Back in the 90s, video gaming wasn’t as advanced as it is today. But, it was the best that could be had in that era and we left no stones unturned in making sure we enjoyed it to the fullest. Today, gaming technology is way more advanced. The modern, high-end consoles run on superior specs, the games are backed by powerful game engines. However, those who have lived in the era of what we call retro gaming today know that there is no match to that gaming experience.
Gameboy Advance was definitely one of the most popular gaming consoles back then. It supported over 500 games and we used to spend countless hours playing them. Well, you can still spend endless hours playing GBA games even today. Wondering how’s that possible when GBA isn’t sold anymore? Thanks to the GBA emulators and readily available game ROMs, you can relive the experience of 90s one more time. Plenty of Gameboy Advance emulators are available online for free. Not all of them are worth your time though. This is why we bring to you the list of top 9 GBA emulators for PC. Take a look!
Best GBA Emulators For PC- Top 9
1. Visual Boy Advance M
Visual Boy Advance is easily one of the best GBA emulators you will find in the market these days. What I like the most about this emulator is that it also supports ROM from other platforms and not just GBA. This simply means you can play hours and hours of games from the yesteryear and you will still have something more to play. The older version of the emulator, Visual Boy Advance Emulator (VBA), did not offer such a support. With VBA-M you get to play all sorts of amazing games.
Visual Boy Advance-M packs tons of cool features that enhance your overall game play. Besides multi ROM support, this emulator also supports cheat codes. You can also take the screenshot of the currently playing game at any moment you want. Also, you can configure a joystick to control the games better. VBA-M is currently supported on nearly all the versions of Windows OS in use including 7, 8.1 and 10.
I also noticed that VBA-M is not very resource intensive. It hardly affects the system performance. And, Visual Body Advance-M is very stable too. You will not experience any crashes or snags.
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2. Boycott Advance
Boycott Advance is also considered as one of the best emulators for GBA gaming on Windows PC. You can play just about any GBA title you love on your computer with this emulator. It will simulate all the game features as well as sound effects. It simply means you will see no distinction in traditional GBA gameplay and emulated playing. Just like VBA-M, this emulator is not hard on your system. It is pretty much lightweight and runs smoothly on almost all the modern machines. It is also compatible with nearly all the Windows OS in use these days.
If you would like to have more elevated gaming experience, you can also connect a joystick and control the game. Most joysticks that work on your PC are supported by Boycott Advance too. This emulator can emulate almost all the aspects of the original gameplay. It can save your games and let you reload them. What’s even more amazing is that besides the support for personal games, it also lets you play commercial games. Boycott Advance has received rave reviews by some of the top reviewers of the world. So, it is safe to say that this is the emulator you should definitely try if you love GBA gaming.
3. RascalBoy Advance
If you are someone who wants to delve into nostalgia of that is evoked by the retro games, then RascalBoy Advance is the GBA emulator for you. This emulator packs tons of incredible features that you would love to have. When this emulator for first released, it relied on basic emulation gaming. However, in time it has evolved and now offers some a host of amazing features. In fact, it also supports multi-player gaming that most other emulators do not offer.
There are plenty of free ROMs out there you can download and mount on this emulator. It takes only a little time to download and install this emulator. You can start enjoying your favorite titles without any hassles. Besides the free games, Rascalboy also supports paid or commercial titles. Not all the emulators can boast of a seamless performance with the commercial games. RascalBoy is probably the most advanced GBA emulator for PC out there. But, it is also the most resource intensive. If you have a PC with decent specs, you might not notice any decline in performance. However, low-end PCs may experience slowdowns. Nevertheless, this emulator deserves a spot on this list for all the good reasons.
No$GBA is also sometimes referred to as NoCashGBA. This emulator has remained as a very popular choice among the GBA gaming enthusiasts worldwide. There are plenty of reasons why you would want to choose No$GBA over other emulators. First of all, it offers multi-player gaming support that most others lack. And, even the ones that offer multi-player gaming cannot do it as seamlessly as this emulator. It has its own No$GBA system that it uses to establish links with the other GBA gamers around the world. But, that’s not all. No$GBA is also capable of emulating the Nintendo DS platform. Well, you bargained for one and got two instead.
No$GBA is, technologically, one of the most advanced GBA emulators. And, in spite of being feature rich, it is completely free to download and use. You can play Pokemon and all sorts of games that you enjoyed on GBA on this emulator. Especially if you like to play Nintendo DS titles, you are going to love this emulator all the more. It is nearly impossible to find a DS emulator and that too for free. Besides free games, you can play nearly all the commercial titles as well.
DreamGBA is an extremely popular GBA emulator for PC worldwide. One big factor that contributes to its popularity is that it is very lightweight. You can quickly download and install this emulator and get it running in almost no time. When it is running – regardless of the game you are playing – it does not eat up a lot of system resources. This is why you do not experience any performance issues or slowdown.
DreamGBA packs some features but the truth is that it isn’t really a feature-rich emulator. That’s one of the reasons why it has been able to keep itself lightweight and pro-performance. As you may have already guessed, this emulator also lacks multi-player support.
I believe that sometimes it is good to not have a lot of frills and extras. With more focus on the actual gameplay, DreamGBA gives you a pretty solid experience. It does not require any special effort to install and set up. Especially, if you are someone new to GBA emulation gaming, I would recommend getting started with DreamGBA.
Much like DreamGBA, BatGBA is also a lightweight, easy to use GBA emulator. Being lightweight, this emulator consumes little system resources and offers superior gameplay performance. BatGBA has remained as a popular choice of the GBA gamers. In spite of being lightweight, it packs a lot of features that DreamGBA surely misses. The graphic rendering is quite good, something you rarely get to see. It also plays nearly all the commercial games you can lay your hands on. One little challenge is that BatGBA requires special BIOS configuration. If you can get past that without any hiccup, you are certain to have a great experience.
BatGBA is supported on almost all the Windows operating systems that are in use presently. This makes it playable on a wide range of computers. The emulator also lets you customize the keyboard and mouse settings to better suit your gaming style. Better gameplay control results in better experience.
BatGBA has some of its shortcomings too. For instance, there is no support for cheat codes. Furthermore, several users have reported crashes and unstable behavior. Yet, I would say that it is one of the best GBA emulator options to try.
The one thing that sets Higan apart is the extensive multi-platform support. Those looking for GBA emulator will end up with much more. This emulator supports NES, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, and SNES besides Gameboy Advance. Well, this simply means there is no end to the number of games you can play.
Since we are talking about GBA emulators, let’s take a look at Higan in this respect. This program can play nearly all the GBA games you love. It also supports full-screen mode. But, the graphics pixelate in the bigger screen as the games back then were designed for handheld consoles. The audio quality is pretty decent but not exactly extraordinary.
Higan doesn’t support multi-player gaming and that’s one of its biggest drawbacks. Also, the emulator is no longer in development and hence you will not receive any fixes or patches. Nevertheless, Higan as it is, is a pretty solid Gameboy Advance emulator.
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mGBA is another viable option for the GBA lovers. It is indeed one of the most widely downloaded emulators worldwide. This emulator works on nearly all the version of Windows OS. But, that’s not it. It is also supported on Mac and Linux systems. mGBA is a pretty simple and straightforward emulator without a lot of frills or ostentation. It does its core job really well – that is to emulate the GBA games. It is quick to download and easy to set up.
Since there isn’t anything fancy about mGBA, do not expect it to be feature-loaded. You might miss the multi-player support if that’s what you prefer. But, the emulator is very stable and effective. It is backed by a good community of developers. Any glitches or snags are promptly taken care of.
RetroArch is a Gameboy advance emulator with a difference. This is perhaps the only emulator that supports a wide range of console generations. While you went out looking for a GBA emulator you came back home with one which offered a lot more. Whether you are looking for Gameboy, Nintendo DS or PSP emulator, RetroArch will give you all at one place. Even though it supports multiple platforms, it is easy to install and use.
If you are looking for multi-player retro gaming support, you will be disappointed. RetroArch is a single player emulator. However, it makes up for in multi-ROM support where it loses in multiplayer compatibility. There are tons of ROMs out there waiting to be mounted on this incredible console. So, go out and explore and have fun.
So, here we wind up our list of the best GameBoy emulators you can get. All these emulators are free to download. They are also free to use unless you plan to play commercial games. Tons of free and paid ROMS are available on the internet. All you have to do is pick one of these emulators and mount the desired ROM. You will be all set to take a dive into the gaming world of 1990s. I hope you enjoyed reading this article for I sure did writing it!
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