Updated with F-Zero Maximum Velocity.

Expecting to see Mother 3 on this list now it's technically available via Switch Online? Well, it's Japan-only at the moment, and this list only covers GBA games released in the West. We've still got our fingers crossed for an official localisation at some point.

Remember, this is a reader-ranked, dynamic list based on each game's User Rating in our database. The order is therefore subject to real-time change as those ratings fluctuate. Enjoy!

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscribers have instant access to a small but growing library of brilliant handheld games from yesteryear, including Game Boy Advance entries in some of Nintendo's biggest series.

Are they all brilliant, though? Which GBA games on Nintendo Switch Online are the best? Well, with the help of you lovely Nintendo Life readers, we can answer that question.

The following ranked list of the NSO GBA library is compiled using the User Ratings (out of 10) given to each GBA game available to play on Switch in the West. This ranking is not set in stone and will automatically fluctuate over time depending on assigned User Ratings (and new additions to the NSO library, of course — we'll add those in as they are released).

Think a game below deserves to be higher up on the list? Simply click on the 'star' button and score it yourself — your personal rating could boost its placement in the overall ranking. The number of GBA games is small at the moment, but there's no denying the quality and there are more on the way.

So, let's dive into the GBA games playable on Nintendo Switch, as ranked by you...

15. Mario Kart Super Circuit (GBA)

Returning to the flat tracks and tight power-sliding gameplay of the original Super Mario Kart, the GBA was capable of replicating SNES-like performance — it certainly wasn't up to the tech standard of the N64 or GameCube — so Mario Kart Super Circuit ended up feeling like the Super Mario Kart sequel we never got on Nintendo's 16-bit console. Sure, the visual style has arguably aged worse than the SNES version, but this pint-sized speed-fest packs in plenty of content. The fun foundation was there at the very beginning of the series and it's definitely present in the GBA entry.

While the 3DS Ambassador and Wii U Virtual Console re-releases lacked the multiplayer features of the original, the Nintendo Switch Online version thankfully rectifies that situation if multiplayer is your thing (which, with Mario Kart, it really should be). No need for link cables these days! Super Circuit still holds up well and serves as a great 'successor' to the SNES original, if that's your favourite MK flavour.

14. F-Zero Maximum Velocity (GBA)

The first handheld entry in the series, F-Zero Maximum Velocity still holds up today as a result of its smooth, skill-based gameplay. There may only be four cups in which to compete, but the varied difficulty and surprisingly steep learning curve when it comes to mastering the vehicles and tracks make this a game you want to keep coming back to. It doesn't rank with the absolute best of the series, perhaps, but this is undoubtedly well-made and impresses in the technical department, delivering an enjoyable dose of the franchise that also really highlights what the last Game Boy could do.

13. 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.

12. 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.

11. Super Mario Advance (GBA)

The first of the GBA's Super Mario platformer ports (and the one that kicked off the most convoluted naming convention in gaming history), Super Mario Advance brought Super Mario Bros. 2 to the GBA in the 16-bit style of Super Mario All-Stars. With the ability to choose between four characters carrying over from the original, it gained a point system in addition to its facelift, as well as several collectibles to find throughout each stage. Overall, it's still one of the best ways to revisit the game, and you also get the remake of original Mario Bros. bundled in — that little multiplayer bonus would feature on multiple other entries in this GBA port series going forward.

10. Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (GBA)

With its deep exploration-based gameplay and gorgeous art style, Yoshi's Island is still a joy to play all these years later — it's a platformer with considerable depth and challenge. Exploring is made fun thanks to Yoshi's egg-based abilities and collecting everything will require a gargantuan effort, but it's never less than immensely entertaining (provided you can put up with Baby Mario's whining). The smaller canvas of the handheld screen inevitably reduces the impact of the SNES original's incredible pastel-shaded world, but this remains one of Nintendo’s 2D platforming finest efforts. If you've never played it before (or have a hankering to go through it all again), the GBA version is a fine one.

9. Golden Sun (GBA)

Golden Sun is a fine RPG, perfecting the classic formula whilst introducing unique mechanics of its own. An intriguing setting, likeable characters, and gripping story are the bread-and-butter of any good RPG, and Camelot doesn't disappoint on those fronts. The first few hours are a slog, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a rich, deep RPG that desperately deserves a modern-day instalment.

8. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (GBA)

The microgames on offer in WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! may be simple affairs, but the frantic, fast–paced and challenging experience that results from knitting them together in quick succession is incredibly addictive, and Wario's patented brand of mania is well suited to a handheld. It isn’t the longest game, and beyond the single-player mode there isn’t much else to do, but it’s stuffed full of magical, creative moments, not to mention an abundance of that classic Nintendo nostalgia and charm.

