GameCube 15th Anniversary | Cubed3's Top 20 Games

By Az Elias 14.09.2016 11

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The GameCube was Nintendo's last real attempt at competing directly with its rivals through power; subsequent consoles following the lacklustre sales of the 'Cube saw Nintendo taking a different path, releasing the motion-based Wii, then the second screen-based Wii U… and the rest is history. Despite Sony's PlayStation 2 thwarting its competition and dominating the market with strong third party backing, Nintendo's black little box of tricks (come on, we all know black was the superior colour) was famed for its incredible first party line-up, with plenty a solid third party title (many of which were exclusives, if only for a time) thrown in for good measure. The GameCube is fondly remembered by the majority of Nintendo fans, often cited as their favourite home console from the Japanese company, and that mainly stems from the number of quality exclusive titles released for it. Join the Cubed3 team, as we share our top 20 games on the GameCube, fifteen years on from its launch.

20. TimeSplitters 2

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When a bunch of Rare employees that worked on the exceptional N64 first-person shooters GoldenEye and Perfect Dark left to form Free Radical Design, people took notice when the team released its first title, TimeSplitters. With a primary focus on quality multiplayer, it wasn't until TimeSplitters 2 that this new franchise created a name for itself, introducing a humorous time period-jumping storyline and wealth of single and multiplayer modes.

The 1-player challenges to unlock tons of characters and further multiplayer modes and stages kept replay value high, but it was in multiplayer that TimeSplitters 2 truly came alive. Thinking back on four-player couch multiplayer sessions is an unfortunate reminder that the practice is a dying pastime, with many "multiplayer" games today not even including an option for local play.

To this day, though, TimeSplitters 2 remains the king of local multiplayer, and it's highly advised to seek a copy out just to experience the exhilarating rush this game can still provide. Seriously, you haven't lived video games if you haven't gone through the thrilling and frightening Virus mode, holding off an entire horde of green flame-covered monkeys running through the Hospital, backed up by an adrenaline-pumping soundtrack.
- Az

19. Resident Evil

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The GameCube was a true home to the Resident Evil series. Besides the highly acclaimed Resident Evil 4 and the interesting (if not warmly received) prequel Resident Evil 0, the GCN saw a full-fledged remake of the series' first game. Still good looking to this day, the REmake remains another highlight of the series, bringing the classic title up to date and introducing a few new mechanics to keep veterans on their toes.
- David

Coming right after the Nintendo 64, which was starved for survival horror games, the GameCube had a lot to prove in terms of pushing forward mature titles in genres in which its predecessor was seriously lacking. It started off hot, with Luigi's Mansion giving friendly spooks right at launch, and Eternal Darkness being exquisitely creepy within the first year of the console's lifespan. The N64 did get the technical prowess that was the port of Resident Evil 2 inside a 64MB cartridge, and right until the end was set to get an exclusive in Resident Evil 0, before its eventual cancelation.

Then comes the ground-breaking re-imagining of the first title, announced exclusively for the GameCube, which brought survival horror to the next level. In fact, it could be argued that Resident Evil rarely felt and looked better than it did in 2002 with this particular title. Both it and Zero were fantastic looking games, but the sense of spook transpired better in this particular release, where it wasn't hampered by an original yet cumbersome inventory management scheme. If not for the fact that it got ported to Wii, and was eventually remade one more time in HD for current and last generation consoles, it would still be exclusive to GameCube, where it initially shined. For me, at least, it remains a definitive landmark of how great a system the GameCube was.
- Rudy

18. Pikmin 2

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The Pikmin series is Nintendo's attempt at a console RTS game. The original Pikmin is a beautiful, charming and unique game, but rather short and somewhat limited in nature. Pikmin 2 expanded on it in almost every way. The game is more vast and open, it features a couple of new types of Pikmin, and it even includes a significant multiplayer and co-op mode. All of the strengths of the original are still there, too.

The atmosphere is a strange blend of relaxing and tense. It feels as though Olimar could walk around the outside world for days, leisurely exploring and solving puzzles. As soon as he's in a cave, though, things quickly heat up. There is an immediate sense of isolation that was missing from the original. Every Pikmin lost is one that might be needed later on. Every one saved feels like a victory by itself. It becomes much harder to correct mistakes, particularly with a nasty boss waiting at the bottom for you. It's a fantastic experience, whether on the GameCube or in the Wii port.
- Andrew

17. Luigi's Mansion

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This game got a lot of criticism; mainly because the GameCube was the first console to be launched without a full scale Mario game and this was the substitute - an adventure set in a large mansion with Luigi hunting for and catching ghosts with what appears to be a modified vacuum cleaner.

