N is for either nostalgia or Nintendo. Or both. In its fabulous heydays, Nintendo cornered a significant proportion of the gaming market, and it’s devoted fans. While upstarts like Sony and Microsoft trembled in their loafers and desperately prayed for deliverance from the almighty Nintendo Juggernaut. Talk anywhere about the Nintendo 64, the Gameboy series and other evocative Nintendo consoles and you might well get fans trembling and weepy at the lovely memories it all effortlessly evokes.
With their Gameboy series of handheld devices, Nintendo revolutionized and reinvented just what a handheld means and can do. Even with a field full of competitors they still managed to make their handheld gaming units stand out and seemingly effortlessly offer class-leading performance. The original Gameboy soon gave way to the Gameboy color, and then to the Game Boy Advance. And so delightful and powerful was the latter that by mid-June 2010 it had shipped over 81 million units worldwide.
List of the Best GBA Games
The Nintendo Game Boy Advance was really advanced for its time with features elevated to a sublime art and games still beloved by countless millions of fans who appreciate outstanding excellence and enduring entertainment. In this emotional trip down nostalgia lane, we aim to put together what we think are the best ever games released for the Gameboy Advance. If you feel it’s incomplete, do feel free to add yours.
1. The Legend of Zelda – The Minish Cap
Developed by dear old Capcom and Flagship, then published by Nintendo, this game has an assured placement in the greatest games ever hall of fame and a comfy slot right next to our hearts. In the game, you take control of the enduring hero Link and with the help of his Minish Cap battle the bad baddie Vaati and his minions across hills and dale.
With truly exceptional music, intriguing gameplay and great graphics, it’s an excellent if somewhat truncated action role playing game that wonderfully meshes together as only a legend of Zelda can.
2. Contra Advance – The Alien Wars EX
Developed and published by Konami this is one Contra game that unerringly aims for your jugular and shoots you dead with glee. Instead of the usual Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, it’s their descendants you take into battle against the forces of evil and save the grateful universe with. Sporting new ways to interact with the environment, this run and gun game has little difficulty shooting to near the top of our old time favorites. Are you and your guns good enough to save the galaxy from evil? Then Contra is it!
3. Metal Slug Advance
Developed by Noise Factory and published by SNK Playmore, this is the one and only title in the iconic series available for the GBA. With frenetic action, large and customizable weaponry and engrossing gameplay and graphics, it sure slugs above its weight and straight to the thick of the action. What you have to do is simple: shoot anything you don’t like! And thereby save the day once again like any properly heroic hero should.
4. Super Mario Bros.
Developed and published by Nintendo, the first in the hugely thrilling eponymous series and since named the greatest game boy advance video game of all time, this is one serious game deserving to be spoken of only in respectful whispers with head bowed. Luckily in 2003, it was ported to the GBA to the everlasting delight of fans.
As either Mario or Luigi you get to save the day all by your lonesome as you search for the lovely princess Peach held captive by the evil villain Bowser in his series of castles. Collect coins and other power-ups and side-scroll your way to victory. Look out, Mario/Luigi is on the way!
5. Final Fight One
Developed and published by Capcom this is one beat-them-up that enables you to pound your opponents to blood-spattered bits. Bravely take control of your city back by brutally beating the fear of God into the evil Mad Gera gang who terrorize and kidnap unchecked.
With marvelous graphics, action-crammed bone breaking, savage beatdowns as well as smooth gameplay, it’s a fight to the finish you cannot lose in this one of the best game boy advanced games.
6. Pokemon Jupiter GBA
It’s up to you only to save the Minoan civilization from the oncoming great deluge that threatens to wipe it and everything you hold dear out of existence. As in the rest of the Pokemon series, the Pokemon Jupiter wonderfully meshes together like silk. Sporting lots of available of music to pick and choose from, as well as excellently colored graphics and gameplay that runs along like melted butter, this is one Pokemon that doesn’t hesitate in speedily and solidly poking you in the gut and demanding you stand up and applaud its excellence.
There are numerous Pokemon games which worthy to be included in this list such as Pokemon ash gray GBA, Pokemon FireRed, Pokemon Ruby, etc.
7. F1 2002 (Gameboy Advance)
Get suited up, the time has come to try your skills on the shimmering track and prove you are as good as you have long boasted! With the release of F1 2002 the limits of what a handheld can do are pushed even further away as we drool and speed to victory. Sporting all the cars, all the frenzied on-pitch action and really great visuals and sound, it’s just the game to rev up your life and put you on the track to the GBA glory.
8. Star Wars III – Revenge of the Sith
Published by the duo of Lucas Arts and Ubisoft it packs in 17 awesome levels filled with baddies of all types you can delightfully slice and dice with your lightsaber. Or punch and kick to senility. Based on the movie of the same name and sporting 12 minutes of heart-tingling movie footage, you get to stalk the Star Wars universe as either the great Anakin Skywalker or Obi Wan. Wage war against the dark side and fulfill your foretold destiny!
9. Spider-Man – Mysterio’s Menace
Everyone’s fav Spidey character is back for yet another stab at saving the day a sticky web patch at a time. Developed by Vicarious Studios and published by game giant Activision you can kick, punch and spray sticky signature webs at opponents to either entrap or kill them off. And with seven stages crammed to the last inch with excellent graphics, great sound, exciting gameplay and seven evil bosses only you can take care of, you just arrived in a definitely spidery paradise!
Even after all these years, this is one hell of a single player action game that swings at your senses like it means it. You should give a try to this game on GBA.
10. FIFA 07
From EA, comes the most played game on the planet straight to your GBA! Packing all the right teams and enough on screen action to freeze your heart twice over, FIFA 07 is one damn fine football game that never stints on footy delights and generously doles out the magic we have come to expect from the series.
Feel like kicking something round the pitch and winning titles like they are going out of style? Then, FIFA 07 got your back. Lace up your boots and prepare for battle! Alternatively, read our review of FIFA 17.
With it’s Game Boy Advance, Nintendo speedily revolutionized the handheld gaming market. And our lives have never been the same since we got some GBA ROMs. Packing games aplenty for all tastes it’s one pacesetter that’s unlikely to be ever matched. While our list of the best Nintendo GBA games ever that we think are dope aren’t exhaustive, they do represent for us exactly what made the GBA the eminently lovable beast that it was.