BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at Creators.co
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

Nintendo's Game Boy might be the most popular transportable device ever created, selling over 100 million units worldwide (including the Pocket and Color editions).

The first was released in Japan on April 21, 1989 and it quickly beat similar, rival devices on the market and became an enormous success with games like Tetris, Super Mario Land and eventually Pokémon. It might be hard to imagine these days, but back then (28 years ago!) the original Game Boy was unbelievably handy, the 8 kilobyte of ram more than enough and the 15 to 30 hour battery life was astonishing.

The Top Selling Game Boy Games Of All Time

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]

Later, the Game Boy was reintroduced in more advanced version. We got the less brick-like Game Boy Pocket, the colorful Game Boy Color and of course the seriously high tech Game Boy Advance.

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All of them had their fair share of more or less legendary titles that become iconic for their time. There's been a lot of bestseller games for both the original Game Boy and the later versions, and most of them bring back nostalgic memories of a simpler time, when a 2.6 inch display and 4 shades of grey was enough to entertain you for months on end.

Let's take a closer look at the best selling Game Boy games of all time.

8. 'Kirby's Dream Land'

[Credit: HAL Laboratory]
[Credit: HAL Laboratory]
  • Copies sold: 5.13 million
  • Year: 1992
  • Device: Game Boy
  • Developer/publisher: HAL Laboratory / Nintendo

This is the first game in what became the Kirby series, and the first game to feature the game's protagonist, the balloon like creature Kirby, who's been a Nintendo favorite ever since.

The game became the first original franchise on the Game Boy that achieved widespread success. The gameplay was similar to that of a regular side-to-side platformer, except for the fact that Kirby could fly if he swallowed enough air and even devour objects and enemies to spit them out as projectiles.

7. 'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening'

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]
  • Copies sold: 6.05 million
  • Year: 1993
  • Device: Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Developer/publisher: Nintendo

Originally intended to be a part of a SNES Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening evolved into a standalone experience during its development. It's the first Zelda game not to take place in the land of Hyrule, and it does not feature Princess Zelda or the Triforce relic.

Instead it takes place on Koholint Island where Link is stranded. The player must fight monsters and solve puzzles while searching for eight musical instruments that will allow Link to escape the island.

6. 'Pokémon Yellow'

[Credit: Game Freak]
[Credit: Game Freak]
  • Copies sold: 8.86 million
  • Year: 1998
  • Device: Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Developer/publisher: Game Freak / Nintendo

There wasn't much to Pokémon Yellow that wasn't already in Pokémon Red & Blue. But that didn't stop the game from becoming a big success.

It probably had a lot to do with Pikachu's popularity and the fact that you got to keep a Pikachu as a starter Pokémon in this version. It made you feel a bit more like Ash, which was basically all that you really wanted out of life as a Pokémon-obsessed child.

5. 'Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins'

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]
  • Copies sold: 11.09 million
  • Year: 1992
  • Device: Game Boy
  • Developer/publisher: Nintendo

Super Mario Land 2 enhanced its predecessor and was a great step up in the visual department. The gameplay was basically the same, but the fact that you could actually make out details in Mario's face made the whole thing a lot more enjoyable.

On top of that, Wario is a great villain, who later became a popular anti-hero in the Mario universe, and a story of betrayal between childhood friends is always riveting.

4. 'Super Mario Land'

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]
  • Copies sold: 18.06 million
  • Year: 1989
  • Device: Game Boy
  • Developer/publisher: Nintendo

Along with Tetris, this game is probably the cause of the original Game Boy's success. It launched at the same time as the device and it made a couple of moves to separate the game from earlier Mario games.

First off, you're rescuing the debuting Princess Daisy instead of the usual Princess Peach from Tatanga, a new and alien villain. On top of that, the game isn't set in the regular Mushroom Kingdom, but in the Egyptian-inspired Sarasaland.

3. 'Pokémon Gold & Silver'

[Credit: Game Freak]
[Credit: Game Freak]
  • Copies sold: 23 million
  • Year: 1999
  • Device: Game Boy Color
  • Developer/publisher: Game Freak / Nintendo

After the tremendous success of the first generation of Pokémon games, it's no wonder Nintendo went on to create another set of pocket monsters to build cute and relatable stories around.

Pokémon Gold & Silver went on to become almost as popular as their predecessors. In them, you found the 100 new Pokémon added in the second generation, another world to explore and a new damned rival to crush, on top of the introduction of a day-night cycle and Pokémon genders.

2. 'Pokémon Red & Blue'

[Credit: Game Freak]
[Credit: Game Freak]
  • Copies sold: 23.64 million
  • Year: 1996
  • Device: Game Boy
  • Developer/publisher: Game Freak / Nintendo

The original set of Pokémon Game Boy games were just a tiny bit more popular than Pokémon Silver & Gold. And it's no wonder really, since these games revolutionized not only Game Boy games, but video games in general.

The idea of running around in tall grass, catching creatures that could evolve and battle each other was just fresh and perfect for the video game medium. And for basically every other pop culture platform, as we later discovered.

1. 'Tetris'

[Credit: Bullet-Proof Software]
[Credit: Bullet-Proof Software]
  • Copies sold: 35 million
  • Year: 1989
  • Device: Game Boy / Game Boy Color
  • Developer/publisher: Bullet-Proof Software / Nintendo

Tetris is a classic. There really is no comparison when it comes to the level of popularity the game reached when the Game Boy was released. Actually the device was sold in a package containing Tetris, which kinda explains the extreme popularity of the fun and very simple game.

Almost everyone who bought a Game Boy when it was just released would also get Tetris. There weren't a lot of other games around, and the gameplay has such a broad appeal that basically anyone can enjoy it.

What Is Your Favorite Game Boy Game?

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