Top 25 GameBoy/GameBoy Color Games

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

This top 25 list is now outdated and obsolete. It is replaced by my Top 100 GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games of All time list. Please ignore this and read the newer, more detailed top 100 list instead. This list is OLD.

Click here to view the new top 100 list.

A while back, I wrote the top 25 NES Powerpak Killer Apps list, and to my surprise that article turned out to be my most popular article ever. Flooded with requests to write similar lists for other systems, here’s the first of what I hope to turn into a semi-regular segment.

In 1989, Nintendo released the GameBoy Compact Portable Videogame system. The GameBoy was a monochrome, non backlit handheld with low resolution screen and a less powerful processor than even the NES, but it soon proved to be a hit. The GameBoy brand would endure until it was replaced by the Nintendo DS in the mid 2000’s. The original GameBoy had a successor called the GameBoy Color released in 1998. The GameBoy Color was a very similar system with the same screen resolution and basic design, but with a slightly faster CPU and full 8-bit color support.

This list is dedicated to the top 25 GameBoy and GameBoy Color games released between 1989 to 2002 when the GBC was retired in favor of the completely newly design GameBoy Advance. I had considered writing two lists, one for GameBoy and one for GameBoy Color, but ultimately the two are so similar a combined list made more sense to me.

Note that this article is jammed packed with pictures, so those who have subscribed to the email feed should visit the actual page to get the full experience.

So without further ado, enjoy my picks for the top 25 GameBoy and GameBoy Color games!

Again,

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

This top 25 list is now outdated and obsolete. It is replaced by my Top 100 GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games of All time list. Please ignore this and read the newer, more detailed top 100 list instead. This list is OLD.

Click here to view the new top 100 list.

#25

Star Trek 25th Anniversary

1991
Konami
Platform: GameBoy Original
Horizontal shooter, Action-Adventure
Price range: $4-10

A giant machine known as the Doomsday Machine now roams space, obliterating whole worlds in its path, its origin unknown. Indestructible to all known weapons, Federation scientists scramble to develop a weapon capable of destroying the Doomsday Machine before it can enter Federation space. To make the situation worse, the Klingons have stolen the prototype to destroy the weapon, dismantled it and scattered its parts across several worlds. The USS Enterprise has been assigned to recover the parts and defeat the Doomsday Machine before it reaches Earth.

1991 marked Star Trek‘s 25th anniversary. The Next Generation‘s popularity demanded Star Trek merchandise of all sorts, which of course included games. For the 25th anniversary of the original series, Star Trek games were produced for a number of consoles, including the GameBoy. Straying from general practice, the GameBoy Trek wasn’t a port of any console game. Instead of being an ill-conceived shovelware title to cash in on the popularity of the license, the GameBoy game played to the system’s limitations and strengths, delivering not a adventure-focused game, but an action shmup with only light adventure elements tossed in for good measure.

Why you should play it

A Star Trek shmup? Sign me up. Even to this day I can count on one hand the actually good Star Trek videogames, and this would be among them. If you’re a Trekker, you’ll love the fact that the whole story of the game centers around the classic episode “The Doomsday Machine”. If you’re not a Trekker, you’ll appreciate there’s a decent shmup structure with the ability to adjust your speed, power and shields. This one totally blows the NES Star Trek TOS game out of the water. Track it down.

#24

Operation C

1991
Konami
Platform: GameBoy Original
Action platformer
Price range: $8-15

Operation C is an original title specifically designed for the GameBoy with stages heavily influenced by the NES megahits Contra and Super C. A new evil group called Black Viper threatens the planet, so Contra duo Bill and Lance once again grab their infinite ammo rifles, leave their t-shirts at home and rush into both sidescrolling and vertical scrolling manic shooter hell. Gotta love it.

Why you should play it

Despite the limited housepower and low resolution of the original GameBoy, Operation C manages to deliver all the action and excitement of its console cousins. Not even the lack of color could stop this one from being a winner. Many slight improvements such as the ability to combine guns like the Super Spread Gun and Homing Spread Gun made it a lot of fun, not to mention the default weapon is the handy auto firing machine gun. It offers classic Contra difficulty. It may be only five stages long, but it’s a real challenge.

#23

Super Mario Land

1989
Nintendo EAD
Platform: GameBoy Original
Action Platformer
Price range: $4-8

Among the launch titles for the GameBoy in 1989, Super Mario Land provided new adopters of the handheld the ability to get their Mario platforming fix on the go for the first time. Unlike Tetris, Mario Land was not a pack-in game but sales nevertheless were very high, making Mario Land among the most successful GameBoy titles ever produced.

Super Mario Land returned to the formula of the first Super Mario Bros. Travel through different worlds of four stages each, collect mushrooms and fire flowers, and attempt to save the beautiful Princess Daisy. Mario Land mixed things up by adding auto – scrolling shump sections where Mario drives a sub and later an airplane.

Why you should play it

Along with Tetris, Super Mario Land was a perfect match for the Gameboy delivering all the fun and excitement of the console Super Mario Bros. experience in the palm of your hand. The graphics were were simpler and sprites were smaller and more basic, but Mario Land was just as fast paced and varied enough to entertain for hours. Finally, there can never be enough said about the fantastic soundtrack composed by the legendary Hip Tanaka. Super Mario Land is without a doubt, a landmark title that holds up extremely well to this day.

Super Mario Land‘s music composed by the famous Hip Tanaka, has some…..outlandish remixes. Among the more bizarre ones are the lyrical remix by the Ambassadors of Funk in the 1993 Nintendo album Super Mario Compact Disco. If you’ve never heard this before, check it out below. The music video is amazingly bad.

#22

Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel

2000
Konami Computer Entertainment Nagoya
Platform: GameBoy Color only
Action-Stealth
Price range: $15-25

The United States government sends Solid Snake somewhere in Africa to once again infiltrate a militant terrorist group who has gotten hold of a prototype Metal Gear – a walking, nuclear warhead armed tank – and stop the terrorists, destroy this new Metal Gear, and save the world.

Released in 2000, Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel is a semi non-canon sequel to the Playstation’s blockbuster hit, Metal Gear Solid. Ghost Babel is a completely original game that borrows design cues from the original MSX Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, but also gameplay tweaks and features first seen in the PS1 title such as the VR missions.

Why you should play it

Metal Gear Solid on the GBC is a beautifully executed game that is extremely well suited to the hardware. From the look of the detailed graphics and fluid animations to the complexity of the guard AI, it’s immediately clear Konami put a lot of effort and production value into this title. It isn’t all that expensive to buy used either.

I’m not even particularly a Metal Gear fan in the least. I’ve yet to finish any of the console Metal Gear games that have been put out over the years. Yet still I find myself picking up Ghost Babel and completing it every couple of years. If you missed this one the first time around, give it another go. You’ll be glad you did. This game is really just that awesome.

