20. Kid Dracula (GB)

Kid Dracula might not be quite as lengthy or quite as diverse as the Famicom release, but you still have to give Konami a lot of credit for being able to cram so much platforming goodness into one Game Boy cartridge. It’s a delicious piece of self-parody from Konami poking fun at the Castlevania series. Great visuals with big sprites, a catchy musical score, and some of the tightest play control seen on the system all come together to form one of the most charming and playable platformers available on the portable. The cartridge has become quite rare over the years, so you'll likely have to do some serious searching in order to land a copy, but once you give it a try, you're sure to find the effort well worth it.

19. Final Fantasy Legend II (GB)

Final Fantasy Legend II improves on every single aspect compared to its predecessor. A brand new playable race — robots — has been added, it's now easier to get spells on mutant characters, and humans now need to gain stats and not just buy them. This is also the most clearly-defined story of the first three SaGa games and of the trilogy — all available via the Collection on Switch — this is probably the easiest to get into.

18. Harvest Moon GB (GB)

Only the second in the series of life-sim farming games following the debut game on Super Nintendo, Harvest Moon sees you visited by an apparition of your dead grandpa who tasks you with taking up the mantle of Ranch Master and managing the family farm. Cue sowing seeds, harvesting crops and selling them to buy more gear enabling you to reap more and build a farm that dear old gramps would have been proud of – if your efforts don’t meet with his ghostly approval it’s Game Over, so look lively! It’s certainly simple by modern standards, but the Game Boy edition still has plenty of charm.

17. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)

Beautiful in its simplicity, satisfying in its depth, and assured in execution, Gargoyle's Quest is one of the best games on the system and a solid indication of how potent a gaming platform the Game Boy was, even during its fledgling years. Technically a Ghosts ‘n Goblins game, it actually plays much more like The Adventure of Link, with top-down overworld gameplay giving way to side-on platforming battles. This is a truly timeless release that should be experienced by gamers of all ages.

16. Donkey Kong Land 2 (GB)

It might have his name on the box, but Donkey Kong is barely in this one! Donkey Kong Land 2 has Diddy and Dixie rescuing the captured DK from the clutches of vile crocodile Kaptain K. Rool. By simplifying background elements in comparison to the original Game Boy rendition, it's a little easier to see what you're doing here and, as with all the DKL games, the way it captures the look and feel of the SNES DKC games on such modest hardware is impressive to this day.

15. Mega Man V (GB)

Mega Man V was the first wholly original series entry in the Game Boy, with the preceding games being mashups inspired by his NES adventures. Against all odds and exceeding any reasonable expectations, it turns out to be one of the best Mega Man games, period. The difficulty might be a tad low, and the soundtrack only intermittently hits the peaks we've come to expect, but all of that is made up for by an endlessly creative experience, 10 new special weapons, and a whopping 15 main bosses. This might be one of the most overlooked games in the Blue Bomber's catalogue, but that just means it's primed for rediscovery. If you have any interest at all, you'd be doing yourself a great disservice by passing on Mega Man V.

14. Mole Mania (GB)

Mole Mania is a first-party game headed up by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Some minor control issues aside, it plays a little bit like an endless series of puzzle rooms from the dungeons of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, albeit without the direct combat. The visuals are great and the music is phenomenal; it’s a worthy addition to the library for anyone who won't get frustrated over finding themselves stuck again and again — in Mole Mania, getting stuck is part of the fun.

13. DuckTales (GB)

Another GB version of a NES classic, the portable version of Ducktales scales the look of the original down very nicely to the Game Boy’s monochrome screen and manages to include all the mechanics you’d expect, remixing the levels but retaining much of what makes the NES version so special. It’s a challenging little game, but another winner from Capcom in the Game Boy catalogue and Disney or Ducktales fans shouldn’t overlook this port.

12. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (GB)

After the crushing disappointment that was Castlevania: The Adventure, Konami pulled out all of the stops with this Game Boy sequel. It plays like a dream, with highly responsive controls and some brilliantly designed levels which use vertical space just as effectively as horizontal space. The ability to choose how you tackle the stages, Mega Man-style, is also welcome, and the music is so good it's almost criminal that it's relegated to the relatively humble Game Boy audio hardware. Arguably one of the best Game Boy games of all time, Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge is an essential play for all fans of the franchise – it's also worth a fair bit on the secondary market these days.

11. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (GB)

Kirby's Dream Land 2 is simple, solid fun from the Kirbster, and one of the better traditional-style Kirby titles. The technical mastery of Game Boy really shines through even now, with great presentation and a fairly large world to conquer. Even though its low level of challenge makes it seem smaller than it actually is, its length and numerous power-ups to experiment with make it ideal for repeat playthroughs. After all these years, this still plays like a dream.