The Best Dreamcast Multiplayer Games

The Best Dreamcast Multiplayer

The Nintendo Wii may get all the mainstream attention when it comes to party games, but the Sega Dreamcast is still one of the best (and most affordable machines) when it comes to solid multiplayer action. The Dreamcast multiplayer library is quite diverse and has a number of titles that are recommended for both hardcore and casual gamers.

powerstonePower Stone 2

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Pure Chaotic Combat

There is no better way for a group of friends to grow closer together than to beat the crap out of each other. Power Stone allows you to move around in a fully 3D environment in your battles in addition to utilizing furniture, poles, and other objects to do extra damage.

What makes Power Stone really stand out is the strategic element found within the game’s Power Stone gimmick. If a player gets three Power Stones they are temporarily boosted by a unique super-human power. So players will not only want to beat the crap out of their opponents, but also try to keep them from getting Power Stones and horde them for themselves.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

bomberman-online

Bomberman Online

  • Up To Four Players
  • Team-Based & Competitive
  • Nothing Like Cornering A Friend With Two Bombs

If there is one party game franchise you can usually find on just about any platform, it’s Bomberman. The core Bomberman games are filled with frantic action with players in pursuit of blowing up their opponents.

Bomberman Online doesn’t quite live up to the fine legacy of Saturn Bomberman (with its support for up to ten players), but it is still one of the best installments of the last ten years. There are a variety of multiplayer modes to keep everyone busy. (BTW, don’t worry about the “Online” thing – all the good stuff still works offline as well.)
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

sambadeamigo

Samba De Amigo

  • Up To Two Players
  • Cooperative & Competitive
  • Get Your Friends Shakin’

Music games are always fun at parties. They aren’t quite as intimidating to non-gamers and music on its own is a natural party enhancer. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast doesn’t have any 4-player music games, but Samba De Amigo is the best game of the genre and does support two-players.

While games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Heroes are 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.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

virtuatennisVirtua Tennis & Tennis 2K2

  • Up To Four Players
  • Team-Based & Competitive
  • Deep & Realistic, But Easy To Learn

The Sega Tennis games are some of the most unassuming classics in all of party gaming. Typically, most people would view a Tennis game as being a boring experience, but if nothing else, Wii Sports has changed that perception a bit. However, as apposed to Wii Sports, the Sega Tennis games offer a much more realistic and deep gameplay experience.

Having the essential quality of being easy to play and difficulty to master, Virtua Tennis is perfect for getting non-gamers in on the party action. I have personally had many parties with both guys and girls of all gaming levels having a blast on a 4-player doubles tournament.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

revoltRe-Volt

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Make Sure To Try Battle Tage Mode

As opposed to driving full-size cars (that tend to be a bit more complex), Re-Volt puts players in the driver seat of small, remote-controlled cars. You can think of it as a three dimensional hybrid of the NES classics Super RC Pro-AM and Micro Machines with extra multiplayer modes built in.

Very few racing titles will get a group of people yelling, screaming, and laughing as much as Re-Volt’s Battle Tag mode. The Battle Tag multiplayer mode is an addictive mix of Hide & Seek, Tag, and Hot Potato that is obviously perfect for parties.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Chu Chu Rocket!

  • Uchuchurocketp To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • The Best Multiplayer Puzzle Ever

This unique puzzle game from Sonic Team not only served as a good brain-teaser in single-player mode, but also has solid multi-player features. Chu Chu Rocket takes a cue from Lemmings, in that you must guide hapless creatures to safety.

The goal in Chu Chu Rocket is to guide mice to your rockets and cats into your opponents’ rockets by placing arrow throughout a maze-like course. Of course, you also have to avoid leading them to your opponents’ rockets and blocking incoming cats.

