And the titles that veer away from the card battle model at least have the benefit of brand recognition among the massive Yu-Gi-Oh ! Eternal Duelist Soul isn’t very beginner-friendly so learning the rules can be touch and go.
Players automatically have a choice between three starter decks all with a wide variety of cards. GO game ever released, you are a rookie duelist that has just enrolled in the Duel Academy.
The standard game flow constantly has you battling, earning Duelist Points (DP), spending DP for cards, upgrading your deck, then beating even stronger opponents with your improved deck. You initially choose between two storylines that focus on either Yuri Motor or Set Kaaba (or, much later, Joey Wheeler) who are all trapped in a virtual reality game.
The False bound Kingdom received a lot of flak from critics, mostly for the difficulty and how much it differed from the franchise’s other titles. GO Tag Force 2 includes much of the same dueling mechanics and game flow as previous titles, though it adds the hype-y Destiny Draw system.
In the story your character’s goal is to become the best duelist at the Duel Academy. Spirit Caller has you play as a student at the Duel Academy who’s buddy-buddy with GO poster boy Jaden Yuri and his roommate Cyrus Trues dale.
Overall, Spirit Caller was a step forward in the right direction for the handheld DS games. With this Wii release you play a fast and furious Turbo Duelist, racing from the bottom all the way to the Fortune Cup.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it though, Wheelie Breakers is a fantastically fun and strategic game. You also have the choice of dueling generic opponents on the map or participating in tournaments.
The big draw (pun intended) here is the nostalgia trip of playing through a true GO classic. For this title, INAMI tosses story off to the side for pure unadulterated dueling.
Just remember this uses the older rules so there is no such thing as synchro summon or any kind of ban list. Released April 13, 2000PlatformPlayStation 2, Game Boy Colorway we have a 2004 release for the PlayStation 2 that is fun if you played it, but forgettable if you never bought it.
The game’s AI can make for a steep learning curve for beginners, but seasoned card battlers will find a challenge without too much frustration. Seems like INAMI heard the gripes about GO Tag Force 2 since this third game provides a welcomed improvement to the series.
Ultimate Masters is a Game Boy Advance release boasting over 2000 cards. That number may not sound like much by today’s standards, but it was well over double its predecessor’s card count.
These options widen the gameplay, though the title mainly focuses on standard dueling. There’s no story or campaign mode here and progression feels like a gauntlet against an assortment of themed decks.
You play as a silent & mysterious duelist that tag-teams with several characters from the 5D’s anime, each one with their own storylines. Completing these storylines earns you their signature cards, so you’re incentivized to partner with as many characters as possible.
Tag Force 4 features over 4000 cards, and you should be relieved to know that the game lets you store up to 200 deck recipes. Graphics-wise, the game has a mostly 2D world that lets you move from one area to another and interact with characters on the map.
INAMI also polished the dueling UI a bit and added battle animations, including some nifty cinematic for the more iconic monster cards. Released March 18, 2002Platform Game Boy Clothes list wouldn’t be complete without a blast to the past.
Dark Duel Stories is the franchise’s first and only North American release for the Game Boy Color. Since it came out in the franchise’s early days(2002) the dueling rules followed the anime more than the actual TCG.
Released March 20, 2007PlatformNintendo DST he World Championship Tournament games quickly became fan favorites, and INAMI made the very smart move to continue them on the Nintendo DS. Along with a slight change to the series’ name, World Championship 2007 features over 1600 cards and more strategies than any game before it.
Worth mentioning this title also introduces Jaden Yuri as the franchise’s new poster boy, though there’s no story mode. Compared to its predecessors, World Championship 2007 boasts a better AI for challenging duels(though more experienced players may argue the contrary).
Overall INAMI hit the ground running with this release, and they set themselves up for some big shoes to fill with its sequels. Instead of dueling with decks, you play Duke Devlin’s dice game from the first anime.
