The Most Awesome Game Boy Games From Back in the Day

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We all remember one of the most enduring images of the early 90's- a tweener with a Game Boy in his hand.  Sometimes it seemed that, no matter where you were- the bank, the grocery store, even hospitals and churches- there was a kid, eyes down, Game Boy gripped in his sweaty hands, manically pressing those little black and red buttons with his thumbs.  Those were the days, before online headset-gaming, Candy Crush Saga and glorious 3D 1080i graphics.  Instead we settled for sticky buttons, a green 2" screen and a cheap headphone jack.  But oh the fun we had playing all the classics!  Below we take a look back at the best of the Game Boy "Game Paks."

1. 'Kirby's Dream Land'

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The little lost cloud man sure was entertaining; playing felt like falling into a deep dream. 

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2. 'Pokemon Red & Blue'

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Depending upon your point of view, this game is either the Holy Grail of a world-spanning empire or the original virus that began the dreaded Pokémon infestation.  Either way, there's no arguing that this is the one that started all the craziness.  The fact that the game's Overworld had more creatures than you could possibly catch (Bulbasaur anyone?  Squirtle???) didn't have anything to do with marketing now, did it?  We'll let you answer that while you sort through your five million Pokémon trading cards.

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3. 'Final Fantasy II'

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In the world of movie making the Godfather II is considered the gold standard of sequels. In the gaming world, this one might fit the bill as well.  The best part of FF2? Hours and hours (and hours) of gameplay that never, ever got boring. Hell, you were supposed to be on a quest to find your dad...how could you ever stop looking?

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4. 'Harvest Moon'

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If you thought Farmville and all of those other FB games were original, we present to you Harvest Moon.  You could plant, water and harvest your crops and even talk to your dead relatives.  Who knew endless back-breaking labor under the virtual sun would be so popular?

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5. 'F1 Racing'

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Who doesn't love a good racing game?  F-1 might seem pretty boring to 21st Century gamers, but in its day it was basically awesome. Not because of its imaginative graphics, mind you, but because it was the first hand-held game that allowed you to link up multiple players. Progress!

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6. 'Tetris'

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Every gaming system always comes with a simple yet crazily addictive game to get you hooked. Tetris is definitely the granddaddy of that bunch, the original bundled Game Pak on Game Boy. There was a time when Game Boy users would go to sleep and gently dream of falling bricks all night long (we know we did).  Because that's how much we played the damn game.  

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7. 'Metroid 2'

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If you're the type of gamer who enjoys kick-ass lady mercenaries destroying level after level of uncool aliens (and really, what gamer isn't) then you remember the entire Metroid series fondly.  Our hero, Samus, is one of the all-time great gaming characters (Icons?  Goddess?) and the gameplay has always been challenging and fun. This early sequel had the awesome leveling-up action Metroid is known for and, even better, a totally unexpected storyline twist at the end. All we'll say about that is that Samus should have taken care business right then and there and saved herself a lot of grief.  Of course, then we wouldn't be eagerly awaiting the release of Metroid XXXV

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8. 'Super Mario Land'

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We could have just said "every Mario game ever" and be done with it.  But this original Super Mario was one of the best ideas any video game designers ever had. If you already played Donkey Kong in the arcades or on your Game Boy, you knew Mario deserved his own game.  Maybe you didn't expect that he would only move to the right, but still, they got that little hiccup ironed out eventually.

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9. 'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening'

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The popularity of the Zelda series"still makes some gamers scratch their heads. But there's no denying the old school popularity and impact these games had and Link's Awakening (sans Zelda) might be the best of the bunch. The game had super imaginative gameplay and, of course, kept the franchise strong.

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10. 'Donkey Kong'

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We all know how insanely popular the Mario-verse became in video gaming (and popular culture as a whole), and Donkey Kong was the first of the bunch. The arcade version of this classic had already been around for six years when the Game Boy version was launched and the new, portable version didn't change much of this classic. Well, except for the addition of about 100 extra levels and a `roided up Kong on the final "Boss" level.

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