We already published the list of best GBA games of all time, now it’s time to discover the best GBA strategy games of all time.
With amazing titles like the Harvest Moon series, Fire Emblem series, and Advance Wars series, the GBA surely have a great collection of strategy games.
If you’re a fan of both GBA and strategy games, I know that you want to know the best GBA strategy games of all time.
Most of you will recognize (or even still play) some of the games mentioned on this list.
#25. Mega Man: Battle Chip Challenge
When a new battle tournament known as the Battle Chip GP opens up, players must compete to be crowned the champion.
In this spin-off of the Mega Man Battle Network series, players must construct a collection of cards known as Battle Chips to defeat opponents.
Competing in the tournament, you’ll face off against opponents in one-on-one battles, where your cards are randomly chosen and pitted against the opponent.
As you win battles, you’ll gain Zenny, which can be used to unlock more Battle Chips and playable characters.
#24. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards
As a good friend of the legendary card-player Yugi, you enter the challenging Battle City Tournament, facing off against other competitors in hectic card duels!
This entry in the Yu-Gi-Oh card-game franchise has a slightly different spin on the expected rules, challenging players to consider new strategies.
As always, you’ll construct a deck full of monsters, items, and traps, with the new addition of elemental abilities.
Despite these changes, the rules have been made less complex, offering an easier point of entry for new players.
The inclusion of a story mode also adds a great narrative component to the series, taking inspiration from the beloved Battle City arc in the Yu-Gi-Oh anime.
#23. Onimusha Tactics
A demon army, led by the resurrected Nobunaga, has overtaken feudal Japan and threaten the existence of humanity itself.
To protect their kingdom and defeat Nobunaga, a brave warrior known as the Onimaru heads into battle.
Command a party of your favorite characters from the Onimusha franchise in challenging grid-based battles.
As you fight demons in turn-based battles, you’ll earn crafting resources and experience.
New items can be created by finding recipes in battle, while existing gear can be enhanced and upgraded.
In addition to the several story episodes offered, players can endure extra challenge battles in an alternate realm for more experience.
#22. Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction
Unlock the secrets of the God Cards in order to prevent the end of the world in this original story set in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe!
In this new story inspired by the Yu-Gi-Oh anime, you’ll play as the new friend of Yugi and Joey as they set out on an adventure.
As you explore the world, you’ll duel other players in card battles, summoning monsters and creatures to fight for you.
The rules are very similar to the physical Yu-Gi-Oh card game, so veterans of the franchise won’t need to learn anything new.
This challenging entry will force you to think in new ways as you craft a stronger deck and take on harder opponents.
#21. Duel Masters: Sempai Legends
Smash through your opponent’s shields and summon epic monsters in this crazy card-dueling adventure!
This intense card game draws inspiration from games in the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise as well as Magic: The Gathering.
An in-depth tutorial explains all the rules before you play, making this an easy game to learn!
In addition to battling your friends in the multiplayer battleground, you can embark on a single-player adventure in Story Mode.
As you battle you’ll gain new card packs, so you’ll have to manage your deck and try to create the most powerful combinations you can!
Defend your tower while destroying the opponent’s in this prehistoric puzzle game!
Although Fortress doesn’t have a tutorial, things are pretty easy to figure out.
In the game, you place blocks to form lines, much like the game Tetris.
As you form complete blocks, you’ll create new structures and defenses for your fortress.
You’re always under attack from the enemy side, so choosing how and where to build your additions is key.
Once you play a few times, you’ll quickly become addicted to this wild and fast-paced competitive title.
#19. Jurassic Park III: Park Builder
Build your very own dinosaur theme park and manage guests by building a variety of shops and shelters!
In this management game, players get to create their own Jurassic Park, filling it with any of the 140 different breeds of dinosaurs you can discover.
In addition to making sure dinosaurs are happy and healthy, you can build different attractions and shops to please your guests.
Strong weather can damage your park as well, so you’ll have to be smart about where you construct buildings.
There’s plenty of mechanics and features to manage, providing hours of enjoyable gameplay.
#18. Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004
Summon ancient and powerful creatures to overpower your opponents in this fierce card game based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! cartoon series.
Although there aren’t many modes or extra features, this game is an absolute winner for fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cartoon and original card game.
There are over 1,000 unique cards to form your ultimate deck with, offering a great variety in card type and abilities.
The main objective of the game is to defeat every enemy duelist, each with a unique deck and strategy.
There are well over 25 different duelists to conquer, so you’ll have to practice and refine your tactics if you want to win.
#17. Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars
In the future, a boy named Cage and a mysterious girl named Myona crash-land on Mars and are wrongly imprisoned.
However, when the pair is broken out of prison by a group of resistance fighters, they are swept up in an interplanetary war.
