As long as the Dragon Ball anime and manga have been around, there have been games that have adapted the series and tried to add their own unique spin on the franchise. With so many games to choose from, there’s going to be a considerable dip in quality every now and then. To be honest, the majority of Dragon Ball Z games are pretty mediocre. There are only a select few that are recognized as being truly amazing titles. But a ton of Dragon Ball games just kind of suck. It isn’t that much of a surprise seeing how many of them there are.
What makes these games bad though, is often the surprising lack of effort that’s put into them. It’s one thing to have made a bad game, but at least tried to add something new to the mix. But when you know that the game’s just trying to cash in on the brand recognition then what’s the point? Dragon Ball fans are pretty loyal and they deserve better than some of the awful games on this list. So with that said, let’s take a moment to look at 15 Dragon Ball Z games that are so bad they made fans cry.
15 Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Z
We start off this list with one of the more recent Dragon Ball Z games to have come out, and it’s not that great of a game. While the Dragon Ball games have always been best done as fighting games, Battle of Z is more of an action-RPG. Instead of focusing in on one on one battles, the game gives players the opportunity to have a 4 v4 thing going on. While it’s fun at first, the gimmick soon grows tiresome. New ideas are always appreciated, but this kind of gameplay doesn’t suit Dragon Ball all too well. In the end, it was just another run of the mill DBZ title that failed to really interest the fan base and is better left forgotten.
14 Dragon Ball Z: Sagas
In terms of gameplay, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas is pretty different than your average DBZ game. It’s not a traditional fighter and like Battle of Z is more of an action-RPG, minus the 4v4 battles. At first, the game doesn’t seem all that bad. In fact, it’s pretty entertaining – if not a tad bit repetitive. You fight waves of enemies while exploring a map and use various melee and ki combos to get through. But that all gets old quick. The incredible lack of depth in the game becomes apparent after an hour or two. While it’s an enjoyable experience at first, Sagas is an incredibly limited game that quickly overstays its welcome despite an interesting concept.
13 Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
The Budokai series are some of the most celebrated Dragon Ball games out there, if only for the insane popularity of the third game. While Budokai 3 is nothings short of a masterpiece, its predecessors, mainly the original Budokai, weren’t without their flaws. It introduced a number of mechanics that would become staples in later entries, mainly the capsule customization system. But the gameplay is janky and awkward compared to its successors. It hasn’t aged all too well, that’s for sure. Comparatively, it just isn’t that strong of a game – which is sad seeing that it inspired such greatness. Regardless, this is definitely the black sheep of the Budokai family. Our next game, however, is much worse.
12 Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
At first, Ultimate Tenkaichi seemed like it would be awesome. It was so full of promise that many fans were excited about its release. It had a free roam mode similar to Budokai 3 and had some beautiful environmental effects, which is always nice to have when doing a series as explosive as Dragon Ball. It even had “Hero Mode” which allowed players to create their own characters. Again, A+ for effort. But the gameplay was repetitive and therein lays its biggest flaw. Picture a game of rock, paper, scissors and now picture epic Dragon Ball Z fighting and that’s pretty much it. In the end, the game was ultimately just a string of quick time events and button mashing.
11 Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World
This next one draws comparisons to Budokai 3, though it’s for all the wrong reasons. Infinite World actually used the same engine and came out years later. One would expect this to bear fruit and lead to improvements, but all Infinite World did was kick fans in the gut with its insultingly shallow gameplay and the washed down ideas it took from its predecessor. Infinite World removed characters from the B3 roster, added in useless mini games and gave players a real mess of a story mode. It’s really sad that a game that came out many years earlier was able to do so many things better than Infinite World. You’d think that developers would progress rather than regress in this case.
10 Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu
This is another one of the more recent games on this list that turned out to be absolute garbage. It also marks the appearance of our first portable game. We’ve gone over how the Dragon Ball series really only works best as a fighting game, though with some exceptions can thrive as RPGs as well. It seems that Harukanaru Densetsu felt it would be alright to completely stray from the norm here and instead of high octane fights, gave the fan base some boring card based gameplay with RPG elements sprinkled in. It just looked low budget considering what it was representing. These kinds of games aren’t inherently bad of course, but when it’s done as a Dragon Ball game, you have to assume it won’t be that great a fit.
9 Dragon Ball: Raging Blast
The Raging Blast series is one of the modern attempts at recreating the success of the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi series’. It’s more comparable to the Budokai Tenkaichi games and that’s why it’s so disappointing to the fan base – because it had potential. Basically, take the customization, roster and dynamic gameplay of Budokai Tenkaichi, take it all out and you have Raging Blast. Doesn’t sound too fun, right? It isn’t without its good points, mainly the presence of fully destructible environments along with aesthetic touches like battle damage and expressions changing mid-battle. But ultimately, the games isn’t all that great when compared to its predecessor. It is what it is, a striped down Budokai Tenkaichi clone with little redeeming value.
