The Gameboy Advance SP was a famous handheld console released by Nintendo in 2003, and it is still considered a gaming classic today.
The Gameboy Advance SP entertained gamers of all ages with its flip-top design, backlit screen, and library of outstanding games. In this post, we’ll look at 20 of the best Gameboy Advance SP games that are still available today.
Top 20 Best Gameboy Advance SP Games
1. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP
There are fans of every Legend of Zelda game, but The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap seems to have attained cult status. And with good reason; the Minish Cap is the pinnacle of portable Zelda gaming.
Like Alice in Wonderland, Link can shrink and expand with the help of the strange hat he wears in The Minish Cap, much like Alice was able to use various potions and mushrooms to go around the maze.
Because you’ll often be navigating two worlds while you travel, you’ll need to be able to think on two scales.
The Minish Cap’s most impressive achievement is not its size-changing puzzles but rather how it employs that novel feature to both sticks to and dramatically alter the tried-and-true format of the Zelda series.
The fact that fans still hold The Minish Cap in high regard as one of the best games ever developed is a credit to the excellence of the entire Legend of Zelda franchise.
2. MARIO & LUIGI: SUPERSTAR SAGA
The Mario & Luigi games are among the most hilarious and astute role-playing video games available. They have a tonne of charm, the bosses are fun to look at, and the fights are difficult but not impossible for newcomers to pick up. The Superstar Saga was the catalyst for all of this.
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the brothers go across the Kingdom of Beans in an effort to defeat the evil witch Cackletta and her henchmen (Bowser is present, but he isn’t the major opponent).
Classic foes like Spinys, Goombas, and Wigglers make a return as bosses, and they’re joined by other enemies from Cackletta’s dominion.
When compared to other role-playing games, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is easily in the top tier.
3. POKÉMON PINBALL: RUBY & SAPPHIRE
The sequel to the Game Boy Color version of Pokémon pinball, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire is here. The title very much gives away the plot: You can play Pokémon-themed pinball tables, however, you use a Poké Ball instead of a real pinball.
That said, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire’s endearing qualities are what truly make the game deserving of inclusion. Pikachus and Eevees may be found strewn throughout each board, and the boss bouts feature a wide variety of monster types.
It’s not simply a solid handheld pinball game; it makes excellent use of the Pokémon IP to make something distinct from the main series but no less enjoyable. 2
4. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is a classic video game that was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo, the game is the eighth installment in the popular Kirby series.
In Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, players take on the role of the pink puffball as he embarks on a journey to explore a maze-like world, using unique abilities to defeat enemies and solve puzzles.
With its charming graphics, engaging gameplay, and unique multiplayer mode, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror quickly became a fan favorite and a beloved classic of the Game Boy Advance library.
5. FINAL FANTASY TACTICS ADVANCE
The tactical, map-based fighting in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is reminiscent of Fire Emblem but set in the Final Fantasy universe. Despite the drastic changes in fighting and gameplay, the game’s endearing characters and world remain intact.
Fans of the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy Tactics will like its spinoff, Advance. It’s no secret that Final Fantasy video games are still a cornerstone in the industry and that the spinoff series Final Fantasy Tactics is highly sought after.
The class-based combat of the Tactics games is refined in Advance, and it’s paired with gorgeous locations and characters who do Final Fantasy justice.
You can have hours of tactical fun on the fly, and it manages to retain that special “known” feeling of Final Fantasy, where everything is both new and familiar.
6. Golden Sun
Golden Sun is a legendary video game that was first released in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. Golden Sun is a role-playing game developed by Camelot Software Planning and released by Nintendo.
It has a rich tale, deep gameplay mechanics, and stunning graphics. Players take on the role of a party of adventurers tasked with saving the planet from a terrifying ancient force in the game.
Golden Sun rapidly became a beloved classic of the Game Boy Advance library thanks to its captivating plot, numerous puzzles, and sophisticated battle system.
7. CASTLEVANIA: ARIA OF SORROW
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the last Castlevania game on the Game Boy Advance, is the greatest in the series since Symphony of the Night.
Like in Symphony of the Night, you’ll be searching a castle for Dracula while gathering supplies to aid you to sneak your way through the halls undetected.
Aria of Sorrow is part of a long-running video game series, but it adds a new spin by placing its protagonist in a contemporary setting with fashionable clothes and real weaponry.
Castlevania’s traditional hunt is combined with a new environment and weapons in Aria of Sorrow. Due to its portability and endearing sprites, the game has always been considered among the best in the series’ lengthy history.
8. POKÉMON EMERALD
It’s likely that the age you were when you first played Pokémon determines which generation you prefer. However, as a dedicated player of the prior three generations of Pokémon games, I can confidently say that Emerald is the best one thus far.