To make matters worse, each player can only have three arrows on-screen at a time and cannot place them on other players’ arrows or their own arrows. Needless to say, the blazing competition and deep strategy easily make up for Chu Chu Rocket’s simple presentation.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Propeller Arena

propellerarena

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Death Match In The Air

The multiplayer air combat game is one of the most famous of the unreleased Dreamcast games as it used the September 11th attacks and an excuse for its cancellation. While some of the canceled games deserved their fate, Propeller Arena actually had a lot of promise as it was essentially a more arcade-like Crimson Skies.

The overall goal of Propeller Arena is fairly straightforward: shoot down as many planes as you can within the time limit. It is essentially like Unreal Tournament mixed with dog fighting. Just like any death-match game, if you get shot down, you will automatically re-appear in a random part of the arena to battle again. Power-ups are also available throughout the game that can give your special weapons and abilities. They are similar to the power-ups you would find in a game like Mario Kart.

The arcade-like control scheme makes Propeller Arena a great party game that is inviting to new gamers. Before you know it, you will have four people yelling at each other as they blow each their foes out of the air. As long as you don’t mind downloading an unreleased game, there is no reason you shouldn’t give Propeller Arena a try.
More: Full Review | Video Clip

toycommanderToy Commander

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Play With Your Toys Again

This is another one of those unique games you won’t find on any other console. Toy Commander lets you pull of combat missions with toy planes, tanks, trucks, and other vehicles, much like you did when you were a kid. Toy Commander’s four-player multiplayer has a number of modes that really bring the game to life.

There are multiple modes to try such as Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Cat and Mouse which is a concept similar to Re-Volt’s Battle Tag. While these modes might be similar in theory to those in an FPS, they are really a fresh experience in Toy Commander.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Looney Tunes Space Race

spacerace

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Classic Cartoon Racing

Once Mario Kart 64 came out, there were plenty of clones to be found on every console. My personal favorite on the Dreamcast is Looney Tunes Space Race. It uses cell-shaded graphics to create a convincing cartoon look for both the racers and the courses.

Like in Mario Kart, you have can obtain numerous power-ups to either give you a personal boost or devastate your opponents. The power-ups also tie in nicely with the whole Looney Tunes theme, such as dropping anvils and those guns that fire a boxing glove on a spring.

Between the power-up hijinks, the crazy courses, and the authentic character voice-overs, Space Race is a riot for players of all ages. You may also want to look intoWacky Races, which is a very similar game.
More: Full Review | eBay

worms

Worms Armageddon & Worms World Party

  • Up To Four Players
  • Team-Based & Competitive
  • Strategy & Humor Combined Flawlessly

The Worms series is a longstanding strategic combat franchise that benefits from both stellar gameplay and wonderful comedy. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but I used to spend many nights in college having Worms Armageddon tournaments with my roommates and other guys on my hall and we were always dying from laughing at each other and the game itself.

I usually played the Worms games played on the PC, but the Dreamcast also has a respectable port of both Worms Armageddon & Worms World Party. Even if you only have one Dreamcast controller, you can pass it around for each player’s turn.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

beatsofrage

Beats of Rage & BoR Mods

  • Up To Three or Four Players
  • Cooperative
  • Plenty of Mods to Keep Things Interesting

It’s no secret that the Dreamcast has one of the best homebrew scenes of any console. One of the standouts of the homebrew crowd is a side-scrolling brawler by the name of Beats of Rage. As you can probably tell by the name it is inspired by Sega’s classic Streets of Rage franchise.

In addition to the original Beats of Rage game, you can also find an excellent assortment of Beats of Rage Mods that put a new shell on the brawler’s engine. Probably the optimal way to test of the best of these brawlers is to download the Beats of Rage Volume 2.
More: Video Clip

Fighting Games

  • Up To Two or Four Players
  • Competitive or Team-Based
  • Great For Tournament Setups

There is no shortage of top-notch fighting games on the Dreamcast, so it is one of the best platforms for fighting game tournaments. There are even a couple of my favorites that have special modes for four-player, team-based matches. I won’t feature all the good fighting games here (check here instead), but will instead cover four of my favorites for party situations…

