Gaming systems will come and go, but the games we play are eternal. There are games from the past that make us want to go back to them even today. True, graphics and gameplay have evolved tremendously over recent years, especially with the advent of consoles and gaming PCs. But, there’s still something unique and special about the games from way before, when gaming developers did not have the kind of resources and advancement that they do now.
So in this article, we’re going to explore some of the legacy games that are worth playing on your iOS device. Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the best GBA4iOS ROMS.
- 1. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3
- 2. Metroid: Zero Mission
- 3. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
- 4. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
- 5. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire or Emerald generation
- 6. Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Microgame$!
- 7. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
- 8. Tactics Ogre: Knight of the Lodis
- 9. Ninja five-o
- 10. Advance Wars
- 11. Gunstar Super Heroes
- 12. Drill Dozer
- 13. Mario Golf: Advance Tour
- 14. Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
- 15. Mario Kart Super Circuit
- 16. Mario and Luigi: Super Star Saga
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3
SMA 4 was the grand finale that made the Super Mario franchise so great and lovable. With updated graphics, colors, and audio, including the classic Mario voice acting that can take one on a serious nostalgia trip, we feel SMA 4 took the best parts of SMB 3 for GBA.
Another aspect worth considering is that SMA 4 game designers really took advantage of the GBA upgrade (notice the video direction for the game) as well as upgraded game controls (which is contentious for SMB 3 purists). Most importantly, the player could save the game at any point, a feature that many players could have used in SMB 3. With a touch of features from the original Mario Bros, SMA 4 was the SMB 3 that we didn’t know we needed until we got it.
Nintendo knew they had something undeniably brilliant up their sleeve when they prepared an upgraded version of SMB 3 for GBA release. In what history would eventually come to recognize as one of the best GBA4iOS Roms for Mario, Super Mario Advance 4 still continues to be a fan and critic favorite that lives on and is worth trying out on your iOS device again.
Metroid: Zero Mission
As the name suggests, Metroid: Zero Mission is the popular successor that was styled after the 10-year-old classic Super Metroid and fortunately more than just a literal remake of the original Metroid. Zero mission includes remixed areas, new power-ups, and a comprehensive set of refinements. Basically, Nintendo has taken the best elements of the original and elevated it to newer heights.
In Zero Mission, you are again as the familiar interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran, equipped with a power armor that enables her to battle foes. Your starting point is planet Zebes and you are tasked with the extermination of the space pirate presence on the planet and wipe out Metroids (remember those floating jellyfish-like creatures that threaten the galaxy). You can play Zero Mission at your own pace, unlike in the case of Super Metroid where it did tend to feel like you are rushing and frantically trying to reach an endpoint more often than not.
Unlike with SMA 4 that invoked strong SMB 3 purist reactions, Metroid players are more or less unanimous about Zero Mission’s superiority over its predecessor. With great controls, captivating visuals, well-designed action, and exploration elements all of which are packaged into a nice Sci-Fi theme, Nintendo gave us a legacy piece in this one. In fact, the only qualm we had was that, if anything, there’s not enough game time. But good things do tend to feel short-lived, don’t they? So we recommend that you relish every. single. minute of this game and take your own sweet time.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Nintendo’s iconic game, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (which was actually developed by Capcom) is undoubtedly a worthy addition to one of gaming’s biggest franchises and to this list.
From a plot perspective, you will be fulfilling Link’s quest to restore Zelda and stop Vaati. Your character will be aided by the Minish, a race of tiny, powerful, and very cute beings who can only be seen by children. One of the most fun aspects of this game is when you have to shrink down to Minish size to find hidden portals, solve puzzles, find secret items, and explore a new perspective in the game world.
The Minish Cap is a lovely ode to the Zelda series. True, the basic gameplay is fundamentally identical to that of past games in the series, but that is what, in our book, makes this game even better. You can decide the length of the game and keep it short by following the main dungeon progression or explore the vast array of optional side quests to undertake. Like with Metroid, we recommend the exploration method since Capcom introduced new items and abilities for Link that you will enjoy taking for a spin.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Konami’s Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the third and final Castlevania title for the GBA, and for us also the strongest one. A fresh approach with the introduction of new characters and a sprinkle of mythology into the series while retaining the best aspects of Castlevania makes for a legacy game that we will always want to go back to.
In Aria of Sorrow, you’re not going to play as Belmont, instead, you will find yourself filling the literal shoes of Soma Cruz, a teenage exchange student studying in Japan in 2035. We think that the mysterious castle that he and Mina find himself in during the shrine visit is the former home of Dracula. Soma travels the castle, slowly learning of a dark prophecy involving Dracula’s successor while encountering several curious characters along the way.
