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The Nintendo 3DS finally gets Game Boy Advance games

Early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS can download Game Boy Advance games starting today, but everyone else is still out of luck.

Ten great GBA games await 3DS owners who bought the system at $250. Scott Stein

How to get Game Boy Advance games on your Nintendo 3DS:

  • Travel back in time to when the Nintendo 3DS was $250.
  • Buy one.
  • Travel back forward in time to December 16, 2011, look in the Nintendo eShop for "settings," click "your downloads," and collect your 10 classic GBA games.

Back when Nintendo first announced a 3DS price drop, early adopters of the Nintendo 3DS were understandably frustrated. However, those early customers became "Ambassadors" entitled to 20 free downloadable games--10 NES, 10 Game Boy Advance--that Nintendo promised would be available before the end of the year. The NES games arrived in September, but the long-awaited Game Boy Advance games are now downloadable, too.

The list of games is great, all of them AAA games from Nintendo's history: F-Zero Maximum Velocity, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Wario Land 4, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.

If you crave these games, though, and you're not an early-adopter Ambassador, you're out of luck. None of these games is available for purchase from the eShop. They should be, though: Nintendo desperately needs a richer Virtual Console to build up a sparse Nintendo 3DS library with a stellar back catalog of classic games. For now, I'm happy to report that these games are an excellent bundle with a ton of play value. Ambassadors, the wait was worth it.