Best Role Playing Games on the Gameboy Advance


Oct 6, 2013
Law Office
Nintendo DS
I felt that the Gameboy Advance was a very underpowered device. It was only capable of delivering 2D games that even looked jagged at times. But one of the games that run perfectly on the GBA ate RPGs. There's something about paying an RPG on a handheld console that relaxes me and gives me peace of mind.

So, what do you think are the best RPGs for the GBA?
The Gameboy Advance is underpowered by today's standards, for sure. But back when it first came out, when the Gameboy Color was the main handheld, yeah, the Gameboy Advance blew the Gameboy out of the water. So to speak. Also, the Gameboy Advance had quite a bit of "3D" games on it. They didn't have the sharpest edges or smoothest graphics or what not. But for it's day, it was pretty darn impressive for a handheld. When you compare the Gameboy Advance games to the Gameboy Color games... yeah, no question that the Gameboy Advance was way more powerful, and able to handle 3D games, like the Gameboy Color could only dream of. But again, when you compare the Gameboy Advance to modern stuff, then yeah, it's definitely underpowered. But that's the same for any generation gap. But, I mean, they even had a tech demo of Resident Evil 2 running on the Gameboy Advance. Resident Evil 2.

Seriously, this is a tech demo of Resident Evil 2 running on the Gameboy Advance.. seriously. Again, for it's day, the Gameboy Advance blew it's competition out of the water. Tho, really, it's only competition was the Gameboy Color. I mean, sure, there was the N-Gage, and SwanCrystal, and Tapwave Zodiac, and what not. But come on, those last 3 had no real chance on the market. Especially when the Gameboy Advance came on the scene. So, it wasn't the power of the machine that was the issue with it, it was what games, and what type of games, that the developers made for it. The Gameboy Advance could of handled more than what it was given. But, it didn't have nearly as long of a life cycle as the Gameboy and Gameboy Color did.

The Gameboy came out in 1989.... 9 years later, the Gameboy Color was released, in 1998.... 3 years after the Gameboy Color came out (tho really, 11 years after the Gameboy came out, as the Gameboy Color was basically the same as the Gameboy, only smaller, lighter, and in color, with a backlight, and with only a nominal power increase), the Gameboy Advance came out, in 2001. So, the Gameboy had an 11 year run, basically. Meanwhile, when the Gameboy Advance was only 3 years old. 3 years old... the DS was released, in 2004. So, right when the Gameboy Advance was starting to hit it's stride, boom, a brand new, and better, system had come out, and everybody quickly started migrating towards that. Had the Gameboy Advance been given more time for developers to make more and more games, and thus, get more and more used to the system, and thus get better and better at making the games for it, then the true potential of the Gameboy Advance could of been seen. But since it was only given 3 years before the next console came out, instead of getting a 9 to 11 year window, like the original Gameboy did, it's potential was never recognized. However, it still stands that for those 3 years, when it was just going up against the Gameboy Color and N-Gage, that the Gameboy Advance was the most powerful system on the market. Sure, by today's standards, it's underpowered. But in it's day, it was the "top dog of the yard". Hands down. And there were other "3D" titles on it too. Tho, to be fair, 3D wasn't is main forte. The Gameboy, and thus, inherently, the Gameboy Advance, was mainly a 2D platform. But the Gameboy Advance, unlike the Gameboy, could actually handle 3D type games. (Like "Star X", for example, which was like a 3D Star Fox SNES type game)


That said,.. RPG's for the Gameboy Advance...

Here's a video I found that lists "all" of them. I haven't double checked to confirm if, indeed, this is all of them. But it should be enough to get you started. I have played most of them, but not all of them. Hope this helps. I'll list them all out, (taken straight from the video's description, so you don't have to sit and watch the whole video if you don't want to.

