Whether hunting them or being flown around the world on their backs, we love a dragon on Xbox and these games lead the world in scaly gameplay.
We didn’t exactly fall head over heels in love with this Xbox One launch game, but there was still a lot to like about it. For a start, there was the nostalgia factor as this spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon brought a classic piece of Xbox gaming to a new era. And then there were those moments of pure exhilaration when it managed to capture the unique feeling of riding on the back of a dragon. We’ve never personally had the pleasure of this experience, but we understand it’s about ten times more fulfilling than swimming with dolphins.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Of all the neon weirdness that embodies the brilliance of this stand-alone Far Cry spin-off, the titular dragons are the highlight. These crazed neon lizards and their laser blasts manage to combine into something really quite ludicrous and actually quite terrifying in one. We’ve rarely run away squealing from things dressed in neon colours, but there’s no standing your ground against these things. Plus there’s so many of them! They’re every-goddamn-where you turn. Sure, you could just not shoot them, but they’re so shiny it’s hard to resist.
Dragon Age: Origins
The clue was in the name, right? We were promised dragons from the start, and unlike some other action RPGs we could mention, they were delivered. These giant beasts have continued to play a role in the series since Origins, but it was the first game in which they were the most prominent. From dragons tormenting villages to caged beasts that drop you amazing new swords as a reward for defeating them, Dragon Age delivers on its name again and again. Perhaps not as much as a certain other first-person adventure did, but pretty well.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Now this is the serious stuff. No messing around here with dragons that play nice. You are the last Dragonborn and as such you’re going to have to face down some flying reptilian monsters. That moment when you take out your first dragon in Skyrim is like little else. It’s desperate and frantic and such an achievement. And then you lug those bones around for 20 hours wondering what you should do with them. Presumably they’re important, but you killed one of them. That’s all that matters. Now only 20 more to go. Gulp.
The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings
Geralt does what he does best: killing monsters. And it doesn’t come very much more monstrous than a dragon. The more mature approach of The Witcher to its fantasy makes for some pretty nasty battles in this series (something we’re hoping to see in glorious next-gen graphics on Xbox One). The boss fight here takes all of your agility and patience as you tackle a dragon at the top of a tower, ducking, rolling and swiping as hard as you can. They don’t come much bigger or fall much harder than this beast.
Tiny Tina’s Assault On Dragon Keep is probably one of the best pieces of DLC released for any game this generation. Not only does it extend the life of one of our favourite Xbox 360 games, but it also introduces some fun new ideas, not to mention surprisingly poignant ones, and puts a fresh spin onto the original gameplay. As Bunker Master Tiny Tina acts as tabletop RPG narrator to a game of Bunkers And Badasses, we get to see Pandora in a totally new light, remodelled as a traditionally epic fantasy realm. And where dungeons and RPG mechanics are found, dragons always follow.
There’s just about every other kind of horrible monster and beast in this game, as well as some concoctions of the human imagination that we’d rather not dwell on right now. Dragons in Dark Souls are actually something solid we can get our head around, despite draining our Estus supplies. We understand what these things are and can do. It’s almost rather relaxing compared to the rest of what Dark Souls throws at us along the way. That said, they don’t fall easily and battling a boss so mobile is always a particular kind of challenge in this game. The flames just keep on coming.
Once again, if you’re going to put it in the title then you have to make sure you deliver, and Dragon’s Dogma definitely did that. It’s one of those widely overlooked Xbox 360 games that more of you should have checked out. For a Japanese RPG, it’s actually got the western RPG thing down rather well. Perhaps not as well as Dark Souls, but pretty good. And since the main antagonist is a dragon that eats your heart in the game’s opening, it’s not much of a surprise to say that taking it out is pretty much your main occupation for the rest of the game.
The first of two games brought to the Xbox 360 from Mistwalker and Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator behind the original Final Fantasy games, Blue Dragon was a nice mix of traditional turn-based RPG gaming and Dragon Ball Z-style art. The dragon in question was not in fact an enemy, but actually the lead character Shu’s battle spirit or Shadow. When entering into an encounter with other people or creatures in the world, he and his friends summoned these Shadows to fight for them. Little Pokémon-ish we guess, but Blue Dragon was a bit of a mash-up of the best of the genre.
Since its release Minecraft on Xbox 360 has gradually been adding more and more content to extend its life and gradually bring it in line with the PC release of the game. But the title’s ninth update didn’t so much look to extend the game as it did put a full stop on it by introducing the Ender Dragon. This was the final big bad of the Minecraft world, waiting for you in The End along with an army of Endermen. Taking out the Ender Dragon and stealing its egg is considered to be the ultimate act of Minecraft. Simply getting to the end is tough enough, but the dragon is your final challenge.