The Game Boy and Game Boy Color were the handheld consoles that started it all. Their release showed that you could have well-made games that fit in your pocket. Handheld game consoles have evolved a lot since then, but there are many who still enjoy the classics. Let’s take a look at the best Game Boy emulators, Game Boy Color emulators, and Game Boy Advance emulators for Android!
The best Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy emulators
Price: Free / $5.99
ClassicBoy is one of a few good all-in-one emulators on Android. It has a bunch of consoles, including PlayStation, Sega Genesis, NES, and, of course, Game Boy Color, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance. It does what you expect an emulator to do. The app supports almost all of the games and all of the ones we tested. Additionally, you get save states, load states, fast forward, and cheat code support. There is even hardware controller support. The free version has a few features missing that the premium version includes.
EmuBox is another newer all-in-one console emulator. It works a lot like ClassicBoy but with a different list of supported consoles. This one includes Nintendo DS, PlayStation, SNES, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. It has the usual features, including cheat support, save and load states, and fast-forward support. There is also hardware controller support. This one is surprisingly good for how new it is. It’s also entirely free with no in-app purchases. There are some ads, though.
GBA.emu is one of two Game Boy emulators here by Robert Broglia. This one is for the Game Boy Advance. It comes with all the features you’d expect. That includes quick saves, BIOS emulation, cheat code support, hardware controller support, and even cheat codes. It is compatible with most game ROMs that we tried, and it plays smoothly. There is also cross-platform support with his PC version. That means you can play virtually anywhere. However, it’s a paid app and there isn’t a free version. You’ll need to test it out inside of the refund time to make sure it works for you.
GBC.emu, also by Robert Broglia, is one of the best Game Boy Color and Game Boy emulators available on Android. There is support for both in a single app, so you can play either console. It has a high compatibility rate so most games should work. It also supports Game Genie and Gameshark cheat codes, cross-platform support with the PC version, and hardware controllers. The only downside, like GBA.emu, is that you’ll have to pay to play. Be sure to test it out inside of the refund time to make sure you’re happy with it.
Price: Free / $4.49
John GBAC is the successor to two of the best Game Boy emulators for Android. It replaces John GBA and John GBC and puts the functionality of both under a single roof for less than the cost of both of them separately. It’s an excellent emulator from a developer that’s known for excellent emulators. You get both virtual and hardware controller support along with SD card support, turbo buttons, up to 16 times fast forward, down to 0.25 slow down, and even some extra stuff like Dropbox and cheat codes. It’s one of the ones we’d recommend first and it should work with basically any ROM.
Lemuroid is similar to RetroArch below. Both use “cores” to emulate a variety of consoles in a single interface. Lemuroid does support Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. It works like most emulators. You put the ROM into the app and it plays the game. It boasts a high compatibility rate, extras like hardware controller support, and standard emulator stuff like save states. The benefit is that it also emulates other consoles so you can have an all-in-one emulator experience. It’s much easier to use than RetroArch, but RetroArch is ultimately more powerful. Both are free, so you can choose which experience you want more.
Price: Free / $1.49
Nostalgia GBC isn’t as well known, but it’s still one of the best Game Boy Color and Game Boy emulators on Android. Both the free and paid version allow for the same features, including turbo buttons, high game compatibility, and both on-screen controls and hardware controls. Unlike most, this Game Boy emulator includes a game rewind feature that lets you go back a few seconds to try a segment over again. It’s fun to use, especially in platformers. The free version is ad-supported and requires an online connection. The ads don’t display during gameplay, if that helps.
Pizza Boy GBA
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Pizza Boy GBA is one of the newer entrants to the best Game Boy emulators list. This one is for Game Boy Advance and it’s great for a newer emulator. It boasts 60FPS gameplay, no advertising, fast forward and slow motion, hardware controller support, and more. It also comes with the usual stuff like save states. This one is completely free with no ads and that makes it one of the more unique Game Boy emulators for Android. It does have the occasional bug, but most complaints look fairly minor to us.
Price: Free / $4.99
RetroArch is a multi-system emulator that uses the Libretro development interface. This system uses “cores” that you can install and each “core” is essentially a video game emulator. As it turns out, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced all have “cores” that work in RetroArch, making it possible to play all of them with just one app. It has all the same features as other emulators, but with the benefit of emulating tons of consoles, including recent options like the Nintendo Switch.
The only downside with RetroArch is the UI. There is a distinct learning curve, so it takes some effort to get into this one. We think it’s worth it, though, and it’s one of the best emulators for any console.