The GBA is backwards compatible with all the previous GB titles. If you want something small, bright, and easy on the pocket, get an SP, It's backlit and has a rechargeable battery unlike the regular one. The best SP is the AS-101 model as it has a much brighter screen, but few were made as they were made right as the GBA started to die. Though some feel the SP is damn uncomfy on the hands (and lack of batteries sucks if you don't have a plug nearby). There are third-party grip attachments you can use to hold it without your fingers going numb. If you feel you may not like it, get the original model (the one without a clamshell) and a lamp or one of those crazy ass back-lit hackjobs. The Micro doesn't have backwards compatibility, but if you buy a flash cart. no prob (since you can use a program to emulate them). The screen is smaller and the li'l portable must recharge like the SP, but damn is it easy to carry around.
Alternatively, some recommend emulation on other platforms as an option. However, it just ain't the same for some games, especially Drill Dozer.
dai.e. games that were localized or released in the western hemisphere
|Advance Guardian Heroes||Beat 'em Up||Received a lot of flak previously for not actually being "Guardian Heroes 2", but it's still a pretty good game. Has a lot of attacks per character and has a crazy ass "counter-attack" mechanic which is often utilized more in harder difficulties. You can upgrade your stats in certain between-stages to your liking. Has A LOT of unlockable characters, including enemies and even the original Guardian Heroes! Even though it's not "GH2", it's still damn fun nonetheless. Oh, and has fucking awesome music.|
|Advance Wars||Strategy||The first Wars to make it out of Japan (previous entries were Japan-only). A turn-based war strategy game with a bright, cartoon-ish, and lighthearted traits so jarring, they've become the series staple. On each map, you choose (or are sometimes cleverly forced) to use different Commanding Officers, each with different pros and cons, to lead your army to victory. Like Fire Emblem(7), it has a short intro tutorial, easing you into the game's mechanics, but gets very hard towards the end. Great game with a good deal of content, but is overshadowed by sequels. Still a great start, especially considering each successive entry has notable changes.|
|Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising||Strategy||The sequel to AW. Has even more content than 1 and brand new enemies to face! Even harder than the above, especially due to the craftily-built maps and challenging missions, but the added and upgraded characters and new army units keep it oh so fun. The sequels, Dual Strike and Days of Ruin, are on the DS.|
|Alien Hominid||Platformer||A fan-homage to Metal Slug that grew into a whole 'nother critter. You play as a little alien wreaking havoc and fighting the Earth military forces. You can collect power-ups, weapons, and even mount vehicles on your quest of global domination. A bit scaled down compared to console versions, but still fun and a great time-killer. EU game but no region lock.|
|Aladdin||Platformer / Port||The little port of one fun game from the SNES doesn't add any new feature to the game,aside from a nice save game function. The graphics and soundtrack are intact (Even Cobra Jafar fight is still awesome). Maybe you prefer the 16-bits version,but,hey,it's one simple but fun platformer on a portable. GOOD LUCK FINDING RED GEMS.|
|Astro Boy: Omega Factor||Beat 'em Up / Shoot 'em Up||Platformer with Beat 'Em Up and Shmup elements. One of the best action games on the GBA and it's made by Treasure, so it's damn good. Extra difficulty modes and a second (!) story mode make this purchase worthwhile. Seriously. The fighting and skill-customization is spot on, bosses are challenging, music is well done, and the story really pulls your heartstrings at times. You might buy a GBA just for this game alone. Some did!|
|Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge||Platformer||Handheld addition to one of the, if not the best, platforming series made by Rare. Sadly it doesn't live up to it's N64 counterparts but still a fun game. The overhead camera is kinda meh and the mini-games are a little annoying but still playable. "Voice acting" and your move set are similar to the original series, bringing a bit of nostalgia. Bozzeyes' (Bottle's replacement) voice will drive you up a fucking wall though.|
|Banjo-Pilot||Racing||Similar to Diddy Kong Racing featuring characters from the Banjo-Kazooie series. Players can race around various locales from the Banjo-Kazooie universe via air crafts. The game also has a really fun multiplayer mode. Originally a Donkey Kong racing game before Rare was sold.|
|Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand||Adventure / Stealth||Action, Stealth, and some light RPG elements combine in a fantastic game from the trolltastic mind of Kojima. Use sunlight to battle vampires, traverse fiendish dungeons, and solve tricky puzzles. With tons of gun parts to find and fruit to grow, this is one adventure that has some serious legs. Haunting music and beautiful graphics make this sweet experience even sweeter. TAIYOOOOOOOOO!!! (Keep in mind that actual sunlight is a crucial gameplay element of Boktai. If you live in a region that does not get much sun, you will be better off emulating a cracked ROM of this game.) Solar Sensor Patch|
|Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django||Action RPG / Stealth||This sequel is a whole different breed of animal. The leveling system is deeper, the difficulty of dungeons and fighting has had a nice spike, and because his gun got jacked up, Django now must go melee, using different elements and weapons in addition to sunlight. There's even a new Dark/Vampire Django system that throws an interesting twist in the sunlight formula. Solar Sensor Patch|
|Bomberman Max 2: Blue Advance/Red Advance||Puzzle||Unlike the first BomberMax game, Charaboms serve a purpose. Much like Tournament, equipping them boosts your stats and/or gives you extra abilities. This plays like a more traditional Bomberman game though. There are exclusive levels and Charaboms to each version, but by linking both up, you can 100% the game. There's also some additional mini-game bonuses, that silly charabom battle thing, and supposedly multiplayer of normal Bomber Battling.|
|Bomberman Tournament||RPG / Action-Adventure||Spiritual successor to the Neutopia series and Bomberman Quest. Bomberman travels around the world collecting magical items and saving critters who act like gadgets in Zelda/Neutopia. Has a number of hidden passages that can only be found by bombing walls in the right spot. A pretty good little action-adventure RPG romp that actually gets pretty tough later on. Also features traditional multiplayer Bomberman as a side-mode.|
|Boulder Dash EX||Puzzle||Classic Boulderdashery. There's a story mode to ease beginners into the game using colorful characters, worlds, music, etc. However, this also includes a classic version based on the NES/Arcade. Rockin'.|
|Breath of Fire||RPG||Handheld port of Capcom's SNES JRPG. The ultra-simplistic combat, paper-thin characters and tedious, badly-translated plot don't hold up much, but the dungeons and overworld are fun as there are many secrets to uncover, including the one that will get you the true end. The beginning of Capcom's revered (and now dead) role-playing series. This is the preferred version as it awards more EXP and gold per battle, has a Run button, link-up item trading and a few other small conveniences. The music was kept rather strong from the SNES, but the graphics and interface have been updated to be a little like 3 and 4.|
|Breath of Fire II||RPG||A considerable improvement, Breath of Fire II features a much more interesting cast (including the sexiest Nina in the series), better sprite-work, an actually interesting plot, and the peerless Shamanization system, which allows you to power-up and fully transform your characters in battle. You can also help build and maintain a town as a rather robust side-game. One of the better SNES JRPGs, now portable with the same additions as the port of the first game. Too bad they didn't bother to re-translate it. The transfer of aesthetics from the SNES are better than BoF1, also using the new interface, and still good. If you are emulating, you should take a look at the SNES version and the retranslation patch.|
|Bubble Bobble: Old & New||Puzzle||Includes the arcade original and a slightly remixed version, mostly in graphics and levels. Of course it includes multiplayer for both versions. Curiously, if you just go solo, you can unlock a CPU controlled P-2 so that you can get the best ending. Even if it dies, you can bring it back at whim. Best played with a pal though.|
|Car Battler Joe||RPG||A game that uses racing-styled controls, but has you using weapons on opponents in arenas. It's a weird experience at first, but can be pretty fun once you get the hang of it. You can customize your cars with new gear and weapons and even use items to get back in the game after taking damage. As one might guess, from a racing-type setup, it's pretty much all real time.|
|Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow||Metroidvania||Often considered the best GBA Castlevania thanks to multiple endings, a massive castle, a great variety of weapons and protagonist Soma's ability, which allows him to absorb the soul of every different enemy and use it in battle. The story takes place in the (very) near future and feels contemporary for once, with some surprising potential twists. It can be tough to figure out how to get the true end. Has a nice New Game+ mode. Dawn of Sorrow (NDS) is a direct sequel.|
|Castlevania: Circle of the Moon||Metroidvania||The first GBA Castlevania starring Nathan Graves, who has nothing to do with the Belmonts. Collect several spell cards which you can combine for dozens of different results. The small sprites and the fact that it can get hard to see (the game is quite dark) are potential issues, but it is wholly worth playing for series fans. It is possibly the most old school-feeling Metroidvania, and the toughest of the three GBA ones. The bonus modes warrant some replays, since each new one you obtain forces you to fight a bit differently due to altered stats and abilities.|
|Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance||Metroidvania||The underdog of the GBA trilogy, Harmony of Dissonance takes you through Dracula's castle with Juste Belmont and his fabulous thigh-high boots. Here you collect elemental grimoires and combine them with sub-weapons to cast spells. The bosses are rather underwhelming (mostly large versions of regular enemies), but aesthetically it may be the moodiest of the three; the soundtrack helps, too. Oh and you can do some interior decorating! There's also a decent bonus mode featuring Maxim Kischine. Part of the 'Castlevania Double Pack' along with Aria of Sorrow.|
|Chu Chu Rocket!||Puzzle||A well-done port of the Dreamcast classic. Change directional tiles to help your mice get to rockets so they can blast off away from hungry cats trying to munch them. Simple, but extremely addictive once you get the hang of it. Adds 1000+ more puzzle levels, the best of the Dreamcast's fanmade stuff from the world.|
|Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure||Platformer||Not by Naughty Dog, but still a pretty good entry. Great if you're new to the series, as it's a sort of remix of aspects and levels found in Crash 1, 2, and 3. 3D platforming is not to be found, but the 2D is surprisingly well done. There's still a few pseudo-3D levels and sections to play through, which work pretty well.|
|Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced||Platformer||The direct sequel to the first, which starts you off with the double jump and super belly flop. More Crash action of the first, but now has maps done Mario 3 style (choose your routes). Introduces Atlasphere (think Marble Madness), Wakeboard, and Coco's Spacesuit levels. The last traditional GBA Crash, as Crash Purple features a concentration on Mini-gaeman and also sucks.
