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Top 25 RPG Dragons

Top 25 RPG Dragons

As many of you know, it’s the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar, so we thought it was time to put together a feature on our favorite dragons! After all, what’s a good RPG without at least one excellent dragon?

While we had a tough time deciding on the final number, we decided to stick with 25. Certainly, there are plenty of worthy dragons we’ve missed, so tell us about your favorites! You can let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Threads, or however you most enjoy interacting with us!

Adalon (Baldur’s Gate II)

Writeup by Mark Roddison

A screenshot of Adalon the dragon in Baldur's Gate II

Let me start with a confession: I killed Adalon on my third playthrough of Baldur’s Gate II. This silver dragon was one of my many encounters with the species presented in all its retro, isometric glory. It was certainly a step up from fighting wyverns in the original. Despite her good intentions in protecting two elven civilizations and a perfectly reasonable request for me to rescue her eggs, I felt unmoved by her altruism this time. The resulting battle turned into one of those memorable combats against a powerful foe that blazed a trail of commiserations with my university friends over multiple beers and multiple weeks. Victorious in the end, I walked away richer in silver dragon blood but poorer in companions: Rasaad disagreed with my dastardly decision. Strangely, the rest of my good-aligned party did not mind this senseless attack on a noble legend so much.

Angelus (Drakengard)

Writeup by Aleks Franiczek

An image of a red dragon facing down another in Drakengard

“Wise men choose death before war. Wiser men choose not to be born.”

RPGs love to make us kill dragons to feel powerful. Drakengard instead lets us feel the power of a dragon. The spite-filled bond between human protagonist Caim and the dragon Angelus is a fascinating one to embody—jank be damned. The game’s Musou-like gameplay is a narrative platform for expelling the hatred of these characters on hordes of enemies and experiencing their growing connection. This feeling is especially potent in the segments when Caim rides on Angelus, and you fly around battlefields wreaking fiery destruction from above. The opposing Empire’s forces look like pesky insects ripe for burning. It becomes easier to understand Angelus’ contempt for humans as a creature who has witnessed millennia of their perpetual wars, while leaving room for some interesting character development between the two pact-partners.

Archdemon (Dragon Age: Origins)

Writeup by Nick Mangiaracina

A photo of a dragon in Dragon Age Origins

Dragons play a pretty standard fantasy role in Dragon Age, hoarding resources in their lair and only emerging to wreak havoc. As fearsome as they may be, none are so fierce as the blight-bringing Archdemon. The Archdemon is a being of pure malevolence. The darkspawn always exist, but until they can find and taint an old god, they’re merely a nuisance to the Dwarven thaigs. Once tainted, the old god becomes an Archdemon and unites the darkspawn to cause a blight.

Dragon Age: Origins was BioWare’s monumental departure from the Dungeons & Dragons license, and while their modern games struggle to live up to their legacy, Dragon Age: Origins was a wonderful companion to Mass Effect. While you can reason with many of your foes in Dragon Age, the Archdemon and hordes of darkspawn fight and kill with reckless abandon. A dragon more powerful and intelligent than any other in the lands of Thedas; who better to lead the darkspawn in a blight?

Bahamut (Final Fantasy series)

Writeup by Wes Iliff

A screenshot of Bahamut in Final Fantasy XVI in flight

Bahamut hardly needs an entry in this list. Arguably the most well-known dragon in gaming, Bahamut nails his role as King of Dragons and one of the strongest summons in every Final Fantasy game he appears in. Bahamut was already a big deal in 2D, but the jump to 3D really sold Bahamut as king of the mountain, often getting the most elaborate summon animations and featuring increasingly ornate designs throughout history.

Bahamut is usually a summon, but he can also be a boss, an NPC, or even an airship if the game calls for it. Whether he looks like a traditional dragon or rocks an ornate wheel, whether he’s traditional flavor or some amped-up version like Bahamut ZERO, fans are always excited to see how the King of Dragons will appear in the next game. And most likely, it’s going to be incredibly cool.

Bright (Suikoden II and Suikoden III)

Writeup by Audra Bowling

A screenshot of Futch and Bright in Suikoden III

Bright’s introduction in Suikoden II occurs after we-as-Riou meet Futch, a teenage exiled Dragon Knight, and his guardian Humphrey. Futch played an integral role in Suikoden, losing his beloved dragon partner, Black, before leading to his exile. In Suikoden II, he’s hesitant to have anything to do with the recently hatched rare white dragon, but the two inevitably bond. Futch names Bright, joining Riou’s forces with Humphrey.

