We’ve lined up some of the best Game Boy Advance games that have been created. The Nintendo handheld was certainly one of the finest consoles of its time and complementing it were a bevy of well developed titles that delivered immersive experiences through engaging story-lines, rich graphics and hours of gameplay.
Most of the releases mentioned below came out around a decade ago, but are still enjoyed by many thanks to the high replay value they offer. So, if you’re willing to set aside the graphically rich titles available on modern systems and experience some of the finest story-lines and gameplay from the past, we’ve got 8 personal favorites listed below which we’re more than happy to share.
1. Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World:
If it’s Nintendo-made hardware, there got to be Mario on it. That’s mainly why we’re started off the roster with Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World. Designed originally for the Super NES console, the title takes you through various worlds comprising of Yoshi’s Island, Vanilla Dome and Star Road with 96 levels to complete.
The story is as you’d expect – The princess is kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to Mario and Luigi to save her.
2. Fire Emblem:
Fire Emblem is the first in the long running series to be made available for the GBA internationally. Featuring turn-based tactical role-playing elements, the title is one of the toughest games available for the handheld. You’ll basically be moving units across the map and strategically positioning them based on the enemy’s location and skill.
There are different types of characters available including archers, paladins, nomads, thieves, monks and more, each having their own skill set. As for the story, the campaign puts you on a mission to defend Lin, the heir to the throne of Rikea, as she fights to obtain what’s rightfully hers.
3. Golden Sun: The Lost Age:
Golden Sun: The Lost Age is the second title in the series and it’s also a continuation from where the first one left off. This role-playing game takes place in a fantasy world and it isn’t very different from its prequel. Here, you’ll be taking the role of Felix as he and his party journey to light up the remaining two lighthouses. Throughout the gameplay, various unanswered questions and secrets from the first edition will be revealed and the world of Weyard can be roamed freely.
4. Mario Kart: Super Circuit:
If Mario isn’t fighting his way through different worlds to save princess Peach, he’s normally speeding around tracks. Mario Kart: Super Circuit is highly similar to the 1992 hit on the SNES.
This title lets you get behind the wheel as one of eight characters which include Luigi, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Toad and Bowser, and race to the finish on 20 tracks. You’ll have various weapons to blast opponents and there are multiplayer modes onboard as well.
5. Pokémon Emerald:
Pokémon Emerald is basically an updated version of Ruby and Sapphire which is also set in the region of Hoenn. The main story is basically the same as the two games, but with slight modifications. The game will have you traveling the map catching Pokémon, improving their skills and fighting Gym Leaders.
The ultimate goal is to defeat the Elite Four and the Battle Frontier, albeit you will run into trouble along the way as Team Aqua and Team Magma brawl to awaken two legendary Pokémon.
6. Final Fantasy VI:
Final Fantasy VI is another addition on today’s compilation which has been ported over from the SNES to the GBA handheld. The game was originally developed by Square as Final Fantasy III, but was ported by Tose which also created a version for the PS1. The game basically follows fourteen characters and it takes place in a world that’s new in the series.
As you progress, the landscape of the world changes with the story moving forward. The combat system here is menu-based much like the one in the aforementioned Pokémon title. Compared to the original, this port features better visuals, four new espers and two fresh areas.
7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2:
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is one of the most graphically rich 3D games available for the GBA. In gameplay, it has a lot to offer. There’s a carrier mode where you’ll have to unlock new parks to skate in by completing objectives. To do so, you’ll have to score big by performing tough tricks and combos as well as finding hidden items.
You’ll be able to choose from different characters and boards as well as master skills in the free skate mode. To top it all off, there are some fine soundtracks implemented here which augment the overall experience.
8. Metroid Fusion:
Metroid Fusion is the last title for today. This side-scrolling action game puts you in the shoes of bounty hunter Samus Aran as she journeys to explore an alien planet, but is attacked on the way by an unknown creature, called X.
By surviving the attack thanks to a vaccine, the main character can replenish health by absorbing the parasitic organism which also provides special powers including morph ball, space jump and wave beam. There are several environments to explore and the main goal is to exterminate all X parasites.
We’ve only listed 8 of the best Game Boy Advance games out there and certainly, you’re going to have a favorite that’s not on this list, so why not share it with us? Also, if you’re looking to play some of these titles, you can get most of them off Amazon and eBay. But we got to warn you, they’ve got some pretty high price tags on them.