Dragon Ball is a cultural phenomenon and not just in Japan, at this point it’s a global powerhouse of a franchise. Goku is instantly recognizable to pretty much most people on the planet at this point, whether they watch anime or not. 

With the anime being so recognizable and well-known, especially since the release of Dragon Ball: and its related movies, more and more people are getting into it. That being said a lot of people are wondering where to start when it comes to watching the show. 

It’s actually a bit more complicated than you might think, considering that there are actually a total of 5 different anime series within the franchise, not including the various movies and mangas on top of the shows. 

That being said we got you and we’re going to tell you the proper dragon ball watch order. 

How to Watch The Dragon Ball Series in Order (the best way)

  1. Dragon Ball
  2. Dragon Ball Z
  3. Dragon Ball Super
  4. Dragon Ball GT
  5. Super Dragon Ball Heroes

Dragon Ball 

Dragon Ball watch order

The nice thing about the dragon ball watch order is that for the most part, the release order lines up with the chronological order of the show. The first series within the franchise is Dragon Ball and it’s easily the simplest and most straightforward out of all of the series. 

Dragon Ball is basically just a futuristic retelling of the classic story, Journey to the West, with Goku taking the place of Son Wukong. The story starts off with Goku transforming into a great ape, something the later series’ drop entirely, and accidentally killing Grandpa Gohan. This kickstarts his journey to find all 7 dragon balls, along the way we meet many characters that would end up becoming mainstays within the Dragon Ball cast, including Bulma, Krillin, Master Roshi, Yamcha and many more. 

Goku also gets many of his trademark items and techniques in this series, including his Power Pole, Nimbus cloud, Senzu Beans and the series trademark Kamehameha which everyone has tried to do at least one time in their life. 

This series is somehow, a lot more down-to-earth than the rest of the franchise. Dragon Ball doesn’t feature any of the big, world-ending threats that the following series do, but it certainly has a cool adventure charm and vibe that is definitely not in the other shows. 

Dragon Ball Z 

Dragon Ball Z

Next in our Dragon Ball watch order list is the series that is probably the most famous out of the whole franchise, Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Z is the reason the whole world knows about the franchise, with so many epic moments it’s not hard to see why. 

Dragon Ball Z picks up around four years after the conclusion of Dragon Ball, with Goku now in his early 20s and married to Chi-Chi. The pair also have a child together, Gohan, named after Goku’s Grandpa. Immediately the show has a different feel and it’s really shown with the arrival of Goku’s older brother that he didn’t know he had, Raditz. Raditz reveals that Goku is in fact, a member of a near-extinct alien race and that he was originally sent to earth to destroy the planet, something that didn’t happen thanks to Goku falling on his head as a kid.

Goku then needs to join forces with his old enemy Piccolo in order to defeat Raditz. From there the series becomes a space-faring action anime. This is where fans were introduced to most of the super-saiyan forms that we all know and love. 

This series also had a remake known as Dragon Ball Z Kai that made the series shorter and made some character design changes along with increasing the video quality. 

Dragon Ball Super 

Dragon Ball Super is the second most recent series in the show and focuses on the events after the ending of the Buu saga and before the original ending of DBZ which was a time skip. This is the series that introduced Beerus and the concept of God ki into dragon ball, taking the series from a space-faring one to a universe-faring one. This is the series that gave of the Goku Black and Tournament of Power arcs. 

Dragon Ball GT 

At the moment this series is considered non-canon. This series is set a few years after the time skip that we saw at the end of Dragon Ball Z. This series tries to emulate the adventurous feel of Dragon Ball and we even get a kid version of Goku after a wish gone wrong de ages him.

This series is the one that gave us Super Saiyan 4, easily the most unique Super Saiyan form. We got to see both Goku and Vegeta take on this form, and even their fusion, Gogeta was seen using it. 

Super Dragon Ball Heroes

Another non-canon entry, Dragon Ball Super Heros setting chronologically isn’t exactly set, but it features the Super versions of Goku and Vegeta and several other characters in the series. This is easily the most out-there show on the list as it features several characters from pretty much every show in the franchise and even some movies.


This dragon ball watch order will list the shows in order of when they came out:

  • Dragon Ball (1986) 
  • Dragon Ball Z (1989)
  • Dragon Ball GT (1996) 
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009)
  • Dragon Ball Super (2015) 
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes (2018) 


I would recommend the chronological order if you are just getting into the show, as it will keep you up to date.

  • Dragon Ball (1986) 
  • Dragon Ball Z (1989) (can also watch Dragon Ball Z Kai instead) 
  • Dragon Ball Super (2015) 
  • Dragon Ball GT (1996) 
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes (2018) 


Best places to watch the Dragon Ball Series Online


Currently, Funimation has every Dragon Ball series online except for Super Dragon Ball Heroes and even includes some of the movies from the series. 


The most affordable package on the website only costs 5.99 USD per month, but you can pay up to 99.99 USD per year for the best experience.


Dragon Ball Watch order

Similar to Funimation, Crunchyroll has every Dragon Ball series online except for Super Dragon Ball Heroes, as well as some movies. 


You can get the Fan package of Crunchyroll for only 7.99 USD per month and watch all the anime and dramas available on the platform without ads. You can pay a bit more to enjoy extra perks as well. The most expensive package costs 14.99 USD per month. You can also choose to watch the series for free if you don’t mind the ads. 

How to Watch Dragon Ball on Crunchyroll from Anywhere in the World

The Crunchyroll app availability varies by region. Because of this, fans should consider using a VPN to watch Crunchyroll if you are in a geo-blocked region.

This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.

    1. Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN, such as NordVPN.
    2. In the settings, choose the United States as your region (or  Canada, UK).
    3. Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic.
    4. Once you’re connected, navigate to Crunchyroll
    5. If successful, you should be able to open the app and see the full library

Enjoy! If this doesn’t work at first, you may have to clear the Crunchyroll app cache and try again.

Now with all these options, you really have no reason to miss out on the Dragon Ball franchise.


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