Get ready to take Link on your travels as we take a look at the best Zelda Gameboy games of all time.
Playing Zelda at home is one thing, but taking Link, Ganon, and the gang out of the house to a friends house or even on holiday with you just never gets old.
Just having the chance to play in bed or kicking back on the sofa with some of our adventures still feels amazing too. And I know that many of Link’s older games are available on the Nintendo Switch now, but there’s still something super satisfying about slotting in a cartridge and using the original handhelds.
Or, if you’re lucky enough, playing them on the Analogue Pocket!
For me, an old-school Zelda fan, the old dungeon-conquering formula of the old games holds so much nostalgic value, especially with remakes of old games for the later Gameboy models.
But which are the best, and which takes the top spot?
Find out below!
8. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (2004)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link takes the 8th spot in this list of the best Zelda Gameboy games of all time.
I hate to say anything bad about the Zelda series, but this game just doesn’t do the canon justice in my opinion. It’s got its place in Zelda history as being the only direct sequel to a Zelda game, but Nintendo wen’t too far off the beaten track with this one.
It feels less like a Zelda title and more like a MetroidVania side scroller, and it’s hard as nails!
If you die in his game, then you have to go all the way back to the beginning. It’s frustrating at times… ok, all the time, and the final battle with Dark Link can very easily make you want to rip out all of your hair.
Yes, Dark Link first appeared in Zelda II and not in the dreaded Water Temple, one of the toughest Zelda dungeons of all time!
Despite all my protestations about this game, it sold incredibly well and still has a core fanbase. Plus, if we didn’t include Zelda II in this list, then Ganondorf would have probably tormented us forever.
7. The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords (2002)
The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords is a little bit of a cheat entry in this list as it’s technically part of the Link To The Past GBA cartridge, a title you’re definitely going to be hearing more about later.
Still, it’s a game in its own right and one of the best multiplayer GBA games on the system.
That’s right, a multiplayer Zelda game where players work together to complete puzzles in dungeons, all while trying to collect more rupees than the other.
So, you’ve got to work together and try to get ahead of your mates at the same time… I don’t see how this could go wrong, do you?
There are a few annoying features like only being able to hold one item at once. But, it did bring about something cool called the Gnat hat which makes Link super small.
Sounds like another cantankerous talking hat that we might be seeing further down this list.
There are some sweet features that link between the two games on the cart too like sword moves swapping over into both games and a secret dungeon to be completed once both titles are finished.
If only things had been that easy with Banjo Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie!
6. The Legend of Zelda (2004)
The Legend of Zelda, the very first Zelda title on the NES, takes the 6th spot in our list of the best Zelda Gameboy games.
Come on, we couldn’t very well have had a Zelda list without the title that started it all off now, could we?
As part of the NES classics collection, a whole new generation of gamers could dive into Link’s very first adventure and experience what gamers first gawped excitedly at back in 1986, all from the bus, the park, or the toilet.
I know that it’s possible to play the original title on modern TVs with the best best NES HDMI cables, but nothing beats picking up your GBA SP and heading out an adventure to beat Ganon for the very first time.
Can you believe that we’d never heard of the Triforce or Zelda before this title; it seems mad, doesn’t it?
And before the Gorons became the residents of Death Mountain, it used to be Ganon’s Domain. I guess that explains the kind of ominous name, and I much prefer the Gorons living there now.
You can check out more about the original Zelda game in our best Impa Zelda facts article!
5. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (1998)
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening takes the 5th spot on this list of the best Zelda Gameboy games!
I’m going to be honest with you, and this is probably going to divide opinions instantly, but I prefer the Nintendo Switch version of this game than the original Gameboy offering.
I know; that’s probably sacrilegious, but I just love the updated version of the story and the new graphics, textures, and feel of such a classic title.
That being said, we couldn’t have that new version without one of the best Zelda Gameboy titles to grace the DMG, and I’m giving it the official Retro Dodo salute of honour as I write this (one handed).
