The Game Boy was Nintendo’s first Game Boy handheld product. First introduced in 1989, the 8-bit system was weak by modern standards and had a matrix screen with five buttons: D-Pad, Start, Select, A and B.
It also had a contrast control on the right side of the screen. But people remember Game Boy not for technology, but for games.
The PDA looked like a brick and weighed almost the same, but it had a number of names that are still popular. In fact, many of the greatest Game Boy games have seen modern remakes over the past few years.
Here’s our pick of the best Game Boy games of all time. Plus, if you’d like to see the gameplay and hear us talk about some of our favorite Game Boy games, check out our YouTube video below.
Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue
When Nintendo launched Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue in North America in September 1998, no one could have imagined the adorable combat creatures would create a $ 92 billion franchise.
Pokemon does not need much introduction, as it has already filled the cultural consciousness. Although the series actually launched in Japan two years earlier, distribution only began in America. Pokemon Yellow was the next game with a unique mechanic that allowed Pikachu to follow the player.
It’s worth noting that Pokemon Gold and Silver also appeared in the world towards the end of the Game Boy’s life.
The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is well known to fans for how great she was. It is considered by many to be one of the best Game Boy games. Although mechanically still a Zelda game, the action took place outside Hyrule on the strange island of Koholint.
The original game, released in 1993, challenged players to find eight magical musical instruments that would wake the sleeping Wind Fish – without mentioning Ganon, Triforce or any of the usual elements.
In 1998, Link’s Awakening saw a new Game Boy Color release with additional content, but in many ways it has remained the same as the original game. Nintendo recently released an updated version of Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch
Tetris was one of the first Game Boy games. It was released in July 1989 and has sold over 35 million copies. The simple yet entertaining game loop, combining shape and the pursuit of high scores, attracted players. Even when new versions of Tetris entered the market, the formula remained the same.
Because Tetris offered easy fun with little time investment, it was popular with players from all walks of life. In 2008, Nintendo even named Tetris DX, a later release, the best Game Boy / Game Boy Color game of all time, but that wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the original killer app.
Super Mario Land 2: Six Gold Coins
The first Super Mario Land game was Mario’s first Game Boy adventure, but it was clear that the developers were still exploring the system’s capabilities. While this is a fun game, it lacked content when compared to other games in the series.
On the other hand, Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins left a mark on history. This is not only the first appearance of Vario, the evil alternative to Mario, but one of the most popular games in the entire Game Boy, with over 11 million copies sold.
The game uses a map of the outside world like Super Mario World 3 rather than Super Mario Bros and layered stages, giving it a much more open world than many games of the time.
Harvest Moon GB
The original Harvest Moon debuted on the Super Nintendo and gained a lot of popularity and acceptance from players. The Game Boy version of the game is not as complicated, it ditches the marriage system and even the city with specific objects in favor of a more focused harvesting system, updating your tools and trying to live up to your deceased grandfather’s expectations.
Regardless, Harvest Moon GB is one of the best Game Boy games due to its portability and simple yet fun gameplay.
Final Fantasy Adventure
Final Fantasy Adventure is a unique game in the series. Final Fantasy Adventure is much more like Legend of Zelda than the turn-based battles of its brethren (at least until recently). However, his popularity lies in the seeds he sowed – the seeds that would lead to names like Secret of Mana.
While these later games are known for their gorgeous artwork, this original adventure managed to capture the hearts of players on a tiny screen.
No Nintendo platform will be complete without the introduction of the pink puff. Kirby’s Dream Land is a fantastic addition to the series that perfectly complements the NES release. If you’ve played the later games first, this one may seem a little straightforward in comparison, but the early games show the foundation of what the Kirby franchise will later become.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back, fun game that’s not too hard, Kirby’s Dream Land is a great choice.
Mega Man V
There are many Mega Man games on the Game Boy, but many of them are ports of games released on the NES. Mega Man V is the first fully original Mega Man game released for the Game Boy and stands out as one of the greatest Mega Man games.
The platforming action feels familiar and fresh, although it is slower compared to games played on more powerful hardware. However, when it comes to taking the Blue Bomber on the road, the Mega Man V is a great choice.
These eight games represent the best of the best for the Game Boy. There are only 1,055 games in its library, but luckily there are plenty of emulation options from sites like EmuParadise. If you feel the need for a nostalgic walk through the history of games, try some of these passages from the past.
What are your favorite Game Boy games? What makes them different from the rest? Let us know in the comments below.