In a world of online gaming, sometimes it pays to step back and pay homage to the best multiplayer GBA games of all time.
Yes, I know that’s a very specific thing to think about, but I needed a segue into this next segment, so cut me some slack.
Nintendo’s horizontal handheld has some amazing games in its catalogue, but how many of you have ever teamed up with a friend or battled a sword enemy with a multiplayer title?
Whether you’re into racing, fighting, or puzzling, there are some cracking titles for you and your mates to sink your teeth into. Just don’t make any sudden movements or you’ll pull everyone’s link cables out.
You didn’t come here to read my ramblings; let’s crack on with Number 15 in our list and find out which of the best multiplayer GBA games is our favourite!
Digimon Racing kickstarts this list of the best multiplayer GBA games of all time! If you’re the kind of person that wishes that Mario Kart featured Digivolving monsters instead of mushroom kingdom characters, then this is the game for you.
this is one of my favourite Digimon GBA games. With two successful story-based titles dropping before it, Bandai decided to through their hat into the ring and take the franchise down the karting route.
And you know what, it’s a cracking racing game!
With 15 well-designed tracks to race through in through Mario Kart-esque locations (there’s no denying it’s taken heavy influence from the series), there’s plenty for you and your mates to have a go at together.
Take on bosses ala Diddy Kong Racing, compete to in cups, and scout out special features.
And, as I mentioned in the first section above, you can Digivolve while racing to get extra powerups. How cool is that!
Banjo Pilot feels a lot like a handheld version of Diddy Kong Racing with just characters from the Banjo universe…
It was actually known as Diddy Kong Pilot to begin with, so I guess that’s why!
Just look at the course above though – flying around Spiral Mountain! Does it get much better than this?
Well, if you told you that Treasure Trove Cove also features it might!
Pick up items, fire at opponents, and be the first over the line. just watch out for Grunty once you’ve unlocked her. She’s a sneaky one!
ChuChu Rocket! takes the 13th spot in our list of the best multiplayer GBA games of all time!
How can a puzzle game where players try to get mice into little rockets to fly away from ravenous cats be so addictive.
I don’t know how, but it is!
Gamers went mad for this title, me included. It’s just so insane that it’s hard not to love.
Topping the Japanese charts within seconds, this GBA launch title skyrocketed Ninty’s portable purple powerhouse to new heights…
… If only it had done the same for the Dreamcast…
Street Fighter Alpha 3 remixed the Sf formula up and added some extra features to spice things up a little.
And despite taking the 12th spot in our list of the best multiplayer GBA games, this os one of my favourite GBA games to play solo to destress after a long day of putting up with Brandon’s sh… I mean, of working with my best mate.
So what’s new?
Well, there’s no auto and manual modes anymore. There are multiple playing styles to chose from that change how you fight and you can gain experience through fights.
Does that make this a bit of an RPG fighter now?
Play with all your favourite characters from the previous two alpha titles as well as famous faces from other titles in the series.
And you know what, it looks pretty damn good too, especially when played on a backlit GBA SP AGS-101. It’s got that old school SNES vibe about it with some pretty nice background drops to it.
All in all, a classic fighter.
F-Zero Maximum Velocity takes the 11th spot in our best multiplayer GBA games, bringing high speed antics to you and your pals through the GBA link up cable.
If you can’t handle the futuristic speeds of F-Zero, then can you really call yourself a racer. This, along with the WipeOut games, really test your reflexes and skills, putting them to the max.
Stay away from the electrified track barriers, charge up your shields whenever possible, and play dirty to get ahead.
Maximum Velocity might be the third title in the series, but it certainly looks and plays a lot like the SNES original title.
I see it as paying homage to a classic, and this game never left my GBA back in the day, complete with that stupid wormlight that will forever be known as one of the best Gameboy accessories…
So, multiplayer mode. You can challenge up to three mates over twenty different tracks in this game.
And the best bit; only one of you needs the cart to be able to play. Not all the tracks are available using this method, but at least you can get in and start playing straight away!
Any game that features a dark dragon that decimates a city is already a winner in my book, which is why I love Shining Soul so much.
