Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

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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Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

Post by Sailor Haumea » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:39 am

Share your rankings of the various Dragon Ball fighting games!
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018, PC/PS4/Xbox One)
Pros: It's an actual honest to God fighting game. Cons: Needs characters from original Dragon Ball.
2. Super Dragon Ball Z (2005, Arcade/PS2)
Pros: Complex fighting. Cons: You have to unlock some customization features.
3. Dragon Ball Z 2: Super Battle (1995, Arcade)
It's Street Fighter: Dragon Ball Z Edition. What's not to love?
4. Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension (1996, Super Famicom/SNES)
5. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 (2005, Nintendo DS)
6. Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors (2004, GBA)
7. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butoden (1995, Sega Saturn)
8. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 3 (1994, Super Famicom/SNES)
9. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2 (1993, Super Famicom/SNES)
10. Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden (2015, Nintendo 3DS)
11. Dragon Ball Z: Buyu Retsuden (1994, Sega Mega Drive)
12. Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Butoden (2011, Nintendo DS)
It's a bit too shallow.
13. Dragon Ball Z (1993, Arcade)
It's alright, but it needs polishing.
14. Dragon Ball Z: V.R.V.S. (1993, Arcade)
It's...okay, I guess?
15. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2016, PS4/Xbox One/PC/Switch)
Pros: More characters and customization. Cons: It's still fanfictiony when it comes to story.
16. Dragon Ball Xenoverse (2015, PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC)
Pros: Customization. Cons: Chronoa's design and the fanfictiony story.
17. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (2007, PSP)
What makes this better than the Shin Budokai is the original story and additional characters.
18. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (2006, PSP)
19. Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (1995, PlayStation)
Shin Butoden, but shittier.
20. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden (1993, Super Famicom/SNES)
Clunky as hell.
21. Dragon Ball: Gekito Tenkaichi Budokai (1992, Famicom)
They really did start off console fighting games weakly.
22. Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World (2008, PS2)
At this point, we're in polished turd territory. This is the best of the console Budokai games, which isn't saying much.
23. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (2008, PS3/Xbox 360)
It's still a polished turd.
24. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (2007, PS2/Wii)
Pros: The menu art and music is beautiful. Cons: The gameplay is shallow.
25. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (2003, PS2/GameCube)
26. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (2004, PS2)
It has Dragon Rush. Fuck that.
27. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (2006, PS2/Wii)
It's playable. That's all it has going for it.
28. Dragonball Evolution (2009, PSP)
It's Shin Budokai, but without flight and reskinned as Evolution characters.
29. Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team (2010, PSP)
It's hard to determine whether this or BT1 is worse. Close race.
30. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (2005, PS2),
Someone on the Discord compared BT1 to raw sewage. Accurate as it is, it's still not as bad as the ones I've ranked below it.
31. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (2002, PS2/GameCube)
This is unplayable. Why?
32. Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 (2010, PS3/Xbox 360)
It's...slightly improved?
33. Dragon Ball: Raging Blast (2009, PS3/Xbox 360)
Budokai Tenkaichi 3 finally approached being a decent game. Then they threw it out and made something shitty from scratch.
34. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (2014, PS3/PS Vita/Xbox 360)
35. Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi (2011, PS3/Xbox 360)
Everything about this game sucks.
36. Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (1997, PlayStation)
Bahaha! This is a game? Really?
37. Dragon Ball Z For Kinect (2012, Xbox 360)
Blech. Unresponsive controls. Shallow combat. It gets repetitive really quickly.
38. Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu (2003, GBA)
This is awful. The controls don't work. Graphics are hideous even for 2003. I wouldn't accept this game for free.
Last edited by Sailor Haumea on Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

Post by PacificOceanDub » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:49 pm

I haven’t played every game! There are so many! But my top five are as follows:

1. Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2)
2. Budokai (PS2)
3. Legacy of Goku 2 (GBA)
4. Infinite World (PS2)
5. Extreme Butoden (3DS)
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Re: Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:42 pm

The forum isn't big on lists by themselves. Put your rationale behind your rankings, otherwise there's not really any point.
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Re: Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

Post by Zephyr » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:05 pm

Ranked in terms of what? Quality? How much I liked them? I'll rank my favorites, I guess. Bear in mind there's more I haven't played than have played.

1. Dragon Ball FighterZ
I really love 2D fighters. A lot of contemporary casual gamers seem to balk at the very idea of 2D games, and seem stuck on this pretension that "more dimensional planes of movement = necessarily better", but I think that's poppycock. Oftentimes, a more limited field of movement allows for the available gameplay mechanics to really get polished and thrive. Oftentimes, less movement options allows you to more quickly and thoroughly understand these proper mechanics on which the gameplay focuses. This applies to most 2D fighters I've played, and FighterZ is no different.

