Every Game Boy Advance Game On Nintendo Switch Online, Ranked

Highlights

  • The Nintendo Switch combines both home and handheld consoles, allowing for gaming almost anywhere and access to classic titles from previous Nintendo consoles.
  • Kuru Kuru Kururin and Kirby & The Amazing Mirror are enjoyable puzzle games with unique gameplay mechanics and multiplayer options.
  • Super Mario Advance series and Fire Emblem offer fantastic gameplay experiences, while The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is a must-play for fans of the series.

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Around the late ’80s, Nintendo found itself dominating both the home and handheld console markets after launching the NES and Game Boy within a few years of each other. Nintendo continued to develop new hardware for home entertainment and portable gaming until 2017, when it fused both concepts together to create a hybrid console you may have heard of, the Nintendo Switch.

Related: The Best Handheld Game Systems, Ranked

The Nintendo Switch allows you to play games almost anywhere, including classic titles from previous Nintendo consoles. If you subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, you can even play certain Game Boy Advance games on the console, and each one is worth checking out.

Updated on October 22, 2023, by Kyle Chamaillard: It’s not a lot, but there seems to be at least one new Game Boy Advance game added to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack at least once a month. There has been one addition since this list was last updated, so we’ve decided to add it to provide a complete ranking of every Game Boy Advance game available on Nintendo Switch.

12 Kuru Kuru Kururin

The Heliren from Kuru Kuru Kururin glides through a maze

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally a game that didn’t launch in North America will appear in Nintendo Switch Online’s virtual library. Kuru Kuru Kururin first appeared in Europe and Japan in 2001. Your main goal is to maneuver a spinning stick – known as the Heliren – through a series of mazes without touching the walls or obstacles.

Kuru Kuru Kururin may not be the most popular puzzle game, but the Heliren has become a recognizable mascot after appearing as an assist trophy in the Super Smash Bros. series multiple times. If you enjoy playing relaxing puzzle games before bed or during breaks, Kuru Kuru Kururin’s bite-sized stages aren’t too complicated and are unlike anything else on Nintendo Switch Online.

11 Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

Kirby uses his Cellphone on a level in the clouds

Kirby rarely goes on adventures alone, often bringing companions like Waddle Dee or even enemies like King Dedede along with him to stop alien forces from destroying their planet. This trend is pushed forward in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, the first mainline entry in the series with an emphasis on cooperative multiplayer and allowing up to four players to work together to escape the Mirror World.

Aside from the multiplayer aspect, Kirby and the Amazing Mirror changes up the series’ usual formula by introducing a Metroidvania-inspired map system that lets you tackle most stages in any order you like. There is a lot of fun to be had either alone or with a couple of friends, but Amazing Mirror has a hard time stacking up to some of the other excellent Game Boy Advance Games on Nintendo Switch Online.

10 Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Bowser, Peach, Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, Toad, Wario, and Donkey Kong sit on karts under a checkered flag in Mario Kart Super Circuit

Since Super Mario Kart launched on the SNES in 1992, Nintendo has developed a new or expanded entry in the series for each of its following consoles. Mario Kart: Super Circuit was the first portable version of the popular game, and it ended up being one of the highest-selling titles on the Game Boy Advance of all time.

Related: Best Tracks From The Series That Are Missing From Mario Kart 8

While a portable version of Mario Kart was a fantastic idea in 2001, Mario Kart: Super Circuit has never felt as innovative or smooth as other entries in the series. It features the same roster as Mario Kart 64, and the new maps are fun but not nearly as iconic as others. Super Circuit is worth checking out if you haven’t before, but you’re much better off playing either Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

9 Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island

Yellow Yoshi throws an egg at a Boo

As Nintendo continued to port older platformers onto the handheld device, it also seems like the motivation to add new content began to wane. While games like Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario World arrived on the Game Boy Advance with a plethora of extra content, the portable version of Yoshi’s Island was rather bare bones in comparison.

The original Yoshi’s Island is a fantastic platformer, and having the option to play it on the go was revolutionary when Super Mario Advance 3 shipped. But instead of receiving new modes or worlds to explore, the Game Boy Advance Version is essentially the original game with six additional levels. It’s still a blast, but it feels a bit empty compared to the other re-releases.

8 Super Mario Advance

Toad, Peach, Mario, and Luigi try to pull something out of the ground

When the Game Boy Advance launched, it needed at least one Mario game beside it to compel audiences to upgrade their hardware. While a new title was unavailable, Nintendo ported Super Mario Bros. 2 with many new features, such as Super Mario Advance, which showcased the Game Boy Advance’s improved graphics and sound chip.

Though you’ve probably played through Super Mario Bros. 2 once or twice, the Super Mario Advance version changes things up with new enemies, such as the new boss at the end of World 3. An additional Yoshi Challenge also requires you to search for two hidden eggs in past levels without losing a life.

7 Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

Luigi rides Yoshi through an underground tunnel

Super Mario World is already regarded as one of the greatest games ever made, so any new version of it doesn’t need to do much to stand out or convince you to repurchase it. After the success of Super Mario Advance, Nintendo continued to bring older platformers to the Game Boy Advance with new bells and whistles to bring something new to a familiar experience.

