The Game Boy Advance celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Japanese debut on 21st March 2021. Nintendo's first true successor to the original Game Boy line (the Game Boys Pocket and Color notwithstanding), the GBA in all its forms — original horizontal console, clamshell SP model, and ludicrously small (and sexy) Micro — would be the company's final handheld to carry the Game Boy branding; the experimental Nintendo DS came along in the mid-2000s and swiftly ate the GBA's lunch.
One of the cleverest things about the DS, though, was the GBA slot in the bottom of the original and Lite models. You could happily transition to the new portable (and ditch the worm light if you never picked up an SP or a Micro) without losing access to the huge library of Game Boy Advance titles.
And what a library it is! Much like many of our Best Games and Series rankings, in order to find out definitively the top 50 Game Boy Advance games ever we asked Nintendo Life readers to score for their favourite GBA titles out of 10. Those User Ratings are tabulated in real-time and form the ranked list below — it's entirely possible to change the order, even after publication. Even GBA games in our database that are bubbling under the top 50 can elbow their way in if they get sufficient love from your lovely selves!
So, don't worry if you missed out on 'voting' in Advance (see what we did there?) — simply scroll down and rate them now. Alternatively, use the search bar below to search for any GBA game in our database and rate it for a chance to see it rise through the ranks and appear. For now, though, we proudly present the 50 best Game Boy Advance games ever...
Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.
50. Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (GBA)
The characters, moves and music that made Street Fighter II great are all here and you can certainly have fun with this particular version. Of course much of what appeals with this game is available in the other versions of Street Fighter II and as well as multiplayer they have less awkward controls. The new artwork and stages (even if there wasn't anything wrong with the old ones) generally work well, but unless you have a strong desire to experience Super Combos and Akuma on GBA, it's hard to recommend this over other versions, even if it's a pleasant little port.
49. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (GBA)
While the Metroid-esque gameplay is a refreshing change of pace for the Kirby series and works well in some parts, it also fails in others. The Metroid games have backtracking as well, yes, but it's not nearly as frequent and annoying as it is in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror. The multiplayer features are optional, but the game was arguably designed around the multiple Kirby aspect and it's at its best with other people.
48. Kuru Kuru Kururin (GBA)
This GBA launch title may start off a little too easy but that's about all you can fault with Kuru Kuru Kururin. It won't take you long to clear every level, but doing it without error is a challenge and you'll love every minute as you guide a big ol' constantly rotating stick (sorry, Helirin) around tricky, colourful courses.
With plenty of environmental variety and some terrific music, there's a lot of enjoyment from simply improving your times on the various courses. Kuru Kuru Kururin is one of the GBA's most delightful treats and perfect for portable play — a brilliantly fun little game that's a bit different from the norm.
47. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (GBA)
Vicarious Visions managed to distil the essence of the full-sized Tony Hawk titles into an incredible isometric version that feels tight, responsive and very much not the obligatory downgraded handheld port you might have expected. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 on GBA is genuinely one of our favourite entries in the overall series, with great music and cracking visuals.
And Spider-Man. What's not to love?
46. Doom (GBA)
Doom has been squeezed onto pretty much every game console — nay, every electronic device with a screen — over the years, but that shouldn't diminish the achievement of getting it running nicely on the most advanced Game Boy there ever was. This is a solid port of an FPS classic.
45. Sonic Advance (GBA)
In the decades since the shocking first appearance of Sega's mascot on a Nintendo handheld, it's fair to say that not every team that's worked on a 2D Sonic game has nailed the delicate sense of inertia and tight physics that characterise the classic 16-bit titles. Sonic Advance is one such example that just gets it. Developer Dimps retains the classic feel and course design that made the originals special while adding fresh elements that prevent it from feeling like a re-tread of old ideas. Vibrant visuals, charming animation, excellent audio; add multiplayer into the mix — as well as the Tiny Chao Garden that linked to the Gamecube — and Sonic Advance is a platforming treat up there with hedgehog's finest.
44. Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (GBA)
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire is an enjoyable entry-level pinball game designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Its colourful, charming visuals look great, and the vast number of Pokémon available to catch and evolve means that if you’re looking for a long-term dip-in, dip-out sort of game, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied. It can become a bit tedious if played extensively, so it’s much better to play this charming little game in short bursts.
43. Game & Watch Gallery Advance (GBA)
The gameplay is simple, but the included titles in Game & Watch Gallery Advance are still fun to play decades after they appeared in Game & Watch form. High-score chasing should keep players occupied, especially with twenty games to chose from — eleven of which also include an updated "Modern" mode. It can feel repetitive at times and the method of unlocking games has the potential to annoy but this volume of titles remains an excellent compilation of Nintendo's first foray into portable gaming.
