The Ten Best Virtual Boy Games of All Time

Never one to shirk from innovation, Nintendo launched the Virtual Boy in the mid-nineties to compete with the already-saturated home virtual reality market:

It was a smash success - who doesn't remember the virtual boy from their childhood? The ubiquitous game console that everyone seemed to have - and if you didn't you could pretty much forget about sitting with the cool kids at lunch. Fond memories of pressing your face into the soft foam eye pads and preparing to be blown away with eye-searingly red 3D graphics from beyond your wildest dreams! In homage to the technological feat that was an at-home virtual reality simulator, we at Internets Was Yes have prepared for your reading pleasure a definitive list of the top ten Virtual Boy games of all time! So dig the Virtual Boy out from under that dusty Sega Master System in the back of your closet and take a trip down virtual memory lane. And keep in mind - these advanced graphics cannot be appreciated on a TV or LCD screen.

The Ten Best Virtual Boy Games of All Time:

#10 - 3-D Tetris
What can you say about Tetris that hasn't already been said? It's Tetris. It's awesome. But this was 3-D (That's right, three hyphen dee, old-skool style) Tetris - it took everything you loved about the old 2-D Tetris and added a whole new dimension. Challenging and consistently replayable, 3-D Tetris gets the #10 spot on our list.

#9 - Teleroboxer
Ah, Teleroboxer. For all of us dreamers who hoped one day we could transcend this mortal coil, have our consciousness placed into a mechanized robotic shell, and compete in a robot boxing league. In perhaps the only game of its kind, Teleroboxer offered us the chance to live this dream with stunning realism through the Virtual Boy's advanced VR technology. You could almost feel the cold fist of your opponent as you sparred against the best Teleroboxers in the world. To ignore the impact this game had on boxing games Virtual Boy market is impossible, giving Teleroboxer its solid #9 placement.

#8 - Galactic Pinball
With actual pinball machines becoming more and more rare as digital entertainment boomed, the good people at Nintendo sought to introduce an entire generation to the glories of Pinball. Virtual Boy was a perfect vehicle for this endeavor, and Galactic Pinball gave the player the excitement of playing in space. While the physics engine wasn't perfect, being the only Pinball game to grace the Virtual Boy, it easily deserves the #8 spot.

#7 - Mario Tennis
Coming bundled with the Virtual Boy, this was the game that everybody had to have, literally. It was an experience like no other (unless, of course, you are part of the Pudgy Plumber Tennis League), creating a veritable cadre of virtual John McEnroes the world over. I can remember a real sense of competition the first time that Mario served a blazing red ace right past my outstretched racket. Solid gameplay and a variety of playable characters made Mario Tennis the gold standard of tennis simulations for Virtual Boy owners.

#6 - Vertical Force
A vertical scrolling shooter in the vein of R-Type failed to capitalize on the 3-D nature of the Virtual Boy, but still provided amazing gameplay depth for a 2-D game and had an incredible amount of replay value. A must-play for fans of the genre, it won us over with its action-packed gameplay and tight controls.

#5 - Panic Bomber
Another masterful puzzle game from Nintendo. They took classic Bomberman and added top-down Puzzle Bobble-style gameplay to create an addicting mind-bender that kept you coming back for more. Even when my eyes were bleeding from the cutting edge graphics, I just kept telling myself "Just one more game". After I got out of Panic Bomber rehab in '97, my sponsor had me get rid of my copy, but I'll never forget what an amazing game it was.

#4 - Mario Clash
Combining classic 2-D platforming and 3-D shell-throwing action, Mario Clash was the closest thing to a side-scrolling Mario release for the Virtual Boy. But Mario gameplay is the status quo for a reason, making Clash an instant classic in an already strong lineup of games for the system.

#3 - Nester's Funky Bowling
Over fifteen years before Wii Bowling came along, Nester's was the only game in town for high-def 3-D bowling simulation. Nester's Funky Bowling is in the top three for its strong showing of bowling physics, but they even went one step better and made the bowling funky. This was the only time in videogame history that you could funk-ify your bowling experience, and let's be honest - it worked.

#2 - Golf
A game so good it didn't need a fancy title. Golf is what it was called and golf is what it delivered. I'll let the screen shot do the talking here - it was as close to being a Blue-Green colorblind golfer as you could get, and improved the genre with its truly 3-D styles.

#1 - 3-D Tetris
Cut down in its prime, the Virtual Boy only saw nine games released over its short lifespan. Because of this, after much contention between the Internets Was Yes editors, we decided to give the #1 spot to the same game as #10: 3-D Tetris has become the meter stick by which all puzzle games must be measured, and we'd be lying if we said that we weren't still powering up the good ol' Virtual Boy for another round of tetris long after we'd eBayed the rest of our games. You can't beat this masterpiece of logic and quick thinking for sheer replayability, and for that it has received the coveted title of #1 Virtual Boy Game.

(Thanks to Virtual-Boy.net for the screen grabs)

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Brian said...

14 games were released for the VB, not 9. I personally owned three that are not on your list (Jack Bros., Red Alarm, Wario Land). All three were pretty decent games.