This game was never meant to be a Zelda title to start off with, but Shigeru Miyamoto saw the potential and brought it into the canon.
So, instead of the game being set in Hyrule, we see Link moving around Koholint Island battling Chain Chomps, Shy Guys, Bloopers, and even Goombas.
We even see Kirby at one point too; it’s a Nintendolicious mash up.
Instead of the side-on gameplay of Zelda II, we’re back to the original top-down gameplay of the first game, just how we like our Zelda Gameboy games!
It might feel a little weird for fans of BotW going back through the series to see such a old-school formula of ‘enter dungeon, get weapon, kill boss’, but this was the norm for so many years!
4. The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages (2001)
The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages is part of a duo of games that must be played together to complete the full story.
And in true Gameboy Color style, they both have different colour themes throughout to show off what the handheld can do, with this game falling at Dusk to give off those blue hues.
In my humble opinion, Oracle of Ages isn’t as exciting as Oracle of Seasons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a quality game, but I just prefer the combat elements in the second.
There are a lot of differing opinions as to how these games should be played in order to maximise both the storyline and the gameplay. We’ve always plumped for Oracle of Seasons first and then Ages second.
Still, it really doesn’t matter how they’re played, what matters is that you do them both one after the other to get the full experience.
Set in Labrynna, the Oracle of Ages has been captured and needs rescuing. Travel through the Ages to thwart the Sorceress of Shadows and save the world. Get passwords from both games to upgrade items too; how old-school is that!
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (2004)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past was one of the best SNES games of all time, and now players can kick back and play this epic adventure on their GBAs.
Nostalgic Zelda music and updated graphics on Nintendo’s portable purple powerhouse; what more do I need to say?
Add in the fact that it comes with Four Swords which you’ve already learned about above, and this cart is just the gift that keeps on giving!
A Link To The Past serves as the first game in the ‘Hero is Defeated’ branch of the Zelda timeline. Ganon has all of the triforce pieces and is keeping them safe in the Sacred Realm, which doesn’t bode well for anyone.
If you want to stop the Sacred Ream from becoming the Dark Realm, then you must save all of the descendants born from the Sages in Ocarina of Time (which would drop 7 years later) and essentially save the world.
No pressure, then?
2. The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons (2001)
The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons gets today’s silver medal!
Whereas Oracle of Ages is more puzzle based, Oracle of Seasons is combat heavy. Playing both games give yous a nice mixture of classic Zelda gameplay, but for me, the fast paced action of Seasons wins every time.
The style and mechanics of the games are virtually the same bar the changes I mentioned above. While the Sorceress of Shadows is the antagonist in Ages, it’s the General of Darkness that Link must defeat in this game.
Become the master of the changing seasons as you do everything in your power to save Holodrum and its people, all through a warm, reddy glow that helps to tie into the front cover of the game.
Is this your favourite Red and Blue gameboy combo, or will that forever be Pokemon Red and Blue? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
1. The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2005)
The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap rightfully takes the top spot in this list as the best Zelda Gameboy game of all time.
Weirdly, this is the only title on this list that isn’t a Nintendo-made game, Capcom took the reins with this one and made a stellar Zelda game as though they had been doing it their entire lives.
Minish Cap serves as a bit of an amalgamation of A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening. It also takes the Gnat Cap idea and turns it into Link’s main companion.
Meet Ezlo, a hat that can shrink Link down to the size of the Picori people, exploring a tiny world of legend.
Ezlo is definitely the grumpiest of Link’s companions, but I still like him more than Fi in Skyward Sword. I’d rather deal with an angry guide than one that constantly reminds me what to do in every situation!
Players must defeat the evil Vaati and rekindle the power of the Picori Blade. It’s a fun, colourful, and exciting adventure that all Zelda fans should play and the worthy winner of our best Zelda Gameboy games list.
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.