The developer, Vicarious Visions, would later go on to remake the original Crash Trilogy for the PS4, Xbone, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
|CT Special Forces 2: Back to Hell / Back in the Trenches||Platformer||Part of a series inspired by Metal Slug. A bit less crazy sci-fi, though. In addition to pretty cool platforming, these games have you doing a variety of military-esque things. Sometimes protecting a cargo in a shmup sequence, dealing with bombs, parachuting, swimming missions, and so forth. Pretty neat stuff. Worth a try, but a bit on the easy side at times.|
|CT Special Forces 3: Bioterror||Platformer||More of above. Not to say that's a bad thing in any way, especially given how fun these games can be.|
|Demikids: Dark Version||RPG||An RPG made by Atlus. Based very loosely in the Shin Megami Tensei series, though way more cutesy. Features simplified demon negotiations, but the same fusion system, battles, and critters you've come to know and love from the series proper. Each version sees the story from a different side, so you may actually want to play both to learn the true story. Each version has a Japan-only sequel which also has a two-sided story. It's also much darker and twisted, and the translation project is sadly dying.|
|Demikids: Light Version||RPG||An RPG made by Atlus. Based very loosely in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Same basic stuff as Dark Version, but this version is said to be a bit easier.|
|Digimon Battle Spirit 2||Fighting||Perhaps the closest thing the GBA got to a portable Smash Bros. Uses Digimon from season 4, and plays a lot better than the first GBA battle spirit. As mentioned, uses a similar kind of scheme to Smash Bros., and even has a form of Final Smash in Digivolution. Not too shabby, and pretty fun with another person.|
|DK: King of Swing||Platformer||A unique Donkey Kong-centric GBA game. Uses a control system that focuses on the shoulder buttons to manipulate DK's or Diddy's hands, grabbing onto and climbing the environment. A fun twist on the Donkey Kong franchise. Sequel's on DS.|
|Donkey Kong Country||Platformer||A port from the SNES to the GBA with new features including new minigames, hidden pictures, and a Time Trial mode. The graphics and sound hold up about as well as the SNES, which mostly depends on how much you enjoyed it.|
|Donkey Kong Country 2||Platformer||The sequel to DKC 1. Control Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong and explore various levels and worlds. Best of the 3 platformer Donkey Kongs.|
|Donkey Kong Country 3||Platformer||Also a port from the SNES, this game features a bonus world, Pacifica, exclusive to the GBA version of the game not included in the original (just to be crystal clear on that). Also, this has a re-imagined soundtrack by David Wise (the original composer) which is surprisingly shittier compared to the SNES soundtrack.
Trivia: all three ports were made from scratch using emulators to rip the sprites (!)
|Double Dragon Advance||Beat 'em up||A remake of the classic NES/Arcade Brawler. Brings back the 2-player mode absent in the NES port, and adds techniques from throughout the series. One of the best beat-em-ups on the system and as always a riot with another player along for the ride.|
|Dr. Mario & Puzzle League||Puzzle||Features Dr. Mario, a match-4 drop n' pop puzzle game, and Puzzle League, Nintendo's form of insanely combo and chain heavy puzzle perfection embodied. This is a good alternative to the single player DSiWare entries for non-DSi DS/GBA players. For Multiplayer, consider Dr. Mario Online RX and Planet Puzzle League instead.|
|Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury||RPG||An action-RPG taking place in the DBZ universe. One of many. Unlike the first, Legacy of Goku, it is more refined in gameplay and difficulty. Legacy of Goku II is almost as good as this, and a pretty good alternative.|
|Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors||Fighting||An awesome fighter for the GBA. Unlike the horrid Taiketsu, this game was actually made IN JAPAN! Not only that, but it features beautiful, vibrant and colorful graphics (not shitty-ass claymation). The controls are tight and responsive, the soundtracks in the BGM are great and it's mostly air fighting. Big, beautiful ki blasts. Also includes tag-team multiplayer if that's your thing. Sequel on DS.|
|Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure||Platformer / Fighting||Retro-goodness embodied. It's for Dragon Ball what Omega Factor is for Astro Boy. Cool platforming, a variety of moves and attacks, hidden characters, neat enemies and boss fights, and a fighting mode that's pretty dang cool, despite being rather basic. Nothing like DBZ, this is when Dragon Ball meant light-hearted, but kickass, adventuring and general asskicking of goofy, yet shit-wrecking villains. Loads of unlockables to find, you probably won't even get 'em all in your first playthrough.
Fair warning though, if you're planning on getting this game, get the European version. While international versions of the game got rid of the instrumental version of "Makafushigi Adventure!" (the original anime's theme), the North American version is censored and has some typos despite being released a year after the European version.
|Drill Dozer||Platformer||One of Game Freak's few non-Pokemon projects and has sweet music, gameplay, and aesthetics. Some asshole crooks called Skullkers put your dad in the hospital, stole your family's Red Diamond, and all you have to get back at them is a robot with drill arms. Ready to fuck up Skullkers, vandalize police property, and steal any loot you can as you tear through the city? Yes, you are. Gameplay consists of drilling into and/or through things, switching gears and directions on the fly to tear through foes, obstacles, levels, and some surprisingly cool bosses. Prepare for some damn hard levels at the end and in post-game, and that's BEFORE one-hit-death hard mode!|
|Egg Mania||Puzzle||A curious puzzler that's a sort of upside down Tetris. Your goal isn't to clear blocks, but to get as high as you can, trying to avoid any gaps in your structure. There's various modes, even a VS. mode. A nice alternative to a typical formula.|
|F-Zero: GP Legend||Racing||A racing game like F-Zero's of the past. Has a story/mission mode and characters based mostly on the anime, which was pretty cool at times. However, there are also traditional modes as well.
