10 Best GBA Games 2017

A Gameboy Advance is a portable gaming device that can be played by almost anyone, due to its simple controls and small frame.

From classic games such as Donkey Kong to the ever-changing world of the Pokemon games, games for Gameboy Advances are easy to learn and fun to play.

There are many games to choose from, and we realize that picking one game out of the many available can be a decidedly tough task.

If you’re looking to sort through this difficulty and find the right game for your GBA, have no fear – we’ve created a list of the best GBA games that you can get your hands on.

We’ll start with a list of the ten best games; then we’ll proceed with some important information that’s great to know before you purchase a GBA game.

Top 10 GBA Games Comparison Chart

PictureNameGenrePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameGenrePriceRating (1-5)
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Fantasy/Adventure/RPG$$$4.7
2. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3Arcade, Action/Adventure$$4.4
3. Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3Arcade, Action/Adventure$4.4
4. Nintendo Donkey Kong Country RPG/Adventure$$4.4
5. Sega Sonic Advance 2RPG, Action/Adventure$4.4
6. Nintendo Mario Kart: Super CircuitDriving$4.2
7. Bandai Namco MuseumArcade, Compilation$4.2
8. Nintendo Kirby and the Amazing MirrorRPG, Fantasy$$4.2
9. Nintendo Kirby Nightmare in Dream LandRPG, Fantasy$$4.1
10. Nintendo Pokemon: FireRed VersionAction/Adventure, Fantasy$$$$3.9

Choosing the Correct Game with the Correct Knowledge in Mind

There are many things you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for when it comes to buying a game for your Gameboy Advance, things that could potentially ruin your gaming experience if you don’t know what to look for before you set out to make a purchase.

We’ve compiled a list of these things below, to help you pick the perfect game from our list of the best GBA games.

  • Genre. While larger and more advanced video games might possess the ability to produce varying styles of gameplay in a wide variety of gaming genres, games created for the GBA are much simpler, in both design and game to game differences.

That’s not to say that the simplicity of both the GBA and its games detracts from the overall gaming experience; rather, the total amount of genres is smaller.

    • Action/Adventure. This genre is broad, and consists of a wide variety of both role-playing games and strategy games – it is probably the most common genre present in the large world of games for the Gameboy Advance.

This genre of games involves one or more characters who are involved in some mission or quest, usually with a clearly defined goal to reach.

    • Arcade. GBA games are certainly on the older side of the spectrum, as far as mobile gaming is concerned, and often feature many variations of classic arcade games.

From PacMan to Donkey Kong, this genre of games has an almost unlimited selection of choices!

    • Driving. Driving games are a classic genre of gaming that have been in existence for many generations of games and game systems – Gameboy Advance consoles aren’t excluded from this genre of gaming!

Driving games such as Mario Kart are some of the hottest and most played games for the GBA that you can get your hands on!

    • Fighting. While there are certain aspects of this genre that are similar to the arcade genre, fighting style GBA games are unique, compared to other genres of games.

From fighting-centered games such as Mortal Kombat to fighting games with plots such as Dragon Ball-Z, this genre of games usually involves one character fighting someone or something.

Amount of Playable Characters  – Does the game you’re considering playing have only a single player you can play as or are there a wide range of characters to choose from to add a twist or alternative story line to the game’s main plot?

    • Rotating Cast. In some cases, you might be able to start the game as one character but shift the gameplay to another character’s perspective as the story progresses.
    • Different Starts/Sides. This variation of character gameplay can commonly be found in the fighting genre of GBA games, where you have the ability to choose from a number of different characters to play as, at the beginning of the mission or fight.

A game doesn’t necessarily have to have seven different character choices for it to be considered enjoyable, but a wide selection of character options can certainly contribute to plot twists and/or more interesting gameplay.

    • Length of Game. Sometimes, a game might be so good that you complete the primary storyline in one sitting, but does this truly mean your purchase is worthwhile?

It might require some research, but we would consider getting a game that takes some time to complete or a game that has multiple sets of storylines or characters to play.

    • Part of a Series? Playing a game that’s part of a series can have significant upsides, but can be quite frustrating to get the hang of, especially if part of the game’s storyline can only be understood clearly by the completion of previous games in the series.

As far as upsides are concerned, if a game comes out that’s part of an established video game franchise, the game has undoubtedly seen some success and might be worth playing, even if you haven’t played any of the previous ones in its series.

    • Type of Gameboy Advance. This aspect of Gameboy Advance purchasing is relevant because of one major feature – the original Gameboy Advances didn’t have lighting, and the newer versions (The SP’s) have a supplemental light button.

If you plan on playing your games in the dark, definitely consider the SP version of the Gameboy Advance, but as far as the playability of the games is concerned, each type of Gameboy Advance will comfortably accommodate any game that’s designed for the “Advance” platform.

