If you’re into handheld gaming (and let’s face it; that’s why you’re here), then you should probably try or buy every one of the titles in our best GameBoy Color Games list.
After the mighty success of Nintendo’s first handheld cartridge-based console, the classic Nintendo GameBoy developed by Gunpei Yokoi (who you can find out a lot more about in our upcoming video on the history of the GameBoy), the gaming giants went on to create one of the most ergonomic handheld consoles ever. Gaming fans could, at last, see their favourite characters and 2D worlds in colour.
The Gameboy Color launched with a spectacular range of titles for gamers to purchase, and with over 50 different colours to choose from, it wasn’t just Pokemon-fever that was causing people to take up the ‘catch ’em all’ mantra.
Picking The Best Gameboy Color Games Ever Made
So how can we whittle so many incredible titles down to just 45 of the best GameBoy Color games of all time?
Well, luckily for you guys and at the expense of learning other valuable life skills like socialising with other people, mathematics, cooking, starting fires, or fending for ourselves in any way, we spent most of our childhoods playing pretty much every GameBoy Color game in existence, and that obsession has transferred through to our adult lives as well (it’s a miracle that we’ve all got girlfriends).
How Does This List Work?
What follows is a list of the greatest pocket-sized games of all time. If you haven’t ever had a chance to play any of them, then I would suggest keeping another tab open with eBay at the ready so that you can make a wishlist. You won’t regret it!
Compiling 45 of the best Gameboy Color games is no easy task! We’ve given you information about each title as well as what they’re like to play. You’ll get an informative snapshot of what each game is all about, as well as some bizarre waffle from the caverns of my brain.
45. Gremlins: Unleashed!
If you’re a fan of Gizmo and the gang, then you’re going to love Gremlins: Unleashed!
Play as either Gizmo or Stripe and complete a series of tasks as you move through each level. It’s all about collecting certain items and defeating other Gremlins. Gizmo must collect sunglasses and can attack with his super-doozy camera, and Stripe must smash lightbulbs and collect bottles.
This game was released exclusively in Europe by the now non-existent LSP development company. Thanks to the internet, however, you can pick up a copy on eBay pretty easily no matter where you live.
Gremlins: Unleashed! has a lot of similarities to the original Gremlins movie, which will be great for super fans. The game has a multiplayer section that players can use via two devices and a link cable.
With 10 action-packed levels and over 30 Gremlins to collect, this game is sure to keep you occupied. It’s not the toughest title in the world, but it’s a good one for movie lovers.
44. Mickey’s Racing Adventure
Rare know how to make additive games, and Mickeys Racing Adventure is one of the best Gameboy Color games that I just couldn’t put down!
What is it with their special formula? Rare always manage to combine adventure elements into their games that leave you itching for more. This single player game is perfect for kicking back when you get home from work and want to put the pedal to the metal – Disney style.
Players start off using Mickey Mouse but can unlock additional characters as they progress through the game. Each character has different fees for appearing in races (stars can be such divas!) and have different features that affect the way you play.
There are 20 courses in total, all vibrant, exciting, and full of Disney charm. The main aim of the game is to get back all of the things that Pete, Mickey’s well-known arch-nemesis, has stolen from the gang. It’s no GTA, but it will forever be one of my favourites titles for the GBC.
43. The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Wild Adventure
Show the world who the king of the swingers is in our next GBC game. This game is based entirely on the Disney movie ‘The Jungle Book’. It’s very similar in gameplay style to the Lion King on the SNES, a game which you will hear me talk about all the time as being the one that broke me.
Climb, run, jump, and man-cub your way through 20 different levels in a series of richly-coloured, exotic jungle settings. Mowgli can learn new abilities as the player progresses that and throw various objects to keep enemies at bay.
In order to reach the boss at the end of a level, Mowgli must collect a number of objects. Danger lies in wait around every corner, and you’ll have to get creative with pots of water, fires, and switches if you are to progress.
All of the characters from the film appear in Mowgli’s Wild Adventure, including Bagheera, King Louie, Baloo, Kaa, and the malevolent Shere Khan! Can you become the king of the jungle?
42. The Black Onyx
You might be thinking that the next case on our list of the best Gameboy Color games looks a little odd. It’s different to the NTSC and PAL boxes as this is a Japanese release.
No-one said that this list had to be region specific, after all!
You can pick up Japanese consoles and games relatively easily on second-hand sites across the web, and The Black Onyx is certainly that you should be adding to your collection if you do. It’s one of the original handheld RPGs and the first successful Japanese language role-playing adventure.
So what is The Black Onyx? As the player, you can make a group of four warrior characters in order to delve into creepy dungeons. Your mission is to destroy enemies as you search for the fabled Black Onyx, an item that will lift the dreaded curse over the main town in the storyline.
Unlike other RPG titles where long-range attack items can be used, there is no concept of distance in The Black Onyx. Players mainly fight in combat melee style with swords and shields, the way the gods of gaming always intended.
If you’ve been lucky enough to play Super Black Onyx on the Famicom, then the GBC port is similar but has enhanced visuals and is generally nicer to play. The stills are incredible, and although you might not be able to understand the language, the gameplay is timeless.
41. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
I don’t suppose that everyone’s favourite broomstick-wielding teenager actually needs an introduction! If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter by now, then there’s probably something inherently wrong with you.
There have been multiple HP games out for many different consoles over the years. But just like the film and the book series, The Philosopher’s Stone is where it all started for Harry’s video game career. This game was on pretty much every major system going, including the GameCube GBA, and Xbox.
The gameplay is very similar to the Pokemon series, except you’re a wizard and not a Poke Master. You’ll throw spells rather than Poke Balls, and the only pocket-sized monsters are the rats, spiders, and bats that you’ll have to defeat as you roam the game’s levels.
