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I said I was gonna do it in my last Top 5 article, so here it is! My Top 5 Nintendo Handheld systems! Now, for some of these there ARE some hardware revisions (Game Boy Advance, then Advance SP, for example) that I am keeping in mind. So when I list one, I am also including all revisions of it. With that said… let’s do this thing:

#5- Game Boy Color

gbc

We start off with 1998’s Game Boy Color! This was Nintendo’s first handheld system capable of displaying colors (hence the name, duh). This was the first big step in Nintendo overhauling their handheld offerings. The reason I list this at number 5 is because there wasn’t that much time that went by between this system and the release of the Game Boy Advance (about 3 years) and there isn’t really a classic GBC game that jumps out at me as being particularly outstanding. There were several good games, don’t get me wrong, but outside of some Pokemon and Legend of Zelda games, nothing was real noteworthy.

#4- Nintendo DS

ds

This was a system I was super pumped for upon its release. The power of a Nintendo 64 in your hands?! Whoaaaaaaaa! I got my DS and Super Mario 64 DS for Christmas the year it came out and I was blown away as much as when I got my 64 and Super Mario 64 seven years prior. The reason I don’t hold the original DS (and Lite, DSi, DSi XL) in higher esteem is because I went through kind of a jaded gamer phase during my ownership of the system early on. I bought and sold it about 3 times (owning an original DS, DS Lite twice, and a DSi XL) and I also had a PSP so I could play “cool games” (ugh). The DS is an amazing system with amazing games, but I didn’t quite have the love for it that I had/have for other Nintendo handhelds.

#3- Game Boy Advance

gba

I was so excited to get the Game Boy Advance, that I got the system before I was able to get any games for it. I didn’t even care that Super Mario Advance was merely a Super Mario Bros. 2 remake. The fact that this (at the time) super-powerful handheld system was capable of displaying Super Nintendo-quality (sometimes better) graphics was amazing! I brought my GBA everywhere! To my friend’s house, my paper route, to school… where it got stolen!  I loved this system so much, I spent every dime I had to my name to replace it after that. When the SP came out, I HAD to have it. The 1st Nintendo handheld with a BACKLIGHT?! WHAAAAAAAAT?! I was saving up money for it when all of a sudden…

spnes

THIS! This beautiful golden God of a handheld system was released! The NES-skinned Game Boy Advance SP. I drooled like Homer Simpson when I saw that. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to drain my savings and I was never able to get the SP. I never ended up owning an SP until earlier in 2012 (a plain silver one), but I would still LOVE to own the NES-skinned version (always accepting donations!)

#2- Game Boy

oggb

The original, the old-school, the O.G.G.B, the big fatty Game Boy (and the Pocket). This was among my first presents I ever requested when I was old enough to request stuff for my birthday. There are so many games I loved on this thing and so many I’m still discovering. One of the first sections I hit up whenever I go to a game store selling retro games is the Game Boy case. There’s just something about the cartridges and artwork that just invokes childhood memories and makes me wax nostalgically about “the good ol’ days.” There’s a reason I’ve done more Game Boy games for reviews on this site than any other system. I just happen to get more curious about Game Boy games than any other system. Now, if I was writing this article before March 27th, 2011, the Game Boy would be #1, but there was a certain handheld release that day that totally stole my heart.

#1- 3DS

3ds

That’s right. The most modern day Nintendo handheld system on the market is #1 on a list made by a guy who is primarily a retro gamer. I freaking LOVE everything about the 3DS. I feel this is the most complete system Nintendo has ever released. Fantastic games, fantastic features, and fantastic graphics (by handheld standards) make this the total package. How do you make a fantastic system even better? Release the 3DS XL! Oh my Shigeru Miyamoto, this is such a good system! Any design flaw the 3DS has (aside from a 2nd thumbstick, but I’m one of the few who doesn’t care about that), was addressed in this redesign. The eShop is fantastic and has plenty of classic games to whet my retro appetite and I’ve even discovered some classic games I never knew about. The 3DS is a great system and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for it!

What do you think? How would you rank these systems? Let me know in the comments or get at me on Facebook or on Twitter!

As always, thanks for reading!

Comments
  1. wildmant504 says:

    For the Game Boy Color – the name was not always so obvious. The Color Game Boy was also released but it was basically the old style game boy with a monochrome screen and a color shell. I have found that the system I keep going back to is my original DS. (I have a red one like in your picture). I still get great battery life out of it. I like the 3DS as well but it just seems like I constantly must put it back in the charger – probably because the wireless feature is a drain. But I have to agree that the games have been great and there is nothing better than finding out a new friend waiting at the Mii gate!

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