I would wager that the GBA is probably the greatest gaming system of all time. It has a massive variety of games, ranging from some of the best platformers (Wario Land 4 and the Super Mario games) to amazing RPGs (Yggdra Union, Kingdom Hearts, and Mario and Luigi) as well as everything in between. While it had a terribly short life compared to the original Gameboy, it was a haven for great games (as well as shovelware). And this thread right here on NeoGaf is an epic compilation of the greatest GBA games.
I never really got into the Game Boy Advance. I never even played The Minish Cap, because I didn't know it existed until a year after it came out. I got a decent amount of games for it (like over 15 or so), but I don't remember really loving any games on it. I like Mega Man Zero, and A Link To The Past/Four Swords (LTTP is a port, but I had tons of fun playing Four Swords with my friends back in 7th grade), and Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (another port). So the Game Boy Advance was never really that special to me. Most games I never got very far in, or I beat them but didn't have that much fun with them. It's kind of disappointing.
As far as my favorite system goes, it would probably be the SNES, or the 360 could end up being pretty high as well. I was thinking the Wii was a good candidate for awhile, but I've been having trouble finding games I really like on the system lately.
In a parallel universe, where "continuation" means "more of the same, except with controls that aren't as good, several ports, noticeably smaller budgets, and none of the industry's greatest minds or best teams* making any games for it", maybe the GBA was indeed a continuation of the SNES.
*with the exception of Intelligent Systems, because no one ever told them about 3D gaming
Seriously disagree, dude. First of all, two-button layout >>> symmetrical diamond layout. It had some ports (of the best games of all time, mind you), many that I hadn't owned or played much of, luckily. Budgets do not a good game make (as shown by this gen). And R&D1, Intelligent Systems, HAL Laboratory, FlagShip, IntiCreates, Team Iga, Treasure, JP Room, AlphaDream, KojiPro (at their very best), Team Phoenix Wright, Eighting, ND Cube, Mobile21, Rare, Team Klonoa, Team Kunio, etc., etc. beg to differ with your 'industry's best teams' comment. Also, smaller, more modest teams can still do amazing things in 2D. Interesting, fun things that don't need to sell a mil+ to be profitable.
Don't make me bust out a list up in here.
The PS2 had a pretty great library, but I sincerely believe that the GBA kicked all of the other consoles' asses last gen. And every other gen.
But, you know, even if you disagree with me, I still think the composition of the GBA library was kind of similar to the composition of the SNES one. Lighter on the RPGs, I suppose, but you know that that doesn't bother me.
I've never been an EAD whore (or a Mario/Zelda whore). There are a lot of Nintendo branches that I am fond of. Back in the day, I might have even taken R&D1 over R&D4. And I might prefer R&D1's output to R&D4's last gen (if I'm attributing their work correctly). I love them both, though.
Even on the SNES, games like Tetris Attack and Super Metroid were just as strong as Super Mario Land and Link to the Past. But I'd have to see a detailed list before really making any definitive statements.
Anyway, the GBA had pretty amazing third-party support, too. Until the bottom dropped out. I still lie awake at night wondering what those eight canceled Capcom games were. And weeping. I feel like third-party support dwindled because most gamers never knew just how much good shit was on the system. There weren't as many resources for gaming enthusiasts and Japan's handheld obsession hadn't yet begun.
Well I admit I haven't played some highly-praised GBA games like Mother 3 or The Minish Cap or the Fire Emblem/Advance Wars serieses, but stuff like... Mario Kart: Super Circuit didn't appeal to me, and while I liked Super Mario World and A Link To The Past, I already owned them for the SNES, so it wasn't like they were new experiences for me or anything. It's also a pretty big disappointment when it comes to run and gun shooters. I don't like Metal Slug Advance, I've heard Contra III is a terrible port, and Gunstar Super Heroes is okay, but not one of my favorites. I also never got far in Golden Sun or Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
@X-pert74 I'd count the 2D Metroid games as run-and-gun shooters. I guess there weren't that many good ones on the system, now that I think about it, but there were quite a few excellent brawlers and action games, in general