The Nintendo Game Boy was one of the first handheld systems ever made. It came with a lot of success and made it so you could take your gaming just about everywhere.
Nowadays, the Gameboy is often overlooked due to the immense popularity of the Game Boy Color and a lot of its gems have slipped under the radar.
Listed below are the top 30 best Nintendo Game Boy games that you should check out.
30. Trip World
(Only released in Europe and Japan)
Trip World is a Sunsoft developed platformer featuring Yakapoo, an odd creature that has the ability to transform between three forms that differ in how they move.
The story of the game starts with Yakapoo and his grandfather who guards a special flower whose special powers keep Trip World peaceful.
One day, however, the flower is stolen by a mysterious force causing the peaceful inhabitants of Trip World to become mean-spirited.
The game features five stages and while they are quite short, they are quite varied with their styles and the creatures that inhabit them.
The forms that Yakapoo can take on create a variety of ways you can traverse the stages.
29. Battle Unit Zeoth
In Battle Unit Zeoth humanity has begun to be invaded by a robotic alien force.
The enemy is the Grein a self-replicating race that has now amassed an army, to try and take over the earth with. The game comes with 5 stages and a side-scrolling shooter to its core.
Your personal robot can be outfitted with several different weapons to help change the flow of combat during your playthrough.
The game has no real punishment system and you are allowed to retry the levels as little or as much as you please.
28. Kirby's Pinball Land
This has much the same gameplay as a normal pinball game, the gimmick being that it is actually Kirby themed this time around.
In fact, Kirby is actually the pinball himself. The in-game tables feature all types of different Kirby backdrops. There are items from the series that can also help Kirby get higher scores by doing things like making it harder for Kirby to go off of the board.
The point of the game is to win as many points as you can, and there are even some enemies on the board you can defeat by running into them.
This game gets more difficult with each slip up you have so be prepared to stay on your toes with the flippers.
27. Kaeru no tame ni Kane wa Naru
(Only released in Japan, known as The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls in English)
This game only got an English translation as of 2011, but initially came out on September 4th, 1992. The game contains a deep story about two rivals princes raising to save a princess and defeat King Delarin.
Prince Sable has the ability to transform into both a frog and a snake to help maneuver levels.
While the game is styled like and Rpg at first glance, the gameplay is rather strange. An enemy encounter is nothing more than measuring strength against your opponent and the strongest of you two winning.
The game features both side-scrolling action, with a top-down view being used when you enter towns.
26. Game & Watch Gallery
Game & Watch Gallery is a collection of games based on Nintendo’s original Game & Watch handhelds.
The first game contains four modernizations of the classic games which are; Manhole, Fire, Oil Panic, and Octopus. These remakes, instead of using Mr. Game & Watch as the character that’s playable, features characters from the Mario series.
As you play through the various games, the scores you attain in each game will allow you to unlock the original classic versions of the games as well as a few others.
25. Dr. Mario
Dr. Mario is a game much like Tetris that will have you trying to match up pills in order to progress.
Mario has changed occupations to a doctor and needs you to help him match shaded pills to get rid of the viruses infecting the citizens of the mushroom kingdom.
With gradually increasing difficulty, you will be addicted trying to reach for your highest level possible. The game has become known as one of the best of all time, with its addicting gameplay.
With no story and on the Game Boy very few visuals, you know that there has to be something with the playstyle here to make this game so famous.
24. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
Dracula has returned and kidnapped the son of Simon Belmont. Simon begins on a path to save his son and Transylvania.
With his son being turned into a Demon, and Dracula reconstructing his castle things are made to be interesting.
This game adds in the addition of sub-weapons for you to use, unlike the last title. You will need to use your smarts to kill enemies while platforming through Dracula's castle to save the day.
The game comes with four different castles that you have the choice between starting at any given point in the game.
The castles tend to revolve around the standard elements making each one have a different theme.
23. Mario's Picross
It's the classic game Picross just with a Mario twist to it. The game gives you 30 minutes to solve a puzzle and ticks the clock down for every piece you get wrong.
The game features a total of 256 puzzles for you to complete. It has 4 degrees of difficulty to choose from allowing you to move up when you feel ready, rather than when the game feels you are.
This game is well put together, but only really sold in Japan, with western nations seeming to skip over this release.
The successors of the game were only released in Japan due to poor sales.
22. Operation C
Operation C is a run and gun game from the Contra series. The game has a mixture of two types of gameplay to keep things interesting.
Operation C switches between both a top-down and side view to mix things up throughout it's 5 different stages.
The plot follows a simple storyline, you are here to take out a rival force who is housing a dangerous extraterrestrial.
The game adds to the Contra series a bit by making it portable and adding a homing gun to your selection of weapons to use. The main character is also changed from Bill to Lance in this entry.
21. Final Fantasy Adventure
(Known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden)
This game is actually the first game in the long-running Mana series of RPGs. The game was originally a spinoff to Final Fantasy and even features familiar elements such as Chocobos.