42. Mega Man Zero 2 (GBA)
Mega Man Zero 2 does a great job of ironing out the wrinkles of its predecessor. With both audio and visual improvements, it also significantly reduces grinding, and provides the same brutal challenge in what feels like a much more fair way. Unlockable forms and EX Skills are also added to the mix, which gives the game an additional layer of replayability. It's a sequel done right, and it's no surprise that it's remembered so fondly all these years later.
41. F-Zero: GP Legend (GBA)
If the story missions in F-Zero: GP Legend become too gruelling, there's always the option of tackling Grand Prix mode across a variety of difficulty tiers, which helps scale up the challenge as your skills improve. Before long you will be snaking your way around eye-watering turns and hazards in an unblinking state, where your muscle memory kicks in and nothing can break your concentration. That is the true F-Zero experience — the same one that has held up since GP Legend hit Europe in 2004, and indeed when the SNES classic tore onto our shores in 1992. That the format remains endearing is testament to the developer's gripping, yet savage design. With hours of content and gruelling challenge this is a stellar F-Zero experience.
I don’t relate to the rankings at all, but I never expect to.
More people need to play Kurukurukururin.
I'm one of those people who'd opt for Zero Mission over Super. It's just a masterpiece, IMO. One of the few truly 10/10 games I've ever played.
Although, in fairness, I'd also opt for Fusion over Super as well.
GBA-era Metroid will never be topped for me.
Glad to see Metroid: Zero Mission in the top 3. I'll need to do some soul searching, but it's quite possibly my favorite Metroid title.
As for Mother 3, I dont know if it reached #1 because of the ever-maddening push to localize it, or if people really believe its one of the best GBA games of all time. Probably a little of both? It is a really good game, regardless.
I'd love to see a list of the top 20 from each console compiled by just the NL staff opinions rather than these user rated lists. Just to see how they compare.
Fair list, too many incredible games. My only issue is Drill Dozer/Astro Boy being so low at 34 then 35. Then again I myself forgot to vote Astro lol.
"Super Mario advance" was way too low, it's my favourite 2D Mario (I bought it day 1, along with my GBA), it deserves to be... well, at least top half of the list.
Holy cow, just looking at the last few games on this list reminds me how great the GBA library is.
My personal favorite is Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. I was in elementary school when it came out and I only got it because we couldn't find Grunty's Revenge anywhere. I have to say I'm glad it turned out that way because Superstar Saga became one of my favorite games of all time. In my opinion it's simply perfect.
Congratulations everybody who voted
That's a pretty good list 👏👏
GBA was just fantastic, so many incredible games there. Everything had so much content considering the limitations. Really glad to see Mother 3 top, I loved my time with it and honestly wish the translators would get a wee bit of credit because their translation is synonymous with the game.
I'm glad to see Astro Boy was mentioned. It was certainly a hidden gem!
If GBA had nothing but Castlevania, Metroid, and Golden Sun, it’d still be one of the best systems ever and well worth hunting down today. It just happens to have boatloads of other classics as well.
WarioWare Twisted should be higher. One of the most creative games on the handheld, or on Nintendo handhelds in general
also weren't lying about Golden Sun being really slow in the first few hours... I've heard great things but I'm having a hard time getting into it
@Ralizah Zero has impeccable pacing with effective, minimalistic storytelling. It's peak Metroid, imo.
@Muddy_4_Ever Agreed. It's the perfect length. I can play it in an afternoon and have an absolute blast. I also love the twist in the final chapter, and how that shakes up the gameplay. It definitely has my favorite last half-hour or so of any Metroid game.
Astro Boy and the Metroid games are amazing but where’s Double Dragon Advance?
@Ralizah Zero Mission really is incredible. I’m not sure I could separate that and Super Metroid but they’re my two favourite 2D games. I do prefer Prime 1 and 2 however.
I honestly think Metroid Fusion is better than Zero Mission
Solid list. It's probably accurate that the SNES / GBA libraries consist of most of my favorite games.
Spent a lot of time on the Shining Soul series (which was great fun with a friend).
Good times with the GBA back in the day. So many fun great games. Nintendo needs to rerelease GBA similar to what they did with the NES and SNES Mini.
What I got from all this was to confirm my belief that instead of N64, Nintendo should add a Game Boy Advance-Nintendo Switch Online app.
It would have such a killer line-up to begin with!
