Here’s the moment that you’ve all been waiting for; we’ve finally made a list of the best GameBoy Advance games of all time!
If you consider yourself to be a true Nintendo fan and a lover of all-things handheld gaming, then you should definitely have played some of the titles in this list, and if you haven’t, then now is a perfect excuse to stop whatever your doing and to go out and hunt them down!
From collecting coins around the Mushroom Kingdom to picking up notes in Spiral Mountain, we’ve listed 20 of the best games that this portable purple console has to offer.
The notion of a GameBoy with a larger screen and horizontal grip-style might not seem that exciting now, but it blew my mind when it first came out. The console felt so cool with its shoulder buttons and pocket-sized build.
And just when it seemed as though things couldn’t get any better, Nintendo threw the SP into our hands, back-lit, folding, with no need for one of those stupid sperm lights when playing in the dark.
Nintendo sold 81.5 million GBAs, and with over 1,500 games to choose from, the chances of you ever getting bored are pretty slim.
So which of those 1’500 titles have made the cut? Scroll down to find out!
Spiderman games are always epic. It doesn’t matter whether he’s kicking ass on the PS5 or side-scrolling across cityscapes on the GBA, they all rule.
It’s safe to say that Spiderman: Mysterio’s Menace was one of those games that never left my GBA back in the day. It follows the first Spiderman game made by Neversoft and the second by Vicarious Visions, both pretty hard games to beat.
Activision and Vicarious Visions nailed it with Mysterio’s Menace once again, however, bringing all of our favourite baddies such as Rhino and Hammerhead to the fold.
What starts off as a trip out to buy a fish bowl for Mary Jane quickly turns into a free-for-all with Mysterio and his minions. This side-scrolling game is Marvel at its finest, with Mr Wallcrawler himself pulling out some epic moves along the way.
I won’t spoil the ending for you as it’s so good! What I will say is that each of the seven stages and their respective boss battles are a joy to play through. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
Megaman Zero takes the 49th spot in this list of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time!
The Megaman Zero 4-game series follows directly on from Megaman X, though the first game in the series remains my favourite due to the open-world feel.
Unlike other Megaman title before and after, players explore freely after completing missions instead of picking tasks off a menu.
It feels less clinical and is far more enjoyable to play!
You know that feeling when Reploid robots are trying to impersonate humankind and all hell is breaking loose? Of course you do; you’re used to Megaman games by now.
The graphics in this side-scrolling gem are superb, as is the story line. Hundreds of years after the end of Megaman X, Zero is awoken by a human scientist named Ciel. She has banded together with a gang of robots to form a resistance.
There’s a robot genocide and some evil lad from the last game who makes a return too, but I don’t want to spoil the whole plot for you. This is a game that you’ll want to get comfy with; once you start, it’ll be seriously hard to stop!
I’ve been singing the Jurassic Park theme tune in my head for the past ten minutes since I put the picture in above, so now I want to inflict the same thing on you.
Got it in your head? Good, let’s continue.
Jurassic Park 3: Island Attack might look a little old as I write this in 2021, but it’s still an amazing game. European gamers may know it as ‘Dino Attack’, and while critics gave it pretty average reviews, this critic thinks that everyone should own a copy
Island Attack loosely follows the plot of the third Jurassic Park film. Players control Alan grant and must run through eight levels to get from a crash site to the coast.
Think Turok meets Jungle Run!
Levels are split into free-roam or forward-running. These are both pretty self explanatory, so I’m gonna go ahead and move onto the next paragraph.
So the music is a little terrible and the camera angle isn’t great. Still, it’s Jurassic Park, which means lots of running away from dinosaurs and completing puzzles to unlock more angry dinosaurs to escape from.
What more could a person want?
Have you ever laid awake at night wondering what a Ninja version of Hawaii Five-O might look like? Well, Ninja Five-O is the answer!
This game is also known as Ninja Cop, though there aren’t any Hawaiian shirts or Magnum P.I moustaches in sight in this game.
Players control Joe Osugi, a dude on a mission to stop terrorists obsessed by mysterious masks.
I could have done with Joe while playing Majora’s Mask; it might have made that three-day limit easier!
The odd thing about this game is that it didn’t do very well when it launched. The general public just didn’t go wild for it.
Of course, now it’s a cult classic and original, sealed copies can go for anything between $2,500 – 5,000!
Make sure to purchase an original version and not an imitation copy; they should be pretty easy to tell apart.
Super Monkey Ball Jr takes the 46th spot on this list of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time!
Why is it called JR? Well, this game is a portable version of the GameCube classic, but Super Monkey Ball Jr more than holds its own in the simian-rolling canon!
That’s canon as in ‘series’, not a cannon that fires monkeys.
Super Monkey Ball Jr is one of the few games that shows off the GBA’s 3D capabilities. A 2D side-scrolling Monkey Ball wouldn’t really work, and JR incorporates all of the things that players love about this series.
The premise of JR remains the same. Control Ai-Ai and the gang while hurtling towards a goal along insane tracks.
Critics loved this game, and rightly so. What’s not to love about a portable primate powerhouse like Monkey Ball Jr?
Yes, I am a fan of alliteration.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour takes the 45th spot on our list of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time.
Who would have thought that an RPG tennis title would ever have worked, but it does! Players move around an overworld map chatting with characters before diving into tennis action.
Becoming the ultimate tennis star is never something that I though I would strive for in my life, but Mario Tennis changed all that.
The graphics are surprisingly good for a Tennis game too. The series has that classic N64 game feel to it and features lush backgrounds and vibrant colours. Plus, the Story mode will have you hooked in seconds.
