Unlike today, fighting games are the bomb during the 90s. The golden age of fighting is mostly ushered in by Street Fighter II but other fighting games contributed to that era. Miraculously, these games are able to have original Game Boy ports. Here are the seven best fighter games on the handheld console.
Best game boy fighter games
7. Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of the Universe
Fist of the North Star for the original Game Boy offers a competent fighting experience, in the age of Street Fighters and Killer Instincts. The graphics, while not groundbreaking, mirrors the characters from the anime series and allow for easy identification. The sound design, despite the limitations of the Game Boy hardware, delivers catchy music that enhances the gameplay. The fighting style of the playable characters is also varied.
The game employs an experience system that adds depth and progression to the fights. Additionally, the code system offers a fun way to experiment and unlock high-level characters. While the AI may have its weaknesses, the game still poses a challenge if played without relying on certain tactics. For fans of the Fist of the North Star anime, this game serves as a collectible that captures the essence of the series. For fans of fighting games, Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of the Universe is a must-have.
6. Real Bout Fatal Fury
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special may be a vanilla fighting game, but the execution surpasses many other fighting games available on the original Game Boy console. Developed by Takara and featuring popular characters from King of Fighters, the game showcases impressive graphics and interesting gameplay concepts.
This fighting game allows players to choose from a total of 12 starting characters, with 2 optional characters to unlock. Players progress through 8 randomly arranged fighters and 4 bosses, engaging in battles to deplete their opponents' health. One standout feature is the power meter system, which offers different levels of power and enables players to unleash devastating final attacks.
Real Bout Fatal Fury also includes a ranking system that assesses the player's performance in each match, providing an interesting reference for gameplay. While the game's difficulty is on the easy side, the game's overall concept and gameplay mechanics make up for it.
5. Metal Masters
Metal Masters, released by Infogrames for the original GameBoy in 1993, is a relatively unknown fighting game. Its lack of fame and popularity is not indicative of its quality. It is simply one of those instances where a great game goes unrecognized, until now.
In Metal Masters, players take the role of an underdog robot fighting against incredible odds to save the city from an evil baron. The city's major sport revolves around robot battles, but the baron has rigged the fights to gain money for his plans to build a super robot and take over the city. Your mission is to upset the matches and stop the evil baron.
Each robot in the game has four main parts: body, left arm, right arm, and legs. The objective is to render your opponent's parts useless by attacking them. You can use both arms for close-range attacks and shoot missiles when far away. Once a part is destroyed, it can no longer be used, and the player without any functioning arms is left defenseless.
4. Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct for the original Game Boy is widely regarded as the ultimate portable fighting game back in the height of the platform. The game offers a wealth of features that make it stand out. With its impressive roster of eight playable characters, including Sabrewulf, Orchid, Glacius, and Fulgore, players can enjoy the thrill of executing multiple-hit combos that can reach up to 30 hits.
The game faithfully incorporates many of the arcade original's Fatalities and Humiliations, adding depth to the gameplay. Additionally, the option to link up with a friend for multiplayer battles on the go enhances the overall experience. From its high-quality battles to its captivating gameplay, Killer Instinct surpasses other popular fighters of its time, such as Primal Rage, Mortal Kombat, and Virtua Fighter in the arcades. Since the aforementioned fighting games are either absent or have trash ports on the platform, then Killer Instinct is probably the best among them.
3. Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown had a valiant return on consoles with the release of a reboot in 2019. Yet in 1994, Samurai Shodown had a great port for the original Game Boy. It offers an extensive roster of twelve samurai characters, each with a unique weapon, providing players with a wide range of choices. The gameplay revolves around intense one-on-one battles, featuring slashing and kicking mechanics. Special moves are abundant, adding depth to the combat experience. A notable feature is the POW meter, which gradually fills as players attack or defend. Once the meter is full, unleashing a powerful strike can deal significant damage to opponents.
The game provides chock full of content to master, including fifteen playable characters three of which are unlockables, multiple endings to discover, and opportunities for multiplayer battles.
2. Battle Arena Toshinden
Battle Arena Toshinden stands out as an unexpected release for the Game Boy, considering its origins as a launch title for the PlayStation console. Despite the hardware limitations, this trimmed-down version manages to surpass the flaws of other fighting games on the platform. The story revolves around a tournament organized by mysterious figures, and while it follows a familiar premise, the lighthearted approach sets it apart from its console counterparts.
The game offers various play modes, including story mode, selecting specific opponents, and engaging in multiplayer battles. A standout feature is the ability to link up with a friend locally using the Super Game Boy accessory, which is a rarity among Game Boy fighters.
1. Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter II is a cultural icon. It managed to transcend out of the confines of the then-niche video game audience. It captured the attention of non-gamers and placed itself in the heart of popular culture. The original Game Boy port of Street Fighter 2 may be incredibly inferior to the arcades or home console ports, but it is superior to each and every fighting game on this list.
This iteration of Capcom's enduring franchise stood alone as the sole original release on a portable console system until the 3DS port of Street Fighter IV. There were Street Fighter titles on the PlayStation Portable but they are merely emulated. Street Fighter 2 on the original Game Boy may not be the arcade version, but it holds its ground with hidden secrets, decent gameplay, and a unique charm.