Japanese versions of the game had content that was locked behind e-Reader cards, while international versions have vehicles that could be unlocked without the device, but not the tracks.
|F-Zero: Maximum Velocity||Racing||A surprisingly solid GBA launch title. Has new racers, vehicles, tracks, and music. All of which are pretty good, but it may be a while before you unlock some of them. At least you'll have maximum-velocity fun as you do so!|
|Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls||RPG||Modified and easier versions of the 2 games from PS1/WS, using MP in FF1 and making things generally easier in FF2. Both added/fixed new/old equipment to utilize more effects and skills. They're also the fastest versions of the two, due to speedy, but effective, animations and special effects, thus making most random battles over in a few seconds. Each also added new foes and new extra dungeons and an extra story mode (in FF2). FF1 has foes from FF3-6, including bosses and equipment. FF2 has you fight through an unseen side of the end-game in FF2, featuring certain familiar characters. Both were revamped on PSP, with further additions, but released separately.|
|Final Fantasy IV Advance||RPG||A port of the SNES RPG with some updated graphics and extra dungeons. Has minimal character customization, but concentrates on story. However, this is the only official version of FFIV to let you choose your final dungeon party. The European version fixed most problems of minor bugs and some lag in battles. The DS remake pumped up difficulty and added many extras, even some character customization, but no option of your final party choice. Also available on PSP along with FF4TAY as FF4: The Complete Collection, so you might prefer that version.|
|Final Fantasy V Advance||RPG||Featuring the most refined version of the job system seen in a main Final Fantasy title to date, join Bartz and his quest to have the most female-filled party in the series, as well as his battles against a magic tree. The story is lighthearted, but still plenty cool. Enough classes to make your head spin, plus an extra dungeon and new classes for the GBA version. Again, ported from the SNES with some updated graphics and lower-quality sound. (It won't bug you unless you played the original.)|
|Final Fantasy VI Advance||RPG||A ragtag team of terrorists take on a war-power that's been using nature's power against itself to further its expansion. You later take on a demigod who DESTROYED THE WORLD. Job system is gone, replaced by Espers, offering less customization and more favoritism when picking characters, of which there are many. Has some GBA extras in the form of new espers and dungeons. Like always, the sound isn't as good as the SNES. C'est la vie.|
This hack changes the sound font to one that is much closer to the SNES original but overall it's still not as good. It also changes the opera music to the Tokyo Orchestra rendition (with REAL opera singers!). Hack only works on the European ROM, though. This port has some slowdown problems also, you'll notice just walking around towns or on the world map causes the system to struggle, resulting in choppy scrolling. Likewise during battles there are certain attacks and effects that cause slowdown. The colours overall aren't as good as the SNES original. Contrast has been increased significantly (no doubt to help with visibility on the shit-house GBA screen) resulting in very washed out hues. A hack exists to fix this.
|Final Fantasy Tactics Advance||SRPG||A loose spiritual successor to the beloved Final Fantasy Tactics, this game features child protagonists living hard lives who are suddenly transported to a magical world full of adventure (so don't expect grimdark political intrigue). As Marche, you must find a way to get back home (if you even want to). Features the same class-based, grid-based combat, but now with in-battle "Laws" (restrictions) that can put your characters in jail if broken. They're very annoying until you become able to bypass them later on. With 300 missions, it'll give you your money's worth in play time.|
|Final Fight One||Beat 'em Up||Slightly remixed version of the original. Unlike the SNES game, this one actually has Guy. There's a few new added scenes as well. Classic Beat 'em up action featuring the legendary Mike Haggar and crew. How can you go wrong? Link up with a fellow head-smasher to really wreck stuff up.|
|Fire Emblem||SRPG||Designed to introduce the Fire Emblem series to the West, where dozens of characters are recruited and controlled in large-scale battles, fallen allies are permanently dead, and RNG rules your life. This starts with an easy sort of tutorial story and then dives into the main campaign. A colorful entry with energized battle sprites, a dramatic plot and a mostly loveable cast, a great way to get into the series. It is considered the quintessential Fire Emblem by many. The story is best experienced rather than summarized, but you (the player character) accompany the lords (the lively and hot-blooded protagonists of the game) Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector and the people they meet along the way as their tactician and friend, your quest to investigate the mysterious disappearance of young Lord Eliwood's father. The continent of Elibe creaks under the weight of political strife and intrigue as unknown forces conspire to plunge the nations into chaos. The story is a veritable epic (at least for a Fire Emblem game), and you're very likely absolutely love at least half-a-dozen of the characters available. It also has a lengthy additional story starring Lord Hector!|
|Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones||SRPG||Shockingly, The Sacred Stones works more like a traditional RPG in that it lets you fight optional battles to level up between the standard, scripted story battles, thus making it potentially the easiest game in the series. If you don't exploit this feature, however, this is still a title that lives up to modern FE standards of difficulty. The plot isn't exactly groundbreaking, involving political intrigue mixed with magic akin to most games of the franchise, and revolves around Ephraim and Eirika, the heirs of a ruined kingdom. The cast, composed of around 40 playable characters, is diverse, if (arguably) not as charismatic as FE7's, specially in regards to the protagonists, which have a much more self-righteous and serious attitude compared to the whimsical ways of Eliwood & Co. Despite re-using a lot of elements from the previous games, TSS also introduced several unique features to the GBA series, such as branching promotions, special abilities and unlockable antagonist characters.|
|Fire Pro Wrestling series||Sports||The classic wrassling series finally comes to the GBA! Unlike any crazier wrestling games, this series is fairly realistic, limiting your arsenal to less super-heroic moves, but there's still all sorts of nice attacks to use. The characters are fairly diverse as well, from traditional Faces to masked Luchadores, ready for action. Do you have the fire inside you?|
|Game & Watch Gallery 4||Minigame||A collection of old Game and Watch games with upgraded colour graphics and sound. Even has some games from previous G+W gallery games. The next 2 on DS are old-styled only. Unless you use, uh... non-payment methods, you can only get them from Club Nintendo. That said, a number of old-style G+W titles are on DSiWare, each going for cheap.|
|Godzilla: Domination!||Fighting||FUCK YEAR! Play as a classic movie monster from the Godzilla series and tear the other monster's shit up. Slightly resembles King of the Monsters (you can destroy cities to find power-ups and life refills). More refined than that in controls and there's no wrestling pin element. Not the best fighting game around, sure, but if you're a kaiju/Godzilla fan, you'll be able to eat it up no problem. Features inter-stage news-reporter fanservice drawn by Matt Bozon.|
|Golden Sun||RPG||A rather unique turn-based JRPG. Characters utilize: magical weapons, magical items, magical critters (Djinni, which act as free in-battle skills), mighty mythical beings as summons, and last, but not least, Psynergy, which is like "magic" but also lets you use: psychokinesis, claivoyance, altering patches of the environment, and so forth. Djinni also affect your title, which changes your stats to various specializations and unlocks new Psynergy. Now that's a lot of customization! Beware for loads and loads of verbose exposition.|
|Golden Sun: The Lost Age||RPG||A continuation of the original, covering a much greater area of the Golden Sun world. However, this time you play as the surviving 'antagonists' of the first game. The plot twist is huge (especially if you beat the first game before this), and the game has much, MUCH more to do. Travel around in a flying boat, meet up with your characters from the first game, utilize more classes, Djinn, spells, and summons, solve more puzzles, get more magic weapons, and fight extra bosses even more challenging than the final boss! There is a password you get in the first game that you can use in the second to transfer over your stats and Djinn progression, but the password can go all the way up to 6 pages long! Third game is on the DS, but has no transfers due to having new characters and taking place 20 years later.|
