If you are a late 90’s kid, or an early 2000’s, then it is safe to say that you are aware of Nintendo’s amazing Game Boy Advance. This handheld console was a step up from the Gameboy Colour, allowing the players to enjoy the best GBA games without any issues.
Gameboy Advance was on the market for over 9 years and is still considered to be one of the most successful handhelds. While people still have their handhelds in the modern day, not many people are in possession of the units.
You can still find older games from online shops such as The Old School Game Vault, but you would be hard-pressed to just waltz into a store and find an old GBA classic. A pawn shop would be your best bet. Luckily, thanks to the emulators, we can still enjoy all the GBA games that we once did, but with more flare now. The purpose of this article is to list down the top GBA games of all time that can be downloaded and played.
Top GBA Games of All Time by Genres
Considering how we are treading on a vast ground, the number of games is a lot. I am going to try and split the games into different sections marked by genres to help make things easier for the readers.
Best GBA Role-Playing Games
Regardless of the platform, you are on, roleplaying is a famous genre with countless games available for gamers. Celebrating the tradition of the amazing roleplaying games, the list will have 1en of the best roleplaying games released on GBA.
Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand
The first game on the list is Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand; published by Konami and designed by Hideo Kojima. The Sun Is in Your Hand is a unique experience, the game is one of a kind to use some neat tricks that I am going to discuss.
The game comes with a built-in clock as well as a solar system, players will have to charge their weapons with solar energy in real life. After the weapons are charged, they can go ahead and slay the vampires they want.
Yes, the game uses real-life solar energy to charge weapons, and as the night draws close, the enemies become tougher and tougher. This mechanic makes the game so original, and gives an immersion experience that is found in modern day games.
While Konami may not be considered one of the greatest companies anymore, the fact that Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand can still be played is nothing short of amazing.
Dragon Ball Z: Buu’s Fury
Dragon Ball Z is known as one of the greatest anime to ever air on the TV, so it is only fair that the games are as good. While the experience with gaming has been a mixed bag of affairs, Buu’s Fury paints a slightly different experience.
Buu’s Fury is another great example of action roleplaying games from a time where gaming was at its prime. Players get the chance to step into the shoes of some of the most memorable characters from the Dragon Ball universe.
You get to follow an immersive storyline with controls that are easy to master. The game is an absolute experience for anyone who wants to forget the world around them. Buu’s Fury is the perfect escape when it comes to action-adventure roleplaying games.
Playing this game after nearly 14 years makes me wish for another open world Dragon Ball game as good as Buu’s Fury.
Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
While the Western world is largely familiar with games like Final Fantasy, and Elder Scrolls, there lies a hidden gem called Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis. Although the tactical RPG never managed to break into the mainstream, it has developed a cult following.
While I cannot say that the game is purely an action RPG since you have elements from both WRPGs and JRPGs. It can be said that if Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls combined together in a Balkan era, this game would be the result.
Needless to say, your experience will be immersive thanks to the rewarding world the game is based on. There is no way a game like Tactics Ogre deserves to be out of the list of top GBA games.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
For a lot of people, the one series that established the modern roleplaying standard was Legend of Zelda. So much so that several game developers cite Legend of Zelda as the influence. Keeping that in mind, it would be unfair to exclude this gem of a game.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is among one of the few Zelda titles that were developed by Capcom instead of Nintendo. That was the reason the game never received the same reception.
However, that does not mean that the game is anything short of amazing. As a matter of fact, The Minnish Cap is one of the best Zelda games, and certainly one of the best GBA games.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy is a series that is synonymous with RPG; even though the game gets its roots from JRPG era, some iterations are a mixture. The Final Fantasy Tactics Advance one of the top GBA games that I had the chance to play.
Now keep in mind that this is not a straightaway port of the original PlayStation title. Sure, you might feel sad over the fact, but do know that you will enjoy the game thoroughly thanks to the amazing Final Fantasy experience it provides.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania is a series whose influence can be seen in so many modern games, yet the series’ image remains untainted. Despite having some shoddy releases, the series remains strong. All of this thanks to installments like Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
While the fans of the original Castlevania might feel a bit awkward about Aria of Sorrow, I can assure you that the game will please even the long time fans. Thanks to quick, fun combat, engaging storyline, and a colourful art design, the game deserves a spot on the list.
Pokémon is a fan favourite series, and one cannot deny that. The series has been around since the original Gameboy was released. At this point, it has become a cornerstone series of all handheld consoles released by Nintendo.
