Nintendo Switch Online: The Best of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance

Fans have wanted a way to play their oldest titles on their current consoles for a good long while now, and although it was basically completely shelved off before this month, Nintendo fans have finally got an update for the company’s online service which now has the most popular Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles coming to the Nintendo Switch. As a big quality-of-life update adding directly to what Nintendo Switch Online already has to offer, the service now seems more tempting than ever before.

To give a small summarised view, the Nintendo Switch Online and Online Plus subscription now in total covers Sega Genesis and NES titles, Nintendo 64 titles, Game Boy titles, Game Boy Advance titles, DLC for many multiplayer Nintendo Switch titles such as Animal Crossing and Mario Kart, Cloud Save service, Multiplayer functionality that works with almost every Nintendo Switch first-party title, and more. That is a very big bulk of content behind a single online subscription service.

For this article, we want to cover the newest additions, which are the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles, in order to convey why they are highly-sought titles still very popular with the fanbase, and how big of a deal it is that Nintendo casually made considerably the best titles of their two handheld consoles on the Switch available to play.

Game Boy:

As of yet, Nintendo has mentioned 13 Game Boy titles coming to the Switch. They are the following;

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX:
This title comes as the upgraded version of the original Link’s Awakening with colour and added content, covering the very first Zelda title that came to handheld consoles. Despite not being set in Hyrule, the main place of Zelda titles, the game was a hit with fans and critics and is still loved by fans today. It comes as an easy choice to add to the Game Boy lineup as the Zelda franchise has now grown to be one of the most well-known and most successful franchises for Nintendo.

Wario Land 3:
This was a popular platformer title on the Game Boy, following the same concept as other Wario Land titles that came before it. It was critically and commercially successful, hence also an easy choice to add to the Game Boy lineup.

Kirby’s Dreamland:
An original Kirby videogame that set up basic mechanics for Kirby’s character that are even implemented in modern Kirby titles, Kirby’s Dreamland is a fun platformer for fans to try out once more.

Metroid 2 Return of Samus:
The Metroid name needs no introduction, with one of the most devoted fanbases found in the gaming world. This title had been remade on the 3DS as a new title, but it comes as loved by the people that played the original one, hence a winning contender for the Game Boy lineup.

The original title that became one of the best-selling videogames ever, the Game Boy version of Tetris is available now on the Switch.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins:
A popular title covering the same kind of gameplay as original Super Mario Land titles, this one comes as a highly popular Mario title of its time.

Game and Watch Gallery 3:
This is a title that consists of five different minigames that were made for Nintendo’s Game&Watch series.

Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare:
This was a successful Survival Horror title on the Game Boy featuring two playable protagonists, one offering puzzles and the other fighting off monsters.

Gargoyle’s Quest:
This is based off of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series where the playable character was an antagonist in the main titles.

Kirby’s Tilt n Tumble:
This original Game Boy Color title was one of the first titles to use an accelerometer within its original cartridge, offering a unique gameplay experience. It will be added to the Game Boy lineup on Nintendo Switch Online soon in the future.

Pokemon Trading Card Game:
This title came as one of the first video game versions of the Pokemon TCG. It will be added soon in the future.

The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons:
Both of these Zelda titles came as dual action-adventure games as the seventh and eighth instalments of its series, paving a seasonal ingame system that affected the look of the game and gameplay. These will be added soon as well.

These are the titles players can look to try out if they have the Nintendo Switch Online Subscription. There is also a fully built multiplayer functionality to play titles that have multiplayer with friends that are also subscribed to the service. As for Game Boy Advance titles, that would require people to subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online Plus membership. This one offers the following 11 Game Boy Advance titles as of yet:

Game Boy Advance:

Mario Kart Super Circuit:
This was the first Mario Kart title made for a handheld console, having both single-player and multiplayer functionality. It offered the Grand Prix Competitive Mode that covered different tracks with some of the basic Mario Kart gameplay mechanics.

Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga:
These were the first Mario&Luigi titles made for the GBA that showcased the Mario franchise introducing new RPG series. This game is still loved by fans and was even remastered on the 3DS.

The Legend Of Zelda The Minish Cap:
This Zelda title for the GBA is hailed as one of the best Zelda titles and one of the best GBA titles ever. The game was highly successful and is still beloved by the fanbase, hence a must-play for people looking to get into the Zelda franchise.

Super Mario Advance 4 Super Mario Bros. 3:
As the enhanced remake of Super Mario Bros. 3 playable on the GBA, this was the final title for Super Mario Advance instalments.

Warioware, Inc Mega Microgame$:
This title won many awards for its innovative gameplay consisting of various different minigames Game Boy Advance was so successful that it was adapted with a fully remade multiplayer title. It is still beloved by fans as one of the best GBA titles.

Kuru Kuru Kururin:
Coming as a popular title in Japan of its time, it focused on the gameplay of manoeuvring a spinning stick across mazes.

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror:
Coming as one of the classic GBA titles, this was a popular Kirby game which is still loved by the fanbase and still gets the limelight for its gameplay variety and locations. It is yet to be available but will be added soon to the GBA lineup.

Metroid Fusion:
Considered as one of the best Metroid titles ever made and potentially the best Metroidvania title on the GBA, Metroid Fusion comes as an easy pick for the GBA lineup on the Switch, more so considering Switch’s Metroid Dread is its direct sequel. It will be added soon.

F-Zero Maximum Velocity:
This F-Zero title was a popular racing title for the GBA, with fans still garnering their voices to enliven new F-Zero series titles for current generation consoles. Maybe not exactly what they had expected, but fans will still be happy to see the GBA title being playable soon on the Switch.

Golden Sun:
This comes as the highly acclaimed RPG title that spawned multiple sequels, it was considered as one of the best games for the GBA and will be available soon in the GBA lineup for the Switch.

Fire Emblem:
The first Fire Emblem title to be released worldwide, this 7th instalment of the Fire Emblem series started the franchise’s global reach. It is still hailed by many Fire Emblem fans as the best Fire Emblem title ever made, featuring the classic Fire Emblem turn-based strategy gameplay with a deep story, likeable and depthful characters, and one of the best videogame experiences on the Game Boy Advance. This will also be coming soon to the GBA lineup on the Switch.

The GBA titles also have multiplayer functionality live for playing titles with friends if the games support multiplayer.

It may very well be the case that we may get more titles announced for the Nintendo Switch Online service in the future, as there are many other titles on both these handheld consoles which led to sales numbers during their times. A good example of this is the Pokemon titles for both the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance such as Pokemon Crystal, Pokemon Red, Pokemon Gold and more for the Game Boy, and Pokemon Fire Red, Pokemon Emerald and more for the Game Boy Advance. With Pokemon Day coming later this month, it could have announcements that weren’t covered in the February Nintendo Direct where both Game Boy and GBA titles were announced to be added to Nintendo Switch Online.

For more on what the Nintendo Switch Online has to offer, please visit the official Nintendo Switch Online Website. We have also covered the Nintendo Direct and the nature of the announcements such as Game Boy and Game Boy Advance in a separate article going over how it might seem as a hint of Nintendo maybe taking a different approach this time around. Overall, the new access to older Nintendo handheld titles is a welcome addition for Nintendo Switch Online members.


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Mohsin Ali
Mohsin Ali
A rare individual whose gaming and social preferences are fueled by nostalgia. Giving most of his time to Game Boy Advance titles where it all started for him, his proficiency lies in anything coming from innovation and departure from the norms that directly surmount to just plain old fun. Anything related to Nintendo or Pokemon is enough motivation for him to put his fresh English graduate skills to good use.
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