I was initially put off by the autocombos in the game, and the inability to turn them off. But playing the game more and more, against people who know what they're doing, spamming auto combos isn't a viable strategy. These can be blocked, deflected, teleported around, dashed through, blasted, and so on. Lots of mind games and strategic variance.

The presentation is also phenomenal. The art is great, the animation is fluid, and the pre-fight banter between specific people is really fun.

2. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
As a big fan of the manga and the anime, the idea of a "simulator" game holds massive inherent appeal to me. I get to act out the show, and there's a huge variety of different characters I can act it out with. Various combinations of characters for crazy what-if team ups and face offs. It's exhilarating and salivating, at the same time.

BT3 stands above and beyond all of the others in this little sub-genre (other Tenkaichi games, Raging Blast, Xenoverse, etc) as having the largest roster of all. Pre-Z characters receive an enormous amount of love, in particular, my favorite character in the franchise: Tao Pai Pai.

3. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2
This is the big nostalgia pick for me. Legacy of Goku 1 was my first Dragon Ball video game, but the Budokai series was my first console Dragon Ball video game. Budokai 2 in particular has stood the test of time as my favorite. And there are a number of factors that, in tandem, I think explain my feelings. For starters, I love its theme song the most. Every time I start the game up and that title screen shoots on, I'm fukken ready. Unlike Budokai 1 and Burst Limit, things actually progress into the Buu arc. And, unlike Budokai 3, there's no stupid ass Dragon Rush. I haven't played Infinite World or the Shin Budokai games, so they're not in the running here.

The what-if stuff in the game has always been interesting to me. Yamcha and Tenshinhan fusing? New Buu absorptions? Goku and Satan's fusion actually being playable? Delectable.

I remember my first time playing the game, I was put-off by the story mode being a board game. I remember wanting to relive the anime once again. As time has gone on, though, I've come to enjoy it. For what it's worth, I do enjoy me some board games. And having the fun, simple gameplay integrated into one has become something I really like. Moreover, several buddies and I can get together, each pick a character, and control their movement on the board, and make a multiplayer session out of it. There was something cool to me about figuring out different story mode team combinations and match ups in order to unlock characters that slightly tickled my fan itch, as well.

4. Super Dragon Ball Z
When it comes to hardcore gaming, digging deep, delving down the rabbit hole, and mastering mechanics, fighting games have never been my drug of choice. However, I can respect the hell of out this one regardless. I've played it, but it's one of those things I know I'll never master. It's a case where you can see the horizon, where you can see how far the road goes, knowing full well that you've only touched the surface. The Socratic wisdom of knowing that one isn't really wise. Shit like the star input, for instance, is far above my pay grade.

However, I still have a blast playing this one. The presentation is top notch, just like in FighterZ. Only, this time, it goes for a nice manga aesthetic. We get 23rd TB Chichi and Piccolo Daimao as characters, which is a significant rarity. It's been some time since I've played this one, so I don't have as much to say about it as I would like.


Guilty Pleasures:

5. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
This one holds a special place in my heart as my first Dragon Ball video game, but I don't blame anyone for routinely shitting on it. It's grindy as all hell, and the movement and combat are incredibly clunky. Every time I replay it, though, I tend not to mind having to slowly build my strength up, solve puzzles, and precisely position myself for hour-long hit and run spats. Something comforting and zen about it. The aesthetics and music certainly help in that regard, but so, likewise, does the nostalgia.

6. Dragon Ball Z: Sagas
This one is straight up garbage. However, outside of the bullshit bossfights, it's the perfect kind of garbage that makes for a great co-op game you play with some buddies while getting hammered. As a kid I always used to love picking Broly and just beating the shit out of a million random robots in the destroyed future. He was overpowered, and they were mooks, so it served as a really primordial, cathartic, mindless kind of fun. Shame that the memory card that had him unlocked is gone, because there's no way in hell I can play the game long enough anymore to actually unlock shit.

All of that to the side, though, I've always loved the million variations of Saibaimen that there were in the game, even if, in hindsight, it's blatantly "video game-y".

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Re: Dragon Ball Fighting Games Ranked

Post by Lightdasher » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:43 pm

This seems more like a general ranking of Dragon Ball games in general, which is fine on its own, but I think unfair to some of the games on the list. I know, it's silly of me to have empathy for games, but I feel games like Battle of Z shouldn't even qualify since that's barely a fighting game at all. Even the Xenoverse series, I'm a little iffy on.

I don't have enough experience with games like the Butoudens -- zero experience with FighterZ -- so I can't leave my own complete ranking. :(
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