The Philosopher’s stone game follows the book pretty much exactly, allowing fans to play out their favourite scenes from the story that started it all. Strangely, the GBC and GBA versions are completely different. Maybe you can ‘collect em all’ just like Ash Ketchum after all!
40. Donald Duck: Quack Attack
Everyone’s favourite angry duck is back in Donald Duck: Quack Attack. He’s on a mission to save his duck-napped girlfriend, Daisy, and he’s feeling pretty mad about the whole darn thing!
The game itself has 24 levels set across 4 worlds. You’ve got to watch Donald’s temper as you go through the game as it increases every time he is unsuccessful at a challenge. No wonder he’s always mad when I play!
As the player, you can find special items that can help Donald to track down daisy and defeat the main boss as you progress through the game. Quack Attack has a strong feel of Crash Bandicoot: Warped about it, which can only be a good thing.
This game switches between a side scrolling and a 3D perspective, making it Donald’s first 3D title in his gaming series. The colours and graphics are simple but nice, and the whole game is pretty enjoyable, albeit a little short. It’s probably for younger gamers or die-hard Donald fans.
You’d be ‘quackers’ not to give it a try though (see what I did there?).
39. Croc 2
I’m a huge fan of Croc. He gets a bit of a slating from gaming fans all over the world, but he’s a good guy at heart. And besides, how can you hate that little green face!
Croc 2 has a similar gameplay style to ‘Croc: Legend of the Gobbos’. Instead of being a side-scrolling platformer, however, this game allows you to move in all directions from a 3/4 top-down perspective, a little like ‘Links Awakening’.
The camera can get a little annoying at times, but the graphics are bright, the game is fun, and the levels are pretty imaginative.
So what’s Croc up to this time then? Well, apart from collecting gems, crystals, and hanging out with an anthropomorphic cat, Croc must stop a revived Baron Dante and rescue Professor Gobbo. The Gobbos help propel Croc to the mainland via a giant see-saw, and then your quest begins.
Croc has ‘clawed’ his way into our list of the best GameBoy Color games for the sense of fun and excitement that he brings to the console. It might not be as thrilling as number 10 on our list, but it’s still worth taking a look at!
38. Toy Story 2
I promise you that I’m not obsessed with game sequels, but Toy Story 2 is both a great film and a cracking game!
You might have played ‘Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue’ on home consoles in the past, but the GBC version is unrelated. It’s side-scrolling, has 11 levels, and game saves are controlled by entering a password. Remember when that was a thing!
Players control Buzz Lightyear as he traverses through some of our favourite scenes from the film. Instead of defeating Emperor Zurg at the end of the game, Stinky Pete plays the role of the antagonist. The rest of the story is pretty similar, and Buzz is one cool character to play as.
His actions are limited due to the GBC only having two buttons, but the vibrant graphics more than make up for the lack of karate-chop action.
Buzz is arguably the best space character after Darth Vader. Who do you reckon would win in a fight?
37. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories
The next title on our list of the best GameBoy Color games is another Konami classic. Yu-Gi-Oh! fans can finally get their card-battle fix in this alternative to the Pokemon franchise.
This Yu-Gi-Oh! title was the third game in the series but the first to be released outside of Japan. It sold like hot-cakes with fans (that’s a good thing for any readers not from Yorkshire), but it proved to be a bit of a mystery to people who hadn’t heard of the purple-haired card warrior.
The gameplay works very similarly to the Pokemon Trading Card Game (find out more about that further down the list), and players must battle other characters a certain number of times to progress.
Lots of the same features from the series can be found in DDS, and it’s perfect for anyone who knows the Yu-Gi-Oh! world inside-out.
Create and save cards using card parts, fight memorable characters, and build up the ultimate deck along the way. All you need now is a wig, and you’re good to go!
36. Return Of The Ninja
Can you learn the five arts of Ninjitsu and become ‘the Ninja’? It makes me tired just thinking about it, but that’s exactly what you’ve got to do in this next offering in our list of the best GameBoy Color games.
This title was all about stealth, something that I’ve never been very good at. I always choose to run straight in and ask questions later, which isn’t a good move if you’re getting ranked on how many people have spotted you as you play through a level…
Players can either control a male or female Ninja as they play through the different zones. Your score is calculated from how many guards have seen you and how fast you can make it through to the end of the level.
It’s up to you whether you deal with guards or let them be – how forgiving are you feeling?
Ninjas are cool and always will be, which is why I’ve chosen to add this title into the mix. It received mix reviews from the pros, but you can’t always listen to what they say.
You can, and should, listen to Retro Dodo though (you can trust us).
35. Star Wars Episode 1: Racer
Look me in the eye (not possible) and tell me you wouldn’t want to ride a pod racer? You can’t, can you? (because it’s physically impossible unless we FaceTime).
If you’ve seen Star Wars Episode 1, then this game doesn’t really need that much explanation. Play as your favourite pod racer and get out onto the track for some high speed, top-down racing action!
It’s hard to believe that one section of such a poor film could have gone on to become so big and compete with other famous racing titles on the market. Many critics said that this was one of the best Star Wars games ever made.
Their verdict might have been different if there was a lot of Jar-Jar in it.
There’s a lot more to this game than just racing at breakneck speeds. You’ve got to navigate sharp turns and traverse cavern passes, all while feeling your eyelids rolling back so far for fear that you might miss an incoming jet engine or Sebulba knocking you into a stalactite.
Star Wars: Racer for the GBC might not be as exciting as the N64 version (man, I loved that game), but it might give you your handheld fix until the updated version comes out on the Nintendo Switch later this year. I can’t wait to get my hands on that too!
34. Mr Driller
Mr Driller is a classic game that any Tetris, Candy Crush, Columns, or (insert block-based puzzle game here) should have in their collection. It’s like a cross between Terraria. Tetris, and Dr Mario. .
…Dr Tetrario..? (we’re still working on it).
