10 Best Selling GBA Games Of All Time

4 of the best selling gba game cartridges

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The numbers don’t lie; you’re about to officially find out which are the 10 best selling GBA games ever!

I’ll give you a moment to contain your excitement; this is serious business right here!

That’s right, we’re putting all allegiances to Link and Spyro aside and giving you the cold, hard facts. The games that follow are ranked in order of their official sales statistics, so don’t email in to complain that Kao the Kangaroo isn’t here.

Eveyone liked Kao, but it looks like he just couldn’t bring home the bacon!

So, which games were most profitable for Nintendo? Which titles proved the most popular with handheld gamers, and how many Mario games make up the tallly?

The answers to all those questions are waiting for you below!

1. Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire (2002)

Best selling gba games - Pokemon Ruby game cart
  • Total sales – 16,220,000
  • Stand alone release

The results are in; Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire are the best selling GBA games of all time!

The first Pokemon games on the GBA were always going to be a major success, though they actually proved to be the console’s biggest success.

Taking charge of a guy or girl, pick from Treecko, Tochic, or Mudkip and complete your Pokedex for Professor Birch.

A tried and tested formula, but one that we can’t get enough of, nonetheless!

Pokemon Ruby gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Stepping into the world of Hoenn for the first time is one of those things that you never forget. Come to think of it, it’s just like the first time I explored Kanto and Johto…

With new bad guys, new gyms, and over 350 new Pokemon to encounter, there’s a whole new world for you to immerse yourself in.

Can you stop Team Magma from drowning the world and summoning Groudon? You better, otherwise things will go pear shaped very quickly!

2. Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen (2004)

Best selling gba games - Pokemon Leaf Green game cart
  • Total sales – 12,000,000
  • Stand alone release

Is there any wonder Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen are the second best selling games in this list?

Based on the original Pocket Monsters Red & Green titles (Pokemon Red & Blue in the West), these updated titles look unreal on the GBA.

And with the Wireless Adapter, there’s no more messing around with link cables!

Pokemon Leaf Green Gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

12,000,000 people of the original 46,000,000 people that bought Red & Blue for the DMG bought and enjoyed the updated graphics that FireRed & LeafGreen provided.

Not only that, but they boasted new Pokemon and an additional set of islands set off the shores of Kanto to explore – the Sevii Islands!

If you don’t have these updated versions in your collection, then can you really call yourself a Pokemon fan?

3. Pokemon Emerald (2004)

Best selling gba games - Pokemon Emerald Game Cart
  • Total sales – 7,060,000
  • Stand alone release

With over 7 million sales, Pokemon Emerald, the enhanced version of Ruby & Sapphire takes the bronze medal in our best selling GBA games list.

Every major Pokemon Release gets an enhanced version. For Red and Blue, it was Yellow, and for Gold and Silver, it was Crystal.

Well, Ruby and Sapphire saw Emerald bringing new features and another Pokemon into a more prominent role in the story.

Pokemon Emerald Gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Take a look at Hoenn in all it’s glory. In this version, Rayquaza plays a starring role.

As well catching Rayquaza before the Elite Four and other changes made to the legendary Pokemon capturing process, players can catch Johto Pokemon in the Safari Zone Extension.

What’s more, there’s now an island filled with battle stadiums called the Battle Frontier. That sounds like a Sean Bean movie!

Yes, if you loved Ruby and Sapphire and want another piece of the pie, then grab a hold of Emerald and take a big bite.

4. Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)

Best selling gba games - Mario Kart super circuit game case
  • Total sales – 5,910,000
  • Stand alone release

Mario Kart is one of the most easily recognisable and easy to pick up titles of all time. There’s a reason Mario Kart: Super Circuit topped our list of the best Gameboy Advance games; it’s an absolute behemoth that should come with an addictive substance classification!

Oh yes; you might not think it now that we have Mario Kart Tour, but a portable Mario Kart game was huge back in 2001. Train journeys and toilet breaks would never be the same again!

Mario Kart Super Circuit gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Super Circuit brought some great tracks to the Mario Kart franchise. And playing them with four mates on four different devices felt like some serious witchy voodoo.

Pick from the usual famous faces while racing around 20 new courses. Not only that, but Super Circuit did a super job of paying homage to the original Super Mario Kart game, including all 20 courses from the classic title.

It’s simple to play which makes it a winner in everyone’s book. Still, it sold three times less than the game in our top spot.

I guess not even Mario can compete with the might of the Pocket Monsters!

5. Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2001)

Best selling gba games - Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
  • Total sales – 5,690,000
  • Stand alone release

Yep, it’s another updated oldie! Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 takes us back to the days of Super Mario World on the SNES.

Ok, I know I’ve poked fun a little at the fact that all these games are remakes, but it really doesn’t get better than playing one of the best SNES games on your backlit GBA SP without that annoying worm light.

If you’re not familiar with the premise, then listen up. The Mazza Bros and Peach are on vacation when (you guessed it) Bowser (you guessed it again) steals peach.

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Yoshi is the real brains of the bunch in this game. Find and egg, and he will help you on your way to victory. He can also fly, breath fire, and stomp if players eat different enemies.