It's a short game, and only the dedicated would consider it to have any replay value. There is a score attack element to it, and although it isn't really enough of a hook for regular replay, it's worth at least a second visit after taking a break from it. What Luigi's Mansion does have, though, is charm - it is bristling with it, and technically it still looks and sounds pretty good.

It doesn't require too much backtracking, and the puzzle elements are not too taxing, either, so it doesn't get frustrating while feeling rewarding at the same time. It can get a bit repetitive, but clearing the rooms of ghosts is very satisfying. Typical Nintendo craftsmanship that deserved to get more praise.
- Davy

16. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

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The legacy of Metroid Prime is known to everyone, and as such, a sequel was always going to run the risk of falling way short of such exceptional standards. After all, the original game transformed a renowned 2D classic in one of the greatest examples in gaming history of how to make the leap to 3D. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes probably turned out better than many expected it would, though.

Despite implementing a common light-dark world mechanic, Echoes utilised it in such an effective way, with Dark Aether eating away at Samus' health as she attempts to explore the corrupted mirror of Aether, and the bounty hunter finding herself challenged to regain her stolen suit upgrades across the Ing home world. Echoes managed to stand apart from its older brother with its environmental differences, where the technological advancements of the Luminoth - Aether's inhabitants - were showcased in the glorious mechanical engineering of locations like the Sanctuary Fortress, and one of the greatest bosses in the series, Quadraxis.
- Az

15. Super Monkey Ball

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If you were to ask me the names of those games I consider perfect, then that short list would consist of four titles: Asteroids Deluxe (Arcade), Super Breakout (Atari 2600), Tetris (various), and Super Monkey Ball on the GameCube.

When I say a game is perfect, I mean that nothing more needs to be added, and subsequent tweaks to the Monkey Ball series have proven my point. The main mode is what I consider to be "pure video game," with gameplay distilled down to the point that no buttons are needed - just that GC Control Stick and those octagonal grooves mean the game is truly at home on the 'Cube.

SEGA added in a handful of excellent multiplayer mini-games that play with the basic formula and stretch it to its logical boundaries, the best of which could be expanded into full games themselves, imbuing the package with years' worth of play life. The fact that Super Monkey Ball looks beautiful is icing on the cake. Charming. Unsurpassed.
- Davy

14. Animal Crossing

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A simple game with a simple goal, Animal Crossing makes the most out of its premise to offer one of the most charming entries in the GameCube's line-up.

Featuring so many different collectibles and offering a ton of day-to-day content, the first Animal Crossing doesn't really lack in quality. Each villager has their own personality with unique dialogue seamlessly crafted for them, and, as each town can only have 15 at a time, it makes meeting new NPCs all the more exciting.

It's little more than a town simulator, but it doesn't need to be anything else, because what it is lets it find charm in the little things. Bug catching and fishing are relaxing ways to pass the time, talking to neighbours and learning more about them is a genuine pleasure, and filling a room with just the right furniture is equal parts rewarding and exciting. Animal Crossing knows exactly what it is, and what it is is pure fun.
- Renan

13. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

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Released near the end of the GameCube's lifetime, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance marks the series' ninth entry, the third to see release outside of Japan, and the first in nearly a decade to be released for a Nintendo home console. While it didn't add much new to the gameplay of the long-running SRPG series, it stunned players new and old alike with its fully rendered combat sequences and fully animated cut-scenes.

With an engrossing story and sprawling cast of characters, it still managed to draw in audiences, despite coming out so late in the console's life. The story is elegantly crafted, and remains one of the most nuanced tales in the series to date. It explores themes previously untouched by the series, and despite being mechanically similar to other Fire Emblem titles, it does manage to deliver some new map formats, and provides a challenge for players of all skill sets.

Breaking new ground for the series and being a spectacular game in its own right, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is sure to be a tile remembered for years to come.
- Brandon

12. Soul Calibur II

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Fighting games were once two a penny, littered about in arcades and dominating the early 16-bit console scene with ease. Enter polygons and 3D graphics, and only a handful of franchises made the transition. One of the newcomers was Soul Edge for PlayStation, the precursor to the Soul Calibur series. After being a big success on SEGA Dreamcast, the sequel, Soul Calibur II, was created on the three big consoles—GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox—each getting a system-exclusive character. GameCube owners were starved for a solid fighting game, with the exception of Super Smash Bros. Melee, so met Namco's weapons brawl with open arms.