Related: Every Main Yoshi Game, Ranked

The main adventure remains the same, but some new options let you play through Super Mario World differently than ever before. Most importantly, you can choose to play as Luigi in single-player mode, and he has the same characteristics as his appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2. Even if you’ve played Super Mario World hundreds of times, playing it as Luigi is like a whole new adventure.

6 Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Peach reads a letter to Mario and Luigi in her castle in Super Mario Advance 4

With the addition of Super Mario Advance 4 to Nintendo Switch Online, there are now three different versions of Super Mario Bros. 3 for you to play on the service. You can play the original through the NES catalog, an updated version through Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, and an expanded version in Super Mario Advance 4. The latter includes the visual upgrades from the SNES version and over 30 extra levels, making it the definitive version of the influential title.

Aside from these new features, Super Mario Bros. 3 is still a delight to play many years later. Its iconic soundtrack, creative stage design, and tight gameplay work together to create a near-perfect experience that’s consistently exciting to play. Whether you’re playing it for the first time or the hundredth, Super Mario Bros. 3 is a delight, and the Game Boy Advance version is one of the best ways to play it.

5 WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!

Wario prepares to hit a punching bag in WarioWare Inc

It’s hard to believe that Mario’s longtime rival would become the star of his own series, but Wario has greedily found a way to do it twice. After his turn as an anti-hero in the Wario Land titles for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, the character begins his career in game development with the intent of creating as many Microgames as possible to net as much revenue as he can.

Related: Every WarioWare Game, Ranked

It’s the same strategy that led Atari to the video game crash of 1983, but WarioWare excels by having over 200 Microgames that are each fun and challenging to play. Not only does the first WarioWare introduce this unique and hilarious concept, but it also presents a colorful cast of likable characters that Wario ropes along in his schemes. WarioWare has always been one of the best titles on the Game Boy Advance, and it’s the perfect game to play if you need to kill some time.

4 Fire Emblem

Eliwood and Lyn prepare to defend a castle

The first Fire Emblem game launched in Japan in 1990, and the series remained exclusive to the country until 2003. Outside interest in the tactical role-playing game intensified after a pair of characters – Marth and Roy – appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube. Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade for the Game Boy Advance was the first entry to ship internationally, and the series has only grown in popularity since.

It might not have the social elements of Three Houses or the sophisticated mechanics from Engage, but The Blazing Blade is still a fantastic entry that’s still considered to be one of the best games in the series. It contains an epic narrative and fantastic strategy-based gameplay that’s even easier to maneuver around using the Nintendo Switch’s rewind feature and save states.

3 Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Mario drags Luigi across their yard in Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga

In Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, Nintendo’s mascot ventured into the turn-based RPG genre and proved that he was malleable enough to star in more than just platformers and puzzle games. Both games follow Mario as he recruits a party of allies to help him save the day as Luigi watches from a distance, but Superstar Saga finally pairs the Super Mario Bros. for an unforgettable and hilarious adventure for all ages.

Related: Mario & Luigi: Every Game Ranked

After an evil witch steals Princess Peach’s voice, Mario and Luigi are sent to the neighboring Beanbean Kingdom to try and take it back. Superstar Saga introduces an iconic cast of characters and features some of the funniest dialogue and scenarios in a Nintendo game. The battle system is similar to Paper Mario’s, except you control both Mario and Luigi and must attack with precision timing to deal more damage.

2 Metroid Fusion

Samus holds onto a wall while Nightmare approaches from behind

The Metroid series is infamous for having long gaps between new chapters that continue Samus’ storyline, and Metroid Fusion is one of the better examples of how long fans have had to wait. This atmospheric Game Boy Advance game is technically the sequel to Super Metroid, which launched on the SNES eight years prior. Metroid Dread is the sequel to Fusion, which means it took about nineteen years to discover what happens after this epic adventure.

Metroid Fusion contains all the staples of the series, from unlocking powerful new weapons to facing terrifying bosses like Nightmare and Arachnus. This game is a bit more linear than previous titles, so if you ever felt turned off by the series because of its scale and the lack of directions, the issue has been resolved thanks to a fantastic map system and a clearer objective.

1 The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Link prepares to open a treasure chest in the Temple of Droplets in The Legend Of Zelda Minish Cap

The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most prominent and highly-acclaimed series, and for a short time, the company allowed Capcom to develop the handheld games while it focused on more ambitious titles like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess for home consoles. It was risky, but Capcom proved itself with the excellent Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages games for the Game Boy Color and The Minish Cap for the Game Boy Advance.

Most Legend of Zelda titles are built around a unique idea or mechanic, and The Minish Cap allows Link to change his size to explore Hyrule and save Princess Zelda. The Minish Cap uses this concept effortlessly to create a fascinating adventure full of familiar elements with new and surprising twists attached to them. The dungeons are fantastic, and the bosses are consistently delightful to encounter. If you like The Legend of Zelda series and missed out on The Minish Cap, it should easily be the first game you play through Nintendo Switch Online.

Next: The Best SNES Games On Nintendo Switch Online

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