|Gradius Galaxies||Shoot 'em Up||A spinoff from the main Gradius series. Has all of the gameplay you'd expect though, including different power-up setups, perilous stages, and challenging bosses.|
|Guilty Gear X - Advance Edition||Fighting||One of the very few fightan' on the portable. Expect gross graphics and mediocre music,but the action it is still good and can be fun for some time. Regardless,the game modes are somewhat fun and sprites (small,but with fluid movement) have good animations. Worth at least a try for fans.|
|Gunstar Super Heroes||Platformer||The sequel to Gunstar Heroes on the Sega Genesis. Doesn't have the weapon mixing feature of the original, but still good nonetheless. There's some interesting mini-segments based off of other Sega games as well. Both characters play a bit differently, and have notable differences in their respective story, especially the endings.|
|Hamtaro: Ham-Ham HeartBreak||Adventure||Sequel of Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! on the GBC (from which it took the gameplay), this game is developed by Nintendo and AlphaDream (Mario+Luigi RPGs), and even headed by Shiggy himself. This is why it shouldn't be underrated! It's pretty funny and has a strong gameplay based on the "ham-chat". Hell, it even has a little Zelda reference. There's another game, Rainbow Rescue, which is similar to this and Ham-Ham games below, but Europe only. Still, you can't help but love dem hamsters.|
|Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games||Minigame||You play as Hamtaro in a bunch of sports minigames. This shit is really fun. It honestly puts Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games to shame. Not exactly a hard feat, but it's still quite entertaining in its own right. Ham-Ham Heartbreak is better, though.|
|Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town||Sim||A farm simulation game. Obviously there are a whole fucking lot of Harvest Moon games to choose from and they all play basically the same, but this one is considered to be one of the best. If you only play one Harvest Moon, it wouldn't hurt to make it this.|
|Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town||Sim||MFoMT is nearly identical to FoMT except the main character (Claire) is a girl, and can marry one of five normal bachelors: Kai, Rick, Doctor, Cliff and Gray and another three special bachelors in Mineral Town: Won, the Kappa, and the Gourmet Judge. Besides that, the game remains almost unchanged, with the exception of several gameplay changes, improvements, and tweaks.|
|Iridion II||Shoot 'em Up||One of the few shoot 'em ups available on the Gameboy Advance. Iridion II is a cut above the abysmal Iridion 3D, but still a very standard experience. There are over a dozen levels to blast through with tons of diversity, obstacles, and some beautiful parallax action. It even has an Amiga-style soundtrack you can tweak at the start screen. If you just want to go straight to level select and boss rush while avoiding the hamfisted story, use this five-point code: 4RC8!|
|It's Mr. Pants||Puzzle||Rare's survey mascot. Overlap shapes to make rectangles. Pretty much it. Underwear galore. This game is so wrong on many levels.|
|Justice League Heroes: The Flash||Beat 'em Up||The Fastest Man Alive kicks ass in what's likely the best game based on The Flash. Takes a few elements from Viewtiful Joe and other beat 'em ups by letting Flash zip up to foes and deliver high speed smashes, run circles while punching over a larger area, and go so fast it's as if time slows for all others. Protip: You can even OUTRUN DEATH by using a certain method right before you bite the big one.|
|King of Fighters EX2||Fighting||A remix of then-recent KOF arcade game (KOF2000), with a cast of mainly the fan-favorites. Some new characters are also present, and have styles similar to non-present fighters. As always, there's still a lot of variety, and of course, a hard KOF End Boss. Controls DAMN smoothly, and despite having less characters than SFA3, still looks good and has pretty catchy music. Don't play the first EX though. It has a lot of problems which make it suck, specially the way attacks connect.|
|Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories||RPG||A remix of KH1 on PS2, explained through the main character's memories. Actually a pretty good yarn, even if you haven't played the first. EVERYTHING in this game runs on cards: attacks, magic/summons, special abilities, even just getting to the next area. It's a love it or hate it ordeal, but definitely unique, especially due to a high level of customization. There's also an extended post-game extra mode, where you must use a different approach to the gameplay as another character. A remake is available on the PS2 titled Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, which is basically the same game with KH1 graphics. It is advised, but not mandatory, that you play one of these versions before playing KH2, since all events here are canon and connect the first and second titles of the main series.|
|Kirby & The Amazing Mirror||Platformer||Kirby is split into and calls on three duplicates of himself in order to remake the titular (and broken) mirror. Instead of progressing through numbered stages, the shards of the mirror in question are spread all throughout a Metroidvania-esque world. By playing with friends, you can all explore the giant world with each other, either alone or in a Kirby group! You can perfectly get through without multiplayer, although the AI is a little stupid at times.|
|Kirby: Nightmare In Dream Land||Platformer||A remastering of Kirby's Adventure, originally for the NES. Fun, cute platforming like always. Features the same hard mode of the first, along with some new mini-games. What else do you want? How about a time-attack mode where you fuck shit up as Meta-Knight? Well, you've got it here! You do have to unlock it first though...|
|Klonoa: Empire of Dreams||Platformer||Fun puzzle platforming with gratingly cute characters. Switch hittan, enemy grabban, ear floppan, etc.|
|Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament||Platformer||More Klonoa goodness. Unlike the first, this discards boss battles for boss races against a rival through intricate courses filled with obstacles that test your brain as well as your reactions.|
|Konami Krazy Racers||Racing||Konami's attempt at a "Mario-Kart" esque game that's actually pretty fun! Konami characters race on tracks from various franchises, such as Twinbee, Goemon, Castlevania, Metal-Gear, and more. Uses similar controls and power-ups, and has quite a few unlockables. Extra modes include traditional racing multiplayer, a hot potato with bombs, and a chicken race.|
|Kuru Kuru Kururin series||Puzzle||Fly your Helirin, a constantly spinning flying device, to the stage exit. A LOT more complex than it sounds. There's a number of walls and obstacles for you to maneuver past, and when they get narrow, that's when things really start getting interesting. A neat concept executed rather well. Had a Japanese only sequel in Kururin Paradise, which features more puzzles to tackle. Another Japanese sequel/spinoff (lol) was release on Gamecube.|
|Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past & Four Swords||Action-Adventure||A port of the SNES classic with a whole new multiplayer mode that uses the graphical style of the Wind Waker and introduces a new villain, Vaati. As with all Snes->gba ports the colours and sounds are a bit off but it's still worth playing if you haven't got or played the original. (Arguably, even if you have.)
The Four Swords was ported to the DSiWare as part of the series 25th anniversary, but was removed from the store six months later.
|Legend of Zelda, The: The Minish Cap||Action-Adventure||The first (and last) original Legend of Zelda title for the GBA! Capcom, developer of both the Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons LoZ games before this title, shows us the series is in good hands with them once again. The gameplay is traditional Zelda fare: overhead combat, puzzle-solving, and break-ins are all present. But as always there are new items to put a twist on the tried and true gameplay.|
|Lunar Legend||RPG||Altered cartoony remix of Silver Star Story Complete. Unique compared to SSSC and Silver Star Harmony (on PSP) in that this has some unique story events and alters some others. Introduced a "limit break" kind of system, along with some new equipment options. Changed the item system to run off a menu versus a limited inventory, too. All attacks can reach anywhere, thus, there's no movement/range factors, making some fights easier or harder. It's the easiest version anyways, though. Has some exploitable glitches to make your party stupidly strong early on and keep them that way. A curiosity for Lunar fans, but still decent if you aren't familiar with the series.|
|Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga||RPG||If you've played Paper Mario, there's a good chance you'll love this. Although Mario and Luigi are the only two party members, they learn a plethora of teamwork style moves that require specific button presses and timing that really spruce up the combat. The art style is gorgeous, too. The writing, golden. If you want a different kind of RPG, or just want to have a good laugh with an exceptionally made game, this one's for you. The sequel and threequel are on DS.
The game was remade for the Nintendo 3DS in 2017, and contains a side-story.
|Mario Golf: Advance Tour||Sports||Imagine the N64 version of Mario golf squeezed into a gba and then made even more awesome and this is the result. Added RPG elements make this amazing game even better. Warning, though, if you're looking for a quick fix of golf, competing with Mario and his gang, skip this one. The RPG elements make so you won't get into a golf game for about 20 mins into it and still won't even see Mario for a great while in-game. Otherwise probably the best golf game ever made.|
|Mario Kart: Super Circuit||Racing||This iteration in the long-running racing series mixes elements of the N64 and SNES versions to create another solid game in the series. Strangely hard to get perfect rank on tracks but an awesome game nonetheless. All tracks from Super Mario Kart are present, but with GBA graphics and presentation.|
|Mario Tennis: Power Tour||Sports||A Tennis RPG like the GBC game. Power Tour is a little bit on the easy side, but it's still quite a lot of fun. You can level up your tennis skills on the courts or through several tennis related minigames. The goal is simple: Make your way through the various tennis tiers and become a pro! You can customize how you want to improve your characters.|
|Mario vs. Donkey Kong||Puzzle / Platformer||Spiritual Successor to Donkey Kong '94 on GB. Collect stolen Mini-Mario toys in levels and later lead them to safety (which is what this series became afterwards). One-on-One duels with the Banana Slamma are still here, but easier since you have more life. Not as great as DK94, but still good regardless. Sequels on DS and DSiware, which are shit.|
|Medabots AX: Metabee / Rokusho Version||RPG||This plays like Custom Robo with a dash of Smash Bros. The arenas are 2D platforms like Smash's, but you can edit your robot fighters' parts and weapons like CR. Some prefer one version or the other, but it doesn't really matter too much which you play.|
|Medabots: Metabee / Rokusho Version||RPG||This is a loose spinoff of the show plotline in the form of, well, "an RPG adventure". You explore the Medabots world, and often get into "robattles". You can customize your fighters with different parts, but instead of taking direct control of them, you give them strategic time-based orders. It's a bit like Final Fantasy's ATB system mixed with RTS elements. This is good on its own, but fans of the franchise will enjoy it much more. (Don't confuse this with AX now.)|
|Mega Man & Bass||Platformer||A fantastic entry in the Classic series, this game lets you play as the Blue Bomber or his rival, Bass. The two control and play differently (Mega Man has classic controls while Bass plays more like X with an aimable buster gun), and are able to upgrade themselves differently. The bosses are fun and varied, and the music lives up to the quality you'd expect from Capcom (though a little weaker versus the SFC original). There's also a bevy of extras such as a gallery of famous MM characters. But beware; it's tough (and has shitty localization)!|
|Mega Man Battle Network||RPG||MMBN has unique battles in semi-real time. In "battles", you move Megaman.exe around 9 panels in real-time, striking at enemies and dodging their attacks. During each "custom turn", you select special chips to use that heal you, deal damage, steal enemy panels, and more. You can "jack" in and explore the cyberspace of practically every electronic device in the game, leading to a great deal of exploration. Your main goal is to take down cyber-terrorists in a world run by computers.
Has a japan-only remake on DS, but a full translation patch is available here.
|Mega Man Battle Network 2||RPG||Battle Network 2 is considered by fans to be one of the best Battle Network games. It more or less capitalizes on everything that made the first game so good. The plot is also improved. It features more hectic situations (including a plane jacking for instance). Megaman can now change into a few different elemental forms. The number of chips has increased from the first game. The bosses are also a little bit better and more difficult.|
|Mega Man Battle Network 3 Blue||RPG||Fuck yes you are the best BN ever. Introduces the Navicust feature, where you "program" Megaman to upgrade him. Brings Style Changes back from MMBN2, and revives WWW yet again. There are numerous bosses, and the chips in Blue version are crazy compared to White (Folderback returns all your used chips, INCLUDING FOLDERBACK, back into rotation, and fills the custom gauge), But overall either one's a wholly satisfying experience.|
|Mega Man Battle Network 4||RPG||Not as bad as people would lead you to believe. Okay, so it's still the weakest of the bunch but that's not saying much as it is still a fine game on its own. Introduces important elements to the series such as the emotion window, dark chips, soul unisons and the Boktai crossovers. A bit underdeveloped, with the story taking a notable backseat to a typical tournament arc, making it quite short compared to the others but you can finally start over without losing anything thanks to the addition of a new game+.|
|Mega Man Battle Network 5||RPG||Double Team DS render the GBA versions all but obsolete, but if you're somehow unable to get a hold of a DS in this day and age, why not? you'll at least be spared from the terribad voice acting if that's such an issue for you.|
|Mega Man Battle Network 6||RPG||If you liked 1, 2, and 3, definitely pick up a version of 6. The gameplay is refined to its best. Styles now become the "SoulCross" (Megaman fuses with one of 5 version-specific pals (5 per version, not 5 versions)), "Full Synchro" lets you potentially deal double damage with your nest chip, and "Beast Out"+"Beast Cross", lets you fuse with your version's "netbeast" to power up even more. Either version is great, so don't worry about which to pick. The series ends here, but had a spiritual successor/century-later sequel in Mega Man Star Force, though the 3rd is the best of those, especially if you are coming right from the BN series.|
|Mega Man Zero||Platformer||A distant-future sequel to the Mega Man X saga. Zero awakes from suspended animation to find himself in an age where the central government hunts and exterminates all Reploids (robots), and joins La Resistance. Combat is sword-based with a number of optional side-weapons and collectibles. The new character designer sort of makes everyone look like sleek 14-year olds? Anyway, a very fun and tough game with some story twists. The game grades your performance very harshly throughout.
Available on DS as part of the Mega Man Zero Collection.
|Mega Man Zero 2||Platformer||The sequel improves on areas where MMZ faltered, making this much more polished. Stage selection is simplified,and the weapons are a bit more useful and varied. The cyber elf system is much more clear, and the boss cast is well designed and challenging. The story is a must see for fans of the X series! The new Chain Rod lets you go all Bionic Commando to swing from places and Simon Belmont as you whip those chumps around!
Available on DS as part of the Mega Man Zero Collection.
|Mega Man Zero 3||Platformer||Sadly does away with the kickass chain rod in favor of the recoil rod, which lets you jump higher and shove stuff around. Features a new equipment system, more enemy skills, and a few secrets found in the new Cyberspace. Features an incredible final boss. Link this game up with Megaman ZX on the DS for a hidden late-game surprise.
Available on DS as part of the Mega Man Zero Collection.
|Mega Man Zero 4||Platformer||No more shield boomerang or rod variants. They're both replaced by the new Zero Knuckle, which lets you steal weapons from common enemies for your own usage. The cyber elf system is totally revamped, and a bit confusing now, but you can potentially utilize it better than the system before. Also has a weather system which can affect stages and stage bosses, making them harder or easier. The last in the series, but the spiritual successor, ZX, along with its sequel, is on the DS.
Available on DS as part of the Mega Man Zero Collection.
