15 Best GBA Emulators for PC, Android and Mac
If you’re a ‘90s kid, then there is a possibility that, one of your cherished possessions was Game Boy Advance (GBA). This portable gaming console which had hit the market back in 2001, has been one of the breakthrough inventions coming from Nintendo. And though it did not last for too long, it has created an evolution in the gaming world.
Core game addicts are still looking for ways to replenish their nostalgia of GBA games. And if you too are one of them, then you should know that by downloading GBA emulators, you too can recreate those GBA games all over again. Here we have come up with a list of best GBA emulators which would totally let you rediscover the essence of the GBA games.
One thing to be mentioned that, there are different GBA emulators available for different platforms, namely, Windows PC, Android, and Mac. We’re discussing them in the following three sections:
Best GBA Emulators for PC
If steadiness and efficiency are your primary concern, then the best GBA emulator for you would be Visual Boy Advance. This can be counted among the oldest GBA emulators, yet it has not lost its charm and can be operated on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.
VBA-M has always been available for free download and the latest version is so much skillfully designed that there is hardly any GBA game which can’t be played in this Emulator. This best GBA emulator for PC holds some moving features like Joypad, game cheats, recording your whole game-play video, screenshots of your gameplay and so on. It does not have any flaw as such, only sometimes it might not run smoothly on old devices.
If you’re looking for such a best GBA emulator which is modernized as well as available in Windows, Android, Mac and Linux mediums, then you have to go for mGBA emulator. mGBA emulator’s journey started only in 2013 and it makes sure that the gamers of this generation won’t have to compromise with the patterns of modern-day gaming.
mGBA has several noteworthy features; the top ones being, tons of GBA games along with cheat codes, multi-player mode, the ability of game overriding, ROM patch support, solar sensor and so on. This Emulator is too simple to set-up and does not really have any noteworthy downsides.
Another best GBA emulator which is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 versions is, NoCashGBA or No$GBA. This GBA emulator holds an unusual name which totally works in its favor and creates a lot of buzz. It is one of the top choices among gamers all over the world and there are enough reasons for that.
Firstly, No$GBA emulator also runs Nintendo DS games. And you probably know how much rare these Nintendo DS games are and how big a fanbase they hold. Secondly, this emulator has the unique feature of online connectivity, which enables gamers to connect with each other, irrespective of their place of residing. That way they can relish playing together. And if you are a Pokémon game freak, then you can make the most of this online connectivity feature.
If simplicity is all you crave for, then BatGBA emulator is possibly the best GBA emulator you can use. All you require is an original BIOS file and you would be good to go. Plus, this game is too easy to set up and works on almost all Windows devices.
BatGBA is thoroughly a lightweight game with no hazardous specifications. It runs almost all the GBA games with an awesome execution quality. But many gamers have claimed frequent crashes and breakdowns. Also, we badly missed the game cheats.
The next best GBA emulator whose uniqueness lies in its simplicity is, BoycottAdvance. You can literally play all the personal and commercial GBA games on this emulator with a high level of sound emulation. BoycottAdvance comes with some enthralling features like joystick connectivity, saving and loading of games at any point and so on.
Though it claims to support all recent Windows versions, we have personally experienced that, this emulator runs best with the older versions of Windows, like Windows XP, Vista etc. This game too requires the BIOS file support for executing the GBA games.
If playing alone is not your cup of tea and you always end up playing in multiplayer mode then RascalBoy Advance is the best GBA emulator you can think of. This cool emulator lets you connect to at most 4 separate RascalBoy Advance emulators so that you can enjoy playing with your friends or rivals, for that matter. The best feature of RascalBoy Advance emulator, therefore, is its online connectivity.
Notably, you can run both free as well as paid games on this Emulator without experiencing any stumbles or hiccups.
Higan is one of those rare multi-system GBA emulators which not only supports GBA games but also lets you run NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), GB (Game Boy) and GBC (GameBoy Color) games. Other than that, full-screen resolution and high-quality sound are two other notable features of Higan, making the game-play an audio-visual treat.
Higan is, therefore, one best GBA emulator and a must try for every dedicated gamer.
Another best GBA emulator which lets you play both GBA and play station games is RetroArch. From its name, it is quite clear that this game is a pro when it comes to emulating retro games. Add to that, it comes with multi-ROM emulators and is pretty easy in its specifications. RetroArch is also available in Mac and Linux versions.
DreamGBA is one of the hugely used GBA emulators which is quite simple in its functions. It is another lightweight emulator and gives you complete satisfaction and ease while playing. Though a simple GBA emulator for PC, you can’t surely call it a best GBA emulator, and that is because it lacks several features. The top one being, the multi-player mode. When you’re in the mood for some straightforward game playing, go for this emulator.
Best GBA Emulators for Android
If playing on PC seems a bit hectic for you then download My Boy! emulator from Google play store right away. It is among the first ones which were launched on Android medium. This easy emulator is the best GBA emulator you can think of for Android. Whether you have a low budget Android phone or a highly developed one, this GBA emulator runs smoothly on both.
My Boy! has two versions available on Google play store, both paid and free. The free one lacks a bit when it comes to features; like, you won’t get the connectivity option or multiple cheat code support etc. The paid version comes for $5 and is faster with some advanced features.
The next best GBA emulator for Android which you can totally try is, GBA.emu. with a 4.5 play store rating and some killer features, this GBA emulator surely is among the top ones. Some of its features include the saving of game state (these state files are interchangeable with VBA-M), tons of cheat codes, backup memory and so on.
Another plus is, unlike other GBA emulators, BIOS files are not required for this GBA emulator. GBA.emu does not come for free and you need to spend around $4 to get it.
The next best GBA emulator on this list is named, John GBA whose name is derived from its manufacturer John Emulators. This one is a lightweight GBA emulator which is compatible with any smartphone with Android versions 2.3 or higher. Game cheats and code breakers, zipped file support, saving of game states, Bluetooth and Dropbox support etc. are some of its best features. This app is available for less than $1 in Google play store.
There is a free version of this emulator named, John GBA Lite; this free app supports Android versions 4 or higher and holds a bunch of cool features. But to avoid the frequent ad pop-ups and to experience a boost in speed, you better download the paid version.
Like its name, GBA Emulator is a very simple app which is compatible with Android versions 2.1 and higher. Available for free of cost at play store, there are hardly any GBA games which are not available in this app. Its best features include, cheats, fast-forward gameplay, speed emulation and so on. There is an onscreen joystick and also an option to connect a joystick from outside to get the real console feel.
Another free and best GBA emulator on this list is, MyGBA – Gameboid Emulator. It is the modified version of Open Source project GameBoid and is compatible with Android versions 2.3 and higher. This app does not come with ROMs and you need to collect your ROMs on your internal storage or zip files. Also, you can’t use the available game cheats at the time of playing. Hence this app is a fragile one compared to its rivals and manages only 3.9 rating in Google play store.
Best GBA Emulators for Mac
I’ve mentioned before that both VBA-M and mGBA have Mac versions available. Apart from them, another best GBA emulator which has a Mac version is, OpenEmu.
OpenEmu claims to be on a mission to change the world of video game and it has an envious collection of GBA games. The ROMs of various games are organized in their library in such a way that you won’t have to stumble even a little bit. They also have games from GBC, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64 and so on.
Our list of best GBA emulators ends here. Choose the best GBA emulator which would be suitable for your purpose and start playing the nostalgic games all over again.