Dreamcast games

From Sega Retro

This article needs cleanup.
This article needs to be edited to conform to a higher standard of article quality. After the article has been cleaned up, you may remove this message. For help, see the How to Edit a Page article.

As of November 2007, the Sega Dreamcast has 688 official games available in its library. There are also numerous homebrew games for the Dreamcast and games continue to be released by certain companies. Games were sold in jewel cases; jewel cases in Europe were twice as thick as their North American counterparts, possibly to have space for thick, multilingual instruction manuals.

Among the official games are Dreamcast online games that could be played over the Internet. The online servers were run by SegaNet, DreamArena, and GameSpy networks. Online game support was particularly popular in Japan, with releases of network compatible games such as Tech Romancer and Project Justice. Web browsers were developed by independent companies such as Planetweb to allow access to web sites and included features like Java, uploads, movies, and mouse support. Dreamarena came with games such as Sonic Adventure, and Chu Chu Rocket.

There are five games that can still be played online. Quake III Arena and Maximum Pool are still accessible via various servers. 4x4 Evolution and Starlancer are still online through Gamespy. SEGA Swirl can be also be played online with its play by e-mail game. Phantasy Star Online has private servers where people can use an action replay to bypass the online check and connect to the server.



Action (152) (18.88%)
Adventure (148) (18.39%)
Educational (0) (0%)
Fighting (29) (3.6%)
Racing (58) (7.2%)
RPG (50) (6.21%)
Shoot-'em-up (48) (5.96%)
Simulation (106) (13.17%)
Sports (77) (9.57%)
Table (83) (10.31%)
Miscellaneous (54) (6.71%)
Dreamcast games by genre.

Official regulations

As with other consoles, Sega devised a set of software development guidelines to be adhered to when developing games for the system. In addition to ensuring that all games support (or at least don't break when using) the official line of controllers and care with copyrights and trademarks, several other "required compliance items" were enforced (in addition to recommended compliance items, and other less important items):

  • A and B should always "accept" and "cancel" (unless able to be modified by the user)[1].
  • It must be possible to start and operate a game from any of the four front controller ports (provided a compatible controller is connected)[2].
  • Games must repeatedly check for controller inputs on the title screen, as it is valid to start the Dreamcast without any controllers connected[3].
  • Stereo/monaural audio output settings must match the setting in the BIOS and not be saved to a memory card[4].
  • The software reset must be implemented[5] and be performable on any controller port in use.
  • If the lid is opened during play, the game must revert to the BIOS screen within ten seconds unless it is a multi-disc game[6]. Any saving must finish first[7].
  • Logo screens must display for at least two seconds[8].
  • Title screens must feature the text "PRESS START BUTTON" and should only advance when the  START  button is pressed (or if in a language other than English, a means of expressing the idea that  START  advances)[9].
  • Any demo sequences should contain the text "PRESS START BUTTON" and/or "DEMO PLAY" to distinguish from normal gameplay[10]. Pressing  START  in this state should load the title screen[10].
  • Menus should exist separately from the title screen[11].
  • Important displays should not appear within 8 pixels horizontally and 16 pixels vertically from the screen edge in 320x240 mode, and 8 pixels horizontally and 32 pixels vertically from the screen edge in 640x480 mode[12]. This is to take into account poorly calibrated televisions and monitors.
  • Avoid sudden switches from black to white (and vice versa) so as not to interefere with older television sync intervals[13].
  • There are limitations on screen brightness in place both to assist viewing, screen burn-in and operation of the Dreamcast Gun[14].
  • Pausing must occur through the  START  button[15] during gameplay. The word "PAUSE" must be displayed to distingush a pause from software bugs[16], and where applicable, show the initiator of the pause[16].
  • A screen saver system is required should the game be paused for more than 300 seconds on a bright screen. This can be as simple as dimming the output[16].
  • If loading from a disc takes more than ten seconds, a "Loading" screen should be displayed to help distingush between software bugs[17].
  • Flashing images must adhere to the regulations outlined by the NHK and Japan Civil Broadcasting Union Guidelines[18].