Seriously, this is a fun game to play and even has a nice multiplayer mode too. Tennis never looked or felt so good.
No, that’s not Freddie Mercury and the guys from Bros.; this is Final Fight One!
This classic remake has a Streets of Rage feel to it, with two players being able to play simultaneously while cleaning thugs off the streets.
Final Fight One pretty much follows the SNES version and has a new Industrial level that was missing from the original game.
Final Fight One nearly became a sequel to Street Fighter, but it works much better as a beat ’em up title. Haggar, Cody, and Guy all have different abilities and skills, as well as tastes in clothing. Check out those get-ups!
Use combos, throw stuff, and smash the heck outta bad guys as you work through each of the levels in the fictional world of Metro City. There is no better way to de-stress than with Final Fight One.
N.B – I’ll probably say the same thing about many of the games below too, but just pretend it’s the first time you’ve heard me say it and don’t get too fixated on it, capish?
Beyblade: G-Revolution takes the 43rd spot in this list of the best Gameboy Advance games ever made.
Like Pokemon, Beyblade follows a similar, if less sophisticated RPG set-up, with players battling opponents using Beyblades.
For anyone not in the know, it’s a sort of spinning top battle with animal spirits that materialise out of the top.
Most of the games follow the general theme of the popular anime series, with many pieces available for purchase online once your GBA runs out of juice.
Beyblade and Pokemon may be on separate levels entirely, but this game is still fun to play and a must-have for anime fans. Copies sell cheaply these days, so finding a cart in good condition won’t be difficult.
Speaking of Pokemon, Agumon and the gang provide Pika’s main competition for pocket monsters on the GBA.
Digimon: Battle Spirit is a fun side-scrolling game that sees the monsters take charge, not the trainers. It’s a vibrant and immersive adventure with some of your favourite characters from the series.
Battle Spirit features Digimon from the first three anime series’. Instead of following the path of a trainer like in Pokemon, players move Digimon through levels, battling other digital monsters along the way.
Rounds are fought one-on-one, with coloured orb collection deciding which Digimon emerges victorious.
Each Digimon knows only a handful of moves, so fans might be slightly disappointed by the simplified nature of the game. Still, who doesn’t want to fight with Agumon and other classic characters from the series?
Surviving while gunnin’ and runnin’ through this uncharted island can be pretty tense at times, but you’ll soon get into the card collecting, bad-guy shooting madness after a few attempts.
Metal Slug Advance reminds me strongly of a Chuck Norris game I once had for the iPhone. It plays very much the same as every other Metal Slug game, bar the fact that this offering looks better and works on a plane or a train.
Collect cards by shooting scenery and saving hostages. There are 100 to collect, each card unlocking new information, abilities, or slugs to enhance the game.
WarioWare: Twisted brought Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble action to the GBA and the SP, allowing gamers to dive once more into Wario’s world of insane minigames.
Twisted marks the last WarioWare game released for the GBA. Not only is it one of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time, but it’s also a must-have title for handheld historical reasons…
… which is totally a thing.
WarioWare Twisted follows the same theme as the other games in the series. Players complete a series of party games that are so confusing and crazy that laughter is 100% guaranteed.
Each game lasts around 3 to 5 seconds, with players twisting and spinning their GBA to complete challenges.
The Twisted cartridge houses a gyro sensor that adds to the general feeling of madness. It helped to set this title apart from others in the canon and to garner tonnes of awards in the process!
Next up on our list of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time is Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance!
Castlevania games always appear in our ‘top games’ lists. It doesn’t seem to matter which console we’re talking about, there always seems to be a Castlevania title or a game that has taken influence from the series.
Harmony of Dissonance is the second vampire slaying title in the canon for the GBA. The Belmont Clan are back, as is Dracula. These guys never seem to stop battling each other, though I suppose one party is trying to suck the blood from the other…
As with many of the early Castlevania titles, Harmony of Dissonance follows a 2D side-scrolling style of gameplay. Ghoulish and ghastly enemies are ten-a-penny in this game, along with all of the demonic backgrounds and scenery that make these titles so great.
Players control Juste Belmont as he searches Dracula’s castle for his kidnapped buddy. The legendary whip makes a comeback, as do other projectiles such as holy water.
The game might not be the best rated in the Castlevania series, but we love this portable monster-bashing title. The soundtrack lets it down compared to the iconic Super Castlevania on the SNES, but it’s still a cracking game.
Donald, Goofy, and friends take the 38th spot in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Disney characters in an RPG game – it just works!
It’s a weird concept, characters from Final Fantasy and Disney working together in an epic card collecting RPG. Still, the Kingdom Hearts series is one of the biggest in the business and this cross between Yu-Gi-Oh and FF is a joy to play.
Donald and Goofy appear alongisde Jiminy Cricket and Mickey Mouse. Players navigate Castle Oblivion, combining cards in a classic RPG turn-based battle system.
Chain of Memories sits slap bang in-between the two major home console Kingdom Hearts releases. It’s set directly after the first game and features many of the same characters too.
Expect building stats through collecting and battles like every great RPG ever made. The difference being that Walt Disney has left a major mark on this one.
It’s weird seeing Donald Duck dressed as a castle page, but it’s a quirky game and one that you should definitely play.
Speaking of classic RPG titles, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is one of my favourite ever GBA games.
Fire Emblem games require a tactical mind, and players must maintain a steady nerve if they want to beat some of the weird and wonderful enemies in this RPG title.
The Sacred Stones is only the second Fire Emblem title released outside of Japan. While it’s the eighth in the canon, it remained fresh and new for Western gamers. We all went crazy when this title came out; we had a lot of lost time in the Fire Emblem world to catch up with!
