The Top 129 Game Boy Games Ever According to SnS - Part 1
by Sliders n' Socks




#129 - Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - Who don't like Kirby? I like Kirby. I prefer his console adventures though. Adventure, Super Star, Dream Land 3. Wonderful. Well, this was the only Kirby game released for the Game Boy Color, and it's... a weird one. The cartridge itself has an accelerometer inside it. You don't control this thing with buttons. You physically tilt your Game Boy around to move Kirby. This was pretty innovative for 2000, but it was unfortunate that such a thing was delegated to a handheld without a backlit screen. This makes TnT a game you have to enjoy in spite of the hardware limitations, but they could pull this off these days. THis would be perfect as a 3DS game, ARE YOU LISTENING NINTENDO? I liked it enough to 100% it, so on to the list it goes for the hell of it. It's decent.



#128 - Magical Chase GB
Chosen by: Zeloz

Zeloz - Okay, okay, I realize the TurboGrafx-16 version is light years better than this port aesthetically, but this is still one of the fastest shmups available on the Game Boy Color. It's a bit on the easy side admittedly, and there aren't any complex mechanics to be had here outside of adjusting your options every now and then, but it looks really nice considering the system it was released on. It's easily the best "cute 'em up" for the system, and considering it's competition in that regard consists of... what, two downsized Konami games (TwinBee and Parodius), that's kind of saying something.



#127 - Ultima: Runes of Virtue 2
Chosen by: Crono Maniac

Crono Maniac - There's very little finesse in how the core mechanics are put together, but the world is dense and mysterious and amazing. You can play the game a dozen times and never find everything.



#126 - Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire
Chosen by: Zeloz

Zeloz - There are a LOT of good pinball games for the Game Boy family, let me tell you. This spot could've potentially went to Kirby's Pinball Land or the original Pokemon Pinball, but this one really benefits from the better hardware. The screen actually scrolls for one, and the tables have a lot more to them. The game isn't as fast-paced or hectic as it's immediate predecessor, but that just translates to a longer, more satisfying game for me. You also have 200 Pokemon to catch, rather than 150, so that's a plus too.



#125 - Ghosts 'n Goblins
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - Oh Jesus no. Why this? Why this? The original GnG is one of the most frustrating hateful experiences put into video game form. This is coming from the guy who beat all four main games in the series, so you know it's electronic hell. This version, though, is the one I beat. It counts as beating the original game and I won't hear any evidence to the contrary. It earns its spot on the list by being slightly easier than its NES counterpart, offering passwords and just a hint of leniency. Also the music sounds like something out of the Commodore 64 era, or out of the brain of one of the Follins. If you hate yourself and want to take on one of the unironic hardest video games ever made, consider going portable with it. There was a trend during the GBC days to remake old NES games for the thing (see: Super Mario Bros Deluxe, Blaster Master: Enemy Below) and this is one of the better-done ones.



#124 - Ikari no Yousai 2 (Fortress of Fury 2)
Chosen by: Zeloz

Zeloz - This one is a little obscure, but you may have heard of it's prequel, known in the West as Fortified Zone. The first game was a sorta-okay, dungeon-crawling run-and-gun, kinda like if someone took a look at the overhead levels in Super C and Operation C and thought, "Hey, let's make a Zelda game out of this!" But the Japan-only sequel sped up the action a bit, gave characters more guns to waste enemies with, lengthened the levels with multiple floors and bosses, and had the guy who composed Operation Logic Bomb (which, incidentally, was also an Ikari no Yousai game in Japan) to compose the music here. It's actually quite good. Of course, it's still no Operation C, but I consider it one of Jaleco's better, more unique offerings.



#123 - Bomberman GB 3
Chosen by: Zeloz

Zeloz - This Japan-only sequel admittedly doesn't add much to the Bomberman formula, but it's a solid game regardless. The addition of vehicles and power-up capsules make this one feel like a miniaturized version of some of the later Super Bomberman games, and being able to select from three worlds to start on allows for a nice variation. The game's all right with me.



