What is the best GameBoy Advance emulator for PC?

GBA for PC

Two decades ago, the video game console burst onto the market. Game Boy Advance (GBA), a Nintendo creation that came to replace the GameBoy Color and to give us many hours of fun and entertainment. Today we can relive those days playing from our computer, resorting to good GBA emulator for PC. Which is the best?

Before we dive into the subject, let's remember some interesting GBA facts. The console featured a 32-bit RISC processor, with better resolution and simple 3D effects for better game development. From the hand of GameBoy Advance, Nintendo renewed its catalog of games almost completely.

Another of its great points in favor is that it supported multiplayer games (with a maximum of 4 players). It could also be used as a complement for the Game Cube. In short, fans have cataloged GBA as one of the best Nintendo handheld consoles.

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Unfortunately today it is practically impossible to find one of these classic consoles in good condition. And the few that exist are for sale on the second-hand market at prohibitive prices. That leaves us no other way out than to resort to emulators.

Best GBA emulators for PC

Let us see which is the best GBA emulator for PC. Our goal is to once again enjoy the sensation of playing Mario Kart, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda or any of the Super Mario games with the same sensations that the Gameboy Advance gave us, but from the comfort of a computer. There are several options in sight. We have selected some of the best:



We open our list with one of the most popular GBA emulators for PC, especially by Windows 10 users. higan It is a simple option that requires very few resources, but at the same time very versatile. In fact, not only will it help us to emulate GBA, but also other consoles such as Game Gear, Mega Drive, Sega Master System, and others.

Among the main and advantages of the GBA Higan emulator, it should be mentioned that its configuration is very easy, that is, once downloaded we can start playing almost immediately. Also, it has compatibility with a long list of games. If you are looking for a GBA emulator for PC, this is an interesting option.

Link: higan



If you're looking for simple and practical emulator, If all you care about is playing and staying out of trouble, mGBA is an excellent option. This emulator has a simple interface, as well as numerous automatic patches that guarantee compatibility with all the games in the Nintendo catalog.

Despite being one of the simplest options in our selection (it does not offer as many possibilities as other emulators), mGBA also offers us interesting options. To cite some of the most outstanding, we will say that it is compatible with GameShark cheats, that it offers local network game support, that it allows quick saves with screenshot included and that it has its own BIOS.

To use this emulator, you must first download the version that you want to install on your PC (at the link below). Once the program has been downloaded and unzipped, it can be run from file mGBA.exe.

When playing, from the program's Settings tab, we will be able to set the desired audio and video options, the language, the keyboard controls or the speed of the game, among other things.

Download link: mGBA


GBA RetroArch

More than just a GBA emulator, RetroArch it is actually a package of retro emulators capable of playing games from any classic console. The result of this variety is an endless list of options available so that the gaming experience is exactly identical to the one offered by the original GameBoy Advance. Or even better.

The negative part of this is that its set-up is somewhat complex and requires some time. For a lover of retro consoles, RetroArch is a dream come true, because there he will find everything he needs. On the other hand, for a user who only aspires to have a good time emulating the GBA, it can be an excessive tool.

Link: RetroArch

Visual Boy Advanced


We leave for the end VisualBoyAdvance (VBA), which in the opinion of many is the Game Boy Advance emulator that exists. The truth is that VBA puts at our disposal a large number of options, functions, and features that will make our gaming experience something unique and unforgettable.

VBA has a complete filter system that ensures a significant improvement in the quality of games. Other notable features include the ability to take screenshots directly from the emulator, to import saved games from other emulators, and to play online with other users.

But list of advantages of this GBA emulator for PC does not stop there. Other things that can be said about VBA is that it also serves as an emulator for the GameBoy and GameBoy Color consoles, it is compatible with different models of Joysticks, it allows different game modes (tube, full screen, etc.), as well as recording the audio of the games. A total GBA emulator.

Link: VBA

Is it legal to use GBA emulators?

To finish (before we start playing), we are going to spend a few moments to address an important question: Is it legal to play GBA through an emulator? The line that divides what is legal from what is illegal is very fine, so it is necessary to know where it is.

For this activity to be legal we will have to comply with these requirements:

  • Have paid for the console (exactly the same as if it were a license to use hardware).
  • Having paid for each of the games that we are going to use.

In other words: it is not legal to play games that we have downloaded from the Internet on an emulator. Many people do, although for their private use (which, it seems, is not persecuted), although there are also those who intend to do business with this, which is openly illegal and can lead to criminal consequences. From Movilforum we will always defend the legal route, Therefore, we discourage any user of video games from this type of practice.

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