15 Game Boy video games that must be on Nintendo Switch Online

As a gamer in 2021, it may be simple to poke enjoyable at Nintendo’s paid on-line service.

The “big N” appears to be eons behind its competitors relating to its on-line infrastructure. Most titles are practically unplayable when venturing into on-line multiplayer, with disconnections and stuttering body charges being commonplace. However, there’s one saving grace to the Switch’s on-line providing — a hidden gem amongst a crowded panorama of gaming providers — Nintendo Switch Online’s retro video games assortment.

As of proper now, over 100 basic video games are absolutely playable as part of Nintendo’s on-line service. The Switch producer has collected the very best of its NES and SNES catalogue, permitting avid gamers of all ages to expertise watershed moments in gaming historical past. Whether it’s taking up Ganon in The Legend of Zelda or leaping upon Yoshi for the primary time in Super Mario World, it’s all there with particular options like customized save states and a helpful rewind button. It’s an effort that honours the classics whereas providing little high quality of life enhancements that console gamers will get pleasure from.

Games have continued to affix the already stacked lineup of titles on the service with virtually month-to-month updates, however it has been practically two years since a brand new console debuted on Nintendo Online. What appeared to be a yearly rollout for the brand new consoles on the service has floor to a halt.

While followers have been clamouring for methods just like the Nintendo 64 and GameDice to come back to Switch, there was silence from Nintendo’s camp on the matter. However, that doesn’t imply they’re doing nothing with their new tackle basic emulation.

According to recognized Nintendo insider NateDrake, Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles might be making their approach onto Nintendo Switch Online someday later this month. This information would make sense as September marks the three-year anniversary of the service, making it the proper time to drop information comparable to this.

So, listed below are the 15 titles from Nintendo’s groundbreaking transportable that must be on Nintendo Switch Online:

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons

Despite being two completely different takes on the identical recreation, each The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Ages must be on Nintendo Switch Online. These basic Zelda adventures had been launched in May 2001 to vital acclaim. While some would say Link’s Awakening can be the Zelda title to drop on this checklist, Seasons/Ages took what the prior title did and refined it.

Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons

This Game Boy Color basic pushed the console to limits, showcasing a novel vibrant journey, stellar music, and a alternative between a combat-oriented expertise in Seasons and a puzzle-focused one in Ages. This set of titles are a number of the finest that the Game Boy/Game Boy Color has to supply and can be a lot enjoyable to re-experience on fashionable {hardware}.

Super Mario Land

Next on this checklist of must-have Game Boy titles is Super Mario Land. This recreation proved that Nintendo’s signature sequence of platformers might transition from dwelling console to transportable. While that looks as if not a lot of a novel idea now, you need to bear in mind the Game Boy was a primary of its variety machine when it launched again in 1989. The business didn’t know the way issues would play after they made that bounce to on-the-go gaming, and launch title Super Mario Land broke new floor on that entrance.

Super Mario Land

This was a full Mario journey like those that had graced the NES however within the palm of your hand. Yes, the sequel, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, often is the higher recreation, however you may’t go away the primary off a listing like this merely due to the impression it had on gaming at giant.

Donkey Kong Land

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Similar to Super Mario Land earlier than it, Donkey Kong Land took the successful Donkey Kong Country method and let avid gamers put it of their pocket. Released in June 1995, this title was proof that the DKC sequence on Super Nintendo was extra than simply very good music and attention-grabbing graphics. At its core, it was platforming perfection.

Developed in-house by Rare, Donkey Kong Land options 34 brand-new Donkey Kong Country-style ranges with all of the fixings of the house console video games. And despite the fact that these graphics pale compared to DK’s Super Nintendo counterpart, they’re nonetheless a number of the finest that the Game Boy has to supply.

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Metroid II: Return of Samus was certainly one of many sequels to NES classics that got here solely to Game Boy. While Nintendo made positive to comply with up video games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda on their dwelling console, different sequence received their second installments on their pocket-sized machine. Metroid II picks up proper the place Metroid left off with famed bounty hunter Samus despatched to a far-off planet to trace down and destroy the alien Metroid species, a narrative that will be continued upon in a while within the Metroid franchise. This was an all-out space-faring journey within the palm of your hand.


