36 Best GBA Games OF All Time | Bring Your Childhood Back

The GBA games are long gone, but the era still reminds us of our sweet childhood memories. If you are still looking for those games and didn’t find any better list, then we have a piece of great news for you. You don’t have to visit any different site to search for various incredible vintage games. It was such a hearty little wonder that we couldn’t resist gathering some of the best Game Boy Advance games of all time.

If you have lost your antique GBA player, you need to download a GBA emulator for your device to run these games. We’ve also included the available link to play online. Enjoy!

36. Metal Slug Advance

Metal Slug Advance

Total Sales: <400,000
Released In: November 2004

Published by: SNK Playmore

Metal Slug Advance is a shooter video game, where you play as a recruit to survive on an unnamed island with limited supplies and weaponry. The game features two systems: the life system (which is simply a life bar that decreases as you take damage) and the Card system (which can be obtained from shooting specific hostages or shooting particular parts in the background). While life bar increases by collecting food items, cards can be used to boost abilities and unlock special slugs.

35. Spider Man: Mysterio’s Menace

Total Sales: 610,000
Released In: February 2001

Published by: Activision

This is an action game consisting of 7 stages, each featuring a boss at the end. The player is free to select between 3 stages to start with, each opening the next level after completion. Throughout the game, the player will be gathering upgrades to enhance Spider-Man’s health, strength, and webbing.

34. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Total Sales: 810,000
Released In: March 2001

Published by: Konami

It’s an adventurousaction role-playing game that follows a non-linear style of gameplay. The Player gets the role of Nathan, who can only traverse specific areas of the castle by acquiring different abilities like becoming able to run, double jump, wall kick, and more. Every time the player defeats enemies, Nathan gets a level up and acquires new abilities to progress further in the game.

33. WarioWare: Twisted!

Total Sales: 1 million
Released In: October 2004

Published by: Nintendo

This is an action-puzzle game where players go through a series of microgames. Most of the microgames support in-built gyro sensors, so it becomes more complex as the game progresses; it requires the player to fully rotate their system. Twisted also features items called souvenirs, which are unlocked after boss stages in story mode.

32. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

Total Sales: 1 million
Released In: March 2001

Published by: Nintendo

Maximum Velocity is a futuristic racing video game that can be played in 2 multiplayer modes, with one cartridge per player. Two to four players can play in both modes. Each race has five laps. You will lose the race if your machine explodes or takes too much damage on the track.

31. Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Total Sales: 1.1 million
Released In: June 2002

Published by: Nintendo

Golden Sun is a role-playing game where players interact with other characters, acquire magical spells, battle monsters, and build a predefined narrative. You can complete different objective based on your liking, visit past locations to advance story elements, and finish off puzzles that you couldn’t solve earlier.

30. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Total Sales: 1.2 million
Released In: November 2002

Published by: Electronic Arts

It’s an action-adventure game based on J.K Rowling’s novel. The game is straightforward: the player (Harry Potter) explores Hogwarts castle and encounters events that tie into the storyline of the 2nd edition. During the game, you will learn new spells for combating bosses, how to fly a broomstick, and much more.

29. Frogger’s Adventures: Temple of the Frog

Total Sales: 1.3 million
Released In: November 2001

Published by: Konami

The game’s character Frogger searches five worlds for four sacred items needed to rescue his friends and save his swamp. Throughout the game, one of his friends, Lumpy, helps him by providing key information. Overall, Frogger has to face 15 levels and 5 bosses, including the final showdown with the evil Mr. D.

28. Mega Man Battle Network 4

Total Sales: 1.3 million
Released In: December 2003

Published by: Capcom

Battle Network 4 is a real-time tactical game role-playing game that introduced the concept of Double Souls. A criminal organization known as Nebula attacks and spreads corruption with the use of Dark Chips. Lan and MegaMan fight them, proving that all people has the ability to conquer their inner darkness.

27. The Lion King

Total Sales: 1.4 million
Released In: October 2003

Published by: Disney Interactive

This action-platformer game puts the player in the role of Timon and Pumbaa to search Hakuna Matata. You need to make sure that you do not hit any obstacles. After completing every chapter, you are awarded special puzzle pieces. To unlock time-limited bonus levels and video clips from the movie, you need to collect all bugs in a level.

26. The Incredibles

Total Sales: 1.4 million
Released In: November 2004

Published by: THQ

The Incredibles is an action-adventure game featuring 18 levels and four playable characters: Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, and Voilet. In a battle reminiscent of those of the old days, all characters work together to destroy the robot. As usual, superheroes are loved by the public again.

25. Mario vs. Donkey Kong

Total Sales: 1.4 million
Released In: May 2004

Published by: Nintendo

This is a puzzle-platform game where players get a character of Mario and pursue Donkey Kong in a toy factory, who has stolen dozens of mini-Mario toys. The game has many different environments, ranging from a classic construction site to a lava environment. To make the game more exciting, Mario has been given the ability to perform handstands and backflips.

24. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

Total Sales: 1.4 million
Released In: May 2002

Published by: Infogrames

It’s an action role-playing game with the main focus on combat. It covers the story of Dragon Ball Z until the destruction of the planet Namek. Goku (the only playable character) travels through various stages by completing simple missions and defeating enemies in order to gain experience. In the final stage, he transforms into a Super Saiyan to defeat Frieza.

23. Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

Total Sales: 1.4 million
Released In: April 2004

Published by: Nintendo

The game features a maze layout where the player is supposed to explore the world, solve puzzles, defeat enemies and collect gems. There are numerous items to improve in-game performance, like extra health points and lives. Plus, several new powers have been included, such as Cupid (which allows Kirby to fly around with wings) and a Missile (which can be guided in any direction).

22. Sonic Advance

Total Sales: 1.5 million
Released In: December 2001

Published by: Sega THQ

Sonic Advance is an action game that features four characters: Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and Amy. Each character is assigned with a special ability, such as Sonic has a special shield, Knuckle has climbing abilities, and Tail’s got a flight. There are six normal zones, each having two acts. Act 1 is cleared by accomplishing the goal, and Act 2 is cleared by destroying the boss robot at the end.

21. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Total Sales: 1.5 million
Released In: November 2004

Published by: Square Enix Disney Interactive Studios

This is an action role-playing game that features a card-based action battle and a story, which bridges the gap between Hearts I and II. It was the first GBA game to incorporate a full-motion video. Each card in the game has a particular effect; for example, green cards affect the power of the player’s deck, and red cards affect the number and type of enemies.

20. Metroid Fusion

Total Sales: 1.6 million
Released In: November 2002

Published by: Nintendo

This is a side-scrolling action-adventure game set in a giant open-ended world with elevators that connect regions. The whole game revolves around solving puzzles and shooting enemies while searching for power-ups. It was praised by critics, especially for its action scenes. It received numerous awards, including the handheld game of the year 2002 and the best GBA adventure game from IGN and GameSpot.

19. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Total Sales: 1.6 million
Released In: February 2003

Published by: Nintendo Square

This is a tactical role-playing game where players are free to decide the abilities, classes, and statistics of their character. To advance the story, the game consists of 4 types of missions – regular, dispatch, encounter, and area. The world map is empty at the initial stage, and it is customized after the player completes certain missions and wins areas.

18. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Eternal Duelist Soul

Total Sales: 1.8 million
Released In: July 2001

Published by: Konami

It’s the first card-battle game to include polymerization as an actual card. All opponents are arranged in tiers, where a tier may have four or five duelists. All duelists on a tier must be beaten a specific number of times before the next tier can be unlocked. Another key element is the in-game calendar. On certain days, random events may trigger, like receiving a pack of cards or being challenged to a match by an opponent.

17. Golden Sun

Total Sales: 1.6 million
Released In: August 2001

Published by: Nintendo

It’s a role-playing game in which players control four characters throughout a fantasy-themed world journey. They are supposed to battle monsters, interact with other characters, gain power abilities and take part in an ongoing narrative. The game allows the player to go back to previous locations and complete particular goals out of order.

16. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Total Sales: 1.8 million
Released In: November 2004

Published by: Nintendo

This is an action-adventure game that retains some common elements from the previous version, such as the presence of Gorons while introducing Kinstones. Along with the traditional items such as arrows, bombs, and pegasus, The Minish Cap launches three new items – mole mitts, gust jar, and a can of pacci. It was well-received among critics and selected as the 2005 GBA game of the year by GameSpot.

15. Donkey Kong Country

Total Sales: 1.8 million
Released In: June 2003

Published by: Nintendo

This version of the Donkey Kong game had increased brightness at the cost of contrast and color saturation. It supports time trial mode and multiplayer option. The game lets you use all platforming skills as you swing on vines, navigate treacherous mine cart obstacle courses, rocket out barrel cannons, fight massive bosses, and ride animal pals like Rambi the Rhino.

14. Finding Nemo

Total Sales: 1.8 million
Released In: May 2003

Published by: THQ

Finding Nemo is an action-adventure game where the objective is to complete various levels playing the role of Nemo, Marlin, or Dory. It includes scenes from the movie, and each clip is based on a level, for instance, hopping through a batch of jellyfish.

13. Spyro: Season of Ice

Total Sales: 2.2 million
Released In: October 2001

Published by: Universal Interactive

It’s an isometric platform game where a season of ice takes you to the fairy realms. You will play the role of Spyro and fight the evil menace. There are a total of 4 seasons, each having five levels. If you collect 100 percent of all the gems and fairies from all levels and realms, you will get to play a bonus level: ‘Dragonfly X.’

12. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Total Sales: 2.1 million
Released In: October 2002

Published by: Nintendo

The game features updated graphics and sound with slight alterations along with a few minor retooling of areas to suit the new graphical style. The aim is to get Kirby to the end of the current level through running, jumping over obstacles, and defeating enemies. The game supports multiplayer, with up to 4 players, 32-bit graphics, and hats for most abilities.

11. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Total Sales: 2.1 million
Released In: November 2003

Published by: Nintendo

Unlike traditional games of the genre, it centers on a battle theme with an emphasis on more elaborate attacks and timing. Battles are turn-based. Mario and Luigi can deal with multiple hits, and their actions can be controlled individually. Superstar Saga features the enhanced remake of the Mario Bros arcade game and supports rumble functionality.

10. Wario Land 4

Total Sales: 2.2 million
Released In: August 2001

Published by: Nintendo

It’s a linear transformation game where Wario has to collect four treasures to unlock a pyramid and save princess Shokora from the Golden Diva. The treasures include four gem pieces, a Keyzer, a music CD to unlock bonus music, and numerous coins and gems. To complete this game, Wario is given a heart meter that contains a total of 8 hearts. Wario can also gather additional hearts throughout the stages.

9. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

Total Sales: 2.3 million
Released In: November 2005

Published by: The Pokemon Company

It’s a mission-based game where your objective is to either finish the job or go through all the floors to find an exit. All the battles take place in the dungeon map, where Pokemon fight using the standard ‘A button’ attack or throwing rocks. You will get hungry in the game while doing the mission. In order to survive, you need to earn and consume food at regular intervals.

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

Total Sales: 2.8 million
Released In: December 2002

Published by: Nintendo

It’s an action-adventure game with a minor modification from the original 1991 release. Being a sword and shield, you will be involved in fighting and defending. You can do many things with the sword — sword spin, energy projectile, and Hurricane spin. Collect a wide range of elements (like a bow, lamp, boomerang, and bombs) throughout this adventure.

7. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3

Total Sales: 2.8 million
Released In: September 2002

Published by: Nintendo

This is a prequel to the Mario franchise that casts players as Yoshi as he escorts Baby Mario. The player needs to cross 50 levels to reunite Mario with his brother Luigi, who had been kidnapped by minions. All levels involve solving puzzles and collecting various items. The game was packed with new abilities to create eggs from swallowed enemies and transform them into vehicles.

6. Pac-Man Collection

Total Sales: 3 million
Released In: July 2001

Published by: Namco

This is a compilation of 4 Pac-Man games: Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Pac-Man Arrangement, and Pac-Attack. The game didn’t release with multiplayer or versus mode function. It received positive responses but was criticized for removing tiny elements of sound effects, lacking a save facility, and for inconsistent issues with both screen options for Pac-Man.

5. Pokemon Emerald

Total Sales: 7 million
Released In: September 2004

Published by: The Pokemon Company

It’s a role-playing game where you control a Pokemon trainer from an overhead perspective. You need to complete eight gym challenges and defeat the Elite Four and its champion. Meanwhile, you will face both Team Aqua and Team Magma. The game has received many awards for excellence at the 9th annual CESA game awards.

4. Super Mario Advance

Total Sales: 5.5 million
Released In: March 2001

Published by: Nintendo

It’s kind of a remake of Mario Bros, including many new features like the addition of a robotic Birdo, Yoshi challenge, enemy Robirdo, and the all-new point-scoring system. Multiple hit combos, health meter level, digital voice acting, and other small audio and graphical enhancement made the game even more appealing.

3. Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Total Sales: 6 million
Released In: July 2001

Published by: Nintendo

It’s a kart racing game – the third installment in the Mario Kart series. It was the first version for handheld consoles, which retained all traditional Mario Kart elements set by its predecessors. The game features the same cast of playable drivers as in the previous version. There are five modes, each can be played by a single player.

2. Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen

Total Sales: 12 million
Released In: January 2004

Published by: The Pokemon Company

These are the enhanced remakes of the original Pokemon Red and Blue, in which the player captures and raises Pokemon for use in battle. Once the opponent’s Pokemon faints, all of the player’s Pokemon involved in a battle get experience points. After gathering enough experience points, a Pokemon may level up.

1. Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire

Total Sales: 16.2 million
Released In: November 2002

Published by: The Pokemon Company

They are the first two games introduced for the Generation III series and came out as the best-selling GBA games of all time. They featured a brand new Elite Four syndicate that is found in Ever Grande City. These games introduced Double Battles, which are heavier on strategy than usual. Plus, new abilities were given to each Pokemon, like immune to ground-type attacks, stabbing attacks, and the ability to absorb specific attacks and recover HP.

Read: 13 Best Pokemon Games to Play This Year

Frequently Asked Questions

When was GBA released?

Game Boy Advance was first released in Japan in March 2001, and then in North America in June 2001. This 32-bit gaming console was developed and marketed by Nintendo. It was one of the 6th generation video game consoles. Plus, GBA has backward compatibility with Game Boy Color and Game Boy, which made it the only Nintendo console to be backward compatible with two systems.

How many GBA units have been sold so far?

More than 81.51 million GBA units have been sold worldwide, including 40.39 million units in North America, 21.31 million in Europe, and 16.96 million in Japan.

When did Nintendo halt the production of GBA?

Nintendo ceased the production of GBA and its revisions in December 2009. The last units were shipped on 15th May 2010, ending the revolutionary two-decade Game Boy line. Moreover, Samurai Deeper Kyo was the last game released for GBA on 12th Feb 2008.

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Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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