|Metal Slug Advance||Run 'n Gun||Just like any other awesome Metal Slug game with a life bar instead of extra lives. Also has cards hidden throught the levels that change up gameplay if you activate them.|
|Metroid Fusion||Platformer||Eight years after Super, Samus is back! Fusion was released alongside the first Metroid Prime and signifies a change in the series' formula: Although exploration is still a factor, because of the setting and the focus on story the game feels much more linear than other Metroid games. Whether this appeals to you or not, Fusion is a must-try for any fan of the series. Little-known fact: Metroid: Fusion runs on a heavily modified Warioland 4 engine!|
|Metroid: Zero Mission||Platformer||A remake of the original Metroid! Zero Mission adds the newer and smoother controls of later games to the first's setting, as well as a slight reinvention of the original story. Changes were also made to bosses and the world map itself. This also has a sort of objective-type progression system, like Fusion, but for diehard fans, again, there's no choice but to try! When you think it's over, there's a whole new area to play in with the Zero Suit.|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Battle Assault / Gundam Seed Destiny||Fighting||Take on various Gundams from the Seed series in this Battle Assault spiritual sequel. As one would guess, it doesn't quite have the same feel or is as expanded as the first two, but it's still pretty good. There's a variety of game modes in addition to standard story or versus, and 4 extra fighters to unlock as well. There's a Japan only sequel that has a lot more of great mobile suits, a challenge mode that teaches you some crazy combos and a shop that lets you unlock units from the first game and extra stuff. The menu is in English, so get this one.|
|Monster House||Action-Adventure||Don't be fooled by this game because it's based on a movie. It's pretty obvious that the developers of this game have played Zelda. And they managed to duplicate it pretty well. But this house is pretty fucking big.|
|Monster Rancher Advance 2||RPG||Monster Rancher Advance 2 is a pretty basic Monster Rancher game. Instead of unlocking monsters through discs, you enter in words to generate them. Then you train them and enter tournaments. Combination monsters (example: a suezo bred with a tiger) are now just simple recolors. It's a little disappointing, but the gameplay is still series standard.|
|Mr. Driller 2||Puzzle||Drill through colored blocks, which automatically pop once they match in 4 or more. Aside from careful planning and drilling, air is crucial to survival, so don't get out of range or trap yourself with gas blocks. Features Anna as an alternate player, whose stats differ from Susumu's. This is a good intro to the series, but lacks replay value compared to its sequels.|
|Napoleon / L'Aigle de Guerre||RTS||You control Napoleon as you lead his army to victory. You also have CPU support commanders, who can lead groups of troops instead of you doing so one at a time. Some liberties were taken as Napoleon's army later fights ogres and yetis for some reason. A French to English patch for the main game exists, but it doesn't change some minor details or the extra modes. Despite being on GBA, it controls quite well, and very rarely, if ever, has slowdown.|
|Naruto - Ninja Council||Platformer||Back when you could still follow the plot and the series was more like Dragon Ball. You play as either Naruto or Sasuke and a third hidden character. The levels are fun designed and some interesting gameplay choices are made to freshen things up. You can hold the attack button to power up different jutsus that are useful in different situations. At the end of each section waits a boss. Some can be beaten with hidden features, like they were beaten in the source material. Has a hardmode after you beat it once per character. If you emulate it make savestates during the village levels. Neji is one of the bosses and not only will his multiple strike jutsu fuck your lifebar up, it will also glitch the sprites permanently, making this boss a chore. If you don't beat him before he uses the jutsu, just reload. Has hidden techniques for all characters too. Fun all-round platformer.
Has sequels that span from the GBA to the 3DS, but they either aren't any good nor are they worth mentioning.
|Ninja Five-O||Platformer||Take the original Shinobi, add some Bionic Commando, top with a dash of Ninja Gaiden and you've got Ninja Five-O, an arcade-style parfait that embodies the spirit of the Arcade Golden Era. Slide, swing, shoot, slash, and generally ninja your way through various locales as a badass Ninja Cop who's out to save hostages and kick terrorist ass. The terrorists are rather normal, wielding firearms, dynamite, and the like, but their bosses are supernatural assholes who seek global domination under their demonic rule. Like you'll let THAT happen. This is one of the rarer GBA games, emulate or be ready to spend a bit of money.|
|One Piece||Platformer||Made by the Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure team. Control a stretchy pirate fella who seeks to gain a crew and sail the seas for treasure, booty, etc. Once you gain a crewmate, you can summon him/her for one of their skills, be it support, food, or enemy damage. You also have your own skills, and can unlock more by racking up points. All in all, it's a bit similar to GodHand-lite if it were a platformer. Features neat stages and some damn weird/cool bosses.|
|Payback||Action||Do you want to play GTA on your GBA? Well, okay, there is the official port of it. But there is also this indie GTA clone that's somehow far more technically advanced. In fact, it's one of the most advanced games for the system, with some really nice 3D graphics.|
|Phalanx: The Enforce Fighter A-144||Shoot 'em Up||A port of the SNES version. Despite sadly lacking in the cool cover factor, this still remains a fairly enjoyable game with different combos of weapons and sub-weapons to utilize. Unlike most SNES-to-GBA games, The screen hasn't been cut much either. Farmer Bob, you will be missed.|
|Pinball of the Dead||Pinball||An amusing combination of House of the Dead and pinball action. The physics are quite good, the tables are amusing and well done. This seems to be inspired by Naxat Soft's "Crush" series, as there's also mini-tables where you take on different "bosses" from HotD. Very nice. You'd be hard-pressed to suffer like G did when playing this pinball gem.|
|Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire||RPG||
Come on, you knew these games would be on here. The third generation of Pokémon has its fans and detractors. You cannot trade critters from earlier games, but here is where Abilities and Contests were introduced (among other things), along with over 130 new monsters. These days it's hard to justify playing it, what with each generation mostly improving upon the last, and Emerald being literally the same game with improvements, but it may make for a nice walk down memory lane.
|Pokémon Emerald||RPG||The obligatory third game that improves upon the first two and includes new content, Emerald is the way to go if you want to experience the third generation of Pokémon. It brought back sprite animations, which hadn't been seen since Crystal. Not to mention it was a major chore to get 2nd gen pokemon in R/S (you needed a GCN and Pokemon Colossuem and conectors and all that junk!) but here you can get a free Johto starter (after catching all the Hoenn pokemon) plus the Safari zone lets you catch the useful pokemon from gen 2!|
|Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen||RPG||Remakes of the original Pokémon Red and Blue, including updated graphics and all the new features that later generations introduced. You can catch second and third generation Pokémon as well, and trade with Ruby and Sapphire. After traversing Kanto you will access the all-new Sevii Islands, which link the games to HeartGold/SoulSilver plot-wise and have lots of stuff to do. A great way to reminisce about the originals, and a couple of great Pokémon titles.|
|Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team||RPG / Roguelike||A roguelike-styled RPG featuring Pokemon elements and mechanics. Through a personality quiz, you end up becoming a Pokemon and questing through randomly-generated dungeons to find treasure, save others, and solve a mystery deeper than just idle exploration. Blue Rescue Team on DS is just an alternate version to this. Sequels are on DS, and all follow the same general mechanics, but have different character options. One of the most touching stories you'll get from a pokemon game!|
|Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire||Pinball||Combines Pokémon and pinball, two addicting tastes that taste like crack together. Play through two tables as you try to catch 'em all! (You can catch the Johto starters and Aerodactyl if you're clever enough!)|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||Platformer||A pretty nifty 2D-platformer version of its console cousins. Venture through traps and foes and make time your bitch as you use it to make impossible jumps, evade death, and generally turn back the sands of time to your pleasing.|
|Puyo Pop||Puzzle||One of the better match-# drop 'n pop series. Puyo's been on many systems, but this features several different Puyo blobs to spice matches up. Also has 4-player multiplayer, but good luck finding someone else with this not-online. Story mode's pretty amusing as well. This is one of the stronger entries, despite some other games being more pop-ular.|
|Puyo Pop Fever||Puzzle||Sega's re-invention of Puyo. Does away with the blob types of Puyo Pop in favor of the fast-paced "Fever Mode", a limit-break styled mini-game in a game that lets you fuck over your opponent. You'll probably like this game or hate it because of that. Had a sequel which didn't change much and successors in Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary (many more modes, and has Fever Mode, but isn't mandatory) and Puyo Puyo 7 (less modes than 15th, but new twists on Fever Mode).|
|Racing Gears Advance||Racing||Orbital Media made a great Micro Machines game with more awesomeness. Fluid controls,great graphics,a godd selection of racers and upgradable parts for you car like boosters and guns with the cash you earned,but the top-down persperctive may be a little confuse and annoying at first,but it's easy to adapt. Goes very cheap on market,and Ebay prices are good.|
|Rebelstar: Tactical Command||SRPG||A sort of spin-off of X-Com. Features surprisingly accurate rates on your damage and accuracy percentage rates. Utilizes stealth and cover quite well. If you've played X-Com before, it might feel streamlined or a step down, but even if you haven't it, it's an impressive game nonetheless. Also, you play as humans, not the aliens on the cover, at least in the main story mode. Skirmish mode is free-game for any side of (extra-)terrestrial life.
