Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order – What to play first?

Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order – What to play first?

Dragon Quest is one of the finest Japanese RPGs out there. The long-running series features turn-based combat, similar to other RPGs. The critically acclaimed series consists of over ten titles, along with a plethora of spin-offs.

Looking at the number of titles in the Dragon Quest series, many may feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start. Luckily, new players need to follow just one order, which is the definitive order, to get their playthrough sorted.

This guide has been put together for new players who want to work their way into this genre-defining series. Let’s take a look at all the Dragon Quest games in their definitive order.

1. The Definitive Order to Play the Dragon Quest Series

Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order - What to play first?
Dragon Quest | Source: Nintendo

The perfect way to play the Dragon Quest games is to follow the chronological order based on their release. This will give you a pure experience of the series in its entirety.

Take a look at the definitive order to play the Dragon Quest games along with their platforms:

  • Dragon Quest (Switch / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest II (Switch / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest III (Switch / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest IV (Switch / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest V (DS / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest VI (DS / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest VII (3DS / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest VIII (3DS / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest IX (DS / Mobile)
  • Dragon Quest XI (3DS / Switch)

It is worth noting that this list does not contain any spin-offs, which amounts to a whopping 40 entries in the series. The reason for that is that some of the spin-offs are discontinued while others are Japanese-only.

It is recommended that you play the mainline Dragon Quest games to get the best experience.

2. Which Dragon Quest game should you play first?

Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order - What to play first?
Dragon Quest XI | Source: Nintendo

Any game in the Dragon Quest series can act as a starting point, as none of the games tie directly into one another. However, for those confused and undecided, starting with Dragon Quest VII or the latest Dragon Quest XI might be the way to go.

Dragon Quest XI, at its core, is a Dragon Quest game, retaining the charm and heart of what made the previous Dragon Quest games special. It is available to play on modern consoles like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch, unlike Dragon Quest VII, which is available for the DS, so keep that in mind.

3. Do you need to play the Dragon Quest series in order?

Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order - What to play first?
Dragon Quest XI | Source: Nintendo

Absolutely not. Dragon Quest games are completely separate from each other and don’t tie into one another at all. You can play any Dragon Quest game at any point during your playthrough of the series.

This means there’s no concrete starting point for the series. One can start with whichever Dragon Quest game they like. Players have the freedom to play in any order they want to.

4. Which is the longest Dragon Quest game?

Easy Guide to Play the Dragon Quest Series in Order - What to play first?
Dragon Quest VII | Source: Nintendo

Undoubtedly, Dragon Quest VII is the longest Dragon Quest game to date. It takes over 100 hours to complete the main game’s story arc. When it comes to 100% completion, like doing every side quest and finding all the collectibles, it takes much, much longer.

The plot moves at a pretty slow pace while players spend tons of time on individual islands and cities trying to resolve local struggles. The game revolves around vignettes rather than one core objective. It is also, arguably, the most divisive Dragon Quest game in the series.

5. Which is the hardest Dragon Quest game?

Dragon Quest II
Dragon Quest II | Source: Nintendo

Along with being the longest Dragon Quest game, Dragon Quest VII takes the crown for being the hardest game in the series as well. It is tied with Dragon Quest II in terms of being the toughest. Both the games almost share the same level of difficulty.

You will need to refer to an external guide at all times during your playthrough of Dragon Quest VII. After reaching a certain level in the game, there’s absolutely no in-game guide or strategy on how to progress further and upgrade your skills.

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6. About Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix.

Originally conceived as an open-world game, Dragon Quest XI was turned into a linear title to fit the story of the game. It features turn-based combat, open exploration from level to level, and over 100 hours of playtime, following the perilous quest of a hero to save the world!

The game was released in Japan on Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 in 2017, with a worldwide release of PlayStation 4 and PC in 2018. A Definitive Edition of the game was released on Nintendo Switch in 2019, and will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in December 2020!