#21

Survival Kids

1999
Konami
Platform: GameBoy Color, Super Gameboy
Adventure
Price range: $15-30

Survival Kids is a adventure/survival sim where you assume the role of Mary or Ken, a ten year old girl or boy who washes up on a deserted island and is forced to fend for her/himself to survive and eventually seek help.

Survival Kids is actually the first in a long running series of survival simulators Konami has made over the years, and is directly related to Konami’s Lost in Blue series on the Nintendo DS. It benefits from full color on the GBC, but can also be played with a custom limited pallet on the Super GameBoy, or even the original black and white GameBoy if that’s all you have.

Why you should play it

Survival Kids is an a very well made, unique effort on the GBC. There isn’t another game like it in the slightest on the handheld. The ability to play as a girl is both surprising and welcome. It might seem odd a girl would be excited to get a knife for her tenth birthday, but hey, it’s nice to see adventure games of this nature giving the choice of playing as a girl and avoiding stereotypes and established gender roles.

Foraging, hunting, exploring, building tools, Survival Kids has it all. It’s a fairly rare game, so make sure you don’t pass it up should you see it in your local game store.

Still not sure Survival Kids is for you? Check out this short snippet of gameplay of the first day in the game.

#20

Final Fantasy Legend III/SaGa 3

1993
Square
Platform: Original GameBoy
Role Playing Game
Price range: $15-20

Long ago, after a long and costly war, the magical land known as Pureland was sealed away from the rest of the world. Then out of nowhere, the mysterious Pureland fountain appeared in the clouds and began endlessly pouring water onto the land. The problem grew and grew until it threatened to flood the entire planet.

Three young children and their mentor are sent back and forth in time to retrieve parts for the ancient dormant timeship known as the Talon in order to find out why Pureland is flooding the world and change this history. This….probably made more sense in Japanese.

In actuality not a Final Fantasy game at all, Legend 3 is instead the third in the SaGa series. Made by Square, many elements are shared, including an excellent battle system, soundtrack and story, the only reason the FF label is slapped on was for brand recognition and to further popularize Final Fantasy in the west.

Why you should play it

For an early handheld RPG, Final Fantasy Legend 3/SaGa 3 gets a lot of things right. When you defeat monsters, they will occasionally drop meat or bolts, which can convert your party members into mutants or cyborgs, augmenting their appearance and giving special abilities. There’s a fairly deep magic system, a good, if convoluted story that mixes fantasy and sci-fi, and some of the best RPG music ever. The Talon theme comes to mind whenever I think of the best videogame music on the GameBoy.

The epic Talon theme for your listening pleasure.



#19

Megaman V

1995
Capcom
Platform: Original GameBoy with Super GameBoy support
Action Platformer
Price range: $25-40

Unlike the first four Megaman titles to hit the GameBoy, Megaman V is not a remixed game consisting of Robot Masters from older NES games. Instead, Megaman V is a completely new game with new bosses, called the Star Droids. When Megaman’s Mega Buster proves useless against the Star Droids, Dr. Light upgrades Megaman’s arm cannon to fire his fist as a projectile, which has enough force to damage the Star Droids. What follows is the only Megaman game in the classic series to not feature Dr. Wily as the end boss!

Why you should play it

Released in 1995, Megaman V is the final Megaman Classic title on the GameBoy and takes what Capcom learned from the privious four games into one final crescendo effort. The visuals, audio, and gameplay are all top notch, and the change of the Mega Buster to the Mega Arm is sufficiently different enough that you won’t get a similar game on any other system. I like it an awful lot, but I still think there are better Megaman games, even on the GameBoy. Megaman V is also fairly rare.

In late 2003, Capcom announced Megaman Mania, a collection of all five GameBoy Megaman games with newly added color support. Unfortunately, the project was ultimately canceled when Capcom evidently “lost the original source code”. Despite this, early screenshots appear to show Megaman V fairly deep into the colorized development, if not completely finished. Perhaps one day the prototype will surface, or the fan community of hackers will pick up where Capcom left off. For now, we can only dream about what might have been with Megaman Mania.

#18

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

1992
Nintendo EAD
Platform: Original GameBoy
Action Platformer
Price range: $10-15

18 Super Mario Land 2

While Mario was away to rescue Daisy in the original Super Mario Land, Wario came to Mario Land, brainwashed the inhabitants and then moved in to Mario’s Castle. Upon his return, Mario discovered Wario had erected a great door to Mario’s former home, which will only open once six golden coins are put in place.

Super Mario land 2 was the first appearance of the anti-hero Wario, who has since become a popular Nintendo character on his own, spawning the Wario Land series and many years later, the Wario Ware series of mini-games.

Why you should play it

Like the first Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 is an absolute blast to play through. Taking design cues from Super Mario World, Mario now has multiple hats, has a spin attack, and can freely scroll to the left as well as to the right. Mario Land 2 drastically increased the size of its sprites without sacrificing screen visibility too much. It still looked a little basic, but was much more similar in overall look to later NES games being made at the time. The game is fairly lengthy with a good selection of worlds to visit and lots of replay value.

#17

Ganbare Goemon Hoshizorashi Dyamites Arawaru!!

2000
Konami
Platform: GameBoy Color only
Action Platformer
Price range: $15-30

Amongst all of the Goemon RPGs on the GameBoy, Dynamites Arawaru is the only platformer. The gameplay is pretty much like Goemon 2 and 3 for the Super Famicom, although goofy cat enemies litter the game as opposed to rabbits. Goemon and Ebisumaru have been separated, and each has their own set of levels. While Goemon’s levels are your traditional left-to-right scrolling stages, Ebisumaru’s mix it up a bit by scrolling from right-to-left. It’s a little odd, but it keeps things fresh.

Like most of the best Goemon games, this one was never released outside of Japan, making it a somewhat uncommon import. The last I checked it wasn’t anywhere to be found on ebay, so you’ll probably have to hit up your local import store for this one.

Why you should play it

Gabare Goemon Hoshizorashi Dyamite’s Arawaru is a Japan-only title without any English translation, but this is a platformer. As such, there’s very little in the way of a language barrier and no reason at all to avoid this one unless you absolutely hate Goemon (we could never hang out). The visuals are quite impressive and detailed. The game isn’t especially long clocking in at around 3 hours or so, nor it is very difficult, but it’s among the best Goemon titles and deserves a look.

#16

Trip World

1992
Sunsoft
Platform: Original GameBoy
Action Platformer
Price range: $20-40

Once upon a time, Tocapu, a magical shape-shifting creature called a Shabubu, lived in the land of Trip World. Yocapu lived with his grandfarther on the holy mountain of Dubios. It was here that the Flower of Peace resides, with Yocapa’s Grandpa the sole guardian of the flower. One day, a band of thieves stole the flower and caused chaos. Now it is up to Yocapa to get the flower and restore order.

