December 10, 2023


Enhance your play

All Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy Games, Ranked

Nintendo’s original portable console has finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color have combined to be the fourth best-selling lines of consoles of all time. And with all of those consoles sold comes a plethora of fantastic games.

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Game Boy on Nintendo Switch is a fanboy’s dream come true. Nintendo has taken a ton of care in emulating these games to the Switch software and even added some nostalgia enhancements for a more genuine experience. The games on offer can be played with different color palettes and grid lines to mirror how they looked on each different hardware iteration. The games initially released for service vary in quality, but there is something to find for every retro gamer.


9 Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare

Carnby stands in front of a creepy home

There was a strange trend in gaming around the late 90s into the early 2000s where developers would release totally different versions of a game under the same name. While the Game Boy Color version of Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare follows some of the same story beats as its console counterpart, no one would suggest these are the same game.

The GBC version only contains one playable character, the gameplay is totally different, and the story doesn’t even end the same way. This game is a fine addition to the Nintendo Switch Online service as a means of showing off what the Game Boy Color could do, but it’s the lowest quality title released.

Yoshi grabs a donut shaped object with his tounge

Before Nintendo went all-in on home consoles, they released small portable games called Game & Watch. The series of handhelds were fun at the time, but the technological limitations could only provide so much gameplay. RELATED: Nintendo Games That Deserve A Game And WatchNintendo re-released some of the classic handheld titles through their Game and Watch Gallery series on the Game Boy Color. Gallery 3 is the best of the bunch released for the system. The titles featured in this collection are fun and easy to pick up, and every game contains an enhanced version taking advantage of the Game Boy Color’s hardware. The collection is fun for a short nostalgia trip, but not much else.

7 Gargoyle’s Quest

boss battle from Gargoyles Quest

Gargoyle’s Quest was a pleasant surprise addition to Nintendo Switch Online’s Game Boy service. The game was first released in 1990, pre-dating the classic children’s show, and it was an instant hit for Game Boy.

The game plays much like the Ghosts n’ Goblins series while scaling back the difficulty, making it easier for newcomers. Copies of the original can be hard to come by, so it’s thrilling to have this classic see new life on the Switch.

6 Wario Land 3

wario from super mario land 2 TV advertisement

The Wario Land titles felt like an oddity for Nintendo at the time, but the quality and longevity of the games are undeniable. Wario controls totally differently from Mario and has the player facing different progress-impeding puzzles along the journey. RELATED: Best Wario Games, RankedWario Land 3 wasn’t as great as its predecessors, but it is still a fantastic platformer for Nintendo’s handheld system. Hopefully, we get more Wario Land titles added to the service.

5 Metroid 2: Return Of Samus

Samus shoots a rocket at a jumping enemy

The original Metroid was revolutionary, and its sequel built upon those mechanics in meaningful ways. While it wouldn’t be until Metroid 2’s sequel, Super Metroid on the SNES, that the series would really begin to set itself apart, Metroid 2 is a wonderful action platformer.

Metroid 2 picks up right after the events of the first game and has Samus Aran searching the alien’s home planet to finish her mission. The gameplay is classic Metroid and works just as well now as it did on the original Game Boy. It might not be one of the best Metroidvanias out there, but it certainly paved the way for the greats.

4 Kirby’s Dream Land

Kirby sucks up an enemy

Kirby’s Dream Land marks the first game in the Kirby series and the introduction of the iconic character. The game is a wonderful 2D platformer that’s perfectly designed around Kirby’s unique powers.

Kirby’s Dream Land stands as a testament to Nintendo’s willingness to support the handheld years after its release. The game features a brand-new character in the Nintendo world and side-scrolling action that is well-suited for a smaller screen. We are thrilled to see this added to the service and hope to see other Kirby games come to the service sooner rather than later.

3 Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

Mario jumps for a fire flower

The Super Mario Land series is a series of games for the Game Boy that featured the company’s favorite plumber in a handheld exclusive adventure. The original Super Mario Land is a great game, but it’s his second adventure that solidified these games as classics and introduced the world to Wario. RELATED: Things You Didnt Know The Game Boy Could DoSuper Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has Mario platforming his way through different levels in an attempt to regain his palace from a jealous Wario. The game successfully improved on the original and is a perfect addition to the Nintendo Switch Online Service.

Link climbs a tower

Link’s Awakening took a different approach than many of the other mainline Zelda games. This game takes place outside Hyrule on the island of Koholint. Link must find eight different instruments in order to wake up a sleeping Wind Fish and return home.

The version included in the Nintendo Switch Online Service is the DX version, a remastered version made exclusively for the Game Boy Color. The gameplay is identical to the original Game Boy version, with an updated color palette and one additional dungeon. Links Awakening is one of the best overhead Legend of Zelda adventures and shouldn’t be missed by any Switch owner.

1 Tetris

tetronimo fall into place

There are few more iconic pairings than Tetris and the original Game Boy. Tetris was included as a pack-in game for the system and was one of the main reasons people purchased the Game Boy. All these years later, it’s hard to find anything more addicting than this puzzle masterpiece.

Tetris has the player controlling falling blocks in different shapes in order to make lines. Once a line is made, that row disappears. If the player fails to make enough lines and the falling blocks reach the top of the screen, the game ends. It’s a simple concept but in practice, it can prove to be challenging — and more than that, incredibly addictive. Even after all these years, there is nothing better for a portable gaming system than classic Tetris, which comes as no surprise for the best-selling video game of all time.NEXT: Best Game Boy Color Games