#122 - Gradius Galaxies
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - Gradius and the Game Boy never really got along. There were two on the brick Game Boy and neither of them were actually all that good. Decent, but not the best. Gradius Galaxies comes the closest to being like a true Gradius game, and it's got four ships for you to play around with! It's about as complex as Gradius II, but Gradius II is my favorite one. Gradius Galaxies was the first Gradius game I actually beat, and it started the love-hate relationship I've got with this series. I mean, this thing won't make people look at you funny. Not like if you were playing Otomedius. I beat that shit. Twice. Beat Gradius Galaxies instead.



#121 - Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!
Chosen by: computercat

computercat - Not Bad.



#120 - Bionic Commando: Elite Forces
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus

Carmichael Micaalus - This was one of those games I only had the chance to play a bit of, but I remember it being pretty fun, and I wish I had a bit more time to play more of it.



#119 - Game & Watch Gallery
Chosen by: Pauncho Smith

Pauncho Smith - The precursor to the Tiger Electronic handhelds with a Marioverse facelift? I'm game. This collection is as basic as it gets, but the reimagined LCD games are at least good for a lark.

Also, you can't even dream of touching my high score in Modern Octopus.



#118 - Great Greed
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - This RPG... I believe it was about the environment, people were named after food, had horrible graphics and music, and its promotion of adultery, incest, child and gay marriage bizarrely flew over Nintendo's dictatorship censorship radar.



#117 - Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Chosen by: Remnant

Remnant - Ah yes, the much-maligned GBA port of the Final Fantasy Origins. Dawn of Souls gets a lot of flak for featuring the Easy Mode difficulty from Origins as the only way to play through the games. Despite that, I got quite a bit of enjoyment out of this little cart.

I didn't get into Final Fantasy until I played the PS1 games in late high school and early college. Having cut my teeth on the easier later games, I had little to no patience for earlier, more grindy JRPGs. I tried playing FFI on an NES emulator and could never get very far before losing patience with it. Despite this, I still wanted to play through all the old-school Final Fantasy games. I snapped this up for about $10 and it ended up being the perfect vessel to check two games off of that list.

The Easy Mode level of difficulty made FFI a pleasure cruise through Uematsu's fun soundtrack and Amano's great art design. The setting and story, while sparse compared to later games, was still a fun ride that I found quite engaging, even after being thoroughly entrenched in what the PS2-era had to offer.

Final Fantasy II is an interesting case. When I played it here, I mostly enjoyed it. The fetch-questing to advance the story was a bit bothersome, but never enough to make me consider stop playing. I actually admired it in a way. The "skills get better as you use them" character development system was quite innovative and forward when you consider that it was the basis of the mega-hit Skyrim released almost two-and-a-half decades later. Even the story seemed forward-thinking, laying out plot devices and character types that would permeate JRPG genre to the present. Sure it had its flaws, but nothing that was beyond the "go easy on it, it's an older game" excuse.

But then I read certain things and had certain conversations with others who played FFII and I realized that the larger opinion of FFII is that it is an irredeemably busted game. It seems that, for me, the Easy Mode had compensated for the flaws to the point that I didn't really notice just how poorly-designed FFII actually was.

Nowadays, trying to replay FFI on this cart is too easy for me; I get bored and give up on it. And FFII? After realizing just how broken the game was, I have no desire to replay that either. However, at that time in my life, this was the perfect way for me to experience these two games, and I'm glad I had it.



#116 - R-Type DX
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - Oh look, another shmup for Game Boy. R-Type is some hardcore stuff, and this version is no exception. It earns its spot for two reasons. The first, of course, is that it's a good game. The "pod", such that it is, offers a wild level of plotting and learning in order to wreck your way through the levels without getting blown to bits. The second reason is that this game has so goddamn much on its cart. You've got the original monochrome versions of R-Type and R-Type II, new colorized versions, and an "Ultimate" mode that welds both games into one great big long shmup. God, this thing is great.



#115 - Kirby's Block Ball
Chosen by: computercat

computercat - Breakout with Kirby.



#114 - Zen: Intergalactic Ninja
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - A licensed platformer that caught me by surprise with its solid gameplay and tight control. I never watched the show it was based on, but Konami really managed to do it justice (as usual) with this game. It's a shame the same didn't happen with the NES version.