The cover art is an abortion and has nothing to do with the actual game.
|River City Ransom EX||Beat 'em Up / Action RPG||A remake of River City Ransom on the NES. It sports updated graphics, some new attacks, an AI partner (to make up for lack of true multi-player), a save and load feature that keeps your stats and cash, and a slightly altered engine. Certainly worth a look, especially for fans of the original.|
|Riviera: The Promised Land||RPG||Upgraded port of the Wonderswan game. An interesting turn-based RPG where the main character is followed by a crew of girls. Lots of exploring, decision-making, and dating-sim elements. You're pretty much guaranteed not to see or get everything in one playthrough. Features very unique battles, which take a bit of time to get used to, but can be very fun. Also, dem well done dubbed voices. Ported to PSP with more voicework and remixed music.|
|Robopon 2: Cross Version||RPG||Actually picks up where the GBC game left off. Somewhat similar to Pokemon, but features several differences, mainly since you improve your robot with parts, software, and RAM. There are also 4-on-4 battles, a pretty expansive main quest, and an SNES inspired HUD. Not too shabby if you want different kind of collectan game to give a whirl.|
|Robopon 2: Ring Version||RPG||More or less the same as Cross, but with some slight robot collectan differences.|
|Sabre Wulf||Puzzle / Platformer||A 2004 port of a 1984 game made by Rare (the port.) Make your way through the jungle and steal some treasure from the Wulf using a variety of animals as tools to get to him. Then fucking book it back to your tent before he fucks you up.|
|Scurge: Hive||RPG / Platformer / Survival Horror||In this isometric homage to Metroid/Sci-fi horror, shortly after you begin, your body gets an alien infection. Your mission is to find out what has happened at a seemingly-abandoned scientific research facility, exterminate an alien infestation, and most importantly, try to stay alive. The infection stays mild until agitated, then it becomes a serious threat. You can calm it down by visiting save/decontamination points, but you're only buying time, unless you find some way or someone to cure it...|
|Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2||Platformer / RPG||Classic Castlevania-esque action. Features a soul system similar to the Aria of Sorrow's, but also has a few soul-combination attacks as well. In addition to that, there's also some sword skills to learn, ala Zelda 2. Features a number of difficulty settings off the bat, so you can make it as hard or easy as you want. Even if you don't know a thing about the franchise, if you're a fan of old-school platforming with fun boss battles, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.
If you're curious about the first game, it's 90% similar, to the point can't really tell the difference just by looking at screenshots.
|Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon||SRPG||Revamped version of Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention. Story elements are added and lots of characterization, too, especially when chatting with those who often battle. Extra content includes new characters, a few new spells, rewards for completing certain goals in battle, along with cards which allow a certain new character to utilize different powers. All in addition to updated graphics, better music (with a few new songs), and an already solid gameplay system.|
|Shining Soul II||RPG||A dungeon crawler action-RPG that's similar to Diablo in some aspects. You choose 1 class to play as from 8, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Leveling up allows you to customize which stats you want increased along with class specialties, such as weapon mastery, elemental resistances, and so forth. There's also some side-quests to take on, along with an arena, both of which offer various rewards. There is also multiplayer for up to 4 people, which is where some classes play best. Shining Soul II blows I away, so don't think you're missing anything by missing 1 (they're unrelated anyways).|
|Sigma Star Saga||Action RPG / Shoot 'em Up||Inspired by The Guardian Legend, but the shmup-ing plays like Gradius and the connection between the modes is indirect. As an Earth soldier, you wind up involved in an infiltration operation into the invading alien armies. However, things aren't so simple as the line between "Right" and "Wrong" blurs between sides as you must decide for yourself which path to take in one of the multiple endings. While on foot, you obtain new gadgets for exploring and gun data for shump battles. You can even customize your own shot type for shmup battles, the total number of the 3-factor combination types ends up being over 15000!|
|Sonic Advance||Platformer||Sonic makes a return to his 2D roots in this GBA iteration, and we are all better for it. Though it's a bit shorter and more straightforward than the Genesis classics, it's still a fun ride while it lasts. Inspired somewhat by Sonic Adventure games, as in addition to multiple characters, each can use attacks and skills in addition to standard jump and spin-dash (ex: Sonic can do a slide kick and also grind on rails). Even has a Tiny Chao Garden to raise a Chao with toys and food that you buy with the rings you've collected in the main game. However, it has a bug exclusive(?) to this game. TCG info|
|Sonic Advance 2||Platformer||SA2 feels like an entirely different game than its predecessor—Levels are a little less focused on combat and more focused on pure speed. In fact, the boss fights themselves all take place while Sonic (or whatever other character) runs in pursuit. While the level design sometimes suffers for this, the game's fun and exciting as all hell. SA3 differs a bit, combining aspects of 1 and 2, but Sonic Rush on DS is definitely a successor to SA2 (though with non-perma run bosses). Has TCG like SA1, but you have to unlock it first. It also fixes the bug present in SA1's TCG and is slightly different from it, but not much.|
|Sonic Advance 3||Platformer||Considered by many to be the weakest of the trilogy. What distinguishes this from the other two is the partner system. You choose which character to play as, and a partner to use as well. Depending on the team, characters may play more speed-centric, power-centric (which can open up alternate routes in acts, among other things), and/or have altered attacks and traits. Unlike Knuckles' Chaotix, the second character can be left behind but will eventually find you. Has pretty good replayability due to the different ways to get through stages. Sadly, this game doesn't have TCG like 1 and 2. Awww.|
Sonic enters the fighting scene once more! Sonic Team (!) manages to whip up a surprisingly fun (and sometimes frustratingly difficult) brawler. Fights are more akin to games like Power Stone than anything, taking place on several 3D maps, which, even if they're simplistic, they feature multiple height levels and are pretty impressive for a GBA title. Has a fucking rad customization mode that lets you give a robot fighter-buddy skills and attacks mixed-and-matched from every character.
Has a suprisingly compelling story.
|Sonic Pinball Party||Pinball||Pinball that's less akin to Sonic Spinball and more like the bonus are from Sonic Adventure. There's three different tables based on Sega games: Sonic, Nights, and Samba de Amigo, each with respective thematic styles and obstacles. On top of that, it also has Tiny Chao Garden (and some bonus gambling games to get more rings for your critter.).|
|Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace||Platformer||Fight through comic-based evil-doers as the marvelous Spider-Man. Climb, swing, and shoot web, and generally do whatever a spider can to maneuver through stages, take down foes, and eventually face off with Mysterio himself.|
|Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs||Platformer||Generally the best recieved GBA Spyro game. It's not as good as the PS1 games mind you, but if you don't mind scaled down Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie on your GBA you should have a blast with this too!|
|Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper||Fighting||A damn good port of the arcade classic. Features 3 different styles of play and a ton of characters from Street Fighter and Final Fight with different moves and their own fighting styles. Enter a code early on and you can unlock a huge number of them, along with other modes as well. The action is spot on, but the music suffers as a result.|
|Summon Night: Swordcraft Story||RPG||A cute action-RPG based on item and weapon crafting. Good stat-customization, charming dialogue, lots of weapons and weapon types (including swords, axes, even drills), and a fun 2D-based battle system (similar to Tales, but faster and focused on attack-weapon variety). Boss fights are fairly fun and challenging, and if you're crafty, you can steal boss-weapon recipes! On top of all that, you have one of 4 spell-wielding helpers from the game's start, one being a loli fairy lesbian and another being an demon who lusts after your mom. No joke. A bit inferior to 2, but it has some neat stuff to make it worth playing both, like this game's post-game 50-floor dungeon.|
|Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2||RPG||Plays similarly to 1, except for a few differences in battle, which make items more essential (such as whetstones keeping weapons durable). Exploration now goes through a variety of locations versus the few from 1. Weapons can now also be used out of battle, to clear out obstacles and gather materials. The cast and world are all new and more fleshed out. There's also more side-quests, more weapons, more weapons skills and magic, and more of the expected funny dialogues. There's also some new spoiler-filled additions which are cool (they tie into gameplay too!). Sadly, boss weapons' recipes are gone, but there's still a hefty post game like the first. EXeLD for life.|
