The Best Game Boy Advance Games By Genre


We are finally escaping the year 2020. What will 2021 bring us? For one thing, the 20th anniversary of the Game Boy Advance! Traditional handheld gaming may be officially dead, with smartphone gaming demolishing the market it was once had, however you can still relive the 2000s with Xfire's recommendations of the best GBA games for each genre.

Best GBA Action Games

Mega Man Zero 2

The opening of Mega Man Zero 2

The first Mega Man Zero for the GBA was an amazing game. When its sequel got released a year later, it was a bit of concern that it may be just a hasty cash-grab. Fortunately, Mega Man Zero 2 took everything good in Mega Man Zero and improved upon it.

Mega Man Zero 2 also made a conscious effort to retain narrative continuity, as events in the first game had actual effects in the sequel. For example, the base of the Resistance was shown to have upgraded with better weapons and facilities. In the first game, it was a makeshift tumbled down headquarters. These little details were appreciated.

Mega Man Zero 2 eradicated the main problem in the first game. In the sequel, you were no longer subject to a lot of grinding. The weapons took a lot less time to level up and would reach their max levels by merely playing the game. You did not need to spend time actively leveling up your weapons anymore.

Mega Man Zero also had local multiplayer. It allowed players to compete in race-style challenges. Mega Man Zero 2 was brimming with value. Players could enjoy the high-octane action-packed gameplay alone, or with a friend.

Sonic Advance

You can play as Tails in Sonic Advance

Not counting the compilations, there were six Sonic Games for the GBA. The first Sonic Advance was the best of them. The Sonic Advance trilogy were great games, and some may argue that Sonic Advance 2 was the better title. Sonic Advance 2 improved upon the original in the animation department significantly, maybe that was the reason why people preferred the sequel to the original.

Sonic Advance was a love-letter to Sonic fans. The Sonic fanbase may be the most tortured gaming community out there with so much disappointment SEGA had in handling Sonic. Sonic Advance was one of those few Sonic games that light up even the most pessimistic fan.

Sonic Advance was all about the classic speed-based gameplay that made Sonic popular. The levels were well made. You could also use four different characters with diverse capabilities. The replay value of this game was off the charts as you can complete levels numerous times and still not be able to "complete" them.

Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace

A comic panel in-game

You would have thought that a game released on a weak, hardware-wise, handheld console late into its lifespan would be terrible. Fortunately, as late was Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace release in the GBA, it was an exceptional game. Although, it was pretty much expected for a Spider-Man game to be great. When was the last time there was a terrible Spider-Man game?

Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace had great production value. It had a comic book style in its narrative presentation. The music and visuals were great too which was commendable knowing how small in file size the GBA games were.

Spider-Man in this game was hard to control and the game itself had a steep learning curve. It was easy to get frustrated by this game. Yet, this was one of the best action games for the GBA, despite its clunkiness.

The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Link climbing down Mt. Crenel base in The Minish Cap

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap was not just one of the GBA’s best action games. It was one of the best GBA games period. This game was co-developed by Capcom and Flagship so there were new features that got tucked in and that were unique compared to the previous The Legend of Zelda titles.

As expected for a Zelda game, The Minish Cap was self-contained, its story is independent of other games. The game design of The Minish Cap did not depart from earlier Zelda games but it did have a unique spin on it.

In this game, the player had the ability to be reduced to a much smaller size to find routes laid out in the normal-sized world. Anyone who played The Four Swords multiplayer mode in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was familiar with these size-changing mechanics. It was a unique experience for a Zelda game that could only be played on a handheld console.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

A boss battle in A Link to the Past

This game's inclusion should not be a surprise.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was considered one of the greatest video games of all time. It would be criminal not to put this up as the best GBA action game. This is even accounting for the fact that this game was a mere port of the original SNES game.

This GBA port of A Link to the Past had very few changes from the original game. In some parts, the SNES original was better due to having better hardware. The SNES version had better graphics and sounds. However, the GBA port had better controls, quality of life improvements, and a superior saving system.

Other changes were not really that important. Translations may be better in the GBA but for series veterans, the purity of the original should not have been touched.

Nevertheless, the GBA was the definitive version when compared to the original SNES, just because of the quality of life changes and the multiplayer.

