The Nintendo Virtual Boy was one of Nintendo’s most ludicrous consoles, and the best virtual boy games were just as crazy.
It needed the gamer to strap on a headset in order to experience the console’s full potential. With it came a small controller in order to actually play the games.
Think of it as the 90’s version of virtual reality, except from Nintendo themselves.
The Nintendo Virtual Boy was released in 1995 and was advertised as the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic “3D” graphics.
The dominant red and black colours actually caused many gamers to feel sick, receive headaches after short game time,s and even eye strain.
This is something Nintendo couldn’t change so they had to somewhat ignore this throughout production.
Talk about a great gaming experience!
The virtual boy came with only 22 games, some rare, some popular, some not so much.
So if you’re looking for the best virtual boy games to add to your collection, you’ve come to the right place.
10. Galactic Pinball
Galactic Pinball was released in July 1995 for Japan and August 1995 for the United States. It was a simple game and one that children could understand quickly (when they weren’t suffering from migraines, that is).
It saw the gamer manoeuvring a puck around four pinball courses set in the Milky Way Galaxy.
It had a similar layout to the modern-day Pokemon Pinball which was one of our best Gameboy Color games.
Perhaps Nintendo passed on the design to future Gameboy games? Who knows.
Using the controls was simple; A activated one side of the Pinball machine’s arms, and B activated the other side.
This made it incredibly popular and was purchased as one of of the Virtual Boy’s “base” games as it could be played by the whole family.
9. Mario Clash
Yes, of course Mario was on the Virtual Boy, and it’s one of our best Virtual Boy games for good reason.
It was designed as a 3D variant of the original Mario Bros arcade game, bringing many Super Mario fans back into the “virtual” world.
The objective is simple; you have to knock all of the enemies from the ledges in order to complete that level.
This is done by jumping on Koopas, picking up their shells, and then throwing them at enemies using the control pad.
Once they have been hit, they’ll fall off the level and you can focus on another enemy.
The levels get harder obviously, with faster enemies, more platforms, and more ways to destroy baddies.
Some, for example, may have defences that you need to overcome.
And with the use of a mushroom you can start “fever time”.
Fever Time allows you to destroy ANY monster with a shell in just one hit.
It feels like a proper Mario game. The audio, the characters, the level design, and even the fonts used are all reminiscent of a propper Mazza title.
This is a game that you should pick up in order to relive the old Mario days in a new “modern” form.
8. Vertical Force
Even though the Virtual Boy is trying to create a 3D effect, Vertical Force went for a top-down look.
Yet it works… but it doesn’t at the same time.
If you’re not too bothered about it looking weird and getting confused after 30 minutes of gameplay, then this may be a game to take a look at, especially for those of you that are big fans of the classic ‘Space Invaders’.
Developed by Hudson Soft, the player controls a spaceship that must destroy malfunctioning supercomputers on a human planet before humanity gets wiped out.
In-game, you can find power-ups to enhance speed, lives or weapon outputs.
Not only can you move your space ship left, right, forward and back, but also down or up to create a 3-dimensional feel to the game.
This is why it’s one of our best Virtual Boy games because it takes this top-down space exploration game to a whole new level.
Plus it was aimed towards the older audience, and kids shouldn’t be the ones always getting all the fun.
7. Mario’s Tennis
Mario has many talents, and one of them is Tennis.
Mario’s Tennis was previously going to be called ‘Mario’s Dream Tennis’, but the team decided to go against it.
Plus the red and black colours make me feel like I’m in a hellish nightmare rather than a dream.
This was one of the few games launched on the same date as the Virtual Boy.
Mario’s Tennis is one for those who don’t want a complexed game. It’s easy to understand, easy to play, and because it has Mario on the game cart, it sells.
You can choose to play with up to seven different characters from the Mario franchise. The player is on the court and you view the pitch from behind, allowing you to get a decent view of where the ball is at all times.
Nintendo said you could basically “perceive depth”, but in reality, it didn’t look so good.
It feel more like you’re crossing your eyes when the opponent hits the ball at you.
In this game, there’s no power-ups, no bonuses, or any kind of power shots. This title focuses on the fundamentals of tennis, which in itself makes it a much easier game to play.
6. Red Alarm
Think of this next title as the Virtual Boy’s take on Star Fox. This is essentially what Red Alarm is trying to replicate, and it does it incredibly well.
Just like Vertical Force, it’s all about space. This one specifically is known for its grid-like design in order to give it a geometric-inspired design.
This made it stand out from the crowd, and even to this day, many gamers can remember Red Alarm due to its impressive visuals.
It was so popular because it was launched alongside the Virtual Boy itself, so many picked it up as a combo.
As the player, you have to defeat an army of artificial intelligent enemies know as “KAOS”.
