Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
Buy On
  1. 100
    DQV is a great RPG just in terms of its mechanics, being built on the series' time-tested fundamentals while throwing in enough improvements to make it feel far fresher than its predecessor. Factor in the game's story, though, and it becomes truly exceptional: an intimate, personal odyssey of a kind rarely seen in this medium.
  2. Probably my favorite entry into the Dragon Quest series.
  3. Although it has been ported to the DS, Dragon Quest V is one of the biggest RPGs of all time, and it is certainly an adventure worth taking, even if it has taken more than a decade to be released!
  4. If you own a DS this is one title you must go out and buy and if you do not have a DS go out and buy one for this game as this is certainly by far the single best Role Playing Game on Nintendo’s amazing handheld platform. A near perfect game for RPG fans to enjoy for years to come.
  5. It's a deep adventure game full of memorable characters and an epic story. It's a game that takes you on a journey that lasts some twenty years. And best of all, it's a quest you likely have never gone on. For that reason alone, Dragon Quest V is a must-own!
  6. Also, this game is long. As of press time I wasn't able to beat the thing.
  7. DQ V is a missing link for western gamers, a step forward in RPG design that, when played now, puts many design choices in later works into perspective. And though current titles have built on its innovations in the years since its release, this advancement in storytelling is still captivating now.
  8. It may be 17 years old, but this may just be the best RPG on the DS. You need this.
  9. Dragon Quest V's western debut has been a long time coming but this reshaping of an undisputed genre classic in the form of Hand of the Heavenly Bride is a must for RPG fans.
  10. I don't get the opportunity to use the words frequently enough in RPG reviews, but the only fitting description for the reward of grinding your way through Dragon Quest V's story is deep satisfaction.
  11. 90
    Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is the best DS RPG.
  12. If you like classic JRPG's, you can't go wrong with this amazing remake of one of the historical landmarks of the genre. Square Enix did a great job by crafting a brilliant re-telling of one of the greatest and most amusing stories ever told in the videogame industry.
  13. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Beautiful and epic RPG fairytale leaves the shores of Japan for the first time to amuse European players. A remake of the historic SNES game is truly a jewel you can't miss.
  14. I highly recommend Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride because it's an example of great storytelling, solid gameplay and excellent overall presentation.
  15. If you have a Nintendo DS and you love the RPG genre, Dragon Quest V is nowadays one the best options to enjoy the classic gameplay of an epic adventure with a retro taste.
  16. 89
    Dragon Quest V is a must-play RPG, pure and simple. By extension, that means that Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is also a must-play RPG, though I can’t help but wish we were getting it sooner than 17 years late, and with a bit more fanfare and polish.
  17. 89
    A genre classic. Though its component pieces may be basic, they all conspire together to create an experience that’s the measure of anything to have come out of Square or Enix’s collective stable, and whether you’re a veteran of the series or a debutant, this is a slice of indisputable role-playing perfection - and one of the greatest RPGs the DS has to offer.
  18. In the meantime, go out and get Dragon Quest V, and enjoy one of the best "lost" RPGs of the Super Nintendo generation.
  19. 88
    This new edition of Dragon Quest is with no doubt one of the best RPG titles up to date in the console portfolio. Despite that it is basically an old title, with a very classic game system that doesn't take advantage of the Nintendo DS possibilities, and an improved yet retro technical aspect, nonetheless it was and remains being a milestone in the RPG genre history.
  20. Games Master UK
    An exceptional DS RPG. [Apr 2009, p.83]
  21. 86
    After playing this game, and taking time to weigh out all the good and bad in this review, the only thing left for me to say is this: "I can't wait for Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie!" Let's hope Square Enix does another excellent job localizing that one as well, so we'll have a wonderful, complete trilogy for the Nintendo DS.
  22. Nintendo Power
    It's done a beautiful job of preserving the game's soulful story. [Mar 2009, p.90]
  23. Dragon Quest V’s compelling North American debut offers a gripping story and enthralling gameplay.
  24. This game takes what it needs to become one of the greatest RPGs of the Dual Screen, with a superb story that pushes everything what we've seen so far beyond the limits. Its not the perfect Dragon Quest though,with too many combats and a weak monster system that still have to prove its real value. We'll be looking forward to DQVI.
  25. Dragon Quest V is a fantastic RPG. While this conservative update is still mired by old-fashioned game mechanics, the fifth entry in the fabled series is carried by its unique story structure and the once-innovative and still engaging monster collection. It is highly recommended to all RPG fans, but newcomers to the genre should cut their teeth elsewhere.
  26. 85
    Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is among the best Japanese RPGs ever created. RPG fans should not miss this classic.
  27. This is one of the few RPG’s that truly make the player feel like he or she is playing the role of the hero, and it’s seriously been a while since an RPG has had that kind of impact.
  28. Dragon Quest fans shouldn’t miss out on finally playing Dragon Quest V for the first time in America.
  29. Fans of RPGs and especially Dragon Quest can give this one a go without further hesitation. Everyone else should probably give it a more thorough thought as the missing story and some strange decisions concerning the design, like the saving system and the grouped monsters, may give you a hard time.