Mr Driller sees you playing as Susumu Hori, the worlds highest ranked driller and a good, honest Japanese boy. I never knew that being a ‘driller’ was something that you could compete to become the best in, but I’m just a writer, and not a video game character.
Along with Puchi, a talking wonder dog, and Dr Z, a scientist that sends you around the world, you must pick a country and drill through a seemingly endless supply of coloured blocks. Your job is to rack up high scores and generally wield power tools that are NOT safe for children to be handling.
Mr Driller is the first game in the series, a series that would continue until 2015 and spawn 12 games! People love to drill!
The game play is fun, the colours that the GBC can produce are nice and crisp, and it’s a good title if you want a break from a serious adventure or just want to let off some steam. Remember though; don’t drink and drill.
33. Inspector Gadget: Operation Madkactus
Inspector Gadget was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. This guy was like James Bond on mechanical steroids! Operation Madkactus is a side-scrolling platform game with a difference, and that difference is mutant cacti.
Not only do you get to play as the trench-coat-crusader himself, but you can also use Penny and Brain the dog as you make your way through the levels. As with Asterix and Obelix for the Master System, it looks great because it was already a cartoon – no humans to turn into characters!
The evil Dr Claw has been at it again, and the Inspector has been drafted in to save the day.
While he can wield such famous gadgets as the hammer hat, rocket shoes, and spring arms when knocking back enemies, Penny and Brain will assist by sprinting past traps and opening up new areas for Gadget to reach.
This might not be one of the most well-known titles on our list of the best GameBoy Color games, but it was one of my favourites because I loved the series so much. It’s short, but most importatnly it’s fun, and that’s what all games should be!
32. Asterix & Obelix
Unlike Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar which is based on the first live-action film staring everyone’s favourite Gauls, this next title in our list of the best GameBoy Color games is true to the original cartoon. The characters are crisp, the scenes are vibrant, and there’s lots going on to keep you entertained.
The game is simple yet so, so addictive. Start of in Gaul, and work your way across the world beating up romans. It’s an awesome title, and I’m Italian, so I’m allowed to say that this treatment of my people is ok.
Players can control both Asterix and Obelix as they travel across the world defeating Caesar’s minions. The duo can jump, run, and brawl their way across a number of stages, represented by different countries.
All of your favourite characters feature in this game, including the druid Getafix who was always my favourite in the comics. The game is an amalgamation of lots of different adventures: can you spot any of your favourite moments?
31. Wacky Races
Move over Waluigi; Dick Dastardly is in town. You know, I’ve only just realised how much those two are alike. A conscious decision, Nintendo?
This was always one of the first titles that I would reach for when I got home from school. All of the characters from the famous Hannah-Barbera cartoon featured in Wacky Races, including Mutley and DD, Penelope Pitstop, The Slag Brothers, Peter Perfect, and many more.
If you spent a lot of time glued to Cartoon Network, then this will bring back some sweet memories.
Wacky Races was built with a 3D action engine, has power-ups, features vibrant worlds, and feels like a proper action-adventure racer. It certainly feels a lot crisper than the next title in our list of the best GameBoy Color games, but talking space rangers will always beat cavemen in my book.
Still, Wacky Races played like a game that shouldn’t have been possible to create for the GBC. It handled brilliantly and is still fun to play today. Not bad for a game designed by just two people!
30. Toy Story Racer
‘You got a friend in me’ might be the official mantra of the Toy Story franchise, but it’s every toy for himself in this colourful racer. Toy Story Racer is a handheld port of the PlayStation game, with less features than the original but all of the same classic gameplay.
Play as Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, and Mr. Potato Head as you race through Andy’s room and beyond. There are 10 tracks to choose from including the legendary Pizza Planet, and the backdrops in the GBC version are pre-rendered in the SEGA CDs favourite FMV (full motion video) style.
While the PS version had more characters, levels, and modes, this was a nice little racer for the GBC that kept me occupied on long bus journeys or when I wanted a break from number 10 on our list. The frame rate wasn’t amazing, but it was still a fun title to kick back with.
Toy Story Racer might not have been on the same level as Mario Kart, but it’s still a solid title and one that’s worth a shot. It received pretty average reviews, but fans of the Pixar series will look past the flaws and revel in the fact that they can race ‘To infinity, and beyond!’.
29. Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors
I’m going to be honest with you; I’ve never understood what is happening in Dragon Ball Z. Still, that doesn’t stop this from being an awesome game! Legendary Super Warriors is a turn-based fighting game and is jam-packed full of all of your favourite Dragon Ball Z characters.
It spans various sagas in the timeline, and basically gives you a lot of value for money!
This is one of the only games that I can think of that gets better as you complete it and play again, with more unlockable content available to…well…unlock the more times you play.
Not only is this one of the best GameBoy Color games for manga and card-based game fans alike, but it is also seemingly never-ending!
So how does it all work? Players can make use of 125 different cards in this turn-based card-fighting game. Think of it as being a little bit like number 6 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games, but with a load of strange flying dudes instead.
You can choose from attack, healing, or defence cards, and each action will have a knock-on effect in your battle.
Legendary Super Warriors has a VS mode for playing with your mates, a battle mode, and a story mode. It can be a little slow in paces, but just like Toy Story Racer, if you’e a DBZ fan, you won’t care one bit. The fighting style is clever, the game is hard to put down, and you won’t be completing it in a hurry!
28. Harvest Moon GBC
Everyone’s favourite farm game is back, and this time it’s in colour. Harvest Moon GBC is the second title in the Story of Seasons series. It’s essentially a colour remake of the original GameBoy DMG game where you can choose a pet, harvest crops, and generally have a good ol’time ‘down on the farm’.
Tools can be used to harvest crops and can also be upgraded throughout the game. Sow seeds in the correct season, keep your pet happy, and keep your deceased grandfather happy every time he checks up on you. Wait…what?
Harvest Moon has a time system in which you have to plant and complete certain actions in certain seasons. Your deceased grandfather comes to you at the start of the game and begs you to become a Ranch Master, which I think is some kind of Super Farmer.
