A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Discussion of all things related to Dragon Ball video games (console and portable games, arcade versions, etc.) from the entire franchise's history.

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johnboy1
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A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by johnboy1 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:49 pm

For those who follow such things, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a rather important game: It is the most critically-acclaimed game to come out of the franchise, and by a wide margin. Not only that, but even in the larger context of video games in general, its reception is notably positive. It's not just a really good DB game, it's a really good game without qualifiers. To put this feat in perspective, as well as to display the highs and lows of the series over time, here is a ranking of all DB games with seven or more reviews on MetaCritic (or, in one special case, five or more reviews on GameRankings). Note that on this 0-100 scale, "universal acclaim" is 90 and over, "generally favorable" is 75-89, "mixed or average" is 50-74, "generally unfavorable" is 20-49, and "overwhelming dislike" is 19 and under. For multi-platform games, only the highest-ranking version is used.


1.) Dragon Ball FighterZ (PS4) - 87
2.) Dragon Ball: Origins (DS) - 78
3.) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2) - 77
4.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (GBA) - 75
4.) (tie) Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure (GBA) - 75
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6.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2) - 73
6.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2) - 73
6.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (DS) - 73
6.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors (GBA) - 73
6.) (tie) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (XB1) - 73
11.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (PS2) - 72
11.) (tie) Super Dragon Ball Z (PS2) - 72
11.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (X360) - 72
11.) (tie) Dragon Ball: Fusions (3DS) - 72
15.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (PSP) - 70
15.) (tie) Dragon Ball: Origins 2 (DS) - 70
17.) (tie) Dragon Ball GT: Transformation (GBA) - 69
17.) (tie) Dragon Ball Xenoverse (PS4) - 69
19.) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (PS2) - 67
20.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (PS2/GC) - 66
20.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 (DS) - 66
20.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (Vita) - 66
23.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (PSP) - 65
23.) (tie) Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo (Wii) - 65
25.) Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team (PSP) - 63
26.) Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury (GBA) - 62
27.) Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden (3DS) - 61
28.) Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 (PS3) - 60
29.) Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (PS3) - 58
30.) (tie) Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu (DS) - 57
30.) (tie) Dragon Ball: Raging Blast (PS3) - 57
32.) Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku (GBA) - 53
33.) Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (XBox) - 51
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34.) Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (X360) - 49
35.) Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World (PS2) - 48
36.) Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (PS1) - 46.2
37.) Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu (GBA) - 40
38.) Dragon Ball: Evolution (PSP) - 28
39.) Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (PS1) - 25


Do you think the critics are fair in their assessment, or do you think they have a habit of giving the entire franchise short shrift? Are some titles unfairly elevated compared to others? Was UB22 really that bad? The answer to that last one is "yes". The others are up to you.
Last edited by johnboy1 on Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by PacificOceanDub » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:41 pm

I’m surprised to see Origins so far up! I always felt like that game was way underrated. I don’t know about the first Budokai being as low as it is. That game was pretty flawless for what it was, and ushered in a whole new legion of Dragon Ball fans.
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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by Kodoshin » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:08 pm

I feel like on the average the series has been reviewed fairly. Most of the modern games have ranged from mediocre to slightly above average and I feel the review scores reflect that.

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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by johnboy1 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:15 pm

The biggest downside to these review aggregators is that it took them so long to appear. As a result, the early history of video game reception has gone widely undocumented, making comparisons with games of that era difficult. For example, I would love to be able to include all the early Japan-only DB games into the above list. However, the combination of poor documentation and the language barrier makes that impossible.

As you can imagine, it's even worse for film reviews.
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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by nato25 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:41 pm

This list feels pretty accurate. I think Raging Blast don't deserve to be THAT low, they weren't terrible I surely had my fair share of fun with them growing up and it was also the series first move into HD.

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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by lancerman » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:39 pm

Just looking at the list several things pop into my head.

-Legacy of Goku 2's score is probably a bit inflated for being a massive upgrade over the original Buu's Fury was not that different from it and offered crisper mechanics and more features.

-Glad advanced adventure is on this. Definitely the best platforming side scroller Dragon Ball game. Also at the risk of getting some flack, the one on one combat mode was one of the more technically competent and skill based of the series. Also bonus points for all the goodies.

-FighterZ is clearly the best game ever produced in the series and the score reflects that. Might not be the ultimate Dragon Ball experience, but it's the best game.

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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by Sailor Haumea » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:38 pm

Putting Super DBZ at 11 is way too low.
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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by sunsetshimmer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:17 pm

FighterZ is overhyped and WAY too high lol

Final Bout and Infinite World are WAY too low.
Probably the most underrated DB games.
I can't imagine the first Legacy of Goku game having higher score despite being a joke (sequels are great though)

DB Evolution is so low ONLY because it's Evolution. Other than that, it's just a Shin Budokai with less features. Saying DBE sucks means Shin Budokai sucks as well.

UB22, Battle of Z, Taiketsu and DB for Kinect are pure garbage.

It's good to see Advanced Adventure being appreciated. It's one of the best games for sure.

I can't believe DBZ Legend (PS1) and DBZ LSW (GBC) didn't make it on list despite being one of the greatest DB games in existence.
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Re: A critical ranking of 39 Dragon Ball games: Celebrating FighterZ's success!

Post by Kodoshin » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:07 pm

I feel like FighterZ is the only truly great game on this list. I also enjoyed Budokai 3, Xenoverse (both games) and Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (Wii version specifically, I feel like it was one of the few games where the motion controls were amazing), but those games don't have the type of skill ceiling that we see in FighterZ. They were never made with that in mind obviously, but they still entertain me in other ways and are well made products that rise above the level of being mere cash-ins.

On portable I feel like the franchise has done quite well. A lot of good games. Someone mentioned Legendary Super Warriors not being on the list. I don't think that's too much of a surprise. That game was great but I think it came out in the states pretty late in the lifespan of the Gameboy Color, so it probably had trouble garnering enough reviews to make the list.

Also I have yet to play Hyper Dragonball Z, but that game looks pretty awesome by any standard. Especially mind blowing given it's a fan creation. Might give it a try sometime soon.

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