Being active from late 1998 to mid-2001, the Dreamcast was largely unchallenged in its role as a "next generation" console during its lifespan. Its design was such that it often made more sense to port over games from the PC than older consoles such as the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, and with many already optimised for PowerVR graphics cards, PC-to-Dreamcast conversions were often simpler than with generations prior.

Several third-party publishers were starting to pull out of Nintendo 64 development by 1999, so aside from the likes of Mortal Kombat Gold and San Francisco Rush 2049, very few games were converted from Nintendo's console. Likewise while many games were released concurrently on the PlayStation and Dreamcast, in most cases the Dreamcast conversion stemmed from PC code, meaning unlike the earlier Sega Saturn, there was less of a direct relationship between rival consoles.

Sharing hardware with Sega's then-cutting edge NAOMI arcade hardware led to many accurate arcade ports, beginning with titles such as Power Stone and Crazy Taxi and still seeing conversions as late as 2007 with Karous and Trigger Heart Exelica. Several older Model 3 titles such were also brought to the Dreamcast in updated forms; notably Sega Bass Fishing, Sega Rally 2 and Virtua Fighter 3tb.





North America



Unreleased games

Main article: List of unreleased Dreamcast games.

There was much excitement over the Dreamcast when it launched, and with nearly a year passing between the Japanese and Western releases of the console, Dreamcast developers and publishers were able to get most projects planned for either 1999 or the first half of 2000 to retail. The console's abrupt end at the beginning of 2001 led to many projects being cancelled, both those always destined for a 2001 release, and those which had missed their late 2000 deadline, most notably the widely publicised port of Half-Life.

Sega themselves were forced to halt many Dreamcast projects, several of which would find a home on the Xbox in the years which followed. At this point in time it was becoming too costly to entirely abandon a game, so many third-party developers migrated Dreamcast projects to the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube or if a version did not exist already, PC. Exceptions to this include games which were set to make heavy use of the internet, as it took many years for Sega's rivals to catch up in terms of online infrastructure.



1998 (9) (1.32%)
1999 (156) (22.81%)
2000 (268) (39.18%)
2001 (149) (21.78%)
2002 (49) (7.16%)
2003 (30) (4.39%)
2004 (17) (2.49%)
2005 (2) (0.29%)
2006 (2) (0.29%)
2007 (2) (0.29%)
Dreamcast games by release date (not including aftermarket games).

Launch titles


North America






Software charts


  1. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 5
  2. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 9
  3. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 10
  4. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 15
  5. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 17
  6. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 20
  7. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 21
  8. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 27
  9. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 32
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 33
  11. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 35
  12. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 41
  13. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 42
  14. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 43
  15. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 47
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 48
  17. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 77
  18. Sega Dreamcast Software Creation Standards, page 125
  19. Press release: 1999-08-09: Infogrames North America Prepares To Bring Non-Stop, Adrenaline-Pumping Action to the Dreamcast With Expendable
  20. Press release: 1999-09-08: Infogrames North America Gets Expendable With Sega Dreamcast; Intense Action Thriller To Release At Console Launch
  21. Press release: 1999-09-02: Sega Dreamcast Launch Titles and Peripherals
  22. Dreamcast Magazine, "No. 3" (UK; 1999-11-25), page 7
  23. Dreamcast (Tectoy) (Wayback Machine: 2000-03-03 16:07)

Sega Dreamcast
Topics Technical specifications (Hardware comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and legacy | Internet) | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Merchandise
Hardware Japan (Special) | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | North America | Asia | South America | Australasia | Africa
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller (Third-party) | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third-party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third-party)
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Official Case | Treamcast
Third-party accessories Controllers | Controller converters | Miscellaneous
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora