Every Game Boy Advance game we want on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's launch lineup for Game Boy Advance games on Nintendo Switch Online is good – but it could be great.
nintendo switch online game boy advance gba games

During the latest Direct showcase, Nintendo surprise-revealed the long-awaited inclusion of Game Boy Advance games on the Virtual Console for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. The starting lineup was impressive, and included a range of iconic hits like the original WarioWare, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. More games were also promised in future – with plenty of other surprises in store.

While the array is already excellent, should Nintendo wish to expand its classic library to truly phenomenal proportions, it will need to dig deep into its GBA back catalogue. To that end, we have some suggestions.

Here’s every game we want to see included on the Game Boy Advance emulator for Nintendo Switch Online in future.

The Sims: Bustin’ Out, The Sims 2 & The Urbz

the sims gba nintendo switch online
Image: Griptonite Games / Maxis

Let’s start with a rather niche pick: the entire Sims handheld collection, developed by Griptonite Games and Maxis. The Sims: Bustin’ Out and The Urbz: Sims in the City are both fantastic fetch-quest style narrative games with a shared, gripping story that brings players from life on a secluded farm, to the corrupted streets of Miniopolis. In this journey, you’re tasked with taking down an evil, money-hungry tyrant, defeating vampires and devils along the way.

The story is as far removed from the base Sims games as you can possibly get – in all the right ways. The Sims 2 GBA also continues this tradition, telling an unhinged story about a Sim who is planted in a Truman Show-like town where strange circumstances like alien invasions hit weekly.

While EA rarely acknowledges this leg of its long-running franchise, the entire series has a passionate, rabid fanbase that would certainly love to see these GBA hits land on Nintendo Switch Online.

WarioWare: Twisted!

Image: Nintendo

We’ve already got one stellar WarioWare game on Nintendo Switch Online – Mega Microgames! – so why not add another? Twisted! continued the wild antics of the original WarioWare with new micro-games, and a very neat tweak: every game is based on twisting, rolling, or tilting a GBA console.

While this might make emulation complicated, Nintendo did announce Kirby’s Tilt ‘n’ Tumble as one of the upcoming Game Boy Color games arriving on the platform, and this utilises similar mechanics – so there’s hope for Twisted! yet. These mechanics would also work spectacularly with the Nintendo Joy-Cons.

We could all do with a bit more WarioWare silliness, and this would be the perfect inclusion.

Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure

crash bandicoot gba nintendo switch
Image: Vicarious Visions

Weirdly enough, PlayStation mascots Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot both had a spectacular array of handheld games on the GBA console. The best of these is Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, a fully-fledged spin-off that adapts the themes of each main game world into miniature, side-scrolling levels.

These are all sleek and snappy, and translate the action of Crash Bandicoot surprisingly well. There’s also stunning detail in every level, and they’re all brought to life in a timeless pixel art style.

Given other Crash Bandicoot games – including recent release, Crash Bandicoot 4 – are already on Nintendo Switch, there’s a high chance this underrated title could end up on Nintendo Switch Online.

Pokemon Emerald

pokemon emerald gba games nintendo switch online
Image: Game Freak

If Nintendo is going to include any mainline Pokemon games from the Game Boy Advance era on Nintendo Switch Online, it should rightfully be Pokemon Emerald, one of the all-time best Pokemon games.

Not only is this game an enhanced version of Ruby and Sapphire (both great games), it also adds in new features, like the Battle Frontier, and the ability to catch every legendary Pokemon of its generation.

Should this game have multiplayer on launch, it would also likely spark a major revival for players keen to re-experience the highs and lows of battling Pokemon in the early 2000s.

While including Pokemon Gold and Silver in the Game Boy Colour offerings would also be grand, we’d settle for the inclusion of this brilliant, nostalgic hit.

Sonic Advance

sonic advance game
Image: Dimps / Sega

Like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic had a stellar array of handheld releases on the Game Boy Advance, with the entire Sonic Advance franchise remaining beloved today, thanks to its perfect translation of high-speed Sonic action and gorgeous pixel graphics.

Sonic Advance and its two sequels all deserve inclusion – but let’s start with the original. In this game, you play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, with each hero having unique abilities that allow them to romp through various themed zones. Like its mainline console counterpart, the action is very fast in Advance – but not so fast that you can’t keep an eye on the action, and figure out plentiful new ways to speed through courses.

With so many Sonic games currently available on Nintendo Switch, the trilogy’s inclusion on Nintendo Switch Online feels like a no-brainer. Hopefully Sega is on board to show off the excellence of its classic GBA library.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

mario vs donkey kong gba game nintendo switch online
Image: Nintendo

Mario vs. Donkey Kong for GBA kicked off an entire franchise that basically revolved around Mario bullying Donkey Kong over and over again, throughout multiple stages. It’s very petty and incredibly fun – and the series deserves to be brought into the modern era.

The Mini-Marios are an absolute delight in this game, and have become the unofficial mascots for the entire franchise – for the chaos they cause, and for being downright adorable. Sure, they’re a menace, but that sounds a Donkey Kong problem to us.

Should this franchise makes it way to Nintendo Switch Online, we’d hope the Mini-Marios are finally appreciated for their charm, and that newer players enjoy getting revenge on the often-villainous Donkey Kong.

Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs

spyro attack of the rhynocs game
Image: Digital Eclipse

As mentioned, Spyro the Dragon had a range of platformer-style games on the Game Boy Advance – with some being genuinely great, like Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs. In this cute pixel adventure, Spyro must traverse new worlds when he and the Professor accidentally tear holes in the fabric of space and time.

Each portal he encounters leads to a brand-new world littered with puzzles, time-based challenges, and a variety of collectibles. While the gameplay is fairly basic, it’s a solid translation of Spyro’s traversal, and even allows you to master new skills and breath types.

It also features some wild Spyro mythology, adorable baby dragons, and plenty of quirky challenges. In short, it’s a real delight – and while it may not be a classic, it does deserve another showcase on Nintendo Switch.

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Image: HAL Laboratory

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is another brilliant, colourful Kirby platformer that feels ripe for a major return via Nintendo Switch Online. In this adventure, Kirby ventures to dark new places to protect the citizens of Dream Land, and bring back their ability to dream.

While the game is a fairly traditional Kirby platformer, it has stood the test of time, thanks to colourful, crisp pixel graphics – and the pure delight that is Kirby. It’s extremely difficult not to have a good time with this adorable, pink blob – and Nightmare in Dream Land is just another example of his charms.

Given many classic Kirby games are now available on Nintendo Switch, the eventual inclusion of this platformer on Nintendo Switch Online just makes sense. It’s a key part of the modern Kirby story.

Mother 3

mother 3 game boy advance nintendo switch online
Image: Brownie Brown / HAL Laboratory

Mention Mother 3 if you want to see your local gamer cry. This Japan-exclusive GBA adventure title is the canon conclusion to the events of the Mother / Earthbound series – but despite the franchise’s cult popularity, it has never been officially translated and brought to the West. This complicates its inclusion on Nintendo Switch Online, but it may also present an opportunity.

In Japan, this title is basically a shoo-in to be included on Nintendo Switch Online eventually. Should it prove popular, there is potential for it to maybe, possibly receive its long-awaited English port. It may be the longest shot in history, but if a digital release in Japan finally lets Nintendo see how popular this franchise still is, we could see a change in attitude, and a hard-won translation.

Wishful thinking, yes – but it’s always nice to dream.

Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance Games are now available with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. You can browse the full range of included titles on your console, or online via the Nintendo eShop.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.