Trip World is a very underrated GameBoy title produced by one of it’s era’s best developers, Sunsoft. Trip World was only released in Japan and a few European countries such as Germany. The development team would later go on to create the incredible Gimmick! on the Famicom several months later.

Why you should play it

If you love Sunsoft, you owe it to yourself to track this elusive game down. As with Gimmick!, the sprites are beautiful and incredibly animated, the music is fast, upbeat and quite good, and the and the game itself is a lot of fun to play. It’s nowhere near as difficult as Gimmick!, so it’s a perfect casual game for a relaxing afternoon.

#15

Megaman IV

1993
Capcom
Platform: Original GameBoy
Action Platformer
Price range: $15-25

The nefarious Dr. Wily has again reprogrammed eight more robots on display at the annual Robot Masters Expo. Sending these new robots across the planet to wreak havoc, Dr.Wily once again tries to take over the world. Wily never learns.

Megaman is sent in once more to put a stop to the bad Doctor’s plan. This time, Dr. Light informs Megaman of a new type of energy called P-Chips which can be made into useful items. Among the deadly Wily robots is Ballade, a heavily armed robot with more firepower than any robot before him. Megaman’s greatest challenge yet awaits him.

Megaman IV is the fourth GameBoy adaptation of the Blue Bomber’s NES exploits. Like the first three GameBoy Megaman titles, IV is a mix of four bosses from Megaman 4 and Megaman 5 on the NES but with brand new stages. Tossed in to the mix are a few GB exclusive bosses as well as the powerful killer robot Ballade. Released before the Super GameBoy there is no true color support, but the game nevertheless looks great on the Super GameBoy, GameBoy Color or even GameBoy Advance.

Why you should play it

Fans of challenging platforming, detailed sprites, fantastic stereo remixes of some of the best music in the series, and spot on gameplay will find a lot to like here. Released on the heels of Megaman 5 on the NES, Megaman IV is in my opinion, even better than Megaman V and is one of my personal favorite classic series Megaman games to date.

#14

Pokémon TCG

2000
Hudson Soft
Platform: GameBoy Color with Super GameBoy support
Action Platformer
Price range: $10-15

Pokémon, Pokémon, Pokémon. Pokémon was everywhere in the later years of the GameBoy. Even the card game based on the GameBoy game made two appearances on the GameBoy! The Pokémon Trading Card Game brought the entire library of cards (at the time) as well as some GB exclusives to gamers who either couldn’t afford or didn’t want to bother with the real cards.

Here players could build virtual decks and pit them against computer-controlled opponents. Although the Pokémon were all only cards, the objective of the game was similar to the RPGs. As a beginner card player, the goal is to collection many cards, build decks, challenge clubs and collect badges to complete in the grand hall to inharet the legendary Pokémon cards.

There was also a sequel that came out a year later in Japan with even more cards, but unfortunately this superior version was never released outside Japan. Luckily though, a fan translation is available that mostly translates all game menus, so with only a minimal walkthrough the game is entirely playable in English.

Why you should play it

Call me crazy, but I absolutely love the Pokémon TCG. Like everyone else at the time, I had (and still have) a crap ton of Pokémon cards. Also like everyone else, I never had anyone to play the actual card game with. For me and tens of thousands of other kids, the Gameboy version allowed the TCG to actually be played and enjoyed without worrying about scratching that 1st edition holographic Charizard. Don’t worry if you don’t already know how to play the game – there’s an excellent in-game tutorial to get you started. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself collecting virtual cards even more riggoriously than you might have collected the real ones.


#13

Kirby’s Dreamland 2

1995
Nintendo EAD
Platform: Original GameBoy
Action Platformer
Price range: $10-15

Although the star rod has been recovered and peace returned to Dreamland for a time, the Rainbow Bridges that connect the seven Rainbow Islands have been stolen by an evil force called Dark Matter, who has possessed King Dedede and is intent on conquering Dream Land. This time accompanied by his three animal friends, Kirby once again sets out to save Dreamland by defeating Dark Matter.

A sequel of sorts to the NES classic Kirby’s Adventure, Dreamland 2 introduced three animal partners and many new worlds for Kirby to explore. Rick the hamster is great on land and can give Kirby a good boost in height. Coo the owl flies through areas and can easily cope with high winds, but is slow in water. Kine the fish is slow on land and can’t fly, but he can swim quickly in water and easily cope with fast currents.

Why you should play it

Kirby’s Dreamland 2‘s genius is in the animal partnership. In addition to Kirby’s powers he gains when he inhales enemies, Kirby gains new abilities when he partners with his animal buddies. For instance, alone, the sparky enemies turn Kirby into a stationary electric generator, but with Rick he can shock enemies, with Coo he can cast lighting bolts, and with Kine he can…launch lightbulbs that explode like mines. The same is true for the dozen or so power ups present in the game, offering a lot of replay value as you experiment with each of the abilities. While nowhere near as colorful as Kirby’s Adventure, Dreamland 2 offers Super GameBoy support which makes the game look quite good.

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

This top 25 list is now outdated and obsolete. It is replaced by my Top 100 GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games of All time list. Please ignore this and read the newer, more detailed top 100 list instead. This list is OLD.

Click here to view the new top 100 list.

#12

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge/Tetris Attack/Panel De Pon!

2000
Intelligent Systems
Platform: GameBoy Color only
Puzzle
Price range: $15-20

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge is a puzzle game created by Intelligent Systems. In Puzzle Challenge, a well is partially filled with 5 distinct types of tile pieces. Adjacent tiles may be swapped horizontally with the cursor. The object is to match three or more tiles vertically or horizontally, resulting in the tiles clearing after a short delay animation, during which they become immovable.  Additional points may be earned with either “combos,” which involve clearing more than 3 tiles simultaneously, or “chains,” which require that the tiles above a clearing set fall into another clear. Like in Tetris, if the stack of tiles reaches to the top of the screen, the game will end.

After the massive success of Tetris, the puzzle genre sprang up almost overnight just as the platform genre did in the wake of Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Among the better puzzlers to come out in the years to follow was a cute, charming and girlish game created by Intelligent Systems called Panel De Pon! released for the Super Famicom.

The powers to be at Nintendo decided to localize this puzzler by replacing Lip and and her girlfriends with Yoshi characters and then rename the game to Tetris Attack for brand familiarity just as Square had renamed the SaGa games to be under the Final Fantasy label. In 2000, Panel De Pon was released on the GameBoy Color, and once again the characters were swapped for the big craze at the time, Pokémon. Pokémon Puzzle League is therefore simply Panel De Pon with a fresh coat of Pokémon paint.

