7 Best Game Boy Color RPGs to complete your fantasies

Role-playing games had a bonanza streak on the Game Boy Color. The incredible popularity of Pokémon games proved that RPGs are perfect for portable gaming. Here are seven of the best RPGs on the Game Boy Color.

Best game boy color rpgs

7. Metal Walker

The Game Boy Color hosts a lot of these Pokémon-like games. Fortunately, a good number of these games are competent. Some, like Metal Walker, are great games that it is a bit insulting to have them pegged as copycats.

Metal Walker is an RPG game that plays similar to Pokémon and other monster training games. Set in the 21st century on an island called Rusted Land, the game follows the protagonist's quest to find their missing father while battling evil machines called Metal Busters. The gameplay involves exploring the island, battling enemies, and leveling up your Metal Walker, which can evolve by equipping different Core Units obtained from defeating bosses.

The game features a unique evolution system where the Metal Walker can evolve into stronger forms depending on the equipped Core Units, allowing access to new areas. Battles are turn-based and resemble a game of pool, requiring strategic aiming and timing to attack enemies. Capsules can be used during battles to gain advantages or disadvantages, and combos can be performed for extra experience points. Camping is an important feature for recovering health and trading scrap pieces for capsules.

6. Lufia: The Legend Returns

Admittedly, Lufia: The Legend Returns does not reach the heights of the Lufia Super Nintendo Entertainment (SNES) title. It is not its fault; that game is just an all-timer. Nevertheless, The Legend Returns is one of the best RPGs on the Game Boy Color. This game might be too conventional with all the usual ingredients of JRPGs brought in, but still, whatever its cooking is deliciously familiar.

The protagonist, Wain, lives in a quiet town until a seer named Seena arrives, warning about the resurrection of the Sinistrals, an evil group of gods. Wain and Seena embark on a quest to defeat the Sinistrals, which takes them across four continents and involves plot twists, character development, and side quests. Throughout the journey, Wain gathers over 10 warriors to join his party, each with their reasons for joining the fray.

The game features randomized dungeon layouts, which change each time you enter, providing replay value but lacking puzzle-solving elements. Another unique gameplay mechanic The Legend Returns implements is the use of ancient scrolls that teach characters new moves. Characters have color attributes, and by sharing attribute points with adjacent characters in a grid, they can learn new moves. This system allows for customization and tinkering. Attacks in the game are performed using infuriating points (IP) that accumulate as characters get hurt, and powerful attacks can be unleashed once enough IP is gathered.

5. Magi Nation

In yet another monster-raising RPG, Magi Nation, players take control of Tony Jones, a street-smart kid who has just moved to a small town. Seeking to make friends, Tony accepts a dare from a group of kids to enter a mysterious cave. Inside, he stumbles upon a crystal that transports you to the fantastical world of Magi-Nation.

This isekai RPG lets players forge rings from animite crystals and use them to summon legendary creatures to fight by their side. Unlike Pokémon, Tony also levels up and gains energy, which functions as both health and magic points. This unique twist allows Tony to actively participate in battles and adds depth to the gameplay. The game is curiously challenging given that monster-taming games are on the easy side on the difficulty scale.

Magi Nation is one of the best-looking games on the portable console. The hardware limitations are surpassed as the game showcases expansive overworlds, large dungeons, and hidden underground passages. The scope and detail are just amazing, with the graphics resembling those of a SNES game.

4. Revelations: The Demon Slayer

Megami Tensei titles are not just mature take on the broader RPG genre but also Pokémon-like sub-genre. Revelations: The Demon Slayer is up in all spades in maturity and intelligent core gameplay.

The gameplay of this game combines elements from Pokémon and Final Fantasy, featuring turn-based battles and a unique fusion of the Pocket Monster concept with team vs. team mechanics. Players can control up to six characters, including three humans and three monsters, and utilize actions such as attacking, casting magic, guarding, and engaging in dialogue. The "talk" command, a great substitute for Pokéballs, used to convince monsters to join the party, presents an interesting mechanic.

Revelations: The Demon Slayer also has great polish in both the audio and visual departments. Combined with the somber atmosphere, nuanced theme and complex narrative, this game is unlike your typical RPG fanfare.

3. Azure Dreams

Azure Dreams has its origins on the PlayStation One home console. It is a JRPG that implements a combination of gameplay elements unusual for the genre. The game offers monster taming as well as town building. Dating simulation is also folded in.

A Game Boy Color remake of this game is a welcome surprise. It is not just a straight-up downport but rather it includes enhancements and improvements from the original release. There is even new content like new quests, new monsters to tame, and additional cutscenes. The narrative is even expanded and some of the encounters are far more elaborate.

The remake also fixed the bugs and glitches that pestered the original PlayStation One title. It is a fever dream to have the Game Boy Color version surpass in quality its home console version. Yet, Konami went above and beyond in this little portable version of a classic feature-rich RPG.

2. Pokémon Crystal

A good number of the games on this list are trying to recapture the Pokémon magic. Hence, it might be scandalous that Pokémon Crystal is not on the top spot of this best Game Boy Color RPG list. Being second is not an indictment of the game's quality, the first place is just better.

Back at Pokémon Crystal, this is the Pokémon game that many fans point out as the title that further pushed the series to greater heights. With its updated graphics, improved sound, introduction of a female protagonist, revamped story, and enhanced environments, this game hits all the perfect notes.

The graphics in Pokémon Crystal are a testament to the Game Boy Color's capabilities. The vibrant colors and clear visuals are astonishing for a handheld console. Unlike previous installments, the music is not repetitive or grating to the ears.

Pokémon Crystal brilliantly builds upon the successes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, breathing new life into the Johto region and even rekindling excitement for revisiting Kanto. This is not just nostalgia talking, even if a person only played DS and onward Pokémon titles, they will find Crystal as a revelation.

1. Dragon Warrior III

Dragon Warrior III holds a special place in the hearts of many RPG fans, and its Game Boy Color release only enhanced its already impressive legacy. Even those Dragon Warrior hardcore fans whose standards are incredibly high finds the portable iteration of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) classic to exceed their expectations.

Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color is a significant improvement over its NES predecessor. The detailed and vibrant environments, including houses, castles, mountains, and forests, are a testament to the enhanced graphical capabilities of the handheld console. The monster designs are particularly impressive, featuring fluid and vibrant animations during battles.

The game's interface has also been greatly improved. The menu has been replaced with an action button and a user-friendly subscreen that eliminates the need for tedious commands like talk and search. Character movement is much swifter, alleviating the tedium of traversing the world. Additionally, the encounter rate, which was notoriously high in the NES version, has been adjusted to a more manageable level. Do not fret, Dragon Warrior III is still a challenging game even with all these QoL additions.

The Game Boy Color version of Dragon Warrior III introduces numerous new elements. Players can collect Tiny Medals to exchange for prizes, akin to the Small Medals in Dragon Warrior IV. The addition of Monster Medals, awarded after defeating enemies, presents a challenging endeavor to collect all 150+ medals. There is also a personality system, determined by the player's decisions in a scenario, which affects character stats and dialogue.