There are few anime and manga series that reach the heights of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, an iconic battle shonen series that’s still going strong after 35 years. Dragon Ball depicts the heroic adventures of Earth’s strongest warriors who protect the galaxy from malevolent forces. Dragon Ball is full of powerful characters, but Goku is typically the most important player and integral to the heroes’ success.
Dragon Ball has also had a rich life as a video game series and these titles helped keep the franchise’s fandom alive during the anime and manga’s dark years. Dragon Ball video games showcase a wide range of the anime’s diverse characters, but Goku is usually front and center in these virtual adventures.
10 Jump Force
Release Date: February 14, 2019
Goku is almost always playable in a Dragon Ball video game, but the characters’ and franchise’s prominence has also led to appearances in crossover anime fighters. Jump Force combines many of the most successful Shonen Jump action series and there’s a lot to like in this next-gen package, even if it’s not as strong as the previous Jump Ultimate Stars. Jump Force features characters from anime series like Bleach, Hunter x Hunter, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, but Dragon Ball receives the most support in the game’s roster with seven playable characters.
Unsurprisingly, Goku is the primary Dragon Ball representative in Jump Force, but the game also includes Trunks, Piccolo, and villains such as Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu. Jump Force is entertaining if nothing else than to put Goku in combat against Yu Yu Hakusho’s Yusuke Urameshi or Black Clover’s Asta.
9 Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure
Release Date: November 18, 2004
It took some time for the original Dragon Ball to gain prominence in video games and Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure for the Game Boy Advance is such a playful love letter to the original series. Developed by the stellar Banpresto who had previous Dragon Ball hits in the arcade and on the Game Boy Color, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure covers Goku’s initial meeting with Bulma up to his defeat of Demon King Piccolo.
Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure creatively features standard platforming levels with action elements, aerial stages that are set on the Flying Nimbus, and more combat-based one-on-one tournament battles. Advanced Adventure has over 30 characters to unlock and tons of extra content that incentivizes repeated playthroughs. Goku is of course a playable character, but so are more fringe characters like Grandpa Gohan, Oolong, Shu, and many of the Red Ribbon Army’s strongest soldiers.
8 Dragon Ball GT: Transformation
Release Date: August 9, 2005
Dragon Ball GT video games are in shorter supply, but some encouraging titles still exist that take advantage of the series’ super-powered story. Dragon Ball GT: Transformation feels like the natural successor to the Legacy of Goku trilogy and Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure. Dragon Ball GT: Transformation doesn’t break the mold when it comes to beat-’em-up action sidescrollers, yet strong visuals, music, and gameplay help the title stand out. Transformation covers Dragon Ball GT‘s first half up to Super Saiyan 4 Goku’s battle against Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta.
Transformation takes some liberties with the game’s generic enemies and includes an economical roster that features important GT characters like Trunks, Pan, Uub, and Baby Vegeta. Goku can be controlled in his kid-sized base form, as well as a Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 4, and a Golden Great Ape, which are appreciated perks to this adventure.
7 Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo
Release Date: July 23, 2009
Many Dragon Ball video games are multi-platform releases, but Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo is a Wii-exclusive game that focuses on the original series’ Red Ribbon Army and King Piccolo story sagas. The game’s beat-’em-up style sidescrolling action is relatively simplistic due to the Wii’s control scheme, but it’s still an entertaining experience that captures the magic of the original Dragon Ball.
Goku is the main playable character, but the game also expands its roster to a wide range of characters that include Fortuneteller Baba’s fighters, Red Ribbon Army soldiers, and King Piccolo’s minions. Revenge of King Piccolo is also full of hidden collectibles that reward dedicated gamers and hardcore Dragon Ball fans.
6 Dragon Ball: Origins & Origins 2
Release Date: September 18, 2008 & February 11, 2010
There are some excellent video games that remain forever Nintendo DS exclusives because of the handheld dual-screen console’s unique design and controls. Dragon Ball: Origins and its sequel are a pair of games that cover Goku’s exploits up to the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, as well as his takedown of the Red Ribbon Army. Goku is the only playable character in the first game, while Bulma functions as a non-playable support ally.
