Gameboy and GBA games are finally on Nintendo Switch Online — But where's Pokémon?

Nintendo Switch Online
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo's February 2023 Direct yielded surprises like Pikmin 4 gameplay and a Metroid Prime Remaster shadow drop, but the most fascinating reveal is the sudden inclusion of Gameboy and GBA titles to Nintendo Switch Online. 

Gameboy games are available with the base package of Nintendo Switch Online, but Gameboy Advance games will require the Expansion Pack. For the Gameboy in particular, you can swap between Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color filters to suit your nostalgic preferences. 

Here's the full list of Gameboy games you can play today through Nintendo Switch Online:

  • Tetris
  • Super Mario Land 2 - 6 Golden Coins
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX
  • Gargoyle's Quest
  • Game & Watch Gallery 3
  • Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
  • Metroid II: Return of Samus
  • Wario Land 3
  • Kirby's Dream Land

Nintendo confirmed that other titles like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, Pokémon Trading Card Game, and Kirby: Tilt 'n' Tumble will be available on Gameboy at a later date. Up two players can enjoy certain titles like Tetris locally or online.

Nintendo Switch Online

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Gameboy Advance titles available to play now on Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack are:

  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Warioware, Inc: Mega Microgame$
  • Kuru Kuru Kururin
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Other games like Metroid Fusion, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Fire Emblem, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, and Golden Sun will be launching later down the line. The Gameboy Advance can support up to four players co-op locally or online.

But where's Pokémon?

With this list of 24 confirmed games, I only have one question: Where's Pokémon? I'm not referring to spin-off titles like Pokémon: Trading Card Game. Instead, I was hoping to see the mainline games, as they are a core part of the Gameboy's history.

Nintendo Switch Online

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The first mainline Pokémon was Red and Blue released for the Gameboy, with Pokémon Yellow (my personal favorite) also launching on the console a couple of years later. Gameboy Color Pokémon titles include Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon Crystal, while Gameboy Advance titles include Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and Pokémon Emerald.

That's a lot of Pokémon, and not a single bit of it is present within Nintendo Switch's Online ecosystem. Pokémon's history begins with the Gameboy, and it's hard to imagine the company is attempting to represent the device without its presence.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.