The game is an action RPG similar to The Legend of Zelda and uses a power gauge that when filled over time allows for greater damage to your basic attacks, a feature found later in the game’s sequel, Secret of Mana for SNES.
The game also received a Game Boy Advance remake known as Sword of Mana, which revises the story and gameplay while removing any and all references to Final Fantasy.
20. The Final Fantasy Legend
(Known in Japan as Makai Toushi SaGa)
The game revolves around a party wanting to reach paradise. Paradise is said to be housed at the top of a tower in the center of the main characters continent.
The game has a very simple battle system where the enemy is shown on top of the screen and the attacks under.
The characters themselves aren’t shown and the system isn’t all that complicated.
The story is pretty solid for an entry on the Gameboy, but you can see some of the twists coming if you play it today.
The graphics are also pretty simplistic and the sprite is very dated. Still, the series managed to make a fun entry for the handheld.
19. Kid Dracula
In this second entry in the series, Kid Dracula sets off to defeat Galamoth who has somehow turned most of Kid’s minion against him.
Most people don’t realize that this is actually a spin-off game from the Castlevania franchise.
The gameplay is of the side-scrolling/platformer variety where you have to scale through the level in order to beat it. Kid Dracula has the ability to shoot projectiles, to kill enemies, and overall it's not a very complicated or hard game.
The game does feature some pretty interesting level design and the main character is very cutely portrayed.
(Only released in Japan)
This title is actually a surprising first-person shooter entry for the Game Boy. The title only made it out in Japan but features highly loved gameplay mechanics that translate to just about any language out there.
X features a pretty simple story of fighting back aliens who are causing a lot of trouble for the human race.
It features a 3D view of the fighter ships control pit where you will find and take down enemies similar in style to the Star Fox series.
In order to progress through the games, the players will have to complete each level on a high level of accuracy in order to earn stars and progress in the main story.
17. Mega Man V
In the fifth entry of the series, Megaman (Rockman) faces off against a new threat invading Earth known as the Stardroids.
After both him and Roll are knocked unconscious, he is given the upgrade of the Mega Arm to help him fight back against Earth’s newest threat.
This is the first game in the series to feature an all-new cast of boss enemies for the Blue Bomber to fight.
Gameplay wise not too many changes with only a few new mechanics added here and there to help the platforming go along just a little more smoothly.
The fan favorite Rush also returns in the game to help Megaman out in select levels.
16. Harvest Moon GB
This entry in the Harvest Moon series allows you to choose between playing as either a female or a male.
This feature helped pave the way for gender choices in other games. As with most of the series, you have inherited a farm from a family member and set out to make it successful.
The game features a variety of crops, but only have 2 picks of livestock to choose from.
There is more of a focus on making your farm successful than building relationships in this early title.
The gameplay is very much focused around earning money through farming, instead of later series mechanics like fishing or foraging.
15. Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
Of Myths and Monsters is a platformer where Pit the angel returns on an all-new quest from the classic NES game Kid Icarus.
As it turns out Palutena has experienced a nightmare forewarning her of the fact that Angel Land is about to be in danger.
He then begins training in order to defeat Orcos who is trying to disrupt the peace center around the area.
The game features a lot of the same gameplay as the NES version and Pit’s wings give him unique movement abilities to help you safely platform through the various towers you have to complete.
14. Pokemon Yellow
While the first three Pokemon games were a huge deal, Yellow brought it all together and made some pretty interesting changes.
Pokemon Yellow brought both versions sets of Pokemon together in one cartridge. It also lets you follow the story of the character Red a little better than the previous incarnations.
On top of that, it introduced the follow feature through Pikachu, who could follow your character's sprite throughout the game.
The game also helped smooth over the link trading features and caught many of the reluctant fans in its net by combining all 150 Pokemon into one single game.
13. Donkey Kong (1994)
This game puts Donkey Kong back in the villain role by letting him kidnap Pauline once again.
The game has a lot in common with the play style of the original Donkey Kong game and you play as Mario instead of taking control of the hairy ape.
The object of the game is, of course, to make it up to Donkey Kong in each level in an attempt to save Pauline. The game features several different settings for Mario to chase Donkey Kong through.
You also have more mobility with Mario in this game and he has a wider array of moves to use to traverse through the levels.
12. Donkey Kong Land
Weirdly enough, this is a 4th wall breaking adventure spun by the one and only Cranky Kong.
Cranky Kong starts off by taunting Donkey and Diddy saying they can’t repeat the success of their previous game.
The pair set off on a mission to prove that their Game Boy game is just as fun as the console version before it.
The game borrows most of its mechanics from Donkey Kong Country and does an impressing job of porting over the gameplay to the limited control scheme that the Gameboy had to work with.
There are about 46 different levels for you to explore, giving you house of solid gameplay.
11. Metroid II: Return of Samus
This game takes place on the Metroid’s home planet SR388 where the Federation is attempting to eliminate the Metroids in hopes of deteriorating any future threats by the species.
