We all love a list, so every Tuesday we’re posting one, on a variety of retro-themed topics! Feel free to share your own favourites down below — and let us know what other lists you’d like to see on future Tuesdays!
Sega’s Dreamcast is a widely beloved platform with good reason: it plays host to some absolutely fantastic games, and as a pioneer of the 128-bit age, it laid the foundation for the PlayStation 2, original Xbox and Gamecube to thrive. As always, though, it can be troublesome to know where to start collecting: do you go for the most well-known Dreamcast games, which tend to be a little pricier… or do you specifically seek out cheap Dreamcast games, not knowing what to expect from them?
Simple answer: you read a guide! We’ll take you through some of the best cheap Dreamcast games out there, so you can spend your pocket change with confidence. And who knows? You might even find some new favourites among this lot.
As always, we’re using popular UK second-hand retailer CEX for our guide prices today; prices are correct as of the time of writing (February 1, 2022) but may vary over time — and you may be able to get better deals elsewhere, such as on eBay, so shop around if you really want to assemble a collection for the cheapest price possible!
Do note, however, that as a slightly older, more niche-interest console, Dreamcast games tend to be, on the whole, slightly more expensive than, say, PlayStation 2 games. You won’t find many 50p Dreamcast games, in other words — expect to pay at least £5 a pop in most cases.
Without further ado, then, let’s get into our list of the best cheap Dreamcast games!
Chu Chu Rocket!
While one of its core appeals — its online multiplayer mode — is no longer relevant, Chu Chu Rocket remains an excellent cheap Dreamcast game for both single players and groups of friends gathered around the TV.
In Chu Chu Rocket’s main game mode, your aim is to get as many mice as possible into a rocket while simultaneously attempting to sabotage your three opponents’ attempts to do the same thing. Arrow markers, a power-up roulette and the unstoppable forces of cats-who-do-not-look-like-cats are your weapons — can you come out on top?
Alternatively, if you prefer a slightly more sedate pace of game, the single-player puzzle mode challenges you to rescue all the mice with a limited number of arrows; it starts simple but gets very tricky!
Chu Chu Rocket should set you back around £4 these days.
If you enjoy multi-sports Olympic games, Sydney 2000 is a solid choice from among the lineup of cheap Dreamcast games. Developed by Attention to Detail, the game is noteworthy among the genre for featuring a substantial offering for the single player that includes “cyber gym”-themed minigames and qualification stages as well as the virtual Olympics themselves.
With decent visuals, TV-style presentation and a nicely varied selection of events to engage with, Sydney 2000 is a fun time for both solo players and groups of friends.
Sydney 2000 can be yours for about £5 these days.
While one might argue that later installments in the series refined the formula, the original Virtua Tennis is one of the best cheap Dreamcast games out there. Offering an arcade-perfect experience plus an expanded single-player career mode, Virtua Tennis introduced a number of conventions that are still used in the few tennis games we still get these days — most notably Nintendo’s Mario Tennis series.
Unlike many more recent sports games, Virtua Tennis is very easy to learn, with simple button controls allowing access to a wide variety of shot types. It has excellent animation, enormously satisfying sound effects and a good difficulty curve in its single-player modes — so if you enjoy a bit of virtual tennis, you can’t get much better than going Virtua.
Virtua Tennis can be yours for around £6 today.
F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa
There’s a fair few decent racers among the library of cheap Dreamcast games, and F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa is a particularly good one. Developed by AM2 under the supervision of Yu Suzuki, the game was originally released in arcades for the Dreamcast-esque Naomi board and, unsurprisingly, subsequently ported to Dreamcast.
The only kind of car in the game is the Ferrari F355, as the name suggests. Yu Suzuki is a keen Ferrari enthusiast who apparently used data from his own Ferrari 355 during development. At the time of the game’s 1999 release, it was considered to be the most accurate simulation of that specific car that was possible with technology of the time.
F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa can be nabbed for about £6 these days.
Tee Off is an absolutely delightful “arcade golf” game, and one of my personal all-time favourite cheap Dreamcast games. Featuring a wonderful electric guitar-heavy soundtrack that wouldn’t sound out of place in Sonic Adventure, a variety of characters, one of the worst dubs you’ll ever hear and some challenging courses, it’s a fun, well-presented and highly playable golf game that is great for both solo players and groups.
It also comes with a whole other game mode based on Japanese croquet or “gateball”, which is a ton of fun — especially in multiplayer. There’s a lot to like about Tee Off — if you’re a Mario Golf or Everybody’s Golf fan, you’ll definitely want to give this a shot.
Tee Off can be had for around £6 today.
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
This Midway classic was a popular game in the early days of the Dreamcast thanks to its exaggerated character designs and straightforward but highly enjoyable boxing gameplay. These days, it’s one of the best cheap Dreamcast games to pick up as a representative example of what the platform was all about: arcade-style fun that both solo players and groups of friends could enjoy together.
The sequel is also a solid — arguably better — game, but this one is still worth playing, and it’s cheaper, too!
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing is yours for £6 or so these days.
Developed by the dearly departed Bizarre Creations, best known for their racing games, Fur Fighters is an excellent entry in the library of cheap Dreamcast games. The revamped and remixed PlayStation 2 version is arguably a bit better — but the Dreamcast original is worth a play from a historical perspective if nothing else.
Blending elements of third-person shooter and platforming gameplay, Fur Fighters is a well-crafted and well-written game with plenty of varied challenges to take on — plus it’ll make you laugh, too.
Fur Fighters can be had for about £8 today.
Proving that western developers were more than capable of keeping up with the elaborate spectacle racers from Japanese arcade developers, Ubisoft’s Speed Devils is a highly enjoyable racer with a wide variety of chaotic cars, a fabulous soundtrack and some ridiculous tracks.
The game is especially noteworthy for featuring “disaster” variants of several of its courses — the Hollywood course suffers an earthquake, for example, while the Louisiana track can be raced in the middle of a tornado attack!
Speed Devils is yours for a tenner these days.
Dead or Alive 2
While Tecmo’s classic fighting game had several other ports — most notably to PlayStation 2 and original Xbox — there’s something indisputably magical about the original Dreamcast release, making this one of the best cheap Dreamcast games to add to your collection
Featuring a varied cast of characters, visuals and special effects that still look surprisingly good to this day plus the series’ infamous bouncing boobs, Dead or Alive 2 should be a regular on your multiplayer game rotation — and the single-player modes are no slouch, either.
Dead or Alive 2 for Dreamcast can be had for £15 or so today.
Tokyo Highway Challenge
Tokyo Highway Challenge is a racing game with just two tracks: both ways around the iconic Shuto Expressway in Tokyo, Japan. Rather than simply repeatedly running laps around the course, though, Tokyo Highway Challenge instead adopts an unusual fighting game-style approach to its races: when you’re out in front, you deplete your opponent’s “health”, and vice versa.
While it might initially seem a little limited, the “collect ’em all” aspect of beating all the game’s racers, the upgrade and tuning aspect of the game and the variety of cars on offer to play with make Tokyo Highway Challenge one of the best cheap Dreamcast games to add to your collection. Great music, too.
Tokyo Highway Challenge is yours for about £15 these days.
And there you have it! As always for 10 of the Best Tuesdays, this isn’t intended to be a completely definitive list — we want to hear from you, too! Let us know what your favourite cheap Dreamcast games are down in the comments — and together we can all assemble the ultimate Dreamcast library!
Header image by Evan-Amos (CC BY-SA 3.0)