Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. Its twisted levels beg to be replayed again and again even if you aren't interested in getting that perfect 100%.
  2. 100
    The graphics are among the best to ever grace the Game Boy screen, a vibrant canvas decorated in brilliant crayon and eye-popping pastels-Yoshi's Island is a veritable work of art.
  3. GameNow
    The greatest side-scrolling platform game ever made. [Dec 2002, p.75; A+]
  4. Just another bright and shining jewel on the Miyamoto crown of accomplishments! This often overlooked masterpiece will finely get the time in the lime light it deserves.
  5. An instant classic on the GBA and it lives up to the original game.
  6. Pocket Games
    The mini-games and various vehicles Yoshi can transform into are just icing on an already delicious cake. [Spring 2003, p.41]
  7. 94
    The variety in what Yoshi can do and the diversity in level designs, not to mention the wonderful use of scaling and rotation for the level structures and the incorporation of a half-dozen clever mini-games makes Yoshi's Island the best damn platformer ever.
  8. Truly, after playing, I'm surprised why it wasn't the first Mario convert put on the Game Boy Advance. Marvelous in all aspects, it is everything a game from this genre should be.
  9. 94
    While it may seem kiddie, you do have to remember that looks can be deceiving and Yoshi's Island proves that theory well.
  10. The game's truly inspired visuals are matched only by its consistently fun gameplay.
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    One of the freshest, most lovingly crafted side-scrollers that still plays well to this day. [Dec 2002, p.272]
  12. Better than the original. [GamesMaster]
  13. There is some slowdown from time to time, which typical of the platformers of this age. For the most part, though, it's a perfect translation.
  14. Seven huge, trap-filled worlds and many mini-games.
  15. GMR Magazine
    One of the greatest 2D platformers ever put to silicon. [Feb 2003, p.97]
  16. This is one game that truly is timeless, and it shines on the Game Boy Advance as one of the best games on the system.
  17. 90
    A fantastic piece of video gaming entertainment.
  18. 90
    The special rotational and background effects, the sound and voice effects...and, of course, the overall engaging challenges make Yoshi's Island a must-play title for anybody who values classic platformer action.
    We loved this game. Whatever type of player you are, you'll love it. Mario at his absolute best. BUT – and this is a big but (think Jennifer Lopez here) we can't help but feel ripped off.
  20. Game Informer
    While this isn't the new Mario adventure I am still waiting for on the GBA, it is one heck of a platformer. [Nov 2002, p.150]
  21. One of the few remakes out there that capture the original experience without ruining it.
  22. Nintendo Power
    It has everything a gamer could want, including challenge, hidden stuff, replay value and a healthy helping of Miyamoto magic. [Oct 2002, p.195]
  23. 80
    The gameplay, levels, and sound definitely make up for the slight slowdown in graphics.
  24. Play Magazine
    For such an old game, Yoshi holds up spectacularly well in its look, existing as a quintessential portable experience. [Nov 2002, p.105]
  25. It is a title filled with such joyful exuberance, from the peppy soundtrack to Yoshi's adorable mutterings, that Nintendo fans cannot help but grin from ear to ear while playing.
  26. The only problem I noticed was a very rare slowdown caused by too many sprites on the screen. While it can be annoying when it happens, the occurrence is so sporadic that it's barely noticeable.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
#5 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 162 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 162
  1. [Anonymous]
    Jun 20, 2005
    OH MY GOD!!! I've always wanted this game for the Super NES but I've never ever had a chance to own it until now. This was my OH MY GOD!!! I've always wanted this game for the Super NES but I've never ever had a chance to own it until now. This was my favorite game on the SNES and now it's for GBA, THANK YOU NINTENDO!!!!! Full Review »
  2. JPK
    Jun 8, 2019
    Turns Out Sidekicks Can Do Well On Their Own
    Yoshi’s Island is proof that sidekicks can have a great game on their own.
  3. Jul 19, 2014
    Game: Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
    Genre: Adventure/Platform
    Developer: Nintendo System: GameBoy Advance (GBA) Total Score:
    Game: Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
    Genre: Adventure/Platform
    Developer: Nintendo
    System: GameBoy Advance (GBA)
    Total Score: 97/100
    Value Score: 97/10

    • Story: 10/10
    • Characters: 10/10
    • GamePlay: 10/10
    • Graphics: 10/10
    • Sound: 9/10
    • Music: 10/10
    • Length: 10/10
    • Replay Value: 8/10
    • Player Value: 10/10

    +More secret levels added to gameplay
    +UI has changed for the most part and looks more appealing than the original version
    +Some levels have been re-designed and better designed than in the original version
    +A overworld map was added
    +Additional sound effects have been added such as when Yoshi jumps for an example.
    +Wording and text have changed and been improved
    +Mario bros added as secondary game

    -Some mini games were missing due to the lacking of the number of GBA buttons
    -Sound effects and the music's tone was dumbed down due to the lower quality of the GBA
    Full Review »