It’s 2023, and people are still reverse-engineering ROMs to play their favorite GBA games on modern Windows PCs. There is a huge craze for GBA emulators that have high accuracy and are actively developed. That’s why we have curated a list of the best GBA emulators for PC in 2023. You can install Game Boy Advance ROMs on Windows 11 and 10 and enjoy old games with controller and solar sensor support. In case, you want to emulate GBA games on Android or iOS, we have a separate list ready for you. On that note, let’s unpack the list.
mGBA is undoubtedly one of the best GBA emulators for Windows PCs. It’s highly recommended by GBA enthusiasts and the emulator is available not just on Windows, but also on Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, and more. Unlike other emulators, mGBA is still in development and developers regularly push Stable, Dev, and Nightly builds for mGBA. So as far as compatibility is concerned, mGBA ranks right on top of the stack.
Apart from that, its accuracy is one of the highest among all the GBA emulators. It supports NES Classic series games, comes with hardware-based emulation, and you can even use basic cheat codes. Finally, mGBA brings fast forwarding and rewinding support as well. In summation, if you want to enjoy some of the best GBA games on your Windows 11 or 10 PC without any crashing issues, mGBA is the perfect choice.
Check Out mGBA (Free)
2. VisualBoy Advance -M
Earlier, VisualBoy Advance was highly recommended for GBA emulation on PCs as it was the original GBA emulator. However, it has not been updated for more than a decade and new security vulnerabilities have also been found. So a new fork called VisualBoy Advance -M has surfaced that is actively developed for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Its accuracy is slightly below mGBA but does a great job of fixing older issues in VBA.
The open-source emulator features many new tweaks and sensor emulation and performs well enough to enjoy your favorite GBA game. I like the fact that the new team is heavily fixing driver issues to prevent any graphics-related glitches. To sum up, if you find mGBA too complex to use, you can always move back to VisualBoy Advance -M emulator.
Check Out VisualBoy Advance -M (Free)
3. NanoBoy Advance
If you are looking for a GBA emulator for Windows PC that is highly accurate then I would strongly recommend the NanoBoy Advance emulator. It’s a cycle-accurate GBA emulator that is modelled to be as accurate as possible. Bear in mind that the emulator also brings some enhancements and tweaks like better audio quality, speed hacks, etc. to make the experience more enjoyable. On top of that, you can be assured of compatibility with GBA ROMs as it also ranks high in this regard.
I love the fact that NanoBoy Advance can load ROMs from ZIP, 7z, TAR, and RAR which makes the experience even more seamless. Not to mention, the emulator supports Save State, game controllers with custom remaps, solar sensor emulation, and more. All in all, NanoBoy Advance is a great GBA emulator for PCs that is regularly updated and highly accurate in gameplay.
Check Out NanoBoy Advance (Free)
SkyEmu is again a very highly-accurate GBA emulator for PCs. It’s in active development and supports all major platforms including Windows. SkyEmu prides itself on its sky-high accuracy. It supports classic NES Series games like the Legend of Zelda, Digimon Racing, and Iridion 3D whereas other emulators fail to boot the game.
Other than that, it can also emulate other consoles like Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Nintendo DS. Talking about the features, well, you have game controller support, fast forward and rewind, action replay cheat code engine, solar sensor emulation, and much more. To sum up, if other emulators fail to start a game, you can rely on SkyEmu to boot the game effortlessly.
Check Out SkyEmu (Free)
Ares is not a standalone GBA emulator for PC, but supports multiple other consoles as well including Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, Nintendo, SNES, SEGA, and more. It has a huge community of users and the project is supported by a large team of open-source contributors. The Ares emulator is in active development and even releases build for ARM-based Windows PCs. That’s awesome, right?
It has a collection of a large number of GBA games in multiple languages with a trackable repo on its website. The desktop UI is also very friendly and I found the emulator quite easy to use and straightforward. Simply put, Ares is a cross-platform emulator and it supports a large number of GBA games with great accuracy.
Check Out Ares (Free)
No$GBA is one of the oldest GBA emulators for PCs, but the development stopped many years ago. And now, it has been updated till 2021 with bug fixes and new improvements for modern Windows systems. In terms of gaming accuracy, it’s one of the top emulators on this list.
Additionally, for debugging purposes, No$GBA offers excellent tools and features. Keep in mind, in terms of compatibility, No$GBA is not the best emulator in town as it still uses the older Win32 API. Nevertheless, you get features like Link Cable and e-Reader for GBA games.
Check Out No$GBA (Free)