Best GBA Sports Games

Virtua Tennis

One of Virtua Tennis' minigames

The Virtua Tennis franchise was beloved not because of its realism, but rather it offers a lot of gaming in one package. The GBA version of Virtua Tennis retained such characteristics.

You can create two custom characters, one for every gender, and then go participate in tournaments. You then can improve their abilities in minigames. You can earn points and put them in their skills and stats like speed, technique, stamina, topspin, and strength.

Virtua Tennis got so many minigames, not just throwaways, they were wickedly fun to play.

Virtua Tennis also had multiplayer where friends may play singles and doubles with up to four human players. With all its depth, this game did not skimp in the graphics department either.

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2

GBA had a good library of extreme games

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 was flawed. There were several physics issues in the engine and the sound is extremely repetitive. These could be easily forgiven since the game was just too much fun to play with.

The features in this game included 12 BMX Pros, eight levels, two-player hot potato multiplayer, and battery saving.

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 used 3D polygonal models for the bike and the rider. Developer Full Fat was able to map several tricks to each character that could be executed in any direction or angle.

Baseball Advance

R. Johnson batting

Baseball Advance was a lean game as there were no extra modes other than what you normally find in a sports game. Baseball Advance only had the following modes: Exhibition, Season, Playoff, and All-Star. Was it better it did not offer any more than the aforementioned? Of course not, yet Baseball Advance was a blast to play.

Baseball Advance was more on the action side rather than a sports simulator. The game featured all the teams and the MLB roster at the time of its release. However, there were only four stadiums.

What made Baseball Advance such a great game was that it employed functional batting interfaces that were intuitive. In order to hit the baseball, batters could maneuver the cursor within the batter's box before the pitch, trying to predict where the pitcher's throwing the ball. The cursor size is dictated by players' stats, so a great batter had a massive cursor size compared to mediocre ones.

Pitching was also interesting in this game. With time, the pitchers would be hampered in their throws evoking fatigue. When the pitcher was starting to throw wild pitches, it was time to replace him.

The most amazing part of this game is the season mode which was so in-depth. You could pick one team and take it through 162 game season. While stat-recording is limited only to your teams, that ability to play a season in GBA was awe-inspiring.

Mario Golf: Advance Tour

Mario Golf was a colorful game

Since we already covered a tennis game, we included Mario Golf instead of Mario Tennis. Advance Tour was a parallel experience that supplemented GameCube's Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour. In a crazy turn of events, Advance Tour was actually the superior game as it has better options, features, and the gameplay was more polished gameplay.

Admittedly, Mario Golf: Advance Tour has fewer Mario characters compared to its console brother. Still, it had the best Mario elements. Every hole in the course had an unlockable version that features elements like Warp Pipe shortcuts and Question Blocks that reward you with experience points or changes the direction of the wind.

The game's appeal was not limited to completing the courses. Much of the fun playing Mario Golf: Advance Tour was that it let you build the characters. By gaining experience points, you can raise the golf level of the characters. The mini-challenges were a great way to learn and enjoy the game at the same time.

The single-player elements of Mario Golf: Advance Tour were amazing. There was also a multiplayer aspect that could connect you to GameCube. Everything that made Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour was improved in this portable version: game design was more realized, better challenges, and elevated gameplay. Playing golf in video games was an acquired taste, but playing Mario Golf: Advance Tour was mandatory if you had the Game Boy Advance.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

More often than not, portable versions of games are inferior to their traditional console versions. This stereotype had been destroyed by Mario Golf: Advance Tour. The GBA version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was not, by all means, better than the console.

The Game Boy Advance version of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 had the same single-player modes that were present in the original. There is a career mode where you pick one of the pro skaters at that time like Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, among others.

Every skater was unique. They had different sets of normal tricks, however, unlike the console version, they were irreplaceable.

The portable version of Tony Hawk played great

The Game Boy Advance version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was truly an achievement. It's very impressive not just in the gameplay aspect, but also on a technical level. The most surprising part was that the game looked good at its time, especially considering that it was a launch title.

Best Collectible Card Game On The GBA

Yu-gi-oh! Ultimate Masters World Championship Tournament 2006

The game records your best stats

Yu-gi-oh games in the GBA played differently. Yes, they were collectible card games of the same franchise for the GBA. However, each of the games had unique mechanics. Yu-gi-oh! Ultimate Masters World Championship Tournament 2006 had the most cards. This does not mean that it was the best game of the bunch, gameplay-wise, but that was the main reason this particular game was considered in this list.

