The GameCube was one heck of a little system, with tons of acclaimed titles from Nintendo and third parties alike. Rumors have been brewing recently that the Nintendo Switch could feature a GameCube Virtual Console, allowing players to download classic titles from the system. Here are 50 titles we’d like to see, but please note that both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess have been excluded because of their immediately-available remasters on Wii U.
Tales of Symphonia
The Tales series had been around for a while before Symphonia, but with this title, Tales became more popular than ever before. The over 60-hours long RPG was met with huge amounts of critical praise upon release, featuring a memorable cast of characters and exciting real-time combat system.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Fire Emblem made the jump to 3D on the GameCube with Path of Radiance, which centered around a group of mercenaries led by Ike that end up defending the crown of the country Crimea. The tactical series deepened even more with expanded pre-mission options, more support conversations, and brand new unit classes like the transforming Laguz. It remains one of the most unforgettable games in the series to date.
Star Fox Assault
Star Fox Assault brought back the same ship-blasting gameplay that fans loved in Star Fox 64, while also adding on brand new on-foot segments. Assault takes place after Star Fox Adventures and sees Crystal join the team, while Peppy resigns to support aboard the Great Fox. The game had a great orchestrated score that really helped highlight the intensity of space battle.
Star Fox Adventures
Star Fox Adventures was a huge deviation for the series, as it’s more of an action-adventure title than the on-rails ship combat we’re used to. Fox investigates a distress signal from Dinosaur Planet and ends up befriending both Crystal the fox and Tricky the triceratops. Together the three have to take back the planet from the forces of General Scales.
Metroid Prime 1 and 2
Metroid Prime was one of the biggest reinventions of a series ever made, and it worked brilliantly. It took the 2D series into the realm of first-person shooters, while still retaining all the puzzle solving and platforming elements Metroid is known for. Both titles on the GameCube are some of the very best on the system, with incredible atmosphere, gameplay, and style.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Many fans still believe Melee to be the very best game in the Smash Bros. series, and for good reason. The title nearly perfected everything that the first game did on N64. A bigger roster, faster and tighter gameplay, and inventive level design are just a few examples. Melee really is an essential game for any Nintendo fan.
Super Mario Sunshine
The GameCube was a system that saw Nintendo trying some drastically different things with their biggest series. Mario Sunshine is still a 3D platformer, but it puts a big twist on gameplay by introducing a water-shooting backpack. Mario travels to Delfino Isle on vacation with Peach, but before long the tropical paradise becomes covered with gross paint. He has to use the talking backpack called F.LU.D.D. to wash the island clean.
Mario Kart Double Dash
Mario Kart Double Dash does exactly what its name implies, dropping two characters onto once racer. The title was fantastic for co-op play, as one player would control the driver while the other would control items from the back. You could also switch positions at any time. Of course, Double Dash controlled as good as ever and added on a host of new characters and stages.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Out of all of Mario’s spinoffs, Paper Mario may be the most unique. The original game on N64 had a gorgeous art style and a fun turn-based combat system. The Thousand-Year Door only improves on everything its predecessor did, bringing even more witty humor to the experience. There were even a few points where Peach and Bowser were playable, too.
It’s usually Mario in the limelight, but every once in a while Luigi gets his time to shine. Luigi’s Mansion was the biggest game the character had gotten, seeing the brother travel to a haunted mansion to find Mario. You had to use your trusty vacuum to suck up ghosts in combat, and the game was filled with puzzles.
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
Metal Arms is a quirky little third-person shooter that has a similar comedic style to the Conker games. You take the role of Glitch, a small soldier robot that joins the forces of the Droids in their massive war against General Corrosive and his Milbots. Tight shooting, varied weapons, and good humor made this a memorable title on the GameCube.
Viewtiful Joe screams style with everything it does, from its over the top beat ’em up gameplay to the cel-shaded aesthetic. You play Joe, an avid moviegoer, who’s girlfriend is captured while watching a film featuring Joe’s favorite superhero. He’s then transported to movieland where he’s given the ability to transform into his superhero persona, Viewtiful Joe.
Killer7 is one of the many eclectic titles by the developer known as Suda51, and it shows. The game follows a group of assassins known as the “killer7” who undertake missions on behalf of the U.S. government. It has a complex noir-style story that has plenty of Suda51’s quirkiness and a unique on-rails control scheme.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was the biggest shift the series had ever seen, and it remains one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. The title played much more like a third-person shooter, rather than a fixed camera angle survival horror game. Resident Evil 4 has been released on quite a few different consoles digitally, but the original GameCube version still stands the test of time.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
The Twin Snakes is a complete remake of the original Metal Gear Solid that released on PS1 in 1998. First and foremost it boasts graphical improvements over the original, as well as brand new cutscenes. However, the title also had a revised translation, re-recorded voice lines, and gameplay improvements that were introduced with Metal Gear Solid 2.