No list of GBA games would be complete without Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald games. The series has amassed a massive following. The same following that has allowed Nintendo to make a lot of profit and release some of the best Pokémon games.
The trio of games is based on the same storyline with the legendary Pokémons being different.
Final Fantasy 6 Advance
If I am to list down some of the games that forever changed the history of gaming or the genre, Final Fantasy 6 Advance would be on the list. Known as one of the best Final Fantasy games, the Final Fantasy 6 Advance is a hallmark of GBA games and Final Fantasy games.
FF6 is filled with rich characters, and intriguing storyline. Not to mention, the art style remains one of the favourites. Despite releasing in the timeline when SNES was all the rage, the game managed to be a massive success.
Fun fact is that despite being insanely popular in Japan, the original Fire Emblem never made its way to the US. That is because the game was considered too intense for the American players. To be honest, the statement is somewhat true.
Despite being an RPG veteran, I had a hard time mastering the Fire Emblem, but I will appreciate just how good the game is. One of the cleverest implementations of the RPG genre makes it among the best RPG games, and one of the best GBA games
I am concluding the RPG section by looking at one of my favourite RPG games I have had the pleasure to play. Say hello to Golden Sun; one of the most prolific roleplaying games that Nintendo publishes.
Although the series evolved to be something epic, the original remains my favourite to this day. Afterall, as a kid, the series was the best thing I ever had. It’s only natural that my love for it is still going strong to this very day.
Top GBA (Game Boy Advance) Beat ’em Up Games
There is no denying that beat ’em up genre is among one of the most popular genres in the gaming industry. Although the modern gaming industry doesn’t follow the same genre as it used to, it remains relevant to this very day.
This section will be focusing on some of the best beat ’em up GBA games, the games that I grew up playing.
Final Fight One
The Final Fight series is super popular on the NES and SNES. So, it was obvious that some sort of iteration will make its way to the GBA as well. Make way for the Final Fight One, an incredibly fun GBA game that aims to please the hardcore fans.
Players get to step into the shoes of the protagonists Cody, Guy, and Haggar as they beat up criminals for the greater good. The Final Fight One remains among my favouirte Final Fantasy titles to date.
Double Dragon Advance
Double Dragon Advance puts us in the place of Jimmy and Billy once again as they traverse the criminal underground in this classic beat ’em up. I remember playing Double Dragon on my NES, and being in the awe because of the knee attack.
Playing an advanced version of the classic gave me a nostalgia unlike anything else, and I have to say, the graphics are a lot better this time around. The game will forever remain a classic, and one of the best Double Dragon games out in the market, and on GBA.
TMNT lets the players play as the four iconic ninja turtles in this game based on the hit 2007 animated movie by the same name. In the eye of many critics, the movie was a near perfect representation of Ninja Turtles.
While the games didn’t receive the same praise, they were still a lot of fun because they allowed the players to take control of their favourite turtle in a fun and good looking beat ’em up.
TMNT forever remains a fan favourite GBA game that a lot of people should definitely check out.
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
I remember seeing Astro Boy on TV and was immediately hooked to the show. At that time, the idea that Astro Boy has some games as well was completely unknown. Upon discovering Astro Boy: Omega Factor, the joy was undeniable, and excessive.
Playing as a childhood hero was the source of an immense amount of pleasure, and taking down enemies with my robotic yet believable arsenal was all I wanted to do at that time. The Omega Factor goes down in my list as one of the best GBA games I got to play.
Jackie Chan Adventures
There is no doubt that Jackie Chan is among the best action heroes that this world has ever seen. Although he is primarily an actor, the Jackie Chan Adventures animated series is among his finest work.
The Jackie Chan Adventures is based on the same amazing cartoon series, but now lets you play as Jackie Chan. The game has the same cast of amazing characters from the cartoon series, and a very tastefully done fighting style that reminds you why Jackie Chan is among the greatest action heroes.
Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend
Jackie Chan is not only action heroes who will be gracing the list. Bruce Lee is undeniably the best action superstar this world has ever seen. So, it’s only natural to get thrilled about Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend.
This beat ’em lets player play as Bruce Lee as he beats his way through various thugs using his lightning-fast punches, and kicks. Don’t worry, the game is rated E by ESRB so even your kids, and younger siblings can play it.
X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse
There is no way we can create a list of the best beat ’em ups and exclude an X-Men title from the list. For many the X-Men series modernized the beat ’em up genre, and allowed it to come to the modern public.
The X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse, however, is for the classic X-Men lovers who love to beat all sorts of enemies in the game. Of course, you are going against Apocalypse, one of the most powerful entities in the Marvel comic universe.
