To say that compiling this list of the best Gameboy Advance games was tough would be an understatement. As the portable gaming console that arguably solidified Nintendo’s dominance of the handheld market, it’s been over 2 decades since The Gameboy Advance was the hottest thing on this planet.
First released in 2001, the Gameboy Advance (back then) delivered vibrant graphics, simple controls, and incredible games. Including everything from popular remakes, epic franchise spin-offs, and plenty of originals, the Gameboy Advance was just a joy to behold.
Best GBA Games Of All Time
But which games sit atop of the throne as the best Gameboy Advance games of all time? Find out as we break down our picks for the best Gameboy Advance game of all time. Will it be Zelda? Or does Metroid Fusion pip Link to the post?
Here are the best Gameboy Advance games of all time:
To keep things fresh, we’re only including one game per franchise and avoiding any straightforward ports like the Super Mario Advance and NES Classics games. Each one of these games grabbed our imagination and had us glued to our GBAs, fueling our gaming hours with wonderful stories and super-addictive gameplay.
WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames!
Taking 6th place on our list of the best GBA games, WarioWare Inc.
The Game Boy Advance excelled with games designed for quick play sessions in mind. Whether you played your GBA on the commute to school, while taking a break from work, or just for a short burst of entertainment, there were plenty of fantastic titles aligned to this gameplay. Of which, our favourite Gameboy Advance game for short sessions has to be WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames. Packed with cheeky mini-games that test your problem-solving skills and reaction times with humorous and absurd scenarios, WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames is the best GBA game for when you are running short of time.
Starring Wario, the tubby and mischievous nemesis of Mario, the game has over 200 unique mini-games to try, spread out over nine unique levels. Each mini-game challenges the player to complete a simple task in just a few seconds, whether it be scoring a point in tennis or stomping on a Goomba’s head. The nine levels are themed, offering various mini-games that focus on things like sports, classic Nintendo games, racing, and more.
Between the breakneck speed of the mini-games and the consistently irreverent tone, WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames always satisfied our gaming itch while providing plenty of laughs along the way.
Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen
While we did our best to keep remakes and remasters off this list, Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen deserve a shout-out. While some GBA fans might select Pokemon Sapphire and Pokemon Ruby, we would classify these remakes of the classic Pokemon Red and Blue games as some of the best GBA games we have ever played. Thanks to the GBA’s fantastic 32-bit visuals, we got to relive the original Pokemon adventure in vivid color, with a handful of new features for completionists to adore.
Frankly, if Pokémon FireRed was modernised for the Nintendo Switch, it would be the best Nintendo Switch game by a long long stretch.
In terms of gameplay and story, Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen are nearly identical to the originals, following a new Pokemon Trainer as they explore the Kanto region collecting new Pokemon and battling other trainers. In addition to the great new graphics and some additional trading features, this remake offered enhanced tutorials with a focus on accessibility, making it a perfect entry point for new fans. Traveling across the Kanto region and defeating the eight Gym Leaders was just as fun in Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen as it was in the original Game Boy games.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
The Mario & Luigi franchise was a surprise success, taking two of the most iconic gaming characters of all time and bringing them into an imaginative RPG world with turn-based combat. Currently, the series stands tall with five unique games. Of which, Superstar Saga is where the legacy begins; making the cut with a respectable 4th place on our list of the best GBA games of all time.
In this fantastic RPG, Mario and Luigi travel to the Beanbean Kingdom on a mission to rescue Princess Peach’s voice after it is stolen by a nefarious witch named Cackletta. Using previous RPGs like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario as inspiration, Superstar Saga came out swinging and earned its spot as one of the best GBA games ever made.
While turn-based RPGs are often regarded as slow-paced and hard to get into, Superstar Saga made it easy to fall in love. Traversing the colourful and mysterious Beanbean Kingdom is tons of fun, as players must solve light puzzles as they control Mario and Luigi in tandem. Like Paper Mario, the combat is simple but satisfying, encouraging players to tap along with attacks for extra damage. Best of all, the story is incredibly engaging, offering dozens of hours of whimsical humour and classic Super Mario fun.