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
Ty is a platforming game focused on a character of the same name that can definitely be compared to games like Spyro the Dragon. The title takes place on a fictional Australian island, with Ty hunting down “Thunder Eggs.” He needs these items to free his family from a cassowary named Boss Cass, who’s planning world domination.
Eternal Darkness is a psychological horror game that has an interesting way of playing with the player’s perceptions. You follow 12 different characters through different periods of time, having to manage “sanity effects” to keep your characters safe. It’s a bit of an overlooked gem, and it has a story that easily draws you in.
F-Zero has been dormant for many years, but F-Zero GX on the GameCube remains one of the best racers around. GX added even more racers and cars to the cast of the series, and the gameplay runs at an absolutely blistering pace. In terms of futuristic racing games, you can’t get much better than this.
Skies of Arcadia
Skies of Arcadia is easily one of the best JRPGs ever, putting you in control of a sky pirate named Vyse, and the rest of his crew. The title is a turn-based RPG and originally released on the Sega Dreamcast. It boasts a strong narrative, interesting ensemble cast, and unique ship combat system. No RPG fan should miss out on this one.
Soulcalibur is one of the most well known fighting series around, and it puts an emphasis on weapon combat and 3D movement. The series has become known for its guest characters, and Soulcalibur II featured none other than Nintendo’s Link. The character fit in surprisingly well, alongside some new additions to the series, too.
Pikmin 1 and 2
Once again Nintendo crafted a game series like nothing else when they created Pikmin. You play as Olimar, an astronaut who’s crash-landed on an alien planet and encounters little creatures called Pikmin. Different colored Pikmin have different uses, and you have to command the creatures to solve puzzles and battle enemies.
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
Baten Kaitos is an RPG developed by Monolith Soft, the same team behind the Xenosaga series and Xenoblade Chronicles. The game tells the story of a young man named Kalas and his companion Xelha, who live on a floating continent. It had an interesting card-based battle system and absolutely unforgettable soundtrack.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Square Enix created a successful spinoff series with Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube, a title that created a brand new world and set of races. The game still retained many of the traditions of Final Fantasy like magic and a job system, but featured real-time combat with a tactical flair.
Chibi-Robo has become another mascot character for Nintendo, although he is a little less popular than the big names like Link and Mario. The first title in the series on GameCube had you take control of the adorable little robot as he navigates around a household collecting “Happy Points.” It had a charming storyline and unique gameplay mechanics, like having to recharge by connecting to outlets.
Pokemon Colosseum is about the closest we’ve gotten to having a mainline title on a home console. The game takes place in the desert region of Orre and has you playing as Wes, a former member of Team Snagem. You don’t capture Pokemon in random battles, but instead “snag” the Pokemon of other trainers. It had a fun original storyline, and most battles were fought in the “double” format.
Kirby Air Ride
Air Ride is actually a racing game that sees Kirby hopping aboard multiple vehicles from the series. The controls in the game were actually incredibly simple as you didn’t have to hit any button to go forward, just control your direction and use A to do everything else. There were also multiple modes including the normal race mode and a battle mode.
Super Mario Strikers
Mario and company have competed in tons of different sports over the years, but Mario Strikers is still one of the better sporting titles in the series. Strikers sees characters from all across the Mario series playing soccer together, along with some crazy special moves and power ups. The title put a fun Mario twist on the popular sport.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The Sands of Time rebooted the Prince of Persia series brilliantly, changing it up into a third-person action-adventure game. The title follows the unnamed Prince who’s father is tricked by an evil Vizier. He obtains the mysterious Sand of Time, which gives players the ability to rewind time in a pinch.
The sequel to Timesplitters has you taking control of one of two space marines attempting to stop an alien race from literally ripping apart history. It featured a single player and multiplayer mode, with single player being split up into 10 different levels. Each level focused on a different time period. The interesting concept and fun level design were more than enough to separate Timesplitters 2.
Sonic Heroes was a bit different than most titles in the series, giving you a party of three controllable characters at any given time. The story had different episodes for different three-man teams, and each character had their own type and specialties. It may not be the best Sonic game, but it’s definitely a unique one.
Mario Party 5
There have been numerous Mario Party games over the years, but Mario Party 5 stands out as the best of the GameCube entries. It doesn’t do a ton to change the Mario party formula, but this entry has seven well-designed boards, and quite a few more minigames than the usual Mario Party title.
This is the game that started it all, everyone’s obsession with creating the perfect little village. Animal Crossing was incredibly unique when it released, giving players a virtual town to live in, fish, talk to villagers, and customize their very own house. The series has greatly improved over the years, but it’s still interesting to go back and see where it all began.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Zelda games are usually single-player affairs, but Four Swords Adventures has its focus on co-op gameplay. The story mode has up to four players simultaneously adventuring on one screen to save Hyrule, and also competing for score. However, there was also a two player Shadow Battle mode that pitted two Links against each other.
