I've been playing some GBA games these past few weeks, and since the GBA is going to be added to the virtual console (as per the Nintendo Direct announcement), I figured it would be a good excuse to get a thread going.
Just post games you liked, nothing is off-limits.
All the GBA Castlevanias, Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow. Aria of Sorrow is my most played GBA game, and my most replayed Castlevania game.
Breath of Fire and Golden Sun. Breath of Fire is very old-school, which can make it hard to get into. Golden Sun is a bit more modern and fast paced.
I've also been playing the GBA version of FFVI, it's not an exclusive to GBA, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
Mario and Luigi Sperstar Saga, every main series GBA Pokemon, Game and Watch Gallery 4, and I really forget the rest, and remakes of other games SMB1-3 + Super Mario World. Also Sonic Advance 1+2 were good. Can't forget theMario Kart game, either. I'm sure there were others but many are lost in memory, as I stupidly sold a lot of them. Plus, this was the first piece of gaming hardware that I personally owned.
Wario Land 4. Colourful fun. The music is also really catchy. I'd love it if they made another one for the 3DS. Not WarioWare, but a proper 'Land' game. It's my second favourite platformer series after Donkey Kong Country.
Fire Emblem. This was the first time the series ever ventured out of Japan. It was also the first Tactical RPG I ever played. I wouldn't mind a remake, actually. Sacred Stones is also decent.
F-Zero GP Legend. I don't usually get into racing games, but I really dig this one. Even the story was interesting with the cryogenically frozen Rick Wheeler.
Kirby Nightmare in Dreamland. It's fucking Kirby, on a handheld. You can't go too wrong with the pink puffball. Easy to pick up and play. The music is also great. It's a remake of Kirby's Adventure from the NES. Prettier graphics, some new mini-games, etc. Good times.
Fire Red/Leaf Green. I never cared for the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald games. But Gen 1 with a new coat of paint? Hell yeah.
A Link to the Past. I missed out on the original release Link to the Past. Was too young, never owned a SNES until the late 90s, around 1998 or so. I would have been 7. All I had was Donkey Kong Country and Turtles in Time. So, this was the first time I ever played the game. It was pretty sweet. I had owned Oracle of Seasons, prior to this, so I already was into the top-down handheld Zelda.
Minish Cap. More handheld top-down Zelda goodness with a sweet talking hat. Actually, that bird-looking fucker does get a bit annoying here and there. Much like Navi, except it's a cranky old man.
Final Fantasy IV Advance. To the moon, Cecil! To the moon! On your whale-shaped techno airship!
Honestly, there's more, but I'd be listing all day. The GBA happens to be my favourite console of all time.
It had a lot of great titles made for the system, along with SNES ports.
Most of the titles I had were hand-me-downs from my brother, including the system after he sorta grew-out of video games.
Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age. The two games are technically one story divided into two opposing perspectives, one being Isaac's in the first game, and the other being Felix's in the second. Plus, performance-enhancing, Pokemon-style creatures called djinn, and dungeon-puzzles that require magic spells to be solved.
Two more would likely include Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls. The former also tells its story from two different character angles, like the Golden Sun games. The latter, meanwhile, consists of the first two Final Fantasy games, of which I find my favorites amongst the entire Final Fantasy franchise.
Metroid Zero Mission
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Advance wars hasnt been mentioned yet so get that it amazing and I dont usually like strategy games. There is also Shining Force resurrection of the dark dragon that is a great little game also if a bit easy.
Oh dear, nobody mentioned the Mega Man Battle Network series yet? Well that's a crying shame, that is! If you can, get 1, 2, 3 (blue/white, doesn't matter), skip 4 and 5, and then pick up 6 (Gregar is better than Falzar, IMO).
Mega Man Zero. I remember those games being crazy hard, but soooo much fun, and once you become adept with the controls, jumping and slashing becomes an absolute joy.
Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand. This game isn't going to be on the VC because the whole game centers around using actual sunlight with the help of a small solar sensor on the cart. The rate at which you gather your solar power is based on how much sunlight is shining on the sensor. It's just... an awesome game. It's a genuine shame that we'll probably never see a game like it, again.
I'm sure i'm going to miss alot of games, but anyways:
Megaman battlenetwork series - Great TCG/JRPG hybrid, and decent story to boot. Starring everyone's favorite blue bomber! (That's megaman incase anyone didn't get it)
Metroidvania games ahoy! - (All castlevanias+Metroids If you (like me) love metroidvanias then these are a must! Platforming, Explore, find upgrades, backtrack to find new paths and much emphasis on athmosphere.