This title takes place in the country of Magvel, an area divided into five separate nation-states. It differs slightly from the previous Fire Emblem titles in the series but still revolves around turn-based battles on gridded battlefields and a plot that would make George R.R Martin proud.
The Sacred Stones is the last Fire Emblem title for the GBA. There wouldn’t be a portable outing into the F.E universe again until 2012 on the DS, which meant that this game got A LOT of replaying when I was younger.
With over 320,000 units sold throughout 2004, this twin-riffic royal adventure was, and still is, a great success. There’s even a multiplayer where you can battle your mates over local link-up!
With leaked news of the Metroid Prime 4 release date, it only seems right to introduce the gnarliest heroine in the galaxy, Samus Aran.
Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of the very first Metroid game, boasting enhanced graphics and gameplay that really do the original story justice.
The colours are fantastic, the levels are easier to see, and the whole thing feels like a new game in its own right. If you loved the original Metroid title and want to play it on the bus or in the park, then this is one of the best Gameboy Advance games for you.
Far from being a direct copy, Metroid: Zero Mission has new mini-levels, bosses, and areas to explore too. It’s the ultimate Metroid fan purchase… if said fan has a GBA, of course.
Set on Planet Zebes, a world where plasma doors and elevators seem to have been in large supply, Samus must fight Space Pirates and collect suit upgrades. It’s the first game where we see Samus in her Zero Suit, a firm cosplay favourite for fans around the world.
In the Zero suit, Samus only has limited weapons and has to survive rather than obliterate everything in sight. Both Zebes and the Zero Suit appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as does Samus’s iconic Varia Suit.
First up on our list of the best Gameboy Advance games is a character that you should all have come across before.
Spyro has been kicking Gnorc-ass on the Playstation for as long as I can remember, and now he’s back on the GBA for some portable action.
Spyro 2: Season of Flame is the sequel to ‘Season of Ice’ and sees everyone’s second-favourite dragon (it’s always Toothless in that Number 1 spot) heading out to rescue all of the Dragon Kingdom’s fireflies.
Turns out the fireflies are the source of the dragon’s fire-breathing power. Without them, they’re just oversized lizards that look a little bit awkward!
Spyro has to get to the bottom of the mystery, and although the controls have been classed as tricky by some gaming critics, I loved this adventure from start to finish.
Spyro is purple, my GBA was purple, and my thumbs went purple for a little while after playing this the first time due to lack of blood.
Give it a go and let us know your thoughts!
Everyone always says that Rayman is a bit of a nasty bully, but I say he’s ‘armless’.
See what I did there…armless…harmless,,,get it?
That was a terrible joke, and I don’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to comedy.
But then again, neither does Rayman!
I’m not paid to tell you rubbish jokes, so let’s give you some facts.
Rayman Advance is a port of the very first Rayman Adventure. It’s a game that most of you will have played before and one that some of you might even have found out about thanks to the Rayman Redemption fan remake that’s coming out very soon!
This story takes our legless, armless-wonder through a series of 6 bright and colourful worlds in a mix of Castle of Illusion and Super Mario Bros style action.
Extra abilities can be picked up on the way through the game too, making it one that you’re going to want to come back to again and again.
The next game in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games is a bit of a contraversial one…
I love Worms: World Party, and so did many other gamers out there.
I saw it as a natural progression to Worms: Armageddon and another chance to get stuck into some insane-invertebrate-action.
Some critics thought that the game lacked any real backbone (a little like its characters), and refused to accept it into the franchise.
Which side of the fence do you fall on?
Any game that has weapons such as bazookas, holy hand grenades, and a concrete donkey is alright in my book!
If you haven’t played a Worms game before, then the rules are simple.
You control an army of worms that have to blast the living daylights out of an opposing team of worms using high-powered weaponry.
World Party is the last side-scrolling 2D adventure in the series and a real must have in my opinion. It’s fun, it’s wacky, and it’s a cracking title to play.
Fans of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will be all over this war-fuelled title!
Some of you might have picked up on my mentioning of the next offering in our list of the best Gameboy Advance titles over in our best Game & Watch games article.
Game & Watch Gallery was one of my favourite titles on the GBA. It’s one of those ones that you can play while waiting for the bus or sitting on the loo (you all do it), and time tends to flash by in the blink of an eye!
This game reimagines some of the early Game & Watch titles with all of your favourite Nintendo Characters.
Instead of pixelated people jumping out of a building in ‘Fire’, you now have to save Toads, Yoshis, and DK JRs from Peach’s castle, with Mario and Luigi taking the roles of the struggling paramedics.
There are 6 games to play from in total when you first turn the cart on including Fire, Rain Shower, Boxing, Mario’s Cement Factory, Donkey Kong JR, and Donkey Kong 3.
You can also unlock some other classic games as you play through too, but you’ll have to buy a copy and figure out what they are for yourself; we’re not spoiling any surprises!
If beating Covid-19 was as easy as destroying the nasty virus baddies in Dr Mario, then I reckon the Retro Dodo team could have become the saviours of the globe by now.
That’s right; Dr Mario & Puzzle League takes the 31st spot in our best Gameboy Advance games list!
Dr Mario was one of my all-time favourite games for the Gameboy DMG and one that I played religiously as a kid.
It was Tetris with a Mushroom Kingdom vibe, and it made me feel as though I could probably just go out and get a job as a doctor without any problems.
I’ve never seen Mario’s doctorate certificate, so it’s probably not that important to have one…
Players must line up coloured capsules to make them dissapear, just like Columns, Candy Crush, and any other mobile variation that I haven’t been bothered to keep up to date with.
