Unfortunately this console is on the way out...
After reading IGN's top 25 list, I disagree with the ordering of certain games, and there are games that deserve to be there a lot more than others. So here is my top 10 list.
10 - Harvest Moon: Friends Of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon is, at it's bare roots, a life simulation game. It doesn't just stop there though, like the box art suggests the main point of the game is to take care of your inherited farm. You get all the things you need to help you along, including your own little puppy and eventually cows, sheep and occasionally a horse! Growing your crops quickly becomes second nature and you notice all the subtle hints from your female villagers, and realise that a dating sim game also lies within Harvest Moon and you're able to take your pick of the womenfolk. Of course, the game isn't sexist, there is always a female version of each game wherein you may pick one of the men in the village to settle down and have a child with. Harvest Moon is one of the games, much like Animal Crossing, that can absorb your whole life if you're not careful. You have been warned.
9 - Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World
If you've never played this game I feel sorry for you. This is one of Mario's crowning moments in his history. Not only does it feature my favourite bosses of the Mario series, Bowser's kids, and bought in Yoshi in a massive way, as well as a big element of the game being secrets. Secret levels are plotted all over this vast game, as well as all sorts of power ups. Hours can easily be lost in this game trying to figure out where to go in the mysterious ghost houses, and exactly how to get to that secret level your friend showed you. If you have a Wii and some leftover Wii points, I really advise getting the SNES version of this game.
8 - Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
A game with the Final Fantasy name attached is rarely a disappointment and Tactics Advance takes an entirely different turn on the usual conventions of Final Fantasy but still comes out well. As the name suggests, the game features heavily on tactics and strategy, as after some storyline you are placed in the world of Ivalice and gain your own clan, made of different races and classes and skill levels. The tactics come in when you engage with monsters or other clans and then you move your characters and decide what actions to take, but the smallest differences can destory a battle, such as turning the wrong way when finishing a move, resulting in the enemy getting a sneaky back attack on you. With over 300 Missions, this game can take a while, and learning the Law system seems difficult at first, but once mastered can easily be used to your own advantage. It wasn't Final Fantasy Tactics (the PS version) like we first expected, but that doesn't mean it's not good.
7 - Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
I mentioned that one of Mario's best moments was in Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of his others, and this port plays excellently. I could probably walk through worlds 1 - 5 blindfolded these days and still get through. This Mario game introduced the magical whistles for transporting you as well as Toad Houses, filled with items such as the Tanooki Suit to help you with your adventure. This game was so popular that it spawned a cartoon series based on it! Once again, Bowser kidnaps Peach and his kids feature again. Each boss battle however (and certain special levels) occur on airships which move causing even more panic and fun. Some levels on this game require an awful lot of memorising, such as certain timing of jumps and which enemies are where. This is really an essential Mario game, which is also avaliable on Virtual Console (I just sound like a Wii advert don't I?)
6 - Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen
Yes, the best GBA games can't be complete without at least one Pokémon game. FireRed & LeafGreen are remakes of the GB classics Pokémon Red & Blue/Green where you can catch all the original 150 Pokémon, but the remakes add in a lot more. There's a new group of islands with breeding centers and Johto Pokémon (those from Gold/Silver/Crystal) on and of course you are now able to choose between male and female as a trainer. The basic storyline is to of course, earn your badges, raise your Pokemon, beat the evil team and beat the Elite Four, and then try and complete your Pokédex. I did this back in high school and then once again in 2004, and it was just as fun. With a Pokédex almost totalling 400, this game can take away chunks of your life.
5 - Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past + Four Swords
Link To The Past you say? Multiplayer you say? Sign me up! As if Link To The Past wasn't enough fun, in this version you could team up with three of your friends and each Link came with different abilities, so you needed to work together to save Zelda, and trips into the Dark World are great fun. Link To The Past basically set the standard for all following Legend Of Zelda games. Elements of Link To The Past can be seen in every game since, and to fans that have played, seeing these "retro" things pop up makes you all the more happy. The Dark World element is a lot of fun, as some things you do in your own Hyrule affect things back in Dark Hyrule. If you can find 3 friends, a 4 player link cable and 3 GBA's, then this game is an awful lot of fun. If not, it's still fun enough!
4 - Pokémon Emerald
Well, I did say at least one, so I can have another right? Pokémon Emerald is the third game to Ruby & Sapphire, and adds in a whole bunch of new challenges, including the Battle Frontier, which has the highest AI in the GBA games where you must earn 7 gold and 7 silver symbols after defeating the main game. These are essentially extra badges, but as I mentioned, the computer becomes a lot harder to beat, and in most cases earning the symbols involves winning through matches in a row. Emerald places us in the beautiful and water filled region of Hoenn, with very little mention of Kanto and lead to an influx of new and bizzare Pokémon, but once again, we are compelled to go through and beat the game just because.
3 - Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn Of Souls
The first two Final Fantasy games were brilliantly ported to the GBA and new dungeons were added to expand on the originals. These are classic RPG's in the typical sense of saving the world, battling random monsters and evil empires. If you haven't played a Final Fantasy game before and only own a GBA, this is a good starting point, though perhaps not the best, the best in my opinion would be Final Fantasy V, but that has yet to be ported to the GBA or DS. The new dungeons are a lot of fun and the enemies represent a real challenge for once, there's also a bestiary on each game so that you can check enemies stats. Classic Final Fantasy this be, so do give it a try.
2 - Sonic Advance 2
If you haven't ever played Sonic, what's wrong with you? This game follows all the basics of a Sonic game but comes with extra characters who can each discover different areas of each level, and of course each has different abilities. My own personal favourite character has to be Knuckles though. This game is so brilliant because it can be used for quick blasts, as a level can be finished within three minutes, yet discovering all it's secrets could take you up to a half hour.
1 - Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Yes, right up there at number one, and it's not even a Pokémon game. Minish Cap (as it is so often called) is an awesome game. From the very start, you begin to notice tiny little vines in the water and little mushroom houses that you're sure you'll stand on and wonder how you'll get there. You will also notice that you're lacking Link's customary green hat. After a while you wander into the forest and discover your green hat in the form of a bird. He tells you the tragic tale of the Minish and allows you to shrink down to the size of them, and go into the mini-houses and rivers and such, which opens up a whole new world. This game goes on for ages, I can't remember how many hours I have poured into this game.
So, that's my top ten, feel free to say whether you agree or disagree and please do rate it. :)
I shall do some more lists at a later date too.