The Game Boy Advance is one of the greatest handhelds of all time! Yup, I said it. Bring it on N-Gage lovers! Nintendo and it’s compact Game Boy Advance handheld had such a ridiculous level of passion pumped into the device and had some of the coolest titles of yesteryear.
So I decided to set on the incredibly hard task of sorting out the Top 5 Game Boy Advance Games Of All Time. It was a rough task to be fair, as stated before, 1074 games is nothing to shake a stick at. I decided to hike up to the highest mountain in Doncaster with my GPD XD and spent the last few months just playing every game from start to finish. At least, that’s what I wish I did if the whole concept of reality wasn’t a factor.
Regardless of whatever crazy method I used, I managed to narrow my list down to what I feel is acceptable. So sit back, and let’s look at Top 5 Game Boy Advance Games Of All Time!
Clocking at Number 5 we have Castlevania : Aria of Sorrow, the 2nd Castlevania game to hit the Game Boy Advance. Long time readers will know that I’m a massive Casltevania fan, however it’s actually this very game that got me into the series. I didn’t know much about Castlevania before I picked up this game. I’m not quite sure why I grabbed it, I think it was the boxart that just got to me. I had heard of Castlevania as well, but I never really bothered to jump into the games before Aria of Sorrow. Am I ever glad I did as well!
Aria of Sorrow tells the fantastic story of ashen haired hero stricken with memory loss and he and his friend are trapped in Dracula’s Castle! The hero finds that he can absorb the powers of the monsters he defeats and sets off on an adventure through the castle, meeting various characters and fighting fantastic bosses along the way.
It’s a game with loads of playtime that you can squeeze from it actually, I’ve sat and did a 100% playthrough on all the difficulties of the game and it just a blast. From collecting the souls of baddies and seeing what sort of amazing powers you can get, to finding out some of the big mysteries about the hero and the castle he’s trapped in.
If you’ve never given this classic a shot, you owe it to yourself to learn the story of Soma Cruz and his adventure on the Game Boy Advance.
Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga is the Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG of the Game Boy Advance. What I mean when I say that is that Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG are the games that decided to take the series away from it’s traditional platformer roots and put the plumbers in a genre that they are now quite prolific in. The RPG genre. Introducing someone who might be a bit too unsure about jumping in with something like Earthbound or Golden Sun, you can take any of these games and let the uninitiated play them to their hearts content! Bam, RPG fan is born.
I’m not a newcomer to the genre however, as I’ve played my fair share of RPGs. From Chrono Trigger to Dungeons and Dragons, I love a good RPG. Mario & Luigi is more than just a ‘good’ RPG. It’s a fantastic RPG that has such a crazy level of character to it. The spritework is amazing as well, it’s just got that Nintendo level of charm to it. But it’s also just a really fun adventure, personally I enjoy these style of games more than Mario’s platforming adventures. A wacky cast of characters and a story that is just so outlandish you cannot help but love the game.
If you are looking a new experience with the Mario brothers, Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga is the perfect choice.
Sonic The Hedgehog is cool. Always has been, always will be. Regardless of his ups and down of recent year, he’s the blue speedster with attitude. So it was no surprise that SEGA wanted to jump in on the handheld fun that everyone else was having, thus, Sonic Advance was made. It’s the lovechild of Sonic Team and Dimps. Dimps being a company that is now known for working on Street Fighter and Dragon Ball games. Sonic Advance was actually the first title that Dimps developed and man was it ever a good one to open up with!
Sonic Advance brought a new level to the Sonic experience made by previous games. We didn’t really have a handheld adventure with the new modern Sonic of the 2000’s until Advance came along. Using what seemed like faster speed as well as some brand new level design and crisp sprite work, it brought a brand new life to Sonic. But the best part was that it felt right. It played like a Sonic game should and even felt better than some of the classic games! Sonic Advance had tons of passion put into the project and it shows in spades when you actually pick it up and play through the first few levels of high octane action.
As I’m a fan of Casltevania. It’s only fair that I’m a fan of Metroid right? Damn skippy. I LOVE the Metroid series and it is one of the more under appreciated Nintendo franchises of all time. With the recent years we’ve seen less and less love thrown to the Metroid series, which is a shame as it has some of the best games I’ve ever played. Metroid Fusion is one of them. There were two Game Boy Advance games released for the Metroid series. The other game was Metroid: Zero Mission which was a remake of the orgional Metroid to show off the Gameboy Advance and what it could do.
Metroid Fusion is an all new adventure for Samus and has some of the best gameplay of the series thus far. You have a plethora of upgrades and suits that you can use, alongside a bunch of great boss battles that leave your fingers twitching in a way that Dark Souls could never even hope to live up to. The level design for Fusion is one of the greatest bits as it’s a brand new alien local for Samus to explore and it is downright creepy. I can only describe it as similar to that of the Alien franchise, but in such a good way! You can seriously tell exactly how much passion the team put behind making this awesome game.
You won’t find a better action platformer for the Game Boy Advance than Metroid Fusion.
The Minish Cap is my favourite Zelda game of all time. Yup, if it’s not clear how much I love the Game Boy Advance, it should be now. Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of great games in the Zelda series. But The Minish Cap really hits all of the nails on the head when comes to getting the formula right for a great action adventure RPG. But all Zelda games tend to do that. What really makes The Minish Cap stand out from the rest?
Well, it’d have to be the gameplay and scope of the world. Every Game Boy Advance game I played really felt like it was only a few levels or so and you were done. It could be expanded with quite a level of detail and various rooms to one dungeon or stage, but few Game Boy Advance games really felt like it had a lot of scope. The Minish Cap did that in spades for me. I felt like every moment I was experiencing a new area to explore and a whole new set of quests to tackle. It’s quite hard to explain but if I had to compare it to anything, it was like I was playing a portable Oblivion.
The story really grips you in and makes you want to help Link on his latest adventure. I won’t spoil a thing though as it’s really a game that you need to experience for yourself. If you’ve never played this gem, then you need to start now.
That’s the list! Did your favourites make the list? I did my best to pick the best the Game Boy Advance has to offer and I feel I did a pretty good job!
There are so many games that are good on the Game Boy Advance, from Advance Wars to Golden Sun. It was tough to pick only 5. Regardless the Game Boy Advance will always remain one of the greatest handhelds ever made and really showcases the creativity of not only the Japanese games industry, but worldwide as well.
So many amazing games are out to discover on so many amazing systems. The Game Boy Advance has an entire catalouge waiting to be played by people young and old. If you’ve not played any of the games on this list, then you have to set some time aside and give them a play. You won’t regret it.