By trapping a virus inside your column or at the end of a line, you can eradicate it from the screen and make the world a healthier place. Destroy all the virus icons, clear the level, and move onto the next stage.
The GBA version has been improved with new graphics and looks a lot fresher. It also comes with Puzzle leage, so you get 2 games for the price of 1.
Now that’s a bargain that no-one can refuse!
Up next is Drill Dozer, a game that all of you Mr Driller fans out there will undoubtedly go stir crazy over!
This game never received a European release, but thanks to the magic of the internet, you can pick up a copy pretty easily on most second-hand websites.
You play as Jill, the owner of the Drill Dozer. It’s essentially a bad-ass drill that she uses to take down hordes of enemies throughout the game’s 17 goliath levels.
The Drill Dozer is controlled by using the GBA’s shoulder buttons and is needed to take down the mammoth bosses that feature throughout this game.
It’s up to you (and Jill) to find their weak spots and send them packing!
This action-packed platformer is full of puzzles and collectibles that you need to uncover. It’s a throroughly engaging title and one that you can pick up pretty quickly no matter your level of gaming expertise.
Drill Dozer has won various awards since it’s release including GBA Game of the Year, yet another reason why it deserves to be in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games!
Just don’t come panicking to us when your drill disappears during your battle with the final boss.
We’ve warned you now; the rest is up to you!
Harry who? Quidditch what?
Those are two questions that you shouldn’t be asking yourself if you’re a human with a working brain.
Harry Potter made being a glasses-wearing nerd cool (or at least that’s the story I use to make myself feel better), and Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup for the GBA encapsulates everything I love about the books with the thrill of a real-life Quidditch match.
Ok, not real life, but it’s as close as I’ll get to riding a broomstick.
If you have read the books or (shudder) watched the films, then you’ll know all about the game of Quidditch.
Players take charge of their favourite teams and go up against an opposing team in a Quidditch match; basketball on acid, on brooms, in the air.
It’s a truly magical game (excuse the pun) and one that you can keep yourself occupied with until the new Hogwarts RPG game comes out, one of the best PS5 games that we’re really excited to play!
Next up on our ultimate list of the best Gameboy Advance games of all time is Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis!
If you’re into your RPGs, then there are plenty to get excited about as you scroll down this list. The GBA certainly has a lot of role-playing classics up it’s portable sleeve, and Knights of Lodis was one of my all time favourites.
You had to have the mind of an army tactician to play this game. It was tough, and you really needed to consider every move carefully if you wanted to succeed.
In true RPG fashion, Tactics Ogre has a plotline as intricate and complicated as the ingredients list on a box of Fruit Loops.
It’s party-based tactical fighting at its finest and a must-have for anyone who loves campaign planning or moving toy tanks around a map with a stick.
Most of the action happens ‘in battle’ with little movement other than nipping into a shop to buy weapons and other characters in between magical skirmishes.
As with games such as Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy, the weapons and magic lists are just as exciting as the main game itself. There are lots of powerups and new abilities to obtain as you progress, providing you make it further than the training session, that is.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork in Knights of Lodis, and it can be a real nightmare if you don’t!
Let’s keep the action-adventure RPG ball rolling with the next title in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games; Boktai: The Sun Is Your Hand.
That would make picking your nose or eating an apple extremely uncomfortable!
It’s the age of darkness, the end of the world as we know it. You play as Django (the ‘D’ is silent), a vampire hunter who wields a solar gun that shoots bolts of light into enemies.
How cool is that!
It get’s even better.
This game cartridge has a photometric light sensor in it that can pick up sunlight. When your weapons run out of charge, you can step outside your actual door and charge them back up again using the actual suns rays.
Forget Pokemon Go, Boktai gives me an even better excuse to get outdoors with my games!
If you’re playing at night and you run out of solar juice, then you’ll have to avoid enemies until dawn. It’s a great gimmick and one that helps the player to become immersed in the storyline.
Just watch out for vampires who are heading back to bed if you’re playing early morning; Retro Dodo will not be held liable for any transformations or undead goings-on outside of working hours.
Three RPGs in a row; we sure do spoil you!
Mother 3 is another one of my favourite-ever RPG titles, though it’s one that I didn’t get to play until later in life.
It was released in Japan back in 2006 after a 12-year development span that almost saw it being released on the N64 as a 64DD game.
It’s the final entry in the Mother series and the best of the three games in my opinion.
For those of you that have never played it, it’s definitely not about giving your child pocket money to go to the shop or rummaging around in your kids school bag to find their unwashed P.E kit.
This epic RPG quest follows the story of Lucas, a boy with incredible psychic skills.
Sound a bit like Earthbound? That’s because it’s the same series, but it’s called Mother in Japan!
You have to try and stop an intergalactic army from destroying your planet, moving between a range of exciting levels with a group of memorable characters that will stick in your head long after you’ve completed the game.
Critics loved everything about Mother 3, and it’s not hard to see why.
The graphics, the music, and the gameplay are all superb, and they are the only three things that really matter when it comes to video games!
Check it out; you won’t be dissapointed!
One boy that certainly doesn’t need his Mother to do any chores for him is Astro Boy, the star of our next portable adventure.
Armed with nothing more than boots, pants, and fists, (dude must be cold!) Astro Boy is a force to be reckoned with.
He’s a huge figure in the Japanese Anime world and rocketed (literally) onto the Norther American scene in 2004 to great applause from gaming critics the world over.
Astro Boy: Omega Factor isn’t just one of the best Gameboy Advance games for the console, it’s also one of the best beat ’em up titles that I’ve ever played.
Astro Boy’s kicks and punches are astronomical for such a small dude, and he can make mincemeat of enemies without even breaking a sweat.