7. Fire Emblem (GBA)

Also known as Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, this was the very first entry to come to the West and is actually a prequel to the Japan-only Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade which starred series stalwart Roy. The Blazing Blade (or just plain old Fire Emblem if you prefer) follows Roy's old man Eliwood and served as a thoroughly decent introduction to the series for us Westerners, the majority of whom had been wondering about the series after seeing Roy and Marth as fighters in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

6. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga's lengthy main adventure felt pretty unique back in 2003. It was only the third RPG-style Mario adventure, but developer AlphaDream's Mario debut hit the jackpot right away with its addictive battle systems and dual brother gameplay. With plenty of side quests to seek out and minigames to replay for high-score chasers, Mario and Luigi's amusing animations and "voice acting" played into the game's great sense of humour and it hasn't lost its ability to raise an ear-to-ear smile.

5. Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA)

Even though Golden Sun: The Lost Age plays much like any standard RPG, there is something special about it. Even with its lack of structure towards the beginning of the campaign, its accessible, engaging nature keeps you wanting to play and experiment. The Lost Age is very much a 'Part Two' — a continuation of the first adventure — but builds, modestly, on almost everything from the original Golden Sun: a longer campaign, extended Djinn mechanics, greater challenge, clever puzzles, and minor graphical improvements. Newcomers would do well to start with the first entry, as the game does take for granted that you know the basics, and the plotline will make little to no sense – at least initially. However, for those who've played and enjoyed the first instalment, this concluding chapter is a real no-brainer.

4. Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (GBA)

When it comes down to choosing between Super Mario World or Super Mario Advance 2... you really can't lose whichever version you pick. The GBA rework is a faithful rendition of the timeless original where it counts most, and the parts where it strays can either be seen as handy little improvements or minor inferiorities — it truly comes down to personal taste. If forced to choose, the original has the edge for us due to its more consistent sound quality, two-player capabilities, and larger screen real estate. However, if you've already played the SNES original a ton and want to take on something a little bit different — or finally feel up to nabbing all those pesky Dragon Coins — then the GBA option remains a stellar choice. Everyone's a winner.

3. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA)

This game made navigating this series' obtuse naming conventions absolutely worth it, even if you played Super Mario Bros. 3 on NES (which of course you did). Assuming you had the requisite kit to access the e-Reader levels — many of which were never released in North America — Super Mario Advance 4 contained a bevy of fresh Nintendo-designed levels to play through, making it an essential purchase for the Mario connoisseur (and the Wii U Virtual Console release and the Nintendo Switch Online version actually include all 38 levels without the need to have the e-Reader, the cards, and a second GBA to scan them with).

Aside from the extra levels, this feels like playing the version of SMB3 from Super Mario All-Stars on a handheld. Whether you're a NES purist or you prefer the updated look and feel of the SNES version, Super Mario Bros. 3 shines brightly in any form.

2. Metroid Fusion (GBA)

Metroid Fusion — or 'Metroid 4' according to its intro — bears more than a passing resemblance to its SNES brethren, and that's likely its biggest fault. Though it's an excellent game in its own right, it didn't do a huge amount to distinguish itself from other Metroids and felt much more linear than its expansive predecessor. It also launched at the same time as Metroid Prime on the GameCube, which pushed the franchise forward at a staggering pace. Still, this remains an excellent 2D entry and the linearity arguably suits a handheld Metroid game better than a home console entry. If you adored Metroid Dread, this GBA precursor is well worth a look.

1. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap carried on the trend of giving Link a talking piece of equipment to accompany him on his quest. This time around, it was the Minish Cap — a hat named Ezlo that could shrink Link to microscopic proportions so he can locate the Kinstone fragments and save the Minish people, or 'Picori'.

Another Flagship-developed entry after the company proved itself with the excellent Oracles pair, this was a traditional Zelda adventure that still looks and sounds wonderful, even if it didn't do an awful lot to shake up the formula. It introduced a few new items, though – Mole Mitts, Gust Jar, and Cane of Pacci – and allowed Link to learn new sword techniques throughout the game, as well as gain the ability to fuse elements to his sword. All-in-all, a brilliant bite-sized adventure.

Let us know your thoughts below, and remember — if you haven't rated your favourite games from this GBA list, you can still do so and influence the overall ranking. New games added to the service will appear here, too, so check back in the future and rank them as well.

And if you're after a full list of every Nintendo Switch Online retro game currently available, we can help you there, too.

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