If you’re a fan of multiplayer hack and slash titles like Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, then teaming up with mates to Shining Soul will feel like Christmas has come early.
Pick a warrior class, fight enemies, slay a dragon all together with your best mate, sitting together on a sofa with a link cable literally connecting your friendship…
… those days were the best.
Played from a top-down view like the classic RPGs of old, Shining Soul has a Chrono Trigger vibe to it that we just can’t get enough of. The graphics are slick to say that it’s an old game on a small screen too, a well packaged title that doesn’t disappoint.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour swings into 9th position in our list of the best multiplayer GBA games of all time!
Hang on… role-playing golf. What’s that all about?
Well, it might sound weird, but it works. Work your way up through the ranks of the esteemed Mushroom Kingdom golf academy (not a real thing) and battle Mario when you’ve finally got what it takes.
Advance Tour mixes things up a little by having you play as a human boy or girl character, not a Mushroom Kingdom regular.
You don’t just jump into the golfing gameplay either; players have to walk around an overworld and enter clubhouses like the Pokemon gyms, working their way up to the top and getting a better ranking every time.
Unlock players to play with when competing against friends, and link up to Toadstool Tour on the GameCube. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour is up next, carrying on the Mario Multiplayer madness. And yes, this is also an RPG sports game like the previous Mazza title.
Like Advance Tour, Power Tour revolves around players moving between a map of tennis courts and chatting with other players.
It’s hardly The Witcher, but it’s still great!
I’ve never really liked watching tennis that much, but playing it is a whole different matter. Again, for a GBA game the graphics look sweet too. It reminds me of a polished version of Super Tennis for the SNES with better formed characters.
The game is vibrant, the multiplayer mode is slick, and the whole thing is super addictive.
And yes, beating Mario is also the premise here too… why is this guy so good at everything?
Bomberman Tournament takes the 8th spot in our best multiplayer GBA games list, a game built to push the GBA to it’s very limits and prove just what this console was capable of.
The result – a stunning looking game with super clear graphics and smooth gameplay. What more could you ask for?
This game is so simple to play that it hurts, but that’s by no means a bad thing. If you liked the multiplayer battles from the Sega Bomberman games, then you should get the gist of what’s going on straight away.
Lay bombs, clear tiles, blow up opponents.
Power-ups appear from time to time to give your bombs the edge over other players or to mess with their controls.
It’s a tried and tested formula that hasn’t changed since the good old days, making it an absolute ‘blast from the past’…
… yes, I hate myself for that poor joke.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords combines two epic Zelda games in one cartridge, and the multiplayer Four Swords game gives players five epic levels to work through with up to four players.
Solve puzzles, collect rupees, and move between stages. Simple, right?
You need to be careful though; when one of your mates dies, you lose rupees. Long story short; don’t pick crap friends to play with.
With graphics that have a strong WindWaker vibe to them, Four Swords looks and plays brilliantly on the GBA. Each of the links are finely detailed including their items.
And you know what, there’s something special about sitting around with three of your mates around a table playing Zelda together. My favourite series of all time with three people I have chosen purely because of their skill with the Four Sword… that’s what Saturday mornings were made for.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit takes the 6th spot in our list of the best multiplayer GBA games of all time.
Listen, this title was always going to be in our list; it’s a Mario Kart game for crying out loud. That whole franchise screams multiplayer action.
Yes, this was the first ever portable Mario Kart game too. We might be in a world where anyone can send Yoshi around a track via their smartphone, but back in the day Super Circuit was the real deal.
Honestly, if you’re a younger reader you probably won’t ever know the thrill of finally being able to play Mario Kart at the back of the class for the first time or on the bus to school. We never actually linked up four gameboy advances in lessons, but that would have been the ultimate crime!
Pick from 20 brand new tracks to the Mario Kart series as well as 20 classic courses from the very first Mazza racer on the SNES.
Ok, it’s not as new and shiny looking as Mario Kart 8 on the Switch, but it’s still bona fide Mario racer and has all the same elements that we’ve all come to know and love from the series.
