The Best Game Boy Advance Games of All Time Ranked

Final Fantasy VI gameplay intro

The Game Boy Advance arrived in 2001 as the follow-up to the renowned Game Boy and Color. It boasted impressive visuals for a handheld platform with power on par with the SNES. This led to some of the most impressive games and remakes of the early 2000s. 

The best Game Boy Advance games of all time offer experiences worthy of one of the finest handhelds from Nintendo. It includes games across various genres, such as platformers and RPGs. The best Game Boy Advance games should be considered for every owner’s GBA library. 

1. Pokémon Emerald

Pokémon Emerald
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Few Pokémon games stand up to the brilliance and depth that is Emerald. The third iteration of Ruby & Sapphire blows its predecessors out of the water with a storyline mixing together both evil teams, plus a focus on the legendary Flying and Dragon-type Rayquaza.

It features the incredible region and content from the previous two titles, plus some of the best post-game activities in the series with the Battle Tower. 

2. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Capcom created one of the best Zelda games of all time. It features a timeless cel-shaded art style, which looks better than almost any other GBA game today. It features complicated dungeons, fun upgrades for Link, and a home console-like experience on a handheld platform. 

3. Final Fantasy VI Advance

Final Fantasy VI
Image Credit: Square Enix.

The port of this award-winning RPG in the Final Fantasy series represents one of the best places to experience it. Its impressive ensemble cast of Terra, Celes, Locke, and more gives this 2D game a fascinating cinematic feel. It has an unbelievable amount of content and a surprising story, which felt ahead of its time upon release.

4. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Image Credit: Konami.

This entry in the Castlevania series ranks as one of the best in the Konami franchise, and among the greatest Game Boy Advance games. It contains some of the best graphics on the GBA, plus a phenomenal rendition of Dracula’s castle in the year 2035. The new Tactical Soul system elevated the series, offering players further depth for absorbing the souls of monsters and using their abilities.

5. Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This direct sequel to the beloved Nintendo original JRPG picks up right after the first game with an even deeper and richer storyline. The new perspective with a fascinating cast of anti-heroes and its freeform event order set this game apart from its predecessor. 

6. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town & More Friends

Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town
Image Credit: Natsume.

The greatest farming simulator game of all time exists as two different Game Boy Advance games. They offer the same experience, but one with a male protagonist and another with a female hero.

Players take on the challenge of raising a farm from scratch in Mineral Town with various animals, crops, and more to collect. The different events and minigames, plus the excellent romance partners, make this a massive experience.

7. Metroid Fusion

Metroid Fusion
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This Metroid entry stands tall among Game Boy Advance games, even matching with some of the other greats in the franchise. Its heavy neon aesthetic and sci-fi horror elements make it one of the most impressive settings to explore on the GBA. It feels streamlined but just varied enough to make for a lengthy game.

8. Golden Sun

Golden Sun (2001)
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This title stands out as one of the best RPG series from Nintendo, with a world full of magnificent lore. It tells the story of Isaac and his friends as they travel the realm of Weyard and try to stop a group from unleashing the power of Alchemy onto the world. It features solid turn-based gameplay with powers that play into both the combat and puzzles. 

9. Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

Super Mario World
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This GBA port includes one of the greatest platforming games ever, Super Mario World. Each level of the various worlds looks so colorful and thrilling on the GBA. It also works well in the portable format as players guide Mario through different settings with various exciting power-ups. 

10. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This tale of two siblings, Eirika and Ephraim, has one of the best storylines in the series. The simplistic but beautiful maps give players plenty of fun and strategy as they guide their soldiers to fight against others in massive battles. Elements like the relationship system and permanent death feel solid in this game. 

11. Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen

pokemon firered for gba e1b4b
Image Credit: The Pokémon Company.

GBA fans have plenty of Pokémon games to experience, and these titles remake the original Gen 1 games with better graphics and even more Pokémon to capture. They only fall short since they offer little new content and no other regions, but they still remain fantastic titles as always. 

12. Metroid: Zero Mission

Metroid Zero Mission
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This GBA title remade the original Metroid game from the NES. This resulted in a more vibrant and intriguing game with elements similar to the later titles. It makes the otherwise lesser entry in the series more palatable. This remake still remains the best way to experience the first Metroid

13. Mega Man Zero 3

Mega Man Zero 3
Image Credit: Capcom.

The third entry in this series following the cyborg protagonist Zero has some of the best gameplay in the entire Mega Man franchise. The 16-bit-style graphics, mixed with the detailed levels and extraordinary boss battles, make this an unforgettable adventure. 