I feel like I’m the only person that likes Earthbound more than Mother 3. I couldn’t get into 3, it never clicked with me! Super Metroid is leagues better than Zero Mission, but ZM is a phenomenal game and easily a ninja favorite. Castlevania trilogy is a no brainer, and lol @ CHOD, that’s a great observation.
Not surprised the Mario games are ranked lower, due to their grating voice acting. That ruined the experience for me!
I used to do the low level challenge in Final Fantasy 1, anybody else do that insanity?
GBA NINJA APPROVED
Hold up, where’s mario kart super circuit? I haven’t played it in years so maybe I just remember loving it, but kind of surprised it didn’t make the list. I can’t complain though since the GBA library was really great!
This list came out pretty good. Glad to see Metroid so high, though I personally would've had Mega Man Zero 3 a lot higher, and Advance Wars and Fire Emblem in the top 10. Just goes to show how many great games this little thing has.
The crashing sound on the gba was horrific. It could scare even demons away. The sound makes me shudder.
All 3 Castlervania games are in the top 50 and one of them is in top 3. I am pleased!
@MysticX Agreed! I think the first Mario Advance is the best Mario Advance game. Even though Mario Bros 2 was never my favourite 2D Mario on consoles, it made for the PERFECT handheld game! The lack of timer and typical risky platforming jumps etc made it so good for playing on the move where you couldn't always concentrate in a way that other 2D Mario's require.
Sonic Advance should've been higher too!
@E_Gadds_Garage Yeah, very odd, but I think I heard a lot of people consider it to be the worst Mario Kart. I'm a fan because it was like the spiritual successor to the original SNES game.
I have most of these on my psp go. It's an emulation beast. With the 16gb I have more than enough to fit my entire childhoods gaming on it. Best of all I can play all the games I missed first time around.
I'm more surprised by how close A Link to the Past (& Four Swords) and The Minish Cap's rankings were on this list. 12th and 11th. I was expecting TMC to be a lot lower on this list, considering how underrated of a Zelda game it is.
Great list I'd say, most of the ones I enjoyed most are in there, and the ones I expected but never played or didn't really enjoy that much also.
Personally, I'd call any best of GBA list incomplete without Boktai, Broken Sword, Rogue Spear, and maybe some of the technically "impressive" or simple "3D" games like Ecks vs Sever 2, Doom 2, Duke Nukem, Kill.Switch, Payback, Driver 2... (just because, again, personally, I played these a lot because I had nothing else to play games on than Game Boys).
But hey, it has Drill Dozer, Wario Ware Twisted, Minish Cap (obviously), Advance Wars, Yoshi's Island, FF Tactics, Mario & Luigi, Golden Sun,... That's a lot of "my childhood".
@e-love yeah I played Golden Sun several times through, but the first hour of each playthrough was just holding a + b in general, that at least made the text go "automatically" if I remember correctly (or maybe only in the second game). And it still took what seemed like forever I still know almost exactly what happens in that time, and I wouldn't do it again now despite really loving the games.
@matdub How has the SNES emulation gotten, lately? When I tried that years ago it suffered from tons of frame rate and sound issues.
@BloodNinja SNES is pretty good.
As is megadrive, NES, and master system. You chuck in the native ps1 emulator and it can't be beat. It's the gameboy varieties emulations I like the best. I had the various home consoles back in the day but I had never had a handheld until my psp go. There are sooo many awesome gameboy games.
@NinChocolate Thanks for the recommendation. I am playing it right now. A very unique, and fun, game. 😃
@matdub I honestly think the PSP is the best handheld system to date.
@nessisonett I think I would have been more impressed by Super if I'd played it as a kid. I mean, it's still an incredible achievement, but having played it after Zero Mission and Fusion, it just doesn't feel particularly special to me. I prefer ZM's more adventure-y vibe over Super's gloom, and Fusion's scary SA-X encounters give it a better horror feel, IMO. I also think both GBA games have better bosses.
I've played Metroid Prime a few times, and if you didn't have to do the Artifact hunt near the end, which completely destroys the pacing, it'd probably be one of my favorite GameCube games. But it pulls that Wind Waker BS by making you go on a tedious item hunt, and, frankly, it puts me off to the point where I don't even like replaying the game much anymore.
Never beat Prime 2. I recall the dark world segments annoying me, but I really need to get back to it.
Still have never touched Prime 3.
Oh, the contents of the list happen to be dynamic.
When I checked earlier, F-Zero GP Legend was 50th, but now Mega Man Zero 4 has climbed to 50th and F-Zero GP Legend has climbed higher.
Golden Sun isn't #1, therefore this list is wrong
It’s a testament to the quality of the console when Yoshis Island can’t crack the Top 20.
Or Mario World / Link to the Past in the Top 10.
