HomeNewsThe perfect Nintendo GameCube video games ranked

The perfect Nintendo GameCube video games ranked

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The Nintendo GameCube had a handful of absolute classics. 


Mario Tama, Getty Photographs

The Nintendo GameCube turned 20 years outdated this week.

And it is a bizarre one. With the advantage of hindsight, it is easy to see it was an influential console that performed host to a few of Nintendo’s finest ever titles. On the time? It was typically painful to be a GameCube proprietor, with sub-standard third-party help and painfully lengthy waits between the discharge of Nintendo’s at all times stellar first-party releases.

Nonetheless, once you take a look at the rear view mirror, it is plain to see the standard. There have been an enormous variety of unimaginable video games launched on the platform. To rejoice GameCube’s birthday, we determined to rank them.

Right here goes…

1. Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime Samus

Nintendo

Nothing like Metroid Prime existed earlier than and nothing prefer it’s been created since. Metroid Prime was and is an anomaly that defies definition. A primary particular person shooter? Certain, you shoot issues in a first-person view, however Metroid Prime seemed, felt and performed nothing like Halo or its FPS friends again in 2002. An exploration sport? Yeah, most likely. However it was set in a universe as intricately designed as a Zelda dungeon writ-large. Exploration was just the start.

Metroid Prime’s power was its world constructing. Dripping with particulars and distinctive, sticky methods to discover these particulars, Metroid Prime is peerless in the way in which it allowed you to find its intricate areas. You could possibly scan the setting for lore and particulars, you may spider-ball your means up beforehand inaccessible partitions and ceilings. There was majesty hidden in each nook. Even at the moment, it hasn’t aged a day. Nothing else comes shut.

Metroid Prime is Metroid Prime. It has no imitators as a result of it is inimitable. Prefer it was dropped all the way down to Earth by chance from one other dimension the place video video games are totally different, higher. Again in 2002 Metroid Prime felt prefer it got here from the longer term. Nearly 19 years later, all the pieces else continues to be taking part in catch-up.

– Mark Serrels

2. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

windwakew

Nintendo

Time has been type to Wind Waker.

Roundly criticised pre-release for its stylised “cartoon” visuals, Wind Waker reviewed effectively as soon as individuals ultimately acquired their palms on it, however not like different Zelda video games like Twilight Princess (and even Ocarina of Time to an extent) Wind Waker has aged spectacularly.

The ocean gives a wonderful backdrop to Hyperlink’s adventures, each when it comes to visuals and the way it feels to discover. However it’s the solid of characters that actually makes Wind Waker unforgettable. That and the music… and the dungeon design… and the lovable little cartoon clouds explosions make.

Truly loads of issues make Wind Waker unforgettable. It guidelines.

– Mark Serrels

3. Resident Evil 4

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Capcom

I might by no means performed a Resident Evil sport earlier than Resident Evil 4. By no means have I ever visited Racoon Metropolis. The explanation? I used to be an enormous wuss — and nonetheless am. I scare simply and am completely bereft of braveness, it is an issue.

Regardless of all of this adversity, I performed and cherished Resident Evil 4. At a time when everybody had just about written the GameCube off as previous its prime, Resident Evil 4 launched to widespread essential acclaim in 2005. It was launched simply 11 days into the 12 months, but was named Sport of the Yr by many publications 11 months later.

This proved irresistible for me, regardless of the deep concern I had of something horror. I used to be scared and terrified all through most of Resident Evil 4, and infrequently needed to stop. However the sport was so good I simply could not. I did not need to see what was round every nook, however I needed to do it anyway.

Now that the sport has been ported to virtually each console identified to man, it is easy to neglect that it was initially GameCube-only. It was one of many system’s final exclusives and likewise one among its finest.

– Daniel Van Growth

4. Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee

smashmelee

Nintendo

Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee was the primary sport many individuals performed on the GameCube. Luigi’s Mansion was the large launch title, however Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee got here simply months into the GameCube’s lifecycle. It did so much for the GameCube, however did much more for the Smash Bros. franchise. It took the unique’s system and sharpened it, making it deeper and extra balanced.

