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 good news is that most of these are rather mature so they don’t have a ton of bugs.
The best Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy emulators
Price: Free / $5.99
ClassicBoy is one of a couple of decent all-in-one emulators. This one 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. The only real knock is the app hadn’t seen an update in years and only just started receiving updates again. We’re sure it’ll be great again soon, but the developer is working on some stuff as of the time of this writing.
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. It also plays smoothly. There is also cross-platform support with his PC version. That means you can play virtually anywhere. There isn’t a free version to test. 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 Game Boy and Game Boy Color systems 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 support for hardware controllers. It’s open source which is good. 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 does 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.
Price: Free / $4.99
My Boy is one of the most popular Game Boy Advance emulators out there. It has a high compatibility along with a laundry list of features. They include superior link cable support (over WiFi or Bluetooth), high game compatibility, fast forward and slow down modes, cheat codes, and hardware controller support. It also has some advanced features like OpenGL rendering, BIOS emulation (so you don’t need a BIOS file), and rumble emulation using your phone’s vibrate motor. It offers an almost complete experience and that’s impressive.
Price: Free / $3.99
My OldBoy is easily one of the most popular Game Boy Color and Game Boy emulators. Much like My Boy (same developer), this one has a ton of features, including link cable emulation, cheat code support, hardware controller support, fast forward and slow-motion modes, and more. It also includes the OpenGL rendering and rumble emulation like My Boy. In fact, it’s pretty much My Boy but for Game Boy and Game Boy Color. There’s a free version to try. The full version goes for $3.99.
Price: Free / $1.49
Nostalgia GBC isn’t as well known. However, it’s still one of the better Game Boy Color and Game Boy emulators. Both the free and paid version allow for the same features, including turbo buttons, high game compatibility, and both on-screen controls and hardware keyboards. 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 decent 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.
RetroArch is a multi-system emulator that uses the Liberto 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 doesn’t have quite as many features as individually coded Game Boy emulators, but it has a high compatibility rate. It’s also totally free, open-source, and there is no advertising at all. The only downside is that you’ll need to learn how to use it. It’s a big more complicated than other emulators.
Lemuroid (Google Play link) is another, similar style emulator with Liberto cores. There is also an older RetroArch app in the Play Store. However, we think RetroArch Plus is the better option, especially on newer devices.