The Nintendo Switch Online service is one of the unsung heroes of the hybrid console, quietly growing in the background and giving players access to a library of truly classic titles. Well, the latest addition finally adds some handheld history to the Switch, as we have a whole bunch of Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy games to play, from the original grey brick to the Game Boy Advance.
Regular Nintendo Switch Online members can now access titles from the Game Boy and Game Boy Colour library, while Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members can play Game Boy Advance titles. If you want to keep track of every game on the service, we plan to catalogue every single game currently available, as well as the ones in the (Mario) pipeline. To keep track of the other titles on NSO, check out our guide to the Nintendo Switch Online N64 games next.
Alright, let’s fire up the grey brick, stare at that green screen, and dive into our guide covering all of the Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy games.
What is the Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy service?
Nintendo Switch owners subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online service can download and play classic Game Boy titles on their Switch. The games support three screen options, with Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Colour palettes available for every game. There’s also two-player multiplayer support for some titles, both locally and online, so you can duke it out in fierce online matches of Tetris no matter where your friends are.
Meanwhile, select Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy Advance games support local and online multiplayer for up to four players should the original title support them.
The original, the legend, the phenomenon. Tetris is still a household name, and recent titles like Tetris Effect and Tetris 99 prove that this puzzling masterpiece nails the mechanics the first time around. Clear lines of tetrominoes while that iconic soundtrack plays, and relive the game that started it all!
Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins
The second Mario platformer on the Game Boy, Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, improves on the original in just about every way. Better visuals, catchy music, and much sharper controls mean this is the first time Mario truly feels like himself on a handheld. This title is also the first appearance of Wario, so learn all about Mario’s quest to counter the money-grabbing antagonist in this thrilling title.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening started life as a port of A Link to the Past for the Game Boy, but Nintendo decided to create a fun adventure that has its own personality and charm. After washing up on a desert island, Link sets out on a dream-like adventure in a world unlike any he’s familiar with. If you’re yet to play the Switch remake, this Game Boy classic is still a blast that holds up today. Plus, the DX version includes extra content and a bright, colourful palette missing from the original Game Boy release.
Kirby’s Dream Land
Kirby’s Dream Land is the debut adventure of the pink puffball, though if you look at the box art, you might think he’s grey! A charming and cosy experience, Kirby’s Dream Land is a lighthearted romp that’s perfect for younger players while still posing a challenge in the later levels. It’s also the debut of several mainstay enemies, worlds, and iconic music tracks, so it’s always fun to see where this series began.
Metroid II: Return of Samus
An ambitious and somewhat flawed title, Metroid II: Return of Samus continues the story of the NES original, taking her to a new and treacherous planet overflowing with deadly Metroids. The bounty hunter must find and hunt them all while struggling to stay alive, but the planet SR388 has even more surprises in store. The incredible remake Metroid II: Samus Returns is available on 3DS, but Switch owners can learn more about Metroid history with the original now.
Wario Land 3
A different kind of platformer, Wario Land 3 is quirky and all about muscle. Wario is unable to take damage, as enemy hits only stun the anti-hero. This means Wario Land 3 is more of a puzzle platformer, as you focus on where and when to use Wario’s various attacks to advance. It’s short and sweet, but that’s a good thing, as this title squeezes a lot of fun into a small package that makes it a perfect game to replay.
Something of a cult classic for the Game Boy, Gargoyle’s Quest is a Capcom release and a spin-off of Ghosts ‘n Goblins. You get to follow the mischievous demon Firebrand as he makes his way through the Ghoul Realm in this satisfyingly challenging platformer.
Game & Watch Gallery 3
Long before the Game Boy, Nintendo released its original handheld device, the Game & Watch. This collection brings together some of the most famous releases from that series into one package, while adding a few fun twists and some additional options to truly bring them to life. While mostly oddities, it’s great to look back at Nintendo history and see just how fun even its earliest games are.
