For the most part, this Game Boy Advance list will go in ascending order as it appears on Metacritic. However, there are some exclusions, as this list is focused on exclusive games for the platform. For example, the highest-rated game on the website is the port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Because that is hardly an exclusive game, we didn’t put it on the list.
It’s funny, considering that half of the top ten games are actually a lot of ports, like the aforementioned Zelda, some Mario games, and Final Fantasy VI. On another note, we also didn’t put more than one entry per series in this rundown, in the hopes of keeping the list more diverse. With all that said, let's dive in!
10 Fire Emblem (88)
The Fire Emblem franchise is in a great place right now, as Fire Emblem: Three Houses continues to shape the franchise for bigger and brighter sequels. However, there's a part of us that still yearns for the simpler, more linear days of the series, like the first entry the West received: simply titled Fire Emblem.
It was hard as nails, there was no extra leveling up, and there were also no relationship shenanigans. It was a very basic tactical RPG, but one that still looks and plays great today.
9 Tactics Ogre: The Knight Of Lodis (88)
Another strategy RPG that actually got overlooked compared to Fire Emblem was Tactics Ogre: The Knight Of Lodis. For those that love Final Fantasy Tactics, this is a must play. This is because a lot of the DNA from that spin-off came from this series, as there were developers that worked on both.
It even looks like the Game Boy Advance sequel, from an aesthetic standpoint. The story leaves a lot to be desired in that it’s almost incomprehensible at times, but the gameplay is second to none and will also test even the greatest of gamers.
8 WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (89)
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! is an absurd title for a game, but all one has to do in order to understand what's going on here is look at the first word: WarioWare.
This is another great title filled to the brim with bizarre characters and even crazier mini games. It’s all wrapped up in a plot surrounding Wario hiring game developers in another one of his get-rich-quick schemes. It’s still probably the best entry in the series.
7 The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap (89)
The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap is criminally underrated and is indeed one of the best games in the franchise. Sure, maybe a talking hat is a bit crazier than most sidekicks, but this series is well known for oddball characters and themes.
That aside, what we have here is a sequel of sorts to A Link to the Past (in terms of its top-down perspective), which at this point had been a long time coming. Besides the remake of Link’s Awakening, we hope Nintendo tries another top-down Zelda in this vein soon.
6 Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (90)
After Squaresoft went over to Sony, all plans for Super Mario RPG 2 went out the window. Instead, Nintendo created Paper Mario, which was good, but not exactly the RPG sequel fans had wanted. The closest things since have been the Mario & Luigi RPGs and Superstar Saga, the first, is still the best.
From the gibberish the brothers babble to each other to the inventive quick-time gameplay, to the colorful world of Beanbean Kingdom, this is one fantastic package.
5 Golden Sun (91)
Nintendo remains a titan in the gaming world, but they don’t have a lot of RPG series under their belt. Mario & Luigi plus the Paper Mario games are great, but that is two separate franchises starring Mario. One that's often forgotten is the original Golden Sun.
What set it apart from other turn-based RPGs at the time was its puzzles. Party members could use their psychic powers and magic in the real world in order to move objects, as just one example. It was like Final Fantasy mixed with Zelda.
4 Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (91)
Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow is the best of the Game Boy Advance trilogy. All of them were indeed Metroidvanias, which were all like mini successors to Symphony of the Night.
What set Aria of Sorrow apart --and may even make it better than Symphony of the Night-- was that it set the story far in the future, a realm where the series had never gone before. On top of that, Soma Cruz’s arsenal of weapons and demonic powers makes him perhaps the most fun protagonist to play as in any of these games.
3 Metroid Fusion (92)
Metroid Fusion, not counting the remake of Metroid II, is the last true 2D Metroid game in existence. It is also the most distant title in the timeline, despite there being a few sequels after this. Point is, there needs to be more classic 2D games in this series, just as Zelda is itching for more modern titles from a top-down perspective.
Anyway the only real thing holding this back is the constant hand-holding without a sense of true exploration. Other than that, it’s like Super Metroid, but with a power suit made out of a bio-mutant. It’s weird, but awesome!
2 Advance Wars (92)
This was another strategy RPG series that started on the Famicom in Japan and didn’t make it over to the West until the Game Boy Advance. In fact, we can thank Advance Wars for Fire Emblem, because this game was sort of like Nintendo testing the waters.
Were fans outside of Japan ready for a hard tactical adventure like this and Fire Emblem? The answer most assuredly speaks for itself. Too bad this series is all but dead now.
1 Mario Kart Super Circuit (93)
Pick up that jaw from the floor, because we also think Mario Kart Super Circuit is an odd choice for the best title on Game Boy Advance. The actual best game was the port of A Link to the Past, followed by the portable version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, and the port of Super Mario Bros. 3.
The fourth entry, this, is the first original game. It may not be the best racer in the series, in fact it’s probably quite low, but no-one can deny how alluring a portable Mario Kart was at the time.