Golden Sun (And Golden sun 2) - These games are like the core experience/stripped down JRPG with every part done right. The result is amazing.
Mario and Luigi game(s?) - Sweet JRPG. Nuff said.
Pokemon - If you are into that kinda thing.
Final fantasy remakes/ports - If you are into that kinda thing.
I have this annoying feeling that i'm missing some great games here! Bragh!
The Megaman Battlenetwork games are my personal GBA favorites.
Summon Night 1 and 2, no one ever talks about these games and I'm convinced they're insane hidden games.
The 2 Metroid games on GBA are the best of the 2D Metroids made.
Drill Dozer another hidden gem that involves some unique mechanics
If you enjoyed Castlevania, I bet you'd enjoy Earthworm Jim.
Great game, but no save function, so you have to complete it in a single playthrough-- challenging, but not an absurd ask.
Other than that, most GBA remakes of old Mario titles are worth playing (like Yoshi's Island, or Super Mario World).
I really recommend Kingdom Hearts: Chains of Memories.
I played a ton of that game (could be because i'm just a big fan of the universes in the game)
Otherwise, try Harvest Moon, it's quite nice as well.
Other than the ones already mentioned...
Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis - An all-time favourite RTS similar to FFT
Lunar Legend - Console-style RPG. Not the greatest one out there, but for some reason I remember enjoying it
Denki Blocks - A complex yet addictive puzzle game that's great for wasting a little time
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 1+2 - Needs no introduction
Lufia: The Ruins of Lore - Great story RPG with a randomly generated bonus dungeon for hours of fun
Riviera: The Promised Land - An Atlus RPG with a very unique and addictive combat system revolving around items
Astroboy: Omega Factor. Personally my favorite GBA game. It has old school shooter and beat-em-up gameplay an a great story.
I will join the masses in recommending FF Tactics Advance, partly because it's a good game but mostly because I don't seem to remember many other great GBA games I played! Pokemon is an obvious one and Minish Cap was pretty good too (I think that was a GBA game right?)
I'm really glad Golden Sun has already been mentioned several times so far! :D
OT: Zelda: Minish Cap is an excellent top down Zelda game, great dungeons, lots of cool side quests.
Any of the Pokemon GBA games, Emerald probably being the best.
Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission are both excellent games, I even prefer them to the great Super Metroid believe it or not!
Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga is an awesome game, lots of good humor as you would expect from a Mario RPG.
Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones is awesome, I got it in the 3DS Ambassador Program and it was really fun. Got pretty tough near the end too.
...and I was super ninja'd by you, good sir... Although, my first GBA game was Rayman Advance, which was (and still is) a bitch and a half to beat...
OT: Besides the games that Liquidprid3 listed:
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories - Before the PS2 remake made most people forget about this version of the game, this was a pretty awesome game in my book... Sure, the combat was a little weird to get into, especially for those that played the first Kingdom Hearts game, but for me, this was MY introduction into the Kingdom Hearts series... Even now, I still say this version is better than the PS2 remake...
Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure - Tony Hawk Pro Skater with Disney characters... Enough said... (Oh... and there was a "Kiss The Rail" glitch that basically gave you infinite trick combos...)
BeyBlade VForce: Ultimate Blader Jam - Marble Madness with Beys... Despite completing this game 100%, I had more fun trying to commit bey-suicide on certain levels just to see if I would end up falling on a random platform down below...
Mario vs Donkey Kong - Saving those Mini-Mario "action figures" was worth both the fun and the frustration... ("Seriously, Mini-Marios! Quit jumping over that small ****in' gap!!")
Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire - Why hasn't there been another Pokemon Pinball game since this one??? I NEED MY NEW POKEMON PINBALL FIX, YO!!!
...and that was a good trip down my early gaming nostalgia lane... (It felt great!)
Lunar Legend - Console-style RPG. Not the greatest one out there, but for some reason I remember enjoying it
Personally I would recommend against that if one has other options. It's a pretty heavily cut down version of the original game, so I would recommend getting it on the playstation or the PSP instead. It's actually rather pathetic compared to the original. Also, with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, go with the PS2 version or the one packaged in the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 collection, they're much better in just about every way than the GBA version.