The second game slightly expands the roster but retains its predecessor’s consistent gameplay. Both Origins and Origins 2 are filled with hundreds of collectibles that reflect the many nuanced elements of the Dragon Ball universe. It plays like a Dragon Ball version of the Nintendo DS’s Legend of Zelda games.
5 Dragon Ball Z: Sagas
Release Date: March 22, 2005
Dragon Ball Z: Sagas doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s notable for being the first – and only – Dragon Ball game to be released for the original Xbox. The game is an action-adventure title rather than a fighting game that covers Raditz’s arrival up to Cell’s destruction. The game could be a little more polished, but it has a lot of charm, especially in its newly made anime cutscenes.
The ability to play through the game as a cooperative two-player team also turns Dragon Ball Z: Sagas into a much more entertaining multiplayer experience. Goku is one of the handful of playable characters in Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, but there are some exciting unlockable characters, including Broly, Bardock, Tien, and Yamcha.
4 Super Dragon Ball Z
Release Date: June 29, 2006
Dragon Ball video games became so prevalent and advanced that releases like Super Dragon Ball Z tried to differentiate themselves by taking a step back from the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi templates and adopting a more classical fighting game control style that’s reminiscent of Tekken or Mortal Kombat. Super Dragon Ball Z is a stripped-down experience, but one that understands how less can be more.
The game’s look and story also specifically stick to Akira Toriyama’s manga rather than its anime counterpart, which leads to some small, yet specific differences. The game’s restrained roster of 18 characters includes Goku in his standard and Super Saiyan form but also makes room for more niche fighters who typically aren’t in the spotlight, like Videl, Chi-Chi, and Demon King Piccolo.
3 Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Z
Release Date: January 23, 2014
Dragon Ball: Battle of Z is a fighting game that stands out for being the first title to feature events and characters from Battle of Gods. Battle of Z allows for up to eight players to engage in multiplayer combat through its online capabilities, which is an exceptional experience when it’s done right. It’s also a rare Dragon Ball game that was released for the PlayStation Vita, and it makes for one of the better fighting games on Sony’s portable gaming console.
Battle of Z has over 70 characters, including Goku in each of his Super Saiyan forms, and for the first time in a video game features Super Saiyan God. There’s even a DLC version of Goku that’s the character in Naruto Uzumaki’s Sage Mode.
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Fortnite is one of the most successful battle royale games of all time, and it’s gradually evolved in smart ways since its debut in 2017. Fortnite thrives through its committed community, but the game’s constant release of themed events, licensed characters, and accompanying mechanics help turn the game into an increasingly chaotic hodgepodge of passions. Fortnite is the only game where Darth Vader, Rick Sanchez, Ash Williams, and Deadpool can all be locked in battle against Goku and Vegeta.
Dragon Ball is fortunate enough to have seven characters released in Fortnite, which includes Goku. There are also some more exciting roster inclusions like Beerus, Goku Black, and even Bulma. Goku and company fit in oddly well in the no-holds-barred Fortnite universe.
1 Dragon Ball XenoVerse & XenoVerse 2
Release Date: February 5, 2015 & November 2, 2016
It’s been seven years since Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2‘s release and Dimps continues to release new DLC material for the game’s dedicated fandom, and it’s for this reason that there’s yet to be a Xenoverse 3. The Xenoverse games are 3D fighters that are akin to the previous gaming generation’s Budokai Tenkaichi series.
The storyline involves time travel, but it’s really just an excuse to have an inflated roster of characters that’s well above 100 at this point. Ultra Instinct Sign Goku is one of the latest DLC additions to Xenoverse 2, but there are more than a dozen Goku variations in the game that give audiences the full range of the character’s many looks and forms over the years.
Dragon Ball tells the tale of a young warrior by the name of Son Goku, a young peculiar boy with a tail who embarks on a quest to become stronger and learns of the Dragon Balls, when, once all 7 are gathered, grant any wish of choice.