Advance Wars & Advance Wars 2
These two turn-based tactical classics would make any list of best Gameboy Advance games. Advance Wars & Advance Wars 2 are some of the best games to come out of Intelligent Systems and definitely belong on the Gameboy Advance.
In this easy to learn a move or shoot command-based strategy game, players utilise a wide variety of units, weapon variations and differences in terrain to combine and overcome complex war scenarios. The biggest mistake you can make throughout the game is to be fooled by the cuteness of the characters and your surroundings. While the game looks cute, Advance Wars is not suitable for the faint of heart and will challenge the most tactical of minds to the maximum. Take part in compelling campaigns or battle your friends throughout multiplayer until your batteries go flat.
Although we prefer the units available within Advance Wars 2, the original is a far more balanced game. Enjoy infuriating moments backed by charming graphics and incredible music for hours upon end with Advance Wars & Advance Wars 2.
Metroid has been one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises since the original game was released on the NES in the late 1980s. In 2002, fans got a back-to-back release in the form of Metroid Prime on the Gamecube and the absolutely fantastic Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance.
Developed by the same creators as Super Metroid on SNES, Metroid Fusion took this sidescrolling sci-fi action series and injected it with a burst of color, easier navigation, and more addictive gameplay. Starring Samus Aran, the most talented bounty hunter of the cosmos, Metroid Fusion is a delight for any fan of shooting aliens and solving puzzles.
Metroid Fusion follows Samus as she explores the Biological Space Laboratories facility, where she must contend against extraterrestrial enemies and a deadly parasitic foe named X. Like in other Metroid titles, Samus earns new power-ups as she explores the base, granting her new offensive abilities and traversal options.
With an emphasis on accessibility for newcomers, Metroid Fusion offered a slightly more linear experience than normal, focusing on explosive combat over exploration. The new gameplay features make navigation easier, allowing players to focus on experiencing the story and killing hordes of alien enemies. Simply put, Metroid Fusion is not only one of the best Game Boy Advance games of all time, but potentially the best sidescroller entry in this prolific franchise.
Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Speaking of popular Nintendo franchises that made a big splash on the Game Boy Advance, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap tops our list of best GBA games of all time due to its ingenuity, fun gameplay features, and consistently engrossing world.
Although Metacritic would argue that The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past is the better Zelda title, Like in other Zelda titles, the game follows the young hero Link as he explores Hyrule on a quest to save the world. After a sorcerer named Vaati destroys a relic known as the Picori Blade, the kingdom descends into madness, with Princess Zelda becoming petrified in the process. In order to save the Princess and restore the Kingdom, Link must embark on an imaginative adventure across the vibrant landscape.
The Minish Cap is a fantastic entry in the Zelda franchise, that despite being released on a simple handheld system, feels just as fleshed out as any other game in the series. The focal gameplay feature involves shrinking Link down to the size of an ant, allowing him to solve puzzles, discover hidden areas, and more. This change in perspective adds a lot of life to the game, resulting in some awesome bosses and exceptionally smart puzzles.
In many ways, The Minish Cap perfectly demonstrated how a smaller-scope Zelda title could be just as satisfying as its console counterparts. Due to its fun atmosphere, intriguing gameplay, and ability to capture the imagination, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap earns its spot on our list of the top five Game Boy Advance games of all time.
Most Downloaded GBA ROMs
Phew, that was some list and no doubt you’re itching to try at least one of them. But, good luck finding a brand new copy to buy in Australia!
We normally make note of where you can buy any game we recommend. However, a quick look online will tell you that practically nowhere stocks new Gameboy Advance games anymore. So, your only option is to hope that someone is chucking out some of their old goodies on eBay. But fear not, because that’s why ROMs for GBA exist in the first place!