#113 - The Final Fantasy Legend (US)
Makai Toushi SaGa (JP)
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus

Carmichael Micaalus - Ah, killing God. America's favorite pastime. I think I got this game from a friend of mine when I bought my Gameboy Color. Good times.



#112 - Pokémon
FireRed/LeafGreen Versions
Chosen by: Remnant

Remnant - All the simple appeal of the first generation of Pokemon combined with the gameplay tweaks that had refined the concept up through the third generation. Presently, this is the only Pokemon game I will have anything to do with, and each time I pick it up, it's pretty much the only game I spend time with until I've beaten the Elite Four.



#111 - Crash Bandicoot:
The Huge Adventure
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - Having grown up playing the three PlayStation classics, this little game managed to fill the gap Traveller's Tales left in my gamer heart after they flipped me the bird with The Wrath of Cortex on the PS2. This was essentially Donkey Kong Country, only with a bandicoot instead of a gorilla.



#110 - Survival Kids
Chosen by: Crono Maniac

Crono Maniac - You play as a little boy or girl who is shipwrecked on an island with nothing but a knife. You can find more tools, as well as food, water, and shelter, by exploring the island and using the crafting system on various items you find. It's not a game about collecting magic rocks, fighting bosses, and saving the world -- it's a game about staying alive. Similar to games like S.O.S. or Raw Danger, Survival Kids uses real, grounded stakes to tell an engaging story through gameplay, and it's one of the only original titles for the Game Boy Color that really stands out.



#109 - One Piece
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - You have to understand. Back in the front half of the 2000's, everyone wanted to see One Piece translated. It was the shit. Then 4Kids Entertainment got their hooks into it and they made the most godawful mess of the thing. It turned the goddamn WORLD off of an otherwise great anime series. The only positive thing to come out of the whole fiasco was this game. It gets a little samey at points, but the levels are expansive and you've got lots of moves to earn and treasure to find and stuff like that. It's still satisfying to beat the crap out of Arlong. That guy was an asshole.



#108 - Revelations: The Demon Slayer (US)
Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible (JP)
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus

Carmichael Micaalus - This game was pretty fun since you could recruit just about anything you fought to fight with you; I always thought that was such an awesome concept. It's been quite awhile since I played this, but if I recall right, you could even get some bosses to join you, 'though I think you got them through some of the weird fusion stuff.



#107 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III:
Radical Rescue
Chosen by: Irish

Irish - Now I have fond memory of the half shelled quartet from back in the day. The first game, Fall of the Foot clan is a fun affair, no doubt. But way too easy and quick, even by 8-bit standards. The sequel, Back to the Sewers, upped the graphics and content, but the game play was pretty blah. Radical Rescue though, wow. Its like Konami looked at Super Metroid, and built a turtles game around the blueprint. All but Michaelangelo have been captured, so Mikey must navigate a labarynth. He's got a hover move with his nunchuks, and each of the turtles when rescued have abilities that let you go deeper. The bosses were challenging, and the game itself was significant and lengthy. Easily some of the best 8-bit design out there.



#106 - Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - Of all Dragon Ball games I've played, this one is the best among them. This side-scrolling beat 'em up is so polished and brimming with life that I almost mistook it for being a Treasure game, but I was surprised to know that it actually had been developed by Dimps, the company who ruined 2D Sonic for me.



#105 - Mole Mania
Chosen by: Pauncho Smith

Pauncho Smith - Arguably the most obscure title that Shigeru Miyamoto has ever been involved with, this mole-based puzzler had the unfortunate luck of having its launch sandwiched between the Pokemon explosion in Japan and the N64's success in America. What Game Boy owners missed out on was a quirky adventure that was as engrossing as it was challenging (I mean your own Grandpappy can be provoked into beating you to death). With any luck, its release on the 3DS Virtual Console will raise Mole Mania's profile a bit.



#104 - Super Dodge Ball Advance
Chosen by: Master of AFTER

Master of AFTER - In my opinion, too few video game designers give sufficient consideration to the "Ouch!" factor. The "Ouch!" factor, simply put, is any aspect of a game's presentation that makes you wince or mutter a little "Ooh...!" whenever a character on-screen endures something physically painful. Despite the complete absence of blood or any lasting visible damage to the players, Super Dodge Ball Advance was a textbook example of the "Ouch!" factor done right. Nailing your opponent's face dead-on with a super throw is still the most viscerally satisfying sensation you can experience in a game outside of pulling off an especially tricky Fatality in Mortal Kombat. I'd even go so far as to say that, most of the time, the former looks like it probably hurt more than the latter.