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
A Game Boy Colour version of the console game by the same name, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare is an ambitious title for the portable system that squeezes a lot into a tiny cart. Explore Shadow Island as you hunt for the relics at the heart of this murder mystery, and try to stay alive while you do so. It features detailed character models that can only add to the spooky mood, even if other titles look a tad better nowadays.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2
A safe sequel but a fun one, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is just as adorable as it’s predecessor. Kirby must use copy abilities to take out enemies, while also using his unique jumping skills to make his way across various bright and cheerful levels. It’s more of the same, but that’s a great thing.
A squashed down version of the classic title, BurgerTime Deluxe tasks players with creating sandwhiches as quickly as possible, and all while avoiding enemies and clambering over obstacles. It’s a tough title to master, but it’s more addictive than a maccies cheeseburger. There’s a reason BurgerTime is an arcade classic.
Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble
Roll Kirby around with your controller, with this port of a Game Boy classic. The original uses a very early version of motion controls, setting the stage for Nintendo’s love affair with the control scheme for decades to come. It’s also a fantastic title, and a blast that Kirby fans are sure to enjoy.
Blaster Master: Enemy Below
A 2D sidescroller with tank-blasting action, the Blaster Master series is something of a cult classic. This Game Boy entry distills much of what makes its console counterpart work, all while keeping the pace and gameplay that makes it such a delight. It’s a nice pull from the history of the console as well, so we hope we get more weird picks like this!
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Season
Two classic Game Boy Color games are now on Switch, with classic Zelda magic and two unique ways of approaching it. They’re beloved by Zelda fans, and a very welcome addition to the NSO library.
The following games are heading to the Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy service in the future:
- Pokémon Trading Card Game
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
A diminutive adventure with a big heart, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap sees Link use the titular cap to shrink down in size and work alongside the tiny Minish people to save Princess Zelda. With a bold and colourful style, this Capcom-developed adventure still looks absolutely stunning, and we can only imagine it’ll jump right out of the Nintendo Switch OLED Model screen.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3
What might first seem like a port of the original, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 expands on the NES classic with dozens of e-reader levels that have been notoriously tricky to track down over time. Plus, if you still need to play Super Mario Bros 3, it’s high time you fix that.
Warioware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
Find out where the microgame madness began with Warioware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ for Game Boy Advance. Cramming countless manic games into a tiny package, and all controlled with the touch of a button, this collection shows Nintendo at its most wacky and most creative. No wonder it continues to spawn a legion of fantastic sequels!
Kuru Kuru Kururin
A puzzle game with a unique spin, Kuru Kuru Kururin is a fun addition to the NSO library. Players control a spinning stick called the helicopter, and must dodge obstacles by timing or changing the speed of its spin to squeeze through gaps. It’s certainly a novel concept, and the execution is so good that it feels as fresh today as it ever has.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
It’s a little hard to look at nowadays, especially as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is so beautiful. But Mario Kart: Super Circuit is still a blistering attempt at a handheld racer that shows off the graphical capabilities of the Game Boy Advance. We have fond memories of playing this with friends, so being able to jump into online matches is a nostalgic blessing.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Nintendo never does things the simple way. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is an RPG featuring the titular brothers, but turn-based battles assign each brother to a separate button and feature attacks that reward well-timed button presses. The first entry in the franchise has so much charm and energy, as well as being one of the funniest Nintendo games thanks to stellar character interactions, great dialogue, and the introduction of Fawful.
Metroid Fusion (otherwise known as Metroid IV) is the canonical sequel to Super Metroid, and is the precursor to the recent release Metroid Dread. This 2D entry sees Samus take on a gelatinous alien threat known as the X parasite, as well as a haunting doppelganger of the bounty hunter known as the SA-X, which stalks Samus through her mission. An essential entry in the series and important to the franchise’s story, Fusion is one of the best Metroid games and one of the best GBA games.
The very first Fire Emblem title to be localized in the West, this GBA classic has much of the heart, character, and deep strategy gameplay that fans still love to this day.
The following games are heading to the Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy Advance service in the future:
- Kirby and the Amazing Mirror
- F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
- Golden Sun
That’s it for now folks, but bookmark this page and check back to learn all about the additional Nintendo Switch Online Game Boy games added to the service over time. For even more great guides, be sure to check out our guides to the best Game Boy games and the best Switch games next.