When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping)
Jet Grind Radio: $8
Not only is the gameplay in Jet Grind Radio compelling and unique, but the graphical style hits you like a brick in the face (in a good way) with its well-executed cel-shaded models and landscapes. The Jet Grind Radio soundtrack is also one of the most popular gaming lineups of all time featuring an array of eclectic songs combining the musical genres of J-pop, Trip-hop, Hip-hop and Electronica. Between the slick graphics, upbeat and quirky audio, and intense gameplay, Jet Grind Radio is a gaming experience that completely envelopes you when given the chance.
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Tennis 2K2: $5
Having the essential quality of being easy to play and difficulty to master, Virtua Tennis was one of the sleeper hits on the Dreamcast. It is often overlooked as a killer party game — I have had many parties with both guys and girls of all gaming levels having a blast on a 4-player doubles tournament.
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Space Channel 5: $6
While some other rhythm games like PaRappa The Rapper attracted more attention, Space Channel 5 topped the charts with Dreamcast owners. Both the graphics and the music had a phenomenal retro-futurist (reminds me of a hip Jetson’s atmosphere) feel to them and kept Space Channel 5 from becoming just “another” simon-says-type game.
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Crazy Taxi: $6
This arcade port was one of the main reasons I initially jumped on the Dreamcast. Crazy Taxi gives you control of a cabby racing around two San Francisco-esque cities, picking up customers and dropping them at their required destinations by any means necessary. It’s a race against the clock, resulting in no-holds-barred racing around the two cities, flying off hills and screeching around bends. Although some may argue that the game lacks some depth, they forget that this is a pure arcade game that compels you to beat your best scores. Crazy Taxi 2 is also availible for a little over $10 if you need more tracks to choose from.
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Chu Chu Rocket: $8
This little gem from Sega was extremely popular and recognized by most gamers who had actually played it and virtually unknown otherwise. Chu Chu Rocket is a unique puzzle game that not only served as a good brain-teaser in single-player mode, but also has solid multi-player features.
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Resident Evil Code: Veronica: $9
As a Resident Evil game that wasn’t a port of an older Playstation title, Code Veronica actually took advantage of the Dreamcast’s power and still serves as a cheap thrill to this day.
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Test Drive LeMans: $5
Le Mans was one of the best all-around racers for the Dreamcast and one of the most under-appreciated. It can be found for a surprisingly low price even through it isn’t terribly common.
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Toy Commander: $9
On the surface, Toy Commander looks like a cheap third-party game that would only interest young kids, but this little Dreamcast gem actually has a lot of charm to it. Get it for less that $10 before everybody learns about it.
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Sega’s attempt at the First Person Shooter (or Third Person, depending on how you play it), actually turned out very well. It has more of a clean, arcade feel too it (you won’t see any blood and guts) and runs like a dream. If you are tired of Unreal Tournment and Quake III, Outrigger has got your back.
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Virtua Fighter 3tb: $9
Even though it was probably the least celebrated title in a fighting series with a cult following, Virtua Fighter 3TB is a deep and polished 3D fighter. Virtua Fighter 3tb isn’t as eye-catching as Soul Calibur or Dead or Alive 2, gameplay and strategy is where VF3tb excels.
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Metropolis Street Racer: $9
MSR was the precursor to the Project Gothem series on the XBox and is one of the most challenging and polished racers on the Dreamcast. Of course, the graphics aren’t as great as their XBox siblings, but the Kudos point system will either push you to play harder or drive you insane with frustration.
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A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10…
Soul Calibur: $16
This Dreamcast launch title is one of the best examples of the incredible graphics the little white box is capable off. Between the polished visuals and the deep gameplay, the original Soul Calibur still holds surprisingly well to its newer siblings. The Soul Still Burns!
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As one of the most beautiful and revolutionary titles for the Dreamcast, Shenmue combined elements from Adventure, RPG, Simulator, and Fighting games into an epic journey that brought a fictional community to life and compelled you to find the killer of Ryo’s father. As Yu Suzuki’s pet project the game took years of development and a hefty $20 million budget to reach completion. $15 is a great price for a twenty-million-dollar game, don’t you think?
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Samba De Amigo: $16
This Latin-flavored rhythm game involves waving/shaking maracas in certain directions to match the upbeat music. While Samba may not provide you with quite as much of a physical workout as DDR, it will be less intimidating for new players, but still offer a challenge in higher levels. And while Dance Dance Revolution is only entertaining to watch from the sidelines if the player is highly skilled, Samba De Amigo is a riot to watch no matter the experience level. There is just something about watching people shake their maracas like there’s no tomorrow.
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Rayman 2: $11
This 3D platformer is one of the most beauttiful games on the Dreamcast and is the highlight in the rather limited selection of Dreamcast platforming games.
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F355 Challenge Passione Rossa: $11
Instead of making an easy-to-pick-up-and-play arcade racer, Yu Suzuki took his passion for Ferarri racing and directed AM2 to create an incredible racing simulation. As opposed to having multiple cars to choose from, the F355 is the only car to be featured in the game, but is incredibly detailed. Supposedly much of the data for the game is actually based on Suzuki’s own F355.
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Sonic Adventure: $13
I didn’t enjoy SA as much as its 2D predecessors, but the action levels of Sonic Adventure were pretty good for the most part.
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Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the Future: $15
Ecco the Dolphin for the Dreamcast is one of those rare instances of a company taking a 2D game (the Genesis and Sega CD originals) and making it work in 3D. Defender of the Future is an amazing looking game — the rich textures and animation really bring the sea life to life. The game is also among the most challenging around again, but you’ll enjoy the brilliant atmosphere and story.
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Other Cheap Favorites:
Alien Front Online: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Re-Volt: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
2K2 Sports: $6 each – eBay
Tony Hawk 2: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Sega Bass Fishing: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Sega Marine Fishing: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Oooga Booga: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Quake 3 Arena: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
MDK 2: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Sega GT: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Ms Pacman Maze Madness: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Elemental Gimmick Gear: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Red Dog: Superior Firepower: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
My Starter Picks For $50 Budget
If I only had $50 to spend on starting out a Dreamcast collection, here would be my top picks (in order of priority):
- Jet Grind Radio: $8
- Tennis 2K2: $5
- Space Channel 5: $6
- Crazy Taxi: $6
- Soul Calibur: $16
- Virtua Fighter 3tb: $9
- Total: $50