The three-dimensional polygonal graphics pushed the console’s graphics to the edge, but it was met with many hardware constraints. Some people loved this look, some people hated it.
What are your thoughts? Confusing, or genius?
5. Panic Bomber
Most of you will know Bomberman and may well have played his titles over the years. This game takes the man himself and thrusts him into a block game for those wanting to add something different to their best Virtual Boy games collection.
Published in 1994 by Hudson Soft, it was originally made for the PC Engine, but later got released for the Virtual Boy.
The goal is to clear the matching blocks using bombs, making sure that your screen doesn’t fill with blocks.
Think of Tetris with a Bomberman touch.
When you create explosions by chaining your bombs, the game then sends rubble/parts over to your competitor’s screen, making it harder for them to clear their section.
But be warned, for they can do the same to you. The better you get as you progress, the faster your enemy creates combinations, and the faster you lose friends.
Many people weren’t happy with the port from PC Engine to Virtual Boy as the whole 3D visual dynamics made it hard to concentrate and visualise what was going on. Still, when you get good, the game becomes very competitive and fast-paced.
This is certainly a must-have game for you puzzle lovers out there.
4. Jack Bros.
Jack Bros is an action game developed by Atlus and was released in 1995 in both Japan and North America.
It was apparently a spin-off to a video game called Megami Tensei, which is something you can add to your Tinder Profile to wow potential matches.
The game is based on three Jacks, all of whom are brothers.
You have Jack Frost, Jack Lantern, and Jack Skelton. They have visited the “human world” for Halloween, but they need to return to “fairy world” back through a portal before it closes.
There are six areas, all with different challenges and enemies. You can do character-specific attacks in order to fight certain enemies, and you must collect “keys” that let you advance to different floors within the bigger levels.
Many gamers loved Jack Bros, but many criticised it for not having enough puzzle sections.
If puzzle sections were added into the equation in greater numbers, then this title could well have been placed higher up in our Best Virtual Boy games list!
3. Space Squash
Space Squash was a fun game due to its simplicity. It was developed by TomCat System and it feels like Ping Pong meets outer space… because that’s exactly what it is.
You play as a spacecraft, and so does your opponent. You’re both placed into a cube-like level within space, and you both deflect a spiked ball around in the hope of getting it into the other person’s “goal”.
Sound easy, right?
Well, it is. Your left D-pad controls the movement of your character, and the right D-pad controls the angle of your shot.
You can use this to your advantage to reflect the ball off the sides of the levels in order to trick your opponent. You can also use your character to bounce the ball back, but this will lower your energy, and if your energy is low, you will get temporarily stunned, giving your opponent a chance to score.
It’s a fun, simple game that appealed to the masses, and because many gamers who had a Virtual Boy also played Pong in the past.
So, think of it as one of the best Virtual Boy games for pick up and player gamers!
2. 3D Tetris
One of the best Gameboy Color games of all time was once one of the best Virtual Boy games of all time, even if it wasn’t 3D.
3D Tetris is exactly how it sounds, but with a more challenging approach compared to the 2D, non-migraine-inducing versions that we all know and love.
It was released for the Virtual Boy back in 1996. A Japenese variant was in the works from Nintendo called Polygo Block, but due to a decrease in the demand for the Virtual Boy, they ceased production.
But that didn’t stop gamers falling in love with 3D Tetris. It was challenging, immersive, and a new touch on one of the best selling games of all time.
You could use the D-pad to spin the cube and use the action buttons to place, twist, and turn the blocks to find the perfect position.
Once the levels got going, you would need to make faster and faster decisions in order to reach your personal best high score.
This alone kept playtimes high on the Virtual Boy, making it a very successful game for the system.
Some say it lacked innovation, but some say it paid high respects to the franchise, and we would tend to agree.
1. Virtual Boy Wario Land
The best Virtual Boy games champion has to be Virtual Boy Wario Land!
This was the ultimate game and one that every Virtual Boy gamer wanted, because… well, it’s a piece of Super Mario, right?
It was released towards the tail end of 1995 and developed by Nintendo themselves.
It was the game that they were hoping would skyrocket the Virtual Boy’s sales. Even though that didn’t happen, it was still a masterpiece and a wonderful, unique way to experience Wario in all of his gaming glory.
It’s a classic platformer that feels a lot like the first Wario Land title, which is one of our best gameboy games ever.
It gets you to play as Wario who smashes his way through enemies, jumps over blocks, and throws more things than a baby who’s not been fed.
We don’t really want to ruin the storyline for you as we’re hoping some day down the line you’ll have the opportunity to experience it for yourself.
Hopefully, the mystery of not knowing what happens will speed that process up for you, and we full recommend that you give it a go!
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A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.