8 Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden
Some games are bad while others have just enough potential that they can be kind of competent. But those kinds of games are the most frustrating of all. Extreme Butoden does do some things right. Some. It’s pretty fast paced and has some mildly engaging combat. But that’s about it for the list of pros. The character roster is kind of lackluster. It boasts over 100 characters but only about a quarter are actually playable. THE rest are just assist characters and are barely used for the majority of battles. It’s not that great of a gamer when it comes down to it. It just feels like the developers were trying so hard to make something that was competent that they failed to really make it fun.
7 Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
Anything connected to Dragon Ball GT is going to suffer from problems off the bat. When your source material isn’t that strong, your game can’t be all that great either – and that’s especially true for Final Bout. The game was so bad that it kind of put a damper on Dragon Ball video games for a while. Yup, it was really that awful of a game. For some poor souls, Final Bout was the first Dragon Ball game they played. It served as an introductory game for many North American fans and must’ve soured their expectations of DBZ games as a whole. Funny enough, there aren’t all that many GT characters in the game. Could the inclusion of more helped? Maybe, maybe not. It wasn’t a good game to begin with anyways.
6 Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy Of Goku
While its successor is regarded as one of the best Dragon Ball Z games ever made, the first Legacy of Goku title kind of split fans. Some think it’s an alright title while others just despise it. The second Legacy of Goku game allowed players to control a somewhat larger roster while the first only focused on Goku. Now, Goku is one of the most popular characters in the series, so choosing to follow him exclusively isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But adding some variety to the game would’ve gone a long way. It’s just kind of a boring game. Boring start, boring gameplay and little motivation to keep you going. It gets decent towards the end but really doesn’t do much in encouraging you to get that far.
5 Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team
We’re back to the handheld games this time around, and wouldn’t you know it doesn’t look that great. We’ve seen the series do well on portable devices, but it seems that for every good game on handheld’s, the Dragon Ball series has its fair share of duds. Enter Tenkaichi Tag Team. We’ve well established that Dragon Ball games work better as individual fighters rather than co-op deals. So right from the start, Tag Team and its 2 v 2 battles were doomed to fail. It’s just too much going on at once really. Instead of analyzing an opponent, facing off against them and matching your skill with theirs, it turns into a kind of brawl that while technically sound, doesn’t prove to be all that fun.
4 Dragonball Evolution
Oh, as if that damned movie hadn’t done enough damage, it had to produce this Satan spawn of a game too didn’t it? Dragonball Evolution is one of, if not the worst adapted pieces of cinema you’ll ever see. It’s a total and absolute disgrace to the Dragon Ball franchise and its fans. The tie-in game used many mechanics similar to the Budokai games, but just like the movie failed to capture the same magic that made its source material so great. Evolution is just a shameless title trying to cash in on its brand name rather than actually trying to give players a fun and competent game to play. Nothing good game out of that awful movie and this is further proof of that.
3 Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22
First, let’s look at what this game does right. Some great sprites, a level-up system, and some pretty cool secret characters are some of the selling points you can give your buddies if you wanted them to try out Ultimate Battle 22. Just get ready for them to instantaneously begin hating you when they figure out the game is absolute trash. The game was terribly received by critics and fans alike. The backgrounds were terrible, the gameplay was so boring that it bordered quite literally turned people off the game and the loading times were unbearable. Have you ever played a slow, awkward fighting game? It doesn’t work that way. Getting in and out of games just took too damn long. You can’t succeed as a fighting game if you can’t even get the player in the match.
2 Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu
Taiketsu doesn’t really start off on the right note. It was advertised as the first game to feature Broly as a playable character. But that’s just not true. Maybe they felt it was better to lie to their fans rather than try and sell this terrible game honestly. Taiketsu is without a doubt the worst fighting game in the Dragon Ball franchise. It’s an ugly as hell 2D fighter that tries to mirror Tekken but fails so miserably it ends up being an unplayable load of garbage. The game just doesn’t perform well. The combat is moody, and the battles just don’t flow well. This game was and is still an absolute abysmal mess that haunts the Dragon Ball game franchise.
1 Dragon Ball Z For Kinect
Kinect games kind of get a bad rap. Well, it’s not like there’s no good reason for that. They’re often unresponsive, janky, messy looking games that rely on gimmicks rather than a solid foundation. We’ve already discussed how certain types of games just don’t fit in well with Dragon Ball, and you can definitely add motion capture gameplay to that list. Dragon Ball z for Kinect is an atrocious mess of a game – if you even want to call it that. Everything, from punching, kicking, blockin,g and the use of special moves is done by performing certain movements in front of the Kinect. That doesn’t go well with the fast-paced battles you’re used to in Dragon Ball. So while it was an interesting concept, much like anything else having to do with the Kinect, this was a dud.