|Super Dodge Ball Advance||Sports||An early title for the GBA that remained one of its best. Use different kinds of throws and pass strategies to defeat the other teams in no holds barred dodgeball matches. There's even power throws you can use to strike your rivals in totally twisted ways. Aside from the second arcade game, this is the fastest game in the series. Had a sequel on DS, Super Dodgeball Brawlers, which marked the return of Kunio's crew, and played a bit differently than this.|
|Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts||Platformer||The classic SNES rage master is back! Play as King Arthur as he travels through creepy ass stages fighting all sorts of hideous beasties to rescue his bride. Of course, he's not going unprepared. Arthur can get all sorts of weapons and use a magic suit of armor to cast crazy strong spells. To relieve some anger, Capcom was nice enough to include a save mode. That's not going to make the challenging levels and bosses any easier though!|
|Super Mario Advance||Platformer||A port of the Super Mario: Allstars edition of the American SMB2. The only major change is the fact that every character now has voiceovers thanks to the then-new GBA's tech, but the lack of change is a very good thing here. Bonus missions for completed levels make a longer game than normal. This and all SMA titles include a 2-to-4-player remix of the original Mario Bros, so long as you have enough cables for each person.|
|Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World||Platformer||A port of Super Mario World from the SNES. Not much has changed other than voice acting. Luigi actually has a |
|Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island||Platformer||A port of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island from the SNES. Sound effects from Yoshi's Story have been added in, along with a few bonus stages.|
|Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3||Platformer||A port of the Super Mario: All stars edition of Super Mario Bros. 3. Without an e-Reader (or a cheat device) not much has changed, but if you do, you can unlock the cape from SMW, veggies from SMB2, and new levels, making this (with unlocks) the ultimate version of SMB3. Of course it is recommended that you get the game from the Wii U's eShop as it already has e-Reader content readily available, or you can |
|Super Monkey Ball Jr.||Puzzle||That funky monkey ball-rolling game is now pocket-sized. guide your mini-monkey pals to the ends of levels by rolling them along intricate terrains. Collect bananas and aim for a quick run to further boost your score. As expected, there's a few mini-games as well, such as Monkey Bowling and Monkey Golf. Great for quick pick-up and play.|
|Super Puzzle Fighter II||Puzzle||Capcom's take on the match-# puzzle format. They added a neat twist in color spheres and bombs, which can be used to really screw your opponent over. Player characters come from a few different Capcom games and are cute-sified. Port of the PSX version.|
|Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation||SRPG||A strategy RPG with giant robots. If that doesn't sound good, something's wrong with you. Shit-tons of characters, some of which are awesome, some of which will piss you the hell off, but being able to train your favorite pilots to epic levels and upgrade their mechs is the main point. A long, winding plot that gets kind of ridiculous at times, you may not enjoy the story as much if you don't get the constant mecha anime tropes being recycled and played up.|
|Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2||SRPG||Continuation of the first game, improved with more giant robots, more characters, more music, more mechanics and an even more insane plot. A must-play if you really dig super robot anime. The nice thing is that once you know how to play these OG games, now you can play the other games even in japanese. OG1 and OG2 are also compiled into Original Generations for the PS2, with improved everything.|
|Sword of Mana||Action-RPG||Also know as "New Testament Holy Sword Legend" on Japan.
Remake of the first Seiken Densetsu(Final Fantasy Adventure on NA) on the Game Boy original. You can choose a male or female MC with different perspectives of the same (and great) story.The superb graphics,reminiscent from Legend of Mana on PSX,great fast and fluid combat system,decent and atmospheric feeling make this a great entry on the franchise,but the lack of multiplayer is kinda boring,but doesn't ruin the game.
|Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis||SRPG||Features much of what you'd expect from the Ogre series in mythos, artwork, and gameplay. Not as fleshed out as its PS1 older brother, but still has a surprisingly huge amount of depth and also playtime because SOME ENEMIES LOVE TO THINK FOREVER. Regardless, you'll get at least 60 hours or so on your FIRST playthrough. Extra playthroughs have extra secrets and endings, specifically one that reveals someone to be THE GODDAMN Lans Tartare. If you played FFTA and want something similar and somewhat harder, prepare to get your face punched by this. Protip: consider using a walkthrough on one of your runs, as maps love to place hidden (and helpful!) goodies in certain tiles.|
|TMNT||Beat 'em Up||Based on the 2007 CGI movie, this Ninja Turtle game takes the series back to its roots with classic side-scrolling beat-'em-up action in 2.5-D no less. Play as Leo, Raph, Mike or Don in a fight to keep your family from falling apart.|
|The Tower SP||Sim||The gameboy advance version of Sim Tower (known as Yoot Tower in Japan). Basically sort of like the original Sim City except you build different floors and construct different types of rooms like offices, restaurants, condos, etc.|
|Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2||Sports||The first 3D skating game for handhelds lets you play as a skateboarder (no shit) who lends you his skills. You perform tricks and combos to gather points and complete tasks to earn cash.|
|Ultimate Muscle: The Path of the Superhero||Sports||Based off of the cartoon. Unlike Fire Pro, this wrestling game features some of the wackiest wrestlers and moves around. There's a cowboy, a walrus, A SHOE, a dude based on chess, and more. As expected they all have some pretty funky skills, but at its core its good old traditional wrestling. There's even some cameos from the first Kinnikuman series.|
|Wade Hixton's Counter Punch||Fighting / Boxing||A love letter to Punch-Out fans before the Wii Punch-Out arrived. This features even weirder boxers, including a witch doctor who can voodoo you, a pimp named Sweetness, a boxing gorilla, and a chef for the devil. While Wade may seem outmatched, with a little green, he can learn some boxing moves from a robot, a video game master, and a former champ to even the score. He can also enlist the ring girl or a gruff mechanic to "distract" his opponent. This was an underrated title, and despite seeming a bit goofy, has the heart and gameplay of a champ.|
|Wario Land 4||Platformer||The garlic-eating behemoth's move to the GBA begins here! An ancient pyramid, said to hold a fortune, is discovered. Wario, being the greedy fat fuck we all know and love, seeks it out. The gameplay is enhanced from the GBC games, and the way levels work is different, since each one has you making a timed grand escape after you find the major treasure of the stage. It sounds simple, the stage layouts actually change up when escaping! Wario also has a life bar, adding some more challenge. The graphics and music are both top-notch despite being an early GBA's title. Collecting all bonus material is stupidly fun and hard. A must-play.|
|WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!||Minigame||A mini game collection featuring very short minigames (microgames). It also has boss mini-games which take longer, and side games, such as a Dr. Mario variant and the first of the highly addictive (in-universe) hit series, Pyoro, where you play as a little bird who's hungry for fruit. 1st of the series. Later ported to Gamecube with brilliant and troll-tastic multiplayer. Some of the minigames, specifically Pyoro and Paper Plane, are on DSiWare for cheap.|
|WarioWare: Twisted||Minigame||The sequel to WWI and follows the same premise. This game uses a tilt-sensitive cartridge to control the games with. Worth owning, because emulation can't properly replicate the experience, especially the mind-blowing rage of the final challenge, Wario de Mambo. Never released in Europe. Also responsible for the goddamn catchy Mona Pizza song.|
|Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone||SRPG||A very hard SRPG that features a strange mixture with cards, a rock-paper-scissors-type of system and an interesting battle method. It can get very frustrating near the last quarter of the game if your characters are poorly prepared. The character design and music are cool, and there's lots of thinking to do and strategies to make, along with very-easy-to-miss quests, items and secrets. Also available on PSP with an easier difficulty for casuals, a redone soundtrack, English and Japanese voice overs, and a couple of new characters (including a recruitable scythe user).|
|Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars||RPG||A side-game in Kojima's lighting action-mecha Z.O.E. series, The Fist of Mars combines the combat of the Super Robot Wars series with some of the action of the Goemon series' IMPACT battles (read: first-person, in-cockpit mecha combat).|
Recommendation Copypasta Edit
|Consoles||Sega Dreamcast - Nintendo Gamecube - VM Labs Nuon - Sony PlayStation 2 - VTech V.Smile - Microsoft Xbox|
|Handhelds||Nintendo Game Boy Advance - Game Park GP32 - Nokia N-Gage - Nintendo Pokémon Mini - Bandai WonderSwan - Tapwave Zodiac|