The unique N64 title was loads of enjoyable, however Melee solidified it right into a respectable combating franchise, a sport nonetheless performed competitively world wide at the moment. That is a tribute to its genius. Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee continues to be insanely enjoyable to play at the moment — if you could find a GameCube controller.

– Daniel Van Growth

5. Animal Crossing

animal-crossing

Nintendo

Animal Crossing feels virtually ubiquitous after the discharge of New Horizons in 2020, so it is easy to neglect how quirky the unique GameCube model felt. It simply dropped gamers right into a lazy little city crammed with speaking animals and stated, “Do what you need.” No platforming, no taking pictures, just a few good old style small-town life. I used to be no stranger to hanging out in quaint digital cities, due to all of the hours I spent in Harvest Moon 64, however I had by no means performed a sport that was as laid-back as Animal Crossing.

Need to go fishing? Plant fruit bushes? Make a tiny backyard? Flip your basement right into a cement nightmare crammed with the discordant music of a dozen gyroids? Certain, go for it. The closest factor Animal Crossing needed to a essential quest was upgrading your private home and paying off your loans, however even that was non-obligatory, with no curiosity or due dates hooked up to the upgrades. It was the sort of sport to make you rethink what makes a very good online game and I am at all times completely satisfied for surprises like that.

– Adam Benjamin 

6. Pikmin

pikmin

Nintendo

Typically I feel we neglect how completely designed Pikmin was.

The unique and finest, Pikmin makes essentially the most of its delicately easy ruleset. Primarily a small-scale technique sport the place you employ a military of tiny “Pikmin” to raise objects and remedy puzzles, Pikmin stretches its excessive idea to absolutely the limits. It is a Nintendo sport, so actions really feel enjoyable and sticky, however the meta-game is the true star. The extra you play the extra balanced you realise Pikmin really is. Only a excellent, stunning little online game.

– Mark Serrels

7. Tremendous Mario Sunshine

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Nintendo

Perhaps essentially the most controversial main Mario launch ever.

Tremendous Mario Sunshine was derided upon launch, then cherished in hindsight. Just lately, as a part of the Mario 3D All-Stars bundle, it feels just like the pendulum has swung as soon as extra and individuals are complaining about it once more.

It is flawed little doubt. It by no means achieves the proper simplicity of Mario 64 or the impressed kaleidoscopic insanity of Tremendous Mario Galaxy, however Tremendous Mario Sunshine has its personal pleasant aesthetic.

Additionally, I really like FLUDD, the water squirting sidekick that add jetpack type maneuvers to your common Mario platforming. It is a wild sport. Not excellent, however extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

– Mark Serrels

8. F-Zero GX

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Nintendo

F-Zero GX is likely one of the most neglected video games within the GameCube library. Wipeout dominated the futuristic racer discourse again then, however F-Zero GX was arguably a greater expression of pure, sci-fi velocity.

It additionally seemed wonderful. F-Zero GX was clean, slick and simply an absolute pleasure to play. The one participant mode was notoriously troublesome, however in hindsight that was a part of its cult enchantment. The very fact we’ve not had an F-Zero sport because the launch of this traditional is nearly prison.

– Mark Serrels

9. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

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Nintendo

Retro Studios defied expectations with the primary Metroid Prime, masterfully reinterpreting Nintendo’s atmospheric side-scrolling sequence as a first-person journey. Its inevitable follow-up, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, expanded on the system with extra advanced environments and even larger bosses, leading to one other instantaneous GameCube traditional.

As with the unique, the setting itself was the star attraction. In a nod to the Zelda traditional, A Hyperlink to the Previous, Samus traverses two mirror worlds in Metroid Prime 2: the arid Aether and its darkish counterpart, a murky parallel universe created when the planet was struck by a rift-forming meteor. This gave Aether an much more ominous really feel than Tallon IV — thanks largely to the darkish world’s suffocating ambiance — and utilizing the power-ups you gained to navigate the expertly crafted environmental puzzles felt immensely satisfying.

