The Dragon Quest series is a pioneering series of Role-Playing Games that was initially developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix in Japan. This series was responsible for setting the standard for Japanese Role-Playing Games for decades to come.
The Dragon Quest games were created by Yuji Horii. The basic premise of the game is that you play a hero who is out to save the world from a powerful enemy and you are usually accompanied by a group of party members who fight with you. Common elements that persist throughout the series are: turn-based combat; recurring monsters (including the famous Slimes); a text-based command system; and random encounters. While over the decades many different development companies have worked on Dragon Quest games, the series has had its creators since its inception. Scenario writer and game designer Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama, and music composer Koichi Sugiyama have each handled their respective roles on most games in the series.
The games were localised into English and released as the Dragon Warrior series in North America. They were not officially released in Europe (or in any other markets for that matter) until much later.
After the release of Dragon Warrior VII (seven) in North America the series reverted back to the name “Dragon Quest” in the West, which it remains to this day.
The first official Dragon Quest release in European PAL regions was Dragon Quest VIII (eight) for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Earlier titles in the series were eventually released in Europe although these were mostly remakes for the Nintendo DS. Various other remakes have been released over the years.
Click the links below to see screenshots and information about the individual games.
1. Dragon Quest, Famicom (1986)
aka Dragon Warrior, NES – English version (1989). The initial release of Dragon Quest was the Famicom version, followed shortly afterwards by the MSX version.
2. Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, Famicom (1987) aka Dragon Warrior II, NES – English version (1990).
3. Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation, Famicom (1988)
aka Dragon Warrior III, NES – English version (1992).
4. Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, Famicom (1990)
aka Dragon Warrior IV, NES – English version (1992).
5. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Super Nintendo (1992)
Dragon Quest V was not released in the West due to “programming issues“. The first official English language version came out in 2009 for the Nintendo DS. Fan translations of the Super Nintendo version do exist, though.
6. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Super Nintendo (1995)
The first Dragon Quest game not developed by Chunsoft; it was developed by Heartbeat instead. Again: it was never officially released in the West for the Super Nintendo, but a fan translation patch does exist. It didn’t get an official English language release until a 2011 remake on the Nintendo DS.
7. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, PlayStation (2000) aka Dragon Warrior VII (2001).
Again: developed by Heartbeat. This was the last Dragon Quest game to be published by Enix, before merging with Squaresoft in 2003 to form Square Enix.
8. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, PlayStation 2 (2004)
Developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix. It was the first official English language version to drop the Dragon Warrior title.
9. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Nintendo DS (2009)
Developed by Level-5 and published by Square Enix in Japan, and by Nintendo in all other regions. Achieved record-breaking sales in Japan.
10. Dragon Quest X, Wii (2012)
A massively multiplayer online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. Was later ported to the Wii U, PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS, all of which supported cross-platform play. Dragon Quest X was only ever available in Japan and was never localised into English or other languages. More: Dragon Quest X on Wikipedia
11. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, PlayStation 4 (2017)
Developed and published by Square Enix. Was released simultaneously for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS, and was later ported to the PC, Nintendo Switch, XBox One, and Google Stadia. Currently available on Steam (at the time of writing).
Series spin-offs include: Dragon Quest Monsters (aka Dragon Warrior Monsters); Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (2005), and the Slime series; Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road (a card-battling arcade game from 2007); and the Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker series on the Nintendo DS and 3DS. Plus other titles.