19 Super Fun GIFs From Classic Nintendo Handheld Games
By now, Tetris is old hat. But its impact cannot be overstated. Tetris helped drive sales of 35 million Gameboys and established Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market.
2. Link's Awakening
If David Lynch played a Zelda game in one of his transcendental meditations, it might look like this. When the wind fish awakes, we all disappear.
3. Super Mario 3D Land
By far and wide the best of all portable Mario games, easily trumping the New Super Mario series with its unbridled creativity and stunning use of 3D. Tanooki’s back!
4. Metroid: Zero Mission
This game does more than reimagine the original Metroid. It reinvigorates it. Plus, we have Zero Mission to thank for Zero Suit Samus.
5. Mother 3
A transcendent work of art Nintendo should be more proud of. Keep the dream alive!
6. Drill Dozer
Oh, Drill Dozer. You were colorful, inventive and fun. Game Freak gave us a tantalizing taste of platform perfection before receding back into its Pokemon production line.
7. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Superstar Saga's always been a pleasant companion to the more robust Paper Mario games. Until Bowser's Inside Story rocketed to the top of the pack with a blast of inspired humor and polished RPG mechanics.
8. Mario’s Picross
This soft-spoken sister to Sudoku stands tall among the greatest puzzle games ever created. Take a dip into its tranquil sprite art grids while your worries melt away.
9. WarioWare: Twisted!
Although Nintendo first dabbled in gyroscopes with R.O.B. the robot in 1985, this mini game bonanza perfected their use. The best Wario game, and very likely the early impetus for the Wii Remote.
10. Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
After a pair of mystifying letdowns on the DS, the Zelda series is back in top shape. The concessions toward a more open future for the franchise make it an exciting time to be a fan.
11. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing certainly found a wide audience with its earlier games, but New Leaf marks the series' most successful attempt at making each day feel fresh and surprising.
12. Mario Kart DS
All the design tenants of Nintendo's previous racing games coalesce perfectly here, with excellent online play to boot. Also, definitively: Snaking is for pros and whining is for scrubs. Deal with it.
13. Donkey Kong ’94
It began as a remake of the original Donkey Kong and ended up blowing the roof off the formula with a sprawling series of inventive riddles.
14. Fire Emblem
While it's technically the seventh installment in the long-running strategy series, it's the first Fire Emblem game we saw in the US. It also happens to be the best.
15. Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2
The mayhem-filled rhythm game had Elite Beat Agents as a tamer American cousin, but nothing beats the outlandish scenarios of the OG Japanese Cheer Squad.
16. Pokémon X / Y
Because every Pokémon game essentially micro-iterates on all the versions that came before, each title feels like a greatest hits album. This one might be the pinnacle.
17. Golden Sun
Camelot Software, the team that brought Shining Force to Sega, switched teams and gave Nintendo a portable RPG with beautiful visuals, an intricate plot, and a robust 30-hour alchemical quest.
18. Advance Wars
You haven’t lived until you spend a week of sleepless nights in bed plowing through campaigns, vowing “just one more mission.” Turn-based strategy games this great are few and far between.
19. Rhythm Tengoku
Featuring the colorful art of Ko Takeuchi and the songwriting talents of TSUNKU, these rhythm game haikus champion simplicity as a virtue.