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The 10 Best Gameboy Advance Games Of All Time

by Javy Gwaltney on Mar 21, 2016 at 01:12 PM

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Today marks the 15-year anniversary of The Gameboy Advance's release in Japan, so we're going to look back and determine what games were the cream of the crop for Nintendo's handheld powerhouse. From new, quality entries in established series to the birth of exciting franchises, here are the 10 best games made for the Gameboy Advance.

10.  Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
The popular Mario & Luigi series, itself a successor to Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG, began with this entry way back in 2003. Four entries later, Superstar Saga is still one of the best games in the series thanks to its timeless humor and innovative, fun RPG mechanics. For those who missed out on the game when it was originally released, you can grab it for the Wii U's Virtual Console.

9. Golden Sun
Golden Sun is a quality title with a gorgeous aesthetic that serves as a fantastic homage to the best RPGS for the Super Nintendo. Golden Sun ends up being one of the more memorable RPGs on the system thanks to its fantastic technical presentation as well as its hours upon hours of content. 

8. Metroid: Zero Mission
Zero Mission is an enhanced remake of the original Metroid. Beyond adding a lovely shade of color to the game, new items, mini-bosses, and areas were added in as well, making this more than just your run-of-the-mill remake. Zero Mission does right by its source material. Another bonus? One of the greatest games ever made is even better for a new generation.

7. Fire Emblem
Fire Emblem has a confusing history. Though this Gameboy Advance game was the first in the series to hit North America, it was actually the seventh game in the main series to be released. While it would take a bit for Fire Emblem's focus on tactics and permadeath to catch on in the U.S. with the likes of Awakening and Fates, this entry was a great introduction to the series and one of the more enjoyable strategy games on the device.

6. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Minish Cap, the third game in The Four Swords spin-off series, is a delightful adventure and easily one of the best Zelda games made for handhelds, standing comfortably alongside the likes of Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. The Minish Cap smartly cribs from Windwaker's colorful aesthetic and its shrinking mechanic makes for an entertaining time.

5. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics was one of the great gems of the PlayStation One and its Gameboy Advance counterpart is a compelling experience. The game focuses on four children exploring a dream-like realm named Ivalice. Like its predecessor, Tactics Advance is a challenging game that will trip up any player who throws caution to the wind.

4. Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire
Pokémon Gold and Silver, games that built on their predecessors in an intelligent way, were hard acts to follow. That said, Ruby and Sapphire proved to be up to the challenge. The third release in the popular series added double battles as well as 135 new Pokémon for players to track down and add to their collection. Ruby and Sapphire would go on to be the best-selling games for the Gameboy Advance.

3.  Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania underwent a resurgence in popularity on Nintendo's handheld devices, with Aria of Sorrow being one of the more beloved entries thanks to its tight gameplay. Aria of Sorrow also took a risky-but-rewarding creative chance with its futuristic setting, since most of Castlevania's games are set in the past.

2. Metroid: Fusion
Released at the same time as Metroid Prime in North America, Fusion was a little overshadowed by its Gamecube sibling – perhaps somewhat unfairly. Fusion ranks among the best of the 2D Metroid games, with beautiful graphics, sublime sound, and a robust sci-fi story. It doesn't hurt that Samus' fusion suit itself is pretty cool.

1. Advance Wars
Advance Wars' deeply satisfying tactical gameplay struck a chord with players everywhere, and it's not hard to see why. The difficult, addictive strategy design was bolstered by its accessibility, appealing to players easily intimidated by strategy games. Add the colorful graphics and zany cartoonishness on top of that, and Advance Wars emerges as the Gameboy Advance's best game.