He checks up on you every winter, and if your farm skills aren’t up to scratch, it’s Game Over!
If he’s happy with your work, however, you get to farm for another year, and you also get some nice tools to boot. This game is a little like The Sims, just in a farm setting and with small people.
If you’re a fan of games like Animal Crossing, then this will be right up your street…farm…lane.
27. Resident Evil Gaiden
Resident Evil Gaiden differs from other titles in the series due to it’s top-down gaming style. When the main character is attacked, you switch from overhead to a first-person view so that you can see each zombie close up and personal.
It’s a bit jolty and kind of feels like when you encounter a Pokemon, just without the cool surprise of actually catching one.
Still, the gameplay is sound and the storyline is in keeping with the usual Resident Evil zombie-fests that we know and love. You can chose from three playable characters, each with zero facial expressions, as you make your way through a luxury cruise liner kicking undead ass. What’s not to love.
So what’s the premise behind Resident Evil Gaiden? Well, there’s been a viral outbreak on a ship, and you’ve got to save a mysterious orphan girl while pumping green dudes full of lead. It’s a pretty simple concept and one that doesn’t take much concentration, which is why we love it so much.
The game does have some notable puzzles and quests that made critics get pretty excited, and Resident Evil Gaiden remains one of the best GameBoy Color games of all time for people who are a fan of the R.E franchise.
Everyone’s favourite armless, legless hero comes in at number 26 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games of all time (armless, not harmless, and legless doesn’t mean he’s drunk, just in case you’re reading this in the North of England).
Rayman is an instantly recognisable gaming legend, and this title is the first in the Rayman series and the first to be ported to the GBC. Critics went mad over this game; the animation, the music, the gameplay, the weird limbless man himself.
Everything about Rayman was perfect, and he provided the perfect side-scrolling hero to compete with the famous Mushroom Kingdom plumbing Bros.
Rayman is set in the Glade of Dreams, a place where it sounds as though I could finally get a good nights sleep without hearing that blasted dog barking every night. Sorry, where was I?
The Glade of Dreams is being threatened by the evil, the sinister, the terrifying ‘Mr Dark’ who has captured a load of creatures called Electoons. You have to work your way through 6 worlds and 70 different levels in order to free the Electoons, battling big-ol’ bosses and bad guys along the way.
It’s a difficult one, so you might need to strap your GameBoy to your wrist to prevent you from throwing it against a wall, but as long as you can keep your temper under control, it’s a terrific game to play.
25. Lufia: The Legend Returns
Get ready for the first RPG of the list! Lufia: The Legend Returns has all of the elements that you know and love from role playing titles like Holy Magic Century, Final Fantasy, Skies of Arcadia, and many more.
You’ll spend a lot of time in the battle screen fighting off random foes, finding hidden texts, and going on adventures with the other characters.
You can have up to 9 people in your team, all with different skills and abilities that can help you to progress through the game.
The game has a large overworld map that you must explore every nook and cranny of if you have a hope of advancing through the storyline. It looks a little like an updated version of the original Link’s Awakening at times, and the rich worlds and vibrant colours make it a joy to play.
The game revolves around the rather unfortunately named ‘Doom Island’, which can’t bode well for the characters involved. The Sinistrals are up to no good again, and it’s up to you and your crew to set things right with swords, shield, and kick-ass powers. Get to it!
24. Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins
Speaking of swords, the next protagonist in our list of the best GameBoy Color games relies on them heavily as he makes his way through dungeons (no dragons) defeating ghost’s, goblins, and things that go bump in the ‘Knight’ (get it! We’re available for weddings, Barmitsvah’s, christenings etc).
In this title, you play as the legendary King Arthur, and he’s on a mission to save Guinevere from the clutches of evil monsters. Gorgons, cyclops, trolls – you name it, and Arthur will have to fight his way past it. If you like destroying baddies that are five-times your size, then this is the game for you.
Arthur can pick up upgrades to his magical armour and sword as he progresses through the game. You lose a life if you get hit twice – that’s Dark Souls-style hard!
If you lose a life, you have to return to the start of the level or midway point if you’ve managed to make it there before perishing.
The GBC port had passwords that you could enter to head straight to certain levels, so you could always get your cheat on if you were getting too angry at a Demogorgon (who hasn’t experienced that once in their lives?).
23. Mario Golf
If I want to kick back on a game without a confusing plotline and one that I can play without too much thought, then I turn to Mario Golf every time.
This game is similar to the N64 title in lots of ways and actually has the ability to connect up to the game using the Transfer Pak, one of the best Nintendo 64 accessories in our ultimate peripherals compendium! It allowed you to play with characters only found on the home-console version but on your portable powerhouse instead. How cool is that!
Mario Golf for the GBC had an ‘RPG’ style solo-player mode, where the player could interact with other golfers, exploring the worlds around the courses, and levelling up to improve their golf skills. There was a story mode where you had to complete certain challenges, and a multiplayer so you could tee-off against your friends.
The graphics were pretty simple (it’s only golf for crying out loud!), but it works really well. It’s the first portable golfing game on the handheld, and it has helped real-life golfers with their skills ever since (not true in the slightest).
22. R-Type DX
If you’re a fan of R-Type and R-Type II, then you should definitely have R-Type DX in your gaming arsenal. R-Type DX is essentially a cart that has both of these games in glorious upgraded colour.
That’s the only upgrade that you’ll see in this GBC version, but the games are so good that they hardly need anything else to make them any better!
The R-Type series revolves around a horizontal space-age shooter that sees players destroying aliens and intergalactic monsters while piloting a star ship called the R-9 “Arrowhead”. If that doesn’t whet your monster-whooping appetite, then I don’t know what will!
The player must move along levels and defeat a gigantic boss at the very end. There is a Space Invaders-style weak blaster that you can use to shoot down smaller enemies, and a wave cannon that requires charging.
