Game Boy emulators over come on retro games, which mostly tend to vanish into obscurity these days, while contemporary iPhone apps with captivating plotlines and aesthetics garner the majority of attention. And ultimately, because of a lack of developer support, many old games are shut down. Even while the majority of users yearn for contemporary games, a small number of die-hard gamers continue to play the classics with equal fervor.
Well, owing to Game Boy emulators, numerous classic video games are not only still in existence but also still excite with their captivating gameplay. If you’re one of the select few wishing to play your all-time favorite classic GBA games, check out this article’s list of the top Game Boy emulators for iOS 16.
Top15 Best Game Boy Emulators for iOS & Android in 2024
To make sure there are no misconceptions concerning Game Boy emulators in your mind, let’s first address a few key questions. We have responded to several frequently asked questions, such as whether it is legal and safe to run GBA emulators on iPhones. Check out the top Game Boy emulators for iPhone users that work with iOS 16 after that.
How Does a Game Boy Emulator Work and What Is It?
A Game Boy emulator is a piece of software made to let you play classic games on unsupported hardware. By retaining outdated technologies, emulators allow users to play ancient games.
When the Nintendo Game Boy, a teeny, tiny portable gaming machine, was introduced in the late 1980s, it instantly went global. The initial batch of the gaming console was completely sold out by the manufacturer in Japan in just two weeks. Not only that, either. On the first day of the Game Boy’s release in America, the firm sold about 40,000 copies. These unvarnished figures convey the 8-bit game console’s popularity enough.
The successive generations of 3D systems, including Sony’s Playstation 2, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s GameCube, shifted the spotlight away from Game Boy. Emulation allows the 8-bit gaming machine, despite its technological shortcomings and subsequent decline in popularity, to continue to exist in spirit. Yes, it is how you can play old Game Boy Advance games without owning a Game Boy!
Emulation of the Game Boy operates by imitating exclusive hardware. As a result, if you have access to a game’s source code, you can nearly always play it without changing the hardware.
Game Boy Emulators: Are They Legal?
The usage of Game Boy emulators on an iPhone or Android smartphone is legitimate. Keep in mind that while emulators are completely legal, downloading and sharing game ROMs is prohibited. Use your own game files, then, to avoid any issues.
In the video game production community, the word “emulation” has come to be considered unclean. It is outright unlawful to copy data from a ROM (read-only memory) chip to a storage device like a flash memory or hard drive while doing ROM emulation. You should use additional vigilance because ROM emulation is obviously piracy-adjacent.
Can I Use Game Boy Emulators on My iPhone?
Everything comes down to a certain Game Boy emulator. For this reason, it’s advised to read user reviews before installing a GBA emulator for your iOS 16 smartphone. In light of the foregoing, you can find a list of the top Game Boy emulators for iOS 16 users right here:
Top iOS 16 Game Boy Emulators
The first name that comes to me when I think about Game Boy emulators for iOS 16 is GBA4iOS. It was created by Riley Testut and is very effective and reliable. And that is what distinguishes it.
All of the GBA emulator-compatible games may be unlocked using GBA4iOS. It allows you to play your favorite GBA and GBC games without any problems because it has been carefully tuned for iOS. You can join up with pals to play because it also supports multiplayer.
You’ll be happy to know that GBA4iOS also allows using a controller for improved grip. The Dropbox connectivity is a further advantage to note, since it guarantees that your data is accessible on all devices. Even though the emulator is free, the creator requests that you install it through BuildStore, which costs $19.99/month.
Download GBA4iOS: (free)
2. Happy Chick
The fact that Happy Chick can simulate more than 18 systems, including DC, NGP, WS, FAB/ MAME/ MAMEPLUS, PS, PSP, GBA, GBC, MD, NDS, FC(NES), SFC(SNEC), and more, makes it a well-known Game Boy emulator for the iPhone and iPad. So don’t forget to check out this one if you’re seeking for the most robust emulator platform for iOS 16.