In current years, the Metroidvania method of slowly accumulating new talents and weapons to higher traverse a considerably open atmosphere has blown up, so it might solely make sense to convey one of many style’s forefathers again from the previous for contemporary avid gamers to play. Though not the very best recreation within the Metroid sequence, it pushed the story ahead whereas offering a complete lot of enjoyable on Nintendo’s first handheld.

Mario Golf (GBC)

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Mario Golf for the Game Boy Color was top-of-the-line, most fully-featured sports activities video games on the system. Fan favorite Mario sports activities title options like an emphasis on story and RPG parts began in 1999. Yes, there are higher installments within the Mario Golf franchise, however this can be probably the most influential.

The graphics are easy and there are solely truly three Mario characters within the recreation. Still, the act of swinging the membership on this recreation feels surprisingly good for being on a rudimentary system just like the Game Boy Color. And being on the GBC, this recreation actually pops. It was/is a showcase title for the system with a palette that accentuates the saturated greens and blues that the Game Boy Color would grow to be recognized for.

Super R.C Pro-Am
Super RC Pro AM

Something that may shock a couple of folks is that the Game Boy was dwelling to quite a lot of wonderful racing titles — a main instance of this being Super R.C. Pro-Am. This isometric racer sees avid gamers maneuvering a small distant management automotive by way of all kinds of programs. And although the racing is a blast, what put Super R.C. Pro-Am on the map was its graphics.

This port of the Rareware NES title includes a very early instance of 3D graphics on a conveyable system. You pair that up with the flexibility to hyperlink as much as three different Game Boy consoles to race in opposition to your folks, and you may see how this might be a simple addition to the checklist of basic Nintendo titles getting an internet multiplayer replace.

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters

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As with Metroid II, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters is one more instance of a sequel to an NES basic being launched on the Game Boy. Of Myths and Monsters takes the unique Kid Icarus gameplay and tones down the infamous problem for a way more accessible outing.

Released in 1991, OMaM would function the final time avid gamers would see protagonist Pit till Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. Now, years later, Pit has emerged from the shadows, getting his personal 3DS sequel to his retro titles, and turning into a mainstay Smash Bros. character. So what higher time might there be than to convey again Pit’s first transportable journey?

Wario Land 2

While Super Mario Land might have been the primary platformer on the Game Boy, many would say Wario Land 2 is the very best. The Wario Land sequel differentiated itself from the mainline Mario video games by specializing in extra puzzle-oriented parts. In doing this, Wario Land cast a brand new path, one which Nintendo would preserve coming again to for practically a decade after the sport’s 1999 launch.

Wario Land 2

Something else to notice with Wario Land 2 is its important character himself. Sure, Wario had been round earlier than the Wario Land video games, however this sequence put him on the map. In reality, Wario was truly a personality that debuted on the Game Boy in Super Mario Land 2. His lineage is intimately tied to Nintendo’s first transportable, so it wouldn’t really be a console celebration with out everyone’s favorite overall-clad Mario villain.


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Paperboy has grow to be synonymous with the unique Game Boy. Yes, it was an arcade and Atari tile earlier than its 1990 launch on the console, however there have been few who owned Nintendo’s brown brick who didn’t have Paperboy of their cartridge assortment. The premise was easy: the participant took management of a paperboy, throwing out papers to subscribers’ properties, defacing the homes/yards of those that weren’t subscribed, and dodging all types of obstacles within the course of.

There was one thing concerning the transition of arcade titles to transportable gaming that simply labored. That ‘one more quarter’ mentality paired completely with the fast bursts of taking part in one would discover on a conveyable console. An awesome many fashionable titles owe lots to video games like Paperboy, as a result of now it didn’t matter the place you had been, the hits of the arcade had been in your pocket.

Donkey Kong (GB)

Donkey Kong

In an analogous vein to Paperboy, Donkey Kong (generally known as Donkey Kong 94) on the Game Boy lastly allowed avid gamers to take the arcade on the go. However, Donkey Kong was a lot greater than only a port of a basic — this was a full sequel to Nintendo’s arcade anchor.

Considered by many to be top-of-the-line of the Game Boy’s in depth catalogue, DK94 boasted 101 model new ranges for gamers to sort out, spawned a number of sequels particularly for the Game Boy, and impressed the Mario vs Donkey Kong sequence on Game Boy Advance and DS. Donkey Kong 94 is well top-of-the-line of the very best on the subject of gaming on Nintendo’s first transportable console.

