7 Best Game Boy Color Racing Games to rev up your adrenaline

Although the selection of racing titles on Game Boy Color may be limited, the few available options offer thrilling gameplay and memorable racing experiences. Below are seven of the best racing games on the progenitor of portable dedicated handheld, now in Technicolor.

Best game boy color racing games

7. Racin' Ratz

Racin' Ratz is a racing game that should appeal to both the young and the old. While at its core it is a racing game, it has incredibly heavy puzzle elements. Racin' Ratz is all about driving and navigating around a house, completing various missions. Players must strategically use power-ups to overcome obstacles and reach their objectives.

The missions being this engaging sets it apart from other racing games. There are 25 missions to complete like looking for marbles, getting grandma's bingo cards, and having a Boss fight with a cat. The inclusion of a password system allows for easy saving of progress, ensuring a seamless experience.

There are lots of ways players can get around the rooms. They can hop from table to table. There are also parts where the cars can climb the walls. While Racin' Ratz is not purely a racing game, it is still unadulterated fun.

6. Wacky Races

Wacky Races is based on the classic cartoon series from the late '60s and early '70s. This Game Boy Color version game features 8 popular characters and their corresponding cars from the original series. The objective of the game is to participate in races across various tracks and outperform other drivers, just like a normal racing game but in a wackier fashion.

The game does a good job of capturing the likeness of the cartoon's characters and their cars accurately. The race tracks are detailed and reminiscent of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System era.

The controls in the game are generally well-implemented, allowing players to maneuver their drivers effectively. However, there are instances where avoiding obstacles, such as booby traps set by other drivers, can be challenging. Wacky Races provides an enjoyable racing experience, with different modes such as Arcade, Endurance, Championship Races, and Time Trials. These modes offer a variety of tracks and challenges.

5. Mickey's Speed Way USA

Mickey's Speedway USA is a fantastic racing game available on both the Nintendo 64 console and the Game Boy Color handheld. While the N64 version boasts impressive 3D graphics, the Game Boy Color adaptation still manages to deliver an enjoyable visual experience with its 2D graphics. Mickey's Speedway USA has a killer soundtrack. The game features a remarkable selection of music that surpasses the quality of many other racing games.

The controls in Mickey's Speedway USA are tight and responsive, as players will be able to control their cars with precision.  Speaking of racetracks, the game offers a wide range of locations to race in, from the vibrant streets of San Francisco to the scenic landscapes of the Grand Canyon and the rural beauty of Montana, the Smoky Mountains, and the Florida Everglades.

4. NASCAR 2000

There was a time when arcade racers dominated the charts and racing sims were few and far between, especially on portable handheld gaming consoles. NASCAR 2000 is the only decent racing sim on the Game Boy Color. It provides a surprising depth with its detailed driver profiles and engaging Tournament Mode.

Players can delve into the background of each driver's previous year's performance to gauge their skillset. Players can fine-tune their car settings before each race to optimize performance based on track characteristics. It's essential to set aside enough time to complete a full race, as saving progress mid-race is not an option. Starting on Easy mode is advisable before venturing into more challenging difficulties, as opponents become increasingly aggressive.

Although the graphics are not that great, NASCAR compensates with its enjoyable Tournament Mode, allowing players to compete in a championship comprising over 20 races. While winning does not unlock additional content, the sense of personal achievement adds to the game's appeal given how gritty this game plays. Some races can have over 300 laps. Single Race and Arcade Mode provide similar gameplay experiences, with Arcade Mode offering a faster progression to the next racer.

3. LEGO Racers

LEGO Racers is able to replicate the greatness of its Nintendo 64 version and made it pocketable. The ability to create one's own driver, license, and car is the brightest highlight of this game. The races are wild and fun reminiscent of Lotus Turbo Challenge.

Key differences from the Nintendo 64 version include fewer building piece selections, missing courses, fewer music tracks, smaller cars, the absence of a Time Trial mode, and a consistent "robot" leader car.

It is very obvious at this point that the Nintendo 64 (and the PlayStation One and PC) version of this game is just plain better in terms of production. Hence, a downgrade in graphics is to be expected. Yet, LEGO Racers on the Game Boy Color is one of the best-looking games on the platform.

2. Top Gear Pocket 2

Top Gear Pocket 2 is a sequel that surpasses its predecessor in terms of features and fun scale. The game offers various modes, including Championship, Quick Arcade Vs Com and Vs Human, and Time Attack. With over 8 different cars, customizable options, and upgradable cars through accumulated Racing points.

Endemic to every racing game in this era, there is rubberbanding with the AI. But that should not discourage players from playing this game as this poses a new sort of challenge for the uninitiated. For those familiar with this, it is another Tuesday.

The game also features different track variants on tarmac or gravel, weather conditions, and 19 music tracks. The graphics have seen notable improvements compared to the original game, with more detailed cars, backgrounds, and diverse track environments. While still adopting a cartoonish style, the visuals are somewhat more appealing.

The play control has significantly improved, addressing previous issues with better responsiveness and accuracy. The challenge has been elevated with new track designs, customizable cars, and aggressive "intelligent" AI opponents.

1. Driver: You Are the Wheelman

Driver offers a unique concept where players take the role of an undercover cop working for a crime ring, which may sound strange at first. The gameplay revolves around driving through city streets and completing various tasks assigned by the criminals. From picking up crooks to sabotaging enemy gangs, the missions are diverse and challenging. This is not (early) Grand Theft Auto, but no one can be blamed if they make the mistake of mistaking Driver for GTA.

The game becomes increasingly difficult as the police become more aggressive. The large missions are supported by a helpful in-game map accessible via the pause menu.

The graphics in Driver may appear basic, but the different vehicle designs and attention to detail, such as flashing police sirens add up to flair. The sound effects, particularly the police sirens, contribute to the tension.

Driver is a well-crafted game that may be challenging for some players due to its high difficulty level. It is considered one of the most challenging Game Boy Color titles, but it offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those who can overcome its difficulty. While not following the conventional race track style of racing games, it is undoubtedly, the best racing game on Game Boy Color.