#103 - Mother 1 + 2
Chosen by: Remnant

Remnant - Mother is a premier example of video games as art. Oh yeah, I went there. The experience of playing Mother instilled me with the experience of being a wide-eyed child who is thrust into mysterious and sometimes disturbing circumstances. With only 8 bits of graphical power and the limited NES hardware, Itoi's pioneering experiment into the JRPG scene ran me through a gamut of emotions one could expect from that experience: wonder, humor, bewilderment, apprehension, fear, and pity. If that's not art, I don't know what is.



#102 - Sonic Advance 2
&
#101 - Sonic Advance 3
Chosen by: Voodoo Groove

Voodoo Groove - Remember that decade where any new Sonic game released on home consoles was utterly reprehensible? Yeah, I try not to either. At least the Advance series was pretty fun and incorporated other playable characters into the mix without adding unnecessary gimmicks.



#100 - Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge
Chosen by: Irish

Irish - I never had an NES, but I did have a game boy. And so when they started pumping these games out for it I was pumped. Each of the games had a mashup from bosses from the NES games, so the powers and levels had to rethought to allow for the whole, boss x is weak against weapon y. I also remember getting killed mercilessly for a few hours the first time I booted this game up. I don't think any game ever challenged me the way this one did back in the 8-bit era. Then the mega man mojo began to click, and I started kicking this games ass. It took a while, those levels and bosses could be real bastards, but it was pretty awesome.



#99 - SD Lupin Sansei: Kinko Yaburi Daisakusen
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - A unique and competent puzzle game based on one of my most cherished anime series of all time. I also couldn't bring myself to stop playing a puzzle with such a kickass in-game tune!



#98 - Dr. Mario & Puzzle League
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - OH HOLY SHIT IT'S DR. MARIO IN MY POCKET. Now, there was already a Dr. Mario port on Game Boy. Plus a later game on this list had a "version" of it. You know what this one has though? IT HAS PUZZLE LEAGUE ON IT TOO! AKA TETRIS ATTACK! OH MAN THAT'S TWO GREAT PUZZLE GAMES ON ONE CART. I am very excited about this and I don't usually go for puzzlers, but these are two of the better ones. And they're on the same damn cartridge. Holy crap does this belong on the list.



#97 - Monster Rancher Battle Card GB
Chosen by: Zeloz

Zeloz - I once rented Monster Rancher for the PlayStation back when that was a thing you could do, but I was a little kid who didn't know jack about training monsters outside of walking them through tall grass. It was really the Monster Rancher anime that got me into the series, and it's what I had in mind when I got this along with my Game Boy Color. What does this game have to do with that show? Well... um... that Holly chick makes a cameo appearance, I think. Or something.

Anyway, having lost my copy of Pokemon Red due to reasons, the game was a comforting replacement and my first foray into colored, portable gaming. It's not the most popular or well-known of card game RPGs, but I find that even now the game play has held up well enough to draw me in.



#96 - Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
Chosen by: Master of AFTER

Master of AFTER - There's nothing I can say about Super Mario Bros. that hasn't been said by tens of thousands of nostalgia-drunk Millennials before me, so I'll simply say that it was fun being able to play the game on long car rides. The reduced view distance and questionable audio emulation kept the "Deluxe" remake from truly outclassing the original, but the exclusive content and wealth of bonus features went a long way toward making the game desirable for more than just its portability. More than anything, I was just happy to own another Game Boy Color game that felt like it was actually worth the purchase price.



#95 - Resident Evil Gaiden
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - For the series first portable outing (Resident Evil 2 on the Game.com doesn't count), this game certainly deserves its merit. While it's far from what I would have expected or wanted from a typical Resident Evil game, Gaiden stayed true to the series survival horror roots with its emphasis on puzzles, exploration, resource management and fight or flight, which managed to keep me on my grips and toes as much as any other oldschool Resident Evil game. Besides, you could finally play as Barry Burton and he's awesome!