Street Fighter 97, Super Mario, Monster Hunter, and Pokemon are a few of the many vintage video games that Happy Chick owns in her ever-expanding collection. Since you won’t need to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad to play your favorite old-school games, you are more likely to discover them in this app. Additionally, it allows online multiplayer for PSP and arcade games. So you may compete against friends or other people to show off your gaming skills.
Happy Chick is also super simple to set up. Additionally, the emulator uses cloud synchronization to guarantee that your games are safely saved up and continue to be accessible on a variety of devices. In conclusion, Happy Chick meets all the criteria to be one of the top Game Boy emulators for iOS 16.
Download Happy Chick: (free)
3. Delta Emulator
A similarly effective Game Boy emulator for iOS 16 dubbed “Delta Emulator” by Riley Testut has been released in addition to GBA4iOS. The sleek underlying emulator cores enable Delta Emulator, which is regarded as an all-in-one emulator for iPhone and iPad, to perform full-speed emulation. This covers the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems, among other systems.
With a rather simple user interface, Delta Emulator is made to enable you play your preferred games without any problems. Additionally, it provides controller support. As a result, you may play games with the ease you want using your PS4, PS5, Xbox One S/Series X, and even MFi game controllers.
By using the cheat codes, you may benefit from the smooth synchronization between Google Drive and Dropbox. You may use it to backup your games and keep them safely accessible across a variety of devices. Even while Delta does have a little learning curve, once you get over that stage, you’ll start to love it.
Download Delta Emulator: (free)
4. Provenance Emulator
Provenance is a flexible emulator. It enables you to play practically any console-based game on your iPhone and iPad because it supports a variety of consoles. The emulator has a clean UI and is rather simple to set up. Although the user interface might not be to everyone’s taste, it is easier to use and seems faster.
Additionally, the Provenance emulator enables lag-free game loading and saving. You can modify the onscreen controller in accordance with your preferences and needs. Allowing you to directly download game ROMs and import them without any problems is another feature that elevates Provenance to the top of this list. Overall, the iOS 16 Game Boy emulator is excellent.
Download Provenance Emulator: (free)
5. RetroArch Emulator
RetroArch has all the necessary checkmarks to be a legitimate rival on this list of the top Game Boy Emulators for the iPhone, even though it lacks the feature richness of Happy Chick or Delta. It works with controllers and supports many platforms to provide you a better gaming experience on your iOS smartphone.
You may discover and play classic games with the help of the outstanding game collection that comes with the RetroArch emulator. Notably, the creator often adds new games to the catalog so you always have something fresh to try.
Even better, it also enables you to remap the game controls to your preference. This iOS 16 Game Boy emulator appears to cover all the essentials when combined with the ability to apply cheats and store the game state. When it comes to the user interface, RetroArch has chosen a traditional UI that appears dated. You will find RetroArch up to par if you can overlook this flaw.
Download RetroArch Emulator: (free)
You can play classic games on your iOS 16 smartphone using Eclipse, a web-based multi-emulator that comes with all the essential tools. It currently supports the following systems: GB, GBC, GBA, NES, GG, SNES, SMS, and GG. You may add games in a variety of ways. For instance, it’s simple to upload a ROM using Eclipse, add a ROM from a repository using the built-in Game Hub, add a ROM from Google Drive or Dropbox, or even add a ROM from a URL.
Since Eclipse is a web-based tool, it has placed greater focus on the simple and lightweight interface. I have discovered this GBA emulator to be rather dependable, save the odd latency. The emulator has a skins area where you may browse a selection of skins and select to download your favorites. Eclipse doesn’t provide much customization, yet you would still like its useful features.
Download Eclipse Emulator: (free)
7. VGBAnext GBA
Not only is VGBAnext among the finest GBA emulators for Android phones and tablets but it is also a NES, Game Boy Color, Famicon, Nintendo Boy, DiskSystem, and VS System emulator. Here, you may play some rather obscure music.