Konami’s Aria of Sorrow delivers beautifully in terms of its gameplay, design as well as production value. For supernatural-theme lovers and Dracula fans, the Castlevania side-scrolling adventure will be a real treat. But whether you’re a fan or not, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is worth giving a shot.
Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire or Emerald generation
A wildly popular franchise that dominated the 90s and continued to do so even at the advent of the 2000s, our recommendation list would have remained incomplete without a Pokémon addition. Even in the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald generation, the crux of the series remains unchanged. A young Pokémon trainer aspirant goes out into the world to become the world’s number one trainer of those incredibly adorable and mysterious race of creatures called Pokémon that have become an essential part of pop-culture.
You can’t really go wrong with any of the versions. But many Nintendo reviewers feel that the director’s cut version i.e Pokémon Emerald will hold greater appeal to the uninitiated or those who have been on Pokémon hiatus. Otherwise, all the games more or less play out according to the classical console role-playing game formula. You choose to play as either a boy or a girl, name your character, and then set out on a lengthy adventure as you attempt to become the greatest Pokémon trainer in the world.
Of course, as you go deeper into the adventure, you’ll visit a number of different towns, compete against Pokémon trainers, interact with different people (who will give you stuff), fight wild Pokémon on different terrains and a lot more. The structure, size, and plot of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are a lot like those of previous Pokémon RPGs.
Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Microgame$!
Frantic action and mostly-bizarre lightning-quick gameplay of over 200 microgames make Wario Ware Inc. one of the most creative, unique, and fascinating games to come out of Nintendo’s creative space. Still, the best part of this game is how simple the controls are and how that does become redundant as the challenges become increasingly faster than you could ever expect.
In the single-player mode, microgames are grouped together into stages and the goal is to complete a certain number of these challenges in order to move on to the next stage. Expect yourself to take more than a first attempt to beat every challenge that will appear without any rhyme or reason and prepare for some insane visual and mental overload. There aren’t a huge amount of different stages overall, and the microgames may well be short, but it’s fair to say that you’ll more than likely find yourself attempting some stages multiple times so the short duration is a good thing.
Enjoy snippets from Nintendo’s older titles, and cool easter eggs with references from before the company’s existence as a video game manufacturer in what we feel is a visual treat encompassing a beautifully crafted gameplay should you decide to play this absolutely cool game.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance may not be as meaty in its plot offerings, however, with 300 missions, roughly 90% of which are optional, the game offers a good deal of things that will keep your mind off reality effectively.
At the beginning of each battle, players select half a dozen characters, each equipped with a different ability acquired from the various jobs that are found in the series. After a quick battle (this will happen a lot throughout the game), new abilities can be learned, the world map can be explored, new equipment can be bought, and players can send units off on side quests to track down rare items.
Leveling up your clan, finding good weapons, and trying to outwit the enemy add to the appeal of this game, making it super engaging and keeping it from becoming too repetitive, consequently making it a fan favorite. If you think things through, create a powerful clan, and collect plenty of items this game will keep you entertained for a very long time.
Tactics Ogre: Knight of the Lodis
TKOL begins in a story setting as strange things start happening on the island of Ovis under the watchful eye of the Holy Lodis Empire. There’s a little of everything from powerful forces being set in motion to political intrigue and of course, a plot unraveling set in motion by Alphonse, the main character whom you will play in the game. There’s a lot to look forward to, especially as your character fights to survive unrelenting battles and immersive gameplay.
We do want to caution players that Tactics Ogre is extremely difficult (you won’t be able to revive fallen characters until well into the game) with the kind of gameplay that TKOL requires, you cannot be half-hearted when you decide to get into the game.
A side-scrolling action game developed by Hudson Soft, the premise of Ninja five-o is set around Joe Osugi, an officer who takes down dangerous gangs that have been terrorizing the game world neighborhood.
The objective in Ninja five-o is fairly simple. You need to traverse each stage and locate the exit, beating the enemy, and saving innocent bystanders along the way. Your character, Joe has an impressive set of moves at his disposal that accounts for a major amount of engaging gameplay, one such move being the use of your trusty grappling hook to swoop around in every stage so you’ll be swinging, sliding, and slashing your way through levels in the name of fun.
The game isn’t very long, and keep in mind that the gameplay comes with a three-life limit and no continues. But if you’re up for the challenge, this is definitely good fun.
Advance Wars is a strategy centric war game that we’re fairly certain a lot of Android games derive their inspiration from. But if you’re particularly interested in commanding ground, air and naval forces, retro style, this war-themed strategy games is the way to go. With 114 maps to battle on, Advance Wars was revolutionary in the way it brought the turn-based strategy style to the GBA!
