I made this thread specifically because I thought it would be funny how uncontroversial it is to say that almost every Dragon Quest game is good, probably due in no small part to how consistency was always a part of the core design of the games, but there is still a good mix of opinions of which ones are peoples’ favourites.
I would honestly say, play ’em all! If you like one, there’s a good chance you’ll like all of them, at least well enough to not regret it. I used to think they were a bit dry in my youth and young adulthood, and resented their mechanical simplicity, but I think I eventually came to love how consistent they were. I also found I enjoyed them more, with the exception of XI and maybe VIII, letting the AI routines control the party and I control the hero, like old school ones were.
If you have a low tolerance for missing modern conveniences, the 3DS remake of VII is pretty great, as well as the port of VIII. They both provide a pretty modern experience, both of those games are great, both are gargantuan though, and end up feeling quite long at least for some stretches.
Experiences especially as they pertain to QoL and such may vary based on the versions you play. I’m a heathen and played AND enjoyed the Android ports for I through VI, out of necessity sort of. A good deal of my playtime was while commuting, and my city has atrocious transit so I’d often be standing and packed in with people on all sides, so it was one hand on my phone and one hand on the pole at all times lol.
I dunno!! There is a charm to each one. I’ll try to give a sort of one sentence impression of each game and I’d choose based on what sounds best for you:
These Three games form a loose trilogy, and while it’s not necessary to play them in order, you might enjoy it like that
I: Antiquated and very linear but a fun history lesson, also, doesn’t take that long
II: Actually pretty impressive in scope all things considered, great to play after I to experience it as a true solid sophomore release
III: In a weird way this is almost like a really good sequel to Final Fantasy I, you create a party out of different jobs, and later you can change them and retain abilities, and I am a total sucker for a job system, but it’s a solid game with a lot of content
These Three games also form a loose trilogy, and while it’s not necessary to play them in order, you might enjoy it like that
IV: The one that opens on a sequence of shorter episodes and then after opens up into a more traditional story, worth it for the fun and weird feeling of the beginning but it never gets quite as good as it does in the first part, although it’s all good
V: You got a real innovative and well constructed story structure here!! But something that really bothers me in RPGs is when party members come and go and especially permanently, so this one kind of drags for me… This is one of the only ones I had to play more than once to get through
VI: Jobs!!!!!!! Really long but really good