Why you should play it

Even if you HATE Pokémon, give this game a shot – its honestly just Panel de Pon/Tetris Attack with Pokémon wallpaper. Underneath the cuddly Pokémon exterior is an extremely deep, rich, and addictive game experience that surpasses any superficial distaste you may have for all things Pokémon.

#11

Donkey Kong Country

2000
Rareware
Platform: GameBoy Color only
Action Platformer
Price range: $8-15

While Donkey Kong was napping, the evil King K. Rool, the leader of the Kremlins, stole DK’s banana horde and kidnapped his buddy Diddy, encasing Diddy in a barrel. When the gorilla awoke, he found the Kremlins were starting to take over his island. Never one to let action pass him up, DK sets out to rescue Diddy and get his bananas back from the Kremlin krew and stop King K. Rool.

Donkey Kong Country was first released in 1994 using advanced digitalized sprites that wowed gamers who were just starting to transition from 16-bit consoles to the new 32-bit offerings. As it’s aged, Donkey Kong Country has generated somewhat of a mixed fan base. There are some who feel it holds up incredibly well, while others claim it was terrible from the get-go and now that its shiny new paint has dried, it can be seen for the bad game it is. For me, I’m clearly in the camp that defends DKC as one of the best games of its generation regardless of graphics, and I think the GBC version proves this point nicely. While it was later ported to the Gameboy Advance, this is the definitive version that I still find the most impressive.

Why you should play it
Donkey Kong Country was an amazing achievement on the SNES in 1994, and the GameBoy Color adaptation is no less impressive. Utilizing the color pallet of the GBC to it’s fullest, Donkey Kong Country might just be the most colorful game for the system. All the stages from the classic game are reproduced here. While it doesn’t look quite as good as the original, it’s an amazing achievement for the system.

#10

Megaman Xtreme 1/2

2000/2001
Capcom
Platform: GBC with SGB support/GBC only
Action Platformer
Price range: $8-12, 15-20

A group of Mavericks have hacked into the mother computer in the Maverick Hunter’s base and are using old Maverick battle data to distract the Hunters. X must go into the mother computer, destroy the battle data, and stop the hackers. Then one day, readings of Reploids on the southern pacafiic Laguz Island vanish, and X and Zero are sent in to investigate the island and attempt to determine what is going on behind the disappearance of so many Repolids.

It might seem odd to group both Megaman Xtreme and it’s sequel together, but they’re so similar to each other I felt it only right to place them together in the tenth position. Like the classic Megaman games before them, Xtreme was a mixing of the first two X games on the SNES. The translation between the SNES to GBC was done extremely well. Most of the stages, bosses, powerups, etc were brought on for the GBC, and I went nuts when these games came out as the Megaman X games on the SNES were among my favorite videogames, period.

Megaman Xtreme 2 is an even further improvement over the first, presenting an even better audio/visual experience, as well as gameplay tweaks, most notably the inclusion of playable as Zero, and even switching between X and Zero on the fly, a concept no prior Megaman game used.

Why you should play them

Just as Megaman X was an evolution of the NES games, so are Megaman Xtreme 1 & 2. Despite the limited hardware, these games really do deliver a comperable gameplay experience as could be found on the SNES in their 16-bit originals.

For me, seeing my favorite games re-imagined on the GBC was a real treat. The reason these games are still relivent is because they offer extremely solid gameplay. Zero, who uses a close range energy saber, plays drastically differently than long range X. Between the two games are dozens of hours of exciting, fast Megaman action. To put it simply, Megaman games are awesome and so are you for playing them. Good job.

#9

Tetris

1989
Nintendo
Platform: Original GameBoy
Puzzle
Price range: $4-8

The most successful puzzle videogame of all time, Tetris challenges the player’s spatial relation abilities by presenting them with different shapes made of four square blocks. The blocks are randomly presented one at a time at the top of a rectangular play field, and quickly begin descending toward the bottom. The player can rotate the shapes and move them horizontally as they descend, and if you are able to make a complete horizontal line of blocks, that line will clear from the field.

When the GameBoy launched in 1989, Tetris was both its pack-in game and it’s biggest killer app. Perfectly suited for the handheld, Tetris changed perception that videogames were intended for children only and soon many adults, especially women, began to buy GameBoys just to play this one game. It’s not even uncommon for hear that people who bought GameBoys never bought any other game because Tetris was all they ever needed.

Why you should play it

It’s Tetris. The GAMEBOY Tetris. I mean c’mon what do I need to say? This was THE reason to buy the system.

For all of it’s importance, there’s simply no way I couldn’t have to put Tetris out of the top 10, but even still I feel there are other games that surpass it as the best for the system. The best version of Tetris perhaps, the best puzzler ever perhaps, but the best GameBoy game? I’m afraid not. Feel free to disagree….this is only my opinion. Some people take Tetris too seriously.

#8Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow

1995/96/97/98
GameFreak
Platform: Original GameBoy with Super GameBoy support
Turn based strategy, RPG
Price range: $15-20

You would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Pokémon, but I’ll provide a breif overview nevertheless. Pokémon, Japanese short form for Pocket Monsters in much the same way Family Computer was shortened to Famicom, are a group of special animals with powers and abilities that make them highly prized and sought after.

As a young Pokémon Trainer, your task is to catch and train as many Pokémon as possible, battling with other trainers and collecting gym badges. Once eight gym badges are gathered, you can compete in the Pokémon League, where the best trainers square off for the title of champion. Along the way you will also encounter and defeat the evil Team Rocket, who steal Pokémon and force them to do bad things.

Pokémon Red and Blue were released in 1998 in North America and Europe. Already a huge success in Japan, Pokémon became a massive fad fueled mostly by the original two GameBoy games, but also by the anime, trading card game, toys and other merchandise that quickly followed. It wasn’t until 2001 that the worldwide craze was over, but much of the surge can still be felt today as Pokémon still enjoys a very large adult fanbase of people who grew up with these two titles.

Why you should play them

Only second to the original pack-in Tetris, Pokémon Red and Blue were the most significant games on the GameBoy. Even the term “GameBoy killer apps” is a huge understatement when it comes to Red and Blue‘s importance. These games single handedly gave the GameBoy a huge resurgence nearly ten years into its life. It’s thanks to Pokemon original black-and-white GameBoy games were still being developed well into the year 2000.

It’s probably fair to say that had Pokémon not come around, the GameBoy Color may never have even been developed and the course of handheld history would be forever altered. The success of the GBC, GBA and DS all owes a huge debt of gratitude to Pokémon.

Red, Blue, & Yellow were absolute instant classics and started a true phenomenon that everyone had to get in on. Released in Japan in 1996, the original Red & Green games were not visually or even technically impressive, but they were incredibly engaging, likable and most of all, addictive. The true genius of the game was the fact that there were two versions, each with some Pokémon that could not be found in the other. The solution for this was to trade via the GameBoy Game Link cable. Pokémon became the best use of the cable since the original Tetris.