As the third generation of the series, Emerald combines the traits of its two predecessors, Ruby and Sapphire. It allows you to complete your favorite game(s) and then advance even further, all the way to when the Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza first appears.
The first two games in the series, Ruby and Sapphire, are fantastic. They feature engaging protagonists, a gorgeous island setting, and a host of exciting Legendaries to track down.
One of the best Pokémon games ever developed, Emerald is able to duplicate the experience while also improving upon it by providing a compelling final quest to wrap up the plot.
9. METROID FUSION
Before Metroid Dread’s release last year, it had been over two decades since the previous 2D Metroid game, Nintendo’s Metroid Fusion (not including Mercury Steam’s fantastic Samus Returns revival of Metroid 2).
Even after all this time has passed, the love for Fusion has only grown stronger. When it comes to the Metroid series, Metroid Fusion stands head and shoulders above the rest, and it still looks great.
The fusion process takes conducted on a space station known as BSL. Samus faces an assault from a parasite known as X after the events of Super Metroid.
Part of her body is infused with Metroid DNA to treat her new disease, turning her into a version of the monsters she has spent games eradicating. However, the X parasite reappears as SA-X, a fearsome Samus clone that freely roams the station. This is a substantial amount.
Fans of the Metroid series will be pleased to hear that Metroid Fusion has various new abilities and suits. Fusion stands apart from the rest of the series thanks to its unusual setting and format, which frequently shifts between the various sections of the station.
10. KIRBY: NIGHTMARE IN DREAMLAND
The 1993 game Kirby’s Adventure was remade as the 2016 game Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland. When Kirby can’t go sleep, he learns that puffball villain King Dedede has damaged the Star Rod.
Kirby must reassemble the relic while taking on a wide variety of foes using his signature platforming and copying antics.
By porting Kirby’s enchantment to a portable device, Nightmare in Dreamland gives players the chance to ape the character’s skills whenever and wherever they like.
While the Kirby gameplay is still the main draw, Nightmare in Dreamland also includes a variety of new minigames, such as Samurai Kirby and a boss rush mode, that can be played either solo or with others.
Kirby has always been fun, but his legacy on the Game Boy is especially strong thanks to Nightmare in Dreamland.
11. ADVANCE WARS
The strategy game Advance Wars is just one more in a long line. While games like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics focus on fantasy elements, Advance Wars is grounded in real-world military technology and strategy.
You command your own army in Advance Wars, from their initial training at bases through their deployment in battle.
You have complete freedom in deciding how many jets, tanks, and infantry to include in your army, and the map will fill up to accommodate whatever configuration you choose.
Whether you’re making these adjustments for strategic reasons (such as neutralizing the enemy’s units) or because you simply like a certain unit type is irrelevant.
Instead of the fully scripted story and named characters of previous tactics games, Advance Wars relies more on the tropes of real-time strategy games, where the focus is on the army as a whole rather than its component parts.
It’s the best game to play again before the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-boot Camp for Switch later this year.
12. DRILLER 2
Mr. Driller 2 is a block-busting puzzle game starring adorable pixelated characters. Major dangers lurk in the mine’s tunnels when drillings, such as suffocation and crushing, but if you’re careful about where you drill, you can make your way out of the mine.
Mr. Driller 2 features an improved story and more spectacular visuals on a more powerful portable system without losing any of the endearing qualities that made the original such a success.
To provide some friendly competition, Mr. Driller 2 includes a few vs game types. It’s fascinating to see a series progress on handhelds alongside home consoles.
13. WARIOWARE: TWISTED
WarioWare: As a Game Boy Advance title, Twisted came out well after the debut of the Nintendo DS. Yet it makes the most of its tardy arrival by cleverly employing a novel technique: a gyro sensor.
Twisted revolutionized the industry before games could be played on devices with a wide variety of inputs.
It continued the WarioWare series’ hallmark minigame concentration while expanding to include games in which players must rapidly invert their Game Boys.
All of the WarioWare games have an endearing weirdness about them. Still, WarioWare: Twisted achieved the goal of any good sequel by putting a new spin on an established formula.
14. BIT GENERATIONS: COLORIS
Generational bits Puzzler Coloris is a fresh take on the classic match-three formula. You don’t worry about making sure everything is in the correct place; instead, you change the pieces to suit your purposes.
You’re not completely at the mercy of the cards you’re given, and this provides you with a distinct advantage.
Its accessibility and ease of obsessive play make it a top contender among handheld puzzle games like Tetris for Game Boy and others. Put that together with the game’s eye-catching visuals and endearing audio, and you have a puzzle game that will keep you entertained for a long time.