  30. It's a game that boasts an indisputable wider significance - but today, it's worthwhile primarily because it's a joyfully innocent fable, albeit one whose impact lies in the telling more than in the tale.
  31. Dragon Quest V shows a lot of similarities with Dragon Quest IV. What makes this title a little bit better than Dragon Quest IV is its storyline. The gameplay tweaks just add up to an already terrific concept. That's why Dragon Quest V scores better than its predecessor.
  32. If you haven't experienced a Dragon Quest title before now, this is the game to begin with.
  33. This is a fantastic well crafted adventure with an epic story and plenty of aspects to keep you busy for a long time indeed.
  34. Edge Magazine
    Seasoned with tragedy and humour, it’s a poignant tale that courts cliché but which, thanks to its charm and creative twists on well-worn themes, represents one of the narrative high points of the series. [Apr 2009, p.123]
  35. 80
    The game’s only real misstep comes in the character Sancho – a friend of the hero’s family who speaks in a shameful caricature of a Mexican accent. Luckily, these slimy moments are scarce and nowhere near nasty enough to ruin such an engaging, delightful, and expertly crafted game.
  36. 80
    Painful level grinding aside, Dragon Quest V is a fantastic, innovative experience.
  37. If you love early 90s JRPGs, or loved The Chapters of the Chosen, then you'll be fine, and will easily sink a good 30 hours of your life into the game. If the idea of random battles, saving only at far away points and sink or swim gameplay gives you the fear, however, steer clear. Get the more accessible Chrono Trigger instead.
  38. Old-school fanatics should enjoy the gorgeous audio and visuals, but beware the slow crawl to victory. [Mar 2009, p.94]
  39. Another strong offering for RPG fans to sink their teeth into, with some great graphical updates, but be warned: this is two parts work, one part play.
  40. This remake of the fifth part of the Dragon Quest series is a game which does what’s it’s supposed to do. It is a good game, but it could have been a lot better. The battle system works and the training of monsters is also very recognizable. Nevertheless, you still get the feeling it could have been more innovative. We do like the story, because it keeps you going. Whenever you feel like putting down your DS, you still want to know what is going to happen next. Dragon Quest isn’t as good as Chrono Trigger, but it’s still a fun game to play.
  41. Great for those who haven't played the original, not so thrilling for those who have. [Issue#26, p.81]
  42. There's a lot to admire in this role-playing classic, but still just as much to infuriate and bore.
  43. AceGamez
    When compared to other Square-Enix remakes of late, such as Final Fantasy IV and Star Ocean: First Departure, Dragon Quest: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride just feels far too archaic.
  44. 70
    There are a few things done unusually well in this specific title, namely a story the player should actually care about, an even and consistent pace that was missing in Dragon Quest IV, less need to level grind, a party-forming mechanic that gives the player several diverse options to consider, and an overall experience that develops and changes over the course of the game, flowing naturally with the plot and maintaining a fresh feel for the battle system.
  45. The age of this game is way too obvious. After 15 years the dungeons seem too small and the story is not spectacular. But training monsters to fight alongside your party is still fun!
  46. Hand of the Heavenly Bride is a solid, old-school adventure with the same problems and delights that any title from the period has. If you’re supporter of the series or just a sucker for this type of action, then you probably won’t be disappointed. But for the rest of you, HotHB does nothing that will change your stubborn opinions.

Awards & Rankings

#23 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#14 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 62
  2. Negative: 5 out of 62
  1. Nov 18, 2011
    a game that took a classic and added on few things and made it better. the squel to DQ IV: chapters of the chosen, it takes place aa game that took a classic and added on few things and made it better. the squel to DQ IV: chapters of the chosen, it takes place a significant time after the previous game but makes refernces and shares a dungeon. the addons are game changing, making it easier to progress in the story and adding a new possible party member. the story is 99% the same. there is a mode for wireless communication but it is local and is basically useless. the story and characters are well done, there is a feature to rotate the camera, and a board game type mini game that gave me much needed armor and weapons. this game is on the list of top ten games I have ever played and I don't see it leaving that list anytime soon. Full Review »
  2. Dec 29, 2012
    By far one of the best games of the system, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is an example of a JRPG done right. I have nothing badBy far one of the best games of the system, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride is an example of a JRPG done right. I have nothing bad to say about this game, all of my expectations have been met and exceeded. Full Review »
  3. Feb 21, 2014
    I review this game because i have completed the Ps2 version. This game story-line is really amazing and i would include to my list of bestI review this game because i have completed the Ps2 version. This game story-line is really amazing and i would include to my list of best jrpg storyline. The game is exactly of those amazing rpg games that bring your childhood memories back when you used to play many hours of rpg games. The music, the world, the characters, the gameplay are all amazing, and you will not get bored when you progress in the game. Full Review »