“The Force”, which isn’t anything like the Star Wars power and was based on a dung beetles (seriously!) provides extra-powerful weapons that can be used to take down bigger brutes and for getting past hard spots on the game. This is a bit like Flappy Bird in space, with guns and alien overlords – sounds like a good combination to me!
21. Survival Kids
Konami certainly knows how to make a good adventure game. Mystical Ninja starring Goeman is still one of my favourite games of all time and was memorable from start to finish. They create entertaining characters and compelling plotlines that you just can’t put down, and Survival Kids was no exception.
This was one of the first open-ended games that I can remember playing that allowed the player to progress at his or her own pace, meaning you could either leg it through the game or take your time to discover different possibilities of moving ahead.
Kind of like Fable and some of the other morality-based games for the XBOX, the player can choose whether to interact with strangers as they figure out a way to get back to civilisation.
You can either go it alone or look to others for help, a choice which will primarily boil down to how anti-social you are in real life.
With Pokemon-style characters and Zelda-esque top-down gameplay, Survival Kids was an incredible game with lots of collectables.
There’s an Animal Crossing style feel in the form of using items to make other tools that are useful to your progression, and the need to monitor everyday actions such as sleeping and eating gives Survival Kids a kind of ‘Tamagotchi meets Minish Cap’ vibe.
Can you get your chosen character off the isolated desert island and back to the real world? It’s Number 20 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games of all time, and it’s a solid title that you need in your life.
20. Metal Gear Solid
The next series on our list of the best Gameboy Color games hardly needs any introduction. Metal Gear Solid is one of the best stealth/adventure hybrids of our time, and the GBC port finally gave Nintendo fans a piece of the PlayStation pie.
Another Komani title (I told you these guys know how to make solid games – see what I did there), MGS for the GBC is a port of the PS game of the same name but not a direct copy.
It’s set seven years after the events of the original MSG game and not in the same timeline. Think the two branches of the Hero of Time, and you’ll kind of get the idea.
It was given a perfect 10 out of 10 by IGN and has been hailed by many as one of the best handheld games of all time.
So what’s the story all about? Well, A Metal Gear prototype has been stolen, and the gang behind the robbery want to use it to gain the upper-hand in a civil war.
Solid Snake is called out of retirement in Alaska and is given the mission of retrieving the prototype from the mysterious depths of the gang’s headquarters, Outer Heaven.
Solid Snake must team up with some pretty gnarly characters with humongous weapons along the way, uncovering a plot between the government and the bad-guys as he progresses.
It’s super-spy stuff all right, and it’s a cracking game with tonnes of hidden tricks up its digital sleeve. MGS also has a two-player VS mode which was pretty fun and a VR training mode for developing your sneaking, shooting, and advanced skills.
19. Pokemon Puzzle Challenge
What do you do when you can’t decide whether you love Pokemon or Tetris more? Answer – you get a copy of Pokemon Puzzle Challenge and thank Nintendo for giving into your niche demands.
As is to be expected from any Pokemon game, Puzzle Challenge received perfect scores across the board with many critics hailing it as an unprecedented success.
It’s a pocket-monsters take on the game Panel de Pon and features characters from the Gold and Silver GBC games, which I’m sure you might come across further down the list.
So how do you play Pokemon Puzzle Challenge? Well, it’s a block matching game like Columns, Tetris, Dr Mario, or any iPhone rip-off of Candy Crush that’s ever been made.
The thing that separates this title, however, is that you have to battle Johto leaders, you can collect Pokemon by winning battles, and it has remixed, upbeat versions of the music from the original Gold and Silver games to keep you pumped while racking up that high score.
You can either play against the computer or your friends with a link cable, and both the gameplay and puzzle grid itself are entertaining and provide a true Pokemon experience.
18. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces
A super-commando who must defeat a newly-resurected Hitler in an alternate reality – now we’ve got your attention! That’s the plot of the original game in the Bionic Commando series, and the GBC Color version has a similar plot with different characters and settings.
If you’re a regular reader of my articles, then you’ll know my thoughts on some of the worst character names in the best Master System games. SEGA must have used a random name generator for some of those guys, but at least Nintendo got the formula right.
The lead protagonist in Bionic Commando is (get ready for this) Nathan “Rad” Spencer (the Rad is 100% crucial). As you might have guessed, he’s a Bionic Commando who must stop bad stuff from happening. He’s essentially a robotic Captain America, which could be even cooler than the real thing!
Unlike many of the other side-scrolling platform games in our list, Nathan (or Robo Rad as I’m going to call him from now on) can’t jump across gaps or over enemies. He has to use his bionic arm, a little bit like Samus’ grapple beam to get from A to B, but it doesn’t prove much of a problem for the player.
Instead of a WWII style Americans vs Germans plot, the game is set in the fictional land of Karinia, and Hitler is replaced by a dictator named Arturus.
You must find a secret weapon, rescue an imprisoned super-soldier comrade, destroy the enemy, and uncover a terrible plot. The story is excellent, as is the gameplay, and Bionic Comando: Elite Forces is certainly a title that you should be checking out.
17. Mega Man Xtreme
If you’re a fan of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, then you’re bound to have come across the main character of the next offering in our best Gameboy Color games list. Mega Man is a Capcom legend, and ‘Xtreme’ fits into the same timeline as the rest of the Mega Man series starting from the SNES.
Like Samus, Mega Man has a futuristic arm-cannon called the ‘X-Buster’ that he can use to destroy the evil Shadow Hunters as he aims to save the Mother Computer.
Metroid has Metroids to cope with, and Mega Man has Mavericks – there are so many similarities that it hurts, but I love both games, so I’m not complaining.
Mega Man can run, scale walls, blast, and jump his way through each of the game’s levels. Each level can be selected and played in any order, making it different from Number 12 on our list which just had one massive level.
