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The Absolute Best Game Boy Sports Games of All Time

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The Absolute Best Game Boy Sports Games of All Time

Are you interested in enjoying a thrilling gaming experience on your Nintendo Game Boy? The Game Boy was home to some of the most iconic and entertaining sports games. However, with so many titles, it can be challenging to know which sports games stood out from the rest. In this article, we will explore the absolute best Game Boy sports games of all time. So, sail along and get ready to enjoy the best Game Boy sports games.

What Are Sports Games?

They are video games that simulate sports. Often or not, sports games are based on real sports, but some can be fictional. Players can enjoy sports video games on a variety of platforms, including consoles, mobile devices, and PCs. You can control the players’ actions by pressing a button or a combination of buttons on your gaming device. As a player, you should follow all the rules and play against other players or computer-controlled opponents. 

Some sports games allow you to create teams with personalized players. Besides this, you can customize the gameplay options and certain rules to enjoy a more personalized gaming experience. The alluring graphics and background music keeps you hooked on the games. They are popular among both casual and competitive players, and many offer online multiplayer options.

Was Game Boy Known for Sports Games?

Yes. The Game Boy has been known for offering many games since its first release on 21st April 1989. It had a variety of games that covered different sports, such as soccer, hockey, golf, basketball, football, baseball, skating, and American football. In 1989, Nintendo released a Game Boy Color version that escalated gaming enthusiasm among many. With this version, playing sports games in full color was possible. Now let’s explore the absolute best sports games ever released for the Game Boy.

Top Picks: Best Game Boy Sports Games

  1. Golf
    $9.91
    • Among the first sports games to be available on Game Boy
    • Single-stroke play or match-play mode
    • Choose between two challenging 18-hole courses
    • Features obstacles such as sandtraps, water hazards, and tricky greens
    • Earns points based on the number of strokes
    Buy on Amazon

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    02/13/2024 02:55 pm GMT
  2. NHL Hockey ’96
    $12.72
    • Among the first video games to feature real-time 3D graphics
    • Automatically or manually control the goalies
    • Players can adjust the skill level of the computer-controlled opponents
    • View instant replays, change your goalies, abort the game, or call a time-out
    • Six gameplay modes are available
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 02:55 pm GMT
  3. NBA Jam
    $17.95
    • Features teams from the 1992-1994 NBA season
    • The first game to feature NBA-licensed players and teams
    • Players can make unique slam dunks that defy the laws of physics and human capabilities
    • Openly tackle opponents without being penalized
    • Unlimited turbo and increased shooting ability if players hit three baskets in a row
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:15 pm GMT
  4. World Cup Soccer
    $18.46
    • Features two game modes: match mode and tournament mode
    • Thirteen national teams participate in the World Cup
    • Control one player at a time and issue commands like shooting or passing to other players
    • Fouls aren't punished and offsides are non-existent
    • Players have access to power shots known as super shots
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    02/13/2024 03:55 pm GMT
  5. World Cup ’98
    $24.99
    • It is the second 3D game for the fifth-generation gaming consoles
    • Among the first soccer video games to implement soccer rules
    • Official soundtrack from FIFA with artists such as Blur and The Crystal Method
    • Features 16 stadiums
    • Offers player customization options


    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:16 pm GMT
  6. Ken Griffey, Jr., Presents Major League Baseball (Renewed)
    $13.30
    • Features a Major League Baseball license, which allows for real teams and stadiums
    • Offers updated logos and uniforms for teams such as the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers
    • Includes players' names and statistics from the 1996 MLB season
    • Select any non-pitcher MLB player
    • Finish first in your division to qualify for the playoffs and a spot in the World Series competition
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:20 pm GMT
  7. Track & Field
    $9.99
    • An athletic-simulated video game based on throwing, jumping, and running skills
    • Win foot racing events by completing the race in the shortest time possible
    • Available jumping events include the high jump, pole vault, triple jump, and long jump
    • Each team has four members: two males and two females
    • Features best performance records from the personal to the world level
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:25 pm GMT
  8. Bases Loaded
    • Players have the ability to control one of 12 teams during a single game or a full season
    • There is a two-player option available for single games
    • Features a TV-style representation of pitcher-batter matchups
    • Offers a high level of realism
    • Pitchers can provoke the batter into charging the mound
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  9. Tecmo Bowl – Game Boy Color
    $20.25
    • Offers player vs. computer mode in 11-game single-elimination playoff action
    • Play head-to-head with a human opponent in action or coach mode
    • Real NFL player names, statistics, and rosters from the 1987 and 1988 seasons
    • After each win, a password is provided to continue with the championship quest
    • Features superior 2D graphics
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:35 pm GMT
  10. WWF King of the Ring (Game Boy, 1993)
    $7.99
    • Features real wrestlers, including Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan
    • Players can customize their own wrestler
    • Execute wrestling moves such as kicks, body slams, punches, and elbow drops
    • Players must win an eight-man elimination tournament to earn the King of the Ring title
    • The Game Boy Game Link allows players to compete in tag team mode with friends
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/13/2024 03:40 pm GMT

10. Golf

Game Boy sports games
In Golf players can choose between two 18-hole courses with obstacles that change every time they play.