Top 5 Best GBA Games Reviews

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

This game is, as its title suggests, a legendary series and certainly has cemented its place in the ranks of memorable/entertaining GBA games. This Fantasy Action/Adventure game features a sword-dawning, spell-casting character as the leading character in the franchise, who goes by the name of Zelda.

You make your way through myriad storylines and dungeons, but the progression won’t be as simple as you’d think – collecting information is necessary for advancing your character to the next phase of the game, as well as the defeat of certain bosses and enemies!

The style of gameplay is quite flexible, with Zelda’s character not only able to wield a dangerous sword, but bombs, objects, and much more.

There are also plenty of other challenges to complete in the game; you’ll be presented with puzzles and other challenges that may require you to enlist the help of a friend or an ally while you play.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a fun way to step into the world of Fantasy-RPGs, with a complex and unique storyline, challenges that never fail to excite (or frustrate), and a character with a remarkable range of fighting styles and weapon capabilities.

As far as the best GBA games are concerned, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is certainly high on, if not top of the list!

2. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3

If you’re looking for a game that’s simple to grasp but hard to master, Super Mario Advance 4 is the game for you, with exciting challenges, dungeons that will keep you on your toes, and an ever-changing list of characters to play the game with.

You’ll pit your skills against the troublesome and menacing powers of Bowser, who is the storyline’s main antagonist and supervillain – battle your way through a varied and intricate series of levels to get to him!

While Mario might seem like a basic game, this Mario game features the ability of Mario to swim, fly, and sprint, capabilities that the prolific hero wasn’t able to perform before the release of this game.

Yeah, we know it could seem like you’re only hopping from block to block, but the available powerups for Mario are almost limitless, both in number and type.

The best part about the Mario games is that even if you haven’t played any of them in the past, you’ll undoubtedly be able to transition into them, without an issue. You won’t have to buy and play the dozens of games that have been released before this version, to have an enjoyable gaming experience!

With the ability to be played regardless of whether you’ve played previous versions of it, a complex set of missions, characters, skills, and dungeons, and new traveling capabilities of your main character, Super Mario Advance 4 is more than you could want in a GBA game.

3. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3

This riveting game series made by Nintendo has all of the glamor and attractiveness of a classic adventure/arcade game, with many twists and turns. While it certainly lacks the prestige of the Mario and Luigi games, Yoshi’s Island is a great choice for GBA gamers to purchase.

The plot of the game is pretty straightforward; you start out by discovering a villain named Kamek is in possession of an important person, someone Yoshi needs to help get back on the right path.

The rescue isn’t straightforward, though. You’ll have to battle through complex dungeons, dizzying waves of soldiers, and hardy bosses that will surely put up a strong fight.

As Yoshi, you’ll have the opportunity to find new abilities, new secrets, and new dungeons to play through along the way.

Yoshi’s Island is a well-designed adventure game that will push your character to its limits and will have him doing his best to unlock all the secrets and abilities he can, to beat the final boss, Kamek.

4. Nintendo Donkey Kong Country

Almost more of a complex arcade game than anything, Donkey Kong Country features two characters, Diddy Kong and Donkey Kong, who are trying to retrieve stolen items from the evil Kremling King K. Rool. It’s an easy-to-learn classic for your Gameboy Advance.

You’ll have the choice of starting the game as either Diddy or Donkey Kong, and you’ll also get to choose from a wide variety of characters to help your cause, as you progress through each segment of the game.

The game features a variety of modes, including a set of mini-games that can be played by multiple people, a feature that’s not very common in the world of Gameboy Advance games!

The game is the first of the Donkey Kong franchise, so you won’t have to worry about knowing anything about the game before you play it – you’ll only have to worry about dealing with the frustrating arrangement of levels and challenges.

Donkey Kong Country is a must-buy for those who are fans of arcade style games with an adventuresome twist – it features a range of characters to play as and team up with as well as a broad set of challenges and game modes to try out.

5. Sega Sonic Advance 2

Let’s be realistic here – how many of us thought that we’d be talking about a game involving an animated hedgehog as one of the Gameboy Advance’s premiere games? We certainly didn’t, but we must give Sonic Advance 2 credit where it’s deserved.

It plays similarly to that of a typical arcade/adventure game, but you’ll still get a kick out of it, especially with Sonic the Hedgehog’s lightning quick speed boost abilities.

From Tails to Cream the Rabbit, you’ll not only get access to new characters and stories but new abilities that come with each character, as well.

The quests and dungeons that you’ll inevitably have to conquer certainly aren’t mundane, either – experience a new breed of challenges, from confusing labyrinths to confusing time changes!

The adventure won’t stop with Sonic Advance 2, and the entertainment won’t either, with access to a diverse team of characters to play as, challenges to beat, and abilities to unlock.


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