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Should I Buy A Gameboy in 2023?

Game Boy Color

It's 2023 and you're tired of scrolling through endless repeats of your favorite TV show on Twitch or YouTube and wondered if you should buy a Gameboy. Maybe you weren't old enough when the Gameboy was around to own one or whether or not it would be outright fun to own one.

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Portability plays a big part on whether or not you want to own a Gameboy. This is because some people still love playing their Gameboy among other consoles. The Gameboy is a great gaming machine if you're looking for something on the go and also kid friendly while still being able to play some great games as the years have passed by.

The Gameboy has been used for some really cool things, a camera, printer, even a full blown music machine.

The Gameboy Design

Many people ended up buying a Gameboy for it's unique design. Starting the console up and seeing the Gameboy logo sliding down the screen with the ping noise it makes takes us back to a simpler time where was simple and you had not a worry in the world.

The design of the DMG Gameboy fit so comfortably in your hand. Now a days technology has gotten more compact as the time goes by. It was great to see a device like the Gameboy be so bulky and comfortable.

Which GameBoy Should I Buy?

If you're wondering which Gameboy revision is best for you, first we have to weigh in on the different models of Gameboys that were released

Game Boy DMG

Game Boy/Play it Loud! Series (DMG-01)

This is the classic Gameboy shell with the monochromatic display. This will play everything except Gameboy Color games and takes 4 AA batteries in order to run. In 1995 the Play it Loud! Series came brought new shells to the Gameboy and came in the following colors:

  • Red (1995)
  • Black (1995)
  • Clear (Transparent, 1995)
  • Green (1995)
  • Yellow (1995)
  • White (1995, Japan only)
  • Blue (1995, Europe only)
Game Boy Pocket

Game Boy Pocket (MGB-001)

In 1996 the Gameboy Pocket was released. It's smaller form factor and additional colors made the Gameboy feel more comfortable for putting in a pocket, hence the name. The 4 AA batteries were now replaced with 2 AAA batteries in order to power the device. The monochrome screen was replaced with a greyscale one for increased visibility. The Gameboy pocket came in the following colors:

  • Silver (1996)
  • Red (1996)
  • Black (1996)
  • Clear (1996)
  • Green (1996)
  • Yellow (1996)
  • Blue (1996)
  • Pink (1996, Japan only)
  • Clear Purple (1996, Japan only)
Game Boy Light

Game Boy Light

A Japan only exclusive, the Gameboy Light was released in 1998. It kept the same design as the Gameboy pocket but introduced the backlight as well as gave the Gameboy some extra battery life by allowing two AA batteries rather than AAA batteries of the pocket counterpart.

The standard Gold and Silver colors were released along with some special variants. It's short lived release span was superseded by the mighty Gameboy Color.

Game Boy Color GBC

Game Boy Color

Although gamers in North America missed out on the Gameboy Light, they got a fantastic device in the Game Boy Color released in 1998. The form factor resembles that of the Gameboy Pocket, it introduced colors to the all new games that were no longer backwards compatible with other Gameboy devices at the time.

Any Gameboy game would introduce color when used on the Gameboy Color console. The device provided much better battery life than the Gameboy Pocket by using two AA batteries to power the console. With all new colors such as Berry, Grape, Kiwi, Dandelion, Teal and Atomic Purple.


Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance was released in 2001 and was an updated 32 bit console. This groundbreaking piece of technology brought new life to handheld gaming.

Often allowing you to play not only your favorite NES games on the go but Super NES game ports that were downright excellent such as Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, Mario 3 and The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past.

Each of the franchises got their own updated release from Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, Metroid and many others. Inspired by the Sega Game Gear, The form factor of the Game Boy Advance was incredibly comfortable in your hands over long periods of time.

A second variation of the Game Boy Advance was released in 2003, leaving the old design in the past in favor of the clamshell look and feel. It also came with a rechargeable battery.

The SP also was the first GBA to introduce a front-lit screen and is the dimmer model called the AGS-001. This frontlight tends to appear blue and can be turned off. The later AGS-101 model is the brighter backlit version of the SP. This is the more favorable device for retro gamers.

All versions of the GBA were also able to play all of your favorite GBC and GB games due to being backwards compatible with all of the previous generation's games.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Game Boy Version is Best?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Some may feel nostalgia to a particular model of Game Boy, others may prefer a backlight screen.

For me, I would suggest a GBA AGS-101 if you can find one.

It's backlight screen is incredibly sharp and comes with a rechargeable battery that you can plug in for long gaming sessions.

Pikachu Mario Link

Top Game Boy Games to Play

  • Tetris is a great place to start for a Gameboy game to play. Such a simple puzzle game, connecting four lines together and getting a Tetris is sheer gaming perfection.
  • Dr Mario is also another great puzzle game on the go. Take care of those nasty viruses. I wouldn't be surprised if many pharmacists went into the industry with their Gameboy in hand.
  • Hunt down Metroids in Metroid II: Return of Samus. A game that was so popular at the time, it's spinoff unofficial fan made remakes from the ground up.
  • And how can we forget Pokemon and Zelda: Link's Awakening as other great games on the Gameboy.

How much is a Game Boy Worth?

the worth of a Gameboy will vary based on model, condition of the device and accessories or whether or not it comes complete in box (CIB).

  • For an original Gameboy price of a DMG in white, expect to pay between $120 - $150 without any games or accessories.
  • For a Gameboy Pocket, you can see listings of as is units which most likely work fine for upwards of $75 - $100.
  • Gameboy Light consoles start at $150 which we believe is a reasonable price considering it's a rare Gameboy console that was only released in Japan.

Gameboy Color handheld consoles can be had for roughly the same price as the Gameboy Pocket.

We recommend this over the Gameboy Pocket considering they both share the same price but you'll have the advantage of the enhanced library to choose from.

  • Gameboy Advance consoles start at $100 for the original model and $80 for the GBA SP.
  • Expect to pay upwards of $200 for an AGS-101 which includes the brighter screen.

How much did the Game Boy Color cost?

  • The Game Boy Colour had a suggested retail price of $69.99 when it was originally made available in the US in 1998.
  • The real cost, however, changed based on the merchant and any discounts or promotions that could have been provided.
  • As the Game Boy Advance gained popularity later in its existence, the cost of the Game Boy Colour was reduced to between $49.99 and $59.99.

Is Game Boy Color Discontinued?

  • Yes, the Game Boy Colour has been out of production since the Game Boy Advance took its place in 2003.
  • However, there are still a number of online sites and used shops where you can buy used Game Boy Colour systems and games.

What is the rarest Game Boy Color?

The Pokémon Centre New York version of the Game Boy Colour, which was a limited edition console produced in 1999 to honor the opening of the Pokémon Centre shop in New York City, is said to be the rarest model.

The console has the store's emblem on both the front and back in a yellow and blue color scheme. Since just 1000 copies are said to have been made, it is highly prized among collectors.


It is absolutely worth buying a Game Boy years after it was released. With so many classic titles you can choose from, it'll keep you going for years to come. With so many revisions and color variations to choose from, you might someday end up with a collection of Game Boy Colors.



Passionate gamer and nostalgia enthusiast. Journeying through the pixelated realms of retro video games, unearthing forgotten gems and sharing the joy. Join me on a nostalgic adventure! 🎮✨