This epic anime-inspired game offers players over 25 missions of intense mech-suit action.
There are a variety of different mechs and characters to control, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
However, you can upgrade your favorite mechs between levels by purchasing new accessories and gear.
There are also tons of awesome cutscenes and interesting story-lines to keep you invested in the gameplay.
#16. Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation
When a meteor hits the Earth and leaves behind a precious alien artifact, humanity assumes that aliens will arrive soon to collect it.
When the aliens finally invade, a battalion of mech soldiers prepare to fight back.
This is the first game in the Super Robot Wars franchise to ever be released in Western countries, bringing the super-popular mech series to more shores.
Players can choose from one of two unique characters, each with their own missions and mechs.
You can modify both your mech and the pilot by buying new weapons and investing in “pilot skills”.
The large variety of mechs and branching story-paths will keep you playing for hours on end!
#15. Yu-Gi-Oh! Worldwide Edition: Stairway to the Destined Duel
As a new card duelist in Battle City, you’ll explore the town and participate in various events, battle other duelists, and try to become the best duelist in the city!
This title in the long-running Yu-Gi-Oh card-game series is absolutely packed with content.
After picking their initial deck of cards, players explore Battle City and face off against various opponents.
There are also a variety of timed tournaments to join, testing your skills against the very best Battle City has to offer.
You can also battle a friend and trade cards by using a Link Cable, as well as fully edit your deck in the Deck and Trunk menu.
#14. The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
In the fantasy world of Middle-Earth, the brave warriors and wizards defend the kingdom from the evil invading Sauron and his armies.
The adaptation of the Lord of the Rings movie franchise lets players battle as either friend or foe.
Both the good and evil sides of the war are playable and have their own separate campaign to enjoy.
There are over 20 campaign levels to enjoy, as well as a number of bonus missions and tutorials to learn the basics.
In battle, players give out commands to a variety of troops, all of which can be upgraded and enhanced by using experience points.
#13. Defender of the Crown
In the tumultuous times of the Middle Ages, several factions of warriors battle for control over key territories.
It’s up to you to defend your homeland, as well as expand and conquer the rest of England.
This port brings a classic Amiga Commodore game to the Game Boy Advance, offering a bit of gaming history on the handheld.
In addition to defending your territory against incoming armies, you’ll amass your troops, rescue maidens, and even meet with the legendary Robin Hood!
Any fan of medieval warfare and castle sieges will surely enjoy this retro gem.
#12. Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
In the fantasy land of Rune, an evil military commander plans to resurrect an ancient beast known as the Dark Dragon.
In an effort to stop him, a hero named Max travels across the land, recruiting soldiers into his army known as the Shining Force.
This remake of the classic Sega Genesis game offers new playable characters, more difficulty options, new battles, and much more!
The game blends genres together, creating an adventure experience full of strategy and depth.
The turn-based combat system offers tons of different enemy classes, unit-types, and battle layouts.
Between battles, you can explore the world of Rune, meeting new characters, buying items, and swap out party members.
#11. Rebelstar: Tactical Command
After losing his parents during an alien invasion, a boy named Jorel seeks out rebel forces and gears up to fight back.
This unique turn-based game is reminiscent of games like X-Com, where you and a squad of soldiers must engage in tough battles with alien invaders.
Each map has specific objectives that must be accomplished, so you’ll have to pay attention to unit specialties if you want to survive.
Units can be upgraded by using experience points to strengthen their skills in stealth, healing, weapons, and more.
There are tons of cool weapons to use, including both human and alien guns, which can be looted from fallen enemies when ammo runs low.
#10. Monster Rancher Advance
When the family monster ranch starts to dwindle in popularity, using your knowledge of battling and breeding monsters, you set out to fix up its reputation.
Similar to the Pokemon franchise, this game has you managing a team of monsters and training them for intense turn-based battles.
However, instead of finding and collecting monsters, you’ll create totally unique ones by typing out any letters you please!
You can even combine monsters together to form new ones, creating powerful battle-ready creatures.
The game plays out over a 12-month cycle, so you’ll have to properly schedule battles and training if you want the ranch and its monsters to succeed.
#9. Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone
When her homeland is attacked by the vicious Bronquian Empire, the young Princess Yggdra attempts to rally the people and reclaim the realm of Fantasinia.
This interesting fantasy epic ties together turn-based battles with an interesting card system resulting in a wholly unique portable adventure.
Playing as Princess Yggdra, you’ll fight through a series of large-scale military battles, ordering your troops and forming “unions” of soldiers.
Putting together unions allows you to command multiple troops at once, providing them with bonus stats.
As the game grows in difficulty, you’ll have to think before acting, because one wrong move can spell immediate danger for your army.
#8. Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
After seeing a gorgeous farm for sale, a young woman moves from the bustling city into the peaceful rural countryside.