Soul Calibur II stands up as one of the GameCube's best titles to date, offering liquid tight movement, a vast array of weapons to collect and use, plus a roster of memorable faces. What made the game extra appealing was the inclusion of Link from Nintendo's own Legend of Zelda series. Armed with bombs, his iconic Master Sword and arrows, the elfish chap was a formidable foe and a worthy addition to the historic warriors. Alongside the regular arcade and versus features, the bread and butter of fighting games, came the addictive "Weapon Master" mode, a labyrinth of challenges that saw you compete against a tricky number of foes to earn goodies.

Sequels, released on more recent consoles, have yet to capture the magic of Soul Calibur II, reverting to slower, clunkier gameplay, and removing core characters from the line-up. Whilst the Nintendo version is still only available on the original GameCube discs, the PlayStation 2 and Xbox editions can be found on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively, now with HD visuals and online play.
- Jorge

11. Tales of Symphonia

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I wish I could do Tales of Symphonia proper justice in such a short write-up. After all, what can you really say about a game that has, for all practical intents and purposes, not only defined a series, but heavily defined a genre? It's like doing a write-up for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Even if you succeed, you're just not touching everything.

However, there is one way. Tales of Symphonia is the JRPG. No one game takes everything about the JRPG and mixes it together so well into one fine, smooth brew. One can argue it is dated, but so is fine wine. One could argue there are better JRPGs, which is true (unless you consider Symphonia the best, of course). It's full of memorable characters, brimming with humour, plot twists, dark and heart-touching moments, and is packed with the mundane and epic. Even to this day, I can sing both the English and Japanese opening themes. Were the game to undergo both the cosmetic and system upgrades proper to bring it into the modern era, there is little to no doubt its excellence and the reason for its beloved status would shine even greater.
- Ian

10. F-Zero GX

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Have you ever wanted to fly along at speeds exceeding the speed of sound? Would you like to do so with your rear end mere inches from the ground? Would you like to with twenty-nine other racers on the track with you, all striving to knock each other off? If you do, this game is for you.

F-Zero GX was released in 2003, as a collaboration between Nintendo and its long-time rival, SEGA. A companion game, F-Zero AX, was released at around the same time; in fact, if a player took a GameCube memory card with data from GX to an AX arcade cabinet, they could plug it in to unlock all of the racers, machines, and tracks for use in GX. Unfortunately, finding such a machine was a challenge in and of itself, and so many players were left to contend with the game's infamously difficult hair-puller of a story mode.
- Carrick

F Zero X is the better game in my book, but only because this game is just too damn hard. It's beautiful and probably the original version's designers' vision realised. A breath-taking selection of tracks warped into 3D within beautiful environments set the scene for a pure white knuckle racing experience that no other series delivers. No gaudy selection of weapons is needed here because your vehicle is the weapon. The shield/boost balancing act introduced in the N64 version is a piece of genius and is still here, as is that big aggressive pack of 29 opponents, but now rendered in glorious lived-in detail.

There's no shortage of content in F-Zero GX, either, with a new story mode that is very much of the old school of try, try, try again rock hard challenge, plenty of cups and tracks, a practice mode, a time trial mode, and a splendid four-player split-screen race mode. Technically, it's a tour-de-force, such that when I tried the hard-to-find arcade machine, I didn't detect much in the way of graphical improvement. There's the ability to purchase vehicle parts and build a custom machine, and you can even bedeck it in your own colours and decals. Responsive controls and the series' hallmark cheesy comic book atmosphere and soundtrack rounds everything off.
- Davy

9. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

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For many fans, Double Dash is the pinnacle of the Mario Kart experience. Players pick two drivers per car, each bringing their own unique abilities to the match, and can swap drivers on the fly. This is a well-executed and fun mechanic, and one the series has, for whatever reason, never brought back. The game also features some of the most classic Mario Kart tracks, like fan-favourite DK Mountain.
- David

This is the most underrated entry in the Mario Kart series. It looks glorious and is the chaotic interactive racing cartoon that Miyamoto perhaps envisioned in the SNES days. The two-characters-per-kart concept is unique to Double Dash, and facilitates a co-op mode with one player driving and the other riding shotgun. The title's suffix refers to a double boost gained when both players hit their respective acceleration buttons at just the right time at the start of a race.