Yu-gi-oh! Ultimate Masters World Championship Tournament 2006 was a straightforward game. It was a pure card game without fluff. It was simply a recreation of real-life Yu-Gi-Oh! You did not have to fight evil Egyptian sorcerers.

The campaign mode put the player at the bottom of the multi-tier tournament ladder with a limited amount of money and a starter deck. Cash was earned by participating in duels and using the cash to purchase new cards. You progress into a World Champion by beating everyone on your path.

Yu-gi-oh! Ultimate Masters World Championship Tournament 2006 was a solid game. It had flaws though, like how terrible its music was. The graphics were also so-so. Nevertheless, it was the best Yu-Gi-Oh! card game for new players as it was focused on deck creation and dueling.

Duel Masters: Sempai Legend

Duel Masters never looked beautiful but its core gameplay was brilliant

Many were not familiar with Duel Masters. If you were not an avid fan of CCGs, Duel Masters looked like bootleg Yu-gi-oh. Duel Masters had more in common with Magic the Gathering than Yu-gi-oh and employed the Mana system of Magic the Gathering. Monsters in Duel Masters could only be summoned by having enough Mana tapped from cards. On the other hand, Yu-gi-oh allowed the summoning of monsters instantaneously, which made it faster paced. It was a matter of personal preference which had a better ruleset. But as a general rule, you'd go for Yu-gi-oh for pace and you'd pick Duel Masters for complexity.

There was a detailed tutorial when you play the story mode. It guided players into the battle system, unlike Yu-gi-oh which presumes that players already knew the rules. There was also an advanced rule section for those who want to learn complex strategies that involved rarity symbols, special abilities, and evolution creatures.

The art style though was objectively unattractive. The Duel Masters series was the only handheld card game that had Magic the Gathering system,  but it was not a secret that the game had atrocious art direction.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Sora uses a Simba card

It was so difficult to follow Kingdom Hearts' story. The narrative of the entire franchise was convoluted and only the biggest fanboys would defend that aspect of Kingdom Hearts. Chain of Memories aimed to rectify the confusing narrative. It did clear up some things story-wise, but in the process, the developers made a great CCG.

Chain of Memories departed from the action-RPG gameplay and instead chose a card game as a vehicle for the story. Everything in the game was dictated by cards, from battles to world hopping. Map Cards were drawn after each battle. This Map Card allowed players to choose where they would go next. The layouts of the stages are random, and the structure of each World depended on the players' whim.

Chain of Memories was a supplement to the bigger Kingdom Hearts game. In order to fit the GBA, the reduction of an otherwise action-RPG into a card game was a creative genius move. It was entertaining and unique. But honestly, it failed in its main objective to clarify the mess of Kingdom Hearts' story.

Best GBA Platformer Games

Drill Drozer

From the makers of Pokemon came a platformer classic, Drill Dozer. Drill Drozer was a gameplay design marvel, with varied rooms and unique character controls.

Drill Drozer let you control Jill, the youngest member of a gang of thieves known as the Red Dozers. Right off the bat, you will be exposed to high production value with stylized menus, and an interface that fit right into the atmosphere of the game. There were cutscenes at the end of every level and animation of major bosses' death.

The game consistently placed players in new situations, with players battling bosses the size of the screen. Certain rooms played off on a singular gimmick, such as a stage area that constantly revealed more enemies as layer after layer of curtains were pulled.

Drill Dozer was satisfying not just from a graphical perspective, but also its addictive gameplay loop. GBA was the home of a great number of amazing platformers for a lot of years, and Drill Drozer was one of them.

Drill Drozer had a unique control scheme

Ninja Five-O

Saving hostages were a huge part of Ninja Five-O

Ninja Five-O was a rare gem, quite literally. It was not a commercial success but the word of mouth regarding its quality spread like wildfire. Ninja Five-O was sought after because of its extreme rarity and its brilliance.

In Ninja Five-O, you controlled a Ninja Cop, Joe Osugi. His mission was to stop a terrorist group that has been influenced by the evil forces of the Mad Masks. Mad Masks were items that were previously locked away by the distant forefathers of the Ninja. There was no detective work; you only had to beat people up and rescue innocent hostages.