I don't think there's anything I've played that hasn't been mentioned already.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Yeah, it's got a really wonk story, but I actually really like the gameplay a lot. Really great value for the money considering how long it is and how much content there is.
Fire Emblem: Any of them are fine. Actually I hope we get Binding Blade, even though I personally like it less than the other FE games, there was a recent update to the fan translation that kicked up the quality a fair bit and that's improved my opinion of the game. However my favourite of the three GBA games would be Blazing Sword.
Legend of Zelda Minish Cap: It's a really great top-down Zelda. I feel compared to the Oracle games and LttP, it's a little underrated because there's a lot of quality of life improvement that Minish Cap brings to the table.
Legend of Starfy 1-3: Not the best games by any stretch but they were never released in America, and the effort to port them over wouldn't be huge considering they're just simple platformers. It'd be nice to get something new to play.
Shining Force: The differences in this remake compared to the original release seems like enough to offer this as a download. More characters, more missions, etc. For that matter, throw in Shining Soul and Shining Soul II despite these games being hack n slash instead of tactical RPGs.
Sonic Advance 1-3: Solid Sonic the Hedgehog games.
I enjoyed the Crash Bandicoot games released on GBA.
Crash Bandicoot XS felt like 2D Crash 3 Warped. It was so much fun and felt closer to a Naughty Dog Crash Bandicoot game than anything on consoles at the time. Crash Bandicoot 2 N-Tranced continued this formula with very good additions. They were amazing games!
Pokémon Leaf Green. I know it's a remake. I don't care. I loved this game!!
Sonic Advance. All 3 of them. They all felt like true tributes to the 16 bit era. My favourite was Sonic Advance 2. So fast!
Mario Kart Super Circuit. I played this so much on long car journeys. Also the GBA release of Crash Nitro Kart. <3
Both Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror are a good bit of fun. It's Kirby, of course it's fun.
Also if you happen to be a fan of Dragonball Z, Legacy of Goku one and two are surprisingly really good. They're sort of beat'em up rpgs and for the most part follow the story pretty well if I remember correctly.
My personal favorite is Fire emblem, solid rpg, great strategy, what's not to like? I actually thought the Sacred Stones was a bit weaker than the first game.
Really? Really? All of you, for shame!
FIRE PRO WRESTLING!!!!
If you deeply love wrestling, this thing is the AWESOME! All the major stars from every contenient and promotion ever, just altered palets and names so they wouldn't get sued and the best CAW system ever. ELECTRIFIED STEEL CAGE MATCHES!!! What more could you want?
Bomberman Tornament, you'll waist hours on that game :)
FF tactics, Advanced Wars, and the A link to the Past reedition.
I didn't like The Minish cap. Too much of a reharsh of old puzzles starred at other zelda games.
Advance Wars 2 is the must-own GBA title. The first one is also great. Other than that, I can recommend the Golden Sun games - which are among the best JRPGs I've played regardless of platform. Of course you can't have a Nintendo handheld system without a Pokemon game, so I'll recommend FireRed/LeafGreen.
It's already been mentioned a few times, but I really liked the Advance Wars games quite a bit. They were pretty much my favorite games on the GBA. I never did continue the series into the DS generation, but from time to time I wish I had.
Damnit, ninja'd by the OP with Castlevania.
Other great games I've enjoyed on the GBA include Zelda Minish Cap and Drill Dozer. The Metroids were great too, as well as Advanced Wars.
The Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past.
Great game! :)
Bomberman Max 2: Blue Advance/Red Advance
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II
Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Megaman Battle Network
Megaman Battle Network 2
Megaman Battle Network 3 Blue/White
Megaman Battle Network 4 Blue Moon/Red Sun
Megaman Battle Network 5 Team Colonel/Team Protoman
Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar/Cybeast Gregar
Megaman Zero 2
Megaman Zero 3
Megaman Zero 4
Wholeheartedly recommend each and every one. Especially Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age.
Metroid: Zero Mission is my favourite in the series (except Corruption) and Fusion's also a great game. Though if you're looking for something a little more left-field, I'm going to throw Lord of the Rings: The Third Age out there. It's a tactical Fire Emblem-style game where you control armies in reconstructions of scenes from the three films - played it as a kid and it holds up surprisingly well. It's challenging without being unfair, and generally a really good time. There's also a Super Mario World remake called Super Mario Advance 2 which is obviously a lot of fun too.