In comparison to other thermal power cycles, gas turbine based energy conversion cycles exhibit superior thermodynamic performance as well as reduced emission. Gas turbine manufacturers and research & development (R&D) organizations are working on modification in basic gas turbine (BGT) cycle, which are intended to improve the basic gas turbine cycle thermodynamic performance and reduce emissions. The present work reports a comparison of thermodynamic performance, NOx and CO emission for basic and intercooled gas turbine (IcGT) cycles. Various cycle operating parameters such as compressor-pressure-ratio (rp,c), combustor-primary-zone-temperature, equivalence-ratio, and residence time of gas turbine based cycles has been examined. IcGT cycle exhibits higher gas turbine specific work and gas turbine efficiency in comparison to BGT cycle for the same rp,c and turbine rotor inlet temperature. At fixed value of residence time and equivalence ratio, primary-zone-temperature, NOx and CO emission shows the same trend for varying compressor pressure ratio for both cycles. Primary-zone-temperature plays a significant role in emission assessment. As the primary-zone-temperature is lesser in the IcGT cycle, NOx and CO emission are lower in IcGT cycle as compared to BGT cycle. The specific mass of NOx emission at a fixed value of rp,c and residence time, increases with increase in equivalence ratio, whereas CO emission decreases with increase in equivalence ratio.