The player can pick up armour upgrades along the way and obtain a different weapon upgrade each time they defeat a boss. The bosses and enemies are basically an amalgamation of all of the characters from the previous Mega Man games, so it provides a sense of nostalgia too for fans of the series.
16. Pocket Bomberman
Bomberman is one of those titles that I’ve always loved playing. It’s simple to pick up where you left off and it’s simple to play. It’s also rather frustratingly simple to get blown up and have to repeat the same part of the level over and over again, but I guess you can’t have everything.
The premise is simple – kick out bombs and blow up enemies in the ‘family-friendly’ way that Hudson Soft did so well. I’m still not certain where the bombs actually come from…If it’s where I’m thinking of, then it could be very painful.
Unlike other Bomberman titles, Pocket Bomberman features side-scrolling gameplay action rather than opting for a top-down view.
There are 25 levels across 5 worlds to complete, giving you plenty of value for money. The individual levels are well thought out, the bosses are memorable, and the inclusion of a ‘jump mode’ arcade-style option is a nice added touch. All in all, a solid little game!
15. Tetris DX
If you need an introduction to Tetris, then you probably should close this website down and go rethink your life. It’s undoubtedly the worlds most famous puzzle game and one that set a trend of other falling block games such as Columns, Candy Crush, and all of the other cheap imitations that will never be as good as the real thing.
I still can’t walk past a piece of ‘T-Bar’ or write the letter ‘L’ without thinking of Tetris. It’s so addictive it should be reclassified as a Class C drug, and now you can play it in glorious colour!
Tetris had to be in our best GameBoy Color games – it would have been criminal not to include it. There are few games in the world that can be picked up and played without any prior gaming knowledge, and Tetris is one of them.
It doesn’t matter what your skill level is or how many hours you’ve put into Call Of Duty over the years, this puzzle game is one that can bring generations of gamers together, and getting that all-important high-score is one of the most crucial-gaming missions of all.
Grab yourself a copy and see who is the gaming master of your family.
14. Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis was one of my favourite games for the N64 and a superb multiplayer title to crack out when friends came round. The GBC version has lots of different playable characters, Nintendo native and human, and the gameplay style is pretty much the same as the home console version.
One of the bits I like the best in Mario Tennis GBC is the shooting-gallery mode where Donkey Kong fires tennis balls at bananas. It’s simple, but it works!
One of the main ways that the GBC version differs from the N64 game is that there is an RPG mode that you can play through. I know it doesn’t sound as exciting as Final Fantasy or Holy Magic Century, but hear me out.
In true RPG style, you must work your way through a Tennis Academy and level up from a rookie to a champion. Various tournaments need to be completed, and you’ll eventually have to face off against the mighty Mario, who apart from being the world’s most famous plumber is now the greatest tennis player on the planet. Is there nothing that guy can’t do!
13. Metroid II – Return Of Samus
Ok, so this cover isn’t real, but Metroid 2 is still one of the best games that you can play on your GameBoy Color. In the original Metroid game for the SNES, colour changes helped you to differentiate between Samus’ different suits.
Some of you might not know that there is a special ‘Metroid Pallette’ built-in to the GBC, which makes the Metroid GameBoy cart look super nice when plugged in. We love a nerdy fact at Retro Dodo!
Apart from being one of the best GameBoy Color games, it’s also one of the best Metroid games around too. There’s lots of Samus discovering and destroying Metroids in this space-age side-scrolling shooting game, with plenty of puzzles to solve along the way.
Rather than having lots of smaller levels to play through, this game is just one humongous level, which I think is a refreshing change from the norm. It’s the prequel to the ever-popular Super Metroid and a must-have for any Nintendo fans.
Number 11 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games is the first in a series of Shantae games and introduces us to he bad-ass half-genie herself. Sequin land is the world you’ll be adventuring through in this magical quest.
Shantae must use all of her magical powers to stop the evil Pirate ‘Risky Boots’ (what is it with these terrible names in games) and bring other genies back to the world (or something along those lines).
Shantae can learn new dances after defeating boss dungeons to turn herself into different animals, creatures that will help her to unlock new areas and complete new tasks. It’s a fantasy novelist’s dream and a title that you can easily get lost in – hours will FLY by.
The game has a day and night mode, a little like Ocarina of Time, and enemies get harder to defeat at night. There are certain items that can only be collected at specific times of the day too, leaving you coming back for more and not wanting to EVER turn it off.
11. Wario Land 3
Sometimes it’s nice to play as the bad guy, and sometimes that bad guy is just a little bit misunderstood. It’s not Wario’s fault that he loves garlic and couldn’t audition for the role of Mario because his nose is too bulbous.
Despite his oddities, Wario certainly knows how to put on a good show in this first title on our list of the best GameBoy Color Games ever.
Wario Land 3 received critical acclaim on release and scored highly with pretty much ever gaming magazine, website, and critic in the known universe. Not bad for a portly-plumber with purple dungarees, eh!
The game follows the same style and theme as Wario Land 2, with the play taking ol’ Wazza around a series of stages in search of abilities to help him progress through the game’s weird and wonderful levels.
One thing that I always loved about Wario is that, unlike Mario who just stomped on all of his enemies, he could use the attacks of the various baddies to his advantage and power up from them. It makes for more interesting gameplay if you ask me!
As with any Wario title, there’s obviously going to be treasure involved, and this time our ‘larger-than-life’ friend has to rid a world inside a magical music box of an evil presence so that he can be sent back to his own world as a rich man.
This game is a fan favourite and one that you should definitely have in your collection.
10. Donkey Kong Country
If you’re a Nintendo fan, then you’re sure to have played Donkey Kong Country on the SNES. It was a classic side-scrolling platform game with some of the best gameplay ever. If I had a dollar for every hour I spent playing this game with my cousin, I’d have a lot of dollars that I cant spend in England…
The GBC port of Donkey Kong Country stayed pretty true to the original game, with the addition of a new level called ‘Necky Nutmare’ as well as some other upgrades, hidden areas, and different gameplay modes.
