The 10 Best Game Boy Advance RPGs Of All Time, According To Ranker

Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance is a nostalgic classic from the 2000s era, with the handheld gaming system known for bringing together some of the best IPs in a variety of genres. Role-playing games are one such genre, with titles in this category being one of the most content-rich.

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The GBA offers a diverse selection of franchises in this genre, with the community voting to private soldier listing their top 10 all-time names. Unsurprisingly, many games fall into the JRPG subgenre, but the range of franchises runs deep as well as the towers within their premises.

ten Mario & Luigi: The Superstar Saga

Promotional art for Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga featuring the duo and villain looming overhead.

Nintendo has toyed with the RPG genre for its platform giant mariodating as far back as the Super Nintendo era with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. With the likes of the famous Paper Mario: The Millennium Gate, Mario & Luigi: The Superstar Saga is another beloved classic RPG for the colorful plumber.

Superstar Saga spawned an entire spin-off series, acclaimed for its vibrant and humorous story and characters, as well as its creative spin on turn-based combat over other JRPGs. It may not be the most popularly recommended of the best conventional mario games, but it’s worth diving into for franchise and genre fans looking for a change of pace.

9 Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow

Cover of Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow.

While the beloved Castlevania franchise – on the gaming side – has been bitterly neglected by publisher Konami, its impressive catalog is still fondly remembered. Even with the game icon which is symphony of the nightGBAs Aria of Sorrow still ranks among the best in the franchise.

The game has been hailed for retaining much of what makes a Castlevania awesome gameplay as well as the incorporation of tasteful changes, namely the Tactical Soul system, to give this action-platformer RPG streamlined depth in its mechanics. To this day, Soma Cruz’s quest remains one of the best the Game Boy Advance has to offer.


8 Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

A roaring Charizard and Venusaur on a swirling red and green background for FireRed/LeafGreen promo art

the Pokemon IP has long since become one of the most iconic JRPG series thanks to the franchise’s multi-billion dollar global status. Red, Greenand Blue were the games to start it all off and had a colossal impact on the gaming scene with the original Game Boy, with Red fire and Leaf Green undoubtedly becoming the definitive versions of this Kanto adventure.

These remakes improved on the original games in every way imaginable, implementing all of the quality of life improvements that the main series made at the time. In addition to revamping the main story, Red fire and Leaf Green also added a good chunk of post-game content in the process. They not only became perhaps the best games in the Kanto region, but also one of the best Pokemon games overall.

7 Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones

Promotional art for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones featuring the main cast.

Awakening on the Nintendo 3DS reinvigorated the international viability of the tactical RPG franchise, but the classic fire emblem the games are still classics in their own right. The sacred stones was only the second game in the series to be released outside of Japan, but it is the eighth entry overall.

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This game revolves around a high fantasy world divided into five countries, each guarding a stone charged with sealing an ancient demon. It was very well received for its compelling fantasy storytelling between battles, while the strategic combat itself was praised for its engaging depth. It’s refreshing to see PI’s efforts pay off, because Three Houses on the Switch continues to prove that fire emblem is a modern mainstay of Nintendo’s Vault.

6 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Square Enix’s JRPG titan Final Fantasy is one of the most recognizable mainstays of video game media, but even with all of the revered entries in the main series, the Tactical the spinoffs have become franchise favorites. That’s a big feat to accomplish given the status of games like VI, VII, IXand more, as the original PlayStation classic launched a new collection of classics.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is connected to the world of Final Fantasy XIIas it revolves around a group of children from a town called St. Ivalice who are transported to the kingdom of Ivalice. Tactical Advance was well received for its spin on the tactical RPG subgenre, as well as for its charming story, cast of characters, and memorable graphics and music.

5 Mother 3

Lucas eating with a cast of supporting characters in Mother 3.

Outside of Japan, the Mother series – known as Earthbound – started out as a commercially disappointing JRPG series. However, in the decades that followed, it became a hailed cult classic. Earthbound was the second game in the series, as the original never left Japan. To date, it is the only one of the adventures of Ness or Lucas to have launched in the west, because Mother 3 also remains a Japanese exclusive.

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The game has been praised for using its intentionally surface-level aesthetic and characters to delve into darker meta themes. Likewise, its subversive gameplay elements to the conventional JRPG formula were well received. Mother 3 luckily saw life on the international stage thanks to the unofficial translation patch.

4 golden sun

Golden Sun promo art featuring the main cast of characters ready for battle.

Developer Camelot Software Planning has created numerous games for Nintendo, including various sports-themed ones. mario spin off. However, one of their biggest cult classics was their golden sun series. It spawned a trilogy of games, including two on Game Boy Advance and the last on Nintendo DS. golden sun is considered one of the most underrated JRPGs ever made.

golden sun takes place in a fantasy setting where a group of magical “adepts” are tasked with preventing alchemy from being released into the world. It was well-received for making the most of its 32-bit cartridge limitations, delivering entertaining RPG combat, vibrant pixel art, and an immersive story.

3 Golden Sun: The Lost Age

The protagonist group of Golden Sun: The Lost Age promotional art.

Even with the high standard set by its predecessor, Golden Sun: The Lost Age proven to be a worthy sequel that rivals the original. The lost age resumes at the end of the first, putting the players in the shoes of golden sunThe antagonists attempt to reintroduce Alchemy into the world.

Although Camelot could have afforded to be a bit bolder when it came to new features, its solid gameplay foundation was still welcome. Additionally, the top-notch graphics and story were praised over similar RPGs.

2 Fire Emblem: The Burning Blade

The main cast of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade in the heat of the action in promotional art.

The seventh part of fire emblem series, The Blazing Blade, was the first to be released outside of Japan. Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems were initially nervous about bringing fire emblem west given its subgenre and level of difficulty – after all, “permanent death” of the game’s characters in combat was still a must at the time – but see Advanced Wars succeed as well as the popularity of Roy and Marth in Super Smash Bros. convinced them.

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The Blazing Blade is set on the fantasy continent of Elibe, as three young lords embark on a quest to find one of their missing fathers while unraveling a deep-rooted conspiracy against the land. Luckily for the budding (international) franchise, The Blazing Blade received critical acclaim for its seamless integration of tactical-RPG combat, character writing, and classic fantasy storytelling.

1 Final Fantasy VI

FFVI box art featuring Terra on top of a Magitek Armor robot

Ask Final Fantasy fans whose main game is the best will likely get different results, as the franchise offers a treasure trove of great games. However, Final Fantasy VI still earns its place among the best in the series.

Originally released in the west as “Final Fantasy III”, FFVI was acclaimed for its gripping, emotional, and impressively mature story that blends the fantasy genre with steampunk. The vintage turn-based JRPG combat system was also well received for utilizing all of the gameplay enhancements from the Final Fantasy series introduced at the time.

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