Metroid Prime 2 additionally ramped up the issue, that includes among the tensest boss encounters within the sequence’ historical past. These battles have been as a lot a check of wit as of reflex, as almost each foe had some type of sample or puzzle to determine. It will not be remembered fairly as fondly as the unique — only a few video games are, in any case —  however Metroid Prime 2 was one other riveting journey that additional proved how effectively the Metroid sequence labored in first-person.

– Kevin Knezevic

10. Soulcalibur II

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Nintendo

Soulcalibur II is likely one of the few GameCube video games on this listing which may not essentially really feel like a “GameCube” sport. Certain it was multiplatform, however given the addition of Hyperlink as a playable character on the roster, Soulcalibur II at all times felt very Nintendo to me.

Additionally: It dominated. It was virtually actually the height of the 3D combating style again then and it hardly ever acquired higher than this. Within the subsequent era we went again to Road Fighter IV and combating video games modified on us — presumably for the higher? However for this era of consoles, Soulcalibur II was king.

– Mark Serrels

11. Viewtiful Joe

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Clover Video games

The primary sport from Clover Studio, the brief lived group answerable for a slew of critically acclaimed video video games like Okami, Viewtiful Joe, in lots of, was the prototype for the Clover type. A slick, fluid 2D beat ’em up, elevated by a singular artwork type, Viewtiful Joe was a refined homage to video video games from a bygone period.

– Mark Serrels

12. Everlasting Darkness

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Nintendo

There are few video games that make gamers frantically go searching and surprise “what the hell is occurring” like Everlasting Darkness. At its core, the sport is not a lot totally different from Resident Evil, however the massive distinction have been sanity results. These little occasions have been designed to immediately mess with the participant’s head. From the controller being unresponsive to a display screen saying your saved sport was deleted, gamers by no means knew what was going to occur, which was a part of the enjoyable.

Everlasting Darkness was additionally heavily-inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. It required those that completed the sport and acquired all the endings to take a look at the writer’s tales to piece collectively the deeper themes of the sport.

For me, Everlasting Darkness offered me one thing recent although how the sport really performed was par for the course.

– Oscar Gonzalez

13. Resident Evil

residentevilremake

Capcom

Seeing the primary screenshots of the Resident Evil remake satisfied me to purchase a GameCube at launch. Almost twenty years later, this 2002 sport nonetheless appears astoundingly good and stays totally terrifying.

Capcom did not accept a mere visible improve; this remake added so many new mechanics, areas and puzzles that it felt like a totally totally different sport to the 1996 unique. It stays the last word expression of the traditional Resident Evil system and it was unique to Nintendo methods for years (a wonderful HD remaster is accessible on each platform).

Simply be sure you decapitate or burn the zombies, you don’t need them coming again.

– Sean Keane

14. Pikmin 2

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Nintendo

I am going to by no means forgive Pikmin 2 for abandoning the time restrict that made the unique Pikmin so tense and rewarding, however Pikmin 2 continues to be price your time.

The multiplayer part was the true standout for me. Earlier than on-line gaming was actually a factor on consoles, I spent many hours with my girlfriend, taking part in frantic multiplayer Pikmin matches. We acquired frighteningly good. Nicely, she acquired frighteningly good. I acquired my ass whooped. Good occasions.

– Mark Serrels

15. Mario Kart: Double Sprint

mario-kart-double-dash

Nintendo

Mario Kart: Double Sprint might be the weirdest Mario Kart ever. Is {that a} good factor? The jury’s out, significantly on the gimmick that allowed two gamers to journey on the identical kart.

Nonetheless, Mario Kart is Mario Kart. There hasn’t been a nasty one but. Double Sprint is not any exception. The observe design is slick, the visuals have been daring and the controls have been as tight as ever.

