The Game Boy was a big moment for Nintendo. The Japanese company showed that it was possible to make high-quality games that could be played on a small device. Yes, Nintendo had already released a wide variety of Game & Watch devices, but the Game Boy featured swappable cartridges to make it feel like a home console in the palms of your hands. Update: As the 1990s were coming to an end, it was time for a new one. Nintendo came up with what would become a trademark feature in its handheld department: a gradual but well-received boost to the hardware it already had. Japanese gamers got their hands on the Game Boy Color back in 1998. It had a better screen, more colors than anyone else at the time, and a loud speaker.
This handheld also allowed for a more colorful selection of games. Each one used the LCD screen to its fullest potential to show vibrant images and play games that looked great. While Nintendo hadn’t kept the news of the Game Boy Advance a secret, the GBC was more than just a transitional device until the next generation of handheld gaming arrived. One of the Mayflies that was made for mobile phones had only a short time on the market. It still had some of Nintendo’s best games on it. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best games for the Game Boy Color.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
The first Legend of Zelda game, Link’s Awakening, was a strange change from the games before it. It didn’t have Hyrule, the Triforce, or even Zelda herself, but the Game Boy title was still a big hit when it came out in 1993. DX: The game was released in 1998, when Nintendo was trying to get more people to buy the Game Boy Color.
The DX edition of Link’s Awakening added fully colored graphics, unique enemies, a unique dungeon, and color-based puzzles to the game. This is not to be confused with the WWE alliance of Triple H and Shawn Michaels. There was even a photography element present, allowing for a dozen snaps to be taken and printed out using the Game Boy Printer. That’s what made the game even better. It was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS for its virtual console more than a decade after it was first made.
2019, however, would see a full remake of the game for the Nintendo Switch, which would have a beautiful retro-modern art style.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
Ocarina of Time and its follow-up Majora’s Mask were still popular in the early 2000s. This game for the Game Boy Color came out soon after. Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons took a different twist on the Zelda formula, with each one focusing on a different theme and game ideas. Oracle of Seasons was Zelda with the action turned up to 11. Oracle of Ages, on the other hand, focused more on the puzzles of the series.
You could play either game on the Game Boy Color and both would show off some real Nintendo power. Using a password system, both games could talk to each other and make the experience even better. Afterward, you’d get a password that could be used on the partner game to change the story and replace the Veran and Onox boss fight with a fight with Ganon. This would make the game a lot different.
When the Game Boy Color was going out of business, this pair of colorful siblings gave it a great send-off. There hasn’t been another Zelda game like Oracle.
3. Mario Golf
With Mario Golf, you could play golf on the go without having to pay membership fees or risk having your access revoked if you weren’t properly dressed. The Game Boy Color was able to show off its abilities with its eye-catching colors, pick-up-and-play mentality, and a lot of extras stored in the cart memory. Mario Golf was the best handheld golf game at the time. Whether you were trying to hit a hole-in-one or make a precise putt, it was the best game at the time. Having the ability to connect to the N64 made it even better. It could compete with more well-known games back then.
4. Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis, a sports game for the Game Boy Color, was known for how little it used its cast of Mushroom Kingdom residents. There were a lot of things you could do to help your rookie sensation grow and get more ability points. Mario and his friends would show up in Exhibition mode as well as as the last opponents in this tennis match. You could even move your favorite tennis player over to the N64 version of Mario Tennis for a three-dimensional start on the court.
5. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid was one of the most important games of its time for good reason. Metal Gear Solid? Is it on the Game Boy Color? This port of the 1998 game was surprisingly faithful to what made it so popular on the Game Boy Color. It was only stripped down to its original form so that it would work on the Game Boy Color. A good example of how a spin-off can and should try to be as fun as the original title.
The Game Boy Color version of Metal Gear Solid did a good job of making a good handheld spin-off game. It put an alternate timeline Snake back into action against an Outer Heaven separatist group, with each operative having their own specialty and a codename that only this series could get away with. This version of Metal Gear Solid was more than just a fun game to practice your stealth and espionage skills in. It also had an impressive story and a lot of extra VR mission content to play with after the game was over. There is one cartridge for all of this.
6. Pokemon Gold / Silver/ Crystal
We think Pokemon Gold and Silver are the best Pokemon games, so it’s no surprise that they made this list. The second game from Game Freak, Pokemon Red and Blue, made it even more fun to catch them all on the Game Boy. It also added dozens of new Pokemon to a world that was full of bright colors. The Johto region was a lot of fun to explore, and the new Pokemon were a mix of old and new designs. After the Elite Four was defeated, the scope of Pokemon Gold and Silver grew hugely when they went back to the Kanto region from the previous generation.
Pokemon Gold and Silver was the best value for the money. It was more than just a simple follow-up. It built on the game’s mechanics and made it more ambitious than ever before. The first generation of Pokemon games set the groundwork for all the games that came after it. The second generation set a high standard for what future games could be like.
Pokemon Crystal took things to a whole new level. It combined the best parts of Gold and Silver with new animations for each Pokemon and a story that focused more on the legendary hound Suicune. Because it didn’t matter which version you had, this was the best Pokemon game of the Game Boy era. In the future, the games were made for the Nintendo DS and became Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
7. Pokemon Trading Card Game
Pokemania spread to Game Boy Color before Pokemon cards were a real thing that could be used as money or a sign of money that YouTubers wore around their necks. The core idea of the TCG was there, but it was all wrapped up in an adventure that rivaled and even beat the original Game Boy games in some ways.
HudsonSoft was given the job of making the TCG into a huge RPG, and the studio made one of the best games on the Game Boy Color by simplifying and making the tabletop game phenomenon easier to understand. Battle club leaders, collect cards, and enjoy the crisp visuals in this game. It was both a memorable and engrossing experience that was hard to put down. Batteries ran out in 2000, so you can probably blame Pokemon Trading Card Game for its addictive “one more turn.”
8. Konami GB Collection Vol.1 (GBC)
Konami has made a collection of games for the Game Boy Color called Gradius, Castlevania: The Adventure, Konami Racing, and Operation C. The games are all in color. There would be three more volumes from Konami, each with four old Game Boy games that were colored.
9. Legend of the River King 2 (GBC)
Legend of the River King 2 is a great fishing-themed game with a lot of heart. It’s a great game that you can play on your phone or tablet. With bugs, flowers, and diving as well as the line-casting central hook from the last game, there’s a lot to do. The story has a lot of replay value for anglers, too. There are two different ways to get through the story. Fishing fans and RPG fans will both have a great time, but those who come for the atmosphere will get the most out of the game. The soundtrack, setting, and sense of scale all work together to make one of the most charming depictions of summer on an 8-bit cartridge.