There are quite a few Dragon Quest spin-offs, but only the best on this list.
After decades of being a cult series in North America, Dragon Quest seems to have finally established itself as one of the best JRPGs in the region. With nearly a dozen core games, there will definitely be a lot for newbies to play. But there are tons of great spin-offs in the series for those who want more.
Spin-offs play an important role in the Dragon Quest franchise, providing a base for new playstyles, while major titles continue to be traditional turn-based JRPGs that the rest of the industry seems to have abandoned. Not all are equally good, but these are more than worth a try.
Dragon Quest Swords
How much you enjoy this game depends largely on how much you enjoy gesture control, which is still a controversial issue among gamers. Dragon Quest Swords was released at the start of Wii sales and that probably won’t change the opinion of those who don’t like gesture control.
But those who love the idea of swinging their Wiimote for control of sword swings will appreciate this short but enjoyable journey that combines fantasy JRPG and rail arcade action. The game also deserves credit for retaining the unmistakable Dragon Quest style. Perhaps the real fantasy in the title is the protagonist’s epic medieval perm.
Luck accompanies the brave, and this is exactly what Yuji Horii was when he decided to create the crossover tabletop Dragon Quest and Mario for the Nintendo Wii. In the title, players buy and sell real estate, just like in Monopoly. As funny as it sounds, Fortune Street is part of a long-running series of successful Dragon Quest spin-offs in Japan, although it is the only game to have made it to other countries outside of the mobile version.
It may not be the most exciting idea to play, but if you want a title that mixes Dragon Quest, Mario, and real estate sales, Fortune Street is the best (and only) option.
Dragon Quest Wars
Don’t like JRPGs? The Dragon Quest franchise brings you this turn-based strategy game. Or suggested it before the DSi online store closed and took this exclusive release with it. It’s a shame, considering that many of the recognizable elements of the core games fit perfectly into a strategy RPG, and the Wars gameplay was a good premise for them.
The title was never a rival to Fire Emblem, but it had more than enough tactical scenarios to justify its $ 5 price tag. That being said, the game was refreshingly straightforward for such a convoluted genre.
Torneko: The Last Hope
When the clumsy merchant Torneko Talun made his debut in Dragon Quest IV, he quickly made up for the lack of strength, equipment, and everything else you would expect from a good team member with his endlessly cute buffoonery. He seemed like the obvious star of the spin-off, but Enix took it a step further, giving him a whole series.
Torneko: The Last Hope is the perfect embodiment of the classic roguelike game. It is slow, difficult, requires a high level of skill development and a lot of it falls to chance, but as a result, the title seems very enjoyable.
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2
The Dragon Quest Monsters Joker series is a sub-series of the Dragon Quest Monsters series, which is itself a sub-series of the Dragon Quest series. Now that no one is confused, these are two series about collecting monsters in the same vein as Pokemon. Considering Dragon Quest’s peerless character designs courtesy of Akira Toriyama, it makes sense to lead the franchise in that direction.
But the Dragon Quest Monsters series is much more than a simple imitation. Nintendo’s little yellow mouse can only dream of its incredible mechanics. In games, the Joker sub-series only doubles, thanks to the increase in the number of landscapes to be explored and the deepening of the team-building process. The second part on DS refined that formula with over 40 hours of gameplay and compatibility with Dragon Quest VI and IX, giving monster collectors more content than any other game in the genre.
Dragon Quest Heroes II
It seems like every big fantasy franchise recently got one of Omega Force’s patented Musou-style games, so it makes sense that the best series got two. As good as Dragon Quest RPGs are, they can’t provide the thrill of slicing a hated villain to pieces that only good old hack and slash games have.
Dragon Quest Heroes lets fans unleash all their rage on hordes of enemies with their favorite DQ characters, weapons and spells. The sequel has upped the ante with more content to ensure that heroism and fan service will stick players to their screens for hours on end.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
No one wanted Dragon Quest to combine JRPG character creation with the block-building popularized by Minecraft, but that didn’t stop Etrian Odyssey creator Kazuya Niin from making Builders a must-have for Dragon Quest fans around the world.
Builders 2 not only expanded the creative possibilities of the first game, but also put more emphasis on the plot and added more JRPG elements, such as character customization and team building. And the best part is that this great campaign is optional and won’t get in the way for those looking to focus on the crafting elements.
Theatrhythm Dragon Quest
Everyone wanted Theatrhythm Dragon Quest after seeing how good Final Fantasy rhythm game turned out to be. Theatrythm team has shown the same high quality in their adaptation of another series from Square Enix into a musical JRPG.
While this 3DS game has sadly never officially left Japan, Western fans familiar with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy know what to expect. Players not only tap, click, and drag their stylus to the beat of some of the finest soundtracks, but also set the iconic Dragon Quest characters through some of the series’ most epic journeys and battles. Where is Theatrhythm Kingdom Hearts?
Dragon Quest Monsters 2
Square Enix were far from the only ones to try to capitalize on the Pokemon craze in the late 90s, but at the time they were the only ones to give Game Freak the opportunity to make their money with Dragon Quest Monsters 2. Pokemon fans unfamiliar with this the forgotten gem of Game Boy Color will no doubt be surprised to find out how far ahead of its time it is.
The title had a funnier and more elaborate storyline than Pokemon over the years, as well as a more complex combat and training system and original monster merging mechanics. If that’s not enough to convince fans of monster collecting of the game’s abilities, keep in mind that there were 312 creatures in it, while Nintendo owned only 251.
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Most games fail to hook players in the home screen phase, but Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime isn’t like most games. It’s fitting that the sticky mascots of the Dragon Quest series are in the spotlight in this Nintendo DS adventure game, because every moment exudes enchantment just like little blue droplets exude slime.
All of the other titles on this list were heavily inspired by other games, or at least certain genres, but Rocket Slime took its own path and became Dragon Quest’s most creative spin-off.
After all, it takes some ingenuity to create an interesting set of slime movements. Movement range based on simple slapping, bouncing, and stretching means there will always be a challenge on your adventure to empower a giant tank fortress. Yes, that’s right, the second half of this title puts players at the helm of a giant tank fortress in which you fight other giant tank fortresses. It’s time to have some fun.