The lights are on
It wasn’t the most popular console of the last generation, and even
stalwart Nintendo fans admit that the system had its share of dry spells.
But while supporters in both Sony and Microsoft camps liked to point and laugh
at the little purple box with a handle, this list of 25 titles proves the
GameCube was no joke.
25 Luigi’s MansionHe may not quite measure up to his
older brother, but Luigi held his own in this delightful adventure, which saw
him sucking up ghosts with a hefty Dirt Devil.24 Tales of
SymphoniaSymphonia received praise for its beautiful art style and
engaging real-time battle system, and rightly so. This was one of the finest
RPGs for the system.23 TimeSplitters 2With levels
that ranged from the Wild West to a futuristic Tokyo, this often-silly FPS had
some great multiplayer and a control system that felt just right.
22 Killer 7Original? Yes. Confusing? A little.
Insane? Definitely. Killer 7’s stylish cel-shaded graphics, intriguing story,
and unorthodox gameplay made it a standout title.21 Super Monkey
BallWhile many companies focused on production values and narrative
during this console generation, Sega put a monkey inside a ball and focused on a
simple play mechanic that was surprisingly fun.20
IkarugaAnother fine Dreamcast port, this chaotic top-down space
shooter redefined pandemonium, allowing players to swap the color of their ships
in order to absorb different types of enemy fire.19 Prince of
Persia seriesThe Prince of Persia franchise was all but a dead
franchise until Ubisoft delivered this a trilogy of time-bending action
platformers that reinvigorated the series — and the genre.18
F-Zero GXWonder what it’s like to race hovercrafts at warp nine?
F-Zero has you covered. Not many games could keep up with this futuristic
racer’s smooth framerate, challenging courses, or four-player twitch
gameplay.[PageBreak]17 Resident Evil and Resident Evil
ZeroResident Evil fans were well off even before RE 4. In the span
of less than a year, the GameCube became home to two exclusives: a terrifying
remake to the 32-bit survival horror classic, and a revealing
prequel.16 Skies of Arcadia LegendsThis fine
Dreamcast RPG featuring sky pirates and large ship battles got a second life
with this GameCube remake. This version also fixed some of the original’s
problems and came packed with a slew of new quests and
characters.15 SSX 3With peaks this high and tricks
this outrageous, EA only needed one mountain to create the wildest snowboarding
game to ever hit the slopes.14 Pikmin
seriesLeave it to Nintendo to create one of the finest and most
endearing RTS titles for console. Using the bizarre Pikmin plant creatures to
dig up the missing pieces of a spaceship is the only kind of weeding we
enjoy.13 Animal CrossingWe can pay off our
mortgage, write letters to our friends, and run errands for our neighbors in
real life, but somehow doing it in Nintendo’s anthropomorphic world was more
fun.12 Beyond Good & EvilThis unique action
adventure title attracted a strong cult following for a reason. The kid-friendly
atmosphere and slapstick humor were supported by BG&E’s deeper narrative and
well constructed puzzles.11
Metal Gear Solid: Twin SnakesSillicon Knights’ update to what is
arguably the PSone’s finest title, Twin Snakes gave us sharper graphics, better
sneaking controls, and new extended cutscenes. [PageBreak]10
Soul Calibur IIThe Soul Calibur franchise is Namco’s love letter to the
fighting game community. Soul Calibur II was one of the most beautiful and
balanced 3D fighters on any system, but the GameCube version had the added bonus
of letting us play as everyone’s favorite green tunic-wearing elf.9
Mario Kart: Double Dash!Mario Kart games are always more fun with a
group of people, but Double Dash actually played differently when you were with
friends. By throwing two people in the same kart, players could focus on
specific tasks and dominate the tracks together.8
Viewtiful Joe seriesDevil May Cry and Okami mastermind Hideki Kamiya
delivered these comic-themed side-scrolling brawlers, and we never thanked him
enough. Viewtiful Joe won over gamers with its inventive use of 2D sidescrolling
in 3D panoramas. The remarkable series also featured a deep combat system that
let players control time, and was so full of charm it broke into the mainstream
media with its own anime spinoff.7
Super Mario SunshineNot many people argue that Super Mario Sunshine is
the best Mario title ever, but even a sub-par game starring the mustachioed
plumber ends up being one of the most memorable games of its generation. This
time Mario traveled across the exotic locals of a tropical resort, cleaning up
graffiti with a giant Super Soaker. What else can we say? Even the guy’s
terrible vacations are a blast.6
Metroid Prime seriesHow do you revive one of the most beloved 2D
franchises after an eight-year hiatus? Give it to an unknown Texas studio,
Retro, and turn it into a first-person shooter. The development of Metroid Prime
certainly didn’t take the obvious route, but its results were impressive. These
two Metroid Prime titles gave players a giant web of interconnected levels to
explore, filled them with creative and puzzle-laden environments, and wrapped it
all with a memorable art style that still holds up.5
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue LeaderIt’s strange to think a
Star Wars game that didn’t feature lightsabers, Jedi, or even the Force would be
one of the franchise’s premier titles. But if you’ve played this gorgeous space
shooter, you understand why. As one of the only GameCube titles to use bump
mapping and multi-texturing, Rogue Leader looked stunning. The flight combat
offered a big challenge, but that just made commanding your squad behind the
tight controls of these Rebel crafts all the more thrilling.4
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s RequiemEternal Darkness didn’t just scare
you; it haunted you. The game featured a layered plot that sent gamers all over
the world to different historical periods, but the real draw to Silicon Knights’
masterpiece was that it screwed with your head more than a gallery of M.C.
