Nintendo’s final hardware line to bear the Gameboy name has slowly but surely been growing in desirability among collectors. Much like its older Gameboy and cartridge based siblings, Game Boy Advance prices will vary dramatically between loose cartridges and complete as well as even sealed copies for games.
Something to take note of for collectors new to GBA or cartridge collecting in general is the widespread distribution of counterfeit carts for the system. While Pokemon games are the most common games to see bootleg carts due to the series’ high popularity, plenty of other games over time have received their own unfortunate bootlegs due to how small GBA carts are. The low cost of materials make it so these carts are easy to pump out. Be sure to do your research before going in on a bigger or more popular purchase for the system
Much like other classic Nintendo game, we have gradually been seeing stronger demand for complete copies of games in their condition-sensitive cardboard packaging. It is also worth mentioning that this guide is separate the Rare and Valuable guide for the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price of the bare cartridge. The second price is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for a complete copy. An average price is also shared for a sealed copy if one has sold recently. The list is ordered by the balance of the two prices. Note that some of these games are not rare in the sense that there are not many available, but rare relative to demand, which makes the games expensive.
Standard North American Retail Releases
Pocky & Rocky with Becky: $125 – $770 ($5000 Sealed/Graded)
Much like its predecessors on SNES the third and final entry in the short lived but cult followed Pocky and Rocky series claims a spot on the GBA’s list. This 2002 North American and Japan only release features multi-directional shooter gameplay very similar to the Super Nintendo originals. It also seems to be one of the hardest games to find in a complete or sealed condition (which explains the wider gap between cart-only and complete values)
Most gamers that lived through the Game Boy Advance launch remember a lot of SNES remakes in the GBA game lineup. Pocky & Rocky with Becky falls into this trend, but the developer, Altron, actually based this one more off the original arcade game than simply expanding off the SNES games — primarily with the requirement to find a key in the levels to unlock the boss room and the difficulty level is toned down a bit and the levels are a bit more bite-sized to accommodate for the portable mindset.
With few realizing its limited run and its relatively small changes from the SNES counterparts, it may not be a total surprise that you could find cartridges of “with Becky” for $5 to $7 before 2010. The game was still a relative bargain before 2015, but it started dramatically climbing in value from that point.
Sales of the cart alone have recently pushed past the $100 range but the costly cardboard for Pocky and Rocky has also been hovering in to the $770 range recently. There was actually a n eBay listing in April 2020 that sold only the box, manual, and inserts (no game cartridge) for over $670 with shipping. But of course, that’s nothing compared to the pristine condition sealed and graded unit that sold for $5000 on eBay in March 2020.
Ninja Five-O: $215 – $533 ($900 Sealed)
Developed by Hudson Soft and Published by Konami, Ninja Five-O has one of the Gameboy Advances hardest to come across and highest priced official retail releases in the aftermarket these last decade or so. It’s not as hard to find in complete condition as Pocky & Rocky with Becky (mentioned above), but the cartridge is more in demand due to it being an interesting and more exclusive game for the GBA.
Though the Ninja Gaiden, Bionic Commando and Shinobi-inspired action platformer reviewed positively among critics at the time, its sales, limited advertising and strange release in only the US and PAL territories failed to reflect that. However, the solid combination of old-school gaming inspirations was a major factor in our selection of Ninja Five-O as our top Action pick for our Game Boy Advance Hidden Gems all the way back in 2007.
Back then, while it was still tricky to find in the wild, you could often score a bare cartridge for a little over $20 with a slight premium if it came with a box. Around 2011 and 2012, you started to see cartridge prices start to catch fire and reach the $70+ range before gradually increase as the years continued to tick by.
Around 2016, things really kicked into gear, and like most titles on this list, a complete boxed copy will run for quite a bit more and the mint cardboard trend becomes a higher priority, but the price of a stand-alone cart is nothing to scoff at either. The former has been steadily rising for years recently pushing past the $200 range and complete copies record at almost $500 as of the time of writing with sealed sales seeing dramatically higher records of at least $730.
Sega Rally Championship: $75 – $500
The US version of this GBA conversion of this Sega arcade classic is insanely rare — even in lose cartridge form. Complete copies, as you can imagine are even more elusive. There are very few copies, loose or otherwise, that even show up on eBay. However, die hard Game Boy Advance collectors do also host private sales for items like this and Complete copies have been known to sell privately for many hundreds of dollars.