– Mark Serrels

16. Steel Gear Strong: The Twin Snakes

twin-snakes

Floor up remakes of traditional video games are regular now, however Steel Gear Strong: The Twin Snakes was distinctive upon its launch in 2004.

The Twin Snakes took the unique Steel Gear Strong and carried out the controls and QOL upgrades from the nice Steel Gear Strong 2. Extremely all of it holds collectively. The Twin Snakes additionally performs host to possibly the wildest cutscenes in any Steel Gear Strong sport.

Contemplating how bizarre issues get in Steel Gear Strong, that is saying one thing.

– Mark Serrels 

17. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Yr Door

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Nintendo

Mario’s starred in a handful of role-playing video games through the years, however 2004’s Paper Mario: The Thousand-Yr Door continues to be arguably one of the best of the bunch. A sequel to Nintendo 64’s Paper Mario, The Thousand-Yr Door doubled down on all of the elements that made its predecessor so charming, leading to one of many best RPGs on the console.

Like the unique, The Thousand-Yr Door’s most distinctive characteristic was its visible type. Whereas the sport world was polygonal, the characters who inhabited it have been all flat, giving the sport the appear and feel of an interactive pop-up guide. The Thousand-Yr Door leaned much more closely into this paper aesthetic than its predecessor, even incorporating it into the gameplay. Since he was paper skinny, Mario may now acquire the flexibility to slide via crevices and even fold himself up right into a paper airplane and boat, including a larger diploma of exploration and environmental puzzle fixing to the combination.

However what made the sport so charming was its humorousness. The Thousand-Yr Door stays one of many funniest titles Nintendo has ever launched, with a pointy, self-referential script and a splendidly quirky solid of characters. Few video games are as genuinely side-splitting as The Thousand-Yr Door, and there is a good cause why it stays many followers’ favourite Paper Mario sport, even almost twenty years after its unique launch.

– Kevin Knezevic

18. Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Chief

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Considered one of my favourite console launch titles ever. Rogue Chief’s visuals and music made it essentially the most immersive Star Wars gaming expertise I might had on the time. I keep in mind being blown away by the sense of scale in its recreation of Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor, as waves of TIE fighters swarm the rebels.

It was additionally extremely enjoyable to play, choosing an arcade-style expertise over a simulation one, with loads of ships and a ton of replay worth if you wish to get higher medals. Doing so unlocks bonus missions through which you play as Darth Vader in his superior fancy fighter, lastly letting me be part of Empire.

– Sean Keane

19. Tales of Symphonia

tales

Nintendo

Symphonia might be the primary of the Tales sequence to hit massive exterior of Japan. It is nonetheless considered probably the greatest within the sequence and one of many few to ever get a direct sequel (though the much less stated about that the higher). The Tales video games have at all times been an oasis of actual time fight inside a sea of turn-based JRPGs. Having direct management over your character, inputting combos to be able to combine effectively with the remainder of your get together was a blast and having the ability to tackle the enemy encounters in multiplayer was a pleasant addition. If battling monsters via menus wasn’t your factor then these have been the video games to play.

Symphonia was completely attractive wanting with its full anime cutscenes that have been fairly remarkable again on the GameCube. The story and characters have been wealthy and the sport’s size actually gave you one thing to get invested in. It was a particularly good sport that turned this RPG fan right into a Tales participant for years afterward.

– Sean Booker

20. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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Nintendo

You most likely keep in mind Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as a Wii title, proper? It was initially introduced from the GameCube, however suffered an extended stretch of delays earlier than launching alongside the Wii, an indication of the wild new movement controls. This is the factor: Twilight Princess was really higher to play on GameCube, with the management pad a tighter method to dungeon crawl than the Wiimotes. Twilight Princess was meant to cross the torch from one era to the subsequent, however it ended up a reminder of all the nice issues in regards to the GameCube.

– Daniel Van Growth

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