On 27th May 2021, Yuji Horii's seminal RPG Dragon Quest turns 35. Initially released in the West with the name Dragon Warrior, the Chunsoft-developed first entry in this genre-defining series debuted on Famicom in Japan before migrating to the North American NES three years later, and over the past three-and-a-half decades we've enjoyed ten more mainline games, plus a whole host of spin-offs and side adventures.
All but one of the mainline games has been localised for Nintendo consoles in the West — sometimes multiple times — so we decided it was about time to rank all the mainline Dragon Quest games with the help of you lovely lot. Below you'll find our reader-rated list of the Dragon Quest games, ranked from worst to best at the bottom.
If a game was re-released/remade on more than one console, we've gone with the first version released in the West below and opted to mention other versions in the text. We've included the Japan-only MMORPG Dragon Quest X, too, as it released on no less than four Nintendo platforms in its homeland, and we didn't want to omit it. If you want an English-only list, simply imagine it's not there and voila!
This ranking is formed by Nintendo Life readers' User Ratings for the DQ games on our database and is subject to real time fluctuations even after publication — it's entirely possible to influence the ranking below even if you haven't rated your favourites yet. To do so, simply click on the game you wish to rate and assign a score out of ten on its corresponding Game Page.
Many thanks to everyone who already rated their favourite Dragon Warriors/Quests. Now's the time to roll up your sleeves, assemble your party and roll out on an epic journey to discover the best Dragon Quest game ever...
Set 100 years after the first game, Dragon Warrior II did what any sequel should: it built on what came before and sanded away some rough edges from the original. This second entry is one of the hardest games in the series, so these days — especially with ten other Quests vying for your time and attention — it's probably best left to diehard fans. It remains, however, an important evolutionary step and a game which put DQ on the path to franchise fame and fortune.
In the West it's also available on Switch (and on Game Boy Color).
The Nintendo DS is the best way to enjoy the game these days, if you can find it for a reasonable price.
Unlike some other games in the franchise, its sprightly pace makes it an excellent choice for new players, too. 200-hour grinds are all well and good, but how are you going to fit in all these other gems?
Remember, if you haven't rated the games on this list, you can still do so now and your personal rating will count towards the ranking above — and potentially change the ordering even after publication.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the DQ ranking above and share a comment about your personal favourite(s) below.