Golf is a golf-based sports simulation game released by Nintendo in 1984 and was among the first sports games to be available on Game Boy. The main player dons a white shirt with blue pants and plays using a white ball, while the opponent wears a red shirt with black pants and plays using a red ball. You’ll have to select either the single-stroke play or match-play mode. Upon doing this, the game begins while being placed on the first hole’s tee. There are different gameplay locations to choose from while playing Golf.

Players can choose between two challenging 18-hole courses that feature various hazards that change every time they play. The game includes obstacles such as sandtraps, water hazards, and tricky greens that keep players on their toes. The game also features a scorecard that keeps track of your points for each hole. The player earns points based on strokes taken, aiming to complete each hole in as few strokes as possible. Additionally, players are penalized for losing the ball or shooting out of bounds.

Best Feature-rich
Golf
$9.91
  • Among the first sports games to be available on Game Boy
  • Single-stroke play or match-play mode
  • Choose between two challenging 18-hole courses
  • Features obstacles such as sandtraps, water hazards, and tricky greens
  • Earns points based on the number of strokes
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 02:55 pm GMT

9. NHL 96

Game Boy sports games
The game features six modes, including Exhibition, Season, Playoffs, Shootout, Practice, and Custom.

NHL 96 is a sports video game developed by EA Sports gaming company in 1995. Gameplay is based on ice hockey, and you’re in control of a hockey team in different play modes. It was among the first video games to feature real-time 3D graphics. As the controlling player, you can skate about and stick-handle the puck in different directions and move at high speed with certain inputs. You can dump the puck out of the opponent’s zone when on the offensive and hit the ice to block shots when on the defensive. 

You can automatically or manually control the goalies by selecting the suitable options on the main menu. Manually-controlled goalies can easily poke check, make save attempts and dive. Besides this, you can adjust the skill level of the computer-controlled opponents to all-star, pro, or rookie via the main menu. 

You are directed into the penalty box upon violating any rules. The scoreboard is displayed whenever the game is paused or between gameplay periods. Besides reviewing game information, you can view instant replays, change your goalies, abort the game, or call a time-out. Transactions, shootouts, Playoffs, Season, Regular games, and playoff best of 7 are the six gameplay modes available on NHL.

Best 3D Graphics
NHL Hockey ’96
$12.72
  • Among the first video games to feature real-time 3D graphics
  • Automatically or manually control the goalies
  • Players can adjust the skill level of the computer-controlled opponents
  • View instant replays, change your goalies, abort the game, or call a time-out
  • Six gameplay modes are available
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 02:55 pm GMT

8. NBA Jam

Game Boy sports games
NBA Jam allows you to play with up to four of your friends.

For basketball enthusiasts, NBA Jam is a must-have title on your Game Boy. NBA Jam features teams from the 1992-1994 NBA season. This game is the first to feature NBA-licensed players and teams and digitize their appearance. NBA Jam allows players to jump several times above their height and make unique slam dunks that defy the laws of physics and human capabilities. There were no free throws, fouls, or any violations except goaltending. You can freely elbow or shove your opponents out of the way. In NBA Jam, you are able to slam dunk, tackle opponents openly without being penalized, and jump unrealistic heights.

An “on fire” feature activates if you achieve three baskets in a row. Upon activation, you’ll enjoy unlimited turbo and increased shooting ability and be exempted from goaltending. Easter eggs are a special NBA feature activated by pressing a combination of buttons on your Game Boy. Despite changes in development teams over the years, the game has kept its over-the-top gameplay style.

Best 2-on-2 Action
NBA Jam
$17.95
  • Features teams from the 1992-1994 NBA season
  • The first game to feature NBA-licensed players and teams
  • Players can make unique slam dunks that defy the laws of physics and human capabilities
  • Openly tackle opponents without being penalized
  • Unlimited turbo and increased shooting ability if players hit three baskets in a row
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:15 pm GMT

7. Nintendo World Cup

Game Boy sports games
Unlike in a real soccer match, Nintendo World Cup has no offsides rule and fouls are not penalized.

