Just recently, I shared a list of Gameboy Advance emulators for iPhones. As I got some positive feedback from that, I decided to come with another interesting list; the best GBA emulators for PC. Before I proceed to the list, won’t it be a good idea to know what a GBA emulator is?
What is a GBA Emulator?
Although, emulators are quite common and you use them a lot, you might not exactly know what an emulator is.
An emulator is a feature that allows you to simulate the features of another device on your own device. For example, Bluesticks is an emulator that allow enables you to install and run .APK (an android feature) on your PC (a Windows device). It is therefore referred to as an Android emulator.
GBA simply means Gameboy Advance. It is a discontinued Nintendo gaming console that used to be a bestseller. It was an upgrade from the Gameboy Color. It features many exciting games and trust me, every kid had a Gameboy Advance in those days.
I wasn’t born in those days, but I quite love Gameboy Advance games, in fact, I started writing this after completing Castlevania.
Am I contradicting myself here? Gameboy Advance is discontinued, I just finished playing Castlevania for Gameboy Advance, -how odd?
Remember I said something about emulators. Yes, playing Castlevania on my Windows PC is only made possible by the use of a Gameboy Advance, or rather GBA emulators for PC.
Gameboy Advance emulators bring the experience of many decades back to your PC. It bridges the discontinuity gap, -yes, GBAs are no longer available. GBA emulators for PC came as a replacement, and it made us understand that our grandfathers were pretty good game developers.
However, GBA Emulators for PC is not the name of a specific Windows program. You have to find which one best suits your Windows PC. You can find a GBA emulator for Windows 10, as well as one for Windows 7.
Let’s review our options and make a choice.
List of GBA Emulators for PC
I compiled this list with many factors in consideration. These factors include user experience, ease of use, and compatibility. Do you need a reliable Gameboy Advance emulator on PC, which is compatible even with your oldest Windows 7 computer?
Look no further.
Sounds like Gameboy Advance, isn’t it?
Not only does it sound like Gameboy Advance, it also offers Gameboy Advance-like features.
It is one of the oldest emulators for the Gameboy Advance, and it only gets better as time passes by. VisualBoy turns your PC into a virtual Gameboy Advance, with which you can load numerous games.
Previously, VisualBoy users reported a slow experience while playing Gameboy Advance games using the emulator, but the issue was fixed in successive versions of the app.
VisualBoy Advance is much more than an ordinary emulator. It does allow you to save the game at any state, so you can easily resume the game. It enables you to take screenshots at any point in the game. This feature is what I love most about this emulator. Once I do something amazing, I screenshot it and send it to my friends.
You can remap the buttons and it also support controllers. If you’re stuck in a level, VisualBoy supports cheat codes!
If you want to have a fun experience while playing GBA games on your PC, I’ll recommend VisualBoy Advance for you. Its age and frequent development are the reasons it will stay for some more time.
You’ve downloaded a plethora of GBA ROMs, only for you to see No$GBA as the emulator recommendation, won’t you think negatively?
Honestly, it might take some time before you get that No$GBA actually means No cash GBA emulator. This is just an innocent declaration that the emulator is free, not that you shouldn’t play GBA.
However, its name served as part of the factors that made it extremely popular, but it’s definitely not the only factor. Apart from the quite unusual name, the emulator is quite great and feature-rich.
For example, it can adequately play Nintendo DS games, which is quite superior to Gameboy Advance (forwards compatibility, huh?).
This emulator allows the use of a controller and is open to great configuration options.
Although, VisualBoy can emulate some DS games, it’s not a good Nintendo DS emulator for PC. It refuses to open some test DS games, some opened, but reported a poor performance while others managed to run perfectly.
However, when it comes to playing the best Gameboy Advance games, it has little rivalry.
Do you need a Gameboy Advance emulator for a three year old?
mGBA is the answer to that. It is one of the few GBA emulators for PC with an attractive interface. It allows you to customize the interface to your preference, and it’s well-loved for this reason.
mGBA contains some advanced functions, such as ROM override, which enables you to override the game, patching the ROM.
It plays almost every single Gameboy Advance game, and it allows you to use cheat codes to manipulate your game, for ease.
Like its predecessors, mGBA supports saving of states. You can choose to save your game at any level, due to its game saving feature. You can also manipulate the settings for games that won’t run, bringing down the quality of display and sound always helps.
If you’re good at fine-tuning the settings, you can get two of Nintendo’s most popular gaming consoles, all in one computer software. Its ability to run games for the Gameboy Advance and DS models made it one of the most popular popular GBA emulators on PC.
Do you use Google a lot for its simplicity?
Then you might want to consider choosing a very simple GBA emulator.
BatGBA Emulator is the perfect definition of a simple but powerful GBA emulator for Windows 10 PC (and earlier). It runs virtually every GBA ROM available while taking a minimal amount of space on your PC.
Unlike other emulators on this list, you’re not faced with thousands of game settings, it has been optimally preset by the developers. It’s just a kinda plug and play emulator.
BatGBA doesn’t require a significant hardware. With a one-gigahertz processor and 512MB RAM, you’ll comfortably play Harvest Moon for GBA, -on your PC!
It plays all kinds of games, including commercialized and non-commercialized games. It only hits a weak spot when you need to do anything else, like playing games for consoles other than the GBA. Unlike mGBA, it’s strictly GBA, and GBA alone.
5.Higan GBA Emulator for PC
Higan GBA emulator is quite the weakest emulator on this list.
It only supports a selected number of ROMs and it will require lots of tuning to work reliably on every PC.
A plus to this emulator is that it doesn’t only play GBA games, but acts as a great emulator for many other popular gaming consoles like the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Genesis, Gameboy Color, Famicon and Game Gear.
Its multi-console compatibility accounts for its popularity. While it runs some games perfectly well, some games suck.
It also features an easy setup and offers a lot of customization options to ease up the emulating process.
People who owned the Nintendo Gameboy Advance when it was very popular testified that the console was great then.
Fast forward to 2020, the gaming world has witnessed lots of improvements and we now play PUBG and FIFA 20. However, there are some games which we can’t easily forget on the console.
How do we bring back the good old memories of Harvest Moon and other epic Gameboy Advance games?
Get up there, and download one of the GBA emulators for PC and get playing games!