The Dragon Ball Z franchise has come a long way from its initial release in 1986, the martial arts epic expanding from its initial manga format to anime, and then video games. Like many others, they adapted the general series to allow the player a more personal look at the challenges in the epic world of Dragon Ball. This has allowed the games to expand beyond the canon of the original series, sometimes following battle sequences not yet mentioned in the official series. The games listed here have gone above and beyond all expectations and pleased Dragon Ball and video game fans alike. Even if they have their small bugs, they're often considered some of the most challenging and entertaining Dragon Ball games around.
10 Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit
Although it is no Budokai, Burst Limit came closest to the original game. The story only goes as far as the Cell Games, making it particularly frustrating for players looking to experience the Buu saga and beyond, but the gorgeous cutscene art alone almost makes it worth the purchase. The game is a completely remade version of Budokai, creating a nostalgic gameplay experience for seasoned players. Although the mini-cutscene interruption can be a hassle, they make the combat experience an incredible moment that creates some screenshot worthy moments during battles. The characteristics of this game enhance the Budokai experience in a way that no player would have ever expected.
9 Super Dragon Ball Z
Not the most popular game at its release on the PS2, Super Dragon Ball wasn't expected, nor especially well-received, at launch. Not providing gamers with the excitement of the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi series, this slow placed and limited game didn’t strike fans with the action of previous series. Since they came out with under 150 characters, the selection was more limited than in previous games causing players to be bored after a couple of rounds with the same outcome. However ultimately, fans came to realize how well crafted the game was and it was reintroduced to the community of seasoned players as a sort-of cult classic.
8 Dragon Ball Z: Super Sonic Warriors
This game has its own unique charm, and holds a near and dear spot for anyone who is familiar with Xenoverse and Xenoverse 2. The game is consistent with the theme that anything is possible and that there are very real consequences in this world. Goku could have died early on and the battle between him and Majin Buu would be left up to Gohan and Vegeta. The possibilities are endless. The writing is creative enough to have an enjoyable time while playing, and the fast-paced gameplay provides an enjoyable experience for those looking to broaden their experiences with the Dragon Ball Z universe.
7 Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
As previously mentioned, this game has one of the largest selections of characters, not limited to any arc or storyline. This was the final adaptation to the Tenkaichi series, yet not the very best way it could have ended. The game may have one of the more limited stories, but it is compensated for with its combat. Specifically, the way that combat easily flows without any choppy in-between action of the characters. It was especially popular with Wii Kinect users who were able to experience some of the best combat, requiring gamers to have proper tactics when in combat. It could have easily been the best game on record had the story not lagged behind the other two.
6 Dragon Ball Z: Xenoverse
As fans of Dragon Ball heavily expected an RPG, they got so much more. Xenoverse is the fighting RPG that no fan could have ever expected. The game offers an in-depth look at the world of Dragon Ball. With the ability to create our own character it is like being able to create your own version of the story, following various timelines and re-experiencing classic battles, the game offers a new outlook on the franchise. The leveling-up mechanics are challenging to players and the variety of side quests ensure you have plenty to do. The unique experience can leave players stunned at the possibilities.
5 Xenoverse 2
You can’t have one without the other, and the original Xenoverse certainly has its faults, but those are all fixed in Xenoverse 2. No longer does it have MMO style grinding, but its new style allows for players to achieve their goals much quicker. You could say that the original Xenoverse could have been patched to fix these issues, but the newly expanded games come with much more. The storyline was further expanded to incorporate elements from the movies and the series, as well as adding more characters to its already extensive roster. No longer does the game feel like an endless grind to the end, but instead it is a more enjoyable experience in which you play and receive necessary items to level-up.
4 Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
This game can be considered among one of the best to have ever come out, with a superb story line, a large and detailed character collection, and even better customization, it is the most polished game anyone would have wanted. The story covers most of the entire series, and its similarity to others of the franchise allows players to experience some of their favorite mechanics in a different game. The game has a natural progression that encourages players and characters to grow stronger, due to the lack of a leveling system. The game still holds up better than most of the more modern additions to the franchise.
3 Dragon Ball Z: Super Butouden 2
Who recalls this classic game? Unless you were into 2D fighting games, probably no one who recently started watching Dragon Ball Z. This gem of the franchise may not be the most modern or exciting one, but it does deserve this spot for being one of the best SNES games of its time. Featuring large stages with a variety of terrains, the story holds its own unique touch. The characters are not just skinned copies of each other and with superbly intense gameplay, it was all worth it. With quick movements and a nice old-school style, the game is a timeless reminder of how far the saga has come.
2 Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
Holding the No. 1 title for a while, this game was unbeatable. With a steady character balance, and gameplay mechanics that rivaled modern games, it was expected to hold its place forever. The intense combat and story mode made the Dragon Ball Z game one of the most enjoyable of its time. The game overall stands for the franchise, as a never-ending reminder of the progress it has made. Featuring characters from all points in the timeline, while holding true to their own stories and abilities. The game on its own is just enjoyable, and not just because of its choice.
1 Dragon Ball Z: Fighter Z
Of the most recent game of the franchise, not much can be said but, WOW. Fans were not expecting this Mortal Kombat style game that supplied balanced gameplay between intense combat and technical fighting. The cast of characters is outrageous, in a good way, coming from all throughout the Dragon Ball saga. Apart from its predecessors, it is one of the best fighting games to date. It not only incorporates things that have been wanted by fans for decades, but it also brings back some of the style that popular franchise games used to incorporate.