Wonder Boy is one of those unique franchises which, despite enjoying the height of its popularity during the 8 and 16-bit eras of gaming, has managed to maintain some degree of popularity in the modern era.
Sure, Super Mario and Zelda have performed the same trick, but think about how many of Wonder Boy's contemporaries have fallen by the wayside over the decades – in contrast, this unique blend of action platforming and RPG has recently been blessed with a brand-new game, a trio of remakes and a collection of classics on present-day systems such as Switch and PS4.
Wonder Boy is also remarkable as a series because so many of these outings have been solid-gold classics – and it's equally impressive that, as a franchise, it has managed to effortlessly flit between genres (Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair is a 2D shooter, for example).
However, while we could easily talk about the impressive scope of these games for hours, the real reason we're here is to answer the most pressing of questions: which Wonder Boy game is the absolute best?
Please note, rather than treat the recent remakes as separate entities, we've rolled them all into a single entry here – likewise for the 'reskinned' titles on non-Sega formats, such as The Dynastic Hero and Dragon's Curse. Finally, even though it's a bit cheeky, we've included Monster Boy in this list; it's a Wonder Boy game in all but name – series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa says so.
What's the best Wonder Boy game? (224 votes)
- Wonder Boy (1986)8%
- Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987)10%
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (1988)3%
- Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (1989)34%
- Wonder Boy in Monster World / Wonder Boy V: Monster World III (1991)14%
- Monster World IV (1994)11%
- Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (2018)20%