By downloading emulators such as KiGB, Visual Boy Advance or DreamGBA, you’ll unlock the ability to play an entire library of GBA games without ever having to go hunting for an original copy. And, we’re not just talking about the games we’ve listed either, there’s tons to enjoy!
For example, here 10 of the most popular GBA ROMs from Romspedia:
Pokémon Emerald Version
Pokémon Fire Red
Super Mario 4 Advance
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Dragon Ball Z – Buu’s Fury
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Mario Kart Super Circuit
Final Fantasy VI
Sonic Advance 3
The Final Word
Selling approximately 81 million units worldwide, the Gameboy Advance quickly rose to become one of Nintendo’s best-selling consoles. It is with thanks to some of these incredible GBA titles that the Nintendo Gameboy Advance was such a huge success. However, you will be surprised to learn that not all of these titles make the best selling GBA games list; despite being the best playthroughs.
For anybody who considers them even the slightest Nintendo buff, you would have played some of these incredible Gameboy Advance games already. However, for anybody who has not grabbed hold of these games yet, time is running out as they are becoming increasingly more expensive to get your hands on!!
Honestly, there are easily another 10 titles that could be added to this list of best Gameboy Advance games. But, we will stay true to ignoring as many remakes or additional entries from the same publishers as possible. From strategising your next field combat move to getting huge doses of nostalgia with Pokemon FireRed, we hope you enjoy playing these titles. Of course, there’s also all of the Mario games to enjoy too which quite frankly could end up on every single best GBA game list on the internet!
Did we miss any titles? Castlevania perhaps?
Tell us about which titles you would crown as the best Gameboy Advance games of all time in the comments below. Or why not browse through some of our other incredible articles.
Question about the Gameboy advance and some of the best Gameboy advance games on the market? Look no further. Here are the most commonly asked questions our editors receive about the greatest Gameboy Advance games on the planet!
Can a Gameboy Advance play Gameboy games?
Yes. You can play Gameboy games on the Gameboy Advance. In fact, both Gameboy cartridges and its little sister the Gameboy Advance SP are both compatible with the Gameboy Advance. Simply just slot your cartridges and play until your heart’s content.
How much is a Gameboy Advance SP worth?
Using prices on eBay as a benchmark, the original Gameboy Advance SP (AGS 001) sells for around $95, the AGS 101 sells for $149 and the original Gameboy Advance fetches around $77. That said, anybody with the GBA’s final redesign, the Gameboy Micro, will be able to sell the unit for an average of $175+ on eBay.
Can you play Gameboy Colour games on Gameboy advance?
Yes, a Gameboy Advance can play Gameboy Color games. The Gameboy Advance is backwards compatible with the Gameboy Color, meaning that all GBC games can be played on the GBA.
Can you play gameboy advance games on DS lite?
Yes, you can play Gameboy Advance games on the DS Lite. The DS Lite is also backwards compatible with the GBA, meaning that GBA games can be played on the DS Lite.
How to tell if gameboy advance games are fake?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if a Gameboy Advance game is fake or not. One way to tell is to inspect the cartridge itself; if the cartridge looks suspiciously cheap or the label looks off, then it could be fake.
Is the gameboy advance backlit?
No, the Gameboy Advance is not backlit. The Gameboy Advance has an LCD screen, which is not backlit.
What batteries does the gameboy advance use?
The Gameboy Advance uses two AA batteries which you can purchase from any local grocery store or technology store. Typically, the Gameboy Advance will last for up to 10 hours of continuous play on two AA batteries.
What Pokémon games are on the gameboy advance?
There are a number of Pokémon games available for the Gameboy Advance. These include Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
Content Disclaimer: This handpicked shortlist of the best games for Gameboy Advance has been independently written. We have not been commissioned by any manufacturers featured on this list, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or free gifts.
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