10. Skies of Arcadia
Originally released in Japan with the title Eternal Arcadia, Skies of Arcadia was released amidst much fanfare in the fall of 2000. The story of Skies follows the trials and tribulations of Vyse through… well… the skies of Arcadia. Vyse must steer high ship through the skies from floating island to floating island. On these islands, Vyse must travel through dungeons to further the plot of the story. Within each dungeon, Vyse will have random encounters with enemies but even now and again some random pirate booty will be revealed.
As with most of the games on this list, Skies of Arcadia is graphically beautiful. The textures were extremely detailed for its day, and the character design was quite brilliant. Game play in battles was simplistic as it was based on a fairly typical RPG turn-based fighting. Gamers controlled the moves of all characters within the party each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
The worlds of Skies of Arcadia were so vast that the game existed on two Dreamcast discs. This left plenty of space for gamers to explore and enjoy. Skies of Arcadia gave gamers many reasons to keep this disc humming in their Dreamcasts, and truly became worthy addition to the Dreamcast library.
9. Crazy Taxi
One common result from these games is their resulting addiction, and Crazy Taxi just may be the most addicting of them all. Never before had I played a game that made my thumbs hurt so much. If you are unfamiliar with this arcade game turned console game, players must pick up random passengers and take them to their desired destination. The more quickly and more "crazy" you drive the more money you receive when you reach the destination. It sounds strikingly simple, but it is horribly addictive.
Crazy Taxi has three modes of game play--arcade, a time attack mode, and "Crazy Box." In Crazy Box, you must complete in a number of mini-games of varying difficulty. While these can become horribly tedious at times, Crazy Box is another great way to spend mindless hours in front of the television.Credit: Amazon.com
8. Toy Commander
Much like San Francisco Rush: 2049, Toy Commander is often overlooked on the Dreamcast's "Best Of" lists. It shouldn't be. Toy Commander was one of the most fun, addicting, and innovative games to be released on the Dreamcast. In the story mode of Toy Commander, you must operate a number of toys armed with missiles, bombs, and mines to defeat the enemy. Developers creatively structured the game's levels around the different rooms in a house like the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Control varied depending on what type of toy you control, but it was always intuitive and relatively easy to learn.
The story mode was fantastic in Toy Commander, but the battle mode was where Toy Commander really shined. In battle, up to four players can compete in a battle royale of various toy planes, cars, and helicopters. Each player had a base where they could refuel and reload their weapons, and each toy could level up their weapons to make their vehicles even more deadly. The result was mass mayhem that would oftentimes last for hours on end.
7. Rush: 2049
One of the most often overlooked games on the Dreamcast, Rush: 2049 has probably gotten more playing time than any other title in my game library. At first glance, Rush is a fairly typical racing game. Pick a generic futuristic-looking car, race around a track. Be happy when you come in first. But, shortcuts to get you ahead of the pack and hidden coins that unlock new goodies are littered throughout every level. The coins especially will keep you coming back to each level until you have collected them all. Many are precariously perched atop buildings and leave gamers absolutely perplexed as to how to collect them.
As fun as racing and collecting coins in race mode is, Rush: 2049 gets the most praise for its stunt and battle modes. In the stunt mode, gamers score points by racing off ramps, bumps, and other obstacles that send cars barreling through the air. Retractable wings allow each car to perform varying amounts of flips, twists, and barrel rolls at dizzying heights and speeds. Coins to unlock all sorts of goodies also exist in the stunt tracks. In battle mode, up to four players pick up and arm their cars with weapons and naturally must blow up their opponents. The player that gets hold of the heat-seeking missiles has a tremendous advantage, but a various assortment of grenade throwers, machine guns, and land mines make for worthy weapons. This mode is extremely addicting for any gathering and could almost be likened to N64's James Bond game.
6. Sonic Adventure 2
The first Sonic Adventure game on the Dreamcast was certainly a must-have launch title, but it did have its faults. In Sonic Adventure 2, developers attempted to fix the flaws of their first game and improve upon what was well received in its first installment. The result was a game that left out slow-paced “adventure” seen in Sonic Adventure and amped up, fast-paced levels that work so well in the first game. The result in Sonic Adventure 2 was a platforming masterpiece and easily Sonic’s best showing in three dimensions.
The story of Sonic Adventure 2 once again follows Sonic and his friends Tails and Knuckles. Thankfully, Amy, Big, and E-102, who were all slow-paced playable characters in the first game, were nowhere to be found in the second. In addition to the “good guys,” Shadow, Rouge, and Dr. Eggman were also playable in the “Dark” story mode. As usual, one player mode is where the bulk of Sonic Adventure 2’s game play is, but a fairly successful two player mode was included that was somewhat similar to the two-player racing first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Genesis.
After successfully completing each stage, players receive a grade for their performance of A, B, C, D, or E. When enough A grade are accumulated, new items are unlocked within the game. This makes for another great goal for all hard-core gamers to achieve. The Chao world in Sonic Adventure 2 is much more developed, more fun, and less taxing than the Chao world seen in the games first installment.
Sonic Adventure 2 finally gave Sonic fans a 3D title to truly be proud of. This was a worthy game for the Dreamcast and a worthy game for this best of list.