Game Boy Advance: Must Have Games
Don't let these critically acclaimed hits disappear.
Nintendo's Game Boy Advance is arguably the greatest portable system, thanks to a huge library of quality video games covering a variety of genres. We definitely have a ton of positive memories, from the impressive launch lineup (a list that included Super Mario Advance, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon) to its superior redesign, the Game Boy Advance SP.
The system was so popular that we fell into the trap of always expecting the games to be available. Besides, Nintendo sold over 80 million GBAs. There was little reason to believe it would disappear off shelves.
What we didn't account for, though, was the passage of time. Somewhere along the way, we blinked and lost four years. Turns out, the GBA has been dead for a while.
Now we're scrambling to find the games we used to or always wanted to own, driving all over New Jersey in a desperate attempt to buy the hits that'll eventually vanish forever.
On the positive side, GameStops across the country still have a decent collection of used GBA titles at bargain prices.
That said, here's a short list of Game Boy Advance games you should track down immediately.
[Editor's Note: Keep in mind that you'll also be able to find your favorite games on eBay.]
Advance Wars (GameStop price- $5.99)
The first game in Nintendo's critically acclaimed strategy series features cute graphics and deep turn-based play. We'll always remember the lengthy tutorial that felt like a separate campaign.
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising (GameStop price- $4.99)
If you commit to buying the original Advance Wars, you might as well pick up its stellar sequel that sports new commanding officers and devastating Super CO Powers, as well as a customizable map editor.
Metroid: Zero Mission (GameStop price- $9.99)
Nintendo took the original Metroid on NES and gave it a huge facelift in the form of Zero Mission, which retells the story of Samus Aran's quest to destroy Mother Brain, but ups the ante with newly designed maps, superior visuals and new power-ups. A must own for every Metroid fan.
Metroid Fusion (GameStop price- $12.99)
This is the same deal with Advance Wars. You shouldn't buy one Metroid GBA title without the other, especially when it comes to Fusion, designed by the same developers that created Super Metroid on SNES. Here, Samus sets off to destroy parasitic creatures while battling an evil doppelganger.
Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand (GameStop price- $4.99)
Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima wowed audiences with this sweet vampire hunting game that forces you to take the GBA and cartridge outside to charge the hero's weapon using actual sunlight.
We'll skip creating a new entry and just tell you to snag Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, providing you run across it.
Super Mario Advance series (GameStop price- $19.99 each)
Obviously, you can't own a Nintendo system without having at least one Mario game. The Super Mario Advance line costs more than most used GBA titles, but at least you'll be able to play Super Mario Bros. 2 (Super Mario Advance), Super Mario Bros. 3 (Super Mario Advance 4), Super Mario World (Super Mario Advance 2) and Yoshi's Island (Super Mario Advance 3) on the go.
Drill Dozer (GameStop price- $4.99)
For the most part, the developers at Game Freak work on Pokemon and...uhh...Pokemon. They did, however, design this charming gem of a game that lets you plow through environments with a powerful drill. The cartridge even comes with built-in rumble. Definitely worth five bucks.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GameStop price- $19.99)
You can't go wrong with Mario & Luigi's first role-playing adventure on GBA. Not only does it feature addictive turn-based battles, but we're also big fans of the light-hearted story starring a bunch of characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GameStop price- $19.99)
In a classic tale of honey, I shrunk the Link, Nintendo's hero goes on a dangerous quest that lets him view things from an all-new perspective, courtesy of a magic hat. It's classic Zelda with a pint-sized twist.
Castlevania trilogy (GameStop price- $9.99, $14.99)
Similar to DS, all of the GBA Castlevanias rock. Circle of the Moon is by far the most primitive, since it was a launch title, but Aria of Sorrow and Harmony of Dissonance deliver the same Symphony of the Night quality with subtle tweaks.
It was around this point when we realized that creating a must have GBA list would probably take several hours, so we mean no disrespect if your favorite titles didn't make the cut. On that note, we also recommend Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones, Golden Sun, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Astro Boy, Advance Guardian Heroes, the Sonic Advance trilogy and Gunstar Super Heroes, and there are probably 25 more. The GBA truly is a wonderful system.