Marvel vs. Capcom Series
Unless your friends are all hardcore fighting aficionados, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is probably your best bet for a 2D fighter. It’s hard to pass up the frantic action that you get with three-on-three teams of comic book and video game icons armed with dizzying combo moves. If you would like 4-player tag-mode, you will want the original Marvel Vs. Capcom, which isn’t quite as flashy, but still very enjoyable.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Dead or Alive 2
This series is a favorite to many (for various reasons), but what makes it worthy of being on this list is its four-player Tag Mode. Much like you would imagine, this mode lets four people take turns dishing out the pain on the other team.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Street Fighter 3: Third Strike
Capcom took the advantages that 2D games had (precise movements, quick reflexes, and strategy) and pushed them to the max with Third Strike. In addition to other great moves like Hyper Arts and Combos, Street Fighter 3 introduced the Parry system, which when used successfully, will interrupt the opponent’s attack and open him/her up to your best efforts.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Soul Calibur
Any fighting fan knows that the Soul Calibur series is one of the best franchises in the genre. It has traditionally been relatively deep for a 3D fighter and sports a wide variety of characters. Sure, the newer installments have a few more character customization options and some enhanced game modes, but the original Soul Calibur holds up incredibly well in terms of gameplay depth and graphical quality.
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Even More: The Dreamcast 2D Fighter Library

sfrush2049San Francisco Rush 2049

  • Up To Four Players
  • Competitive
  • Smooth & Slick Arcade Racing

Rush 2049 is four-player, arcade-style racing at its finest. The Dreamcast version is the best port of this classic and it sports not only traditional racing, but a combat mode as well. It also performs surprisingly well with the four-player split-screen without reducing the graphical quality too much.

If you regularly have the same people over to play, you can have them save their own cars and control configurations on a custom profile (if you have enough VMU space).
More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Ooga Booga

  • oogaboogaUp To Four Players
  • Team-Based & Competitive
  • When You Need Something Unique

If you enjoy games like Power Stone or Bomberman, you might want to also take a look at Ooga Booga. In this wacky multiplayer titles, you play as witch doctors who throw shrunken heads, ride animals, or strategically using spells on each other to battle their way to victory and, in turn, the favor of a volcano goddess. There are a few different gameplay modes to give your party a bit of variety. The guys over at PlanetDreamcast did a much better job than I could do describing the modes, so I’ll let them handle it…

  • Smakahuna – “Chase your enemies around the island and each time you land a hit, you’ll be rewarded points depending on the type of attack used. At the end of each round, the player with the highest number of points wins.”
  • Boar Polo – “Two teams play a simplified game of polo — smacking, attacking, and charging a giant boulder towards their enemies’ goal, hoping to score. Most of the weapons are carried over from the Smakahuna mode, and can be used to either stop your enemies from scoring, or help move the ball for your own team.”
  • Rodeo – “focuses solely on your boar-riding skills. In this event, points are scored only by hitting an opponent while atop a boar, or by knocking another player down from one. Although less entertaining than the other modes, it’s good practice for beginners looking to become swine-savvy.”

More: Full Review | Video Clip | eBay

Honorable Mentions:

  • Unreal Tournament & Quake III Arena: If you have a newer console with more modern FPSs, you’ll probably want to stick with those. But if the Dreamcast is your most modern piece of hardware, both of these games have plenty of fun packed into them. Capture the Flag or Deathmatch in Unreal Tournament are my personal favorites. Outrigger is also worth looking into if you want a more arcade-like FPS with a not-so-dark look and feel.
  • Test Drive V-Rally and Test Drive LeMans: Both of these great racers are both four-player. Playing that game with three other people can really get the competitive juices flowing. Both V-Rally and LeMans have unique characteristics that keep them relevant in a more modern era, but if you want more realism, stick with the XBox 360 or PS3.
  • 2K Sports Series: Sega’s 2K sports games (NFL 2K2, NBA 2K2, NHL 2K2, World Series Baseball 2K2, etc) were some of the best in the business and more than made up for the lack of EA games on the Dreamcast. If you don’t have any newer machines at your place, these will do the trick.
  • Armada: This isn’t your typical party game, but it is a unique game that has been described as an “Asteroids Action-RPG”. The fact that it supports four-player cooperative gameplay is enough to make it worth mentioning here. This may be a hidden gem for you and your friends if this sounds appealing.
  • Gauntlet Legends: This modernized version of the arcade classic makes for some great hack-and-slash adventure on the Dreamcast. Many of the elements that made you fall in love with the original can be found here.
  • Giant Gram 2000: All Japan Pro Wrestling 3 & Fire Pro Wrestling D: The import titles are must-haves for wrestling fans. They are much more fulfilling than the western-developed games.

