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10 Hardest Dragon Quest Games, Ranked


  • Dragon Quest games are known for their high-difficulty curves, requiring grinding and strategic play to overcome challenges.
  • Dragon Quest 11 is highly praised for its visuals, combat depth, and side content that strengthens characters throughout the game.
  • Dragon Quest 2 is considered the toughest in the franchise, presenting players with hidden objects, fast difficulty ramps, and challenging enemies.

The Dragon Quest series is one of the most well-known and beloved JRPG franchises in all of gaming history. It has had many spin-off titles, but none of these other titles have as high a difficulty curve as the mainline series of Dragon Quest JRPGs — although the Dragon QuestMonsters games come pretty close.


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JRPGs are no strangers to featuring tough foes, but players can become stronger by grinding levels, getting new items, and obtaining abilities, which will make dealing with threats a great deal easier. That said, even after obtaining these new levels of strength, the challenges set forth by Dragon Quest games can still be difficult to overcome.

10 Dragon Quest 11: Echos Of An Elusive Age

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.11

Rab and Jade in Dragon Quest 11

Dragon Quest 11

September 4, 2018


Dragon Quest 11 is arguably one of the games/”>best mainline Dragon Quest games. It features incredible visuals, lots of depth and development for its combat, and tons of side content to make characters stronger no matter where they are in the game.


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This helps players always be prepared for whatever the game may throw their way, but it also features several variations of metal slimes both in the early and late game to ramp up player XP gain exponentially.

9 Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels Of The Starry Skies

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.15

Promo art featuring characters in Dragon Quest 9

Dragon Quest 9

July 11, 2010


Dragon Quest 9 is one of the true gems developed by Level-5 and comes with plenty of RPG staples — including a lot of side content. The game gives players plenty of other activities to do as they make their way through the game.

Taking the time to complete each and every one of them will have players strong enough to take on the game without worry, but ignoring them will cause more than a few close calls and several “Game Over” screens.

8 Dragon Quest 8: Journey Of The Cursed King

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.3

Dragon Quest 8 Hero Eight

Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King

November 15, 2005



While a lot of the Dragon Quest games will have players needing to do a lot of grinding, Dragon Quest 8 is one of the more balanced titles that will allow one to make their way through the entire campaign so long as they don’t flee any of the battles. It also features several of the best female characters throughout the franchise.

Players will be in for a couple of really tough battles, but by adding some additional level grinding into the mix, nothing will be truly overwhelming — although finding some Metal Slimes along the way will mean a significant experience payout to speed this up.

7 Dragon Quest 5

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.48

Talking to an NPC in Dragon Quest 5

Dragon Quest 5

September 27, 1992

Chunsoft, ArtePiazza, Matrix Software


Any player going from Dragon Quest 11 to Dragon Quest 5 will experience quite a difficulty spike. They may not understand how to fully utilize characters, and this is where a lot of “Game Over” screens will come up. Despite this, it is heralded by many fans as one of the greatest in the mainline series and one to masterfully games-monster-catching/”>implement monster capture as a mechanic.

Players might feel overwhelmed more often than not if they neglect to upgrade their gear, and if they are not grinding, they will not be able to have characters that are ready to tackle the threats that lie ahead. Despite this, Dragon Quest 5 is one of the most beloved titles in the franchise for its incredible story.

6 Dragon Quest 4

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.54

Still image from Dragon Quest 4

Dragon Quest 4: Chapters Of The Chosen

February 11, 1990



In terms of difficulty, Dragon Quest 4 and Dragon Quest 5 are highly similar — some might argue that 5 is harder than 4. Just like with Dragon Quest 5, players will need to put a focus on buying the best gear they can as they progress through the game in order to make it through fights alive.

The reason Dragon Quest 5 was ranked as an easier RPG to get into is because of how much of a difference the boomerang weapons make in clearing groups of enemies. Without it, DQ4 has a higher amount of grinding required in order for gamers to get to its end.

5 Dragon Quest 3

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.81

Dragon Quest 3 main character

Dragon Quest 3: The Seeds of Salvation

Nintendo Switch , Super Nintendo Entertainment System , PlayStation 4 , Nintendo 3DS , Android

February 10, 1988


Adventure , JRPG

Dragon Quest 3 does a much better job of guiding players than the first 2 games Dragon Quest 2 in particular. Dragon Quest 3 was the first game to feature a customizable party system that lets players make the party’s playstyle more tailored to the way they want to play — which is why it is so games-deserve-remake/”>deserving of a remake among the older Dragon Quest games.



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While this sounds like it can help create some OP combos, figuring out what vocations work best for which parts of the game is where players will need to strategize and change up party roles. Otherwise, the experience can become quite difficult.

4 Dragon Quest

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4

A warrior walking in a town in Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest

May 27, 1986


Dragon Quest 1 was originally titled “Dragon Warrior” when it came to the West and would help establish many of the RPG elements fans know and hold dear to this day.

While combat is straightforward, the game lets players venture far off across the map and into areas they may not be ready for yet. Without sufficient leveling done beforehand, players can face a complete party wipe without expecting it. It can be a pretty unforgiving experience for those who don’t strategize.

3 Dragon Quest 6

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4

A house in Dragon Quest 6

  • Platforms: Super Famicom, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android
  • Release Date: December 9, 1995
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Genres: Adventure, JRPG

Dragon Quest 7 is known for being a long game, but it is relatively easy. Dragon Quest 6 on the other hand is challenging from the get-go. Like Dragon Quest 3, DQ6 offers a vocation system, and the game doesn’t do the best job of explaining everything.

This has led to a lot of players calling it one of the hardest Dragon Quest games, but it is more accurate to say it requires the most attention to detail. This game is one that players might want to take notes down for or have a guide ready when they find themselves not knowing what to do next.

2 Dragon Quest 2

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4

Two party members roaming a top down world in Dragon Quest 2

Dragon Quest 2

Nintendo Switch , Microsoft Windows

January 28, 1987

Enix , Armor games Studios


Dragon Quest 2 is regarded by many as the hardest game in the entire franchise. When it was released, players were not in an age where they could access answers in mere moments and faced a lot of frustration while playing as a result.

Players would have to try and locate hidden objects without any idea of where they might be, the difficulty ramped up incredibly fast, and enemies that could fully heal themselves. For players looking for a JRPG that will put them through the wringer, this is the game for them.

1 Dragon Quest 10

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.05

Dragon Quest 10 MMO Characters standing together

  • Platforms: Wii, Wii U, Windows, Android, iOS, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: August 2, 2012
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Genres: MMO, Adventure

While Dragon Quest X is not available in Western markets, many dedicated fans have put together everything the English-speaking community needs to translate and enjoy the game. Like any MMO, this game is about progressing and getting better gear in order to take on the harder parts. This means there is a lot to discover, and overcoming everything the game has to offer is just as encouraged as playing through the main quest line.

The game can take hundreds of hours due to the need to understand how every mechanic works, and if players are in a party of strangers, they should make sure they are ready for the challenges that lie ahead by checking that their teammates have the right gear. Players should also grind out a few easier battles to understand how to play together as a team. Lack of coordination is an easy way to lose a boss battle, and many consider Dragon Quest X to be one of the hardest Dragon Quest games out there because of this.

Fans of
Dragon Quest
who have never tried
should consider looking into going through the fan-made translation process so that they can
experience this Japanese MMO
during Kids Time — which happens to be a 2-hour window of opportunity each day that lets anyone play the game completely for free.


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