The game features tonnes of characters from the Astro Boy franchise and is jam-packed full of exciting gameplay elements that both fans of the series and newcomers to the pant-wearing-wonder will instantly love.
Mechanical Marios, clockwork Shy Guys, and access to a K.O Hammer…
… it can only be a Mario and Donkey Kong title!
Mario vs Donkey Kong has been branded as the spiritual successor to the original Donkey Kong arcade game that we all know and love.
Although Donkey became a popular good-guy character thanks to Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong Country, and Mario Kart, thus shedding his evil-villain ways, he’s slotted himself back into the role of the antagonist incredibly well.
I guess people (and monkeys) don’t really change after all!
After throwing a hissy-fit when he couldn’t buy a Mini Mario clockwork toy, DK goes ‘ape’ and steals a load of toys from a Toad Factory.
Mario has to try and stop him by completing puzzles, unlocking doors, and eventually rescuing all of the Mini Mario’s that have been taken.
When are these two just going to sit down and talk things out like adults instead of fighting all the time.
This title is classic Mario action at its best and a must have for anyone who refuses to believe Mario isn’t still called ‘Jumpman’.
Yu-Gi-Oh: The Eternal Duelist Soul was released in October 2002 (USA) and is a strategy trading card game based on the popular trading card game.
Not only did the 3 “limited edition” cards inside cause interest so did the actual gameplay. It was a great way to get involved with the trading card game, to understand it and to use the things you learn in real life.
You use your trading card expertise to beat opponents that then unlock new tiers, each tier gets harder and harder, so learning what to do as the game goes on is mandatory.
In total there are over 800 cards to choose from. Cards are accessed from the Deck Edit menu and a are stored in what is called “the trunk”.
This was one of the best Gameboy Advance games because it utilised the in-game calendar perfectly.
On some days of the week, random events may occur like being challenged by special opponents or receiving new packs in the mail.
If you were a big Yu-Gi-Oh fan back in the day, then this is the game for you. Who knows, perhaps we’ll open some packs up on our Break The Seal YouTube channel in the coming weeks. *hint hint*
Some of you might be thinking, ‘huh?’, but this game was one of my favourite titles back in the day, and I’m allowed to put nostalgic titles in this list because I’m the one writing it (N.B this might be the point that I’m sacked from my job, but it’s worth it for Kao).
It’s a game about a Kangaroo who punches and hops his way to victory; what’s not to love.
I like to think of Kao the Kangaroo as being like Marmite; people either love it or hate it so much that it makes them physically angry.
For me, it was a classic game with nice graphics, an easy to follow plotline, simple controls, and it proved to be good fun.
The gameplay style of Kao is kind of a cross between Crash Bandicoot and Donkey Kong Country.
Players must guide our boxing-friend back to his homeland so that he can rescue his family, battling hordes of enemies throughout 27 different levels.
This kangaroo can fly, snowboard, and jet-ski, as well as having one mean right hook.
Honestly, you can pick this game up on eBay for around £4; give it a go and let us know what you think!
Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge is not only underrated, but it’s also the last time that we see our favourite bird-and-bear duo in a classic title.
It’s an authentic Banjo-Kazooie game on a handheld device and the last adventurous outing that the pair took before moving to the dark side and messing around with nuts and bolts.
The game takes place between Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie (two of the best N64 games of all time!) and sees the evil hag Gruntilda heading back in time in a bid to try and stop the events from the first game ever happening.
You’ve got to hand it to her, she’s nothing but determined!
This time Grunty has only gone and captured Kazooie as well, leaving Banjo to head out on his own to save her. Now we really get to find out which one of them is the brains of the business.
Grunty’s revenge was 2D rather than the 3D adventures on the N64, but it had all of the key elements that made the first two games such a massive hit, as well as some new characters from Bottles the Mole’s past to help you along your way.
Just imagine a new re-make on the Switch; we could use the best Nintendo Switch Emulators to play on the go!
It isn’t a hard game and the graphics aren’t cutting edge, but any adventure around Spiral Mountain is one that shouldn’t be missed.
Do us all a favour and peck Gruntilda back into line; she’s getting a bit too big for her dead boots.
Next up on our list of the best GameBoy Advance games is a firm fan favourite.
Some of you might have played it or might currently be playing it on the Wii-U Virtual Console. You might even have it in your Switch as I write this.
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town classed as many as being the best in the Harvest Moon series, and it’s a credit to the GBA.
For those of you that haven’t played Harvest Moon before, you are in for a real treat. The game revolves around a character who has to make a profit from a farm.
You get left the farm by an old dude who has since ‘popped his clogs’. Now he’s dead, you’re the boss. ,
One of the things that makes this game so great is all the different levels of interaction that you can have. Different choices that you make will alter the game too.
Marry, and you get a son. Interact with others, and you can pick up recipes. Don’t take good care of a horse, and it’s taken away from you.
Aim of the game – be a nice farmer and look after your friends. That’s plant, animal, and human friends.
You have to make money by growing crops and rearing livestock. The player starts off with a selection of tools and can upgrade them after earning some dollars.
It’s all the fun of farming without leaving the sofa.
Let’s get back into fantasy RPG land with a portable entry from the most famous magical game franchise of all time.
Final Fantasy VI Advance is an epic quest from start to finish. It manages to cram everything that we love about the franchise; the monsters, the magic, the battles, and the bedlam, all into a portable game that we can play on the go.
It was the last game that Nintendo released for the GBA and is yet another classic Square title.
The story on all systems is considered to be one of the greatest titles of all time, pretty much like every other FF game!
