In recent years we've seen the quality of Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball Z games dip rather dramatically. I'm still trying to forget the existence of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, and even Dragon Ball: Xenoverse was disappointing. But this wasn't always the case. This series actually has some fantastic games, in varying genres, attached to its name, you just need to know where to look.
Therefore, in order to remind us of the fantastic Dragon Ball Z games out there and the level of quality that future Dragon Ball titles can definitely achieve again, we'd thought we'd take a look at our 5 best games this IP has ever produced. Have any others that you think deserve recognition? Let us know in the comments!
The 5 Best Dragon Ball Z Games
5. Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku 2 for the Gameboy Advance
The Dragon Ball Z series is excellent source material for RPGs, and this action-based game is one of the best. The game allowed you to play as 6 different characters in the campaign; Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Trunks, Goku, and Hercule, who is a hidden character that you can unlock. With an abundance of quests to embark upon, and places to visit, Legacy of Goku 2 trumps every other installment in the Goku series. With a great story, and fun fighting mechanics, this was one of my treasures on the Gameboy Advance.
4. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 for the Nintendo DS
I really didn't think this would be anything to celebrate, but Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 for the Nintendo DS is actually a really enjoyable fighting game. It has a massive roster of characters for you to select from, all of which impact upon the main narrative, depending on who you select. Even the game's prequel couldn't match the number of fighters on display here. Additionally, you could swap out fighters during battles with the DS' stylus, and in terms of gameplay, this was a surprisingly satisfying fighting experience on Nintendo's handheld system.
3. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 for the PS2 / Wii
Personally, I think that the real home of great Dragon Ball Z games is on the Playstation 2. The Gameboy Advance has some pretty spectacular entries, but Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is one of the shining examples of why this series worked so well on Sony's system. This is a really well constructed fighting game, with more levels, and more characters that renders the two preceding titles obsolete.
2. Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure for the Gameboy Advance
This game went beyond trying to be a good Dragon Ball game, in order to focus on simply demonstrating great game design in general. Objectively, Dragonball Advanced Adventure for the Gameboy Advance is an excellent handheld title - one of the best that the console ever had. This title was wonderfully replay-able, with an exciting, diverging narrative to enjoy. It's an excellent adventure, and a fantastic fighting game - one that actually enabled you to play as a dog if you really wanted to. Why not?!
1. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 for the PlayStation 2
My favorite Dragon Ball Z title has to be Dragonball Z: Budokai 3 for the PlayStation 2 - objectively, it's just a fantastic fighting game. I guarantee that it will satisfy fans of the genre, regardless of their knowledge of Dragon Ball Z. As a fan of the genre, I always preferred side-on perspective when fighting, as opposed to the third-person one that the series prefers. Therefore, with a great roster, and a deeply satisfying level of control, Dragonball Z: Budokai 3 has to be my favorite pick for best Dragon Ball Z game. But what's yours?