Dreamcast: From Worst to Best, According to Critics

It’s impossible to talk about the Dreamcast without feeling a bittersweet taste in your mouth. After all, this console was well loved by the few who had the pleasure of buying it, but it was also as brilliant and ahead of its time as underrated by the mass, marking SEGA’s departure from hardware production.

Released in November 1998 in Japan and in September 1999 in the Americas, it was supposed to have competed with the PlayStation 2, Gamecube and Xbox on the sixth generation of consoles, but was discontinued early in March 2001 having sold just over 9 million pieces. units.

Unlucky for people who have lost an enviable game library, which includes gems way ahead of their time like Shenmue e Phantasy Star Online. But which games were the most celebrated and hated by critics? That’s what we discussed in this video here on Voxel:

Here are the video and text criteria, so pay close attention:

  • The grades shown are based on the Metacritic grade aggregator.
  • We’ve separated the top seven and the worst seven games on the console. In case of ties, we use the users rating as a tiebreaker.

So let’s start with the worst games:

7. Death Crimson OX – 46

Death Crimson OX is not that disastrous, being described by critics as a kind of generic derivative of House of the Dead. Rail shooting games usually don’t have much error, but this one sinned for having very poor graphics and practically non-existent challenge, which took all the fun out of the gameplay. It was still enough to get an average grade of 46.

Death Crimson OXFonte:  YouTube

6. NFL QB Club 2001 – 44

Get ready because we are going to have many sports games among the worst titles on the Dreamcast! NFL Quarterback Club 2001 never had much of a chance to start the conversation, as at the time of its release both the series Madden like especially NFL 2K were light years ahead in sport simulation. The Acclaim Sports franchise simply couldn’t match the quality of gameplay seen by its rivals, earning it just 44 points.

NFL QB Club 2001NFL QB Club 2001Fonte:  Youtube

5. Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000 – 43

And look at Acclaim Sports there again! Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000 they even tried to present good game modes and the possibility to build their own tracks, but the overall presentation was already dated, and the somewhat truncated controls didn’t help at all to tolerate matches against a predictable artificial intelligence. There were even critics saying that this game was so bad that it would end up serving as an incentive for more people to buy the superior Excitebike 64!

Jeremy Mcgrath Supercross 2000Jeremy Mcgrath Supercross 2000Fonte:  Youtube

4. MTV Sports Skateboarding Featuring Andy McDonald – 40

Do you know the “copies, but not equal” thing? This skateboarding game by THQ tried to copy the hits of the series. Tony Hawk, they just forgot that it’s not enough to call the band Goldfinger and half a dozen skaters if you don’t have the same gameplay excellence. MTV Sports Skateboarding Featuring Andy McDonald (whew!) was a disaster rated the worst game of the year by several publications, which accused the title of not having an ounce of soul.

MTV Sports Skateboarding featuring Andy MacdonaldMTV Sports Skateboarding featuring Andy MacdonaldFonte:  Youtube

3. Ducati World Racing Challenge – 40

Acclaim really struggled to dominate our list, huh? Ducati World Racing Challenge it was even called “an insult to Dreamcast owners” by critics, while other journalists suggested it was a better idea to visit the arcades in Shenmue to revisit the classic Hang On. The career mode is pretty dense, and the bikes are nice, but technical problems infect every corner of this disaster. It all went wrong when porting the game to the SEGA console…

Ducati World Racing ChallengeDucati World Racing ChallengeFonte:  Youtube

2. ECW Anarchy Rulz – 38

Wrestling games are usually 8 or 80 in nature. Either you’re going to have a lot of fun in the star-studded fights, or every aspect of the controls is going to be a disaster. ECW Anarchy Rulz unfortunately it fell into the second group. Without presenting anything new to the genre, this game was still the last ECW-inspired title before its purchase by WWE, closing the journey in the worst possible way. And guess who published this junk? Yeah, Acclaim is here once again to smash another chair behind our backs!

