Sure, the Game Boy Advance is an older portable and can be had for quite a cheap price now so that makes it the perfect gift for a cash strapped family that have gamers in the house wanting to game on the go. Not everyone has $150+ for the latest portable devices, then $30+ per game, that is why we are pointing out five titles on the GBA that stand out and will still strike a chord with kids of today.
First up, we have The Invincible Iron Man, if you have a fan of The Avengers, Iron Man or Iron Man 2 movies then you have to give them this game. Retro fans will appreciate the challenge level, the familiarity to Konami’s Contra series and even some Metroid exploration to break up the levels. Not based on the movies but still holding to the mythos of Iron Man, Invincible Iron Man holds its own quite well with a large playable character and easy to battle enemies.
Next up, we have Lilo and Stitch, while not having had a new movie in the franchise recently, we all know Disney movies are timeless and good action games are just as timeless. What sets Lilo and Stitch apart from other licensed titles is, well, the developers took the basics of Metal Slug from SNK and slapped Disney visuals all over it to great success, too bad no one bought it.
Action Man was only released in the UK but you can play it on North American systems (very few, if any, GBA games were region locked). What sets this game apart is that it feels just like a more modern Contra with fluid animations and interesting level design. Much better than the Playstation One versons and other drivel that passed the licensing department.
Lady Sia, why in the world didn’t this title get more coverage, and sales, when it was new? This is the GBA’s Shantae- an under rated, passed over awesome title that deserved A TON more coverage than it got. Basically, this is Popful Mail for GBA, side scrolling action RPG at its best and no one bought it. Grab a copy where ever you can, enjoy it and know that back in the day, there was a planned sequel that got scrapped due to bad sales.
Ninja Five-O rounds out this list of misfit action games and it is one of the best on the list. Basically, we have an original action game that feels like Shinobi had Sega continued the franchise past the poorly received Shinobi Legions on Sega Saturn (it eventually hit PS2 and newer hardware but in 3D). Mix in some Metroid style exploration with ninja stealth adventure and you have Ninja Five-O. Great game and missed the back in the day.
Any one of these action titles would be great for a retro gaming fan, a new GBA owner (they are dirt cheap on Ebay) and all of them, plus a GBA, can probably be had for less than the cost of a used DS/3DS or Playstation Portable.