And let’s face it, is there a Mario Kart game that we don’t like… apart from Double Dash?
Remember Guardian Heroes for the Saturn? Well, Advance Guardian Heroes is the sequel that dropped 8 years later, and man is it something special.
A magical beat-em-up game; what’s not to love. Wielding the Soul Sword, two players can take on the story mode together or four players can battle it out in the ultimate deathmatch.
Cast spells and slay enemies through exciting landscapes, upping skill trees in the story mode and unlocking other characters to use throughout the game.
The VS mode is a bit of a laugh and while not as in-depth as the main story mode, is certainly worth a try if you’re getting bored of RPG golf or racing through space.
Graphically, it looks a little simple, but the gameplay more than makes up for it. There aren’t many handheld co-op titles out there in the world, and this is certainly one of the greatest.
Sonic Battle zooms into 5th place in out best multiplayer GBA games list, pitting Sega’s greatest creations against one-another in a battle of champions.
It’s basically Sega’s version of Smash Bros, but the levels themselves look a heck of a lot different.
We’re talking isometric viewed levels that are essentially 2.5D and levels made from texture-mapped polygons. It looks real retro rather than just employing the side on Street Fighter-style…
Play against friends in the Battle and Minigame modes, utilising each characters signature moves while kicking seven bells of hedgehog hell out of your opponents.
The story mode is pretty exciting to play through if you have no friends, but this game is much better with mates or paid actors stepping in that way to fill the roles.
With 9 special attacks to choose from there’s plenty of explosive action to witness, though you can only use 3 per game, so choose wisely.
It’s not super difficult to play which means that even the one from the group that doesn’t like video games can have a stab at it it.
Who doesn’t like a 3-for-1 offer? Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald are up next, three of the greatest games for the GBA and cracking multiplayer titles to boot.
Using a link cable, players could both battle other players and trade Pokemon to complete their Pokedexes.
These games were pretty much the main reason the bloomin’ link cable was made in the first place, for crying out loud.
The red and blue formula hasn’t changed much in Ruby, Saphire, and Emerald. Pokemon from Gold and Silver can’t be brought into the mix, but sometimes it’s good to mix things up a little!
You know the score by now; get into gyms, become the champion, catch em all. And yes, I know the multiplayer battle part is a small part of the game, but it’s Pokemon for crying out loud, which means it deserves a place in this list.
Battling pocket monsters will never, ever get old.
We’re down to the final three, which means it’s time to bring out the big guns, namely WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!
Wario has always been a bit of backstage weirdo, so the concept of him leading a crew of other oddballs in a mini game based title probably shouldn’t work…
… but it totally does!
Three to five second mini games that are super bizarre and hard to work out, all played against your friends using a link cable.
What could possibly go wrong?
This is a fast paced, exciting game that will leave you with either tears of laughter, sadness, or pain.
Kirby and the Amazing Mirror takes today’s silver medal, allowing four of you to take on the perils of the Mirror World together.
He might look like Link wielding an old walkie-talkie, but Kirby and his colourful pals have to use all of their abilities to stop an evil version of Meta Knight from causing even more havoc in a once prosperous world.
You see, he’s split Kirby into four and smashed the amazing mirror into smithereens. What a nasty piece of work.
Working together, players must solve puzzles and battle bosses, moving between levels in whichever fashion they so choose.
Even though it isn’t set in Dream Land, it still feels like a classic Kirby game. And by that, I mean there are Warp Stars a plenty and the side-on levels give off that same feel as the original DMG game.
A must-have for Kirby fans and the perfect title for kicking back with on a rainy afternoon.
And finally, the best multiplayer GBA game of all time – Advance Wars!
One game cartridge, four players, unlimited mayhem.
And the best bit is that you don’t even need a link cable to be able to play the multiplayer on this one!
There are two different modes – versus and link up. Pass the GBA between players in versus mode or link up for link up (I know that’s pretty self explanatory).
If you’re the kind of person that goes mental for a game of Risk or Strategeo, then you’ll take to Advance Wars like a pig in muck.
Just remember to settle all differences on the battle field; we don’t want any link-cable related accidents happening, folks!
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.