Having two players per kart also allows for team selection, as it impacts on the karts you can use and what special weapons you can pick up. You can switch roles mid-race and the character riding shotgun can also steal weapons from the other karts using a slide attack. The selection of tracks is a bit light at 16, but there are also six battle arenas with a handful of entertaining modes to expand the play value. One of the race tracks, Baby Park, at first glance looks like a lazy phone-in filler of track design, but its genius becomes apparent when you play it, as it turns the game into a version of Roman chariot racing and feels like a mode in itself.

To top it off, there is also a rarely-used LAN mode that supports up to eight consoles and therefore 16 players in co-op mode. It's a bit spartan in features, but race and battle modes are supported, and it can carry a multitude of different configurations with different split-screen selections per console.
- Davy

8. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

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Little-known studio Silicon Knights came out of seemingly nowhere and dropped one of the most classic horror games of all time. Eternal Darkness used technology to mess with players' minds, pranking them in-game and out, depending on their characters' sanity levels. Besides this feature, the game told an epic story spanning a dozen characters across centuries, and the experience as a whole has left gamers clamouring for a sequel for a decade and a half, now.
- David

A twisted, scary, interesting and, above all, original take on the survival horror genre. This isn't a game that just shocks you with jump scares, it gets under your skin. It plays you. Eternal Darkness gleefully breaks down the barriers between the game world and reality through the use of "sanity effects." It uses every trick it can to put the player on edge - but that's not all that makes this game special.

While the gameplay is like a cross between Zelda and Alone in the Dark, the unique narrative structure, as well as a completely un-videogame-like approach to characters and settings, makes this an experience like no other. A game played over thousands of years of history, where you play a succession of characters? Eternal Darkness broke many conventions - with much success.
- Thomas

7. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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The GameCube's swan song, Twilight Princess was released for it and the Wii simultaneously. With the Wii version relying on a mirrored world and motion controls, many consider the GameCube edition to be the definitive one. Twilight Princess received some criticism for its somewhat barren overworld, but most praised the characters, who are some of the series' strongest to this day.
- David

Featuring a gloomy "mature" art style and dramatic set pieces, Twilight Princess seemed to want to distance itself from its charming sea-faring predecessor as much as possible. Despite the obvious visual differences, however, the core mechanics and conventions that define the series run deep in both titles.

Twilight Princess served up classic Zelda gameplay in addition to new features such as Wolf Link, not to mention quirky new items in the form of the Spinner, Dominion Rod and the Ball and Chain, all showcased in some of the series' most intricately-designed dungeons. Today, it's most remembered for the memorable companion Midna, and also for featuring what is possibly the best title sequence of any Zelda game ever.
- John S

6. Super Mario Sunshine

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The beautiful thing about the Mario franchise is that it seldom does the exact same thing twice. There are some outliers here and there, but no 3D Mario better shows off how unique and creative Nintendo can be with the franchise than perhaps Super Mario Sunshine. Straying away from the paintings, caps, and castle hub of Super Mario 64, Sunshine goes in a completely different direction offering a nautical, tropical landscape for Mario to run and jump across.

Straying so far away from the aesthetic of SM64 was already a risky move on Nintendo's part, but it got even riskier with the addition of F.L.U.D.D. Mario now had a talking backpack sidekick who changed up the very platforming mechanics that made his Nintendo 64 adventure such a hit. This risk not only paid off, but it consequently made Super Mario Sunshine offer more skill-based gameplay than SM64 ever could.

F.L.U.D.D. is easily Sunshine's claim to fame, allowing Mario to slide, hover, and propel himself to greater heights than ever before. Mixed in with game design that completely adheres to the mechanics at play, Sunshine offers so much gameplay variety through one little addition. Fun, colourful, and sporting some seriously creative gameplay mechanics, Super Mario Sunshine is one of the GameCube's defining titles.
- Renan

5. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

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A bizarre, strange, funny, sometimes dark, and - above all - brilliant game. Expanding and putting great spins on its predecessor, The Thousand-Year Door blends a streamlined RPG with platforming elements and great storytelling to form a delicious recipe of awesome. There are a few twists and some truly unexpected sequences. A meaty, long, and fun-filled game. In my opinion, easily Nintendo's best "Mario" game on the GameCube.
- Thomas

It's 2004, and Nintendo's now had three uniquely successful runs at blending the Mario universe with RPG elements. All successful in their own right, the Mario RPG titles managed to combine light-hearted storytelling with simple, yet fun, turn-based combat, all with diverse visual styles.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door revisits the visual stylings of 2001's Paper Mario, but instead of the standard setting, it visits many stranger, darker parallels to the usual Mario worlds. With a hugely diverse cast of characters, plots, and locales, it provided an experience full of unique twists, turns, and spectacular writing.

