13 Best GBA Emulators for Mac – [2024 Tested]
Updated December 8, 2023
Retro games seem to disappear into the shadows these days, while latest iPhone games with captivating plotlines and visuals garner the majority of attention. And eventually, because of absence 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 intense passion using GBA Emulators for Mac.
Well, owing to Best GBA emulators, numerous classic video games are not only still in existence but also still excite with their captivating gameplay.
One of the portable gaming consoles, the Game Boy Advance, demonstrated to people that games can even fit into your pocket. Since then, the category of portable gaming consoles has developed. However, continuing to play those old games today still brings back fond memories.
If you’re the one wishing to play your all-time preferred classic GBA games, check out this article’s list of the 13 Best GBA emulators for mac.
How Does a Game Boy Emulator Function and What exactly Is It?
A Game Boy emulator is known to be a software program made to let you enjoy cold games on a nonverified hardware. By saving outdated technologies, emulators let the users play old games.
When the Nintendo Game Boy, a very compact handheld device for gaming, came out in the late 1980s, it got popular right away.
The first batch of the gaming console was completely sold out by the manufacturer in Japan in only two weeks.
The firm sold around 40,000 copies on day 1 of the release. These unvarnished figures of 8-bits are enough to tell about its popularity.
The successive generations of 3D systems, including Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s GameCube, and Microsoft’s Xbox shifted the spotlight away from Game Boy.
Although the 8-bit game machine, despite its technological shortcomings and subsequent decline in popularity, continue to be present in spirit with emulation. Yes, this is how you can play old Game Boy games without owning a Game Boy!
Game Boy emulation operates by imitating exclusive hardware. Because of that when you have accessibility to a game’s source code, you can nearly always play it without changing the hardware.
Are Game Boy emulators Legal to be Used?
On your Android or iPhone device, using Game Boy emulators is, in fact, legal. Remember that downloading and sharing game ROMs is unlawful, even though emulators are completely legal. Which is why it is recommended that you use you on file.
In the world of video game creation, emulation is now regarded as a word which is outdated and unnecessary.
Since ROM (read-only memory) chips cannot be erased, ROM emulation necessitates replicating data from one to another, which is blatantly against the law. You should proceed with caution because ROM emulation is obviously borderline piracy.
Can I Use Game Boy Emulators on My iPhone?
Everything comes down to a particular Game Boy emulator. That is why it is recommended to check reviews of the users before installing a Game Boy emulator for any iOS 16 smartphone.
Considering the foregoing, you can find a list of the Best Game Boy emulators for Mac users right here:
Top 13 GBA Emulators for Mac
You can use the GBA emulators, if you want to spend time playing them on any of your current technology-enabled gadgets.
We’ll discuss the top GBA emulators for Mac OS devices in this article. Let’s get right to the content of the article:
RetroArch is undoubtedly the most well-known multi-platform emulator, and many people loves it.
One is able to switch between the systems at any time thanks to the many Games Boy Advance and more platform games available on this emulator. It has features such as menu animations and backdrops and has a great user interface.
The user can adjust or change practically every game option using the Advanced Settings menu.
The joypad is instantly recognized and configured for you. The mGBA and GBSP cores, which are two of its many cores, perform flawlessly in Game Boy Advance titles.
2. VisualBoy Advance
The second on the list is the VisualBoy Advance emulator. On the Mac OS devices, you may employ it as one of the greatest GBA (Game Boy Advance) emulators to enjoy old GBA games.
No dubut, among the best and oldest GBA emulators for playing GBA games is VisualBoy Advance.
Don’t let its age deceive you. Being old has the benefit of functioning flawlessly on older technology as well. The games play well and give you an excellent gaming experience. It supports joysticks, emulates a printer, has save features, and lets you record your greatest gameplay moments.
Similar to RetroArch, mGBA is also a multi-platform emulator that enables people to enjoy games from several platforms with just one program.
You may play a lot of GBA games on the Mac OS device by using the mGBA emulator. The support which is there for cheat code functions is literally among the rarest and best features that this emulator has to offer.
Yes! You are allowed put in the cheat codes for your favorite game to gain those minor advantages.
The mGBA emulator’s user interface is equally tidy and modern. Additionally, it has saved states and it is also counted as the emulators which is regularly updated even into this day.
The most recent version enhanced gaming performance and resolved a problem with some game ROMs.
4. Boycott Advance
Boycott Advance is one of the popular GBA emulator for Mac OS. Numerous games are supported by it. On Mac devices, the emulator’s improved CPU performance guarantees high quality and smooth gameplay.
All Game Boy video functions, including rotation and scaling, are available. You can access additional supported functionalities by making use of an add-on which is called Emulator Enhancer.