Whether you like X-Men or you are just a fan of X-Men series, the game is guaranteed good time.
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
Most of my childhood consisted of watching Batman beat up thugs in all manner of ways. Needless to say, it only fueled my wish to become Batman myself. When I had the chance to play Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, the dream somewhat turned into reality.
Sure, the game does not really turn you into an actual Batman, but the fact that it lets you play as the caped crusader is the next best thing there is. Rise of Sin Tzu was a multi-platformer, but this conversation is about the GBA version, the version that I played and loved so much.
Dragon Ball GT: Transformation
The Dragon Ball GT: Transformation is not just a beat ’em up, but a side-scrolling beat ’em up that also belongs to the reign of RPG games. However, this one features more on the fighting, and less on the roleplaying. Hence, the place on the list is deserving.
Dragon Ball GT: Transformation lets you play as Goku from the GT saga, and has some pretty good sequences, and an art style that will remind you of the anime. The game does a good job between balancing everything.
It is certainly different than the previous installments but it is still good enough for hardcore Dragon Ball fans.
The last game in the beat ’em up section is going to be the classic from 2005. The Ultimate Spider-Man is the go to game for many hardcore Spider-Man fans. There are several reasons behind that as well, the game delivers a fantastic art style, and a rather addictive combat.
Ultimate Spider-Man is set in the same comic universe it is named after, and you will get to fight several iconic villains from the Spider-Man universe including Spidey’s arch-enemy Venom, as well as Rhino.
Best GBA Sports Games
The next genre on the list is sports; the genre is normally reserved for games on consoles, however, back when PS4 and Xbox One was not the mainstream success, sports games enjoyed a relative amount of success on GBA as well.
In case you have not guessed it already, we are going to be looking at games like FIFA, as well as Tony Hawks, along with some Mario related games. Mario because it is the biggest Nintendo franchise, and has found its way in almost every single aspect there is.
Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2
It is a sad thing that we might never get to see another Tony Hawks game again, but the good news is that we can still play the classics. That is where the Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 comes in; one of the best sports-oriented games on GBA.
Do you have what it takes to be a skater who is good enough to rival the legend, Tony Hawk? Prove yourself by learning several skating skills ranging from some intermediate skills to some of the advanced skills.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Apart from Pokemon, if there is one name that has always been synonymous with Nintendo, it is Mario. For people who like golf in one way or another, Mario Golf: Advanced Tour takes a shot at golfing in a less serious, less technical way.
Yes, you get to enjoy the golf, but with a twist of Mario in it. While the purists will definitely have issues with that, I love the game as a kid. Mario Golf: Advanced Tour also incorporates some roleplaying elements, so golfing is not the only thing you will be doing.
Madden NFL 07
Following the trend of licensed games, EA’s Madden NFL 07 makes its way onto the list of the best sports games for GBA. It is, of course, a multi-platform, and while it did not enjoy the same success on other platforms, the GBA version was fun.
That is the essence that I love about GBA games, you are actually not limited by seriousness, and can enjoy the game without feeling conscious about what you are playing.
The Madden NFL 07 lets you play with several teams, and enjoy the game minus the professionalism that was in the other versions.
It is okay if you have not heard about SSX, several people are under the dark. SSX is a series of snowboarding and skiing video games by EA. The SSX Tricky is one of the installments on the GBA.
Of course, anything on the GBA must have the arcade feel to it because having a full-blown simlation on a handheld console like GBA is never a good idea. That is the route SSX follows, and does the job really well.
The controls are nice, gameplay can provide a lot of fun even if you do not have anything else to do. To me, the SSX Tricky is the one game that I will play when I am about to head to bed.
Top Spin 2
I vividly remember playing Top Spin 2 on my Pc, and I loved every bit of it. Even though I was never a huge tennis fan, the game made me feel like a tennis player, and still does to this very day.
As soon as I had my hands on the GBA version of Top Spin 2, I knew I was in it for a lot of fun. Top Spin 2 on GBA definitely feels different that the PC version but that is not a bad thing in this case.
The game plays well, looks decent enough for a GBA title, and gives you enough pleasure to play over and over again. Just don’t have professional levels of expectations, and you will be good to go.
Following the trend of licensed games, we are looking at FIFA 06. in case you are not aware, FIFA is known to be one of the biggest money-making franchises in the gaming industry. A series that has been around for over a decade.
FIFA 06 was released on almost all the platforms in 2005, and became a massive hit right after that. The Fita 06 on GBA ditches the simulation style gameplay in favour of arcade-style football.