The GBA port features some significant differences to the PS version of the game, including improved graphics and a new Japanese translation system that follows the nuances of the language a lot better.
There are additional monsters to overcome, extra spells to master, and even more areas to explore as you venture through the FF universe, kicking ass and taking names as you go.
The GBA version might not have fancy cut scenes or any videos to watch, but it beats the PS version hands down when it comes to playability and gamer experience, which is why it deserves a place in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games ever made!
From gentle farming to all-out warfare. You can’t say that this list of the best GameBoy advance games isn’t diverse!
If you’re the first person to reach for Risk or Stratego when your friends call a board game night, then you’ll love Advance Wars.
It’s a tactical turn-based game, with opposing sides attacking each other with mind-bogglingly awesome weaponry.
This is one of the only games that I can remember which had a tutorial section that I actually enjoyed following. You don’t need to spend hours combing the manual to figure out all of the different attacks or weapon types.
It’s super simple to play, and addictive as hell.
Advance Wars has been listed as one of the greatest video games of all time. That’s not bad for a title that was never supposed to leave Japan!
You follow the commander of the Orange Star army who has been wrongly accused of picking a fight with the rest of the world.
In true ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ style, you have to lead the Orange Army to victory, battling the Commanding Officers of the enemy armies who try to take you down.
The different terrains and battle styles are well thought out, and you’ll soon be shouting ‘TAKE THAT’ out loud before you know it.
Role-Playing golf? Yep, that’s exactly what this next entry in our list of the best GameBoy Advance games offers.
Most people will already know all about Mario Golf: Advance Tour. It swaps the normal sights of the golf course for the madness of the Mushroom Kingdom, and your mission is to work your way through the ranks to receive the honour of challenging Mario.
But what’s the Role Playing bit all about?
Well, there’s an ‘overworld’ where your chosen character, (boy or girl human player) can move around and interact with other golfers etc. You have to get to the four main courses/clubhouses and work your way up the ranks.
Other players can be unlocked for team and multiplayer action, and you can even use a special ticket to get a custom club made. Fancy, right!
This game can also be linked up to Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour on the GameCube via the GBA link (one of the best GameCube accessories).
I’m a huge Sonic fan. I also love playing as Knuckles the Echidna, because he’s just as fast and twice as gnarly.
Sonic Advance was the first Sonic the Hedgehog game ever to be released on a Nintendo console and the start of a glorious age where plumbers and hedgehogs finally worked side by side.
They even set up their own Olympic Games!
The premise of Sonic Advance is very similar to the other games in the Sonic Series. Collect rings and the seven Chaos Emeralds.
The difference this time is that Dr. Robotnik has gone, and his nephew Dr Eggman is the new antagonist.
This side-scrolling platformer has everything that I love about Sonic titles. It’s fast-paced, the graphics look quintessentially ‘Sega’, and you can play as Tails, Knuckles, and Amy too.
There are six zones, each with two acts just like back in the good old days.
With over 1.21-million units sold, it’s safe to that Sonic Advance was a huge success. It’s over with a little too quickly, but what else would you expect from a character that runs everywhere at breakneck speeds all of the time.
If you’re a fan of the series, then you need this game in your life.
Who would have thought that Mario’s arch-nemesis would have gone on to have such a popular series of games eh!
Gamers went crazy for Wario’s strange antics and his obsession for finding treasure, and Wario Land 4 became an instant classic.
Some people think black cats are bad omens. If Wario thought this too, then he wouldn’t end up following one and getting trapped in a pyramid at the beginning of the game. Here, he finds four passages leading to four different worlds.
The levels are arranged in order of difficulty but can be completed in any sequence.
One of the things I’ve always loved about these games is the strange array of moves and Wario’s ability to harness enemy abilities for his own gain.
There is plenty of mad action in Wario Land 4. Fans of the series won’t be too surprised by the content, but they’ll certainly be relieved that it’s a lot better than Wario Land 3!
The graphics are crisp, the soundtrack is perfect, and the adventure is fantastic!
Looking a lot like Link holding a smartphone, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror takes the next spot in out list of the best GameBoy Advance games!
It’s time to leave King Dedede and Dream World behind as we step through into a mirror world. It once made wishes come true but is now full of evil.
Remember Meta Knight? Well, there’s a dark version of him that splits Kirby into four separate Kirbys. He then defeats the real Meta Knight and smashes the Amazing Mirror into fragments.
Why don’t these bad guys ever make it easy for the good guys, huh!
This game has all of the usual Kirby antics and actions. There’s lots of puzzle-solving and item collecting to work your way through, with sub-bosses and bosses to contend with along the way.
Expect Warp Stars and lots of exciting objects that will change and enhance the way you play.
One of the exciting things about this game is that it’s basically set out like a maze.
You can choose to go whichever way you want first, making it a little like an open-world title. It’s bright, it’s fun, and it’s got Kirbys holding cellphones.
What more do you need to know?
We’re flying over to Elibe for the next game in our list.
Fans of the Smash Bros. series will no doubt have played as Roy and Marth at some stage over the years. Their inclusion in the franchise, as well as the success of Advance Wars, is what prompted Fire Emblem to be released in the West and go on to become such a huge success.
Fire Emblem is a tactical role-playing game. Think of it as Nintendo’s own Final Fantasy series (although Nintendoids will tell you that it’s way better).
There are lots of epic battles, characters with mythical-sounding names, treasure chests, and family conflicts.
Oh, and there are dragons too. That’s the recipe for a perfect RPG right there, and Fire Emblem certainly doesn’t disappoint.
So, if you remember wondering who the heck Marth was when a ‘new challenger’ approached in Smash Bros., then take a trip back to where things began for us Western gamers.
