Test Drive V-Rally
In its brief two years, Dreamcast managed to rack up quite the impressive list of racing games. Sega Rally, Daytona, Metropolis Street Racer (which became Project Gotham), Sega GT, San Francisco Rush 2049… we could go on. But if we had to choose just one to promote, one that likely rolled right on past your radar, we’d go with V-Rally.
Most of the other racing options were exaggerated (Rush) or lined with pavement, and Sega Rally was arguably popular enough to gain an off-road following. V-Rally, meanwhile, offered 80 courses, a notable metal soundtrack and expertly tuned handling for era-appropriate authenticity without a great deal of fanfare surrounding it.
Current value: Good news! No one cares about this anymore, so a decently preserved copy will only set you back $5-10
If you relish the chance to dance around billions of projectiles with no margin for error, games like Mars Matrix and Giga Wing are your new best friends. It’s a pity the now-infamous Ikaruga never made it over here on Dreamcast (GameCube ended up with it in 2003), but taking Matrix as a consolation prize is more than acceptable.
Make no mistake, this is hard. In fact, we’d probably use a different four letter word to describe what it’s like to get your ass handed to you over and over, but for those who live and breathe this type of gameplay and never knew Matrix existed, it’s one of your best options.
Current value: The shooter niche may be small at this point, but it’s devoted. A sealed version breaks the scale at $100, with used copies still asking $30 or more. Shoulda bought it when retailers were discounting everything with a Dreamcast logo.
The ultimate “wait, what?” game for the Dreamcast. Out of all the borderline unmarketable videogames on the platform, ChuChu Rocket! is the pinnacle, the unquestionable oddity that exemplifies the creative freedom Sega allowed its developers: give directions to mice so they can board rockets and avoid orange alien space cats. What.
Frenzied as the main game was, Rocket will also be remembered as Sega’s first crack at true online gaming. Unsurprisingly, the 56k modem experience was limited and many basic functions (lobbies, for one) were clunky or barely functional. Forget all that. Fire it up and play with four in-house pals and you will love this. If not, you are possibly dead. Ask someone about that.
Current value: Copies were never hard to find – Sega pushed this like it was a major title, so you can find latter-day discs for anywhere from $2 to $15.
A wonderful game that may or may not have taken place within a little boy’s imagination, Toy Commander put players in control of a series of toy-sized vehicles in a big, dangerous house. While the overarching theme was that a war was being fought between the little boy and all but a few of his toys, the missions were actually pretty diverse, ranging from aerial dogfights to tank combat (with pencils as missiles!) to straight-up races that could take you up walls and across ceilings.
It was wildly imaginative and wildly fun, but there was a lot of that on the Dreamcast, so it’s not all that surprising that it sort of got lost in the shuffle.
Current value: We watched one auction conclude at $10, while another barely passed $5, so don’t worry about paying too much for this (at the time) technical marvel.
That brings us to the end, which is a bit awkward for a celebration of Sega’s stillborn console. Why awkward? Throughout this whole week of content we didn’t mention several key games that are known for appearing on Dreamcast over other platforms. They weren’t superb enough to make the Top 7 and were just a bit too well known to land in this article.
Our parting gift to the best of the rest:
Sep 11, 2009
Why the Dreamcast was different
We break down why Sega’s doomed system is the industry’s most beloved cult console
The Top 7… best Dreamcast games of all time
A posthumous salute to the greatest titles
123 games with untapped franchise potential
The best games that never got the sequels they deserved