But it wasn't just the writing that charmed the hearts of fans. The updated combat system offered a chance to literally dazzle audiences with show-stopping moves, stylish stunts, and more. With a wealth of side quests and tons of surprises, it's no small wonder that many fans yearn for a return to Mario RPGs in the same vein as Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
- Brandon

4. Resident Evil 4

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There's always a risk that comes with taking a well-established series in a completely different direction, and perhaps none has been done to such universal acclaim as Resident Evil 4. Later entries in the series would attempt the same action focus, while side entries would bring it back to its horror roots, but no Resident Evil title perfectly balances the series' different aspects like this one does. RE4 blends suspense, horror, action, camp, wit, humour, and most importantly, fun into one of the GameCube's greatest exclusives.
- David

When Capcom announced a brand-new entry to the Resident Evil series, few suspected it would see a timed-exclusive release on a Nintendo console, let alone the GameCube, which was struggling for quality third party titles at the time. Resident Evil 4 marked the first zombie free experience in the widely adored franchise, instead focusing on an almost cult-like organisation that used plant-based parasites and bioengineering - backed chiefly by the infamous Umbrella Corporation - to control the citizens of sleepy rural Spain.

Gamers take control of special agent Leon S. Kennedy who, having survived what is a strong contender for Worst First Day ever at Racoon City PD, is now on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham - the US President's daughter. Unlike previous releases in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 4 shies away from its survival horror roots and instead delivers a more action-oriented experience, with Leon being pitted against hordes of advancing villagers and mutated monsters, such as El Gigante. This game was also the first to allow full aiming with the camera zooming in over Leon's shoulder, with players aiming a laser sight to where they want to shoot - a far cry from the up, down, straight ahead options in the first three games. With so much gear and weaponry available, inventory management was a huge priority, and many frantic minutes were spent trying to fit guns, ammo, and herbs together in some kind of ultra-violent pseudo-Tetris monstrosity.

In fact, Capcom has yet to better Resident Evil 4, and it is still the benchmark to which all titles since are measured against. It's balls-to-the-wall action gaming at its finest, with memorable boss encounters and some truly exhilarating scenarios.
- Jamie

3. Metroid Prime

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1994-2002. Eight years. That's how long the world had to wait to get a new entry in the Metroid series when Metroid Fusion came out. Hot on the heels of this, Metroid Prime launched as the first home entry in a long time, but also marked the first time the franchise stepped into 3D after long being anticipated on Nintendo 64 to no avail. Therefore, while Fusion felt similar to previous entries, the really big one that everyone was looking for was definitely Prime - and the end result was astounding.

Not only did the game look gorgeous, but it ran at a solid, constant 60 frames per second and supported progressive scan - at least everywhere but in Europe. It played well, too, and went on to be one of the highest-selling GameCube titles in North America, easily bypassing the million-unit mark in that region alone.

All these years later, its legacy lives on with a re-release on Wii in Metroid Prime Trilogy, supporting the arguably superior control scheme allowed by the Wii Remote and nunchuk combo, full widescreen support, and progressive scan in all regions at last. This version of the game, also available digitally on Wii U, still holds up fairly well in all departments and is a must-have. Anyone with a Wii U who has never played it should get the whole Trilogy, even if it's just for Metroid Prime alone.
- Rudy

2. Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Nintendo does a fighting game. It's really easy to pick up, but EVO maestros show that the scope for skilful play is seemingly endless, as is the amount of content crammed onto the disc, with so many characters, modes and options available it makes the head spin. Great for single-player, but it really comes to life in multiplayer, with free-for-all and team options, and the comprehensive stat tracking will keep the obsessed happy.
- Davy

When the first title, Super Smash Bros., was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999, it completely shattered expectations and became one of the most popular titles for the system. It was unlike any other fighting game available at the time. How do you top a success as massive as this?

