Pokemon Ruby Version

Game Boy Advance

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
Buy On
  1. 100
    Intensively addictive. The battles are lightning-fast, the controls are completely stress-free, and there’s still something primordially fun about filling up those Pokédex pages.
  2. 100
    With the game’s ability to trade and battle with friends, plus incredible amount of Pokemon to capture and train, you won’t be putting these two down anytime soon.
  3. These games are massive, easily rivalling any recent console release in terms of size, scale and re-playability.
  4. Nintendo Power
    The amount of depth involving the Pokemon contests, berries and other new details is truly astounding. [Mar 2003, p.135]
  5. 95
    Nintendo took an already great design and made it better on the GBA, and while it's a bit more than a little disappointing to see a lack of focus in the graphics department, it's the sheer amount of "stuff" in the product that makes Pokemon for the GBA a really, really great game.
  6. The game is bigger and deeper than previous incarnations. The core gameplay is still the same, but now there's a lot more to it.
  7. I’ve uncovered a marvelous new gaming world that I love immersing myself in and now my nephew and I can talk with equal zest about our various Poké accomplishments.
  8. Pocket Games
    The new weather system and extended map, like the radio and real-time clock of Gold and Silver, are features that make the Pokemon world so much more real. [Summer 2003, p.36]
  9. 89
    It's a tight RPG that offers plenty of variety and replay value. It's definitely among the best GBA titles I've played.
  10. netjak
    You’ll get at least 30 hours of play time out of the main quest, and that’s assuming you don’t stop to smell any of the roses along the way.
  11. Ruby & Sapphire are thoroughly upgraded versions with great graphics & sound and tons of new features, even if it's almost the same old game under all of that.
  12. The beauty of this game is that you can play it at face level and just enjoy the battles or if you’re really into Pokémon you can research every little aspect in the game and try to collect ‘em all and become a human Pokédex.
  13. 82
    If you discard the ‘kiddy’ exterior you'll find a surprisingly deep and addictive RPG inside.
  14. A rare game for me, a game where I simply don’t care about originality or plot. Instead I find myself lost in an addicting trifle of sweet little monsters and cutesy dialog.
  15. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire aren't a big departure from their predecessors, but they definitely look better and have lots of new Pokémon to catch, so Pokémon fans will be in for exactly what they want.
  16. Edge Magazine
    Ruby/Sapphire is probably the most intricate and detailed console RPG available. Staring into it will make many players woozy. [Sept 2003]
  17. Whilst its apparent lack of any revolutionary gameplay is a worthy of criticism, it doesn't stop the fact that this is still by far one of the most addictive and long-lasting games you could hope for on your Gameboy Advance.
  18. Prepare for the Poke folk to take over your life. Again. [GamesMaster]
  19. Sadly I must say even the gameplay is starting to be outdated, yet it is still by many standards one of the best formulas for a videogame on the market today.
  20. Because of its similarities with the older games you’ll often feel like you’re simply going through the motions, completing it as a labor of love rather than an exciting new challenge.
  21. 80
    Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire are the best-looking games in the series, but they don't hold a candle to technical marvels such as "Golden Sun." The graphics are hardly bad, though. They look clean and colorful.
  22. GameNow
    The deeper I got into the game, however, the more I began to realize how little has changed in the Pokemon universe. [May 2003, p.39]
  23. Game Informer
    Rather than ushering in something new, Pokemon's first foray on the Game Boy Advance is just another rehash with flashy new graphics. [Apr 2003, p.96]
  24. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I just can't shake the feeling that I've played these games three or four times before - and the new garnish isn't enough to take the series to the next level. [May 2003, p.139]
  25. GMR Magazine
    Ruby and Sapphire stick to the script - there are few surprises here. Yes, the world is all new, and yes, there are 100 new Pokemon, but it's still basically the same game. [June 2003, p.78]
  26. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire isn't without its charm, and for those in it for a cheerful little adventure with little in the way of challenge can't go far wrong. Just don't blame us when you start wondering what all the fuss is about.
  27. It's hard to shake the feeling that this has all been done before -- and that the Gold/Silver/Crystal versions did it better.
  28. 70
    While the sound and control is top notch, not enough was improved upon to really make this game any more intersting that it's GB and GBC brethren.
  29. The gameplay becomes more work than play and turning on the game starts to feel like punching in for a shift with little motivation to continue.
  30. Cheat Code Central
    If you've already been-there-done-that, move along - there's nothing to see here. But if you must have Pokemon then just get one of these games. Don't fall prey to Nintendo's cheesy marketing scheme.

Awards & Rankings

#5 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#3 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 201 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 201
  1. KittyCrookshanks
    Jul 24, 2004
    It's really disappointing that such a great series of gams have such boring tv shows and movies.
  2. CareBear
    Mar 14, 2003
    Learn to spell there, Patty... Maybe you should get your education from somewhere besides Pokemon games...
  3. Jul 10, 2012
    Somewhat of a step back from the Gold and Silver games (which I believe were the best in the series) but it's Pokemon, what could you ask for?????????