In 1997, a special Blue version with slightly enhanced graphics was released as a promotional game in Japan before hitting retail shelves. A year later, the Yellow version was released, taking the same overall game as before but infusing it with many elements from the anime such as Pikechu being the only starter, Team Rocket’s Jessie & James and more changes.

The series has evolved over the years into something truly spectacular, and continues to be both popular as well as really good. The urge to collect all the Pokémon started here. As they say, you gotta catch ‘em all. Oh, and these games have Missingno. That’s gotta count for something. There’s a reason these two games together are among the best selling videogames of all time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

This top 25 list is now outdated and obsolete. It is replaced by my Top 100 GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games of All time list. Please ignore this and read the newer, more detailed top 100 list instead. This list is OLD.

Click here to view the new top 100 list.

#7

Legend of Zelda Orcale of Ages/Seasons

2001
Flagship/Capcom/Nintendo
Platform: GameBoy Color with GameBoy Advance support
Action-Adventure
Price range: $15-25 each

In the Oracle of Seasons, the Triforce sends Link to the land of Holodrum. Link soon comes acorss a beautiful, tanned dancer named Din, the Oracle of Seasons. Soon after meeting her, Link is powerless to stop her being kidnapped at the hands of the evil general Onox. Onox imprisons Din in a crystal, which causes the seasons of the land to wildly and instantly change, disrupting the natural balance of the land. Link must travel across Holodrum, brave its fractured seasons and find the eight Essences of the Seasons to rescue Din.

In the Oracle of Ages, the Triforce sends Link to the land of Labrynna. Link soon comes across a beautiful singer named Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. The demon sorceress Veran tricks Link and possesses Nayru’s body which causes all time in Labrynna to go into chaos. Link must travel across Labrynna in two timelines to find the eight Essences of Time to rescue Nayru, and stop an ultimate plan to resurrect Ganon.

The two Zelda Oracle games were released simultaneously in 2001. Announced over two years prior, Nintendo had initially planned to port and recreate the NES Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: the Adventure of Link on the GameBoy Color, as well as create a third game to complete what was planned as the Triforce trilogy.

When problems arose due to the limited screensize of the handheld, the project shifted to three completely new Zelda games for the hardware. Ultimately though, it was decided this system would be too complex and the project again shifted gears to only Seasons and Ages as we know of them now.

Why you should play them

It should be a foregone conclusion that Zelda games are almost always among the best games on any Nintendo platform, but I’ll humor you. Alone, either of these games would be fine candidates for the seventh best GameBoy title. Each Oracle game is a breathtaking look at what the hardware could do and why the GameBoy was still king after so many years on the market.

Sprites were colorful and detailed, the gameplay was the perfect blend between puzzles and action, and despite how complex the games were, there wans’t a hint of slowdown. Then factor in that the game’s can be linked together to unlock additional bosses and carry your collectibles from one to the other. As much as I’ve enjoyed Zelda games that followed this pair, there hasn’t been any Zelda games made since that surpasses the incredible effort here.

#6

Warlocked

2000
Bits-Corp
Platform: GameBoy Color only
Real Time Stategy
Price range: $4-15

Though there has been skirmishes near the southern border for nearly a century, Queen Azarel’s kingdom had remained relatively safe.
But with the recent rush of Beast raids in territories farther north, it had become obvious that Chief Zog was determined to destroy the humans once and for all. Left with no choice, the Queen sends a call throughout the land for the Wizards to come to her aid.
Now, from high atop the walls of Konjo Castle, Azarel gazed down upon her troops, Loyal and brave to the last man, the soldiers awaited her orders…

Released in 2000, Bits Corp’s Warlocked brought the RTS genre to the GameBoy in an exciting way. Featuring 25 levels across two campaigns, Warlocked was basically Warcraft for the GameBoy. Units could be built, sent where you wanted at will, and the enemy was cunning with signs of advanced AI. Warlocked was an utter marvel on the GBC. There’s also the Wizards, who can cast unique spells and spices the game up considerably.

Why you should play it

As you might recall from my review, Warlocked is an outstanding real time strategy game that defies logic by being really, really good on such limited hardware. Perhaps Warlocked is even the best 8-bit strategy game ever made, bumping M.U.L.E out of that spot. It looks good, sounds good, plays good and has enough complexity that you will want to come back for more, and replay levels even after you beat them for faster times and higher scores. Warlocked is extremely affordable today, so if you’re looking for a great GBC gem, look no further.

#5

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

1994
Nintendo R&D1
Platform: GameBoy Original
Action Platformer
Price range: $5-15

After his defeat to Mario in Six Golden Coins, a dejected Wario leaves Mario Land and sets off on a journey of discovery – not for personal self-worth or purpose, but rather in search of riches so he may afford to build an extravagant castle of his own, just like Mario. Wario learns about a pirate island filled with booty, and decides to make this island his next target. Here Wario is sure to face many challenges on his way to his fortune.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is a Mario game in name only. Merely the spiritual successor of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Mario is completely absent this time around (save for the ending). Instead of the usual Nintendo mascot, this game stars Wario in a Super Mario World sized platformer.

Much more than just a swap in the first letter, Wario Land takes the successful formula of that game, switches in a new protagonist, improves upon the graphics and adds an extra layer of gameplay depth thanks to the inclusion of bizarre power-up hats. Wario’s gameplay style is brute force mixed with elements of careful jumps and deductive reasoning.

Wario plays very differently from Mario, who instead of jumping on enemies, tackles them. Where Mario wears different suits to gain new abilities, Wario wears different hats to agument what he can do. Wario Land spawned another three games to follow it, but the original is far better than any of the later efforts, except for the rather excellent Virtual Boy version.

The Boss battles are all very unique, large and impressive. The game’s unusually lengthy, even longer than Super Mario Land 2. It could take several weeks to complete, a feat not many other GameBoy games can attest to. There’s also plenty of replay value as you increase your cash to get Wario more and more coins to afford bigger and bigger houses for the end game. You don’t want to end up living in a bird house, do you?

Why you should play it

This is an absolute must-play game for the GameBoy. The graphics have been changed to a very good looking cartoonish look, the change to actually give a reason for collecting all the coins is great, the change in gameplay mechanics to tackle enemies instead of jumping on them, and even the fresh new character make Wario Land not only the best in the Mario Land trilogy, but one of the very best GameBoy games ever made.

Wario Land‘s just as solid as any console Mario title, so it’s only fitting to play it as such. Although Wario Land doesn’t have any color support, the Super GameBoy and GameBoy Color can colorize it to look rather good, almost as if it were on the NES. It’s a bit ironic to think that the best Mario game on the GameBoy is actually a Wario game!