It’s definitely a title that needs to be in your collection.
Fifa and Fortnite might be two of the biggest names in today’s gaming world, but back in the GBA days, Tony Hawks was the king of extreme gaming and almost everyone had one of his titles in their collection.
Fans of skateboarding who were too chicken to kickflip off a set of stairs in real life (yep, that was me) could bust out some kick-ass moves on their favourite handheld without having to worry about broken bones.
You could pull off all of your favourite tricks from the original game and even listen to shortened instrumental versions of your favourite tracks to get you in the zone.
The GBA port of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 had all of the main features of the home console version without the multiplayer or level editing options.
The simplified controls made it easy to play on the go, and the graphics were pretty good for the time too.
Making a 2D game with an overhead perspective look as though the characters are actually jumping up halfpipes and ollieing off ledges is impressive, so this title more than deserves a place in our list of the best GameBoy Advance Games of all time.
Who would have thought that a game with the weirdest bunch of characters led by Wario, of all people, would go on to be such a huge success and span over four consoles!
Losing his yellow plumbers outfit in exchange for some pink slacks, cut-off denim jacket, and a biker helmet was it all it took for Wario to become a party animal, and we can’t thank him enough for trying his hand at something new instead of pestering Mario.
Wario Ware Inc: Mega Microgames is one of the best GameBoy Advance games for kicking back after a long day and competing against yourself at impossibly unfathomable minigames that would be too dangerous to try and make sense of.
If this console had been sold with the title ‘play 3-second mini-games with a bulbous nosed ex-plumber and a weird alien with a member on its head’, then I probably would have moved on and bought a book instead.
Thankfully, I don’t work in Wario’s marketing department, and I’m even more thankful that this game proved to be such a huge success.
These fast-paced games will have you laughing, crying, shouting, sighing, jumping for joy, and eventually crying again all in the space of around 35 seconds.
You show me any game that can give you that much value for money!
No Retro Dodo ‘best games’ list would be complete without yet another RPG to sink your teeth into, and the next title on our list of the best GameBoy Advance games has such an enthralling storyline that you won’t ever want to put it down.
Nintendo has had mixed success with it comes to games following on from one another; the fabled Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie connection never came to be on the mighty N64, a fact that racked up a big bill every time I rang the Nintendo hotline about that blasted ice key (100% true story).
Golden Sun/Golden Sun: The Lost Age need to be played in succession to fully understand the storyline; think of it as being like the two parts of the last Hunger Games movie, except the first game isn’t mind-numbingly dull and pointless and the second game isn’t a re-hash of the first…you follow?
The player must head out on a mission to try and stop the magical powers of alchemy from being released throughout the world of Weyard. Turn-based play, collectables, new and exciting powers and intriguing characters make this story one that you will be itching to play on your way home from work.
Golden Sun ends almost on a cliffhanger, so make sure that you have both games before you set off on your adventure.
It’s a colourful title imbued with magic and mystery, and a game that deserves to be in our list.
It would have been a crime not to include Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in our list of the best Gameboy Advance games!
Like Ogre Tactics, this Final Fantasy spin off is a mind-bending tactical title that requires the patience of a saint and the brains of the God of War himself.
As the player, you must put together the ultimate band of fighters and complete a series of epic battles.
The game follows four children from a small town who find themselves in some sort of parallel world after messing around with a magical book.
Why can’t kids stop sticking their noses where they don’t belong!
Tactics Advance is another Square classic and a superb game to kick back with a cup of tea after a hard day at work.
Unless you work as an army tactician expert, that is, then you might want to have a go at Harvest Moon to let off a bit of steam instead!
Epic music, side-scrolling skeletons, and dangerous dungeons. I’d say we’re about to step into another Castlevania title!
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the third and final GBA game in the series, and it’s also the best. Yep, Castlevania dominates the action/RPG genre and continues to do so today.
The combination of mind-bending puzzles with terror-inspiring enemies (slight over exaggeration) is a surefire winner. Plus, the characters and storylines are always super memorable.
Aria of Sorrow sees a young character names Soma take to Dracula’s castle for more horror-fuelled action.
Dracula died back in 1999 when the Belmont Clan finally put an end to his devious ways. But now it’s 2035, the year that the prophecy says his reincarnation will return to the castle to rule.
There are various characters that Soma must interact with and battle against as he progresses through the game.
In true RPG style, character attributes such as attack-points and magic can be levelled up as you progress through the game. It’s a bloody good game (pun intended) and one that does justice to the saga.
I’m a big fan of the next title in our list of the best GameBoy Advance games. I played Yoshi’s Island when it was on the SNES, and I loved being able to play the handheld version when it came out.
This thing was never out of my GBA SP!
Back in the day, this artistic style was very different to the pre-rendered styles of Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim.
The GBA graphics are lighter and brighter, but still capture that exciting feel of the original home console version.
Normally Mario is telling Yoshi where to go, but this time it’s Yoshi’s turn to do the leading.
After Baby Mario is separated from Baby Luigi by that meddlesome Kamek, the Yoshis of Yoshi’s Island must work together to reunite them.
This game was the first title to show Yoshi’s signature flutter jump and his ability to turn enemies into eggs. It also features my favourite Nintendo character of all time; Shy Guy.
There are lots of collectibles and puzzles to solve, and the game itself is joy to play right from the moment you turn on your GBA.
The next title on our list of the best GameBoy Advance games of all time is one that I continually played and replayed for years, proving that it’s a title that deserves to be in this ultimate compendium.