Escher paintings. The game convinced many players that their system was
possessed when their world turned upside down or the controller suddenly
“disconnected.” We’re surprised no one has tapped into this kind of madness
Super Smash Bros. MeleeThere are games that focus on fan service,
and then there is Smash Bros. When it came to giving bright-eyed Nintendo fans
what they wanted, Melee was in a league of its own, as it threw every popular
Nintendo franchise into one big melting pot. Many deride the game for its
spastic nature, but whether you’re pitting video game legends like Pikachu and
Donkey Kong against each other or working your way through the myriad challenges
it offered, the game was just plain entertaining. How do you complain about
The Legend of Zelda seriesFew series manage to be as consistently
stellar as The Legend of Zelda. If Nintendo continues to innovate its gameplay
with creative puzzles and dungeons, fans may never grow tired of Link’s
adventures. The GameCube was blessed with two such adventures. The cel-shaded
Wind Waker gave us a chance to control the wind and explore a vast ocean, and
the gritty Twilight Princess saw Link exploring his animalistic nature as he
transformed into a wolf and traveled into a parallel twilight
Resident Evil 4There is a reason the upcoming Resident Evil 5
doesn’t stray too far from the formula established in this game – it’s already
pretty close to perfect. A few other RE titles appear further down this list,
but Resident Evil 4 stands out from the pack. When Capcom rebooted the series,
it made all the right choices, designing a fresh control scheme, setting a tense
action-packed atmosphere, and crafting some of the most impressive graphics of
its generation. These changes not only made RE 4 the finest title in an already
excellent series, but the best GameCube title period.
Email the author Ben Reeves, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Thanks for posting these 'Top 25' articles. It brought back a lot of memories playing these games, both for GameCube and Playstation 2. I'm going to go out to my local Gamestop and purchase a few of these titles that I so dearly miss playing years ago.
Nice list. It's missing Baten Kaitos.
I like how clicking the link for the next page takes me to it immediately, but it leaves me at the bottom of the page. Is there any way to have it start off at the top?
The screenshot for "Tales of Symphonia" is from the Wii sequel Dawn of the New World...
The Metal Gear solid: Twin Snakes screen has Meryl staring at Solid's butt or Mantis's crotch...
Bowser in the Super Mario pose for the Super Smash Bros. Melee shot is hilarious.
Wow. Reading this post brought back a ton of great memories. There are four games here that were just amazing to me.
Pikmin, Sunshin, Zelda, and Resident Evil 4.
Omg, I cant believe I forgot to mention Luigi's Mansion. This one specially brought back a-lot of great memories. haha. oh, the memories. lol.
Pretty accurate in my opinion
I agree with pretty much the entire order of this list. Good feature.
Ah, good old Gamecube.
Man,once I saw the Mario sunshine pic it brought back memories of how awesome it was no doubt about it.and luigi's mansion gave 6 and 7 yr olds to frights just by the sounds and the controller rumble.Touche gamecube i'm eating my own words from back then. O.o ;-)
This list was also in Game Informer. They had one for each last-gen system. Time Splitters 2 and RE4 are favorites of mine, but NOTHING can eclipse my love of The Legend of Zelda.
Cool But I would have put Paper Mario The Thousand Year door on the list!
Sweet a whole console generation summed up in 25 games. Now to start playing.
God all these games were so great, though i wouldve been unable to pick #1 between zelda and RE4, they're both amazing
I wish I could have played all of these games.
Sorry, Ben, but for the Tales of Symphonia entry, you used an image from its sequel, Dawn of the New World.
Good times good times
Not to nitpick, but the screen shot for Tales of Symphonia is from Dawn of the New World, the Wii release, as opposed to the original gamecube Symphonia.