Played my 4 favourite games Batman, Super Mario Land 1&2 and of course, Tetris. I have such a good time with these games and was wondering why I'm not connecting with Super Mario Bros Deluxe on the Color as much as these older games.
Then it kind of dawned on me, games for the original Game Boy were designed with the system and it's limitations in mind. I can't help but feel games for the Color (Colour for us Brits!) and Advance seemed swamped with NES/SNES ports rather than games designed for the systems.
Or it could just be a bad case of nostalgia goggles !
However, I don't think that is what you are actually asking.
As for which of the consoles do I feel had the most original and striking library of games, I would have to say the NDS. I would have to agree that the gba had its fair share of NES/SNES ports, while the gbc simply had too short of a shelf life to really create a huge library of games (it has quite a few but it had a very small life compared to the other game boy systems). That really leaves me with the original and the NDS (3DS is too soon to tell). I honestly think the original gb games have a lot of appeal but really a lot of them felt like downgrades to the console games. This was back in the time where consumers felt okay with getting a watered down game if they could take it with them anywhere. That isn't to say that the gb didn't have a great library of games (because it did) but really the NDS was around for like 8 years, amassed a huge library of games with many classics. It even had upgrades to a lot of old titles that were given a whole new coat of paint. I love the NDS.
The GBA's library was the best for me, too many great games to count, Sonic Advance series, Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon, Harmony Of Dissonance and Aria Of Sorrow, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, Kirby: Nightmare In Dreamland, Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission, Wario Land 4, etc.
Super Mario Deluxe was my very first exposure to the series, so i've got a soft spot for that one.
The DS wins by default if included,but going by merely Game Boys,easily Advance.
It did have a lot of SNES ports sure,but the Game Boy had a lot of watered down NES ports that couldn't do color.
And for all those SNES ports,the GBA had a kick-ass Mario Kart (literally the best one in 10 years), great Pokemon games, Golden Sun, excellent Kirby games, and so on and so on.
For a 6 year life,the GBA was amazing.
Not only did it last long enough to get a beautiful modern screen (I love my backlit SP) along with an excellent official tv out option, the software library was second to none where handhelds go. Amazing ports of classic games, excellent modern 2D games, and a lot of contemporary software offerings. Even many of the attempts to push 3D out of the GBA excelled rather than merely being style over substance. And that's without even considering its backwards compatibility.
If only the DS could've lived up to its pedigree.
Many genres like the racing genre paled in comparison on the DS compared to what had been offered on the Game Boy Advance. And while I'm sure that several were much better off, I can't think of one where I'd take the DS library over the GBA library except for classic gaming compilations.
And even there, the GBA is pretty well off despite its underpowered nature.
The original GameBoy was pretty incredible, though. Lots of fantastic titles that I still enjoy to this day; Super Mario Land 1/2, Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, Tetris Attack, Kid Icarus: Myths and Monsters, Metroid II, Gargoyles Quest.... Historically, it's where a couple big RPG series got their start, including the Seiken Densetsue or "Mana" series (in the form of Final Fantasy Adventure) and the SaGa series (in the form of the 3 Final Fantasy Legend games). I also view Donkey Kong '94 as one of the most underrated platformers ever created. And who can forget the reason the GB was such a big hit initially? There have been literally dozens of iterations of the game over several console generations, but we all remember the GameBoy version of Tetris as being the most historically important pack-in game of all time.
The GameBoy color fares less well, due mostly to its short life. Sure, some big names and genuinely good games dropped for the system-- Shantae and Metal Gear Solid among them-- but it's mostly remembered for a color port of an original GameBoy game, Zelda: Link's Awakening.
The Gameboy Advance, on the other hand, has a library that is impossibly deep. As others have said, quite a bit of its popularity was due to its MANY ports; the NES Classic line, the litany of revamped beat em ups (Final Fight One, Double Dragon Advance, River City Ransom), the Super Mario Advanced line (with only SMB2 getting a genuine remake), almost every early Final Fantasy title, the single best remake of all-time (Metroid: Zero Mission) and of course more SNES ports than you can shake a stick at. But remembering it as simply a "portable Super Nintendo" does it a huge disservice (unless, like me, you don't see being a handheld version of the greatest video game system of all time as a bad thing... but I digress). There were dozens of original titles on the system that are still mad fun today AND underrated gems to boot; the Boktai series, the WarioWare series, the Golden Sun series, Drill Dozer, Ninja Five-0, the Mega Man Zero and Battle Network series, Astro Boy: The Omega Factor, and the amazing Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga which was the start of a series that's still going strong on the 3DS. There are also dozens of series that had fantastic titles in their ongoing franchises on the system: Castlevania, Zelda, Sonic, Klonoa, Kirby, and North America's first introduction to previous Japan exclusives Fire Emblem and Nintendo Wars (Advance Wars).
Best of all, these titles will continue to age well, just like their 16-bit home console brothers because Nintendo kept it 2D and sprite-based. Love the system so much. No contest on this one; the GBA has the best GameBoy library, hands down.