Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! (GBC)

Hear me out… this is the 7th best-selling GBC game in Japan, and it’s beloved because it was one of the first of its kind — a puzzle-based adventure game about language barriers, with some of the most charming sound effects and graphics of its time. Also… for anyone doubting its awesomeness, it was produced by none other than Miyamoto and Iwata themselves. Enough said. AV

Donkey Kong (GB)

By now everyone probably knows that this isn’t just the four stages of arcade Donkey Kong ported to Game Boy. Donkey Kong GB starts with that, but that’s only the intro to a sprawling handheld journey that surprises and delights, as per Nintendo’s M.O., and essentially kicked off the Mario vs. Donkey Kong sub-series.

It’s a game that frequently sits in the Top 5 Best GB games lists, but somehow people still manage to pass it by. That’s fine – tracking down an OG cart and perhaps even a Game Boy itself might be too much of an ask. But having it available on Switch would leave zero excuses. It’s top banana. GL

Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (GB)

Yes, I know, this is coming to the Japanese NSO service — but I really hope this one also gets an English localisation. I was introduced to this game I knew very little about in the past by none other than our very own Jon Cartwright, and that game is Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru, or as Masahiro Sakurai called it, ‘The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls’. It’s a sort of precursor to Link’s Awakening in many ways, and it never made its way outside of Japan. Fan translations exist, but I’ve been trying my hand at the original cartridge, and I must say I’ve been having a roaring time despite not knowing a thing that anyone’s said.

It would naturally require some translation efforts to release it to the English market, but it’s a very tasty little game that really deserves it. It’s good enough to appear as an Assist Trophy in Smash, after all. AO

Pokémon Crystal (GBC)

While many laud games like Pokémon Red, Yellow and Blue, I personally will always have a soft spot in my heart for generation II - Gold, Silver and Crystal. They had TWO WHOLE HECKIN’ REGIONS TO EXPLORE IN ONE GBC CARTRIDGE. Not to mention, they introduced night/day cycles, breeding, shiny Pokémon… But why Crystal? Aside from that wonderful sparkly blue cartridge, you can PLAY AS A FEMALE CHARACTER. As a young girl this was the first time I had seen myself in a game, and not just been forced to play as a boy. Amazing. AV

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (GB)

I absolutely loved this game back in the day. A Super Mario Land entry with Wario as the main protagonist that switched things up from a gameplay perspective, adding cool hat abilities, more exploration, lots of variety in locations and some cool boss battles. It also took a bit of a leap in the graphical detail department. PR

Dragon Warrior Monsters (GBC)

Pokémon, for sure, deserves to be here — if they want to figure out that trading malarkey — but Dragon Warrior Monsters, a Dragon Quest spin-off, is a delightful little game that deserves a lot more attention. This is a monster-catching game where catching, breeding, and raising is the aim of the game, all to try and save your sister from a tournament, but with all of the charm of a traditional Dragon Quest game.

Toriyama's lovely monster designs remain expressive and detailed on the little Game Boy screen, and I always love seeing your little monster crew of three follow you around the world. It's an incredibly robust game, with tons of monsters to discover; a solid combat and levelling system, and the randomly-generated maps will keep you coming back for more. I’ll take this or the sequel as a lovely little slice of history on NSO. AH

Monster Max (GB)

Isometric adventure overlords Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond are best-known for microcomputer classic Head Over Heels, but they should really be lauded for this masterpiece, an enormous, expansive yet episodic exploration of action-puzzling in the classic style, but updated for then-modern palates. Never anything less than fascinating, Monster Max is a top-tier game from Rare that almost nobody talks about but has vastly more to offer than its nondescript title may suggest. SG

Mega Man V (GB)

Absolutely one of the very best Mega Man games of all time, this one features some really tight level design that does away with a lot of frustration that sometimes threatened to suck the life out of Mega Man games of this era. It also had cracking music and just an overall vibe that the team behind it were laser-focused on producing something really great! PR

R-Type DX (GBC)

In the world of Game Boy Color ports, R-Type DX might just be one of the best. It's a remarkable package that makes up one of the best shmups of all time — and not even just on the Game Boy. Containing both R-Type and R-Type II, the game play like a dream on the system, even after being squeezed onto one little system. Even when the Game Boy Color was the most powerful portable in the world, R-Type DX is a feat of design and a real winner. No fan of the series, and no shmup enthusiast, should be without it, which is why it should come to NSO. AH

There you have it, some interesting games from the ol' Game Boy. We'll likely add to this list as inspiration strikes in the future, but in the meantime share your most hoped-for GB(C) games in the comments!