Even European version of Sega Rally are pretty hard to find. eBay has recently seen complete copies of this Euro pack for the $90 to $120 range and $335 for a sealed copy. Cartridges in the region sell for about $40.
All around for the GBA version of Sega Rally, it’s pretty much a seller’s market so, if ones do start to surface and go up for Auction (I would not put a Buy It Now on one as a seller), you could see some fireworks in the bidding.
Demi-Kids Dark Version: $50 – $400
Also Light Version : $45 – $200
Demi Kids, or Devil Children in Japan, was an attempt by Atlus to have a set of Shin Megami Tensei games aimed at younger audiences. While the demon taming and fusing mechanics of the SMT series predate the massively popular Pokemon series by many years, Pokemons success and all ages presentation was hard to ignore at the time.
As with most Atlus titles from the era, Demi Kids didn’t receive a large production for its western release. Couple that with middling reviews and two versions (Light being the alternate) and you end up with Dark Version being the harder game to come by.
The lose copies of legit Light and Dark versions are actually pretty close lately (there’s more cheap bootlegs of Light circulating lately) and all of the CIB version of both variants. But a lot of the recent CIB units have been sold in Buy-It-Not listings, so its possible that they could have gone for more in an auction. Even in the last few months, we’ve seen a big spike in CIB versions — most likely due to the general rise in popularity of the SMT series internationally.
Car Battler Joe: $78 – $290
Another Natsume published title, Car Battler Joe was one of the earlier releases for the GBA and stands out for its use of Mode-7 technology and RPG car battle gameplay. Even with a Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack and good reviews as icing on the cake, Joe didn’t manage to fly off shelves very fast.
And although the title and certain screenshots might not give you the impression, Car Battler Joe basically fits into the Simulation RPG genre, much like Natsume’s bread-and-butter, Harvest Moon. While there are other racing RPGs out there on other platforms like Final Lap Twin or Racing Lagoon, Car Battler Joe brings the combat racer subgenre with RPG goodness and is a unique experience on the GBA. It was interesting enough to be one of our top RPG picks on the Game Boy Advance Hidden Gems guide. If you’re interested in learning and seeing more about Car Battler Joe, I recommend checking out SNESDrunk’s video review
Car Battler Joe is another one of those gems that were pretty inexpensive when you could find them. From 2008 to 2013, it wasn’t unusual to score a loose cartridge for less than $12 and a boxed version for a slight premium. Cartridges started to see a gradual increase in values starting in 2014 and complete copies really heated up in about 2016/2017 like much of the GBA market. Though Joe saw a release on the Wii U Virtual Console, prices on both the cart and boxed copies have stayed strong.
Ice Nine: $70 – $250
The Gameboy Advance was surprisingly home to a handful of first person shooter games that pushed the system to its limit in many regards. Ice Nine not only does this but falls into the higher priced category for collectors due to its later 2005 US and PAL only release in the GBA life cycle.
Despite it being a positive technical showcase for the system, the game reviewed rather average due to its rather generic design and premise. It was reported that the game was originally supposed to be a tie-in to the 2003 Al Pacino and Colin Farrell film The Recruit but this fell through, most likely resulting in the game turning out the way it did. Loose the game has been slowly climbing to about the $70 range but complete the game has seen a significant jump upwards since 2018 to the $180 range.
Tiny Toons Adventures Scary Dreams/Buster’s Bad Dream: $80 – $200 ($220 Sealed)
The story of Buster’s Bad Dream, or Scary Dreams is an odd one. Originally released in PAL territories only, the Treasure-developed action platformer released in 2002 in said regions and was published by Swing! Entertainment. However, in 2005 copies of the game, entitled Scary Dreams in the US that were published by Conspiracy Entertainment, started popping up in limited quantities online and on small store shelves.
The games are the same but reports, as well as the production dates on the US boxes, suggest that the game may have been planned for a US release initially and never had the final shipment pushed through with. Reviews from outlets at the time are scarce but many of the gameplay features show early ideas that were most likely inspiration for gameplay ideas in Treasures more notable cult followed Astro Boy Omega Factor that had already come out the year before.