However, the abundance of GBA-compatible supplemental devices that VGBAnext offers is the actual incentive to install it. Even light weapons and rumble packs are simulated by the app! There are other skin modification choices as well, so you may make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Download VGBAnext GBA Emulator: (free)
EmuBox, one of the more recent alternatives on the list, is a jack-of-all-trades program that emulates a variety of classic gaming systems, such as the Gameboy Advance, which is all in one place. The GBA emulation is quite basic. Expect no more complicated features than save states and cheats, but it does the job. Look elsewhere if you have an interest in adjusting other parameters.
Download EmuBox Emulator: (free)
There are other emulators from Nostalgia, and their Gameboy Advanced version is another excellent choice. Although not particularly impressive, the user interface in this case is nonetheless useful. All of Nostalgia’s line of emulators share the same user interface, so you understand what you’re getting. You can find a good GBA emulator if you can get beyond the drab graphics. Nostalgia.The foundation of GBA is mGBA, one of the most reliable and well-liked freely available Gameboy Advance emulators out there.
Download Nostalgia. GBA Emulator: (free)
10. Pizza Boy
Pizza Boy is recognized as one of the most faithful GBA emulators for Android and is one of the most modern Gameboy Advance emulators. It consistently receives excellent results in tests of emulation accuracy.
In reality, aficionados have compared the accuracy of Pizza Boy against that of other emulators and and it has won. Pizza Boy uses a variety of cutting-edge features in addition to superb performance, including the ability to save files and settings back to Google Drive, display ROM box art, support for local and internet multiplayer, and emulate cartridge features like the gyroscope and vibration. Additionally, Pizza Boy has interchangeable skins that really set it apart from other games.
Download Pizza Boy Emulator: (free)
11. GBA. emulator
Robert Broglia, the creator of one of the most well-known SNES emulators ever, built the very reliable, feature-rich GBA.emu option. GBA.emu, which is based on VBA-M, emphasizes minimal audio/visual latency. It accomplishes this by providing high-quality BIOS emulation, which ensures that games function accurately.
Download GBA Emulator: (free)
12. John GBAC
The two independent applications John GBA and John GBC have been replaced with John GBAC, which can be downloaded from the Play Store on Google. Neither of them, nevertheless, underwent active development.
The appeal of John GBAC, like the preceding applications, is its simplicity. The fundamentals are there, but more sophisticated features are missing. Support for gamepads, interoperability with zipped Pal files, and even saved uploading of files to Dropbox are all included (this requires a different tool called John Datasync). John GBAC is an excellent option if you want a hassle-free Gameboy Advance emulator. John GBAC is furthermore totally free to use. You will need to pay money, though, if you want to have rid of the adverts.
Download John GBAC Emulator: (free)
13. My Boy!
On this list, My Boy! is among the most renowned Gameboy Advance emulators. This popularity has been attained by excellent performance, precision, and capabilities. Because of its excellent efficiency, My Boy! offers longer battery life when in use. My Boy! also has BIOS emulation, which allows for extremely accurate game emulation. Additionally, the program can simulate a number of cartridge features, including the sun sensor, gyroscope, and vibration.
Download My Boy! Emulator: (free)
14. VinaBoy Advance
VinaBoy Advance, one of the most basic Gameboy emulators available on the Google Play Store, does what it promises. Advanced functionality like rewinding, moving save states across devices, and modifications are not available here. You do, however, receive a straightforward and user-friendly GBA emulator that can run.GBA,.7z, and.ZIP GBA ROM files.
Download VinaBoy Advance Emulator: (free)
Lemuroid, an a one-stop emulation the solution that runs games from a variety of consoles (including the Gameboy Advance), spanning all the way back to the Atari 2600 to more modern consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS, is worth checking out if you intend to run more than just Gameboy Emulator Develop on your Android device. Lemuroid also enables controllers, customizing the size and placement of the touch controls on the screen, and cloud save file synchronization. Additionally, there is interoperability with zipped ROMs and local multiplayer functionality using several devices on a single device. Lemuroid is completely free, with no ads to be seen, to finish it all off.
Download Lemuroid Emulator : (free)