Last year VGChartz ran a series of articles that ranked the top ten games for a number of modern systems including the 360, Wii, and PS3. The voting was handled by the staff and a small “reader’s choice” section was added with the reader’s opinions. A year has come and gone, and tastes change, so we decided to see what kind of games you guys wanted listed in a top ten this time, except we are handling things differently this time. Not only will the list be compiled entirely by you, the fans, but we will go through a large number of game systems all the way back to the 1970’s with the Atari 2600 to modern day. We hope to do these over a few months, so stay tuned for your favorite systems! Since our readers are a diverse group, be prepared for some surprises!
Our voting was carried out on the forums, where we asked patrons to list their top 5 Game Boy games in order, and numerical values were placed on the rankings. After compiling all the totals, this is the list that we came up with.
A little while ago we saw a top ten list from Sega’s first handheld system, the Game Gear. As just about all of you will know already, that system was an answer to another small handheld system, Nintendo’s own Game Boy. Gunpei Yokoi, creator of such Nintendo mainstays as Metroid and Kid Icarus, saw the need for Nintendo to venture into fairly untested waters – portable gaming. The Game Boy was not Nintendo’s first handheld, as the Game & Watch would take that crown, but it was definitely the most successful for a very long time. Now it ranks second in handheld console sales after its grandson, the Nintendo DS. As with what the site compiles as total Game Boy sales, we will be including games created for the spinoff system, the Game Boy Color, as it was not considered a sequel as much as an “upgrade”.
Now let’s see the games that we voted on!
10. Super Mario Land
We start the list with the first Game Boy Mario game, Super Mario Land. Tasked with saving princess Daisy from an alien menace known as Tatunga, Mario fights his way through all manner of desert, cave and submarine shooting gallery. The game may be slightly different than many of the later Mario games, but still holds all of the classic style of its brethren. Super Mario Land went on to be very popular, and sold nearly 20 million copies. This makes it the fourth best selling Game Boy game to date.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
One of only a handful of non Nintendo developed Zelda games; The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages was a flagship game for the Game Boy Color. Using gameplay styles similar to A Link to the Past, This Capcom made Zelda exploits time travel to see what happens to the future if one is to tinker in the past. This was released alongside another game called The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.
8. Metroid II: The Return of Samus
The second entry in the popular Metroid franchise was launched on the Game Boy rather than the NES, a move that was rather unheard of at the time. The game was fairly well received and was a hit despite a few cranky critics. The story follows Samus as she moves to SR388, the home world of the Metroids, to hopefully end them forever. The events depicted in Metroid II: The Return of Samus are a direct lead in to the VERY popular Super Metroid.
7. Pokémon Yellow
Ah yes the first in what is sure to be many Pokémon games on the list. Pokémon Yellow is an odd game in that it can be seen as a “best of” compilation of the two previous games (Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue) and a direct answer to fans of the anime series. Unlike Red and Blue, Yellow gives the superstar character Pikachu top billing.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
Just like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons was a duo of very different Zelda games made for the Game Boy Color. Unlike Ages, which concentrated on time travel between two fixed points, Seasons tasks Link with a quest to exploit the many seasons in Nature to make it to the end.
5. Pokémon Silver/Gold Versions
Gold and Silver are the first second generation Pokémon games, released a while ago for the Game Boy Color. Not only do the games sport the obvious color addition, but sport a mighty healthy portion of NEW Pokémon. This upgrade to the series established bestiary brought the total from a paltry 150 monsters to a healthy 250 different Pokémon. The game also features an entirely new region to explore called Johto.
The true Game Boy classic, Tetris was the Russian sensation that solidified the Game Boy as a gaming force. Originally a pack-in with the Game Boy itself, The Nintendo version of Tetris was one of those games that seemed easy at first, but took skill and patience to truly master.
3. Super Mario land 2: 6 Golden Coins
While Super Mario Land was somewhat similar to the original Super Mario Bros. game, Super Mario land 2: 6 Golden Coins definitely had a bit of the spice that made the later Mario games so fun. Not only did the game contain a costume for a cute woodland animal turned badass, in this case a set of bunny ears, but it also introduced the nefarious Wario to the masses.
2. Pokémon (Red/Blue Versions)
We’ve seen a few of the later First and second generation Pokémon games on this list, but nothing beats the original. Nintendo tried something new with the game in creating a way for gamers to trade the monsters that they had collected. Suddenly, the lightly used link cable for the original Game Boy became a hot commodity, and Pokemania had ensued. It’s hard to think that Nintendo once feared the games demise in America and other western countries, so they pumped over 50 million dollars into marketing. Looks like it paid off!
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
With an overwhelming landslide win, the most popular Game Boy and Game Boy Color game on the VGChartz network is The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (and the DX version). As with many handheld Nintendo games, Link’s Awakening takes the tried and true gameplay mechanics from the main series, and turns them on their head with all sorts of fun handheld gimmicks. The game does not feature the triforce, Ganon, or even the title character Princess Zelda! Instead we find Link washed up on a mysterious island trying to head home.
That’s it for this top ten list; join us soon for The Sega Saturn!