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The game did not have the best graphics or the best production values. What it had was the fluidity of controls, the unique blend of rope swinging and inventive combat that endured the test of time. The game was short, but the fun was there throughout. Ninja Five-O could be completed in 3 to 5 hours depending on how good you were in action-platformers. Admittedly, there was a decent amount of replay value. A scoring system was implemented that ranks you on enemies killed, hostages rescued, among other accomplishments. There were incentives for repeat runs; if you are not into high score chasing, why were you looking for a platformer in the first place?

Such a shame that Ninja Five-O did not sell well. Today, good luck finding a copy for your GBA.

Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow

Aria of Sorrow was trying to be edgy in its settings. Castlevania games were known to be set at the height of Gothic architecture in the Middle Ages. Aria of Sorrow was set in the distant future of 2035. This change was superficial at best since most of the levels were still evoking Western Middle Age rather than a cyberfuture. Good thing, none of this mattered since Aria of Sorrow was one of the best platformers released in 2003.

The future in Aria of Sorrow still had Cathedrals

The gameplay of Aria of Sorrow was structurally similar to its predecessors. Aria of Sorrow was the most balanced compared to other Castlevania titles on the GBA - it was more manageable than the ridiculous Circle of the Moon but it was more difficult than the laughably easy Harmony of Dissonance. Aria of Sorrow also offered more variety as both Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance were anemic content-wise.

Aria of Sorrow, at that time of release, had obvious flaws and in dire need of further innovation. Nevertheless, it was an incredible platformer and the best Castlevania game for the GBA.

Wario Land 4

Wario Land 4 was another handheld version of the game that demolishes its console version. Wario Land 4 implemented a fascinating dynamic in its sound design. The music would increase its intensity as Wario was nearing his death. The game music had vocals. It was a blast playing Wario Land 4 as it was magical to even have those tracks in a tiny little cartridge. It was recommended to play the game with headphones on in order for the player to experience further the magic. The sound effects correspond to every action happening on the screen.

A level in Wario Land 4

Wario Land 4 had the distinction of being the first platformer developed by Nintendo for the GBA. It showed Nintendo's expertise in creating games that had no business to be this good in limited hardware. Wario Land 4's gameplay was the pinnacle of platforming. Nintendo went all in developing this game. This was not an easy game though, as later stages would have puzzles that were hard to grasp even to those who were accustomed to platformers.

Metroid Fusion

Super Metroid was one of the greatest games of all time. As a matter of fact, it paved (along with Castlevania) a specific genre that was somewhat different from a platformer. This was not the time for semantic lessons. This was the time for Metroid Fusion.

Metroid was always quality gameplay-wise. In Metroid Fusion, it was the animation that got a lot of attention. The fluidity and the details were unmatched by any game at that time. The bosses and enemies were also animated with care. The environments were colorful and varied. There were also cutscenes. Metroid Fusion was a master class in production values.

One criticism of Metroid Fusion was it held the hands of players. Previous Metroid games had an understanding with its audience that if you could traverse a level or reach a platform, you missed something. Here, you would be guided by Samus' computer assistant. This was not necessarily a bad thing, but it was jarring especially to Metroid fans. Although, Metroid fans never did lambast this game for that matter knowing that Metroid games were too far and few in between to complain about such a minor thing.

Samus double-jumping in Metroid Fusion

Best GBA Puzzle Games

Sakura and Ryu battle it out

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo finally made its way to a handheld gaming platform. This meant that it would sacrifice its visual fidelity and sound quality. The core gameplay was still intact and did not suffer its reduction into a handheld game. Released first in 1996 in the arcades, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo was actually the first game. It was just making fun of itself at that time, taking a stab on mainline Street Fighter games naming conventions.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo clothed Puyo Puyo with a Street Fighter wardrobe. In the game, players maneuvered gems into a pit where they stack up. The object is to not let the pile get so high that it reaches the top of the screen. In order to reduce the stack, players must link colors together. This would have an effect on your opponent's container as you would drop Counter Gems into it. The amount of Counter Gems was relative to the number of gems you removed from your container.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is no Tetris, but it did have tight gameplay that was better played in multiplayer. There was a little bit of performance hit, but it was not that bad.

