One of the mainstays of low-end gaming is emulation. Games from yesteryear can come alive and play well on any PC with a processor today. Games from any console until 2005 can easily be played for hours of low-end fun.
Amongst these, the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, also known as the GBA, is one of the lowest requirement emulation platforms. It can also be emulated on both mobile and PC, for perfect on-the-go fun. It also features a vast library of games that are, today, a Google search away.
For GBA games to be run on other platforms, an emulator is required. This comes in the form of Visual Boy Advance for PC, MyBoy for Android and GBA4iOS for iOS.
Here are 6 of the best GBA games to get started with.
1| Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (RPG)
This series of games represents the 3rd generation of Pokemon games. It is a good starting point and introduction to the Pokemon role-playing game series, and is great for pick-up and play sessions on the go.
The player is tasked with going on an adventure with a starter Pokemon, with a goal to catch as many as they can and beat the Elite Four. They are faced with many gym trainers along the way, along with conflicting teams of baddies. The game provides hours of attention while offering a set of engaging mechanics and cute creatures.
2| Advance Wars 1&2 (RTS)
For those who like their entertainment in a strategy flavour, GBA classic Advance Wars is here. Advance Wars is a fully-fledged, yet accessible real-time strategy game for GBA. It features many different kinds of units that can be controlled by the player, with a complete tutorial on how to control each of them.
The player has to play through multiple levels with different types of units, map structures and enemy types. It offers a variety of playstyles as well, leaving it up to the player to attack the enemy in their own way. The sequel adds more content while maintaining the same formula for added fun.
3| Dragon Ball Z – Buu’s Fury (RPG)
This is the culmination of the ‘DBZ: Legend of Goku’ Trilogy, and features characters from the original series in all of their various powered up forms. It also features solid combat, an amazing soundtrack and good visuals to boot.
The game follows the events of the anime closely, with a specific focus on the Buu arc. It also features a big open world for characters to roam around in, with many significant locations in the show also being present.
Players can switch between characters, with different characters having varying attacks and powers. The variety keeps the game going even after its story is completed.
4| Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (Platformer)
It isn’t possible to speak about a Nintendo console without mentioning Mario games. The best platforming Mario game on the console was Super Mario Bros. 3, and it was a worthwhile addition to the stalwart series.
SMB3 kept to the Mario formula with turtles, goombas and platforms, but added a lot more to the series than it was given credit for. Along with a host of new movement mechanics such as the flying racoon suit, sliding, and climbing, the game also features 8 brand-new worlds.
The game has great variety and extremely accessible controls and difficulty curve. A must-play for all ages.
5| Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis (RTS)
This was one of the sleeper hits on the GBA, but one of the most engaging games ever made. This intense tactics game is the culmination of all Tactics Ogre games on GBA and sets strategy against the backdrop of high fantasy.
The story is also lengthy and features solid support for differing playstyles through its vast array of classes. It is a gripping tale exploring the relationship between the military and the state, and game 5 different endings based on choices taken over the course of the game.
The varied endings, customization and class options make the game a replayable gem.
6| The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (RPG)
Praised by many as the best Zelda game on the GBA, the Minish Cap is a breath of fresh air to a now-established franchise. This RPG adventure adds a new mechanic to the Zelda franchise, which seems like a perfect fit for the portable Game Boy.
The titular Minish Cap is an item that allows Link, the protagonist, to grow and shrink in the game world. There is no difficulty curve to speak of, just lots of puzzles and thinking to do.
With its colourful visuals and engaging story, it is a must-play for all ages.
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