Aside from a sales spike in 2017 the game has slowly been on the rise with carts hovering around the $90 range and complete copies selling for upwards of $200
Castlevania Aria of Sorrow: $63 – $209 ($300 Sealed)
It should come as no surprise that the crown jewel of the GBAs Castlevania trilogy has stolen a spot on the rare and valuable list. Featuring more of the iconic Metroid-vania style that Symphony of the Night brought to the series, Aria continues the tradition and shows how refined the ideas of Koji Igarashi and his team has become at the time.
The game actually sold much better in the US than in other regions but even so, with high praise from both critics and fans and even a rerelease on the Wii U eShop, this isn’t a game many want to get rid of once it’s in their collections making it hit that sweet spot of being high quality and desirable among fans and collectors alike.
Bare cartridges can go for around $60 and complete copies push towards the $140 range while sealed copies, due their popularity among series mega collectors, have seen prices in the $220 range.
Doom II: $45 – $220
While its groundbreaking predecessor has been ported to almost anything with a screen and a user interface of some kind, the first system Doom II came to after its 1994 set of home computer releases was the GBA in 2002. Much like Ice Nine, it’s another FPS that manages to take advantage of the GBA hardware and push the system to its limit while providing a mostly faithful port of the DOS original.
The original Doom on GBA isn’t too hard to come by but Doom II is a bit tougher to pin down, especially in a complete form. Loose the cart goes for at least $40 and complete you begin to see prices in the $130 range.
Fire Emblem: $40 – $200 ($300 Sealed)
While Fire Emblem is a massively popular series for Nintendo now, it wasn’t till Awakening on the 3DS that the series reached its modern heights. For years, once Marth and Roy debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo had been slowly but surely localizing most of the modern Fire Emblem games from the GBA onwards.
The initial western GBA release of the 7th game was well received by critics and was also the highest selling internationally until Awakening was released. Despite this, the surge in popularity for the series has helped to keep the price of this initial western release fairly high for a GBA game with loose carts coming in at around $40 and completed prices going for at least $100. And much like the other more popular series, sealed boxes have seen sales in a dramatically higher $220 range.
Pokemon Emerald: $55 – $185 ($500 to $1,000 Sealed)
Pokemon games have always shown to retain their value over time and Emerald is no exception. After the release of Fire Red and Leaf Green, Emerald Version was the last mainline game to see a GBA release. It features a tweaked version of the story line from Ruby and Sapphire as well as loads of new gameplay additions and small quality of life improvements.
At the time of writing, loose carts for Emerald have been rising to around the $60 range and complete copies have seen a significant jump over the last few years to at least the $130 range with sealed copies seeing quite possibly the biggest jump in comparison to other popular series with a similar trend . Lately, sealed copies with rather beat-up cardboard and/or plastic punctures fetch $500 and while minty ones can hit $1000+. For those that have been on the hunt for a sealed copy, the recent rise in Emerald has been a frustrating development.
Disney’s Magical Quest 3: $40 – $250
Like the other two Magical Quest games before it, it is an upgraded remake of the SNES game. However, unlike the first two games, this game never actually made it to the US on the SNES so the GBA version is the only way to play it in English (there is also a EUR version with different cover art).
This game is also quite rare, and is extremely hard to find CIB. In fact, we have not seen any boxed copies on eBay in the last few months — let alone with manual/inserts/etc. When Complete units to show up, prices fluctuate but it’s squarely in the $200-250 range CIB ($45-ish cart only), which I think doesn’t quite reflect just how hard it is to find.
The European version version does sell for less and is only anecdotally easier to find. I think this one is still a bit under the radar of many collectors as demand is still relatively low for such a great game.
Double Dragon Advance: $40 – $170 ($700 Sealed)
One of many retro revivals on the GBA, Double Dragon Advance is actually a remake of the arcade original by Technos. Published by Atlus and developed by Million (the DD license holder at the time) Double Dragon Advance offers the same kind of sold beat em up action the series has always been known for.
The game was reviewed well but most likely didn’t reflect that in the sales department due to the age of the series name at the time. More modern successful takes like Double Dragon Neon and IV have given the series renewed attention and have most likely helped keep the price of older gems like this steady. Carts on their own go for around $44 and completed copies have seen a steady rise over time to at least the $130 range.
Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure: $62-$148 ($235 Sealed)
Not only is that a great game but also one of the rare Dragon Ball games to ever come out (most games are part of the “Z” franchise). Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure is a cool little side-scrolling beatemup adventure game that has a Story Mode that fans of series will enjoy. It features 30 playable characters overall and contains most of the Dragon Ball story arcs — quite impressive for a game of this caliber and for a relatively overlooked Game Boy Advance title.
It also happens to fit into the top 10 most valuable Game Boy Advanced loose cartridges. Of course, there’s cheaper Japanese versions and bootlegs, but a cartridge won’t come cheap for this gem. It was pretty affordable for quite a while, however. Before 2015, you could have scored a cartridge for under $20 (but boxed copies were already in the $75 to $100 range)
Castlevania Double Pack: $55 – $128 ($150 Sealed)
Also notable is the later GBA life release of the Castlevania Double Pack. This release featured both Aria and Harmony of Dissonance, another of the Metroid-vania style games that was also rather well received by fans and critics. Harmony on its own isn’t as pricey as Aria (see above), but this combo pack is a relatively solid value for fans looking to play an official cartridge on original hardware.
Loose carts hover around the $55 in price and a complete copy can go for around $100. It’s most likely not as expensive as a complete copy of Aria because of the somewhat altered box art that looks more like a print ad than the full cover art of both titles. Regardless. Castlevania on the GBA remains popular. As for this same reason, these Packs were also rather cheap up until 2013/2014.
It is worth mentoring that with this Double Pack being a budget release, it feels like it was sold with much more fragile box that comes with a cart ‘pocket’ instead of a proper tray like the other releases. With that being said, having a very mint copy can be harder to come by.
Urban Yeti: $67 – $110 ($120 Sealed)
Last but not least for rare and expensive retail releases we have Urban Yeti, quite possibly the strangest [and pretty terribly] game on the GBA. The player is placed in control of “the Yeti” and is tasked with wandering a human city to find a Yeti mate. The game features a top-down perspective similar to the classic GTA games but also includes a slew of strange mini games.
This games cult growing reputation (for pure amusement/novelty) have caused its prices to remain on a steady rise with carts going for at least $65 and complete copies going for at least $110.
Valuable Japanese Exclusives
Z Gundam Hot Scramble (Famicom Mini): $100 – $300
In North America, we had a series of NES Classic cartridges of some treasured NES titles. Japan had a similar situation with their Famicom Mini series. Japan received more than twice as many Famicom Mini release and Z Gundam Hot Scramble is one of the most elusive exclusives. It also happens to be based on a Famicom game that never made it to the NES in North America. Hot Scramble is also the first Gundam game to be published on a home console.
We’ve only seen one unit of Hot Scramble for the GBA successfully sell in the last few months, but there, but at the time of this writing, there’s eight units up for sale, but all at might higher prices that our sales-based appraisal above. The units I’m looking at right now have asking prices in the $450 to $762 range.
F-Zero Climax: $100 – $270
Two-dimensional F-Zero survived in great abundance on the Game Boy Advance and was especially popular in Japan. North America received the first two GBA installments (Maximum Velocity and GP Legend), but Japan was the only region to receive the third installment, F-Zero Climax. Climax also happens to be the last full F-Zero game to be released by Nintendo as it was released in 2004 — a year after the Gamecube’s F-Zero GX.
While it was mainly a refinement of the installments before it (especially compared to GP Legend, as both were based on the F-Zero anime), Climax was the first (and only so far) F-Zero game to include a track editor without an expansion pack or add-on.
This Japan-only release isn’t quite as plentiful as its peers and doesn’t show up on eBay in complete condition a ton. Most F-Zero fans that have it probably aren’t looking to depart with it. At the same time, as the final F-Zero game, its an attractive piece to add to a collection, especially with its beautiful box artwork.
Mother 1 & 2: $42 – $95
Even casual Super Nintendo fans have probably heard of Earthbound, the iconic RPG that has always ranked well on the list of in-demand games for the console. Die-hard Nintendo fans will know that Earthbound is known as Mother 2 in Japan. The series has a cult following and the original two games (the first of which was on the Famicom) were put on a single-cartridge compilation in Japan.