Or ANY Mario or Zeldas in the Top 5.
Oh man, I completely forgot about Gunstar Super Heroes. I used to own that game, it was fantastic. It was lost along with my GBA SP during an incident many years ago, involving my tent blowing into a swamp along with all the contents therein. I tried to fish out what I could, but had a face to face encounter with a very large snapping turtle, at which point I decided he could keep my stuff.
I still have my GBA SP, and, dare I say it, it’s a wonderful ‘Port’ machine.
Doom and Final Fight are fantastic ports (a lot better than the SNES versions.
Other than the games listed, my favourites are:
GTA (I guess comparable to PS1, plays very well)
Speedball 2 (is a perfect port from the Amiga, including Sound...”Ice Cream, Ice Cream”)
Desert Strike (plays just as well as the MD did. Fantastic game)
I'm surprised the Zelda games weren't higher but, to be fair, the GBA had an outstanding library. My personal fav was FF VI Advance but I have no real problem with others thinking the games above it on this list were superior as I respect them highly too.
(Shame games like Tekken Advance, Sonic Advance 3 didn't make it. I think Mario Kart SC is a bit too low.)
No Mario Kart in the top 50? That's ridiculous. 👎🏻
Whilst there are of course things I'd swap around a bit, generally speaking this is a really solid list and I'm delighted that the two Golden Sun games are as high ranking as they are. Nice one everyone! ^_^
A Castlevania and 2 Metroids in the top 10. A game i've never played at number one. What a list
Also i think Tekken Advance was missed off in voting, along with V rally. They would get an between 7-8. I lower scored alot of this list, 1 below it's average on here, so sorry for bringing the averages down to earth. What a list though.
Edit: You could easily extend the list to top 100 and still be having a fantastic time gaming with GBA.
Wow. This list really brings home what an awesome library the little GBA had. Lots of my fave games here. I don't even disagree with general layout and was pleasantly surprised that the top 10 wasn't dominated by Mario, Zelda and Pokemon. Good job all.
Okay Nintendo, now release these all on Switch.
Put them on NSO. Release them in collections. Sell them individually.
Nintendo, some of us actually do want to buy these legally. I really don't want to pirate games. Why don't you want my money?
If Nintendo dropped these all on Switch at 10 bucks a piece, I'd buy:
Both Advance Wars titles
Both Fire Emblem
Both Golden Sun
Metroid Zero Mission
Several of the Final Fantasy games
I'd buy the Pokemon games only if there were updated slightly to be compatible with Pokemon Home and had the old 3rd gen events enabled.
Gameboy Advance was a good handheld, I just didn't like the over reliance on SNES ports, and the lack of a definitive Mario platformer.
Love Golden Sun, but if Camelot ever makes another RPG it has to be Shining Force IV.
Would love a collection of the Golden Sun games on Switch. Maybe not at Nintendo prices though
Wow, not a single Mega Man Battle Network made it into the top 50? That’s really surprising. I would’ve thought BN 2 and/or 3 would have made the list. Also surprised to not see a single DKC. Otherwise, a pretty good list. 👍
The placement of the Mega Man Zero games is pretty interesting, as I thought that each entry was clearly better than the previous ones, with Zero 1 starting out as one with great potential but incredibly huge flaws, and Zero 4 pretty much perfecting everything.
And I don't know what Sonic Advance 2 is doing on this list, it's a pretty bad game. Horrible level design with tons of leaps of faith and enemy placements you can't see in advance (no pun intended), plus the bosses are all pretty same-y and not really fun. Sure, you can memorize the level designs and blaze through the game, but that doesn't make it any better.
I think someone is changing the list. DKC was at 50 earlier (I am sure I wasn’t dreaming it)
I just got Game and watch Gallery Advance off eBay. It’s great but I ‘m going to have to get good to unlock Zelda. I also played Horace recently, there is a Robot fighting boss which played really strange. Then I played G&W boxing and saw the inspiration.
Mario kart so low.... and some great ports should have made the list - I don’t agree with the 50 at all but I never was gonna I’ve learnt to expect that
Shame Sonic Advance made it instead of Advance 3, that game really is a retread of the Genesis games and lacks originality, while Advance 3 took the originality from 2 and made things more interesting by implementing character types on the levels, making the multiple playable characters a crucial part of the gameplay and not just re-skins of Sonic.
I can't believe Advance Wars 1 & 2 are just at 18 & 19? I bought the GBA to play those games! Still, it's a good list, and is inspiring me to pick up Golden Sun again and try to finish it off (looks like I may have past those grindy first few hours already)
Cool to see Mario Kart Super Circuit make the list, as well as two of the Sonic Advance games, even if my favorite of the three, Sonic Advance 3 didn't make it.
