The GameCube celebrated its fifteen anniversary last year. However, it was released on May 3rd 2002 over here in Europe, so technically it’s fifteen years old this year as well. I was an unabashed Nintendo fan back in the day. I had all of their consoles (well, apart from the Virtual Console). They could do no wrong in my eyes. When the Gamecube was announced, I wasn’t too fussed on the name, but that didn’t matter. It was a new console from Nintendo! I remember playing Luigi’s Mansion for the first time. Who needed Mario when you had his brother being a Ghostbuster? Luigi’s Mansion was the tip of the iceberg when it came to great games for the Gamecube. And here are my Top 10 Games for the Gamecube!
- Spider-Man 2
This wasn’t an exclusive game for the Gamecube, but it remains one of my favourite games. That’s maybe because it’s based on one of my favourite films, but hey, we are all biased in some way. Spider-Man 2 gave us an open world to explore, expanded on the movie’s storyline to introduce more of Spidey’s villains, and enabled us to deliver pizzas whilst webslinging around New York. It may not be in the top tier of film to video game adaptations, but it’s on the tier just below that. Juicy combat, a sense of freedom, and endless gameplay gave us the best Spider-Man game ever.
- Luigi’s Mansion
Mario’s Gamecube game was disappointing. However, his brother’s launch day game gave us something different from a platformer. You played Luigi, who in effect, was a Ghostbuster. He inherited a haunted mansion and had use the Poltergust 3000 to capture the spirits. Yes, it may have been a short game, but it was an incredible amount of fun to play. Capturing the ghosts took a subtle amount of controller manipulation. Some of the bosses took genuine thought to discover their weakness. And (whisper it), some of the game was quite unnerving (hearing a baby crying and a cot rocking without a baby in it is always terrifying). Luigi had forgotten how to jump in this game, but he gave us something different and entertaining.
- Super Monkey Ball
You could pick either the original or the sequel for this spot, but both are as addictive as each other. The set-up sounds simple: you to navigate a monkey in a ball from one side of a stage to another. But you have to use the control stick with great precision to navigate the winding paths and pixel thin poles. Of course, it starts out simple but when it’s difficult, it’s bloody difficult. You’ll need immense powers of concentration, a great memory, and precise thumb control to beat this game. But you’ll have a fantastic time beating it. Also, the multiplayer is great fun as well.
- Pikmin 2
I loved Pikmin. But the arbitrary time limit caused it to have a short life span. It’s sequel, however, eliminated the time limit. Pikmin was Nintendo’s version of a strategy game. There were no soldiers or blood or bullets, but cute little creatures commanded by an astronaut who crash landed on a planet. He needed to use these little Pikmin to go home. In the sequel, Captain Olimar and Captain Louie used the Pikmin to find treasure. In the sequel, the number of varieties of Pikmin was increased for three to five, and each variety had its own unique abilities. You needed to capitalise on these abilities to progress. It can’t compete with the likes of Civilisation or Total War, but Pikmin 2 is a worthy addition to the strategy genre. It’s colourful and child-like visuals mask a difficult game where you’ll need to use your noggin.
- Mario Power Tennis
Me and my friends during the second year of university played Mario Kart: Double Dash to death in the second year. But we couldn’t play the same game all the time, could we? I picked up Mario Power Tennis for something different, and it quickly became another favourite of our house. Yes, it was tennis, but with Nintendo characters! And each character had its own “power shot.” There were gimmick courts, but they were more of a distraction than a valuable addition. Like Mario Kart, the multiplayer was where the action happened. Many pleasurable hours were spent either teaming up to beat the CPU or having doubles matches.
- Resident Evil 4
The remake of Resident Evil for the Gamecube was brilliant; Resident Evil 4 was even better. It may have flipped the gameplay more into the action-horror territory than survival-horror territory, but that didn’t matter. The Resident Evil franchise needed a revolution, and this was it. Leon Kennedy returned with a lot of firepower to fight big men with chainsaws. Oh, he had to rescue the President’s daughter as well. Those sections involved dual gameplay, where she accompanied you. They were actually bolstered by decent CPU. It looked beautiful, there was a wide variety of weapons, and the voice actors were decent! It’s my personal favourite Resident Evil game. You may still have to stop to shoot your weapon, but that’s part of the package.
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader
The first Rogue Squadron game gave you an original storyline to progress through. The sequel to the Star Wars flight action game gave you the Original Trilogy to play through. It’s as awesome as it sounds! You blow up the Death Star (and Death Star II), fly around Bespin…help the Rebel forces in the Battle of Endor…There are additions to the story of the Original Trilogy that are required to extend the length of gameplay, but they are just as enjoyable as the levels you’ll recognise from the movies. It feeds into the feeling of taking part in your favourite movie. It looks and feels realistic, bringing the movies onto the Gamecube. I recently replayed it, and it still holds up today. Yes, it’s easy to push out any old guff and slap the name Star Wars on it. But when a game is great, it doesn’t need a label.
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Who would have thought that Resident Evil wouldn’t be the scariest game on the Gamecube? The remake of Resident Evil was a brilliant horror, but one game managed to outdo the hallowed horror franchise in the terror stakes. That game was Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. Taking more than a little inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft, Eternal Darkness took us on a sprawling journey of terror from the Roman times to the present day. The gameplay was a mix of weapon-based combat and magick attacks. The story and the visuals were scary enough, but the Sanity Meter introduced an innovative method to increase the terror. The more monsters the character observes, the more the Sanity Meter drops. As it lowers, the camera angle begins to tilt and whispers and screams are audible. When it’s empty, the effects are completely unnerving. Some break the fourth wall, but others are simply creepy. One of the most underrated horror games (and it deserves a sequel!).
- Mario Kart: Double Dash
For the entire second year of university, me and my friends played this (and Mario Power Tennis). Rather than study, we’d rather have a game of Mario Kart. I was the supreme Karter, almost unbeatable. Apart from Mario Kart: Super Circuit, I’d never played Mario Kart games to a great degree. I bought Double Dash second hand and immediately took to it. Having the ability to swap drivers gave the gameplay a whole new dimension. You could mix and match any two karters! Mario and Bowser, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, Yoshi and Birdo (my personal duo preference!). The possibilities were endless. Each character also had its own special weapon as well (Mario and Luigi had fireballs, for example). The single player game was massive, with three modes plus a Mirror mode. But the multiplayer was where I sank many, many fun and memorable hours of my time.
I may have played Mario Kart: Double Dash and Mario Power Tennis for hours on end, but there’s only one game that can claim the #1 spot on this list. And that’s Metroid Prime. Whilst the Gamecube versions of Mario and Legend of Zelda were disappointing (but only because their predecessors were mind-blowing), we hadn’t seen Metroid on a Nintendo home console since the Super Nintendo. However, it turned out to be a first-person perspective. Why would they ruin a Metroid game with a silly perspective?
However, it didn’t ruin it: it gave the experience a whole new level of isolation. That’s the point of Metroid games: the sense of isolation. Metroid Prime built on the previous games but added great graphics, an intuitive (if hand-breaking) control system, and more lore about the Metroids and Samus Aran. It had everything: a large and open world, intriguing puzzles, larger than life bosses, and rain drops splashing on your visor! The wait for a Metroid game was well worth it. Metroid Prime was all we wanted and more.
Soul Caliber II
Super Smash Bros Melee
Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?
Click here for my Top 10 SNES Games