The Absolute Best Game Boy Advance Party Games of All Time

game boy advance

The Absolute Best Game Boy Advance Party Games of All Time

The Game Boy Advance really got the party genre started for handheld consoles. The Link Cable was a big part of that since it allowed players to connect multiple Game Boy consoles together for multiplayer games. While previous Game Boys supported the device, few games took advantage. So pick up a Link Cable and try out some of the best Game Boy Advance party games.

front cover of mario golf advance tour game

Mario Golf: Advance Tour is the second Mario Golf game to come to a handheld console. Although golf games can be pretty hard to get right due to complex physics and detailed landscapes, Mario Golf: Advance Tour does a pretty good job. Nintendo was well known for its sports games in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Gameplay consists of playing golf, but a lot of nuances make the game work flawlessly. One of the nice details is that the greens are shaped rather than flat, so you have to perfect your putt. Like Mario Tennis, the game uses an overworld to select the game mode and go between various tasks.

You can go around and talk to in-game characters in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the game that sets it apart as a Mario title. Only a few Nintendo characters and Mario-themed levels can be unlocked. However, Mario Golf: Advance Tour is still a great golf game and easily one of the best puzzle games on the Game Boy Advance.

front cover of warioware inc mega microgames
The developer features a collection of games to test your skills in different genres.

WarioWare games are known for their fun puzzle and minigames, and is no exception. The cartridge is packed full of games to take, and there is a lot of variety. So, everyone should be able to find at least one they enjoy. However, a disconnect exists between these games as they lack cohesion.

The only thing that connects the minigames is that each features Wario’s pals. However, they do not all feature Wario. Gameplay varies widely, but most are pretty easy to pick up. While each game would be rather unremarkable on its own, they make for a unique mix. Most interesting is how they use small pieces of other Nintendo games and mash up what you’re supposed to do.

Each segment only lasts a few seconds before moving you to an entirely different type of game. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to master one of them. This rapid-fire change in games is really unlike anything else. All in all, WarioWare games are some of the best party games ever made. Plus it is a lot of fun to pass around and is so fast-paced that everyone will want to try it.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

front cover of mario kart super circuity gbc
Only a couple of tracks are available, and everyone has to play as a different colored Yoshi.

Mario Kart is a timeless franchise loved by many gamers. However, not all of the games have aged very well, especially those on handheld consoles. Mario Kart: Super Circuit isn’t perfect, but it is the first time a Mario Kart game was released on a handheld. It looks similar to the first Super Mario Kart game released on the SNES.

Gameplay is much better, and cars control a lot better than they did on the SNES. Some of the tracks from the original game are included with minor changes, but most of the tracks were designed from the ground up for this version. You can choose between eight characters, which may not be a lot by today’s standards, but it still feels like enough variety.

Each character has their own abilities and can also pick up items along the course to use. Mario Kart: Super Circuit has different modes, including a Grand Prix, time trials and multiplayer modes. Multiplayer supports up to four players via the Link Cable.

Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

front cover of legend of zelda GBA
Four Swords has a heavy multiplayer focus unlike anything seen in Zelda games of the time.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords is the successor to Oracle of Ages and the Oracle of Seasons. It starts with Zelda and Link in the Four Swords Sanctuary, giving some backstory. Zelda is then captured, and Link pulls out the Sword from its stand before being split into four people. The graphics are a pretty big improvement over the previous Game Boy titles and more closely resemble the home console versions.

Gameplay consists of the usual dungeon crawling from a top-down perspective. However, this is a departure from the usual Zelda game as it does not have an overworld and instead goes from level to level. One of the neat things is that some parts of the game can change as it is randomly generated.

You can connect up to four players via Link Cable to play along like a co-op. However, some parts of the game will put players against each other. Overall, Four Swords is one of the most interesting Zelda games and certainly one of the best party games on the Game Boy Advance.

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire

front cover of pokemon sapphire gameboy advance
Both games still have a really good story and some nice moments.

You can’t go wrong with classic Pokemon games, but Ruby and Sapphire received mixed reviews when they came out. However, many people still enjoy and remember them fondly. Plus, if you want to play Pokemon on the Game Boy Advance, these are your only choices. Of course, you could always play Red and Blue or Gold and Silver.

Gameplay remains largely unchanged. Some features, such as double battle mode, were added. Noticeably missing from these entries in the series is the day and night mode, which was added in Gold and Silver, and the ability to transfer Pokemon from previous games. The later-released Pokemon Emerald fixed some of these problems.

Graphics are a step up from Gold and Silver. Much of the discontent has to do with game changes and Pokemon fans growing older. Either way, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire remain very good games on the Game Boy Advance and are perfect for multiplayer.

front cover of kirby the amazing mirror gameboy advance game
The Amazing Mirror is similar to previous Kirby games on home consoles, despite being made by a different developer.

Kirby is a lovable pink ball that has some amazing powers. While he had been around for a long time before the Game Boy Advance, is where many fans got their start with the franchise.

The game has a good story and takes place in the Mirror World, above Kirby’s Dreamworld. Kirby must enter this Mirror World to defeat Dark Metaknight and save the day. Like other Kirby games, Amazing Mirror is a 2D side-scrolling platformer. You make your way through some masterfully crafted maps and defeat bosses along the way.

One of the coolest features of Kirby games is his ability to morph and take on other personalities. The graphics are really good, and boss battles are some of the best parts of the game. The multiplayer mode is unique, and you can play it with or without others. You can even play with up to four friends via the Link Cable.

Mario Tennis: Power Tour

mario tennis power tour game boy advance front cover
Power Tour adds power shots on top of the regular drop shots, spins, lons and smashes.

Lastly, we have Mario Tennis: Power Tour, which brings the beloved Mario Tennis franchise to the Game Boy Advance. The graphics on this version are incredible compared to past titles. Also, Mario was present from the beginning, unlike the Game Boy Color Mario Tennis. However, Power Tour was not well received by everyone because it was very story driven.

Instead of dropping you into competitions like other Nintendo sports games, Power Tour starts you out in a tennis school where you must learn to play and level up. This slows down the action of a sports game and makes it feel more like Pokemon or an RPG with a lot of dialogue. While some dislike this approach to a sports game, others feel it was a refreshing change and added some depth to the gameplay.

If you aren’t into the story-driven single-player gameplay, don’t worry, as the game also includes a few other options. You will probably enjoy the exhibition mode, which puts you right into the action by competing in a match. On the other hand, multiplayer is a great way to get two people in on the action.

Last update on 2024-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

Did the Game Boy Advance support multiplayer?

Yes, quite a few games utilized the Game Boy Link Cable to connect multiple Game Boy Advance consoles.

Could the Game Boy Advance play older games?

Yes, the Game Boy Advance could play original Game Boy games as well as Game Boy Color games.

Was the Game Boy Advance backlit?

Most Game Boy Advance consoles use a front-lit screen which is a little different. However, there was a Game Boy Advance SP that came with a backlit screen.

Did the Game Boy Advance use batteries?

While all Game Boy consoles used some form of battery, the Advance used AA just like its predecessors. However, the Game Boy Advance SP came with a built-in rechargeable battery.

Could the Game Boy Advance connect to the Gamecube?

Yes, some games support cross-play between the Game Boy Advance and Gamecube consoles. The Gamecube also had the Game Boy Player, which was an accessory that was attached to the bottom of the console and let you play Game Boy games.

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