Other Multiplayer Favorites From Racketboy Members

  • Fur Fighters
  • Pen Pen Tri Icelon
  • Pop N Music Series
  • Demolition Racer: No Exit
  • Super Boom Tread Troopers
  • Spawn: In The Demon’s Hand
  • Sno-Cross Championship Racing
  • Mag Force Racing
  • Virtua Athlete

Also, if you’re a Dreamcast owner, be sure to check out the Sega Dreamcast VGA cable in the Racketboy Store

23 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    Solid list, although despite being old and hoary I would definitely put Quake III and Outtrigger on there. People LOVE those games. On the other hand, the draw distance and filter smearing on Toy Commander makes it nigh-unplayable in quad-screen mode, so I would nix that from the list.

  2. racketboy says:

    Don’t know if you noticed, but the FPSs were on the honorable mentions. On their own, they are really great games (I love Unreal Tournament), but most FPS fans have newer games in the genre.

  3. All Hail The New Flesh says:

    Good article, there is a typo in the Beats of Rage section, you accidentally spelled “the” with a W.

  4. ubelaffe says:

    Glad to see a couple of my suggestions from the forum topic show up in the member section.

    I’d like to mention Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves. It’s a great fighter. Not all that different from your standard 2d fighter, but it’s pretty and clean.

  5. D123456 says:

    Virtua Tennis 2. A.K.A. Sega Sports Tennis 2K2 A.K.A. Power Smash 2 is the ultimate party game. Very easy to get into even without knowledge of tennis. And do not be de-motivated. Because I hate tennis and I hate almost all sports games. This is the one. I bought Virtua Tennis 3 for ps3, but I bought Power Smash 2 (PS2) which now runs on my ps3!

    Racket, Will the awesome articles ever stop? I hope not.
    Honourable mention goes to Tetris 4D, the only 4 player tetris game for the Dreamcast.
    Power Stone 2 can be a little chaotic for general gamers (non-hardcore) Bombermand is also very good 4 player action. But your company will probably like VT2 better. VT1 is also very good. The lob shot is more effective in part 1 and it plays a little arcadier.

  6. Caleb says:

    Awesome list!

    I am glad that Glad Powerstone 2 was on it. That’s gotta be “the game to have” for multiplayer action.

    I have been using Bomberman Live for single player only. I have not yet had a chance to play people multiplayer.

    **You said that Beats of Rage mods “Up To Three Players”. There are a couple that support 4 players.

  7. Awesome list! I just think that Virtua Athlete deserved more than just an honourable mention, that game is so fricking awesome when you play with 3 friends.

  8. The Apprentice says:

    Nice mention of the 2K games in the honorable mentions area. I feel that in some cases, these games are better than the newer sports games, especially the football games. Basketball however has come a long way since dreamcast.

  9. thesimplicity says:

    Great feature. I’d love to see an article on just the best cooperative games. My girlfriend and I are starting to get tired of the same old beat ‘em ups (and she keeps throwing me down pits in Chip N Dale for the NES).

  10. Richard says:

    Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
    was a great multiplayer too Racketboy.

  11. I’d have to add Surf Rocket Racers and Sega Rally 2 to the list (and although it would probably only appeal the very wonderful Sega Soccer World Wide 2000 (Euro Edition).

