Dragon Quest title that becomes an exclusive title for the Nintendo DS platform.
It features the same turn-based battle system, and you can play cooperatively with other gamers via the wireless connection on Nintendo DS.
This game allows you to customize your protagonist’s appearance before starting the game or in the middle of your playthrough, and the customization options provided in this game are more varied than the previous titles.
- It is an exclusive Nintendo DS game.
- You can play multiplayer co-op with other players via the wireless connection.
- You can customize your character before the game and during your playthrough.
- You can choose from among 6 different vocations for your character.
- There are various optional quests that you can complete in this game.
Dragon Quest VI
Dragon Quest VI is the sixth Dragon Quest title in the main series which was first published for the Super Famicom (Japan Only) in 1995.
In this game, you can explore the world in the overhead perspective, with turn-based and random battles.
It introduces various elements that are not available in previous installments, such as animated monster attacks, new mini games, bonus dungeons, and extra characters.
- You can explore the game world with top-down perspective.
- You can get bonus dungeons and extra characters in this game.
- There are some mini games available, such as Best Dresser Contest and The Slime Arena.
- There are new animations for monster attacks during battle.
- It has a class system for your characters.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the next installment in the Dragon Quest Builders series, featuring gameplay similar to Minecraft.
The game has a good deal of action RPG elements infused in it, allowing you to fight monsters and survive from various monster attacks while leveling up your characters.
The game takes place in the events after Dragon Quest II, and in this game, your character needs to defeat an evil group called the Children of Hargon.
- It adds various improvements from the first Dragon Quest Builders game.
- The game takes place in the events after Dragon Quest II.
- You can gather materials and build various objects to prevent monsters from attacking.
- You can fast travel between different areas in the game.
- You can also travel underwater and fly throughout the game world.
Dragon Quest VII
Dragon Quest VII is the seventh installment in the main Dragon Quest series.
The game was first released for the PlayStation platform in 2000 (Japan version).
For the North American version, it was released in 2001 for PlayStation under the title Dragon Warrior VII.
This is the Dragon Quest title that is known for its big content, and it might take more than 100 hours just to complete this game’s main storyline.
However, it still retains the main elements commonly found in the previous games in the series.
- It has a huge amount of content to explore, whether it is the main storyline or side missions.
- It is the last Dragon Quest main title released in North America as Dragon Warrior.
- It gives you more than a hundred hours of gameplay just to finish the main story alone.
- There are separate continents to explore in the game world.
- It still retains various elements unique to the Dragon Quest series.
Dragon Quest Heroes II
Dragon Quest Heroes II is the second installment in the Dragon Quest Heroes series, which is the series that features hack-and-slash battle system similar to the Dynasty Warriors series.
It was first released in 2016 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita in Japan.
In this game, you can see various improvements from the previous Dragon Quest Heroes, and you can also enjoy this game in single player and multiplayer modes.
It can also be played across different platforms.
- It features the combination between action RPG and hack-and-slash elements.
- You can play this game in multiplayer mode, with various multiplayer-exclusive stages available.
- You can play this game with up to 4 players in co-op multiplayer.
- Your characters can dash to various places in the game world.
- There are battle stages that you need to complete if you want to progress in the main story.
Dragon Quest is the first installment in the Dragon Quest series, and the one that started the main series.
It was first released in Japan for the Famicom console in 1986, and it was released in North America as Dragon Warrior.
It is a traditional Japanese RPG with a simple turn-based battle system.
The story is simple, with one main objective being to defeat the Dragonlord.
- It offers a simplistic battle system with a turn-based mechanic.
- It offers a simple story, requiring you to complete one main objective.
- You can meet with additional characters as you progress in your journey.
- It is the first Dragon Quest game that started the big Dragon Quest franchise.
- It offers a traditional RPG gameplay from start to finish.
Dragon Quest III
Dragon Quest III is the third installment in the main Dragon Quest series.
The story is a prequel to the first Dragon Quest title set many years before the event in the first game.
However, the gameplay elements are expanded from its predecessors.
It also has a class system for your characters.
Each character will have a certain class that will affect their skills and various abilities during battles.
You can choose between a male and female character at the start of the game.
It is known as Dragon Warrior III in North America.
- The story of this game is the prequel of the previous two games.
- It is set in a different world from the first two games, but it shares a connected storyline.
- It has a class system for the characters.
- You can choose between male and female character for your hero.
- The gameplay includes an open-world element where you can explore the world in this game freely.
