The Dragon Ball franchise has grown far beyond the original manga that spawned it. Over the past three decades, it has expanded into anime, films, and even the occasional stage play—but it's the realm of video games that has seen the most adaptations of Goku's exploits.
Since 1987, there have been dozens of video games based on the Dragon Ball franchise, ranging from top-down shooters to some of the most celebrated fighting games of all time.
Like any other franchise that's been going for so long, Dragon Ball games span the spectrum of quality. Here are our picks for the all-time best Dragon Ball video games and why they're so good.
5. Dragon Ball: The Breakers
In a series that focuses almost exclusively on fighting, it's refreshing to see a game that tries something different.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a 7v1 survival game that barely features Goku or his friends. In fact, Oolong the shape-changing pig has more screen time than the iconic Saiyan warrior.
Players take one of two roles: that of a normal human who's hiding from some of the franchise's most iconic villains, or that of a villain who's hunting down the survivors out of spite.
While some of the mechanics are a little counter-intuitive and the lack of crossplay means it will probably have a shorter lifespan than it deserves, it makes this list simply for being so unique in the franchise.
Despite its flaws, Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a lot of fun to play—as both the survivors and the villain.
4. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
There have been many attempts to make a Dragon Ball RPG, but Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the best implementation of that formula.
This game allows players to take control of Goku and his allies, starting from the Saiyan Saga all the way up through the defeat of Buu, mastering transformations, energy blasts, and power-ups along the way.
The biggest flaw in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is how it requires so much grinding, which unnecessarily pads out the playtime. However, it has enough main content—including some of the most adorable filler the franchise has ever seen—that it doesn't get tired.
If you love Dragon Ball and you want a solid RPG experience within the franchise, this is easily your best option.
3. Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
The Dragon Ball Z Budokai fighting games hold a special place in the Dragon Ball gaming franchise, primarily for being the first games in the long-running series that were properly fun to play.
Before this series, Dragon Ball games were awkward shooters or stiff fighting games that were reskinned editions of other fighting games. Then Dragon Ball Z Budokai came along, infusing the series with enough depth to make it feel distinctly Dragon Ball but still fun to play.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 remains the best of these games, with a massive roster to play through, countless skills and power-ups to equip, and a surprisingly complex and fun story mode that rewarded players for adhering to the anime plot but still allowed for some silly moments as well.
If you ever wanted to see Mr. Satan take on Kid Buu and win, this game is your chance to make it happen. For years, this was considered the best fighting game in the franchise, and it still ranks highly among fans—even more than 15 years after its initial release.
2. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
The original Dragon Ball Xenoverse allowed players to find out the answer to all their most silly franchise questions. What if Nappa and Vegeta both went Great Ape on Earth? What if Captain Ginyu had stolen Vegeta's body instead of Goku's? And so much more.
It elevated what could've been shallow gameplay into something wildly entertaining for fans of the series. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 then provided even more of these scenarios while improving on gameplay in every way.
It's been several years since it first launched, yet Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is still going strong—and still getting regular content updates. This new content allows players to tackle new enemies with their custom characters fighting alongside their favorite characters.
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ isn't just a great Dragon Ball video game—it's one of the best fighting games of all time.
The continually growing roster of characters, each with drastically different playstyles, means that you can easily create some of your favorite team-ups from the show. It's a game that's perfectly balanced, meaning any character can succeed if you put in the time to master their unique mechanics.
Most importantly, no other Dragon Ball game has gone so far to recreate the franchise's distinctive art style using beautifully stylish 3D models. Each character looks and feels exactly like they do in the anime, making every fight a beauty to watch unfold.