#4

Donkey Kong ’94

1994
Nintendo EAD
Platform: Original GameBoy with Super GameBoy support
Arcade Action Platformer
Price range: $10-15

Released in time for the launch of the Super GameBoy, Donkey Kong ’94 offers enhanced colors and a special background when played on the Super GameBoy, and is generally considered to be the killer app for the Super GameBoy accessory.

The game is loosely based on the 1981 arcade hit Donkey Kong and its sequel Donkey Kong Jr. While it starts off as a direct port of the original arcade game, Donkey Kong ’94 quickly proves to be far more than that. After the original four arcade boards are cleared, many brand new, GameBoy exclusive levels open up with new challenges, enemies and objectives never before seen. It’s officially simply known as Donkey Kong, but many fans refer to it as Donkey Kong ’94 to avoid confusion with the original Donkey Kong.

Why you should play it

Donkey Kong ’94 exceeded expectations by leaps and bounds. By far the best port of Donkey Kong to any console to date, Mario now had many new moves at his disposal, there were dozens of new levels and in many new puzzles to solve. With the Super GameBoy or even on the black and white original, Donkey Kong offers many hours of fun arcade action that actually exceeds what you’d get at the arcade!

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

This top 25 list is now outdated and obsolete. It is replaced by my Top 100 GameBoy and GameBoy Color Games of All time list. Please ignore this and read the newer, more detailed top 100 list instead. This list is OLD.

Click here to view the new top 100 list.

#3

The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX

1998
Nintendo EAD
Platform: GameBoy Original & Gameboy Color remake, with Super Gameboy support
Action Adventure
Price range: $8-15

After being caught in a terrible storm, Link’s ship is destroyed, and he washes ashore the mysterious Koholint Island. Link is soon found by a local village girl named Marin, and brought to her home to recover. Soon, Link is visited by an owl who gives him the quest of gathering the eight instruments of the Sirens and awakening the Wind Fish who is sleeping inside of a giant egg in the mountains.

The Legend of Zelda IV: Link’s Awakening was released in 1993 for the GameBoy, and again in a special color enhanced version in 1998 in Link’s Awakening DX. DX colorizes the entire game and added minor tweaks to make a great game even better. Zelda DX was widely considered to the GameBoy Color’s killer app until the arrival of Pokémon.

As you can see, Link’s Awakening is easily one of the best looking games on the GameBoy, even without the benefit of color added from the DX version. Sprites had a perfect cartoonish look that make the game look nearly as good as Link to the Past on the SNES. Not bad for the GameBoy!

Why you should play it

Zelda DXis my far my favorite Zelda title ever made. It hits every major mark when it comes to a great handheld experience. It’s one of the longest, most visually impressive titles out there with spot on control, wonderful music and just like the two Oracle games, DX not only delivers the established Zelda game forumla but actually expands on it. Bombs, boomerangs swords and arrows now shared the spotlight with the Roc’s feather, the Magma Rod and the Power Glove. (it’s so bad!) among many others new items. Zelda DX would became the benchmark for which all future 2D Zelda games would be judged.

#2

Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal

Welcome to Johto! It’s a whole new world to explore. In this new land, meet many new Pokémon, interact with the PokéGear – a watch, radio, map and phone in one – challenge a new set of Gym Leaders and just as before, aim to become the greatest Pokémon trainer in the land.

The long awaited set of sequels to one of the most popular RPG series ever made, Gold and Silver were a very big deal when they were released in the fall of 2000. Released at a time when Pokémon popularity was beginning to subside, Gold and Silver largely helped the GameBoy once again crush yet another competitor, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color. Nothing could stand against the might of Pokémon.

A year later, the game would return again in Crystal, a slightly tweaked version with some minor graphical enhancements including animated sprites for all Pokémon, minor plot changes, and the inclusion of a playable girl for the first time in the series.

Why you should play them

Pokémon Gold & Silver were huge. Huge in every way you can think. The Pokémon were now in full color. The sprites were far more detailed than before. There were 100 new Pokémon, dozens of new moves. A brand new world to explore and even the old one for nostalgia sake. The battle system was tweaked, the music made even better, a day/night time system with a real time clock. A breeding center. There were so many improvements to a great game formula that Gold, Silver and Crystal are the best games on the GameBoy Color. Well, almost.

#1

Shantae

2002
Wayforward Technologies
Platform: GameBoy Color, with Gameboy Advance support
Action platformer
Price range: $90-150

Half-Genie girl Shantae lives in Scuttle Town, of which she is hired as a genie protector. When the town falls under attack by lady-pirate Risky Boots, Shantae rushes in defend the town, but while she does manage to drive them off, Risky steals a Steam Engine from the villages Relic Hunter, Mimic.

Shantae learns that Risky plans on using the steam engine along with four powerful elemental stones to build an incredibly powerful mech to terrorize the lands. Shantae sets out to get the stones first and stop Risky’s plan from succeeding. On her quest, Shantae learns magical dances to transform herself into various animal forms to help her deal with environmental challenges. The monkey form can jump very high and scale walls, the elephant can smash through heavy objects, the harpy form can fly, and so on.

Released at the very tail end of the GameBoy Color’s lifespan, Shantae was a sleeper hit if there ever was one. Developed by the virtually unknown Wayforward and published by Capcom, Shantae was released after the GameBoy Advance was already on the market. All the stars were aligning against Shantae and it quickly fell into obscurity.

Why you should play it

As I stated in my original review, Shantae is outstanding. It’s a perfect blend of free-roaming action RPGs with many elements of Metroidvania thrown in for good measure. Shantae is technically and visually a masterpiece. This is not only be best looking gameboy Color game, but the best looking 8-bit game ever made. It is extremely colorful, lush, sprites are detailed and animate extremely fluidly, and the whole game carries a distinctive Arabian vibe that’s hard to dislike. There’s even parallax scrolling!

Hidden in this one obscure GBC game is the best GameBoy experience you can find. There’s Zelda-like puzzles, Metroid-like world to explore, and a Castlevania 2-like Day/night and town system. Shantae represents everything that NES sidescrolling RPGs such as Zelda II or the Battle of Olymus were trying for, and yet even today Shantae remains an overlooked classic. As Jeremy Parish stated on his blog, “Shantae stands as the ultimate chapter of 8-bit gaming, a gorgeous and entertaining tribute to all that had come before — and that’s hardly a legacy to be ashamed of. “

Keep in mind that because of the obscurity of the game upon its release, the game was released in limited quantities. Coupled with an almost EarthBound cult following, prices in recent years have skyrocketed. You should expect to pay at least $90 – often much higher – for even a loose cart. I feel lucky to have bought the game new back when it was released in 2002. Shantae is, without a doubt outstanding.

So there you have it. 25 reasons why even after all these years, the GameBoy is still king of handhelds.

Did your favorite games make the cut? If not, don’t fret – I’m planning a follow up with some honorable mentions.