Nintendo World Cup is a soccer-themed video game for the Game Boy in which 13 national teams participate in the World Cup to get the number one trophy. The national teams include the United States, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Soviet Union, Cameroon, Netherlands, England, Mexico, France, Japan, Italy, and Germany.

Nintendo World Cup features two game modes: match mode and tournament mode. The match mode lets you confront other players on the ice, dirt playing fields, or ice. The tournament mode enables one or two players to take control of the team to defeat the Game Boy-controlled opponents.
The game follows all soccer rules, however, with noticeable differences. Each team features six players (two defenders, two forwards, a goalkeeper, and a midfielder). You can control one player at a time and issue commands like shooting or passing to other players. Fouls aren’t punished, and offsides are non-existent.

You can knock out your opponents by repeatedly tackling, sliding, or shooting them, and the knocked-out players will stay out for the rest of the half. You also have access to power shots known as super shots; however, they’re limited to five per half.

Best Tournament Mode
World Cup Soccer
$18.46
  • Features two game modes: match mode and tournament mode
  • Thirteen national teams participate in the World Cup
  • Control one player at a time and issue commands like shooting or passing to other players
  • Fouls aren't punished and offsides are non-existent
  • Players have access to power shots known as super shots
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:55 pm GMT

6. FIFA: Road to World Cup 98

Game Boy sports games
In FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, gamers can play the qualification mode or choose between eleven competitive leagues.

FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 is a soccer simulation game commonly abbreviated as FIFA 98. It is the second 3D game for the fifth-generation gaming consoles and the fifth game under the FIFA belt. FIFA 98 features an official soundtrack from FIFA, 16 stadiums, player customization options, and improved artificial intelligence. It’s among the first soccer video games to implement soccer rules.

You can initiate player transfers, change uniform colors and create a new player using different skin tones, faces, and hairstyles. FIFA 98 also features a training mode like any other soccer game, and a basic stats tracking feature is also available. The game also features a variety of songs from artists such as Blur, The Crystal Method, Electric Skychurch, and Des Lynam.

Best Soundtrack
World Cup ’98
$24.99
  • It is the second 3D game for the fifth-generation gaming consoles
  • Among the first soccer video games to implement soccer rules
  • Official soundtrack from FIFA with artists such as Blur and The Crystal Method
  • Features 16 stadiums
  • Offers player customization options


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:16 pm GMT

5. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball

Game Boy Sports Games
This Game Boy sports classic includes players’ names and statistics from the 1996 MLB season.

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball is a classic portable baseball game for the Game Boy. This game features a Major League Baseball license, which allows for real teams and stadiums. Unfortunately, the game only features fictitious players except for Ken Griffey Jr. The objective of the game is to finish first in your division, which will earn you qualification for the playoff berth and a spot in the World Series competition.

Due to cartridge space limitations, this version features one stadium. The Game Boy version is also free from player limitations; hence you can select any non-pitcher MLB player. It also features updated logos and uniforms for teams such as the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers.

Best Game Mechanics
Ken Griffey, Jr., Presents Major League Baseball (Renewed)
$13.30
  • Features a Major League Baseball license, which allows for real teams and stadiums
  • Offers updated logos and uniforms for teams such as the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers
  • Includes players' names and statistics from the 1996 MLB season
  • Select any non-pitcher MLB player
  • Finish first in your division to qualify for the playoffs and a spot in the World Series competition
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:20 pm GMT

4. Track and Field

Game Boy sports games
Track and Field for Game Boy is based on Olympic events such as the 100-meter dash and the high jump.

Also known as Hyper Olympic, Track and Field is an athletic-simulated video game based on throwing, jumping, and running skills. The game is under the sport of athletics umbrella, which includes race-walking, country running, and road running.

You can win foot racing events such as long-distance races, sprints, and middle-distance by completing the race in the shortest time possible. Since 1983 when the game was first developed, it has been improved to accommodate new features.

Jumping games such as high jump, pole vault, triple jump, and long jump are all available in the Track and Field game. Each team has four members: two males and two females. There are best performance records from the personal to the world level. You’re disqualified if you violate any game rules and marks are erased.

Best Pick Up and Play
Track & Field
$9.99
  • An athletic-simulated video game based on throwing, jumping, and running skills
  • Win foot racing events by completing the race in the shortest time possible
  • Available jumping events include the high jump, pole vault, triple jump, and long jump
  • Each team has four members: two males and two females
  • Features best performance records from the personal to the world level
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:25 pm GMT

3. Bases Loaded

Game Boy Sports Games
Bases Loaded offers a realistic baseball experience with one and two-player single-game options.

