The Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a handheld gaming console developed by Nintendo that was originally released in 2001. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color and the third installment in the Game Boy line.
The GBA features a 32-bit processor, a vibrant color screen, and a wide library of games that includes classics from previous Nintendo consoles and a variety of new titles. Its compact design, long battery life, and backward compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games contributed to its immense popularity and established it as one of Nintendo’s most successful handheld systems.
We’ve put together a list of the ten rarest GBA games on the market right now that would cost you an arm and a leg and probably a kidney to buy. If you own any of these games, hold onto them tight or consider selling them for a pretty penny.
All of the estimated prices are taken from the PriceCharting website in August 2023 and reflect the loose cart (not complete in box) prices of recently sold listings.
Drill Dozer – $110
You might be surprised to learn that Drill Dozer, released in 2005 in Japan and in 2006 in North America, was developed by Pokemon’s Game Freak. This game was one of the company’s several projects that deviated from their usual Pokemon releases.
Drill Dozer is an action platformer in which players control a girl named Jill and her Drill Dozer machine. It’s one of the only two Game Boy Advance games that include a rumble force feedback, which mimicked the feel of a drill.
The reason for Drill Dozer’s high price is likely due to the Game Freak name on the box; Pokemon collectors may want it due to the association. Additionally, since Game Boy Advance games with rumble were so rare, it’s a cool piece of tech that emulators can’t replicate. Recently sold copies have gone for an average of $110 over the past month.
Boktai: The Sun in Your Hand – $120
The Boktai series has one of the most unique mechanics of any game ever. There is a photometric light sensor built into the cartridge that, when exposed to sunlight in real life, charges the in-game weapon. If the player runs out of ammo, they need to avoid enemies until they can take the GBA outside into the sunlight to “recharge” the gun.
The game also asks players to set their timezone and current time so that the in-game world will match. The sunlight affects the world in Boktai, such as certain enemies only appearing at night, birds chirping in the early morning, and the position of the sun moving as the day progresses.
Boktai: The Sun In Your Hand, which was originally released in 2003, sells for over $100 with prices up to $150 depending on how lucky you get. Recently sold listings chart an average of $120 in general.
Ice Nine – $130
Ice Nine is a first-person shooter on the Game Boy Advance that released in 2005. Originally, the game was meant to be released as a tie-in with the movie The Recruit. That, however, ended up not happening, but the game’s story wound up staying very similar to the film’s.
In the game, players control a man named Tom Carter who must prevent the theft of a malicious computer virus called Ice Nine. Along the way, Carter uncovers a mysterious CIA conspiracy connected to the virus.
There are a few reasons why Ice Nine copies are so expensive nowadays. It was released fairly late into the GBA’s life, and despite having above-average graphics, the game was met with mediocre reviews. There weren’t a great deal of copies released or preserved, which is why recent ones sell for around $130.
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django – $150
The first Boktai game received a sequel called Solar Boy Django that had the same quirky sunlight mechanics as the previous title. This new adventure is pretty similar to the first. It has multiple endings and new characters, but otherwise the gameplay and puzzle types are the same.
Solar Boy Django is even rarer than the first Boktai title; like most sequels, there were probably fewer sold. Nowadays, if you want to get your hands on this unusual GBA title, you’ll need to be prepared to spend approximately $150 for the cartridge.
Urban Yeti! $150
What do you get when you cross Grand Theft Auto and a cryptid? You get Urban Yeti! for the Game Boy Advance, which was released exclusively in North America in 2002.
The game has humorous elements and a handful of mini games to mix up the gameplay of navigating the city as a Yeti, but poor technical performance caused the game to receive lukewarm reviews. Now, it’s mostly yet another title for the most serious collectors to obtain. Recent copies have sold for roughly $150.
Pokemon Emerald – $170
Pokemon Emerald is the third game of Pokemon’s third generation, following the Ruby and Sapphire versions. Today, many fans consider it to be the pinnacle of the “third” versions that build upon the foundation of the previous games.
Emerald brought a number of improvements to its generation. Players now had a phone that could be used to call trainers and gym leaders for rematches. The Battle Frontier allowed for endless battling fun. More Johto Pokemon, including the starters, could be obtained. Additional legendary Pokemon could also be caught.
Since Pokemon Emerald is highly regarded as one of the best Pokemon titles of all time, it’s little surprise that copies now fetch for around $170 or more.
Moto Racer Advance – $175
Moto Racer Advance is a racing game developed by Adeline Software International and published by Ubisoft for the Game Boy Advance. It was released in 2002 and is part of the Moto Racer series.
While Moto Racer Advance has its fans, racing games are a specific genre, and not every Game Boy Advance owner might have been interested in this particular title. Niche games tend to have a smaller initial release and can become more valuable over time to collectors seeking to complete their collections.
As a result of these factors, the limited supply and demand from collectors have likely contributed to the increased price of Moto Racer Advance cartridges on the second-hand market. Recent copies have sold for approximately $175.
Car Battler Joe – $180
Car Battler Joe is a unique action RPG from 2002. Players take control of a teenager named Joe who earns money by battling to buy parts to make his car stronger.
Several factors contribute to Car Battler Joe’s rarity. The game combines action RPG elements with vehicular combat, making it a unique and niche title. Despite not being a widely known title, Car Battler Joe received favorable reviews from critics and developed a dedicated fanbase over the years. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations can contribute to increased demand among collectors.
If you’re looking to add Car Battler Joe to your collection, be prepared to spend around $180 for a copy.
Pocky & Rocky With Becky – $200+
Pocky & Rocky with Becky, also known as “Kiki KaiKai Advance” in Japan, is an action-adventure game for the Game Boy Advance. It was released in 2001 in Japan and 2002 in North America.
The Pocky & Rocky series, known for its fast-paced gameplay and charming characters, has developed a cult following over the years. It has its own distinct style, which can attract a specific group of players interested in the games. This is the fourth game in the series and adds a new playable character, Becky.
Due to the cult following and because it is a game from a larger series, Pocky & Rocky with Becky now sells for a very high price. Recently sold copies have gone for $200 or more, and the price seems to only be rising.
Ninja Five O – $300+
Ninja Five-O, known as Ninja Cop in PAL regions, is an action platformer in which players control a ninja named Joe Osugi. The goal is to put a stop to a terrorist group that has been influenced by powerful masks called Mad Masks.
There are five missions, each with three levels and a boss battle. The game received favorable reviews, but despite this, it failed to sell many copies. In 2003 when it was released, IGN called it “the best game no one played.”
Now, it’s one of the most sought after Game Boy Advance games of all time. You’ll be lucky to find a cartridge of this title under $300 because recently sold copies have gone for quite a bit more than that.