7 Best Game Boy Sports Games for your digital athleticism

The original Game Boy, although weak in terms of hardware, has one of the strongest libraries of games. It is diverse with great games in every possible genre, including sports games. Below are the seven of the best sports game on the portable handheld.

Best game boy sports games

7. Championship Pool

Championship Pool on the original game boy has one of the best collections of billiards games at that point in time, especially in such a portable package. There are four exciting gameplay modes to choose from: Tournament, Challenge, Party and Freestyle.

In the Tournament mode, players are competing in a single-elimination tournament. It can be an Eight Ball or a Nine Ball tourney. In order to become the champion, the player must defeat five straight opponents. On the other hand, Challenge mode is more of an exhibition game to test the player's might.

Party mode is Championship Pool's multiplayer aspect without the need for a Game Link Cable. Players just pass around the Game Boy if it is their turn. And finally, Freestyle is a custom mode where players decide how they want to play the game.

Admittedly, due to the monochromatic screen, it is very hard to discern what color the balls are. With ample play time, players would eventually find which is which, and then the Pool party should get started.

6. Golf

A very succinct title but nothing else is much more fitting, to be honest. Golf is a portable golf game for the original Game Boy starring Mario. However, this 1990 game does not have the advances and features of Mario Golf games later on in the decade.

This game does not have the most advanced physics but the courses have distinct characteristics that affect the game. For example, in Japan course, the wind is stronger.

Golf delivers a clear and functional gameplay experience through its visuals. The game features distinguishable colors for water, sand, fairways, and rough, making it easy to identify each area.

Notably, animated cutscenes enhance the game's appeal, such as seeing Mario jumping in celebration or his caddie clapping after scoring a birdie. The menus are simple yet stylish, providing gamers with a user-friendly interface that showcases.

5. Bases Loaded

This baseball game is one of the most immersive sports titles on the original Game Boy. The graphics were impressive for its time, with well-executed player animations and detailed elements like the ball leaving dents in the grass upon impact.

Bases Loaded also featured crowd animations, cheering and reacting to home runs and foul balls. Pitching mechanics were realistic, showing the pitcher's discomfort after giving up a home run. The physics, unlike Golf, was unparalleled.

It is almost an axiom that Game Boy ports of home console games are simplified. But in Bases Loaded, it is not the case. Home runs were not easy to achieve, and routine plays and double plays were executed realistically.

Sound played a significant role, adding excitement with crowd cheers and increasing intensity as the game progressed.

4. Blades of Steel

The first three games on this list are light on violence. Blades of Steel should correct that with its inclusion of in-game fights in hockey. The game features a total of eight teams, four from the US and four from Canada, which can be selected in Exhibition or Tournament modes. While the game doesn't have the full roster of the NHL, it aims to capture the essence of the league in its way. Other than allowing players to engage in fights, Blades of Steel surprisingly also allows players to practice penalty shots.

Regarding fights, Blades of Steel simplifies the game by focusing on two rules: fighting and icing. When a fight occurs, the losing team has fewer players on the ice and fights in the goal crease result in penalty shots. Icing leads to a faceoff on the opposing end. This streamlined approach helps speed up gameplay by eliminating offside, slashing, and interference penalties. Unlike most original Game Boy sports games, Blades of Steel offers swift movement, with the puck transitioning between players in less than a second.

3. Top Rank Tennis

Top Rank Tennis allows players to play the sport in their own style. The game utilizes all the buttons, including select and start, to execute different types of shots. There is a variety of shot options, including regular shots for consistent play, harder shots for offensive play, and slice shots for tactical play. Each shot requires careful timing and positioning, adding depth to every rally and making it challenging to secure an easy victory.

Career mode is where the game shines. This game mode is RPG-esque, as it allows players to attribute speed and strength skills to their character and progress through the rankings by defeating higher-ranked opponents. As opponents become stronger, the player's character also improves, resulting in evenly matched and varied matches, a rarity in tennis games./

2. Nintendo World Cup

Unlike the home console versions, the FIFA games on the original Game Boy are trash-tier. Nintendo World Cup is the recommended soccer or football game for the dedicated gaming handheld. Nintendo does a lot of polish in its games, but violence? Apparently, the Big N does.

The gameplay is highly enjoyable, featuring accurate controls and the ability to perform shoulder tackles, flagrant trips, and super bicycle kicks. The one-player mode offers a tournament experience with increasing difficulty, while the presence of renowned teams like Brazil, the former USSR, and Germany adds authenticity. The game also includes a two-player option for head-to-head matches.

1. NBA Jam: Tournament Edition

NBA Jam is, for the lack of better words, the jam back in the 90s. The Tournament Edition port is a better game than the vanilla one.

The massive downgrade of the boombastic and fantastic graphics from the SNES version is a shame. But it is not Game Boy's fault, otherwise, it would meet the fate of the Atari Lynx if Nintendo insisted on the cutting-edge display. Nevertheless, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition retains the core gameplay of the arcade classic in a portable package.

This two-on-two basketball game is popular due to its use of real teams and real players. It also has a stamina system which adds a dynamic of load management of players. The aforementioned is the only "simmy" aspect of the game. NBA Jam is an arcade royalty.