To be honest, I actually prefer the arcade style gameplay because it provides a lot of fun.
WWE Road to WrestleMania X8
It would not be a list of sports games without having WWE Road to WrestleMania X8. We all grew up watching wrestling, so it is only fair that we wanted to be in the ring, or at let’s have a game that allows us to play as our favourite WWE wrestlers of that era.
The game was released back in 2002, so the gameplay and graphics align well with that era. You get to play as Hulk Hoga, Undertaker, and a slew of other wrestlers from that era. along with all of their finishing moves.
WWW Road to WrestleMania X8 is by no means a perfect wrestling game, however, it is a great example of an era when games were made for fun and not for money.
Gameboy Advance has seen a fair share of amazing boxing games in its time, one of my personal favourites is the Boxing Fever, Although the game does not look good look good to a lot of people, it is the way the gameplay is designed that had me hooked.
It plays really simple, and still, has some tricks up its sleeves. You can’t just be careless and play it in order to win all the time. You have to be careful on levels with higher difficulty because they can really mess you up, and your chances to win.
Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX 2
Mat Hoffman is a BMX legend and we all know that, so having a Pro BMX game endorsed by him is definitely something please the long term fans. Endorsed video games are definitely a good idea in terms of success and value.
However, even without the endorsement, the Mat Hoffmna’s Pro BMX 2 is one hell of a sports title that is available on Gamboy Advance, and allows the players to truly enjoy an amazing BMX experience without actually facing the danger involved.
Major League Baseball 2K7
The last title in the sports section is something for all the Baseball fans. Although baseball games never reached the same amount of success as some of the other games, they are still revered by hardcore fans.
Do keep in mind that Major League Baseball 2K7 on GBA is anything from hardcore, as a matter of fact, it is very casual. That is not a bad thing considering how we are playing it on a handheld console.
The game is easy to master, and still manages to provide hours of fun, especially if you are a baseball fan, then the value increases by a drastic measure.
Top GBA Action Games
There have been several instances where action games were mistaken for beat ’em ups, but there is a very fine line that separates both of them. For starters, an action game will focus on an arsenal of different weapons.
Whereas the beat ’em ups are usually revolving around hand to hand combat, or melee weapons. With that said, let’s explore the ever so lovely action genre.
Gunstar Super Heroes
Starting the list is Gunstar Super Heroes, and in case you think the name is familiar, you might have played Gunstar Heroes on the Genesis or Mega Drive 2. The Gunstar Super Heroes belongs to the same blazing fast game.
However, this time around, the game is a lot less chaotic, and has properly fleshed out characters that immerse the player in the game. Not to forget a memorable soundtrack and some amazing characters make this a must play action game.
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
Action games get stereotyped a lot because all you do is blow up things and do some more of the blowing up. However, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams follows a different route as the game encourages to use your brain to solve the puzzles and challenges as well.
The Empire of Dreams is a fresh take on how you play action games, and in my opinion, it paved a way for several modern action games to come on other platforms. Sure, not many people might be able to recognize the game anymore, but it left a legacy.
Wario Land 4
Wario is the exact opposite of what Mario is, and while it may not satisfy the loyalists, it goes without saying that as an antihero, Wario fits right in the list. Since Wario is the perfect arch-nemesis, you are not required to be the good guy and save the world.
Instead, you can wreak havoc just the way you want, and be the bad guy you always wanted to be. Wario Land 4 is fun for people who are tired of being the good guy.
Mega Man Zero 2
It is a sad thing that Mega Man never managed to see the light of day on the modern platforms. The game had every potential to be a massive success, however, we can still reminisce about the past with Mega Man Zero 2.
The game lets you play as Zero, an energy sword wielding anti-hero who will take you on a journey where you will fight challenging and absurd bosses, as well as enemies. The level design is amazing with some great puzzles that can frustrate even the most hardcore players.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
There are so many amazing franchises that were abandoned for one reason or another, and Rayman is one of them. Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc takes us on an adventure unlike the previous Rayman games, and allows you to be as chaotic as you want.
The players are given some of the finest controls, great gameplay, and brilliant art style that makes Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc one of the best GBA games to come out, and earns it a definite spot that cannot be argued on.
The first Sonic I played was on Genesis, so it was definitely a moment of joy for me when I got the chance to play Sonic Advance. Built on the same formula as the original titles, Sonic Advance focuses on providing a gameplay experience that is better than the previous installments.
The game lets you play with four different characters, each with their own playstyle. The game plays fantastically, and the level design pays an homage to the classic Sonic. The place where it all began from.
Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace
Not a lot of people are aware of the fact but Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace is actually the first Spider-Man game that was released on GBA. While gamers thought taht teh game might be a total flop, the truth as the exact opposite.
The game delivers at all fronts with fun and engaging gameplay mechanics, nice art direction, and a plot that will satisfy even the most hardcore spidey fans. You have to check it out if you are looking for top GBA games.
It’s not just a good action game, it’s a great GBA game as a whole.
Metroid: Zero Mission
For many, Metroid series is the series that made action games relevant, although the series never managed to find its place in the modern gaming industry, the legacy lives on. Ever since the original Metroid, the series has been a staple for some of the finest moments in gaming.
Metroid: Zero Mission stays true to the core gameplay mechanics and style of the other Metroid games. On top of that, you constantly get better as you reach higher levels since you discover more abilities that will aid you in your fight.
This is a must have for any action game fan.
Metal Slug Advance
Metal Slug is my favourite action game on any platform. Whether you are playing on Gameboy Advance, or the arcade version from SNK, the game remains extremely fun. It incorporates futuristic gameplay with fun characters.
Plus, not to forget that the ridiculous boss battles are still there in the game, making you question everything there is.
Best GBA Fighting Games
The last genre on my list is going to be on the fighting games. Even though this genre is largely famous on arcades, GBA is one of the best places to enjoy some amazing fighting games.
As you may have already guessed, I will be talking about games like King of Fighters, Street Fighters, Mortal Kombat and other similar games. Also, by fighting games, I mean 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3.
No beat ’em ups will be included.
Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition
When someone says fighting game, Mortal Kombat is the word that finds its way to a lot of people. One of the oldest fighting game series that is still going headstrong, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition brings the brutal action to your handheld consoles.
Players get to choose between a variety of characters from the classic, and get to play as Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and a handful of other amazing characters. The game is the perfect balance between being casual, brutal, and technical.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
While Mortal Kombat focuses a lot more on brutal combat and super moves called fatalities, Street Fighter focuses on a trigger free gameplay. It is nowhere as brutal, but the technicalities are still there, making the Street Fighter Alpha 3 one of the best GBA games.
Players step into the shoes of several of the original and some modern Street Fighter heroes as well. The game is a lot of fun even if you are playing alone in order to hone your skills, and be the best street fighter.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
If you have not had your fill of violence and brutality, we have another Mortal Kombat title into the mix. Let’s play Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, and yes, this is in fact a handheld version of one of the most successful Mortal Kombat titles in the market.
Although the graphics are nothing to write home about, but back in the days, gameplay is fun and as brutal as the time allowed back then.
Fighting games have always been 2D, so when Taken did an experiment and brought 3D to mainstream, a lot of people were confused. With Tekken, players get to learn that you do not need high movements, and flashy moves.
Tekken brings more intricate fighting style into the mix, along with a slower, more technical style of game that the experts love.
Guilty Gear X
Guilty Gear brings back the fast paced game play from games like King of Fighters and makes it even faster. The game has aerial combat as well, ad while it is not pure aerial combat, it is still close enough to that.
The art style is spectacular, and to this day, Guilty Gear X remains one of the best GBA games that i have had the chance to play.
Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
The fighting game genre was rather limited when it first arrived on Gameboy Advance, that is because playing on a digital pad is comparatively different than playing on an analog stick. That is why I am keeping this section limited to six games instead of the usual ten.
The last title is Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, one of the few good fighting games on GBA. The game was developed by the talented people at Arc System Works, the same developers who have worked on Guilty Gear games.
With so much talent behind the development, you could easily call it the best Dragon Ball Z game that is available on Gameboy Advance.
How To Play GBA Games on PC And Android?
Although GBA is no longer available, people still prefer playing GBA games. Those who do not possess the handheld console, the best way is to emulate them on the PC and Android. There are several fantastic emulators available to download.
Where To Play Online or Download GBA ROMs?
There are several websites that let you play GBA games online or even allows you to download the GBA ROMs. You can try the following sites;
While playing online disgusting ads may harsh your experience, I’d recommend you to use Adblocker for sites using Malware ads or unwanted pop-ups.
Sorting out all the brilliant games on Gameboy Advance and finding the best ones out of them was not an easy task. Especially when you realize just how enormous the catalog is.
Still, it is my job to bring the best possible games for the readers so when they want to dust off their Gameboy Advance and be able to play the best GBA games, it is not a difficult task.
Here is to hoping that you have as much fun playing these GBA games as much as I did writing about them.