Get ready to dust off that worm light; it’s time to check out the best Pokemon GBA games of all time!
I know what you’re thinking though; were there even 10 Pokemon games for the GBA… ?
Well, thanks to the retro gaming community, there are a heck of a lot more to choose from now in the form of ROM hacks and original fan-made games for players to try out.
Yes, from classic versions remade for the GBA to brand new adventure based on enhanced editions, these 10 Pokemon GBA games will both thrill and delight fans of the series.
And of course, you just know that Pokemon Red is going to be somewhere down below in some kind of guise. It always is, right?
Let’s crack on this Pokelicious journey and jump straight into Number 10, shall we?
10. Pokemon Dark Cry (2007)
Kickstarting this list of the best Pokemon GBA games of all time is an incredibly popular ROM, Pokemon Dark Cry.
We’re talking trippy-surprises, tricky challenges, and a brand new story.
A shadow approaches you as you after waking up in a strange cave… but was it all a dream?
Step into the region of Trion, following the Pokepaper as you move from stage to stage, discovering with every step that your dream is even more real than you could imagine.
There are epic mini games, sneaky side quests to take part in, and the chance to get stuck into a whole new adventure for free!
9. Pokemon Liquid Crystal (2016)
A lot of the best Pokemon ROM hacks around end up being pretty tough and mind numbingly tricksy. Liquid Crystal, however, feels like a familiar hug from a long lost relative, a trip down nostalgia boulevard with a smattering of hot milk on the side.
Liquid Crystal isn’t one of those games that you have to put maximum concentration into. It’s one of those games that you can just play while chatting with a friend or watching a TV programme.
The kind of game that relaxes all the crinkles in your brain, as it were.
Play around the Orange Islands as well as Kanto and Johto, messing around with the new time-sensitive features now built into the gameplay.
For fans of Crystal, this is a must-have!
8. Pokemon Dark Rising (2012)
Pokemon Dark Rising takes the 8th place in our best Pokemon GBA games.
If you thought Number 10 was a mind-bender, then you’ll take to Dark Rising like a kid in a candy store.
When Pokemon start coming to you in your dreams, you know that stuff is about to get real. And you all have a dream best friend too.
Honestly, I’m not making this up.
This game isn’t huge, in the sense that it won’t take you that long to complete it. Still, with 380 Pokemon to catch in the Region of Unova, there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into.
The main premise of the game is the same as usual; solve puzzles, win gym battles, and collect items with all the same etc RPG action.
If you just want a GBA game that adds a little spice to the original titles, then Dark Rising proceeds in spades.
7. Pokemon Mega Power (2014)
Pokemon Emerald might well be featuring later down this list, and Mega Power is a hack that takes it to the next level.
Let’s face it, it’s one of the best Pokemon GBA ROM hacks of all time.
In a bit of a move away from the normal proceedings in Pokemon games, pocket monsters have become more powerful by people experimenting on them.
A character with tonnes of money is funding your expedition, though there’s a lot of doubt as to whether these experiments are really scientific or whether someone behind the scenes just wants a powerful Pokemon team to help them win more matches.
Play through 3 exciting new regions created specifically for Mega Power catching all the Pokemon that appeared from Gen 4 to Gen 7. You’ll catch familiar Pokemon and meet familiar faces as you progress, all while trying to figure out what the deal of this game really is!
6. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (2005)
Have you ever thought about what might happen if Pokemon started making decisions and stole the show instead of the trainers.
I guess if you’ve seen Detective Pikachu then you already know, but that’s the main premise of this game. And as Pokemon, you have to discover why you turned from a human into a Pokemon and save lives along the way.
I know it sounds a little chaotic, but trust me, it’s fantastic.
It’s one of those games that’s really hard to put down, a nice move from the original Pokemon theme and one that sees you making your own decisions in turn-based fights
Ferry items form place to place, battle in dungeons, and find out how to return back too your human form!
Let’s take a look at the fifth entry in our list of the best Pokemon GBA games – Pokemon GS Chronicles!
I’m a huge fan of Gold and Silver, and this GBA hack basically delves into the original games much further.
Essentially, it’s like Gold and Silver 2.0.
We’re talking mega evolutions, more Pokemon, and new locations to explore.
And unlike many ROM hacks out there, GS Chronicles gets updates to keep it fresh and current.
4. Pokemon Emerald (2004)
If a GBA Pokemon game racks up 7 million sales, then it’s probably going straight into every best Pokemon GBA games list, right?
All the main dual-Pokemon releases have enhanced versions. We’ve seen it all the way through, and Emerald is one of the finest examples of them all.
Emerald brought a new Pokemon, Rayquaza into the mix as a prominent role. Take a trip backing to Hoenn as you play to beat the Elite Four once again.
There are now new areas to discover such as the Battle Frontier, an Island filled with battle stadiums for you to test your mettle in.
If you were a fan of Yellow and Crystal and the original elements they brought to the table to make the main games even more exciting then grab a copy of Emerald and enhance your Ruby and Sapphire journey.
Third place in our best Pokemon GBA games goes to the fantastic Pokemon ROM hack Flora Sky. We’re talking an epic showdown between Palkia and Dialga, a battle that ends up being so ferocious it opens up a portal in reality.
A portal that brings Giratina into the world.
Yeah, that’s the part where you run for the hills….
Not only do you need to collect Pokemon and items, but you’ve got to seal that rift up before more monsters come through and make things worse!
Team Aqua and Team Magma are here to put up a fight, but with Mew, Shaymin, and other amazing pocket monsters on your side, they surely don’t stand a chance.
The day/night system makes for some interesting gameplay, and this is another title that you don’t really need to put all of your concentration into. A wholesome game that, by all rights, could fit easily into the main canon!
2. Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen (2004)
We’re down to our final two games, which means it’s time for the GBA enhanced versions of the very original Pokemon games.
I’ve you’ve seen our article on all the Pokemon games in order, then you’ll know that the original games released in Japan were Pokemon Red and Pokemon Green. Lovingly updated, they look incredible on the GBA and are a joy to play.
And thanks to the Wireless Adapter, there’s no more messing around with a link cable when trading or battling with friends!
You can even swim to a whole new set of islands off Kanto and explore new areas too, another reason to buy these newer versions and relive the classic adventures.
1. Pokemon Ruby/Saphire (2002)
The results are in; the winners of our best Pokemon GBA games of all time are Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire!
After the success of Gold and Silver on the GBC, the GBA games were always going to have step up the game. And they didn’t disappoint. To this day, they have been the consoles biggest success!
They were the first game where you could pick a boy or girl as your character, and while the formula was the same one that we all know and love, the world of Hoenn felt fresh and exciting, a new world with infinite possibilities.
New bad guys, 350 brand new Pokemon to catch, and a race to make sure Groudon doesn’t destroy the world.
Yeah, things are about to get real very fast!
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.