This release isn’t especially rare, but it’s a solid Nintendo collectable — even for those that don’t read Japanese. On eBay, you’ll also often see these paired with a copy of Mother 3, which we will get to in just a sec…
Mother 3: $50 – $85
Mother 3 Deluxe Box: $550
After all the love that Mother 2 and Earthbound received (mostly after its run on the SNES concluded), Nintendo was interested in developing a sequel. It actually worked on a third installment of the series for the Nintendo 64DD, but it got stuck in “development hell” and scrapped. Then, as the talk of bringing the first two games to the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo announced that they were bringing Mother 3 to the Game Boy Advance as well!
With the fandom of Earthbound in the States and all the praise the Mother 3 received, you would think that a North American release of a sequel would be worthwhile, but Nintendo has decided it’s just not meant to be. It remains a sore spot for English-speaking Nintendo fans everywhere.
Again, Mother 3 isn’t a rarity, but is a strong collectable — especially since the Japanese Game Boy Advance cartridge remains the only official release of the game. Also, as you might expect, there are plenty of reproductions — some of which are translated — up on eBay.
European English Language Exclusives
Invader: $30 – $220
A very competent shmup that remains rare and expensive. If was pointed out as a bit of a Hidden Gem in our Game Boy Advance Shmup Guide. As we mentioned in there, supposedly there was a North American release of Invader, but there has never been a legit cartridge or ROM to back up that claim.
Collector demand for Invader may have dipped a little bit as of late, however. The recent decrease may have been the result of previous waves of collectors getting their hands on copies and the current wave either doesn’t know about it or is prioritizing other games.
Either way it’s largely a seller’s market and you might only have one available for sale, if any, at any given time.
Alien Hominid: $40 – $100
The [in]famous flash game from Newsgrounds that put the developer The Behemoth on the map (Castle Crashers). This came out in the states on the Gamecube and PS2 but never GBA. The GBA port is excellent and feels right at home on the platform.
It is a shame it never saw release in the US. The game has never been particularly rare or expensive but increased collector focus on the GBA has really dried up the supplies of a somewhat humble/uncommon release. Prices haven’t really caught up to but it is currently impossible to find a copy in any condition on ebay (all the listings are bootlegs)
Additional GBA Games of Value
More Standard North American Retail Games
- Disney’s Magical Quest 3: $40 – $110
- Dexter’s Laboratory Deesaster Strikes: $45-$144 (eBay)
- Boktai 2 Solar Boy Django: $58-$125 (eBay)
- Moto Racer Advance: $63-$96 (eBay)
- Zelda the Minish Cap: $40-$292 (eBay)
- Mega Man Battle Network: $40-$189 (eBay)
- Medabots Metabee Version: $44-$179 (eBay)
- Metal Slug Advance: $40-$147 (eBay)
- Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance: $37-$162 (eBay)
- Boktai The Sun is In Your Hands: $42-$111 (eBay)
- Drill Dozer: $48-$84 (eBay)
- Tactics Ogre The Knights of Lodis: $42-$123 (eBay)
- Astro Boy Omega Factor: $39-$98 (eBay)
Elusive Not-For-Resale Cartridges
Most electronics retailers weren’t shy about having Game Boy Advance display kiosks. While the Gamecube had its line of preview and demo discs that have begun to float around, plenty of GBA carts have not for resale variants that mostly came from these store demo units. Below are some of the higher recorded prices that loose not for resale carts have sold for.
- Drill Dozer – $180
- Pokemon Fire Red $90
- Pokemon Emerald $78
- Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup $69
- Wario Land 4 $60
- Mario Kart Super Circuit $50
- The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap $50
- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team $37
Rare and Valuable GBA Video Carts
Game Boy Advance Video carts were one of many ways that Nintendo was trying to push the limits of their handhelds features. Most video carts only featured a handful of episodes of whichever show or series they were from but a few, due to rarity and later print dates have retained from higher prices over time.
- Proud Family Volume 1 – $69-$384
- Nicktoons Collection Volume 3 $65-$208
- Disney Channel Collection Volume 2 $46-$88