In the game, you learn about the different mutations of the Metroids and get some of the newer abilities that Samus uses in later games as well.
This Metroid does feature weaker graphics for its time and the sprites aren’t as defined as some other games on the system.
Overall, the second Metroid keeps the fun gameplay and interesting lore that the series had begun to grow in its first entry.
10. & 9. Pokemon Red / Pokemon Blue
These were the first Pokemon games ever made and featured some of the most interesting RPG mechanics of its time.
With the two versions housing different Pokemon, the games encouraged players to use the link cable to swap monsters.
The games feature turn-based combat with a rock, paper, scissors based style of advantage system.
These games helped push the series into the fame it has today and spun a merchandising empire that has made millions of dollars.
The game features a total of 8 gym bosses and a league at the end that you must fight through in succession in order to complete the game.
8. Gargoyle’s Quest
Gargoyle’s Quest is a spin-off of Capcom’s notoriously difficult Ghosts ‘N Goblins featuring the gargoyle known as Firebrand as its main playable character.
The story follows Firebrand as he seeks to defend his realm against the Destroyers and take on the mantle of Red Blaze.
The game features two styles of gameplay, one which takes an overhead view where you traverse a world map and can interact with NPCs and the other is the sidescrolling actions stages.
The action stages allow Firebrand to jump, glide, cling to walls, and shoot projectiles at enemies and can pose quite a challenge, making it a worthy title in the Ghosts ‘N Goblins series.
One of the unique features is that the game has random encounters that transport you to short side-scrolling stages where you have to defeat all enemies to return to the map, similar to Zelda II for NES.
7. Kirby's Dream Land 2
This was made to appeal to a wider array of gamers by being a more difficult game. Kirby is now able to absorb his enemies and the game features the appearance of the popular hamster, Rick.
The game gives you 7 islands to explore that feature a wide array of designs.
It also features the ability to save as you go instead of just starting you back at the beginning like the first Dreamland.
The animals you can partner up within the game will have different effects on your abilities.
There are three animal partners to choose from that will help you on your journey to save Dreamland.
6. Kirby's Dream Land
This was Kirby’s very first debut and had a few key differences to the series we know and love today.
For starters, Kirby was originally white instead of pink due to the Gameboy’s limited capabilities. The game also had the ability to swallow enemies but didn’t have Kirby gain any powers from it.
Instead to attack you would focus on carrying an enemy in your mouth and then shooting them out at the other enemies.
The adventure revolves around Kirby trying to recover the missing dream star to keep the citizens of Dreamland from starving. The game was very light-hearted and targeted towards girls and young gamers.
5. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
With his popularity from 6 Golden Coins, Wario's earned his own game from Nintendo. The adventure centers around Wario’s quest to have his very own castle.
In order to do this, he plans a robbery to steal a pricey statue. As most things in Wario’s life goes… it becomes a task.
You have to collect money throughout the game and depending on your final score will be what ending you get out of 6. The gameplay relies a lot on transformation Wario can do to help him along in his adventure.
You will also find yourself using Wario’s strength to solve platform challenges instead of jumping power like in previous Mario games.
Tetris on the Gameboy was the old school casual game that just about anybody could play. With this being one of the first mobile versions of Tetris, it helped the popularity of the game easily explode.
The addicting gameplay and never-ending levels gave fans of the game hours of interesting play.
Tetris is one of the easiest to learn games ever made. With the object being to just fit pieces of a falling puzzle together for points, even young children can easily grasp the simplicity of this game.
This version has helped launch the brand into the success it has today by giving it a wide audience.
3. Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins
This game marks the beginning of Wario as he takes over Mario’s castle. Incidentally, it is also the debut of Bunny Mario who was forgotten after this entry in the series.
Super Mario Land 2 also features 32 levels to play through with increasing difficulty as you go along.
This entry switches to better graphics and uses larger detailed sprites.
Where the original Super Mario Land is akin to the first Super Mario Bros for NES, Super Mario Land 2 is more like Super Mario World for SNES with abilities like the spin jump and the addition of the world map for traversing the levels making its way to the small screen.
2. Super Mario Land
This is one of the original launch titles for the system and a Mario fan favorite.
This game is set in Sarasaland and features the debut of Princess Daisy. The game has a total of 32 levels that run through the classic world formula of the Mario series.
A lot of the movement is similar to early entries in the series and the gameplay is incredibly solid for a launch game.
The game isn’t overly difficult but it does allow some challenge as the game goes on.
Once the game is completed, a harder mode opens up for more seasoned players of the franchise.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
This was the first Zelda game to take place outside of Hyrule. Link has shipwrecked on Koholint Island and is trying to collect 8 instruments to wake the Wind Fish and return home.
Aided by a mysterious owl and a cast of odd characters, Link slowly begins to uncover a strange truth behind the island.
The game features cameos from all sorts of Nintendo characters.
In later years, the DX version came out which allowed you to also enjoy this edition in full color.
The gameplay follows the classic Zelda formula and there are several unique dungeons to explore.