11. Virtual Bowling (VB)

Virtual Bowling (VB)Virtual Bowling (VB)
Publisher: Athena / Developer: Athena
Release Date: TBA

The first of the system's two bowling games, Virtual Bowling looks and sounds relatively impressive and despite lacking the ability to save your scores (lack of saves, as you can tell, is a recurring issue with VB titles), this offers a decent simulation of bowling for a single player.

10. Nester's Funky Bowling (VB)

Nester's Funky Bowling (VB)Nester's Funky Bowling (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 26th Feb 1996 (USA)

Nester’s Funky Bowling beats out Virtual Bowling simply through the inclusion of a two-player mode, offering solid ten-pin pleasure with good animation. It's not a world-beater, but we abide.

9. Mario's Tennis (VB)

Mario's Tennis (VB)Mario's Tennis (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 14th Aug 1995 (USA)

Mario has a decent history with this sport and his Virtual Boy outing (for it is patently his tennis, according to the title) doesn't sully the plumber's on-court record. Solid visuals and one of the best examples of 3D on the system make Mario's Tennis one of the console's first easily recommended games.

8. Galactic Pinball (VB)

Galactic Pinball (VB)Galactic Pinball (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 14th Aug 1995 (USA)

Galactic Pinball isn't a game you'll be going back to again and again, but that counts for the majority of games on this list. As pinball titles go, though, this in a decent one, with controls and physics which work well, and if you fancy yourself as a wizard of the pinball variety, this is your first, last and only port of call on Virtual Boy. Fortunately, it's a pretty good one.

7. Vertical Force (VB)

Vertical Force (VB)Vertical Force (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Hudson
Release Date: 1st Dec 1995 (USA)

Vertical Force is a fun, challenging little shooter that will keep you coming back to the game's four levels long after you've beaten them. It won't surprise you in any way, but it makes good use of the system's 3D effect and it's easy enough to find for sensible prices. Therefore, Vertical Force is recommended for any Virtual Boy collection.

6. Panic Bomber (VB)

Panic Bomber (VB)Panic Bomber (VB)
Publisher: Hudson / Developer: Hudson
Release Date: 1st Dec 1995 (USA)

Panic Bomber is a good-looking falling block puzzler featuring Bomberman. Cue disappointment that it's not a proper Bomberman title, but Virtual Boy didn't have a link cable, so simultaneous local multiplayer was beyond its abilities. Once you get over that fact, you're left with a rather fine, if simple, little puzzle game that's definitely worth a look. Worth buying the system for? Almost certainly not, but if you own the console already, Panic Bomber should definitely be on your shelf.

5. Space Squash (VB)

Space Squash (VB)Space Squash (VB)
Publisher: Coconuts
Release Date: TBA

Playing like a cross between air hockey and Pong, Space Squash makes great use of the system's 3D and controls well with its dual-D-pads to provide a satisfying slice of virtual (boy) gaming. The visuals are basic yet effective and while far from a killer app, Space Squash is a very solid entry in the VB software library.

4. Red Alarm (VB)

Red Alarm (VB)Red Alarm (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 14th Aug 1995 (USA)

A wire frame on-rails shooter, Red Alarm's visuals may be crude, but the 3D effect works very well and there's plenty of variety in enemies you'll encounter throughout the game. Throw in some tight controls and you've got an impressive little game that's a must-own for the system.

3. Jack Bros. (VB)

Jack Bros. (VB)Jack Bros. (VB)
Publisher: Atlus / Developer: Atlus
Release Date: 1st Oct 1995 (USA)

The fact that most Virtual Boy games are short experiences is probably for the best; the system's repuation for inducing headaches means smaller games and regular breaks are preferable to some 80-hour JRPG epic. Atlus' Jack Bros.--a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series--is a short-but-sweet top-down action game with great audio which should be near the very top of your Virtual Boy games-to-play list. It's not perfect and has plenty of untapped potential, but it's an essential purchase for any VB owner.

2. 3D Tetris (VB)

3D Tetris (VB)3D Tetris (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 22nd Mar 1996 (USA)

A North American exclusive, 3D Tetris shook up the standard formula by having you look down into the well as the blocks fall away from you. Having to fill in layers rather than make lines feels different to standard Tetris, and the game features 30 different block types, but the spirit of the game you know and love survives very well. And let's face it, the proliferation of Tetris titles makes buying a Virtual Boy to play regular old Tetris a bit silly, no? 3D Tetris, though, is definitely worth investigating.

1. Virtual Boy Wario Land (VB)

Virtual Boy Wario Land (VB)Virtual Boy Wario Land (VB)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 1st Nov 1995 (USA)

Arguably the only truly indispensible title on the system, this platformer featuring Mario's greedy counterpart boasts fabulous visuals and audio to match, and plays much like Wario Land on the Game Boy. It's easily the best game on the console and one you have almost certainly played already if you are a proud Virtual Boy owner.

While it's tough to recommend buying a system just for one game--especially at current prices--this is a fine, fine outing for the anti-Mario and, although we don't endorse stealing, Virtual Boy Wario Land is definitely worth begging or borrowing a Virtual Boy to experience.


Have you got a Virtual Boy in the cupboard somewhere? Does it still work okay? Let us know your favourite games on the ol' Boy below and feel free to invite us round for a game or two; you bring the Virtual Boy, we'll bring the water and migraine pills.