Believe it or not, there was a time when the Game Boy Advance was the only handheld gaming system to buy. In an effort to create a portable, 32-bit powerhouse, Nintendo brought back popular franchises from their storied past — including perennial hits like Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Mario. And it worked.
The best GBA titles boast familiar gameplay and thoughtful level design, which make them more than a nostalgic cash grab. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the entries below, each of which highlights the best the system has to offer.
1. WarioWare: Twisted!
WarioWare, Inc. Building on the frantic “microgame” formula of: Mega Microgames!, WarioWare: Twisted! Additional force feedback – one of only two GBA games to feature – and a gyro sensor. Result? A hands-on experience unlike any other.
Microgames require players to complete rapid-fire tasks in seconds. None of the games were particularly complicated, but they all entertained. Even the plot, which featured Wario going crazy in a game on the GBA and going hand-to-hand to the wall, fell completely in line with the game’s irreverent tone.
2. Mario Golf: Advance Your
At launch, one could argue that Mario Golf: Advance Tour was the best handheld golf game ever made. The sequel to GBC’s Mario Golf, Advance Tour retained RPG mechanics and implemented an overworld in which players progress through a series of challenges across four unique courses.
With great three-click arcade gameplay, a robust campaign full of challenges, and multiplayer game modes, Advance Tour rivals its GameCube counterpart, Toadstool Tour, which was launched a year ago.
3. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
Bringing that classic Kirby charm to the Game Boy Advance, Nightmare in Dream Land takes the magic that made the Kirby franchise so iconic and puts some exciting new twists on it, like an array of new sub-games for single or multiplayer modes. Take on a variety of villains, controlling Kirby as he embarks on a mission to recover the Star Rod that was destroyed by King Dedede.
4. WarioWare Twisted!
While the game didn’t do well in sales due to the terrible timing of its release (after the launch of the Nintendo DS), the game is innovative and fun.
Using the gyro-sensor in the game’s cartridge, Twisted! Lets you in and transforms into the whims of the game, while maintaining the appeal of the microgame structure possessed by the original.
5. Metroid Fusion
Was Metroid Fusion the last 2D Metroid title from the first Metroid? Metroid Dread launched last year — an hiatus that spanned nearly two decades (starting with the fantastic Samus Returns Metroid 2 without Mercury Steam). Appreciation for Fusion only grew over the long break. Metroid Fusion It’s a great Metroid game and still feels incredible.
Fusion It takes place on a BSL-type space station. The events of Super MetroidSamus become infected with a parasite called X. To cure his new illness, his body is partially infected with Metroid DNA, turning him into a version of the monsters he’s spent the game trying to eradicate. X is back in the form of the parasite SAXX, a sinister Samus clone that roams the station. it is enough.
6. Fire Emblem
The first Fire Emblem released in the West was actually the seventh entry in the series. The smash hit status of Intelligent Systems’ Advance Wars, which had similarities to its combat, reportedly piqued Nintendo’s interest in taking the grid-based tactical RPG series outside of Japan. Oddly enough, we’re now in a world where Fire Emblem is rampant and Advance Wars has been dormant for over a decade.
This first entry has everything that people still love about the series today: intricate grid-based battles, characters you really like and permeate. If you want to get into the series now, you should probably start with Awakening on the 3DS or Three Houses on Switch.
7. Fire Emblem: Sword Of Seals
As a result of its incredible gameplay, visuals and storyline, Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals is a mind-blowing strategic role-playing game. Roy, a Ferre nobleman, commands an army against King Zephil of Bern in the game. The king has magical abilities that he wants to use to conquer and stop Elibe.
Like Nintendo, the graphics and acoustic effects on portable devices make the game awe-inspiring. The hi-refresh screen has been optimized for graphics, so they look smooth and fluid. Whether you’re playing indoors or outdoors, you won’t have any problem with the viewing angles of the game.
Nintendo speakers or even a pair of headphones will give you an enjoyable experience no matter how you listen to the game’s soundtrack.
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