Will say of the Sonic GBA titles, Sonic Battle remains my favorite. Really an underrated game in a popular series IMO.
So many ports and remakes for this system. People complain about the Switch having too many, but at least the Switch has original entries like BotW, Mario Odyssey, Smash Ultimate, Splatoon 2, etc. The GBA doesn't even have an original Mario game for crying out loud (and no, Mario vs. DK doesn't count, it's a spinoff that's more of a puzzle game than a traditional platformer). Remove all of the remakes from this list and the GBA has very little that's great.
I get that all these are great games and all, but zero Boktai games? You are all whack.
Excellent list that shows perfectly how amazing the GBA still is. Honestly I am still in love with the GBA SP and especially the Micro. I still buy games to this day, some complete in box and some cart only, though I have noticed a spike in prices recently and the repro carts are plaguing the market. All in all, I love the Micro and I still think Nintendo hasn't topped it, portable-wise.
@BloodNinja it's really good. It only requires some minor tweaks and it has very few issues
I was naively hoping for a surprise announcement today in which they added GB, GBC and GBA to Switch online along with the English Localisation for Mother 3
@Ralizah Same here, didn't play Super Metroid as a kid and played it after the GBA Metroid games so Super Metroid didn't feel as good to me.
@avictorao Sorry, lots of replies, what’s really good? lol
@BloodNinja no probs! snes emulation on psp go
Well, I believe Advanced Wars, The Mario & Luigi series, The Minish Cap, Mother 3, Wario Ware, Metroid Fusion and Golden Sun would politely disagree.
Besides, I believe its ports made a lot of sense
@RudeAnimat0r I don’t think there will ever be a proper Shining Force 4, which is silly considering the popularity that the Fire Emblem series have garnered. I think at one point the series creator from Camelot has expressed interest in creating another Shining Force game, but it only got as far as that.
I think the only way a new Shining Force game gets made is it Nintendo were to publish the project. Sega doesn’t seem too interested at reviving the series and it wouldn’t be a proper Shining Force game without the original developer, Camelot.
Back on topic, surprised to see Metroid Zero Mission at number one considering the vast amount of great games on the GBA. Not complaining though, since it is my favorite 2D Metroid (suck it Super!.. kidding of course).
@avictorao OH! LOL right, forgot what I was talking about. Must be getting old
SENILE NINJA APPROVED
Original Golden Sun>Lost age. And no pokemon game on top 10. Big lol
@avictorao Better than BotW and Odyssey? Yeah, fat chance.
Great to see three of my all time favourites in the top 4, with the two Metroid games and Aria of Sorrow (although, I'd switch the two Metroids and put Fusion first, and I never played Mother 3).
Really, this is so amazing that it begs the question as why Nintendo don't release them again. That could be a GBA mini TV console like the NES or SNES. Or more likely, a GBA selection in Nintendo Switch Online. Come on, Nintendo!
PS: When a Gameboy successor was being speculated at the time, there were many demands for "just release a portable SNES". That would explain so many ports and SNES sequels.
@Desrever I'm saying it rn and it's really good. Only turned based rpg I've liked outside of Lisa and Undertale. But tbh I highly doubt many fans played it since its taboo to use emulators for Nintendo fans for some reason
The RPG's on the GBA are quite simply amazing. Golden Sun holds a very special place in my heart as it's the first RPG I ever beat all the way through. I'm still dreaming of a HD (4k?) full on remake that will... probably never happen.
Also the GBA version of Mario Tennis is my favorite sports game of all time.
This list seems to still be in a state of flux, but looking at the top 10 (without ports) it seems to be what I expected: a decent list of good titles, but lacking of absolute classics; the fact that the top 5 consist of a Metroid Remake, a JRPG that was never localised, a Metroid spin-off (almost) that's more often-than-not overlooked, a Castlevania game, and a semi-obscure JRPG says a lot (although to be fair, the Game Boy/Colour library isn't any better).
On the other hand, the fact that most of the top 50 have a user score above 8/10 shows how consistently solid a lot of it's titles were, even if none of them were stone-cold classics (I was surprised to find out that Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories didn't even crack the top 50, as I figured that was a decent enough title to at least scrape in at the end, but it seems not).
I'm surprised the Hamtaro GBA games didn't make it. They are tricking masterpieces.
I just bought Ogre Tactics CIB, looking forward to it
But MAN, that game is expensive.
Funny, Metroid voted #1 and #4, yet the games and series overall are largely ignored by gamers. And Metroid is my favourite Nintendo franchise.
