I really can’t get over the fact that it’s the year 2020 and we’re still playing Dreamcast games online! And to think some people say the Dreamcast is dead. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact it seemingly keeps gaining more momentum. In the online multiplayer space, we continue to get more games online and more players to play them. Last year we passed 2,000 registered players on Dreamcast Now and that number keeps increasing every day. There’s never been a better time to get your Dreamcast connected to the internet. We now have the ability to play 22 different games online with more to come in the future. So what games are the cream of the crop? Which ones are the absolute best? Here are the top 5 online Dreamcast of the last year.
5. Worms World Party
For the first time since our 2017 top 5, Worms World Party has made the list with 8% of the votes. It’s not entirely surprising as our regular Friday game has seen a good increase in popularity as of late. Which is both a good and bad thing as most of you that have played this game online know how finicky it can be. The developers clearly didn’t put a whole lot of time into making sure the network code was rock solid. That aside, it’s my personal favorite online Dreamcast game. The plethora of weapons, maps, game modes, and sometimes unpredictable physics means no two games are ever the same. Oh and while we’re on the subject of those unpredictable physics, the laugh-out-loud moments we’ve had while playing Worms are too frequent to count. Throwing a banana bomb and watching the crazy chain of events that inevitably follow just never gets old. Oh and did I mention one of the weapons in the game is a concrete donkey that falls from the sky? Yeah, a freakin’ concrete donkey! I could go on and on about how much I love this game but I think you get the gist. I’d just end the list here but sadly some of you think there are better online games. Psssh. Whatever.
4. ChuChu Rocket!
Just barely squeaking by Worms with 9% of the votes this year is ChuChu Rocket!. All these years later these ChuChus are still trying to escape the Kapu Kapus and blast off in their rockets to, errrr…. Now that I think of it, I have no idea where they’re going. Also, how are they navigating those rockets when they don’t even have any arms? I probably shouldn’t be trying to make sense of this game. Anyone who tries will inevitably end up in a padded cell at some place called Happy Acres. It all makes sense when you think about it though. ChuChu Rocket! is all about confusion; overloading your senses with way to many stimuli for the average human to comprehend. Just place down those navigation arrows and hope for the best. Before you know it the game will be over and you’ll have won and you won’t even know how. It’s a ton of fun though! At least I think it is. It’s all just a blur really.
3. Alien Front Online
It was a close race between this and our second place finisher this year but Alien Front Online took 3rd place after a tie-breaker vote. Without-a-doubt this game is one of the most impressive showcases for the Dreamcast’s online capabilities. How Sega managed to pull off this 8-player real-time-voice-chat action-fest of a game with only a 56k connection is beyond me. They must have somehow adapted Blast Processing to supercharge that Dreamcast modem. Regardless, of what black magic they used, it’s one heck of a game! Even before I experienced the joy of playing this game online, it was one of my favorite games on the console. The 60 frame-per-second arcade-style alien vs. human action is fun as all get out. Taking the experience online brings it to a whole new level though. There’s nothing quite like hopping into some sort of robotic alien arachnid and calling upon the heavenly meteors to strike down the enemy human scum. Every one of you will be wiped from the face of this planet and we shall claim it as our own! *ahem* Sorry. Got a little carried away there. Alien Front Online. Great game!
2. Quake III Arena
Fragging its way into 2nd place this year is Quake III Arena. It’s a classic in its genre and still going strong today with re-releases and even in-browser ports (yeah, you can play the game in a stinkin’ web browser! Has science gone too far?). It’s no surprise it still ranks highly when it comes to the Dreamcast’s library of online games. Quake III Arena was part of Sega’s attempt to get PC gamers on the Sega bandwagon. They wanted to prove that their console could do anything a PC could do and they certainly did that. Not only does this port of the game run great, it also kept PC gamers happy with support for keyboard and mouse controls. It was also the very first game to support the broadband adapter, which was extremely forward thinking considering the peripheral wouldn’t be released for more than a year after Quake III Arena hit store shelves. At the end of the day though, Sega accomplished the goal of proving that the Dreamcast could do what no other console before it could: fast-paced online arena shooter action over a high speed connection with the precision control of a keyboard and mouse. Blast Processing does it again!
1. Phantasy Star Online
Is this #1 again? Seriously? Isn’t this getting old? Well apparently 20 years isn’t old enough as Phantasy Star Online is still going strong, garnering 16% of the votes this year. What can I say, it’s the game that started the online multiplayer revolution. Fortnite wouldn’t exist without PSO. Wait, is that a good thing? Well, uh, anyway, regardless of my hope year-after-year that some knight in shining armor will come along and defeat the dragon that is Phantasy Star Online, there’s no denying that it will continue to be the game that everyone thinks of when it comes online multiplayer on Sega’s final console. For many it was their first time using the magic of the internet to explore a digital world with players on opposite ends of the globe. No longer did physical location matter. The world was united with the common goal of saving Ragol from ultimate destruction at the hands of the evil Dark Falz. Of course, he never stays dead which is probably the reason we’re still playing PSO to this day. I guess we’ll just have to keep trying.
There you have it, the five best Dreamcast games for your online multiplayer enjoyment. I might have to expand this to a top 10 at some point as this list simply can’t contain all the amazing online games that are on offer, especially considering that list of games just keeps on growing. If you still haven’t gotten your Dreamcast online, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. With 2,000+ players and a huge variety of games, there’s simply no excuse for it. Stop playing Fortnite and get over here! Geez!