It might be the lowest selling major home console from Nintendo—though the Wii U could steal that title if it doesn’t get its act together—but we have extremely fond memories of the GameCube. We love everything from its cute design that oozes ‘fun’ (even if its dimensions mean it isn’t a true cube) to its stellar catalogue of great games. The GameCube took ideas from its predecessor the N64 and refined them further, as well as adding plenty of fresh innovations of its own. There are just so many amazing games on the Cube that we simply couldn’t fit them all in to a Top 25 list. We’ve probably even forgotten to include a few great titles in the ‘honorable mentions’ section but we’re sure you’ll let us know about those in the comments. Don’t have a Cube? Don’t worry! If you live in one of the 100 million homes that owns a Wii then you’ll be pleased to know it’s backwards compatible! Unfortunately however the Wii U’s compatibility only stretches back to the Wii itself. Without any further delay, here are our Top 25 Best GameCube Games of All Time!
25. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Just barely making it on to our list, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes nabs a position not only for being a great game, but because it was such an important title for Nintendo fans at the time. After years of seeing PlayStation owners treated to excellent Metal Gear games, GameCube players could finally get in on the action too. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a faithful remake of the original Metal Gear Solid with better visuals, improved voice acting, new story elements and weapons, and various other gameplay tweaks. Essentially Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes takes an already classic title and makes it even better, earning a spot on our Top 25 Best GameCube Games list in the process.
24. Mario Power Tennis
Nintendo are the masters of taking niche activities like kart racing and packaging them into fun, accessible games that everyone can enjoy. This is most certainly true of Mario Power Tennis—you don’t have to be a tennis ace to fall in love this game. Mario Power Tennis picks up where the excellent Mario Tennis 64 left off by adding even more powerful shots, interesting power-ups, and exciting new environments to play in. Mario Power Tennis is easy to pick up but there are also many challenging techniques for dedicated players to master including multiple shot types from slices to top spins, and lobs to drop shots. The game also boasts a high level of replayability thanks to a multiplayer mode that is an absolute blast to play with three friends.
23. Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball was a fantastic launch title for the GameCube with a simple concept, to roll a ball around increasingly challenging mazes without falling off, harking back to that classic 80’s arcade hit Marble Madness. The core gameplay idea might be simple but the presentation was anything but with its gorgeous graphics, mind-bending puzzles to navigate, and physics and controls which were both spot-on. Oh and did we mention the ball you’re rolling around has an adorable monkey inside? It might not have had much impact on the gameplay (navigating a regular ball would have been just as challenging) but it was a cool, quirky touch that was so typical of Sega at the time. With countless bananas to collect and an ever-ticking clock to race against, Super Monkey Ball kept us glued to our GameCubes for hours on end.
22. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
As we were just saying about Mario Power Tennis, Nintendo has an uncanny knack for taking activities that otherwise might not interest us, and making them completely irresistible. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour proves this theory once more by taking a sport usually associated with polo-shirt-wearing retirees and making it into something that anyone can get into. Mario is back with his old gang of friends and they have injected a fresh sense of energy into this normally slower paced sport thanks to some insane power-ups and incredibly challenging Mario themed courses. Underneath the bells and whistles however lies a truly excellent golf game. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy it so much that you might even look at real golf in a new light. Speaking of which, maybe I’ll hit the links this weekend…
No Best GameCube Games list could be complete without Suda51’s cult classic Killer7. This is one of those ‘love it or hate it’ games that split gamers and critics back when it released in 2005. On the one hand it can be considered a fairly clunky game even by the standards of the day with its difficult controls and numerous frustrating gameplay elements and puzzles. Nonetheless its unique visual style and quirky, even surreal story elements made it a fan favorite, rocketing Suda51 and his studio Grasshopper Manufacture into the limelight. Much like the more recent cult hit Deadly Premonition, Killer7 proves that sometimes a game doesn’t need to be polished or even ‘good’ by conventional standards to be enjoyable and highly memorable. In a world of big budget ‘AAA’ titles and annualized sequels, Killer7 is a breath of fresh air.