    But what about the shooters? Confidential Mission, Virtua Cop (Sega Smash Pack) House Of The Dead 2 and the Keyboard Classic “Typing Of The Dead”?

    I’d even throw in Chef’s Luv Shack and Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire as decent party games…

    Excellent work as usual Racket!!! I love these collective and thematic reviews…

  12. true_505 says:

    No Sonic Adventure 2? That had a great multiplayer! I love the racing between Sonic and Shadow as well as the treasure hunt between Knuckles and Rouge. I also enjoyed Rainbow Six Rogue Spear & Army Men Sarges Heroes which both have a simple yet fun deathmatch mode!

  13. Hawk says:

    Hey dude i created a PDF of this list and added pics of street fighter and soul calibur, If you would like to put it on your site for people to download or just to have a look let me know, i’ll look for your email address and send it to you if you have it listed on your site

  14. Logan says:

    I’m not a huge fan of it, (but then again, I’ve never played it with a group of people… I’ll have to try that sometime here soon…) but I’m a bit shocked that Sonic Shuffle didn’t find its way on here.

  15. racketboy says:

    Eeh — I really didn’t like Sonic Shuffle…
    It could have been good, but the load times were horrible and the “fun” stuff didn’t come close to Mario Party (which I’m not a huge fan of anyway)

  16. Logan says:

    I don’t know if anyone really loved Sonic Shuffle, of course, I don’t think anyone really loved Pen Pen Tri Icelon either.

    It’s the only game of that sort on the Dreamcast, if I’m not mistaken. That game actually had alot of potential! I read an old EGM that had a picture of Sonic saying “Sega Strikes Back!”, with their new catalogue of games and a bunch of awesome online/VMU mp3 player ideas. They were saying that Sega’s real killer app was gonna be “Sonic Square” (which we now, regrettably, know as Sonic Shuffle). The game was supposed to be like Mario Party, except online. From reading the article I got the feeling that Sonic Square was supposed to have LOADS of minigames, features, and other content, but the Sonic Shuffle that we got was rushed to the market as not even half the game it was meant to be, because of the impending shadow of the PS2 looming.

  17. racketboy says:

    Yeah it probably was rushed a lot — it wasn’t typical Sega quality in that era…

  18. Nugatron says:

    Anyone know a good multiplayer Quest-like adventure/RPGish game? I was hoping Phantasy Star v.2 was multi offline but I guess thats ep. 1 and 2 for the Cube… perhaps I should just ebay that guy. I’d appeciate any suggestions even if it doesnt fully meet the criterion specified. I love the site, keep up being sick.

  19. Roshomon says:

    Just wanted to note that Star Wars Jedi Power Battles was awesome for multiplayer as well. Especially for Star Wars fans who weren’t really gamers. I’d love to see a non-shitty remake of it though for next gen.

  20. Gandalf says:

    Hi,
    Quake 3 Arena is an absolutely must have for everybody who likes exciting multiplayer battles. You are able to play with up to four players, and even bots can fill up some open slots. It is real great fun, and even the controls are quite good, if you know how to set them right. The others games are also very cool, but Quake 3 is the best.

  21. JM says:

    The best 4-player party games in my opinion:

    1) Virtua Tennis 2
    2) Power Stone 2
    3) Track & Field (Playstation 1)
    4) Micro Machines V3 (Playstation 1)
    5) Dead or Alive 4-player tag-matches (Dreamcast & XBOX360)

    Playstation 3 and XBOX360 have no games that come close to being that much fun. Wii has some ok games, but they are just not as much fun. Rayman Raving Rabits is fun, but too weird. Virtua Tennis for XBOX360 is nice, but nowhere as fun to play as VT2 on Dreamcast.

  22. kartik says:

    the two player adventure and 3d games can only be dreamcast

    i love to play these two player games with my bro

  23. Squid Legs says:

    Good article this, nice one.

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