Alien Hominid originally started as a flash game and comes from the developer The Behemoth, also responsible for Castle Crashers. It’s a 2D shooter similar to Metal Slug, that has you controlling a small yellow alien as he fends off waves of special agents. It also has quite a bit of content with three multiplayer modes outside of the story.
Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 0 is the fifth title in the series, although it actually functions as a prequel to the original Resident Evil. The title focuses on what happens to the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team in the Arklay Mountains and lets you switch between two main characters at any time. It retained much of the feeling and atmosphere that previous titles did, while making some changes to inventory and other systems.
Beyond Good & Evil
Beyond Good & Evil is a bit of a cult hit, released by Ubisoft on PS2, GameCube, and Xbox. The game follows Jade, a reporter and martial artist, working with a resistance group to uncover a worldwide alien conspiracy. It blends together elements of platforming, investigating, and third person combat. The title also comes from the creator of Rayman, Michel Ancel.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader
The Rogue Squadron games are some of the best Star Wars titles out there, dropping you into the cockpit of Rebel Alliance ships as Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. There are seven ships to pilot including the X-Wing and Millenium Falcon, across ten different levels. Rogue Leader just made everything bigger and better that the original did on N64.
The first WarioWare game was an incredibly novel concept when it released, and created yet another successful series for Nintendo. Players follow Wario and other crazy new characters through a wacky storyline, and complete various 5-10 second minigames along the way. The absolute weirdness of these minigames are what really make the game shine.
Odama is a wholly unique game that combines elements of real-time tactics and, believe it or not, pinball. You take the role of a young general trying to avenge his clan and preserve the Way of Ninten-do. You use a mystical object called the Odama, or pinball, to shatter obstacles and attack enemies. Then you direct soldiers into enemy bases. It’s definitely a crazy concept.
SSX is regarded as one of the very best snowboarding games ever made and started a brand new series for EA. There’s a number of characters to choose from each with their own distinctive skills and boarding style. The goal of each level is to pull off the biggest and best tricks while riding down the slope, and SSX had its own distinctive flair to it.
Generation was a great entry in the long-running Bomberman series, and it had a sizeable campaign made up of six worlds with five levels in each. Levels consisted of a mix of puzzles, minigames, and Pokemon-like battles where you use characters called Charabombs. There were also various multiplayer modes that more closely resemble the traditional top-down gameplay of Bomberman.
Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball is an extremely weird idea that blends racing and platforming together. The title has you control a monkey inside a giant clear ball as you make your way through a downhill course. Despite the strange idea, Monkey Ball is incredibly fun and challenging, even with a simple control scheme.
Ikaruga is an intense bullet hell shooter that really takes some practice and patience to complete. Gameplay revolves around the concept of polarity, which corresponds to different colors. You can switch the polarity of your ship on the fly which allows you to absorb any projectiles of the same color. It’s certainly one pulse-pounding title.
Battalion Wars is part of the larger “Wars” series that also includes Advance Wars. It’s a real-time tactics game that has you taking control of various units including infantry and armored vehicles, while combating an enemy army in tactical view and in third-person shooting. Similarly to Advance Wars, Battalion Wars features a cartoony art style.
Custom Robo has some serious anime flair in both its story and design. You play as a young boy who collects robot figurines and pieces and uses them to battle against other people’s robots in a virtual tournament. There’s a ton of customization, and the robot battles are played out in third-person combat.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
Dark Alliance is an offshoot of the Forgotten Realms: Baldur’s Gate RPG series, developed by BioWare on PC. This title, however, is less tactical and more of an action-RPG, that has you selecting from one of three character classes. It features an original story in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and still has a huge emphasis on stats, equipment, abilities, and more.
Mario Power Tennis
Mario Power Tennis is a fair improvement over the original title on N64, bumping up the playable characters to 18. It featured, of course, a traditional tennis mode, but also had variants that contained different scoring objectives. In addition, it added on a special “Power Shot,” that was unique for each character.
NBA Street Vol. 2
NBA Street puts the focus on 3v3 matches, with 29 different NBA teams to choose from and a host of different games modes and types. Besides having smooth gameplay, NBA Street also just nails its atmosphere. With a vibrant hip-hop soundtrack and street basketball aesthetic, it easily stands out from the crowd.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
The Pro Skater series is still where some of the very best skateboarding games lie, and Pro Skater 3 remains one of the highest rated games on PS2 and GameCube. The title only made minor tweaks to gameplay, like the addition of some hidden tricks, but there certainly wasn’t much to improve upon in the first place.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis were developed alongside each other, so the two share visual style and technology. This is the second game in the Mario Golf series, bumping up the list of playable characters to 16. While it had the normal tournament mode, you could also play “Ring Attack,” which required you to hit balls through rings with specific conditions.