Dragon Quest X
Dragon Quest X is the tenth installment in the Dragon Quest main series which is only available in Japan.
It is a different game when compared to other titles in the series, as it belongs to the MMORPG category.
So, you need a constant internet connection in order to play this game.
Aside from that, it has various elements unique to the Dragon Quest series, such as character styles, monsters, and so on.
However, it uses the active time battle system as opposed to the usual turn-based battle system found in the previous installments.
Aside of requiring an active internet connection, you also need to pay a subscription fee in order to play this game.
- It is an MMORPG that features a large world to explore.
- You can interact and play with other players online.
- It uses the active time battle system that is quite different from the regular battle system from previous games.
- It has the class-based job system that requires you to develop your characters based on their class.
- You can either play this game cooperatively with other players or play it alone.
Dragon Quest II
Dragon Quest II is the second installment in the Dragon Quest series, initially released for the Famicom in 1987.
In North America, this game is known as Dragon Warrior II.
This is the first game in the series that introduces the party system, wherein you will need to gather your party members as you go along your adventure.
The battle system in this game is a turn-based with random battle encounters.
- The game is set 100 years after the events in the original Dragon Quest.
- It introduces the party system where you can recruit party members as you go along your adventure.
- It has the turn-based battle system with random battle encounters.
- You can sail throughout the game world with a ship.
- You can use multiple characters to fight multiple enemies in battles.
Dragon Quest Swords
Dragon Quest Swords is a spin-off Dragon Quest game that was released exclusively for the Nintendo Wii.
It uses the function of the Wii remote as the sword and shield for your character.
The combat is done in first person, unlike any other games in the series.
The unique thing about this game is that there is no Game Over in it, as you will simply be transferred to the previous town if you are defeated.
- This is an exclusive game for the Nintendo Wii that fully utilizes the Wii remote.
- There is no Game Over in this game, so it is easier for you to progress through this game.
- You will use your Wii remote as your sword and shield.
- This game is presented in the on-rail first-person perspective.
- You can perform the special attack once the special attack gauge has been filled.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is a spin-off Dragon Quest game released exclusively for the Nintendo DS platform.
In this game, Slime, which is the common monster found in the Dragon Quest games, will be the main character.
Slime is used with rockets to be launched throughout the game. Each stage has its own objectives.
- It features refreshing gameplay elements that are very different from the main series.
- It is presented in the style of mini games based on the Dragon Quest universe.
- It also has its own interesting story to follow.
- Aside from rockets, you can also encounter tanks in this game.
- You will progress in the game by completing each stage.
Dragon Warrior Monsters 2
Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 is the North American version of Dragon Quest Monsters 2, which is a spin-off game released initially for the Game Boy Color platform.
In this game, you can control either Cobi or Tara in your adventure to save your Kingdom.
As a monster tamer, you can create a team of monsters to fight other monsters in your adventure.
- It features the turn-based battle system.
- You can create a team of monsters to fight other monsters.
- You can breed and take care of your monsters.
- You can advance the story by finding keys to unlock other worlds.
- There are optional worlds you can explore.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker is a Nintendo DS exclusive that belongs to the Dragon Quest Monsters series.
It features the same turn-based battle system as the other games in the franchise, and it uses the cell-shaded animation style to deliver good quality graphics for this game.
This game’s objective is to make your character the best monster tamer in the world.
- It uses good cell-shaded animations in its graphics.
- You can catch monsters and tame them to fight other monsters.
- It uses the turn-based battle system similar to other games in the series.
- You will battle other monsters with the monsters that you have.
- The battle will be triggered every time you approach the monsters in the over-world.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 is the continuation of the previous Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, which is a spin-off Dragon Quest game where you can catch and tame monsters and use them to battle other monsters.
It is an exclusive game for the Nintendo DS platform.
The game has undergone various improvements from the previous title, with various new monsters being added to the game.
- There are more monsters that you can encounter in this game when compared to the previous title.
- It still has a similar gameplay as its predecessor.
- You can either control your monsters directly or let the AI to control them.
- It features a Wi-Fi support for multiplayer gameplay.
- The Professional version of the game is available, which is the expanded version of this game.
Whether you are a seasoned fan of the Dragon Quest series or just someone trying to find the best Dragon Quest title to play for the first time, this list provides you the best games in the franchise that you can pick and play right away.
They are available in multiple platforms, so you can easily find the one to play for the platform that you have. Enjoy the Best Dragon Quest Games!