First you basically say the gba has no original games, which is wrong. And when you are told so, you proceed to compare them to games 15 years into the future? :')
Mother 3 keeps crashing my psp. I have had game ending issues with about 5-10% of the roms which has been acceptable, until now. 😭
Love my micro.. shame my fav games (advance wars and wario ware) are outside the top 10, but i guess that happens in this mkind iof thing.. too much mario though.. you're missing some of the best games...
happy that kukurin is in it though.. The best game for me on the gba that is missing is the brilliant guru logi champ.. easily the best puzzle game ever..
Really? Zero Mission is that high up? I mean...ok
@FullMetalWesker why would you consider Metroid Fusion a spin-off? It is more linear than previous games but otherwise the gameplay is exactly the same. It even says "Metroid 4" in the intro.
Gotta say I think the GBA is one of Nintendo best systems and there's never been a better time to jump in. For starters you can now buy backlit ips modded consoles, I was one of those who played it with no light back in the day but these IPS screens are amazing. Also if you have a Gamecube and the Gameboy player playing the games via the GBI/RGB/CRT is just amazing. I just finished my second play of Mother 3 that way. Oh and the fact it also plays all the GB/GBC games is just another reason why it's such an amazing console
@Bolt_Strike BotW and Odyssey are great games, but they aren't my favorites in their series. Metroid Fusion + Zero Mission on the other hand are literally perfect
Mother 3 is, imo, theee best GBA game, and indeed one the best of any games of all time as far as I'm concerned. It's a stone cold masterpiece and one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had in this medium. I'm so happy to see it on this list, and I hope it encourages more people to search out the fan-made English translation and give it a go.
Sorry, but Metroid Fusion is far superior to Metroid: Zero Mission (which I remember being underwhelmed by when I beat it in under 3 hours on my first playthrough). It's got atmosphere in spades and sets up a compelling story that was very well executed. It's also downright suspenseful. The mini-review on Fusion is also unnecessarily brutal, making it sound like a lightweight of a game when this is absolutely not the case.
Sad that I sold my original GBA shortly after I got it back in the day due to a bit of financial hardship. Recently managed to pick up an SP (Spongebob Version) and a couple of games and looking to start building the collection that I didn't manage to back then. This list seems as good a place as any to start - already got AstroBoy and Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance on there; only 48 more to go!
@avictorao If only Nintendo had a modern handheld console with a horizontal screen, then they could emulate GBA games. 😉
The Mario celebrations took the spotlight, but they should have added GBA games to NSO in Fall 2020.
The artifact hunt in Prime was a nice final tour of all the previous areas, and the hints made it fairly obvious where the items would be.
Prime 2's dark world was one of my favorite aspects of that game! It was difficult, but fun. I've always been a sucker for a dark or differing version of the area you just explored, though
@avictorao I never said the GBA had no original games, just very few. And regardless of the 15 year difference, they're still better games. Beyond that, they're IPs that are highly popular whereas most of the IPs you mentioned were fairly niche and most of the big IPs on GBA relied on remakes. So no, it's no contest, in any way, shape, or form.
Isn't it Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3?
I grabbed an AGS 101 about a year ago with a Pokemon Emerald cart. Then I snagged a CIB copy of Zero Mission, a Golden Sun cart, a Mother 3 translation cart, and a FFV with improved audio cart. I love it and I've seen prices climbing pretty fast in the past year. Been playing Golden Sun at bed time, just finished the Mercury Lighthouse. Never played Lost Age, so I'll snag a copy when I'm done Golden Sun. I got to the final boss as a kid but didn't beat it.
@Bolt_Strike Yes, there are a bunch of remakes and ports on GBA, but there are also a bunch of great original games as well: "Pokémon R/S/E," "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon," "Metroid Fusion," "Zelda: The Minish Cap," the 2 Fire Emblem GBA games, the first 2 Golden Sun games, the Advance Wars games, Mario and Luigi, "Wario Land 4," "Warioware," "Kirby and the Amazing Mirror," "Mother 3," etc., and those are just among the 1st/2nd party games. (There's also an original Mario Kart even though it sucks, but at least they tried.) With 3rd party, there are a ton of Mega Man games from 2 different sub-series (Zero and Battle Network), Castlevania games, the "Sonic Advance" trilogy, even a bunch of good licensed titles, and so on. (It's also the platform where the original "Ace Attorney" trilogy was first made as Japanese-only releases.)
Overall, it's only really missing an original Mario platformer.
