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The Best GBA Emulators

Best EmulatorNintendo Game Boy Advance

Written by

Matt James

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There are many ways to emulate the Game Boy Advance these days, whether it’s on modded games consoles or modern solutions such as the Raspberry Pi. Sometimes though, it can be a minefield to know which is the best emulator to use, so we have put together a concise list of the best Game Boy Advance emulators to help get you playing the best Game Boy Advance games.

mGBA

Looking for the best way to play GBA games on PC? Then look no further!

mGBA has fast become a favourite with retro gamers looking to emulate the Game Boy Advance on the PC. It first began development in 2012 and appeared publicly as an alpha release in 2014. mGBA has since received regular updates, it even plays original Game Boy & Game Boy Color games.

mGBA has evolved into the definitive Game Boy Advance emulator. Not only does it do a fantastic job of allowing you to play all your Game Boy Advance games, but it also allows you to use GBA cheat codes, and has a comprehensive debug mode where you can access game assets and export them.

I am usually a fan of playing my Game Boy Advance games on a retro handheld console such as the Anbernic RG350, but mGBA is, without a doubt, the best GBA emulator for PC as well as the best GBA emulator for Mac.

Best GBA Emulator for PC - mGBA
mGBA has some excellent tools like the built-in sprite viewer

mGBA Features Include:

  • Not Just Game Boy Advance Emulation – You can also play Game Boy & Game Boy Color games.
  • Game Boy Advance Peripheral Emulation – Many Game Boy Advance peripherals and special cartridges are supported, e.g. Realtime clock, Game Boy Printer, Game Boy Camera.
  • View Game Sprites, Palette, Tiles & Maps – Utilise the excellent built-in tools that allow you to access the game’s assets.
  • Video Scaling & Filter Options – Integer Scaling & Bilinear Filtering

My Boy!

My Boy! Is one of the best GBA emulators for Android devices with over 1 million installs. My Boy! Is well regarded for its quality of the emulation and wide range of features.

There is a free version of the app, but if you want the full experience, you will need to purchase the paid app.

Best GBA Emulator for Android - My Boy!
Playing Game Boy Advance Manic Miner on My Boy!

My Boy! Features Include:

  • Excellent Game Compatibility – Play virtually any Game Boy Advance game with no issues
  • Link Cable Emulation – Play multiplayer games via Bluetooth or WiFi
  • Gyro/Tilt/Solar & Rumble Emulation
  • Cheat Code Functionality Built In
  • Video Filters & Shaders
  • On Screen Controls or Use Your Own Bluetooth Controller
  • Easy To Use Interface

Other Android Game Boy Advance Emulators To Consider

GBA.emu

GBA.emu is an Android Game Boy Advance Emulator by Robert Broglia, who has also developed a number of other Android Emulators for Retro Systems, all of which are well regarded.

John GBA

John GBA is a simple-to-use Game Boy Advance Emulator for Android. It has a decent amount of functions built in, including cheat options, and cloud file support for saving config and save data.

Best GBA Emulator iPhone & iOS – RetroArch / mGBA Core

Since iOS is typically more difficult to install emulators too and usually requires some kind of workaround, I would recommend using RetroArch for your Game Boy Advance emulation on iPhone & iOS.

The mGBA core is available to iOS users via RetroArch, so once again, I make this the recommended core for Game Boy Advance emulation.

There are comprehensive tutorials available online to assist with the installation, so installing emulators on your iPhone / iOS device need not be a painful experience any longer.

Much like in the previous generation of handhelds, Nintendo was top of the pile once again with the Game Boy Advance.

A competitor did emerge though in the form of the Nokia N-Gage. A valiant effort by Nokia to enter the gaming market, but to go up against Nintendo was not to be underestimated, as they consequently found out!

Check out just what the Nokia N-Gage was like with our best Nokia N-Gage emulator guide. Or, for more handhelds and other retro systems, check out our comprehensive emulator guide for more inspiration on what to play next!