Your goal in each battle is to chip away at your opponent’s Heart Points using your summoned monsters. You play through several tournaments, challenging one opponent after another (including some of the anime’s main cast).
The big improvement here came with the UI and general play controls since INAMI made sure to integrate the DS’s touch screen. It became easier (and quicker) to quickly tap decisions while still using buttons to input commands.
Plus Nightmare Troubadour upped the graphics with the new console, using the top screen to show the game board, card animations, and even monster battles. In the free-roam story mode you are a duelist in Domino City, battling to become the best.
Like World Champion Tournament 2004 you face off against characters from the first anime series such as Tea, Mai, Tristan, and even Yuri’s Grandpa. 7 Trials to Glory distinctly features duel restrictions that help spice up standard card battles.
You earn DP by winning duels and use them to obtain new cards or register for tournaments. Other improvements include an updated UI and more deck management, though it has a surprisingly limited card pool of only 1000 considering the time of its release.
The game gives a nod to the War of the Roses in the setting and naming, though that’s the extent of historical similarities. Some of the franchise’s most beloved characters adopt alternate egos: for example, Yuri becomes Henry Tudor, the leader of the House of York.
And Set Kaaba becomes Christian Rosenkreuz, the head of the House of Lancaster. You play the unnamed Rose Duelist after being summoned to the past by Yuri’s grandpa as a Scottish druid (yeah, just a touch more fantasy here than usual).
It has the “Perfect Rule” system that emphasizes Deck Leaders, which work like avatars of the cards you play on the field. Deck Leaders are monster cards that you rank up through play.
It’s a fun game that mixes more terrain strategy with traditional card play, all the while sporting an alternate history backdrop. The game also features a friendship system where you build up relationships with certain characters, and the one most fond of you will act as your partner in Tag Duels.
Don’t expect a stellar AI(which isn’t surprising with the franchise) but there’s enough difficulty to challenge you. GO Tag Force’s graphics were a notable improvement in quality compared to the franchise’s previous handheld titles with a 2D isometric game world and more detailed character/card animations during battles.
It also sprinkles in puzzle-solving with Duel Puzzles, though the bulk of the gameplay still takes place over card battles. Speaking of which, the AI is serviceable for a challenging experience, and you’ll have to recoup from losses by tweaking your deck.
Fashion, you duel your way to New Domino City where you battle through tournaments to beat the game. Stardust Accelerator leaps over its predecessors showing just how much the World Championship series has evolved.
This game keeps what was good about its Tag Force predecessors, such as DP, the Destiny Draw system, Deck storage, and multiple character storylines. The game features additional characters from the 5D’s anime and, more importantly, over 4700 cards for you to collect.
With this massive selection and an improved AI the duels stay fun and complex, sometimes really coming down to the luck of the draw. Much like its predecessors, Over the Nexus keeps what worked well with the series and adds just a bit more to make it better.
It features a whopping 4,000+ cards, Wi-Fi play, Duel Runner battles, and deck building tools for new and old players alike. Plus INAMI made especially sure to polish the graphics, including the duel interface and battle animations, for this release.
Over the Nexus begins with a seemingly standalone narrative that eventually converges with arcs from the Yu-Gi-Oh ! 5D’s anime, so you battle through Crash Town and eventually New Domino City.
Released February 23, 2010PlatformNintendo Somehow an improvement over Stardust Accelerator and arguably the best of the World Championship series for being the most well-rounded game. For those with more competitive tastes, Reverse of Arcadia also has Wi-Fi play letting you face off and rank against duelists from all over the world.
The solo mode AI can be a mixed bag but has remarkably improved from previous titles. You’ll need a good bit of strategy and the luck of the draw to best these computerized foes.
Yet if AI doesn’t do it for you, the online play is an exciting opportunity to pit your deck against other players and see who the true King of Games really is. For fans who followed the anime(and its spin-offs) over the years, Legacy of the Duelist will take you on a nostalgia trip.