@BulbasaurusRex Again, a lot of niche IPs in there. The only big ones on that list are RSE, Minish Cap, and Kirby. That's not much. Granted, the GBA was a bit hampered by not as many series existing/having handheld entries at the time (Animal Crossing, Smash, and Splatoon really bolsters the Switch's lineup), but even its predecessor fared better.
There has been for a long time a mass psychosis in people who state that Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance has a bad soundtrack. Perhaps it sounds bad when you play it with gameboy, but with the gameboy player and good sound output it has the best soundtrack of the three Castlevania games. I'm talking about the MELODIES, not the music quality. If someone puts tech quality over melodies, now there's a person who knows nothing about music. Just listen to this piece for example from Harmony of Dissonance. Better than anything in other GBA games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtAG611Z73c
@countzero - (Sorry for the late reply) To be fair, I included 'almost' in brackets to convey that I thought it was almost a spin-off, but not quite, and the reason for that is that it felt more like a deviation from the usual formula than a continuation of it, with changes that more mess around with the formula than necessarily build on it (such as the mission computer, the linear nature of the story, etc.), and (at least to me) that's generally what separates a spin-off from a sequel.
Now obviously it isn't an actual spin-off because it continues the story of Super Metroid and as you pointed out, is literally called "Metroid 4" in the opening, but, at least to me, it gets pretty close.
@Bolt_Strike "Mario Kart" certainly isn't niche, neither is "Wario Land," and "Metroid" is only niche in Japan. Meanwhile, the "Mario and Luigi" games are only semi-niche and rather popular. Among 3rd parties, "Mega Man," "Castlevania," and "Sonic" are about as mainstream as you can get.
In any case, the GB/GBC did not fare better in that regard. While it did have "Tetris" and the 2 "Mario Land" games, it also did not have "Mario Kart" nor any high quality RPGs save for "Pokémon." It did have a "Kid Icarus" game, but that's extremely niche. Meanwhile, a lot more of the third party games were more modified ports than truly original games compared to what the GBA received. Its "Donkey Kong" games were only modified ports, as well.
@FullMetalWesker Those are the only two things that are really different in "Metroid Fusion," though. (Personally, I prefer the semi-linear and more story-driven natures of "Fusion" and "Other M." A decent amount of exploration is still available, anyway, especially later in the games.) Otherwise, it's plays almost exactly the same as the other 2D Metroid games.
@BulbasaurusRex No, the only IPs that aren't niche are main series Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Smash, Splatoon, Animal Crossing, Kirby, and Yoshi. GBA only has 3 of those that are original, GB has 6. So yeah, GB definitely has more.
The Legacy of Goku 2 was in my top ten, I remember when GBA games came with mini posters. This one had Cell, Trunks, Goku, pretty cool poster.
The best DBZ game on GBA. Better then Buu's Fury, and Taiketsu.
Time for this bad boy to hit aliexpress
Played a few minutes of Circle of the Moon this morning to commemorate the GBA! Here's to another 20 years!
This List is an scam!
I've reported it to the local authorities.
@Sn00g1ns Don't forget Super Sonic Warriors! That one was a lot of fun 😎
There sure are many good games on the system...I wonder when Nintendo will remember it and make some of them playable on the Switch...
@Ralizah The regular GBA screen was too dark for me. Metroid Fusion and the GBA SP got me back into handheld consoles. Good times! Fusion and Zero are so much fun.
@Whitestrider GBA will have to wait. I have it on good authority that the Virtual Boy will be the next console on NSO along with special JoyCons that you can purchase for the dual d-pads.
@Tandy255 well, I would be glad to play a couple of Virtual Boy games too...
Oh, no… I appreciate the games on this list, but no Boktai games? I can’t take this list seriously.
Am I the only One missing Warioland 4 on this list?
Sorry Overlooked it
***** this kinda makes me regret all the wonderful games I sold, but the rosy nostalgia feeling when whipping out the ones I still have is greater still.
Love the GBA, also because I love the SNES and always found the GBA to be a portable SNES with more power, but smaller resolution and slightly worse soundboard.
Legacy of Goku 2 was a blast, and Trunks ranks #1 forever. But Buu's Fury was SO much fun for me, and I'm in the camp where Ultimate Gohan > Teen Gohan, Buu > Cell and the fusions are 🤌
Where is Rhythm Tengoku? The first game of the Rhythm Heaven Series should be on here!
I approve with this list on every level.
Metroid Zero Mission is such an incredible experience. Loved every second of it, and loved all replays I’ve done after it.
I was thrilled to see Metroid Zero Mission and Fusion spots 1 and 3. Overall a great list. The gba had a great library.
First, I really did like all the main GBA models--can't say the same about the likes of DS with that terrible first FAT version--but the [black] SP was my favourite for sure.
