There have been a lot of consoles throughout the years, some bad and some good, but every single one of those consoles has both good and bad games. Trying to find the good through the bad is a lot easier these days with the use of the internet, but back in the day it would take more effort. Sometimes, the only way to find out if a game was any good or not was to dig deep into your pockets and buy the game! This has lead to a lot of people having to play some pretty bad games, so we thought we would honor some of those bad games.
In this list we're going to tell everyone which Game Boy Color games were really bad, giving people a chance to feel really cathartic about some of the time they had to waste on them back in the day. Then, we're going to talk about some of the Game Boy Color games that we genuinely believe are worth a second look, even all of these years later.
So, are people ready to see both the good and the bad of the Game Boy Color era? Want to know which of these games may have past you by back in the day?! Well then, we better get started!
30 Not Worth It: Titus The Fox: To Marrakech And Back
There was a time in video games where mascots ruled all, with every game developer out there trying to come up with their own popular mascot in the hope of gaining a devoted following.
Sadly, Titus The Fox didn't end up making waves in the way that the developers were hoping, partly down to the fact that the games were never any good! This version removed most of the gameplay options that were found in other versions, which made many people ponder as why they bothered to port it to the GBC at all.
29 Second Look: R-Type DX
Where Galaga couldn't properly capitalize on the nostalgia that it had after being so successful during the golden age of video games, R-Type DX managed to bring an old-school genre to a new format.
Again, it's a perfect fit for the Game Boy Color, as the hardware is able to properly replicate the gameplay that was found at the arcade and on home consoles at the time. The graphics weren't as nice as on other versions, but it offered people a chance to play this type of game on the move.
28 Not Worth It: ECW Hardcore Revolution
Wrestling has been a popular form of entertainment for years now, so it's no surprise that people have been making video games about it for a long time. However, not all wrestling games are created equal. These days, we have major games that are able to accurately put the player in the place of their favorite wrestler, but back in the day this is what the fans had to contend with...
Not only were the graphics difficult to look at, the game itself was played with glitches. Even when it worked how it was supposed to, players complained about sluggish controls that certainly didn't make them feel like their favorite wrestler!
27 Second Look: Bubble Bobble
There's no denying that Bubble Bobble is a great game, one that many of us have had a good time with at some point in our lives, which is exactly why we think it was overlooked when it was ported to the Game Boy Color.
The problem was that players could already have a go on superior versions of the game when they were at home, meaning they weren't too bothered about this port.
However, we don't think that this chance to play the game on the go was ever allowed to properly flourish. It was well worth a look then and we think it's worth a look now.
26 Not Worth It: Galaga: Destination Earth
Galaga is a game that inspires nostalgia in a lot of older games, being as it was an arcade classic from the golden age of video games, but that doesn't mean every installment has been worth going back to.
It would make sense that a game like this that demands a relatively small amount from hardware would be a perfect fit for a handheld like the Game Boy Color, but it didn't turn out so well. Even for the time, the graphics were difficult to look at, and the scrolling screen didn't make it easy to play either.
25 Second Look: Mario Tennis
When Super Mario was first developed, we don't think that the people working on it thought that it would ever end up leading to a bunch of spin-off games in which Mario and his friends play various sports together. In this game, players are tasked with picking a character before rising through the ranks, getting better and better at tennis before having to take on Mario, the greatest tennis player of all time. Who knew that a plumber that lives almost entirely off pizza and pasta would be any good at tennis?
24 Not Worth It: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy was a major cultural icon at one point in time, so it's really sad that none of the video games that bear her name were worth our time. This is especially true of the Game Boy Color game.
A lot of beat em ups managed to gain a lot of good reviews on handheld devices, but this was not one of them.
The graphics could not live up to the world of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that was put in place by the television show and the gameplay left a lot to be desired, never really making the player feel like a proper vampire slayer.
23 Second Look: Rainbow Islands
A port of an arcade game, this was another chance for the Game Boy Color to offer the player something they couldn't get anywhere else. With the success of Bubble Bobble, it's no surprise that developers decided to create a sequel, but they also wanted to make sure that it didn't completely follow what was left behind by the first game.
Following on from the true ending of Bubble Bobble, players were offered the chance to play as their favorite dragons, but this time in their human forms. This slight change was enough to get critics and fans to buy it, and they were happy they did as well!
22 Not Worth It: Pokémon Pinball
Look, we know that we're going to get a lot of people saying we're wrong for this one, but we have to say that Pokémon Pinball was a real let down for us. We were obsessed with Pokémon back in the day, so when this game came out, we were upset it wasn't another proper installment in the franchise. That being said, we did like the fact that players could put a battery in the cartridge and it would vibrate at different times throughout the game. It was an interesting hardware gimmick, but we wish it had been utilized by an actual Pokßmon game!