If you’re a baseball fan, Bases Loaded is a game you don’t want to miss. In Bases Loaded, players have the ability to control one of 12 teams during a single game or a full season. Additionally, there is a two-player option available for single games. The game features a TV-style representation of pitcher-batter matchups, offering strong control and a high level of realism, making it a favorite among baseball fans during the early days of NES and Game Boy.

One unique aspect of the game is the pitcher’s ability to provoke the batter into charging the mound. Although each team only has one batter, typically the best hitter, who can be provoked in this manner, it is up to the player to identify who it is. At the time of its release, only a few video games were licensed by North American major league sports, resulting in the depiction of a fictional league of twelve teams in Bases Loaded.

Best Two-Player
Bases Loaded
  • Players have the ability to control one of 12 teams during a single game or a full season
  • There is a two-player option available for single games
  • Features a TV-style representation of pitcher-batter matchups
  • Offers a high level of realism
  • Pitchers can provoke the batter into charging the mound
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

2. Tecmo Bowl

Game Boy sports games
In Tecmo Bowl, players try to take the football team of their choice to the championship.

Tecmo Bowl is a classic American football simulation video game. The game has a dual-screen cabinet that can accommodate up to four players. Tecmo Bowl features superior 2D graphics. Tecmo Bowl offers a wide selection of teams, with twelve available teams based on real-life home cities and states.

You can choose any of the three modes: coach, two-player, and one-player. In one-player mode, you can control the team of your choice as you play against the computer. You pick a football team to play against the computer in one-player mode. After every game the player wins, a password is provided to continue with the championship quest. In the coach and two-player modes, you play against another human. With real-life NFL player names, statistics, and rosters from the 1987 and 1988 seasons, this game is a must-have for any Game Boy owner.

Best 2D Graphics
Tecmo Bowl – Game Boy Color
$20.25
  • Offers player vs. computer mode in 11-game single-elimination playoff action
  • Play head-to-head with a human opponent in action or coach mode
  • Real NFL player names, statistics, and rosters from the 1987 and 1988 seasons
  • After each win, a password is provided to continue with the championship quest
  • Features superior 2D graphics
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:35 pm GMT

1. WWF King of the Ring

Game Boy sports games
In WWF King of the Ring, players can customize their wrestlers and compete in tag team mode with friends.

WWF King of the Ring is a classic Game Boy release by the World Wrestling Federation. The game features several wrestlers, including Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Razor Ramon, Bam Bigelow, Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, Lex Luger, and you (a generic wrestler who you can assign a name). Each wrestler has varying attributes, and it would take a while before you unlock your ideal character.

In an attempt to depict realism, each wrestler has similar wrestling moves which include kicks, body slams, punches, elbow drops, and stops. Unfortunately, there aren’t any signature moves among the players. You must win an eight-man elimination tournament to earn the King of the Ring title. 

Best Customization
WWF King of the Ring (Game Boy, 1993)
$7.99
  • Features real wrestlers, including Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan
  • Players can customize their own wrestler
  • Execute wrestling moves such as kicks, body slams, punches, and elbow drops
  • Players must win an eight-man elimination tournament to earn the King of the Ring title
  • The Game Boy Game Link allows players to compete in tag team mode with friends
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/13/2024 03:40 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that the Game Boy features a wide array of sports games to suit your gaming needs. The above games will keep you hooked to your Game Boy and leave you craving more. Whether you are a newbie or an expert in the gaming world, trying the above titles will give you a new experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Game Boy sports games suitable for all ages?

Yes. Game Boy sports games are suitable for players of all ages. They offer a fantastic gameplay experience with easy controls that make them accessible to players of all skill levels.

Are there any notable players or teams in Game Boy sports games?

Yes. Many Game Boy sports games have a roster of notable players and teams from different sports and eras. Some notable examples include Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard in Knockout Kings.

Why was the Game Boy so popular?

The Game Boy was incredibly popular because it was affordable, portable, and had various games available. It also had a battery life that was significantly longer than other handheld consoles at the time, making it great for long trips. Finally, it was released at a time when gaming was becoming more popular and much more accessible.

What was the last Game Boy?

Released globally in 2005, the Nintendo Game Boy Micro was the last Game Boy console released by Nintendo.

What replaced the Game Boy?

The Game Boy was the dominant handheld console on the market for almost two decades.  But the console died a quiet death in 2008 after the company had shifted its focus to the Nintendo DS.

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