ECW Anarchy RulzECW Anarchy RulzFonte:  Youtube

1. ESPN NBA 2Night – 29

Look how good sportsmanship is! Seeing that Acclaim was losing a lot on our list, Konami had a lot of fair play and went “Hold on, I’ll be ranked worst game on the Dreamcast”! And she didn’t disappoint. I mean, it disappointed a lot, right? Horrible graphics, repetitive narration and unpalatable controls pose NBA 2Night in the dustbin of history and guarantee the golden dump trophy for the worst rated among all Dreamcast games!

ESPN NBA 2nightESPN NBA 2nightFonte:  Youtube

And now let’s get to know the seven best Dreamcast games:

7. Skies of Arcadia – 93

Seventh in the Dreamcast pantheon was the iconic Skies of Arcadia! Critics of the time praised its narrative, characters and vastness of the world, praising that the visual was far above other RPGs. One of the few complaints was the high rate of random combat encounters, which took a little out of the pace of the adventure, but nothing that really shook the overall balance, ending with a mark of 93!

Skies of ArcadiaSkies of ArcadiaFonte:  Youtube

6 Quake III Arena – 93

When Quake III Arena was released in 1999, many people believed it was the best competitive online experience of all time thanks to its fast-paced, electrifying combat. On the Dreamcast, the console’s modem usage was highly praised by analysts, beginning to dictate a new era for multiplayer in video games. Also rated 93, it’s easily one of the best FPS desktop consoles available.

Quake III ArenaQuake III ArenaFonte:  Youtube

5 Resident Evil Code Veronica – 94

who played Resident Evil Code Veronica you know full well that this is legitimately one of the best chapters in the entire series. Even with sales hampered by the Dreamcast’s low installed base, Capcom’s game was virtually unanimous among critics, who praised the beautiful graphics and atmosphere of the adventure, pointing out that it brought together all of the main strengths and weaknesses of the main franchise. With a grade of 94, it is a masterpiece that deserves to be revisited or rediscovered!

Resident Evil Code VeronicaResident Evil Code VeronicaFonte:  youtube

4 Jet Set Radio – 94

In all of its incredible decades as a producer, SEGA has been home to very charismatic new franchises, so it’s always nice to remember that the Dreamcast has kept that tradition steady and strong with the release of the charismatic Jet Set Radio! Absolutely stylish, colorful and vibrant, the game captivated critics! There were even people pointing out that he looked like a mix of Crazy Taxi with Tony Hawk, but surpassing both. Its physics and soundtrack helped the score rise to 94, leaving only a few minor complaints with the camera.

Jet Set RadioJet Set RadioFonte:  youtube

3 NFL 2k1 – 97

before the series Madden Taking on the NFL’s monopoly license, 2K also ventured into the world of football in a series that much critics considered far superior to EA’s titles. As much as the sport grows each year in Brazil, at the time the topic was not so publicized here, but American journalists gave a 97 mark for this game, praising its presentation, controls and tactical depth.

NFL 2K1NFL 2K1Fonte:  youtube

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – 97

You’ve probably seen Tony Hawk shining in other episodes From Worst to Best, and it wouldn’t be any different on the Dreamcast! By the early 2000s the franchise was exploding in popularity, and kids all knew its soundtrack and phases by heart. The Dreamcast version is among the best available, and you can hardly find complaints about the game, easily one of the most acclaimed in history. As Rayssa Leal would say, this “Tonyzinho” is awesome!

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2Fonte:  youtube

1. SoulCalibur – 98

Since Saturn, SEGA’s consoles have always been a great home for fighting games, and this partnership peaked with Soul Calibur, DreamCast’s second best-selling game and one of the best-rated titles in history, taking top marks in many respected publications, reaping praise in every aspect of its design, and being labeled not just one of the best fighting games ever made, but also as one of the best games in history!

SoulCaliburSoulCaliburFonte:  Youtube

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