Final Fantasy Adventure

If you needed to credit score one recreation for making transportable RPGs like Dragon Quest XI and Pokemon Sword/Shield doable, Final Fantasy Adventure can be it. Released as Mythic Quest in different elements of the world, FFA took the Final Fantasy method, flipped it on its head a bit, and proved that huge RPGs might work on a conveyable system.

Final Fantasy

Other than Final Fantasy Adventure eliminating the turn-based fight present in most Final Fantasy titles, it had all the opposite mainstays of NES RPGs of the time. It’s an necessary recreation that served because the jumping-off level for an ideal many together with Square Enix’s personal Secret of Mana sequence.

Kirby’s Dream Land

Kirby's Dreamland

Of course, we needed to embody Kirby’s Dream Land on this checklist. While not a necessary platformer, this 1992 title was the debut of Nintendo’s little pink hero. Yes, Kirby’s first recreation was on the unique Game Boy. In the a long time since first venturing into Dream Land, Kirby has grow to be certainly one of gaming’s largest names, and one which has thrived on transportable methods.

Even although Dream Land just isn’t the very best recreation, or probably the most tough, it’s one which anybody with curiosity in online game historical past should expertise. If something, these Nintendo Switch Online titles function a celebration of one of many largest, most necessary corporations in online game historical past. Because of this, it might be a disgrace for the introduction of certainly one of gaming’s hottest characters to not be included on this checklist.

Mario’s Picross

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When placing collectively collections of basic video games to drop on Nintendo Online, the Big N has at all times included a choose few puzzle titles, and on the Game Boy Mario’s Picross is a type of. For those that know the Picross method, not a lot has modified right here; nevertheless, Mario’s Picross affords unprecedented worth in a Picross recreation. Bursting on the seams with over 250 completely different puzzles, this 1995 title can preserve avid gamers glad for hours as they fight to determine the subsequent brain-teasing problem.

So if Nintendo had been to pair up these puzzles with the present-day capability for on-line leaderboards on the Nintendo Switch, it might present much more replay worth to an already extremely replayable expertise. If Nintendo goes to incorporate a handful of puzzle video games of their Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy providing, Mario’s Picross must be certainly one of them.



Throughout this checklist, the intrinsic ties of sure video games to Nintendo’s first transportable console have been introduced up. However, there’s arguably no recreation extra carefully tied to the unique Game Boy than Tetris. The block-stacking puzzler was initially bundled with the Game Boy and has grow to be synonymous with the console.

It’s not hyperbole to say there’s in all probability no recreation that has been performed by extra folks than Tetris in its many types over time. Selling greater than 35 million copies, Tetris is the best-selling recreation on the console and is important on a listing comparable to this. This is the place the tetromino phenomenon began. Though there have been many adjustments and iterations made to the Tetris recipe since its Game Boy launch, that is the purest and a few would say the very best model of the expertise.

Pokémon Blue/Red

Pokemon Red and Blue

And final however most actually not least, if you happen to don’t suppose Tetris is that primary most important Game Boy recreation, you’d say it’s Pokémon Red/Blue. These had been the video games that began all of it, taking up schoolyards, and launching one of many largest leisure manufacturers on the earth.

These RPGs offered practically 32 million copies, turning into greater than only a scorching new online game franchise. Their success served as a springboard into sequels, buying and selling playing cards, anime, and merchandising galore. Few video video games have crossed generational and cultural boundaries as Pokémon has, and it’s all as a result of these first video games had been so good. The sequels Gold/Silver are in all probability higher and can be welcome additions to Nintendo Switch Online down the highway, however Red/Blue should be there day one, in all their monster-collecting glory.

And that’s it — whereas there are in all probability many extra Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles that might see the sunshine of day on Nintendo Switch Online, these are the titles that completely should be there when the gathering drops.

The Game Boy line of consoles’ impression on gaming can’t be understated. The Nintendo Switch wouldn’t be a factor if it weren’t for Nintendo taking that first step into the world of transportable. While there nonetheless has been no official announcement of the GB and GBC coming to Switch, it solely looks as if a matter of time. Then avid gamers can get on wishing for what’s comes after that, be it Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, or the Nintendo GameDice.

Image credit score: Nintendo

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Written by Gideon


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