Dr. Mario / Puzzle League

If you were a puzzle game fanatic, Dr. Mario/Puzzle League was a great addition to your collection. Dr. Mario was not really the main attraction in this two-in-one pack. It was Puzzle League that drew the most attention.

Puzzle League was the better game

Puzzle League was a panel-shifting puzzle game that ramped up its difficulty as you progress.  You had to deal with a rising tower of panels. Panels were swappable sideways by two at a time. The technique was to match three or more like-colored panels vertically or horizontally so that those panels disappear. Any panels situated above them would fall, this would have lead to chain reactions that removed additional panels. Another effect of the collapse of pannels was major bonus multipliers.

There is no intention to paint Dr. Mario as a terrible game. It was just mediocre. It was a lame attempt of Nintendo to the puzzler craze that Tetris started. Dr. Mario was an added value to the package as there should be times that mediocre was good enough.

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong

Mario vs. Donkey Kong was not a platformer, it was a puzzle game. Many were turned off by this fact, but they did miss a wonderful gem of a game. The gameplay was addictive and there were a ton of levels. The level design was also crazy good.

The game looked goofy, and initially, felt like it would be small in scope and easy in the difficulty. Those words would never describe Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Levels were harder to solve as soon as you progress. The game opened up so many additional world areas and then added expert levels. There was so much to do in this game.

Mario completing a level

The graphics were cartoonish and it looked great on that tiny GBA screen. This was the game that made Mario and Donkey Kong looked so good on a handheld. Great graphics, funky soundtrack with funny Mario lines, Mario vs. Donkey Kong had all the goods. It was really an underrated game that should belong to best-of lists that involve puzzlers.

ChuChu Rocket!

ChuChu Rocket! was one of the first games developed by Sega for another platform, after the demise of the beloved Dreamcast. The Game Boy Advance was not fairly suited for ChuChu Rocket!'s control scheme. To be fair, due to the Dreamcast version of the game, people knew it would have controlled better. In a vacuum, the control scheme was just right.

ChuChu Rocket! was difficult to describe. The game was completely based on split-second decisions. What made it good was once you got acclimated to how it played, you would subconsciously control the game. The gameplay was actually pretty simple, yet it was easy to get overwhelmed.

ChuChu Rocket! was a busy game

Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgames

WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames was a compilation of micro-games. This game was full of extremely short mini-games that were controlled through simple button presses.

Each micro-game begins with a word that describes the task that you would take. For a few seconds, you would make sense of this before the time on the screen expires illustrated by a bomb that detonates if you were not quick enough. Wario Ware's charm was due to the hilarious nature of the microgames. It was a strange gaming experience with a sound design that as bizarre as the games. The fun was endless and more games should have followed this structure.

A level in Wario Ware

Best Strategy Games

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

The first GBA Fire Emblem game was great. Many were kind of disappointed by The Sacred Stones because there were a lot of assets that were recycled. Nothing was really new in the gameplay or presentation department. That did not stop The Sacred Stones from being on this list. The Sacred Stones had a lengthy campaign full of twists and turns. Aside from maintaining the tactical prowess, The Sacred Stones had a well-written story which was expected from a Fire Emblem game.

The Sacred Stone both had longevity and replayability. The story mode could be finished in several hours, but once finished, you were going to replay it again. This was not just due to branching storylines, but you could change your strategy drastically and you could win the game once again.

Fire Emblem was the perfect game for the GBA

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

There was a minor meltdown among Final Fantasy Tactics fans when this game was released. It was not a sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics, and it was a "softened" version of the revered game. In fact, it was the first Final Fantasy game to be meta, fully aware of itself. We would not dwell anymore on that aspect of the game.

While the gameplay mechanics were simplified, it was for the better. Final Fantasy Tactics suffered from bloat. It was a fresh of breath air to have a tactical game that did not overwhelm the mental state of players. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance still had complexity despite its simpleness. The art style too, while retaining some aspect of the PlayStation version, had a unique spin on it. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance had the right amount of challenge and charm.

Not many were fans of the game's self-awareness

Yggdra Union

Yggdra Union was a game that was hard to learn. The game had too much depth that no one understood it at first and there was just too much to take into account. It was both convoluted and technical. This game was so unforgiving no one liked it. Several years later, there was a renewed interest to difficult games, hence this recommendation. Yggdra Union was not unfair, no one was just ready for it. The game looked pretty. It was a journey going back to this game and understanding how it played.