This game was praised for it’s vibrant graphics when it first came out, and the GBC certainly gives it a new lease of life.
Donkey Kong Country sees Donkey and Diddy on a mission to retrieve DK’s banana hoard from King K.Rool, a bad-ass croc with an odd face and a cape.
As one half of the monkey-duo, you have to make your way through a series of levels comprising of jungles, underwater realms, factories, mountains, caves, treetops, ruins, and mines.
There are a number of mini-games to try your hand at as your progress, and finding the golden ‘KONG’ letters on each level will leave you replaying stages again and again. ‘Enguarde’ the Swordfish and ‘Rambi’ the Rhino are still two of my favourite ‘helpers’ out of any game series!
9. Tomb Raider – Curse Of The Sword
Number 9 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games of all time features everyone’s favourite kick-ass treasure hunter, adventurer, and gun-wielding tomb raider; Lara Croft.
Curse of the Sword is a side-scrolling slice of gaming brilliance with rich textured graphics that we would never have thought possible when we held the original GameBoy in our hands.
This single-player action-adventure title follows the same theme and uses the same gaming-engine as the first GBC Tomb Raider game, though this time there are more clever puzzles to solve, new challenges to overcome, and some pretty annoying bad guys that you’ll enjoy defeating over and over again.
It wouldn’t be a Tomb Raider game without a crazy storyline, and Curse of the Sword doesn’t disappoint. In this title, a crazed magician has been rising to power in the underworld scene in New Orleans.
When she dies, one of her crackpot followers tries to bring her back to life and, after a bit of a mishap with a sacrificial sword and some of Lara’s blood, Miss Tomb Raider herself becomes the perfect host for old ‘magic bones’ to take hold of. Lara must find the weird cult, break the sword, and sort all of this out before heading home in time for tea at Croft Manor. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
8. Pokemon Pinball
How do you make a Pokemon title even better? What about making a pinball world where you fire Pokeballs around different pinball courses, hitting different pokemon and racking up hi-scores as you go?
Yeah, that would probably do it. Stick Pokemon on the cover of a game with a nice graphic of Pikachu on the start menu, and you’re one to a winner.
This game, however, is actually one of the best GameBoy Color games ever because it’s fun to play, easy to work, and SUPER addictive.
This thing should probably come with a warning or be reclassified as a Class-C drug because once you fire that first Poke ball, you’ll find it incredibly hard to put down. (Pinball responsibly, kids).
From popping out of Bellsprout’s mouth to hitting gold with legendary Pokemon such as the mighty Mewto, Pokemon Pinball was the ultimate arcade game for pocket monster fans everywhere.
Players can choose to play on a red or blue table (sound familiar? ) and play to capture Pokemon or evolve Pokemon that have already been captured.
It might not be as action-packed as the main game, but it’s definitely one of the titles that you can go back to when you’re stuck on other adventure games or just want something that you don’t need to think about too much.
7. Dragon Warrior Monsters
The next title in our list of the best GameBoy Color games was released before the actual console itself, which is a little odd when you come to think about it!
Dragon Warrior Monsters was backwards compatible with the original GameBoy, so I guess that this makes it one of the best GameBoy games of all time too! This title was the first DWM title to be released in Europe and follows the story of the series’ key characters, Terry and Milly when they are both children.
The levels in this colourful RPG are kind of reminiscent of a Legend Of Zelda title, and the gameplay has a lot of similarities to the Pokemon series in the form of in-game breeding of your Dragon Warrior Monsters. Don’t worry; you don’t actually see any monsters getting down and dirty. It’s a family game, after all.
The story revolves around Terry setting out on a quest to save his sister. Instead of fighting battles himself like in other Nintendo RPG titles such as Quest 64 (or Holy Magic Century if you’re a connoisseur of the best N64 games on the planet), Terry uses monsters that he befriends or coaxes into battle along the way to do his fighting for him. Smart move, kid; let somebody else get their hands dirty.
Along with ‘Slib the slime’, Terry’s first monster, you must defeat an evil monster and all of the challenges and dark dungeons that stand in your way if you are to save your sister and bring some peace to the world. Slib might not sound as cool as Pikachu, but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?
6. Pokemon Trading Card Game
I might have just lost all of you at point 6, but I’m sticking with it. Pokemon Trading Card Game is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated and best GameBoy Color games ever made.
To be able to harness the thrill of the card game and the collecting and battling that went with it into a video game just felt unreal, and battling other trainers felt just as exciting as it did in the mainstream series.
It took a lot of cost out of having to buy all of the cards in real-life (and ending up with thousands of Diglets in the process) and you could still collect ’em all and carry them around with you in a tiny cartridge rather than lugging around a carry-case with more value than all of your Mum’s jewellery put together.
I recently found out that the game was banned in Saudi Arabia because of it’s ‘blatant’ links to Zionism. Any game that gets banned instantly becomes ten-times more popular on the ‘bad-ass-o-meter’ scale!
Players must challenge eight Club Masters and then four Grand Masters just like in the main RPG Pokemon game, with the chance to collect cards that you couldn’t actually buy from the shops in the real-world.
GBC owners could link up with each other and trade or battle, giving the player access to even more hidden surprises. Honestly, I found this game super addictive and couldn’t understand why none of my friends had played it.
For me, this title is a bit like Pokemon Snap – it’s not as mainstream, but that doesn’t stop it from being super hard to put down. 1.51 million Americans shared my opinion when the game was released, but the real question is, will you?
5. Super Mario Bros Deluxe
This wouldn’t be a collection of the greatest portable Nintendo games without a Mario title in it, and number 5 on our list of the best GameBoy Color games gives you two plumbers for the price of one!
Super Mario Bros Deluxe kicked things up a notch with a simultaneous multiplayer mode, a new challenge mode, and lots of newly-designed action-packed levels.