61 Responses to “Top 25 GameBoy/GameBoy Color Games”

  1. Lots of fantastic picks in your list! I saw quite a few titles that make it on my list as well such as Star Trek, Wario Land, Pokemon TCG (underrated imho), Kirby, Pokemon games, and Links Awakening. I’d never heard of survival kids before, but it looks good. I’ll have to look into that one.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      glad to hear it. Survival Kids is the origin of what is now the Lost in Blue series, but many feel including me that Survival Kids is in many ways even better than its DS cousins.

      • Just wanted to say thanks for making this list.. has alot of great games i loved, and other games i have never heard of before..

        ALSO i would like to say that the Felix the Cat game for gameboy (its on nes too) is a AWESOME game! keep a eye out for a copy.

        thanks!

  2. Mark G. Says:

    For Zelda Oracle Seasons/Ages, what do you mean, “GameBoy Color with GameBoy Advance support” as the platform? What special features are available when played on the GameBoy Advance? All GameBoy Color games are playable on the Advance, so there must be something extra, right?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      towards the end of the GBC, many developers added little incentives into their games to entice consumers to buy the new hardware. This was done with Zelda Link’s Awakening DX by adding an exclusive dungeon only accessible on the GBC. for the Oracle games, special Advanced rings were added that would augment the player’s abilities. Not much, but its still something.

      The only game that I can think of that would receive major benefits is again the excellent Shantae when played on the GBA, Shantae uses a larger color pallet, making the game look even better than it normally does, plus there’s an entire hidden “advance village”.

      All things considered, the GBA enhanced features in most games are minor but they still give owners of the very nice GBA SP 2.0 good reasons to pull out their older games.

  3. cant believe you left out metroid 2 the return of samus

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Oh believe me, I had considered it. Metroid 2 to me is just outside of this list, probably like #28 or so. The second Metroid I simply cannot play on account of how large the sprites are. There’s constant blind jumps on account of the low screen resolution. It’s also a real shame since larger sprite games did work on the system. Mario Land 2 for example. Metroid II is in need of a remake on something that can do the game justice while having a visible enough screen to fully enjoy the game.

  4. DWM and DWM2; two must have games for the GBC

  5. This list is so awesome!

  6. StarDust4Ever Says:

    WarioLand 3 was my favorite Game Boy Color game. Sadly, I missed out on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, and Super Mario Land 3: WarioLand.

  7. hello there

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Hello there. This section is for comments regarding this particular post, so feel free to post your thoughts.

  8. thx for posting

  9. great post

  10. liljandjer Says:

    Glad to see metal geat on lthat list

  11. Good list overall. I would’ve switched Star Trek, DKC and one of the Pokemons for Mole Mania, Wario Land 3 and Kwirk. Actually I’d have a hard time narrowing it down to just 25 for both GB and GBC.

    What makes MMIV better than V?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      I’m glad you realize you’d have trouble narrowing down a list. Doing so is really not too easy. Just because a game didn’t make the top 25 doesn’t mean I don’t like it. Maybe I’ll write an expanded list talking about 25 more GB/GBC games I recommend. Stay tuned for that! As for what makes MMIV better than V in my view? A few things – level design, the weapons, the music, and the story. Megaman V is a very good game, but I find myself more often picking up IV over it.

  12. Androidplayer Says:

    Nice, opened my eyes to afew titles I didn’t know of.please write a follow up list! This was really well done too! The pictures really helped to :)

  13. i love you

  14. I just found your site and am loving your Top Games lists. Sad to see Bionic Commando Elite Forces did not make the cut, but I am a huge BC fan, so am probably a little partial. Great stuff, my friend!

  15. I get pleasure from, result in I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  16. The only ommission I can think of is Kid Icarus Of Myths and Monsters. Its not only a great platformer but arguably the best Kid Icarus on any system.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      I don’t have anything against Myths and Mosnters, but I don’t personally feel it falls in the top 25 games. It’s a fairly low key sequel farmed out to Tose because Nintendo R&D1 didn’t want to bother with another Kid Icarus game. There are only so much room in the top 25. You’ll also notice I didn’t include Metroid II anywhere. Again nothing against Metroid II, but again I feel it’s not worthy of the top 25 list.

  17. You’re the reason why I picked up my GBC and went out of my way to get Shantae. And now I’m going out of my way to pick up 6 other games on your list. For that, thank you!

    One of the only games I felt was odd on the list was the Pokemon TCG. Don’t get me wrong, the game is fun, very beginner friendly, and I loved playing the card game at the time.
    I felt the game is be best played, ironically, for people who HAVEN’T played the game before. If you played the card game (y’know, back in the day), you would know what’s good and what sucks instantly and roll your way through the game in a few hours with zero resistance; this, to me, KILLED the games replayability. The sequel improved a lot from it’s predecessor, but the AI was still dumber than a rock and you could still steamroll your way through most of the game despite the different deck requirements on the other island.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Wow, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you got Shantae! It’s not only one of my favorite GameBoy Color games, but one of my favorite games of any console, period.

      I hear what you’re saying about the Pokemon TCG, but I still think its a fantastic conversion and one of the best video-card games of all time. The Japan only sequel was even better as you mentioned. Sure, the AI was pretty easy to overcome, but it was still a blast to play, and I’m totally in love with the music, especially the incredible credits theme.

      Not to put you on the spot, but if you like my stuff, check out episode 118 of the RetroLeague Podcast. I was the guest host and I talk about a great many things retro gaming related, including the Pokemon Trading Card Game for GameBoy Color.
      http://theretroleague.com/

  18. wonderful list, i really enjoyed reading

    i would’ve added some different games myself, some of which would be:

    tetris dx, mole mania, card hero (jp only)

  19. Love your list, I’m so glad it’s not pokemn dominated (even though I’m a huge pokemon fan) because I was looking for some nice games to get my new gameboy colour. Thank you!

  20. francisco Says:

    NO DRAGON WARRIOR 3???? play the game and tell me it doesnt deserve to be on top….-_-

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      True enough. There were actually quite a few worthy games I didn’t mention in this list because it was only 25 spaces. This list is actually a little outdated. I’m planning on revamping it entirely with a top 100 GameBoy/GameBoy Color list in the next few months. Expect something similar to my top 100 Famicom/NES games list. For the updated GB/GBC list, I’m thinking of going 50 top GB and 50 top GBC and then ranking them together. Something to look forward to.

  21. squall lee Says:

    no Dragon Warrior 3? tsk tsk

  22. Kru-Shack Says:

    Great list!Finally a Top 10 that is not only filled with Pokemon only.U seemed to have a good overview over alot of Gb/Gbc- games amd different genres. Some games are even new to me, for example I’ve never heard of survival kids or Trip world before…. but because of you & ur list i just bought survival kids on ebay, even if it cost me quite a lot.So If ur right with the game,i’ll take on Trip world aswell.Im looking forward to your Top 50 or even 100.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Keep in mind Survival Kids isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Trip World is exceedingly pricy as well.

