Gameboy Advance (GBA) is a handheld console that was manufactured by Nintendo in 2001. The original console sold over eighty (80) million units worldwide.
There is no longer any GBA consoles in circulation as of the time of this article. Nintendo already stopped manufacturing the hardware, and there is no longer any form of support for the handheld device.
However, if you are a retro gamer or a fan of the classic Gameboy games, then you will find this article useful.
I specially handpicked these emulators after testing each one of them on my computer.
Note: The GBA emulator that will eventually suit you depends on your taste. They each have a different user interface, provide varying user experience, but run the same retro Gameboy games.
No matter which you end up selecting from our list, you will still be able to play your favorite premium games.
Check out the list of some of the best Gameboy advance emulators that can run on your Windows PC.
1. VisualBoy Advance
VisualBoy advance or VBA emulator is an excellent emulator for Windows. It lets you play:
- Gameboy advance classics.
- Super Gameboy retros.
- Gameboy color games.
VBA was released thirteen (13) years ago, so it has been around for a while. Also, VisualBoy advance is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac computers.
- You can screenshot the screen during gameplay.
- It is easy to save any game’s progress.
- Gameplay video recording includes audio support.
- You can share game progress with other emulators that has the same game installed.
- It is easy to import any game’s progress to VBA. Hence, you don’t need to start your favorite game from the first level.
- VBA has an on-screen joystick.
Created by Pointbat, BatGBA is a lightweight emulator that runs on any version of Windows. The cool thing about it is that you can also play your favorite GBA games online without downloading the emulator.
Since BatGBA is lightweight, installation is quick and straightforward. Your PC does not need to be high or mid-end for this emulator to run efficiently.
- This emulator is lightweight; hence, it only requires minimum system requirements to run smoothly.
- The file size is 0.2 Megabytes.
- Installation is easy and quick.
- BatGBA has a simple user interface. It does not have flashy features.
- You can install and play your favorite Gameboy advance iso games with ease.
Released in 2013, mGBA is an emulator that tends to maintain portability and features, while supporting any device specification. This feature means that it can run efficiently on any low, mid, or high-end Windows PC.
I personally fancy mGBA because it runs my games without any lags or bugs. It emulates accurately and efficiently.
Besides Windows, mGBA can also emulate Gameboy advance on:
- PS Vita console.
- Nintendo Wii, 3DS, and switch.
- mGBA emulates games with high-end accuracy.
- It is cross-platform as it is compatible with multiple devices such as other handhelds and computers.
- You can report a bug and get the developers to fix it.
- The support for this emulator is great.
- It is portable with full features.
- You can set it up in a few minutes.
Higan was created in the year 2004 with the motive to support multiple handheld consoles. The cross-platform feature means that it runs other system games besides that of GBA.
This emulator can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, plus the installation is simple and not time-consuming.
- Can run games on Linux, Mac, and Windows PC.
- Installation requires just a few minutes.
- Emulates other game systems such as:
- NeoGeo pocket.
- Various WonderSwan consoles.
- Sega Genesis.
- Master System.
- Very enjoyable to use.
Also known as No$GBA, this emulator debuted in 2006 for Gameboy advance. It currently supports Nintendo DS games.
NoCashGBA runs games on a quality resolution with pretty decent graphics. Also, you can play multiplayer games with your friends on the same computer.
One of the excellent reasons I like this GBA emulator is because I can plug in a joystick or pair a controller to my PC.
No$GBA can then recognize that I have an input device connected.
- The emulator is also known as No$DS because it can emulate Nintendo DS games.
- Joysticks and controllers can be connected for gaming.
- There is multiplayer support for GBA games that can be played on the same PC.
- You can easily save game progress.
- The emulator can be installed on Windows. Games have good graphics.
6. Boycott Advance for PC
This emulator supports homebrew and commercial Gameboy advance titles. You can run any GBA iso or ROMs on a low, mid, or high-end PC and get this emulator to run it smoothly.
Made by a developer known as Julien Frelat, this emulator can run games on your Windows computer with excellent sound quality.
- It is easy to install and use.
- The emulator can run on any system specs.
- The emulator also supports GBA titles but not Gameboy classics.
- Boycott advance is lightweight with a size of 0.6 Megabytes of storage.
7. RascalBoy Advance
Created in 2004, RascalBoy is another lightweight emulator that can run GBA retro titles on your PC. The emulator can run on any system specs since it consumes low resources. RascalBoy emulator supports various languages.
- This emulator can play homebrews and commercial GBA ROMs.
- The download size is less than a Megabyte.
- You can import cheat combination into games.
- RascalBoy supports different languages for the sake of gamers around the world.
- Installation and setup require less than three minutes of your time.
Retroarch is an emulator that can crossplay due to its multi-system support. You can also install it on other handheld systems like PSP, Wii, 3DS, PS Vita, and PS2.
Retroarch has a clean user interface that gives you excellent gaming experience. I am thrilled by the active support and frequent updates Retroarch receives from its developers.
- It is a cross-platform emulator; hence, you can play it on Mac, Linux, or Windows computer.
- This emulator can run on iOS, Android tablets, and other mobile devices.
- Game graphics is excellent, and system UI is clean for excellent user experience.
- You can install it in a matter of minutes on your PC.
9. VBA Link for Windows
This is not a stand-alone emulator, but rather a variant of Visualboy Advance. I find this emulator special as it supports LAN multiplayer. However, every computer must be connected to the same network in order to set up a multiplayer channel.
VBA Link also supports single-player emulation that can be achieved without an active internet connection.
This emulator is free to download, and it supports any Windows PC.
- VBA Link is a modified version of VBA emulator.
- You can set up a multiplayer session over an active internet network.
- Up to four (4) emulators can be linked up for multiplayer.
- It is free to download.
10. GB Enhanced+ Emulator
The last but not the least emulator on the list is GB Enhanced+. It was created in 2014, and it has gone through some improvements in the past years.
The goal of this emulator is to ensure portability while maintaining necessary features like cheats and saving of game progress.
One thing I fancy about GB Enhanced+ is the fact that I can tweak any game graphics to the retro “black and white” or “HD color.” It also emulates Gameboy color ROMs.
- GB Enhances+ is very portable with cool performance.
- It is compatible with PC.
- You can import cheat codes and save game progress.
- Graphics can be modified to the gamer’s taste.