You make it better. Super Smash Bros. Melee is a straight-up improvement from the previous entry in the series: better graphics, better music, new mechanics, new modes, more characters. Let's not forget the die-hard community surrounding this title; players are still finding new strategies and techniques, even after all this time. Talk about commitment!
- Carrick

1. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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"Never judge a book by its cover." Many people made that mistake back in 2003, when The Wind Waker came out. They saw the art style, and immediately dismissed it as "a kid's game." Those people missed out on one of the best 3D adventure experiences to appear on the GameCube.

As Link, the player had to travel the width and breadth of the Great Sea, defeat powerful foes, and collect a variety of weapons and tools, all with one goal in mind: to save his sister, Aryll.

Wait, what? That's right, Zelda doesn't appear proper until much later in the game, when the plot gets kicked into high gear. At first, though, Link just wants to save his sister from the clutches of the mysterious individual residing in the Forsaken Fortress. That's love.
- Carrick

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: The Wind Waker is an unbelievably gorgeous game, even when you take into account that it's now pushing fourteen years since its release. Of course, looking past that, there's a lot more going on underneath the surface. Fiendish puzzles, a cast of quirky characters, an arduous quest culminating in an epic final boss fight, a magical soundtrack that is both epic and moving all at once - in other words, pretty much everything that a Zelda game should be.

This is the game that showed that the series was capable of delivering genuine charm and soul in its titles, as well as spearheading the bold and fearless kind of game making that only a company like Nintendo could pull off. It goes to show that risks can pay dividends in the end; just as long as you have some grit, determination, and some wind in your sails to help you on your way.
- John S

It almost seems like the love for The Wind Waker has grown the more the years have gone by. Disregarding the initial dismay from many fans upon its reveal, the majority of people that gave this cel-shaded adventure the rightful chance to see how it stacked up to the likes of past greats like Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past found a game that buried itself into the hearts of its players, warming them with a delight rarely reproduced elsewhere in video games.

The Wind Waker brims with character, the unique residents of this gorgeously-crafted world expressing themselves in a way few other games did back then, with Link himself being the most demonstrative individual, pulling all manner of adorable faces to convey his emotions—fitting for a protagonist that has always kept schtum when communicating with others. The beautiful soundtrack works in tandem with the characters, scenarios and locations, further enhancing the current atmosphere and feelings with fitting themes and melodies. That simple "bom-bom, bom-bom" of the Forsaken Fortress encapsulates the sneaky—and cheeky—invading antics of Link, as he tip-toes around the dopey moblins' noses inside an empty barrel.

More than just how creative The Wind Waker is, though, it is the feeling of freedom that always comes up when fans talk about what they love about the game. Stepping onto Hyrule Field after exiting the Kokiri Forest in Ocarina of Time was a magical and unforgettable moment in itself, but the vastness of the Great Sea in The Wind Waker presented an entirely new sense of adventure, as Link sailed his merry little talking boat across the open world, seagulls flapping around the sail, and epic theme tune accompanying the ride to whichever distant destination the young hero had set his telescope on.

The joy from fans at the Wii U HD port announcement has shown that, following more than a generation of so many gloomy and muddy games, there is nothing quite like a title like The Wind Waker, which thrives on its innocent charm, colourful visuals and characters, and a heart-warming story that leads into a heroic quest to bring hope to the world. It is a game that is meant to get lost in, and encourages—and forces—players to smile and have fun. It has arguably yet to be bettered by any subsequent Legend of Zelda following it, and will always remain the GameCube's crowning achievement.
- Az

Do you agree with our list? How many GameCube games do you own from our top 20? Share your favourite titles and memories from the 2001 console below.

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The comments on Super Monkey Ball are spot on. I'm so glad to have found someone that holds it as highly as I do!

Also, everyone knows that the Cube is most beautiful in purple. 

The one major game that I would have liked to have seen in the top 20 was Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II. One of the best Star Wars games ever created, but also an incredible game in its own right.

It was very disappointing to hear that there was a completed Rogue Squadron trilogy game (consisting of Rogue Squadron I, II, and III levels plus new content and Wii Remote lightsaber dueling(!!) running at 60fps) that was never released.

Star Fox Assault was a favorite of mine, that also did not make the list. I had a ton of fun playing this both in single player and multiplayer versus modes.

Though I'm not surprised they didn't make the top 20, I had a lot of fun playing both Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Donkey Konga with the bongo drum controllers.