      • Kru-Shack Says:

        True – and therefore i wont buy it – i mean prices are over 100 $ or something for as it seems more or less half an hour gameplay.I even wonder now why u picked that game in the top 25 if probably noone will ever touch it anyways cause of the price.But that depends on the aim of ur list – if u just want to inform about its fun playing it , its probably allright letting Trip world getting a place in this ranking, but for inspitaration or even suggestions of “trying it out / buying” i’d consider another game to take its place.

  23. Honestly I think Metroid II is better than a lot of games in the list.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Well, that’s nice. I don’t. In my view, Metroid II would barely make the top 100. It breaks the all important rule of platforming games on handhelds – don’t make the sprites so large that you can’t tell where you’re going.

  24. I have got to agree with most of this, the only thing is, i have never played “Shantae”, so my #1 would have been Pokemon Silver/Gold/Crystal. I will have to try the game out some time… if i can find it… otherwise i completely agree!

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Do yourself the favor of playing Shantae and I think you’ll agree that it is without a shadow of a doubt the best game ever made for the GBC. It’s rare and expensive to track down in physical format, so there’s no harm in resorting to emulation to at least try it. No matter how, make sure you DO play it! I bought my copy in 2002 and it is one of the shining jewels in my collection. Shantae is like Metroid, Zelda, Castlevania combined together to create a similar experience to games like Zelda 2, Castlevania 2, Faxanadu or Battle of Olympus, only vastly more flushed out and superior to any of those. I strongly recommend it.

  25. Great choices. I agree with most of them. Especially enjoyed Warioland 3: Supermario land 3. I was just wondering on what your take is on Mario Golf and Frogger 2: Swampy’s revenge. I know they are not considered classics, but I remember these two bringing me a lot of joy playing when I was a kid.

  26. Ahhh!!! I cant get past the first level in Shantae where you have to avoid cannonballs and jump over broken parts of the bridge to get to the town!!! ITS HARD!!!!!

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Whoa. I don’t mean to discourage you, but dang man if you think Shantae is hard then you must not play many platformers. Shantae isn’t dead simple, but it’s far from being difficult. To get past the cannon balls, remember to run or jump left out of the way. Remember, Shantae will run if you hold down B and then move the dpad, so use her quickness to avoid hazards. I hope you keep trying and get it because Shantae is truly one of the best games ever.

  27. dqmPlaya Says:

    i think dragon warrior monster 1+2 shoulda been here to cuz its too addictive. i still play it even when its soo old.

  28. Hey SatoshiMatrix, this is Renzo. Remember me?
    Well, I have recently started a gameboy collection and I stumbled upon your article. I can understand your picks – knowing your favorites. I’ll keep this bookmarked for when I buy new games. Take care and keep up the good work!

  29. Hello friend Says:

    Thanks for putting up this amazing list of the top 25 gameboy/ gameboy color games of all time! I have actually never heard of Trip world and will be buying it soon because I liked your review on it :) thank you again.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Keep in mind that it’ll be VERY expensive. It’s not a common game at all. Gimmick’s little brother.

  30. McGovernD23 Says:

    i’ve seen a few of these “best of” lists on other sites, but they tend to rank based on how popular a game is. this list was different. it was honest. you ranked based on what really matters… fun!

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Thanks. If you check through the rest of my blog, you’ll see me review many games that aren’t popular that I still rather enjoyed.

  31. I was looking at this list cuz I love gbc, so much so I put it on my iPhone for nostalgia sake. Thank u very much for this list! I knew about Zelda dx and ages and seasons but santae is a great game and btw free as a rom :)

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Glad you enjoyed the list. I’m currently working on a much grander scale list of the top 100 GameBoy/Color games that will make this list outdated. Please check out my main page and subscribe so you can see it as soon as it’s published.

      As for ROMs, I’m not strictly against them, but I do think something is lost unless you play them on the real hardware.

  32. Hey man, I really enjoyed your nes top 100 ist and now I’m looking to collect gameboy games because I have a super gameboy. Do you know of a site where it shows all the games that can be played with the Super gameboy? I don’t want to buy a gameboy color game and realize it dosent work on the super gameboy. For example, does metal gear solid work on the super gameboy? Cheers.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Sorry, Metal Gear will not play on the Super GameBoy. There is no site that lists what each work with, but here’s a general guide you can follow that is accurate 100% of the time. GameBoy games made in four varieties:

      Gray cartridges – These are original GameBoy games produced between 1989-1997. They are intended for the original GameBoy, and work on all future models that support GameBoy games including the Super GameBoy, GameBoy Pocket, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance and GameBoy Player. Examples: Tetris, Super Mario Land, Metroid II, Megaman IV, etc.

      Gray cartridges with the Super GameBoy Enhanced logo – These are original GameBoy games produced between 1994-1997. They are intended for the original GameBoy, but have special borders and special color schemes to take advance of the Super GameBoy’s hardware. Examples: Donkey Kong ’94, Pokemon Red and Blue, Donkey Kong Land, Kirby’s Dreamland 2, etc.

      Black cartridges – These are the successors to the gray carts with the Super GameBoy logo, produced between 1998 – early 2000. They are full color GameBoy Color games that will still work with the original black and white GameBoy models as well as the Super GameBoy. Like the gray cartd with the super gameboy logo, they have unique borders and special limited color pallets, but will not look anywhere near as good as when played on the more powerful GameBoy Color. Examples include Zelda DX, Pokemon Gold/Silver, Megaman Xtreme, Shadowgate Classic, Survival Kids, etc.

      Transparent (clear) cartridges – These are games that take full advantage of the GameBoy Color’s more advanced hardware. Produced between mid 2000 to 2002. These are fully colorized games that will NOT play on any older model of the GameBoy line including the Super GameBoy. Examples include Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, Zelda Oracle duo, Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel, Shantae, etc.

      So for Super GameBoy, you can play any GameBoy game on it except for Transparent cartridges. Those ones are GameBoy Color, Advance and Player only. Another way you can figure out Super GameBoy compatibility is by date: anything made before 1999 is fine, 2000 is 50/50, and 2001 on is a no.

  33. Is there an emulator you would recommend to play Shantae on? I have tried the Visual Boy Advance but it’s slow and glitchy. I also tried it on my PSP using gpsp and it’s still glitchy. Seeing as the game is rare/expensive and judging by your review looks pretty good, I’d really like to try it without forking lots of cash for it.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Try a GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance or GameBoy Player. None of them display any glitches when playing Shantae. Emulation doesn’t do the game justice.

      Rare games shoot up in price, but in this case, Shantae is 100% worth the money. If you like good games, you owe to yourself to own a copy. Simple as that.

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