#94 - Mega Man Battle Network
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus

Carmichael Micaalus - Beam into the 'net and blow shit up! If you get the correct cards! The first two of these were pretty fun, though I do recall a few of the battles causing me to hit my head against a wall.



#93 - Rayman Raving Rabbids
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - Platforming is where Rayman truly belongs, not in bunch of crappy party game collections. I do have to admit tough, the Rabbids themselves are probably one of the most funny and charismatic "villains" to be ever conceived.



#92 - James Bond 007
Chosen by: Master of AFTER

Master of AFTER - GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 will always be THE game that comes to mind amidst any discussion involving the exploits of 007 on any Nintendo platform. That said, as much as I love that 64-bit piece of multiplayer perfection for all the potentially friendship-destroying sleepovers it managed to pull out of the crapper, I must admit the thought always lingered in the back of my mind that the game never felt particularly Bond-ish. Because really, all the myriad of first-person shooters based on the James Bond license could ever capture with any success was one element of the character: the element that involved gunning down everyone and everything.

James Bond 007 was a departure from the norm in that it removed you from the role of Bond the Heat-Packing Marksman and put you into the role of Bond the Suave Superspy. There was gunplay in the game, sure, but there was also hand-to-hand combat, exploration, puzzle solving, analyzing clues, chatting up the ladies, tongue-in-cheek comedy, and a little bit of nearly everything that elevated pre-Brosnan Bond (alright, pre-Dalton Bond if you want to get technical) a hair above your typical meathead action flick protagonist. What this game captured so well was the feeling of being a secret agent deployed on a mission with no blinking arrow telling you exactly where to go or who to talk to next. Even the more action-oriented stages required careful resource management and a smart use of your available gadgets. You had to pay attention and use your wits to survive - a novel enough concept that I could forgive the questionable hit detection and convoluted stage design.

This game wasn't about being the big-budget, explosion-dodging, Hollywood producer-approved James Bond; this was about getting to be the clever, resourceful, charismatic patriot that first appeared on the pages penned by Ian Fleming. For me, that was such a treat that none of the game's flaws could spoil the experience.



#91 - Kid Dracula
Chosen by: FreezingInferno

FreezingInferno - Another one I got as a child, another one by Konami, and another game I loved and still love today. There was a Famicom version of this thing but we didn't get it. Having played it, I say the hell with it. This Game Boy one is much better. The best way to describe it is, it's Castlevania given the Parodius treatment. Very silly. Very fun. Please play.



#90 - Mega Man III
Chosen by: computercat

computercat - Better then the Nes version.



#89 - Revenge of the 'Gator
Chosen by: Rhete

Rhete - It's no Alien Crush, but for Pinball on the go, this is still a great choice. It also has one of the most adorable title screens ever!



#88 - Super Mario Advance
Chosen by: Pauncho Smith

Pauncho Smith - There were quite a few ports of classic Mario platformers that graced the GBA. I've always felt however that the first release (a souped-up Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Blah Blah) did more than just slap an old game onto a smaller cart. Building on the facelift SMB 2 received with the Super Mario All-Stars set, Advance adds even more flourishes for a voice-acted, mode 7-using, score-tracking, giant Shyguy-filled, coin-and-egg hunting, Robot Birdo-killing experience. In other words, more Mario-esque than the game's previous iterations. I am a bit baffled though as to why Nintendo felt the need to cram the original Mario Bros. into at least 4 MORE GBA TITLES after this one.




#87 - Contra III: The Alien Wars
Chosen by: Pixel Crusher

Pixel Crusher - The definitive portable and on the go Contra experience. It still amazes me how Factor 5 managed to deliver something just as good and faithful as the SNES original on such a tiny screen and I find it sad that Konami themselves did a terrible job with the GBA port years later.



#86 - Mario Tennis
Chosen by: Voodoo Groove

Voodoo Groove - I got a suprising amount of mileage out of this game. It was a solid, addicting tennis game and I was always excited to tweak my character's stats. The only downside was that the matches took FOREVER. Also I'm pretty sure it was the only time besides Pokemon Stadium where the transfer pack was actually useful; it was super fun being able to play as your customized character and match them up with the Mario cast in the N64 version.










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