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9 of the Best GBA Games Ever Made

9 of the Best GBA Games Ever Made

Sandwiched between the Game Boy Color and the Nintendo DS, the Game Boy Advance did not last long in video game years. But what the handheld console lacked in longevity, it more than made up for in the style and substance of the more than 1,000 titles released on the platform. Read on to discover what we think are the best GBA games ever created.

Kingdom of Hearts: Chain of Memories (2002)

kingdom-of-hearts-chain-of-memoriesFrom its corny theme song to its compelling mixture of action with adventure.  Kingdom of Hearts indeed captured the hearts of its devoted fan-base within a year of its 2002 release. The addicting gameplay was based on a Pokemon-style playing card combat, and offered several mini-games as you progressed throughout the levels of the game. The handheld Game Boy Advance edition was swiftly followed by a more engrossing console version of the game, keeping fans on the edges of their seats as they waited for updates to the franchise.

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords (2002)

legend-of-zelda-a-link-to-the-past-and-four-swords-gbaWhen this game was first released back in 2002…

lifelong Zelda fans were skeptical that the Nintendo 64 favorite would translate well into a handheld format.

Boy, were they wrong!  Four Swords was the first time multiplayer had been attempted within the Zelda franchise.  Feedback was excellent from the throngs of adoring fans. The game let four players fight to the video game death in a melee-style brawl.

Making for a fantastic replay value for years to come.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2005)

legend-of-zelda-the-minish-capThe second Zelda game to feature on this list is also the best-reviewed game for the franchise to come out on a handheld console. Minish Cap offered game players a more beautifully designed gameplay than in editions past.  Despite doing away with the multiplayer concept. The calling card of this game was the fact that Link was able to downsize himself in order to take on mini-environments containing logic games and quizzes. Minish Cap brought a whole new generation of Zelda fans a fantastic handheld gaming experience.

This showed Nintendo had a few more tricks up its sleeves.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (2003)

mario-luigi-superstar-sagaIt wasn’t the first role-playing game to make the transition from traditional console to handheld gaming.  But Superstar Saga proved to be one of the best-executed of such games.

Players loved everything about this game.

From the all-new enemies, allies, and places for Mario and Luigi to explore.

Besides being a great game in its own right, Superstar Saga paved the way for future installments of the always-lucrative Mario franchise.

Mario Golf: Advanced Tour (2004)

mario-golf-advanced-tourCleverly incorporating the name of the console into the title of the game.  Advanced Tour offered players the opportunity to level up as they gained golfing skill. Gone were the days of getting stuck at beginner status as you tried to navigate the courses throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. Perhaps the best feature of this game was the ability to bend your shots around trees and other obstacles on your way to the green. Fore!

Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001)

mario-kart-super-circuitThe third Mario game on our list is also the one that garnered Nintendo the most sales out of any Game Boy Advance game it ever produced. Super Circuit proved that the popular kart racing game could work on handheld consoles. This offered both single-player and multi-player modes and more than 35 tracks. Even though it was never the most beautifully designed game.  The pure joy of racing chaos puts this title firmly in the winner’s circle.

Metroid Fusion (2002)

metroid-fusionMetroid Fusion proved that a game on a little console could have a huge world. The title narrative involved a conflict between Samus Aran, a deadly parasite, and an evil supervillain bent on world domination. Gameplay required players to keep abreast of the storyline while making the right decisions to make sure Samus came out on top. Like so many other great Game Boy Advance titles…  Metroid Fusion was continued on the Wii U virtual console (so you don’t have to feel like you missed out on a classic).

Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire (2003)

pokemon-ruby-sapphirePokemon lovers were left wanting more after completing the Game Boy Color version of their favorite game. They were more than satisfied with the results when Nintendo brought its cult favorite to Game Boy Advance. It’s hard to screw up such a popular franchise, and while the original versions of Pokemon will always be the favorites.  It’s hard to overlook these games’ new features such as multiplayer fights and secret lairs for trainers to trick out. Gotta catch ’em all!

About The Author

Eric Davis

Been in gaming for a long time. Started with Little League World Series on Nintendo. As you can imagine I've had my hands on a ton of games.

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