Before each mission is executed, you will see anime characters setting the scene with a conversation, eventually giving way to a scene that is populated with different units that are a hairbreadth away. You have to make decisions for unit-to-unit confrontations and you will see an in-depth visual in the animated cutscenes of the moves once you’ve executed them. Overall, Advance Wars is easy to pick up, and there is a possibility that you might even go back to it. For us, with Advance Wars, Intelligent Systems has created a strategy simulation game that has set the precedent for all games of such nature in the future.
Gunstar Super Heroes
If you’re looking for a quick gaming fix, look no further than Gunstar Super Heroes. The premise is fairly simple, in this side-scrolling game you can play as Red or Blue as you battle through six levels, employing one of three different weapon types. Both characters have a slightly different story and balance and game can be played in 15-minute sessions.
If you want to go back to the game after you’ve gone through one character, go back with a different one, or adjust the difficulty settings to set yourself up for a better challenge. Just keep in mind that this is not an easy game and back in the day even seasoned players felt the challenge in this one.
A cool female character like Jill is the perfect touch to a platformer like Drill Dozer. When rival gang steals her family’s heirloom, Jill equipped with her trusty Drill Dozer, an upgradeable piece of power armor equipped with a large drill, decides to chase the bad guys. This cool equipment will help you navigate through six different areas, and help you defeat varied enemies and bosses.
We love Drill Dozer for its unique gameplay more than anything. You have to use the drill for everything whether it’s double jumping, attacking, defending, or even puzzle-solving. Game Freak has undoubtedly harnessed the concept of a drill in fun ways to interact with the game environment while managing to keep this game interesting as well as super engaging. Be prepared to drill a lot and remember that when in doubt just drill something and you might just get there.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Fun interactive golf-themed game from the past, Mario Gold: Advance Tour is as much a visual delight as it is an exciting challenge. One has to appreciate the kind of effort and initiative it takes to create virtual renditions of real-life sports and being able to do so successfully.
As the name suggests, in Mario Golf: Advance Tour, you can play a nice game of golf with your favorite characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. You can choose from some beautiful courses in a different setting and compete in singles and doubles tournaments against pros. Enjoy a fun game with Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, and more cool Nintendo characters.
Mario Golf: Advance Tour makes good on the legacy of Mario Golf games that have preceded it. While this won’t be a good route for players who take their real-life golf seriously, considering that we’re under lockdown, the game’s playful aesthetic and overall experience might just be what you need to cheer up.
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
This game is considered to be a perfect ode to the pink fluffball who has been around for a very long time. The platform is much refined compared to its predecessors and carries the adventure really well. As a single-player game, you will find that there is a lot to do and experience, however, we do recommend testing the four-Kirby mechanic in multiplayer. A great platformer with nice action and variety, Kirby’s latest adventure just had to make this list.
Overall, a cute concept game like this has great replay value, especially if you were a Kirby fan. Consider playing this game and going on a nostalgia trip worth taking.
Mario Kart Super Circuit
In the realm of kart racing games, Mario Kart Super Circuit has a really special place. The tracks have been designed just right, not too long or short, and definitely thoughtfully planned. Every track requires a different kind of skill and yes, there is a little bit of getting used. But once get the hang of maneuvering corners, controlling turns, and boosting to shoot ahead of your opponents, the game will be difficult to put down.
We recommend this game for short bouts of distraction and each track takes little time and you can choose how much time-commitment you want to offer, alternately, you can also choose to play for hours, the choice is yours.
Mario and Luigi: Super Star Saga
Co-ordination and character management are at the very core of Mario and Luigi: Super Star Saga. This game requires the player to focus on both Mario and Luigi, leaving the player with his/her hands definitely full. There are going to be times when you’re either controlling Mario or Luigi alone in a turn-based battle setting and times when you will have to use one to help the other. Dual characters, simultaneously functioning under a single player’s control certainly makes for an interesting concept and execution, something for which the Super Star Saga now counts as a legacy game.
Super Star Saga created a space to introduce a better variety of attacks and power-ups along with an even wider roster of villains. We highly recommend that you experience the whimsical, fun, and exciting journey of Super Star Saga at least once.
Games are an avenue to a new world. A way to escape the monotony of real-life and really lose ourselves in wonderful places. While with the advent of smartphones and evolution in technology, gaming has certainly involved, it’s nice to go back in time and explore the time capsule that is Nintendo games. So whether you want to reminisce your own childhood days or explore the journey of a different generation, try one the games from this list.
Do let us know what are your thoughts on this list. Which game would you want us to put up on the list?