We’re back ladies and gentlemen for another truly exciting Top 10, where this week we’re joined by our friend Kevin Kutlesa for another day of figuring out what should be in our top 10 and what just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Today then we’re looking at our Top 10 Dragons in Gaming. Quite an exciting feat even if we do say so ourselves. So take a deep flaming breath and be prepared to roar your scales off as we take a look what dragons are dangerous enough to make the cut!
10 – Ender Dragon – Minecraft
Minecraft never fails to amaze with what can be achieved with only a few blocks. The Ender Dragon may well be the most visually complex creature of the game but it still suits the style of the game perfectly, and was – for a long time – the end of the game (as the name suggests).
Flying through the black-skied End plane, populated by the mysterious Endermen, the Ender Dragon descends from the darkness to throw the player around, possibly hurling them into oblivion or dropping them from lethal heights. It’s not just the threat the Ender presents the player, more the haunting surroundings that make it such an iconic spectacle, and earns a place on this list.
9 – Gaping Dragon – Dark Souls
The Gaping Dragon from Dark Souls is the boss of the Depths. The dragon itself is just two sets of legs, a tail and hundreds of horrible teeth. It’s one of the most disturbing creatures in the game and the fight is a memorable one among DS fights, especially because its unusual physiology makes some attacks difficult to predict. You have to be on point to best this monster.
It’s also worth mentioning that he can be an entirely optional fight depending on your character creation choices.
8 – Dragonite – Pokemon
Big and bulky, this is the dragon that started it all off for Pokémon! Dragonite isn’t the strongest of the dragon type, but he is easily one of most memorable and impactive from the first gen. Of course we could have chosen Charizard now that he can mega evolve into one… but Dragonite terrorised non-ice type users like no other in gen I!
7 – Tiamat – Dungeons & Dragons
The classic dragon god of D&D, the five headed queen of greed and tyranny is an ungainly but no less terrifying creature. Split from her brother Bahamut (god of the “good” dragons) when the first dragon, mighty Io was split in two, she is the patron of the classic villainous dragons, and embodies all of their worst aspects; arrogance, cruelty, cunning and obsession.
Tiamat is featuring heavily in the first published campaign of 5th edition, so just for a change, players can expect – not just dungeons – but dragons too! Who’d believe it?
6 – Valoo – Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Volvagia might be one of the most commonly known Legend of Zelda dragons, but he’s just a boss in Ocarina of Time’s Fire Temple. Valoo on the other hand is the almighty Sky Spirit resting on Dragonroost Island. Link meets him on his quest to raise the Tower of the Gods from the sea, and later on, when he first confronts Ganondorf, Valoo comes in and saves him.
He only speaks in Ancient Hylian, which is gibberish to the players (though he speaks English in the second play-through and everything he says spoils the plot). He’s also quite cute and chubby and has tiny wings to support him.
5 – Bahamut – Final Fantasy
This great dragon has been in almost every Final Fantasy, but the one to make the list isn’t the creature you summon to fight by your side, but the one that started it all back in the first Final Fantasy. In that game, Bahamut is an NPC dragon you meet.
He can bestow the advanced classes to your party, but only if you prove you’re worthy. To do that you must venture into a treacherous dungeon in search of the holies of items: The Rat’s Tail. I am not kidding on that. It’s a bloody rat’s tail you need to get your hands on for your fighter to become a Knight or your Thief a Ninja.
4 – Nicol Bolas – Magic: the Gathering
A dragon more ancient than memory, with a legend that spans countless planes of existence, and schemes that stretch much further indeed. Those of you familiar with Magic The Gathering lore will have seen the name crop up from time to time, and may even be familiar with the former-god’s plans to reclaim his divinity, and his dealings with the many other planeswalkers from the mythos.
In terms of actual abilities in-game, players who can actually get Bolas on the field paint a massive bullseye on their heads, as his hugely manipulative and destructive powers make him a threat to even allow him on the field without some kind of counter-spell.
3 – Deathwing – Warcraft
Neltharion the Earth Warder was one of the Five Dragon Aspects, protectors of Azeroth. That was Deathwing’s identity before the Old Gods drove him mad and he became the antithesis of everything he represented, his corruption spreading to his entire brood and turning all black dragons evil. Deathwing has been part of Warcraft’s lore for almost twenty years now, going back to Warcraft 2 where he worked with The Horde.
Recently he saw his comeback in World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm expansion, where his return to Azeroth shattered the world. While the storytelling in that expansion was certainly lacking, it doesn’t take away from the influence this character has had over the franchise. He was even going to be in the cancelled Warcraft: Lord of the Clans adventure game, where Thrall would meet him in a cave smoking a Hookah.
2 – Spyro – Spyro the Dragon
Okay, so some dragons are destined for greater things than others. Whilst most are confined with being some wise old dragon or an evil terror for the greater good to overcome, there are a few dragons out there who need to learn about being a dragon and the world around them.
A prime example of youthful curiosity comes in the form of a small purple dragon who features in his own series. All that glitters isn’t gold as Spyro looks to collect gems and orbs. But to think that our young protagonist is easily swayed by a disgustingly rich bear that makes a killing off young dragons is a little disheartening. Oh Spyro, you need life lessons badly!
1 – Ridley – Metroid
Our number one spot then goes to one of the most frightening terrors in all of gaming; Ridley! If you have never seen Ridley in action before then why not just go watch some Smash Bros. Brawl footage where the long dragon just rips through his enemies?
Better yet, just go play some .etroid! Easily one of gamings most recognisable and iconic terrifying dragons!
But some dragons aren’t born equal to their wrathful or friendly counterparts above. No, some dragons just didn’t quite make the cut, so here they are, the other dragons we seriously considered but just couldn’t go any further than they did.
Blue Eyes White Dragon – YuGiOh!
Anyone who has laid their eyes on this card knows that you’re in for a fight but let’s not beat about the bush here: The Blue Eyes White Dragon is most well known for his appearance on the TV show! Seto Kaiba, you made this dragon famous!
Alduin – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim was/is a huge title, and Alduin was a fantastic villain. His seemingly random appearances around the world, as he awakens the dragons from their centuried-slumber. So why is he only an honourable mention?
The sad fact is that the dragons of Tamriel technically aren’t dragons. The dragon “shouting” ability is fantastically original, and in many mythologies there are variations on what a dragon is capable of, but the visual depictions have certain universal characteristics: wings, and four walking-limbs. With only two limbs, Alduin and his mighty kin aren’t real dragons. It’s a sad but important distinction that I unashamedly got really annoyed at when I first played the game, and I am not sorry.
We’ve soared through this list like it was just another Wyvern, but don’t fret folks, we’ll be back again next week for another awesome Top 10… But before then, we need you guys to help us decide what our next Top 10 is!
Do you agree with our list? Do you have any others you’d have liked to have seen in this list? What do you think? Join in the conversation below and until next time, get voting on our poll for the next Top 10!