Cheesing It Up said:
The comments on Super Monkey Ball are spot on. I'm so glad to have found someone that holds it as highly as I do!

Also, everyone knows that the Cube is most beautiful in purple. 

Yay! Another Purple Cube fan! Smilie

Gamecube was fantastic! Such a great library of games and it had decent 3rd party support, too! So many great games! Including my favourite Zelda of them all, The Wind Waker.


( Edited 15.09.2016 22:51 by Marzy )

You filthy purple dweebs X) Did anyone get a system colour other than purple or black? I bought an orange spice controller. I'd have loved a console in that colour haha. I was really keen on getting my hands on a white controller, but never did get one in the end. Loved the Wavebird - my first wireless controller.

Second the Super Monkey Ball comment btw. It's the most Nintendo game that wasn't made by Nintendo - exactly the sort of thing they were striving for with the whole "you only need one button" thing that Miyamoto was blasting about when the GC was coming out. Ingeniously crafted game.

I adored the Cube. First console I could call my own, and had enough third party greats that I could live through that gen with only a GC. Really the last Nintendo console I loved, and had so many last games of their type on it, too - F-Zero GX, Paper Mario 2, traditional Star Fox. Just about everything on this list I loved, and more. It was the multiplayer machine - I lost months of my life to TimeSplitters 2 and Mario Kart. I may have more games on other consoles now, but I don't think I have one where almost my entire collection is just pure fun.

I remember when the Gamecube was phasing out in its last year and Argos were selling special edition white ones that came with Mario Strikers for super cheap. I was so tempted to get one at the time. I didn't get one in the end though.

I always wanted that orange one, too.

( Edited 16.09.2016 13:52 by Marzy )

Marzy said:
I remember when the Gamecube was phasing out in its last year and Argos were selling special edition white ones that came with Mario Strikers for super cheap. I was so tempted to get one at the time. I didn't get one in the end though.

I always wanted that orange one, too.

Yep. I think the white pads were only available in those bundles? Made me want one even more. In the end, I have black, orange, purple and Wavebird controllers.

Yep, I think so! Never saw them sold separately.

Here's a photo of the bundle!

Image for

I have 3 - count 'em - Gamecubes! Have 2 purple PAL consoles, each with a BB adaptor so I can play LAN Mario Kart DD and 1080 Avalanche (but rarely do). One of them has the GBA player perma-bolted to it (again - rarely used!) My 3rd one is a black Japanese model with matching controller - lovely.

Love the cube - and also love the way most of the 1st and 2nd party games have practically no load times.

Nice list with few surprises. I personally wouldn't put WIndwaker at the top but I can understand why it's there as it represents such a bold move resulting in a game almost as timeless as the peerless Link to the Past (The best Zelda game as far as I'm concerned).

Have an official 1019 memory card which is gigantic and use on my main console (though it sits in the Wii now)! Have a few standard "59s" for the others.

( Edited 16.09.2016 19:12 by davyK )

Had to buy a 1019 myself when I migrated to the Wii. Just convenient all around, instead of faffing around trying to work out which games are saved on which card!

Sonic_13 said:
The one major game that I would have liked to have seen in the top 20 was Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II. One of the best Star Wars games ever created, but also an incredible game in its own right.

Though I'm not surprised they didn't make the top 20, I had a lot of fun playing both Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Donkey Konga with the bongo drum controllers. 

Star Wars was in the number #21 position in the final tally. 
Jungle Beat was also amazing, I agree. Totally unique and pure gaming.

Flynnii (guest) 17.09.2016#11

I've still got GameCube controllers sealed away knowing that I'll be playing this for years to come. By and large my favourite Nintendo home console. The wavebird was also bloody brilliant at the time and today! For me, games like Starfox Adventures still holds up visually really well today. WaveRace blue storm is also another great example of this. Metal Gear Twin Snakes is also probably the best Metal Gear game out there! I also agree with everything on this list. It's a bloody hard job to order it as well!

I remember that GAME fucked up my preorder for the Cube. They gave my black one to someone else! So I had to wait 3 weeks until I could get one. I also had to travel 15 miles! I ended up going to pick it up on 7 June 2002! The day that England played Argentina! So public transport was fucked because everyone had taken the day off! At least I had smash bros from the start!

I also remember the McDonalds in my town had demo booths of GameCubes that had Burnout and Sonic Adventure 2, I spent so much time in Maccys just for that!
Hands down it is by and large my favourite library of Nintendo games!

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