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What Games Would the Game Boy Classic Edition Have?

by Dylan Siegler


The SNES Classic Edition came out a little over a week ago and, just as expected, it has been immensely popular. Given the success of both the NES Classic and the SNES Classic, some questions have been raised about future Nintendo micro consoles. Will there be a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition? What about a GameCube Classic after that? I answered those questions and more in an earlier article you can check out by clicking here. But today we turn to a topic that fans have also been curious about: will there be handheld micro consoles? Given the combined popularity of the Game Boy in the 90s and the recent Classic Editions, will there at some point be a Game Boy Classic Edition? Nintendo hasn’t announced anything on the topic, but it’s clear that there are many fans who would be interested in a Game Boy Classic should it become a thing. So today, I came up with some lists for what games could possibly be on handheld Nintendo micro consoles.

First of all, I should explain my methods. I did some research to find the most well-received, best-selling and just most loved and popular Game Boy games to determine which games should go on this list. I decided that if the NES Classic had 30 8-bit games on it, then it would probably be safe to assume that the Game Boy, which also ran 8-bit games, would also have 30 games. Some other things I took into consideration and generally tried to stick to were things like which games Nintendo could realistically get the rights to. If the popular game DuckTales wasn’t on the SNES Classic due to rights issues, its Game Boy counterpart probably wouldn’t make the cut either, so it was omitted from my list. Also, since many early Game Boy games were kind of just crappy ports of NES and SNES games, I tried to fill my list mostly with games that were either exclusive to the handheld console or games that were different enough from their home console brethren to justify inclusion. I couldn’t always follow these self-appointed rules, but I did my best. It’s also worth noting that, just like with my games lists for the hypothetical N64 Classic, GameCube Classic and Wii Classic, priority for this list of games was given to properties that Nintendo either owns or has a strong relationship with. This rule went double for Pokémon. It may just be bias because I love Pokémon, but it seems to make sense to me that Nintendo would want as many Pokémon games on handheld micro consoles as possible since it is their most popular handheld franchise. In fact, Pokémon is the second highest selling video game franchise of all time. Since all main series Pokémon games have been on handheld consoles, so far, it makes sense to me that Nintendo would want to capitalize on this when coming up with their list of games for a prospective Game Boy Classic.

So, without further ado, here is the list of games I came up with for the Game Boy Classic Edition, in alphabetical order:

  • Alleyway
  • Bionic Commando
  • Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
  • Donkey Kong (AKA Donkey Kong ’94)
  • Donkey Kong Land
  • Donkey Kong Land 2
  • Donkey Kong Land III
  • Dr. Mario
  • F-1 Race
  • Final Fantasy Adventure
  • The Final Fantasy Legend
  • Final Fantasy Legend II
  • Gargoyle’s Quest
  • Harvest Moon GB
  • Kid Dracula
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
  • Kirby’s Dream Land
  • Kirby’s Dream Land 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
  • Mario’s Picross
  • Mega Man V
  • Metroid II: Return of Samus
  • Mole Mania
  • Pokémon Red/Blue Version
  • Pokémon Yellow Version
  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
  • Tetris
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
  • Yoshi

I’m not sure how Nintendo would want to handle the fact that Pokémon games usually come out in sets of two games that are almost the same. Would they include both versions or just one? Which one would they pick? Would they somehow combine them into one game? I don’t know, so I just listed Red and Blue as the same game on this list. Even though Yellow is still 1st Generation and takes place in the same region and everything, I think it’s different enough to warrant its own place on the list, so that’s why I did that.

Anyway, if Nintendo did make a Game Boy Classic, and assuming it would be as popular as their other micro consoles, they probably wouldn’t stop there. While the SNES was a 16-bit home console, handheld consoles didn’t really make the jump to 16-bit until the Game Boy Advance. So I decided that if the NES Classic had 30 games and the SNES Classic had 21 games, then the GBA Classic would probably have around 20 games as well, so the Game Boy Color Classic would have 25 games. Following similar criteria as my last list, here’s the list I came up with for games that could be on the Game Boy Color Classic Edition:

  • Bionic Commando: Elite Forces
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Dragon Warrior III
  • Dragon Warrior Monsters
  • Dragon Warrior Monsters II
  • Final Fantasy Legend III
  • Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Tennis
  • Mega Man Xtreme
  • Mega Man Xtreme 2
  • Metal Gear Solid (AKA Metal Gear: Ghost Babel)
  • Pokémon Crystal Version
  • Pokémon Gold/Silver Version
  • Pokémon Pinball
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
  • Pokémon Trading Card Game
  • R-Type DX
  • Shantae
  • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
  • Survival Kids
  • Tetris DX
  • Wario Land 3

And here’s my list of 20 games for the Game Boy Advance Classic Edition:

  • Advance Wars
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
  • Final Fantasy VI Advance
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Fire Emblem
  • Golden Sun
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age
  • Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Mega Man Zero
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Metroid: Zero Mission
  • Mother 3
  • Pokémon Emerald Version
  • Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen Version
  • Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire Version
  • Wario Land 4

So now we’re at the point where it’s likely Nintendo would stop making handheld micro consoles. Let’s look at the timeline: Nintendo hasn’t said anything about a Game Boy Classic, so if they did end up making one, it likely wouldn’t come out until fall of 2018 at the earliest. Nobody’s arguing whether the Game Boy is a classic system or not; by 2018, it will be nearly 30 years old. If we assume Nintendo releases one handheld micro console a year, which is what it seems they are doing so far for home micro consoles, then the GBC Classic would come out in 2019. The GBC would be over 20 years old, so it definitely qualifies as a classic console. The GBA Classic comes out in 2020, when the GBA is almost 20 years old itself. But would the Nintendo DS be considered a classic to warrant a Nintendo DS Classic Edition in 2021? The handheld console originally came out in 2004, so at 17 years old, it certainly could be considered a classic console, but it’s up for debate. But I made a list anyway. Continuing the same regression in number of games and following similar criteria, here’s my list of 15 games for the Nintendo DS Classic Edition:

  • Animal Crossing: Wild World
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse
  • Kirby Mass Attack
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
  • Mario Kart DS
  • New Super Mario Bros.
  • Pokémon Platinum Version
  • Pokémon SoulSilver/HeartGold Version
  • Pokémon White/Black Version
  • Pokémon White/Black Version 2
  • The World Ends with You

The World Ends with You probably seems like an odd choice at the end of a list otherwise dominated by Nintendo-owned properties, but the game was on nearly every list I saw of “best DS games,” so I decided to include it. Anyway, the Nintendo 3DS didn’t come out until 2011, so by 2022, the handheld console will only be 11 years old. Probably not old enough to warrant a 3DS Classic Edition. Not to mention it would be hard to come up with a list of just ten games for the Classic Edition, especially since the console’s lineup of games continues to grow as I’m writing this. But I made a list anyway, because why not? This is fun. As of the time I’m writing this, I think a decent 10-game list for the hypothetical Nintendo 3DS Classic Edition could be:

  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
  • Metroid: Samus Returns
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokémon Sun/Moon
  • Pokémon X/Y
  • Super Mario 3D Land

Yeah, a 3DS Classic Edition probably won’t be happening any time soon. And if it does eventually happen, hopefully they’d be able to fit more than just 10 games on it. Anyway, what do you think of these lists? Would you buy a Game Boy Classic if it had these games? What are some of your favorite games you’d want included?

- This article was updated on:November 2nd, 2017

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