Game Boy
Image: Gemma Smith / Time Extension

This week gave us the momentous news that Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games are now available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service.

A pair of Nintendo's most popular hardware ventures, these two systems (well, three, if you count the GB and GBC separately) are home to thousands of titles and were foundational platforms in the lives of many a gamer.

As we've come to expect, Nintendo is drip-feeding the software for both machines. The initial batch is made up of the following:

Game Boy / Game Boy Color

Game Boy Advance

Future titles have been confirmed as:

Game Boy / Game Boy Color

Game Boy Advance

As you can see, there are some real gems in there; Tetris is comfortably one of the best games ever made, while Link's Awakening is so beloved it was recently remastered on Switch. However, there's been some "discussion" online recently regarding the actual worth of the original Game Boy's library and if its games can really justify your attention in 2023.

Given that the original Game Boy is perhaps the most 'humble' system available on NSO (in purely technical terms), is there a valid argument to say that some of its games simply don't stand up in the modern era? Everyone arguably has a 'cut-off point' where their interest wanes; unless you grew up with the Atari VCS, you might not find the software all that appealing. Without that vital personal connection, some older systems might not hold much interest for you.

Game Boy
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Nostalgia plays a huge role in retro gaming, and we tend to gravitate towards those systems which we grew up with. As a result, there will be a great many Switch owners who weren't even alive when the Game Boy was released, and won't be viewing its titles through rose-tinted glasses. (And even if you are old enough to have lived through this era, we're not sure anyone was hoping to play Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare on their Switch.)

Having said that, games like Super Mario Land 2, Metroid II and Kirby's Dream Land remain wonderfully playable, even by modern standards, and you certainly don't need to have been alive when it was first released to see why Tetris is so utterly addictive. The primitive nature of the visuals and sound means little when the core gameplay is so compelling; gameplay never goes out of fashion, irrespective of what a game actually looks like – a site like Time Extension wouldn't exist if that weren't the case! Perhaps you disagree; if so, we're giving you the chance to make your voice heard.

Vote in the poll below, and don't forget to leave a comment to explain your feelings on this topic.

Are Game Boy games still worth playing on your Switch in 2023? (1,892 votes)

  1. Yes, of course they are! Gameplay is timeless59%
  2. I guess, but some more so than others37%
  3. No, they're too primitive for my tastes4%
  4. I don't really have an opinion on the matter  0.5%