We love the GameCube. It’s up there with the Dreamcast as our favourite console at MMGN, and is the perfect console to reminisce about just one generation later. Nintendo has changed so much in the last decade; while they’re all about the lucrative casual market now, you have to look back to the early 2000s to remember a time when had the most respected games in a generation.
Let’s take a look back at the top 10 games on the GameCube!
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Simply put: Rogue Squadron II is the best third party launch game of all time. The GameCube had the different, yet still awesome, Luigi’s mansion as its flagship launch title; however, it wasn’t the Mario or big name Nintendo title that we’d come to expect from a Nintendo launch – still, better than Nintendogs + Cats. Rogue Leader filled the void for many, and was a welcome surprise almost a decade ago. With amazing visuals and engaging gameplay, Rogue Squadron II was the perfect title to kick-start the GameCube’s legacy.
- Viewtiful Joe
Henshin-a-go-go-baby! Capcom delivered some of the more obscure titles on the GameCube, including the honourable Killer 7, but it’s Viewtiful Joe that deserves to be remembered as one of the best. While it was eventually ported to the PS2, it began life as a GameCube exclusive. It was a fantastic beat-em-up with a stylish protagonist and unique design unlike anything you’d played before. It’s a series that fell away with each sequel, but the original will always live on as one of the greats.
- Pikmin 2
In my mind an improvement on the original game, but you could put either of the two on the list. We’re still flabbergasted that Pikmin 3 hasn’t been released on Wii or even DS. Pikmin had you playing an RTS without you even knowing it thanks to a coat of Nintendo charm. It improved on the first game by adding two new Pikmin and a new challenge mode. It has since been re-released on Wii.
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Talk about freaky. Eternal Darkness was an early GameCube game unlike anything you’d ever played before – this time I really mean it. Breaking all of the rules, it defied traditional gaming conventions and engaged that player like never before by actually making them connect with the insane characters and almost believe that they were going crazy themselves. You have to play it to truly understand its terrifying power.
- Animal Crossing
I remember waiting for Animal Crossing on the Nintendo 64 and reading about it in the old Nintendo 64 Gamer magazine. It never came to the fifth generation console, but was eventually released on the GameCube. I remember describing the premise to my parents on the way home from an epic shopping expedition, and hearing myself, couldn’t quite figure out why I wanted to play it so badly. It had you living out the life of a basic character, in real time, decorating your house, paying bills, catching fish, hitting people with shovels and planting money trees. The graphics would have been criticised on the 64, but that was all part of its charm. Even now it’s hard to explain why it was such a great game, but anyone who dedicated a sizable portion of their life knows what I’m talking about.
- Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine gets a bad rap in my option. It was always going to be hard to live up to the reputation of the game-changing Super Mario 64, but it did a bloody good job and was as innovative as ever. It proved that 3D platforming was alive and well and even sparked rumours that Nintendo only went in the unique direction to show off their stunning water visuals.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
Melee is better than Brawl. That’s right, you heard me. I’ve played a couple of hours in the Wii fighter, but spent days duking it out on the Cube. Super Smash Bros. is up there with Nintendo’s biggest franchises, and that’s mostly due to the success of the GameCube instalment. It’s the hardest of all the games, with Nintendo admitting they made Brawl a little more user friendly, and was the granddaddy of fighters last generation.
- Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 blew me away. In fact, the last three games are tied for first place in my mind. It was the most amazing game I had ever played at the time, and still one of the biggest gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a game and finished it in one sitting without ever deviating my focus from the screen. I’ve included it at third place due to my up-most respect for the following two titles, but it’s every bit as good.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Fans were split over the decision to move away from the mature setting of Zelda, in favour of a more childish comic-inspired cel-shaded design. It turned out to be a fantastic decision and revitalized the series long before it needed it. The magic of the Zelda universe was alive in full force, with brilliant level design and a new batch of quirky enemies.
- Metroid Prime
While I put in on the same level as Wind Waker and RE4, Metroid Prime was more than just a game. It’s the reason I bought a GameCube; after playing it one night at a friend’s place I knew I had to have it. We spent hours jumping in and out of water, watching the droplets trickle down Samus’s visor, in awe of the amazing visual experience. It took one of the best 2D side-scrolling series of all time and revolutionised it in the perfect 3D world. It was an amazing experience and one that will never be forgotten by any gamer.