- The Game Boy Color had many exclusive games that couldn’t be played on earlier versions, making it a unique mid-generation upgrade.
- Crystalis for Game Boy Color is considered both a remake and an alternative version of the original NES game, offering a solid RPG experience.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Game Boy Color is a unique RPG take on the popular franchise, expanding the formula and worth playing for fans.
The Game Boy Color has a weird place in Nintendo’s history. The system was mostly an enhanced version of the original Game Boy, but it also got many exclusive games that could not be played on earlier versions of the system, while also not being a true successor to them at the same time. This makes the Game Boy Color feel like an enhanced mid-generation upgrade before the proper successor, the Game Boy Advance, came in.
Despite all this, the Game Boy Color received a good selection of exclusive games, among which there are some great RPGs. But which games are the best RPGs that could be played on the Game Boy Color?
Gamefaqs rating: 4/5
- Game Boy Color, Nintendo Entertainment System
- April 13, 1990
- SNK, Nintendo, Software Technology
- Action-Adventure, RPG
Crystalis is an RPG originally released on the NES in 1990. This Game Boy Color version came out in 2000, and it can be rightfully considered both as a remake and an alternative version to the original game. This is because the story has been heavily rewritten for this version, and many fans of the game consider this a step backward for the game. It doesn’t help that the original soundtrack is gone as well, replaced by entirely new compositions that are not as loved by fans.
That being said, this is still a solid RPG and one of the best experiences the GBC has to offer in the genre. The gameplay is very rudimental, especially compared to today’s standards, but that is to be expected from a game that was originally released in 1990. For all those who’ve never played the NES original, this is a great way to experience a classic game, but even veterans who’ve played the original might find this alternative quite interesting.
3 Lufia: The Legend Returns
Gamefaqs rating: 4/5
Lufia: The Legend Returns
- Game Boy Color
- September 20, 2021
- Neverland Co.
Lufia: The Legend Returns was originally released in 2001, and it is the third chapter in the Lufia series, as well as the first released on a handheld system. Surprisingly, this is not a spin-off to the series, but rather a full-fledged mainline game, taking place one hundred years after the events of the first game. Players initially take the role of a teenager named Wain, a descendant of the legendary Maxim. The game plays like a classic top-down RPG, with random battles sprinkled throughout the adventure. One of the most interesting features of the game is that it throws all playable characters in battle at the same time, instead of making the player choose 3 or 4 party members like many other RPGs of that era.
However, the game is not without faults. The soundtrack, while good in itself, is excruciatingly repetitive, and randomly generated dungeons make for a far less interesting experience than in other games of the genre. Nevertheless, this is still one of the best RPGs on the GBC and one of the last good games in a series that was too early forgotten by the gaming world.
2 Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
Gamefaqs rating: 4/5
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
- PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Xbox (Original), Game Boy Color
- November 15, 2002
Harry Potter was all the rage in the early 00s, and the Game Boy Color got its fair share of Harry Potter games. Both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets have been ported to the system, and they’re very different from every other version of those games. Instead of trying to replicate the action-platformer gameplay style of other versions, the GBC went for a unique RPG take on the gameplay, which is very reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda series. The Chamber of Secrets has a slight edge over its predecessor because it expands the formula in almost every aspect.
The game is a surprisingly solid RPG, which is even more astonishing when considering that the superior Game Boy Advance got mediocre versions of these games. It will hardly ever be mentioned in a discussion about the best RPGs of all time, but it’s still a must-play for every GBC collector, and for every Harry Potter fan as well.
1 Pokemon Crystal
Gamefaqs rating: 4.5/5
- Game Boy Color
- December 14, 2000
- Game Freak
There could hardly be a better RPG on a Game Boy system other than Pokemon, and the Game Boy Color makes no exception thanks to Pokemon Crystal. This is an enhanced version of Pokemon Gold & Silver, much like Pokemon Yellow is an enhanced version of Pokemon Red & Blue. While Gold & Silver are compatible with every Game Boy system, despite being heavily advertised as Game Boy Color games, Pokemon Crystal is exclusive to the Game Boy Color, meaning that it can’t be played on a standard Game Boy.
The game is basically the same as its predecessors, which were already superb RPGs, but it adds many new features, such as animations for Pokemon at the beginning of battles, the addition of a new female playable character, the introduction of the Battle Tower, and a new storyline involving legendary Pokemon Suicune and the Unowns. There’s a lot to discover even for gamers who’ve already explored the Johto region, and the game really set the tone for future enhanced versions of Pokemon games.
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