21 Second Look: Bionic Commando: Elite Forces
While Bionic Commando proved to be a big hit for Nintendo when it first came out, the developers of this sleeper hit decided to go in a different direction with it. They kept the universe but changed the gameplay. Sure, it kept some of the things that made the original great in the first place, but it also added its own spin on things, putting in various changes to gameplay and story.
One part of the gameplay that was praised was the option to use a sniper at various points throughout the game, adding in a whole other layer to what was on offer in the previous installment!
20 Not Worth It: Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown
The problem with a lot of beat em ups is that they don't take into consideration how repetitive the gameplay can become after a while. Moving from one area of the game to another engaging in exactly the same gameplay just doesn't work in the long term.
This was exactly the problem that many people had with Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown. It was a clear attempt to cash in on the success of the movies.
The small number of moves available to the player meant that no strategy went into the gameplay, leaving a lot of people bored within minutes of sticking the cartridge into their Game Boy Color.
19 Second Look: Tomb Raider: Curse Of The Sword
While it's certainly not a series that feels like it would naturally convert to a handheld console with limited hardware, this Tomb Raider game actually offered players varied gameplay. Better than the previous handheld game in the series, this sequel tightened up everything people enjoyed about the first chance to step into the shoes of Lara Croft while on the go.
In fact, it was so popular amongst critics and fans that it lead to numerous Tomb Raider games being developed for handheld consoles. To this day, they're all still worth a look.
18 Not Worth It: Men In Black: The Series
It's no surprise that Men In Black got a game, but we think that a lot of people will admit they were surprised that the spin-off television series ended up with one. It won't come as a surprise that this game wasn't very good...
Not only did the graphics leave a lot to be desired, the gameplay was truly bad as well, offering nothing that people hadn't already seen before.
Many people consider this to be one of the most underwhelming releases to appear on the Game Boy Color, as it did not live up to the established universe laid out by the movie, a movie that everyone loved!
17 Second Look: Dragon Warrior Monsters
Dragon Warrior is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, and for good reason! They're a fun RPG that allow players the chance to travel across a world and take on a varied collection of enemies.
The Dragon Warrior Monsters series goes down a different path, allowing players to step into the same universe but offering different gameplay.
Similar to Pokémon, it offers players the chance to breed their own monsters and fight them against other monsters. To this day, it's still worth a look for players who are into this sort of thing!
16 Not Worth It: Mortal Kombat 4
If a video game developers hit on a winner, something that people love and will spend money on, they inevitably run that idea into the ground. This is exactly why Mortal Kombat has been ported to so many different consoles at this point. At its core, the concept of being able to play Mortal Kombat on the go is actually a very appealing one, but the technology just wasn't good enough at the time to make it palatable to a mass audience. If they tried it now on something like the Switch, we think it would be a success.
15 Second Look: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
This was another chance for the developers of Pokémon to fill our childhood with glee at the prospect of another proper Pokémon game, but this one actually offered something more than just pinball so we forgave it.
Not only was the game well loved by both fans and critics at the time, it has a basic set of puzzle mechanics that gamers will find themselves enjoying to this day. They're timeless and universal. We challenge anyone to sit down with this game before trying to pull themselves away five minutes later. It will have you hooked.
14 Not Worth It: Star Wars: Yoda Stories
We all know that Star Wars is a franchise that has managed to make a lot of money out of every form of entertainment out there, including video games, so it's no surprise that there was a Game Boy Color game centered around it, although it may be a surprise that it was as bad as it was! Rather than focusing on the fights that the Star Wars series are known for, the developers decided to create a game based on one of the most popular characters in the series. Yes, they made an adventure game that allowed the player to take on the role of Yoda, and it did about as good as you would expect...
13 Second Look: Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
It's often said that the oldies are the best, which is definitely true when it comes to this game, that allows owners of a Game Boy Color to play the original Super Mario, the first in the series and the one that put Shigeru Miyamoto on the map.
People had probably already played it, but they would've had to play it while at home. Now, they were able to play one of the most popular video games of all time while on the go. This influential game is worth going back to now, and if people can only find this version, then so be it!
12 Not Worth It: Rugrats In Paris: The Movie
While this game found mixed reviews on home consoles like the PS1 and N64, the handheld version didn't receive the same sort of reviews. People were not impressed by the reduced amount of gameplay on offer to those who wanted to play as their favorite cartoon babies while on the go. Not only that, but obviously the graphics had to take quite the step back as well. All in all, the sprite work on display is not as bad as some of the other offenders, but it still wasn't enough to keep people happy as it didn't make up for the poor gameplay.
11 Second Look: Wario Land 3
After appearing as the villain in Super Mario Land 2, Nintendo decided to make Wario a mainline character in the Super Mario games, giving him his own video games to appear in.