Mario has proved his worth in lots of different games over the years and shown that he is more than capable of heading up a game on his own. But things are always better when you do them as a family, as Luigi is all-too-keen to point out in this turn-based attack game that requires true brotherly intuition – Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
The enemies in this game take a fair beating, and you’ll need to use all of the crazy solo and ‘bros’ attacks to whittle their health down to zero.
Its an RPG with a difference, and that difference is the comedy dialogue between Mario and Luigi.
The graphics are bright and enjoyable, the gameplay is so well thought out that you won’t want to put it down, the interaction between the characters is spot-on, and the special moves that the two plumbers can pull off will leave you amazed.
If you buy or try one game on this list, make sure it’s this one; you won’t be disappointed.
Not only is Samus the most gnarly heroine on the planet (or any other planet for that matter), but she’s also one of the most powerful and fearless characters in the Nintendo franchise.
Her job is to travel through outer space killing deadly enemies and various versions of Ridley that just don’t seem to want to die; that beat’s working in an office any day of the week!
Metroid Fusion, like its predecessors, is a side-scrolling, open-world adventure game with plenty of puzzles, shooting, space-age battles, and weird-looking enemies.
Samus has to defeat infected foes to obtain parts of her power suit and lost abilities, but she still looks super awesome on the front cover!
What more is there to say about Metroid games; they’re an institution. From the GBC to the DS, these games are fun to play on any platform and have a playability factor that for outlasts the recommended completion time.
If you’re after a futuristic shooter title with a compelling storyline for your portable powerhouse, then give Metroid Fusion a try; there’s a reason why it’s in our list of the best GameBoy Advance games, after all.
Super Mario Advance isn’t a new title. It’s a remake of Super Mario Bros. 2 and also includes the original Super Mario Bros. arcade game.
It is, however, an incredible remake featuring richer graphics and better designed backgrounds.
Not to mention the detailed improvements to the characters themselves!
You can play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad in this side-scrolling Mario classic. Each character has different abilities that give are useful in different situations.
And unlike other Mario games, enemies must be defeated by throwing things at them such as radishes.
There are twenty levels to play through, all of which are spread throughout the game’s seven worlds. In true Mario fashion, each of these worlds has its own obstacles to overcome.
You know there’s just going to be an icy world where you slip-slide around, and a desert level with that annoying quicksand!
All of the usual suspects return as enemies to defeat, including Shy Guy who is moonlighting in a few games in this list. The inclusion of the Mario Bros. Arcade game (one of our best MAME games) is a nice touch too.
While it doesn’t have the same ‘can’t put down’ factor as the main game, it’s still good to kick back with while reliving the ‘golden age of gaming’.
We’ve given you three of the best GameBoy Advance games ever for the price of 1 here!
With Pokemon fever spreading across the globe once more after the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, it seems only right that we pay homage to these three amazing pocket monster titles. Pokemon Emerald/Ruby/Sapphire changed the way that we play Pokemon forever.
If you’re new to the series and have been loving the double battles, abilities, and options to improve your Pokemon’s nature while playing Sword or Shield, then you have these three games (and Game Freak) to thank for them.
A lot of people dislike the fact that you couldn’t bring Pokemon from Gold or Silver into the game, but sometimes you’ve got to let go of the past and just enjoy the new.
Pikachu and Pinsir can’t be your go-to warriors forever you know!
The battles run primarily in the same style as Red and Blue, apart from the aforementioned changes, and the gameplay is, as you would expect from a Pokemon game, truly awesome.
If you missed any of these games, then I URGE you to go back and give them a try. Put your Switch down and go back to where some of your favourite features began.
If you’ve read my articles before, then you’ll know how much of a Zelda nerd I am. So believe me when I say that it was a close call between this title and the game that took the Number 1 spot in our list of the best GameBoy Advance games ever.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is one of the few titles that Nintendo didn’t develop, with Capcom taking up the reigns and trying their hand at creating an adventure for our green-garbed hero.
The gameplay is perfect, bringing the best parts of Links Awakening and A Link To The Past together and mixing them with some fresh and exciting ideas that take Link to a-whole-nother level.
That level is, thanks to the Ezlo the Minish Cap, super small. Link can now shrink down and visit the world of the Picori, exploring new places that he wouldn’t have been able to reach had it not been for the cranky friend atop his head.
It’s a nice idea to give Link’s hat a persona of its own, and one that Mario would go on to adopt in Super Mario Odyssey.
It’s a Zelda game, which means that you have to play it if there’s any hope of you reaching enlightenment. Give it a go, and tell us what you think!
It had to be, didn’t it? Mario Kart is, and always will be, one of the best games that Nintendo has ever made and a deserved winner of the top spot in our list of the best GameBoy Advance games ever made.
You might not think that the first portable outing of Mazza and the gang is such a big deal, what with Mario Kart Tour now available for pretty much every smartphone under the sun, but it is…was…you get the idea.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit was a huge success, and the fact that you could play Mario Kart on the bus, at the back of the classroom, or with your mates at the park was just out of this world.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit had some great tracks and all of the usual suspects available as racers. The graphics were great, the gameplay was even better, and the fact that you could link up with your mates for 4-player action topped the whole thing off nicely.
Players could race around 20 new tracks and the original 20 tracks from the very first Super Mario Kart game too, making this a must-have for fans of the series.
It might not look as crisp and as clear as Mario Kart 8, but it’s a great title and one that changed portable racing forever.
Everyone loves Mario Kart because it’s so simple to play, that’s why it’s at the top of our list, and it’s here to stay!
More Content From The Retro Dodo Team!
- Check out the best GameBoy Color games of all time.
- Then check out the best GameCube games of all time.
- And finally, take a look at everything we know about the N64 Mini.