15. ASTRO BOY: OMEGA FACTOR
The idea of a side-scrolling video game hero who happens to be a robot might not immediately bring to mind Astro Boy. However, his Astro Boy: Omega Factor game for the Game Boy Advance is a shining example of a licensed product done correctly.
Battle it out on land and in the air in Omega Factor. Astro Boy possesses a wide range of powers, including punching, kicking, and shooting lasers from his hands.
Early 2000s games that were based on other IP often failed to live up to their inspirations. Astro Boy: Omega Factor, on the other hand, is a hidden treasure that fits in quite well on the Game Boy Advance.
16. DRILL DOZER
Another Game Boy Advance release that came nearly two years after the Nintendo DS’s launch was Drill Dozer. One of the most iconic side-scrolling games on the console, its late arrival didn’t slow its success.
The player takes control of Jill, who drives the Drill Dozer mech. You’ll have to fight your way through several stages, dodging and attacking foes from all sides.
Along with its enormous bosses and impressive stage variety, this Game Boy Advance exclusive also boasts a rumble pack included in the cartridge.
Drill Dozer demonstrates that even beyond their initial release date, certain handheld games maintain their high quality.
17. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
When Nintendo announced the Game Boy Advance in 2001, we were under the impression that it would be a powerful game system on par with the Super NES.
To be honest, that’s not a bad spot to be in, considering we’ve been there for a while now, playing Nintendo handhelds that are roughly on par with the NES system. We were looking forward to playing a wide variety of Mode 7 games, including multi-layered side-scrolling platformers and racing games.
After that, the developer Vicarious Visions, who is best known for its Spider-Man games for the Game Boy Color, surprised everyone by releasing a portable version of Neversoft’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, which is widely regarded as one of the best skateboarding games of all time.
The VV crew made sure the skateboarding action game’s aesthetic was preserved in their Game Boy Advance port, despite the game being locked in an overhead perspective owing to technical constraints.
It was a breathtaking handheld system-launch title, and it’s incredible to see how well it has aged; even after half a dozen sequels during the GBA’s lifespan, it’s exciting to return to the series’ portable roots.
18. Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Back in the day, when the Game Boy was black and white, Nintendo reworked the famous Donkey Kong arcade design into a more modern aesthetic, expanding the core gameplay mechanisms of barrel jumping and hammer smacking into a plethora of full-screen puzzle games.
This NST-created production was based on that idea. The improved aesthetics on the Game Boy Advance weren’t all that the team was able to do, though; they also implemented a number of brand-new puzzle concepts.
It’s perfect for the Game Boy Advance’s on-the-go gameplay style, as players can quickly pull out the handheld, complete a challenge, and put the device back in their pockets until they’re ready to play again.
19. Ninja Five-O
The gaming community collectively shrugged when Ninja Five-O was released due to the game’s poor reputation and equally horrible box art. Then, all of a sudden, people began engaging in the internal game.
It’s a side-scrolling arcade game that could only really survive in the modern era on the 2D-happy Game Boy Advance platform, thanks to its throwback action design that fuses such classics as Capcom’s Bionic Commando, Sega’s Shinobi, and Namco’s Rolling Thunder.
It’s one of the most elusive games on the secondary market for secondhand cartridges, but don’t expect to become rich if you track it down. Only in the sense of “great gameplay” is it worth anything at all, and in that regard it is priceless.
20. Super Monkey Ball Jr.
Despite the fact that THQ dubbed the Game Boy Advance port “junior,” the product was anything but little in size.
For the Game Boy Advance version, UK development studio Realism squeezed out every last drop of potential in the GBA’s hardware to offer the same fun and frantic experience as the original arcade and GameCube installments in the series.
Which were inspired by the classic arcade game Marble Madness and featured a wide variety of unlockable features and modes.
Super Monkey Ball Jr. for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) may not hold up to the test of time in light of the increasing power of other handhelds, but it did an excellent job of showcasing what the system was capable of when it was released.
Additionally, it is unusual for a third-party developer to put so much effort into so many game modes on the portable system. Super Monkey Ball Jr. was one of the best GBA console ports, but the studio that made it, Realism, didn’t last long after its release.
Overall, the Game Boy Advance SP had a diverse library of games, with titles spanning different genres and styles. Whether you’re a fan of RPGs, platformers, or puzzle games, there’s something for everyone on this list.
These games represent some of the best of what the Game Boy Advance SP had to offer, and they continue to be enjoyed by gamers around the world to this day.
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Rohit Yadav is a writer with passion for gaming, cosmos, and philosophy. He has a keen interest in exploring the depths of these topics through his writing, offering insightful and thought-provoking perspectives to his readers. Rohit brings a unique perspective to the world of online gaming and is well-versed in the latest developments and trends in the industry.