That puts the Cape Feather ability to shame a little bit, doesn’t it?

Of all the remakes on the GBA, I think this one has to be my favourite. I have a lot of fond memories of playing Super Mario World with my uncle. Twinned with the voice acting and multiplayer, it’s given a classic game a whole new lease of life that makes it all the more enjoyable to play.

6. Super Mario Advance (2001)

Best selling GBA games - Super Mario Advance game case cover art
Credit: Nintendo
  • Total sales – 5,570,000
  • Stand alone release

There seems to be a pattern with the best selling GBA games so far – none of them are new!

Super Mario Advance isn’t a new title either, rather a remake of the 2 Super Mario Bros game. Like Super Mario Bros 3 above, it also comes with the Mario Bros arcade game as a playable mode.

Still, Super Mario Advance takes Super Mario Bros 2 and drags it kicking and screaming into the GBA era.

The graphics and colours have seen some attention, and the characters even look more defined too!

Super Mario Advance gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Players can choose from Luigi, Peach, Mario, & Toad as they move through the familiar NES levels. Each character has a different jump style that makes them useful for specific sections.

Oh, and you’ve got to throw radishes at enemies to destroy them, I forgot to mention that bit.

Slide around a world made of ice and pour sand out of your shoe after gallivanting around a desert. Stop Shy Guy, go up against Goombas, and enjoy being reacquainted with a bona fide title from the Golden Age of Gaming.

7. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (2003)

Best selling GBA games - Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 game case cover art
Credit: Nintendo
  • Total sales – 5,430,000
  • Bundled with console

Continuing the old game theme, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 is an updated version of the NES classic, Super Mario Bros 3.

Playing one of the best NES games on a portable handheld on the bus or in the office never, ever gets old.

Plus, with the Link Up feature, four mates can play with just one cartridge and all get stuck into the action.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is an exact copy this time though. The graphics have had a major spruce up, and there are lots of subtle nuances that make this game a tour de force such as new voice acting elements, that sweet opening scene, and the added bonus of the updated Mario Bros title.

If you’re lucky, you might find a copy that still has the Bonus Level Cards inside too. Those are some neat little collectibles right there!

8. Namco Museum (2001)

Best selling GBA games - Namco Museum game case cover art
Credit: Nintendo/Namco
  • Total sales – 2,960,000
  • Bundled with console

Speaking of Namco, the Namco Museum is the 8th best selling GBA game of all time!

We all love a compendium; it gives us value for money, after all. And what better compendium to have than one boasting 5 of the best titles from the golden age of gaming.

Namco Museum gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Namco

That’s right; 5-in-1. We’re talking Dig Dug, MS Pac-Man, and Galaga.

And when you’re finished with those, Pole Position and Galaxian are on offer too!

These classic Atari titles are fantastic to play on the GBA. So they don’t look any different, but who cares. People didn’t buy this game for amazing graphics or new features; they bought it for nostalgia.

It’s the same reason I got the Banjo Kazooie Switch release; gamers always want to play old games on newer consoles, and that will never change!

9. Pac-Man Collection (2001)

Best selling GBA games - Pac Man Collection game case cover art
Credit: Nintendo/Namco
  • Total sales – 2,940,000
  • Bundled with console

We all knew that Pac-Man would make this list of the best selling GBA games; the guy’s an institution.

How does 4 Pac-Man games for the price of 1 sound? Have a bash at the original Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Pac-Man Arrangement, and Pac-Attack.

No wonder people are still going crazy for these Pac-Man Pork Belly Buns; we just can’t get enough of the dot-gobbling wonder!

Pac-Man Collection gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Namco

Pac Mania takes one of the best arcade games ever made and gives it an isometric view. Pac Man can also jump too; those ghosts don’t stand a chance!

In Pac-Man Arrangement, players must contend with a fifth ghost that can make a type of MegaZord ghost with the other ghosts to make Pac-Man’s life uber difficult.

Pac-Attack is basically a Pac-Man-style Tetris, which while unoriginal is damn addictive. Clearly so, as almost 3 million people lapped up this Namco collection!

10. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (2002)

Best selling GBA games - Yoshi's Island Super Mario Advance 3 game case cover art
Credit: Nintendo
  • Total sales – 2,830,000
  • Stand alone release

How many of you can remember when Yoshi’s Island first dropped on the SNES? Yoshi taking the limelight, Baby Mario on the hunt for Baby Luigi… the stuff of legends.

The artistic style used in this game provided a stark contrast to Donkey Kong Country’s pre-rendered graphics, and the GBA only makes the game look even better.

We’re talking brighter colours, more defined features, but all the same exciting gameplay that made the original console title so addictive!

Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Yoshi does pretty good as the main protagonist too. He’s working together with the other residents of Yoshi Island in order to reunite the Baby Mario Bros.

Fan of the flutter jump move in Smash Bros? Well, this game was the first title to feature it, with Yoshi fluttering over Shy Guys and collecting items galore.

Solve puzzles, fire eggs, and thwart Kamek once and for all!

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