This game is essentially identical to Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, with the main difference being the gender of the lead character.
As a farm-owner, you’ll need to manage your crops, tend to your livestock, and interact with the townsfolk of the nearby Mineral Town.
Playing as a female character, you’ll be able to court several handsome husbands as you work towards starting a family.
In addition to managing the farm, players can undertake a wide variety of side-activities while exploring Mineral Town.
#7. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
After visiting a farm in the joyous land of Mineral Town as a child, a young man attempts to reconnect with the old farmer he met there.
When his letters go unanswered, the man travels back to Mineral Town, discovering the farm in need of repair.
This cathartic and relaxing time-management game combines farming elements with role-playing gameplay to produce a unique and charming experience.
In the beginning, players must manage the farm, complete chores and clear out the nearby mine.
In addition to farming, players can interact with residents of Mineral Town and even start a family by marrying one of six available characters.
For those who dream of a relaxing life on the farm, this game will make those dreams come true.
#6. Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
The land of Ovis has been beaten down and controlled by the knights of Lodis.
Playing as a neutral knight named Alphonse, you fight in various battles to repel the armies and return peace to Ovis.
In this grid-based tactics game, players must make choices both on the battlefield and in the story.
There are various enemy and allied units to command, including humans, dragons, beasts, and much more.
Different units and weapons allow you to form new strategies, overtaking the enemy and securing victory.
There are five different endings for the story, and since the game takes over 20 hours to complete, this ensures you’ll have plenty of reasons to keep playing.
#5. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
In the fantasy world of Magvel, five powerful artifacts withhold an ancient demon from being unleashed.
When the evil Grado Empire attempts to destroy one of the artifacts, two heroes set out to prevent the demon’s release.
This sequel to Fire Emblem introduces new gameplay elements while retaining the excellent storytelling and easy-to-learn combat.
In the story, you’ll play as two lead characters, Eirika and Ephraim, each with their own army to lead.
There are a variety of unit-types, built around a three-way strength and weakness that is simple to figure out.
Players must be exceptionally cautious when ordering their army, as any unit that dies will be permanently dead for the rest of the game.
Besides the lengthy single-player campaign, players can face off in competitive multiplayer battles in the Link Arena.
#4. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
After awakening in a magical world known as Ivalice, a young boy named Marche attempts to find his way home.
This imaginative adventure combines an interesting plot with tried-and-true tactical gameplay to produce a Final Fantasy experience unlike any other.
There’s a huge variety in character types, including 34 unique classes and 5 playable races.
To progress the story, you’ll have to complete missions with Marche and his party, which unlocks new locations on the overworld map.
The fun art style and engaging gameplay make this Final Fantasy Tactics title a must-own.
#3. Fire Emblem
In the land of Elibe, a band of assassins known as the Black Fang threatens to instigate a war by opening a portal and unleashing dragons on the population.
Unable to stand by and watch, three heroes join forces to take down the Black Fang and rescue kidnapped family members.
This epic fantasy adventure is easily one of the best strategy games of all time, providing a deceptively difficult challenge with an engrossing story.
Playing as one of the three heroes, you’ll command your military forces in a series of hectic tactical battles.
The bright colors and easy-to-understand battle system makes the game simple at first, but the introduction of a perma-death feature provides ample challenge.
Besides enjoying the main story, up to four players can battle it out in the Link Arena, with the option of AI opponents for some practice.
If you’re interested in strategy games but not sure where to start, this is a great choice.
#2. Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
When the invading Black Hole Army starts to conquer the world, four national armies must join forces to protect their homes from being overtaken.
This sequel to the original Advance Wars provides a similar tactical experience with a fresh graphical style and some added features.
Like before, players will command their army units in turn-based battles, learning the strengths and weaknesses of each unique unit.
New commanding officers, terrain styles, and special abilities have been added to the combat, resulting in some fresh strategies to discover.
The campaign plays out in a non-linear fashion, allowing players to choose missions at their own pace.
#1. Advance Wars
As the new tactical advisor of the Orange Star Army, you’ll lead the charge across four countries in a multi-national world war.
By offering a slew of amazing game modes and rich gameplay that was practically unseen outside of Japan before then, this landmark strategy title made a big impact on the Game Boy Advance.
Players can learn the ropes in the Field Training mode, where they’ll get to know the 18 unique battle units available to deploy.
You’ll command your army in grid-based combat, setting up flanks and forming a strategy as the battle plays out.
In addition to the tutorial and main campaign, players can also dive into challenge maps, competitive multiplayer modes, or make their own battle arenas with the map editor.
Are your favorite games on the list? Leave a comment below!
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Deciding the best GBA strategy game is no doubt a little bit late since the handheld itself has been around for 18+ years, but thanks to emulator, it’s still exciting!