It’s not just a remake of the original Super Mario Bros; this game has lots of new and exciting features to warrant completing this story all over again, with fans looking out for new additions and worlds just like the nerds that watch the extended editions of LOTR with the booklet in their laps noting the deleted scenes (I am definitely that nerd).
The mushroom kingdom is in uproar after the Koopas have used their dark magic to turn its citizens into blocks, bricks, and mushrooms.
The king of the Koopas has (you guessed it) stolen Princess Peach, and it’s up to Mario to sort things out. It’s a storyline that’s withstood the test of time, and the graphics and gameplay that bring it to life will make those afternoon hours fly by.
With many of the glitches from the original game taken out, rich colour schemes and new animated elements added, the option to play as Luigi, and lots of other hidden surprises for gamers to try and spot, Mario Bros Deluxe is one of those titles that will keep you coming back time and time again.
Grab a second-hand copy and see for yourself!
4. Legend Of Zelda – Link’s Awakening DX
This next title on our list of the best GameBoy Color Games doesn’t really need an introduction, but as I’m still short on my word count and don’t want to have to eat bread and jam for the next month, I better give it a try.
Link’s Awakening was originally released for the classic GameBoy and went down an absolute storm (not like the literal storm that caused Link to get washed up on Koholint Island).
As some of you might have read in our Link’s Awakening Review of the Nintendo Switch remake, this title was never supposed to be a LOZ game at all. Shigeru Miyamoto saw the potential as the game was being made and decided to let it into the franchise, a fact that designer Yoshiaki Koizumi must have been very happy about!
Link’s Awakening is one of the only Zelda titles not to feature the Triforce, Zelda, Gorons, Zora’s, or any other creature or part of the Hyrule storyline.
Instead, and partly due to the fact that this was almost not a Zelda game, we see other characters such as Goomba, Kirby, Wart, a couple of Chain Chomps, and many others making cameo appearances.
Link must try to discover the secrets of Koholint Island and collect eight magical instruments on his quest to wake the mysterious Wind Fish.
And the best bit is that you can do it all in colour! There’s also a secret ‘Colour Dungeon’ that you can find that gives you special powers, but I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t played it yet.
If you’re looking for a handheld version of this game with the original top-down gameplay and graphics, then Links Awakening DX should definitely be in your collection.
3. Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble
Not only is this game a puzzle-based title where Kirby has to tilt and tumble his way through different brain-tickling puzzles, but it’s also the first handheld game to use a cartridge with a built-in accelerometer! Instead of players using the D-pad to move Kirby through challenges, they were able to move the GameBoy Color instead.
This is the first example of a style of gameplay that would go on to make the Wii the most popular and best-selling console that Nintendo ever produced, as well as a key feature in the 3DS and Nintendo Switch Joy-con designs. Pretty exciting stuff!
This game has a feel of Super Monkey Ball about it, or maybe it’s the other way around seen as though Kirby’s Tilt ‘n’ Tumble came out first. Players must tilt and turn the console to guide Kirby to a goal at the end of the level.
A countdown creates a sense of blinding-terror as the numbers tick closer to zero, but the time that you have left to complete a level can be increased by rolling the pink-peril over clocks or by passing certain checkpoints. Collect all of the stars and return Dream Land to a state of peaceful order and prosperity. If anyone can, Kirby can
2. Pokemon Gold/Silver
It was always going to be impossible to separate these two titles, so the next entry on our best GameBoy Color games list is a ‘2-4-1’ special. Where do I begin; there’s just so much to talk about when it comes to Gold and Silver.
I always thought it would be hard to beat Red and Blue, but it turned out that the addition of 100 new Pokemon and a brand new region was all it took.
These new stories took players around the Johto region on a quest to become the Pokemon master. The same premise as all of the other Pokemon games applies, i.e challenging Gym Leaders and filling up your Pokedex, but some of the new features and surprises that Game Freak installed in the games made 2001-me go crazy with excitement!
So what made Gold and Silver stand out? The game includes a real-time internal clock and is also the first time that we see Pokemon being able to hold items such as berries. Legendary Pokemon roamed around waiting for you to catch them, even though they always fled, but their health didn’t go back to normal between encounters, keeping you coming back for more.
We saw new Pokemon, new Pokeballs, and new Pokegear – basically, everything that would have made Red and Blue even better can be found in Gold and Silver. If you never had chance to play these games, then I URGE you to go back and give them a try.
1. Legend Of Zelda – Oracle Of Ages/Seasons
Yeah, I couldn’t separate these two either. If you’ve read my articles before, then you won’t be surprised that the Number 1 spot on our list of the best GameBoy Color games has gone to a Legend of Zelda title (or two in this case), and it’s pretty fitting that after talking about Pokemon Red and Blue in the entry above, we now have an entirely different Red and Blue split adventure on our hands.
Each game has significant differences, and only after completing them both does the player get a true picture of the storyline and the outcome of the adventure. Ages and Seasons sold just shy of 4-million units each; not bad eh!
So how do these games differ? Well, Link gets transported by the triforce to different areas in each game (there were supposed to be three games to go with the three parts of Triforce, but Nintendo scrapped one because the intertwining storyline was starting to get way too complicated).
Ages sees Naryu send Link to Labrynna, and Seasons sees Din transport Link to Holodrum.
The item and weapon collecting sequences that we know and love feature in both games, though different characters appear in each title.
What’s more, Seasons is more action-based, whereas Ages is more puzzle-based. Put them together, and you’ve got one hell of a Zelda game. Treat yourself and grab them both; they go together like Rito’s and mail delivery (man I should get out more).
When was the Gameboy released?
October 21st 1998
What is the most expensive Gameboy Color game?
Spud’s Adventure in mint condition has been sold for over $3,000.
How many games are on GameBoy Color in total?
What is the most popular Gameboy Color game?