Bright returns in Genso Suikogaiden Vol. 2, communicating with a hostile dragon before returning in Suikoden III. The adult Bright maintains his friendly mannerisms and fondness for people. He’s also an excellent character judge, setting the morally questionable Guillaume on fire!

Bright is the first RPG dragon I encountered who wasn’t a random enemy or a helpful summon. I largely credit Bright with my love of plot-intensive dragons across media. I especially love Bright’s bond with Futch. He’s an adorable dragon sweetheart!

The Crimson Dragon (Legend of Mana)

Writeup by Greg Delmage

Drakonis talks down to Larc in a fiery cave in Legend of Mana

One of the main story arcs in Legend of Mana focuses on the game’s fantastical dragons, initiated after the fateful meeting with Larc, a warrior resurrected to serve the fallen Dragon Emperor Drakonis. In accepting the quest, you join Larc on a hunt for the Mana Stones and kill the dragon guardians protecting them. This bittersweet adventure pits Larc against his sister, who serves the White Dragon and Guardian of the Forest, Vadise, and forces you into epic battles with the other dragons, Akravator (Guardian of Winds) and Jajara (the Bone Dragon Guardian of Earth).

Many trials and tribulations later, you achieve Drakonis’ goal, helping him rise from the Underworld in an attempt to take over Fa’Diel. This ultimately ends in a confrontation against him as the titular Crimson Dragon. While all the dragons stand out thanks to their fabulous designs, Drakonis is memorable for the entire tale, leading to the epic, conclusive encounter, one full of good intentions bathed in dragon’s blood.

Czar Dragon (Super Mario RPG)

Writeup by Greg Delmage

Super Mario RPG's Czar Dragon, head held high in a roar in a lava bed

The vibrant and wacky setting of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars skirts between loving callbacks while charting its own course. As a game created by (then) Squaresoft, fans likely anticipated a draconic encounter of some sort in this fantasy-tinged Mario adventure. But for it to be this goofy clump of flames and rage resembling Blargg from Super Mario World is incredibly fitting and delightful.

While defeating the Czar Dragon for one of the Seven Stars is vital to progressing the story, it’s no pushover, assaulting Mario and friends with various fiery attacks. Then, just when you think you’ve won the day, it rises as the more terrifying, undead Zombone. While the dragon has no real character, it’s such a delightfully goofy callback to a frightening foe from earlier in the SNES’ history, with a macabre twist. Coupled with the classic turn-based RPG “Oh, you think you won? This isn’t even my final form!” and having triumph snatched from you three times before you can finally progress with a star in hand, the Czar Dragon is a memorable encounter.

Dragon Tank (Chrono Trigger)

Writeup by Tim Rattray

A screenshot on a bridge with the party in front of a mechanical dragon in Chrono Trigger

Maybe we’re pushing the boundaries of the term “dragon” with this one, given that the Dragon Tank is quite literally a mechanical war vehicle shaped like a dragon. In fact, it’s surprising that across Chrono Trigger‘s runtime, this early-game boss is the only dragon of any description you run into. But it makes its impact known, impeding your jailbreak after Medieval Guardia’s faux Chancellor rigs a kidnapping trial of his own machinations against Crono. Fighting the Dragon Tank atop a treacherously narrow bridge backdropped by an imposing mountain and white clouds emitting an ominous blue glow is about as cinematic as any SNES JRPG got, so much so that Square included Crono’s triumphant fatal stab into its abdomen as part of the game’s iconic opening sizzle reel. All we’re left wondering is where the “Chancellor” got his idea for this contraption in a world seemingly devoid of dragons. But even so, the Dragon Tank has had more impact on gaming than some biological dragons in other JRPGs, and thus, we really can’t deny its dragon legitimacy.

Zach Wilkerson

Zach Wilkerson

After avidly following RPGFan for years, Zach joined as a Reviews Editor in 2018, and somehow finds himself helping manage the Features department now. When he's not educating the youth of America, he can often be heard loudly clamoring for Lunar 3 and Suikoden VI.