This includes sound effects, full-screen mode, USB joysticks or gamepad support, among many other things.
But there are certain problems with titles of the games, particularly the more recent ones. A new screen displaying the game will appear after loading the GBA ROM.
You can adjust settings for screen mode, aspect ratio, frame rate display, and sound emulation which lies under the menu of settings.
On the Mac device, you can enjoy Game Boy Advance games thanks to another multi-platform emulator called OpenEmu.
The emulator is widely used and features a user-friendly interface. The emulator features simple button mapping and supports connecting many controllers.
A sizable selection of GBA games are available through OpenEmu, and the loaded games ROMs which are automatically sorted alphabetically.
The frequent crashes that some customers experienced while using OpenEmu have been resolved by recent releases. This emulator also offers screen recording, in-depth game settings, and other features.
Another emulator you can make use of to play many of your preferred games is No$GBA. It features a straightforward user interface that is quite inviting, and it is easily compatible with many GBA and several other gaming platforms. It provides you with a break and a save option just like other emulators.
7. Happy Chick
Super Mario, Street Fighter 97, Monster Hunter, as well as Pokemon are a few of the many classic video games that Happy Chick has in its ever-expanding collection.
Since you won’t need to jailbreak your Mac OS device to play your most favorite old-school games, you will find these games here. Additionally, it allows online multiplayer for PSP or arcade games. So, you can 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 emulator for Mac.
Eclipse is known to be a web-based multi-emulator that comes with all the essential elements for allowing you to play classic games on a Mac device.
A user is allowed to add games in a variety of ways. For instance, it’s simple to upload a ROM using Eclipse, add a ROM from a repository making use of the integrated Game Hub, add a ROM from Dropbox or Google Drive, or one can even add in a ROM by using a URL.
Since Eclipse is a web-based emulator, it has placed more focus on the simple and lightweight interface.
The emulator has an area where you may browse a selection of skins and select to download your favorites. Eclipse doesn’t offer much customization, yet you would still like its useful features.
Provenance is a flexible emulator. It enables you to play practically every console-based game on your Mac OS device 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 download game ROMs directly and you can import these games without any problems which is yet another feature that elevates Provenance to the top of this list. Overall, this Mac Game Boy emulator is excellent.
10. Delta Emulator
Delta Emulator, which is regarded as an all-time favorite emulator for Mac OS devices, can achieve high speed emulation in large part because of the well-designed emulator cores at its foundation.
With a surprisingly simple user interface, Delta Emulator is made to make it easy for you to enjoy your favorite games.
Additionally, it provides support for controllers. So, you may play games conveniently with your PS5, PS4, Xbox One S/Series X, or even MFi gaming controllers.
The smooth Google Drive and Drop box syncing can be utilized by activating the cheat codes. You may use it to safely backup your games and to keep them accessible on many devices.
Riley Testut created GBA4iOS, which is quite effective and performs as intended. And that is what distinguishes it.
All of the GBA emulator-compatible games can be unlocked using GBA4iOS. It allows you to play your preferred GBA or GBC games without any problems because it has been carefully tuned for iOS.
You may team up with pals to play because it also allows 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, as it guarantees that your data is accessible on all devices.
12. Dolphin Emulator
Dolphin is yet another one of the greatest game emulator for Triforce, GameCube or Wii titles. It works with a variety of operating systems, including Mac.
It is user-friendly and compatible with OS 10.13 High Sierra or later on Macs. Its free and the open source nature is another benefit.
A special BIOS file that usually comes with the ROM may be required by the user. Dolphin instantly detects the file and begins playing it as soon as you begin to play.
13. Nintendo 64 Emulator
The best thing about this emulator is the fact that it has dependable performance and works with all current Mac versions.
To use this platform, you must download an additional application, though. You must have GTK+ set up on the computer.
A graphic toolkit made especially for Mac users is GTK+. GTK+ aids in meeting all the graphical requirements of the N64 emulator, which calls for quite a bit of graphical access.
However, the great thing is, no additional RAM will be used. The N64 ROMs are the only way to get the application online.
For people who always enjoyed playing the old, classic GBA games with their pals, all of the aforementioned emulators are a huge comfort because they allow them to take pleasure in and relive those beautiful memories by playing games like Mario, Pokemon and so on.
It’s possible that you won’t be able to purchase the GBA console physically, but having the ability to play your most preferred games online by making use of these emulators is no doubt a great idea.
You can even film your gameplay and post it on your social networking accounts. Hope you found our list of 13 best GBA emulators for Mac helpful and we hope you have a great time playing these old classic games.