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What Was The Last Official Nintendo Game Boy Game To Hit Shelves?

Back in 1989, Nintendo released the enormously successful Game Boy. The now iconic little handheld would go on to sell more than 118 million units and mark the beginning of Nintendo's command of portable console gaming. 

Nintendo's plucky little handheld had a lengthy nine year run before the arrival of its multichromatic follow-up, the Game Boy Color. During that time, an enormous amount of games were released into the hands of players, and plenty are worthy of pulling out one's Game Boy even today. Alas, all good things must end, and releases for the portable started to slow down in 1998

While the Game Boy Color would see plenty more titles before the Game Boy Advance's appearance in 2003, the final game released on the original Game Boy would arrive in 2000. For the West, that is. Due to regional differences in releases, there are actually two "last games" released for the Game Boy. One for Europe and North America, and one for Japan. One that plenty of players will be familiar with, and one that's a bit more obscure.

Pokémon Yellow Version was the final Game Boy game in the West

Thanks to some extensive records kept by Nintendo, we can see the release date and name of every game released for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. In this list, however, it's important to note that the Game Boy Color isn't differentiated from the original Game Boy. Taking this into account, and as pointed out by Den of Geek, the very last game ever released on the original, green-screened Game Boy in Europe and North America was "Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition." 

Interestingly, the game's release dates in North America and Europe were almost a year apart despite the fact that this was the final Game Boy release for both regions. It arrived in North America on October 19, 1999 and in Europe on June 16, 2000. Of course, "Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition" was released in Japan even earlier on September 12, 1998. 

While one may think that it's due to the earlier release of "Pokémon Yellow Version" in Japan that the final Game Boy game is different in Nintendo's home country, the real reason is that the games "Shikakei Atama o Kore Kusuru: Kanji no Tatsujin" and "Shikakei Atama o Kore Kusuru: Keisan no Tatsujin" were released exclusively in Japan. These incredibly obscure games were both released on March 30, 2001, and were education-focused titles. Not exactly as widely-known as the Pokémon franchise.

The final game released for Game Boy Color was different in North America, Europe, and Japan

For those who view the Game Boy Color as more of a specialized version of the Game Boy rather than a true successor, things get even more broken up because of regional differences. In North America, as shown and helpfully catalogued by Nintendo Life, the last title was the movie tie-in game "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." It released in North America on November 5, 2002, but it arrived in Europe more than a week later on November 15. This time it would be Japan missing out, due to this Harry Potter adaptation never releasing in the country.

Yet, Mr. Potter wasn't the final Game Boy Color game for Europe. Instead, Europe's final release for the handheld was "Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!." This title was released for the EU on January 10, 2003, and, stranger still, is the fact that it was released in North America on October 28, 2002. Similarly to "Pokémon Yellow Version," however, "Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!" was released much earlier in Japan on April 21, 2001. 

While North America and Europe were having "Hamtaro" and "Harry Potter" release, the final game for the Game Boy Color in Japan was, once again, released exclusively within the country. Not only that, but, once again, the title was one with an educational focus: "Doraemon no Study Boy: Kanji Yomikaki Master." As Den of Geek put it, "There's something strangely satisfying about the final Game Boy and Game Boy Color games in Japan being spiritually linked."