PS. I would personally put [the English fan translation of] Mother 3 right at the top. And if you want to try that yourself: https://inceptionalnews.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/mother-3-is-brilliant/
Super Circuit 48th?!
As with lists, especially those voted on, there's things I'd change. For example, the Mega Man Zero games were among my favorites on the system. The photo and mention of the worm light brings back memories of a major power outage I endured. When I bought the GBA shortly after launch, and the bundle available had a worm light. I didn't use it much as I could see the GBA screen pretty well and didn't like the reflection. But the GBA and that worm light, along with a ready supply of batteries helped get me through that power outage(was playing Pokemon FireRed). My GBA Micro and DS ran out of juice and I couldn't charge them, so the original GBA came in quite handy.
What a lineup. FF VI, Fire Emblem, FF Tactics, Mario World, Metroid Zero Mission, Golden Sun, and Pokemon. One of my favorite systems ever.
@BulbasaurusRex No high quality original RPGs on the original Game Boy?
Final Fantasy Legend III was good as I recall. Though I know they were SaGa games, but FFL3 originally changed much of the elements that distinguished FF from SaGa (such as adding EXP and removing breakable equipment), making it much more of a portable FF game. Essentially the only one for its time.
... but I hear the Japanese-exclusive DS remake reverted the gameplay.
There was probably some decent/good RPGs in Japan, but almost nothing in the genre got localized (an obscure game by Namco called Great Greed is the only localized GB JRPG I can even name).
@Bolt_Strike Wow, that's so wrong it's not even funny! There are a lot more mainstream franchises than that, even among Nintendo! For one thing, anyone who calls Pokémon niche is off their rocker. Like I said, Wario Land is mainstream, as is Metroid in the West. Mario Party is mainstream. Star Fox is mainstream. Pikmin can go either way. Fire Emblem used to be niche but has graduated to mainstream. And so on...
Besides, you're still forgetting about 3rd parties. Nowhere did I ever say I was exclusively talking about 1st and 2nd party franchises.
@BulbasaurusRex Pokemon I just forgot, I apologize for that one. The others? Not so much. Metroid, Wario Land, Star Fox, Pikmin, all of those franchises only sell a couple million (none of them have sold more than 5 million). Hell, even Fire Emblem, which has had a lot more attention in recent years, hasn't been able to escape that same tier in terms of sales, no Fire Emblem game has sold more than 2-3 million. Those kinds of franchises simply aren't in the same tier as the franchises I mentioned.
As for 3rd parties, they're a whole different animal since they're typically playable on multiple platforms.
The List is missing Zone of the Enders: Fist of Mars as my personal secret gem, but probably too niche.
Also not a single entry of the Mega Man Battle Network series? Really? That's sad.
But as long as Advance Wars, FFTA and both Golden Sun titles are there, I won't complain too much.
So many ports and remakes, yet I remember this being something of a marvel at the time. Playing NES and SNES games on a portable device was impressive.
Does make me think people take Switch for granted. Being able to play so many great games, anywhere, anytime, is equally impressive.
I wonder how that list would look if you removed all the remakes and ports.
The list is trash without any of the MegaMan Battle Network games.
What a great library of games. One of my favourite systems ever tbh.
I would personally have FF VI Advance, LoZ: Minish Cap & Mother 3 as the top 3 but I acknowledge the greatness of the others. Metroids, Pokemons, Advance Wars, Castlevanias, Golden Suns, AstroBoy, Warioware etc.
Advance: SMW & Advance: Yoshi's Island > Advance SMB3 as well for me.
But back than i was like "Cool! I love it, but i have all these Games, so i will not buy it" .
But i replayed many of the Games in the last decade
A really really great System.
I had a GBA and DS Lite for years and I've never played any of these...
I can't fault the top 3 at all. My only beef with the top 50 is no F-Zero Maximum Velocity. My recollection is it was better than GP Legend, and that made the list.
Yeah, Zero Mission would be my pick for numero uno as well. It is quite a fine game.
Fire Emblem 6, 8 and Advance Wars 1 are all quite nice as well.
Zero Mission is great, but I actually prefer Fusion.
@Bolt_Strike animal crossing certainly was niche until the DS version. anyway the GBA was basically a portable snes and delivered on that.. Wario Ware should be one in this list though, with advance wars a close second...
Without boktai this is a list I don't want any part of thank you
No DKC? I thought those ports were pretty good.
❗️My Top 5️⃣ GBA Games:
1️⃣Astro Boy: Omega Factor
2️⃣Boktai 1: The Sun Is In Your Hand
3️⃣Final Fight One
5️⃣Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
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