This was the third time that players had been allowed to step into the shoes of Wario, and by this point, the developers had tightened everything right up.
Offering a sort of Metroidvania style game that is more about figuring out the right way past a puzzle than it is precision platforming, this was the game that finally gave Wario his own gameplay style.
10 Not Worth It: X-Men: Mutant Wars
The thing about fighting games is that they're always better when people can play with others, whether it be friends or complete strangers through the use of online play. We don't understand why anybody would want to play a game like this on their own and on the go...
It seems that a lot of the critics agreed with us as well, as they found the game to be decidedly boring.
Getting the chance to play as their favorite superhero was probably enough to get people to buy this very bad game.
9 Second Look: Kirby Tilt 'N' Tumble
Just like the Pokémon Pinball cartridge, this Kirby game came with a genuinely enjoyable gimmick, allowing players to move around the character by moving the Game Boy Color in the real world.
This doesn't seem like such a big deal this day, but at the time it was a huge thing, a developer trying something different in the hope of bringing an all-new gameplay mechanic to fans. Unlike Pokémon Pinball, this gimmick was also placed on top of a genuinely good game, a favorite of many who continue to look back on the video game nostalgic.
8 Not Worth It: Godzilla: Monster Wars
The chance to play as one of the most famous on-screen monsters is enough to get anyone reaching for their wallet, but what players were given was not what they paid for... Yes, this game was very bad, to the point that pretty much every critic agreed that it offered nothing to a buyer that they couldn't find somewhere else on the Game Boy Color and done far better as well.
The crazy thing is that this game was actually a sequel, which implies that enough people bought the first game to warrant making this one afterward! Yet another sign that we all need to start voting with our wallets...
7 Second Look: Donkey Kong Land 3
This port is exactly the reason that a lot of people bought handheld consoles back in the day, and it's also why consoles like the Nintendo Switch continue to be popular. They give us all a chance to play the sort of thing we love on home consoles by while we're away from home!
Sure, this port of Donkey Kong Country 3 was nowhere near as pretty as the original video game on the Super Nintendo, but it offered exactly the same gameplay that we already knew and loved. If people can't get their hands on the original, this port is the next best thing.
6 Not Worth It: The Mask Of Zorro
After the huge success of the movie, it's no surprise that people decided they should create a game based on it, but this was long before a time when developers were creating good movie tie-in games...
Players were interested at first, as the gameplay centered on players having to use fencing to take down their enemies, but what seemed like an interesting mechanic quickly proved to be shallow. Once people realized that this was nothing more than an attempt to make money, it wasn't long before players started to get bored.
5 Second Look: Metal Gear Solid
Before the release of Metal Gear Solid, the Metal Gear games took on this sort of top down perspective, so it's no surprise that the Metal Gear Solid port onto Game Boy Color decided to do the same thing, allowing them to work with the limited hardware and pay homage to the older games at the same time. It paid off, as people absolutely adored this game, which was a surprise to everyone at the time. Often time, the port of a successful 3D game back into 2D does not go too well, so when this game came out and wowed everyone, it was a very pleasant surprise!
4 Not Worth It: Dogz
The concept of a video game allowing someone a chance to have a pet is an exciting one, as many of us are in positions where it's not possible to do the same in real life. Imagine how disappointed people must have been when they finally got to play this game then. The sad fact is that a simulation of a pet can never be as enjoyable as the reality of owning one, so players ended up with something that not only didn't supply them with what they wanted, but didn't appear to be much fun to control anyway.
3 Second Look: Mega Man Xtreme
This spin-off from the Mega Man X series, this Xtreme series allowed people to enjoy the Mega Man gameplay they'd come to love but on the go. Not having to be at home to enjoy this was a very big deal at the time. While the graphics don't live up to the beauty of the home console version, as they were never going to, it does offer people the chance to play as Mega Man while traveling. Everything that people love about Mega Man is here, including the blistering difficulty that will turn a lot of people away!
2 Not Worth It: Austin Powers: Oh Behave!
Was there really a chance that this would ever end up being good? While it may be enticing to give this game a look once you see the Rockstar logo on the front cover, you should be made aware that this is nothing like their later releases.
It's weird to think that this game actually managed to get mixed reviews from the critics, even though it's clearly a shallow attempt to cash in on a popular movie. A collection of poorly put together mini-games, there is nothing here for fans of either the movie or of video games in general. Stay well away!
1 Second Look: Shantae
This Metroidvania game from the Game Boy Color era has managed to make a revival recently in the form of various 3D installments, but we think it's worth taking a look at the solid gameplay of the game that started it all off.
Players take on the role of Shantae as she whips her hair at enemies and attempts to foil the plans of Risky Boots the pirate.
As a half-genie, Shantae is able to pick up powers on her quest that make her more and more powerful, which is what puts it into the category of Metroidvania!