14. Advance Wars

Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This Nintendo title has players command troops across battlefields in the middle of lore-filled fictional wars. Each mission has such depth to it in how to take out the enemy, navigate around the map, and take control of the opponent’s headquarters. The multiplayer components only make the game more fun. 

15. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Image Credit: Konami.

This mainline title in the ground-breaking exploratory action platforming series sees Nathan Graves take the lead role. His exploration of a monstrous and grim castle looks gorgeous on the GBA. This game fills itself with intriguing enemies, fun RPG-like elements, and impressive exploration. 

16. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Mario and his brother Luigi go out on an adventure to get back Princess Peach’s voice in the Beanbean Kingdom. It has such rich colors in its visuals and some of the funniest writing on the GBA. Its turn-based combat may be simple, but it keeps the player engaged with interactive elements. 

17. Mother 3

Mother 3
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This third game in the Earthbound franchise was never released in English, and fans still want it. If players check it out in Japanese, they will find a gorgeous setting full of intriguing turn-based battles. It also has a bonkers story with some unique characters. 

18. Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This GBA tactical RPG may not be the first in the series, but it represented the first game in English for most players. It tells the story of Eliwood, Lyn, and Hector as they go on a journey to find Eliwood’s father. It has a grand story and memorable action, which would influence future games.

19. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team
Image Credit: The Pokémon Company.

This Pokémon spin-off title has players take on the role of the Pokémon themselves. Players explore various dungeons with numerous floors filled with Pokémon to battle and recruit to their team. The grid-based tactical system feels deeper and more challenging than the core games. 

20. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Image Credit: Square Enix.

This spin-off game gives Sora his first portable adventure. The colorful graphics provide a brilliant take on classic Disney films like Aladdin and Tarzan. The card-based battle system feels unique for the series and helps it work well on the GBA. 

21. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Game
Image Credit: Square Enix.

This tactical RPG may share a name with the previous PS1 masterpiece, but it offers a different direction. Its tale of a boy waking up in the Final Fantasy world feels revolutionary, while the freedom to level up and change the job classes for each character feels terrific. 

22. Mario Golf: Advance Tour

Mario Golf Advance Tour
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This GBA golfing game takes cues from both the GameCube offering at the time and the previous, beloved Game Boy title. Players pick between two characters and go through an RPG-like storyline of leveling up and getting better at the solid golf mechanics. It also has some of the better graphics on the platform. 

23. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku 2

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku 2
Image Credit: Infogrames.

This action RPG version of the Dragon Ball Z franchise lands as one of the best video game adaptations of the series. Players go throughout the Cell Saga, which represents the highlight of both the anime series and this game trilogy. The mix of flying around an open world and blasting opponents with signature moves make this worthwhile even for newcomers to the series.

24. WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames

WarioWare
Image Credit: Nintendo.

This first WarioWare game showed players the enjoyment of bite-sized minigames. It feels like a festival of random but fun experiences, from picking noses to jumping rope. The assortment of minigames and fast-paced nature make it a bizarre but grand time. 

Author: Cody Perez

Bio:

Copywriter, experienced editor, website creator, PR associate, consultant

  • Expertise: Gaming, Pokémon, movies, TV shows, PR, and creative writing
  • Education: BS in Business Economics (specializing in Business Management), minor in Japanese from Tokyo International University
  • Helped lead or create websites, such as GameRevolution, VGR, RPGInformer, MangaInsider, FandomPost, POKUniverse, and more.
  • Helped launch various indie video games, tech startups, and consulted for YouTube Shorts
  • Writer in the entertainment industry since starting in high school in 2011

Experience: Cody Perez started his career as a journalist and creative writer in the tech and gaming spaces in 2011 while in the middle of high school. Since then, he has produced thousands of high-quality, researched articles for some of the largest entertainment websites in the world, including IGN, Destructoid, Siliconera, Digital Trends, DotEsports, and many more. He also was the lead editor at GameRevolution, growing the site to reach its consistent, historical peak of 8 million MUV the entire time he worked there. Cody also helped launch various successful sites, such as VGR (2 million MUV in a year), POKUniverse, and RPGInformer.

Cody brings together his passion for tech and gaming to his work life, so he can enjoy his hobbies nearly 24/7. He has now taken his expertise and experience with subjects like gaming and Pokémon to Wealth of Geeks, where he is often found creating new lists and reviews, or editing older content to bring it up to the company standard.