This is a difficult game

Tactics Ogre: The Knights Of Lodis

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis was breathtaking. It had the depth, it was vast, it was complex, it was emotional. The Knight of Lodis was a technical achievement.  There were pacing issues, and the game was pretty easy.

The Knights of Lodis was, honestly, flawed. It took a lot of forgiving from any strategy games enthusiast all the game’s shortcomings. Maybe it was the technical limitation of the GBA that constricted the ambitions of the developers. Regardless of its flaws, The Knight of Lodis was a great tactical RPG that was portable, and that was groundbreaking in the early 2000s.

Tactical maneuvering in The Knight of Lodis

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Fans of strategy games are traumatized every time Advance Wars is brought into a conversation. Nintendo had left behind the Wars series. It was more than a decade since the last Wars series was released.

RIP Wars series, you are missed

The Advance Wars games for the GBA were practically perfect. However, Advance Wars 2 had the advantage of learning the first game. It was able to improve upon perfection and Advance Wars 2 was an easy to pick up game. Even if you are not a strategy game fan, or this was your introductory game of the genre, you would be able to learn and adapt. The first missions would have taught you the basics and learning the fundamentals would equip you until your last mission.

The plot was fairly thin, but the Wars series was known to be gameplay-centric. The commanders that you could control have different personalities like what you would have with your units. The maps in Advance Wars were the real deal. The different terrains would push you to mix your strategy up. No single strategy was applicable from start to beginning.

Best GBA RPGs

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

We could hear some of the RPG elitists' collective groans. Yes, Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku was not a premier GBA RPG title at the time of its release. So, why did this game got included in this list? Simple. It was fan service done right.

If you were not a Dragon Ball Z fan, you would not even buy this game even if it had Final Fantasy level of gameplay polish. This game was short and easy but it was the retelling of Dragon Ball Z in a pocketable package. The game was not that terrible amid its weak production value. For fans of Dragon Ball Z, a mediocre licensed game would always be good enough.

Goku by a river

Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga

Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga did not need to reinvent the turn-based battle mechanics, it just extended Paper Mario's innovation. Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga plays like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario. You were to traverse the Beanbean Kingdom in order to stop Cackletta's plan.

As mentioned, this game had turn-based combat. There was light puzzle solving here and there, and navigation through dungeons was a breeze. The two-character mechanic offered unique gameplay that was never before done at the time of its release, and even until now, there were no games that played like this.

Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga had strong visuals, a funny story, reinvention of the tired turn-based battle mechanics, and considerable length and depth in its quests.

This two-man RPG was hilarious

Riviera: The Promised Land

Riviera: The Promised Land is an interesting game. It had a hodgepodge of features borrowed from several RPGs. The best part of this RPG was the dating sim aspect. Dating was not obnoxious, but it was not conservative either. Your choices would influence each girl's feelings toward you and altered the dialogue at the end of the game. There were bawdy scenes if you were able to make the proper choices.

Riviera: The Promised Land's visual was probably the best for a GBA game. The hand-painted backgrounds were detailed even though they repeat. The audio production in this game was also the best. There were so many voiced lines in this game and these voices triggered at the end of battles and during dialogue scenes.

Riviera: The Promised Land was not an innovator of the genre. It just brought along the good parts of what made a good RPG.

Cierra was one of the girls you can date in Riviera

Pokemon (All Of Them)

Each of the Pokemon games in the GBA was worth buying no matter how strong people's opinions on each individual title. While the Pokemon developers had head-scratching decisions from title to title, they were still great games with no competition. Even until now, no monster-raising RPG can compete against Pokemon.

Final Fantasy VI Advance

The greatest of all time JRPG: Final Fantasy VI

Picking which Final Fantasy game was the best would mean flamewars in gaming message boards during the 2000s. However, there was no better Final Fantasy game than Final Fantasy VI Advance for the GBA. Final Fantasy VI Advance retains the dated visuals of the original game but it performed so much better on the GBA than the PlayStation. For a decade, the best place to play this masterpiece was on the GBA. After so many years, Final Fantasy VI can still be recommended due to its robust content and undeniable charm. If you only had to pick one game for your GBA, this was it.

Jasper Nikki De La Cruz
JN is a video game enthusiast and has written for various gaming outlets for a decade. Check out his gaming blog .