1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
2. Back to Stone
3. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
4. Breath of Fire
5. Breath of Fire 2
6. Dragon Ball Z -- Buu's Fury
7. Dragon Ball Z -- The Legacy of Goku
8. Dragon Ball Z -- The Legacy of Goku II
9. Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder
10. Final Fantasy I & II Dawn of Souls
11. Final Fantasy IV Advance
12. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
13. Final Fantasy V Advance
14. Final Fantasy VI Advance
15. Fire Emblem
16. Fire Emblem -- The Sacred Stones
17. Golden Sun
18. Golden Sun -- The Lost Age
19. Harvest Moon -- Friends of Mineral Town
20. Harvest Moon -- More Friends of Mineral Town
21. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
22. Lufia -- The Ruins of Lore
23. Lunar Legend
24. Mario & Luigi -- Superstar Saga
25. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
26. Mech Platoon
27. Megaman Battle Network
28. Megaman Battle Network 2
29. Megaman Battle Network 3 Blue
30. Megaman Battle Network 3 White
31. Megaman Battle Network 4 Blue Moon
32. Megaman Battle Network 4 Red Sun
33. Megaman Battle Network 5 Team Colonel
34. Megaman Battle Network 5 Team Protoman
35. Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar
36. Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar
37. Onimusha Tactics
38. Phantasy Star Collection
39. Pokémon Emerald
40. Pokémon FireRed
41. Pokémon LeafGreen
42. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team
43. Pokémon Sapphire
44. Pokémon Ruby
45. Riviera -- The Promised Land
46. Robopon 2 -- Cross Version
47. Robopon 2 -- Ring Version
48. Shining Force -- Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
49. Shining Soul I
50. Shining Soul II
51. Sigma Star Saga
52. Summon Night -- Swordcraft Story
53. Summon Night -- Swordcraft Story 2
54. Super Robot Taisen -- Original Generation
55. Super Robot Taisen -- Original Generation 2
56. Sword of Mana
57. Tactics Ogre -- The Knight of Lodis
58. Tales of Phantasia
59. Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone
60. Zone of the Enders -- The Fist of Mars

Heavily Debated/Hybrid

61. Legend of Zelda, The -- A Link to the Past & Four Swords
62. Legend of Zelda, The -- Classic NES Series
63. Legend of Zelda, The -- The Minish Cap
64. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link -- Classic NES Series

From this list, I have only played...

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku 2
Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder
Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls
Final Fantasy 4 Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy 5 Advance
Final Fantasy 6 Advance
Fire Emblem
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Golden Sun
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Lufia: The Ruins of Lore
Lunar Legend
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Onimusha Tactics
Phantasy Star Collection
Sword of Mana
Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
Zone of Enders: The Fist of Mars
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords
Classic NES Series - The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Classic NES Series - Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

... If the above list is missing any, I can look up the rest later. But for now, hopefully, that should get you started. Enjoy. And good luck an any, and all, of your gaming adventures..
Pokemon and Megaman Battle Network (especially 3) are some great GBA RPG's that I'm sure most GBA owners played. Also, Fire Emblem is one of my all time favorite series and I loved both GBA games.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and both Fire Emblem games are amazing RPGs and shouldn't be missed! If you never played the original Final Fantasy on NES and you're a fan of the series, definitely check out Final Fantasy Dawn of Souls as well -- it's a wonderfully refreshed version of the classic games. All of these come highly recommended from me!
Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fire Emblem and FFTA are probably the games I've spent the most time on overall on the GBA. Out of those, Harvest Moon is probably my number one. Despite so many tasks being insidiously tedious, I still can't not love it.
Oh I remember now that I've played Harvest Moon too :D
It was fun and annoying at the same time, but I know many people who liked it a lot.

It's a nice game :)
I'm fairly certain that Lawnachaun has just outshone us all in this thread...
You've ONLY played that many Lawnachaun? Humble arn't yah?
The Game boy was a 2d porting machine it had alot of really good rpgs because of that but nothing really that new except for a few.
The GBA was quite a powerful handheld when it was launched. It's only real rival was the SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color and that was under-powered compared to the GBA. The GBA also enjoyed a plethora of rpgs but I pretty much stuck to the Final Fantasys that were released for it. I also enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as I've always been a huge fan of the original on the PlayStation. Another cool jrpg is Namco's Tales of Phantasia which is a ported over from the SNES.
I'll definitely say all the Pokémons released to it and the Final Fantasy 4 game I played.

Nowadays there is not much to say about the Pokémon games. Mostly everyone knows and enjoy it a lot. But I used to visit blogs, forums and such when there was only Ruby/Sapphire, and there were rumors and news related to the release of Emerald and Fire Red/Leaf Green versions. That was a good time of hypeness. And were the last pokémon games I ever played.

The Final Fantasy game is already related on a post I made, but I'll say it anyway: What I mostly enjoyed about this game was how I remembered everything about the SNES version, and when I played the GBA version, I could find good improvements here and there, and the fact that you could change the characters at one time in the game and play with those you liked the most, something that you couldn't do in the SNES version. This is pretty special for me as I played the SNES version A LOT!
I find it funny that not one here has mentioned Mother 3.......While I understand that its region exclusive, the fact that the GBA isn't region locked as well as the possibilities to get reproduction carts just makes me wonder why its not mentioned......

I've yet to play it but still.....

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