7 Reasons, Every Retro Gamer Should Own & Play a Game Cube
The late 1990s and early 2000s produced some of the most beloved retro games in history. Most often, we thank the N64, the original PlayStation, and the original Xbox for that.
Soon after this era, gamers upgraded to newer PlayStations and Xboxes. And let’s not forget Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii, the first console designed primarily for motion-sensing games.
But we are forgetting something, aren’t we? What about the Nintendo GameCube?
Why do gamers so often overlook the GameCube when reminiscing through retro gaming history? It certainly isn’t for lack of playability.
The GameCube has an excellent library of games from our favorite game franchises. Some of these titles are considered the best in their respective series, like Mario Kart: Double Dash!
That’s why, today, we’re going to show our love for Nintendo’s most overlooked console. Read on to learn 7 compelling reasons why every retro gamer should own a GameCube.
1. Excellent Sequels/Spin-Offs
There’s a reason that die-hard Nintendo fans are so committed to the brand. Nintendo makes the best first-party video games on the market.
In that respect, the GameCube doesn’t disappoint. Some of Nintendo’s best sequels and spin-offswere released on GameCube. Sequels include:
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Mario Party 4-7
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$
- F-Zero GX
- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Star Fox: Assault
- Waverace: Blue Storm
Spin-offs and spin-off sequels include:
- Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
- Donkey Konga 1-3
- Kirby Air Ride
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
- Luigi’s Mansion
- Metroid Prime 1-2
- Pokémon Colosseum
- Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
- Star Fox Adventures
- Super Mario Strikers
- Wario World
And besides first-party titles, Nintendo acquired and released several other familiar properties on the GameCube, including:
- Sonic Adventures and other Sonic the Hedgehog spin-offs
- 5 Pac-Man games
- Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (a GameCube-exclisive remake of Metal Gear Solid)
- Soulcalibur II (The exclusive GameCube version with Link as a playable character)
- 3 Super Monkey Ball games
- 3 installments of Phantasy Star Online (Episode III is exclusive to GameCube)
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II and III
- Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix
The truly mind-blowing part is that most of the games we just listed are exclusive to the GameCube. To this day, they’re not even available on the Nintendo eShop or anywhere else. Want to play Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Party 4-7, or Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes? Then you’ll have to buy a GameCube.
2. Fantastic Original Games
There are also some amazing original games that made their debut on GameCube, such as:
- Animal Crossing
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
- Pikmin 1-2
- Chibi Robo
- Baten Kaitos Origins
- Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- Skies of Arcadia Legends (an enhanced, GameCube-exclusive port of the Sega Dreamcast original)
Of these, only the Baten Kaitos games are available on a current console. (The Nintendo Switch release is scheduled for mid-2023.) The rest are only available on GameCube, Dreamcast, and/or Wii.
3. Hits from Other Consoles
There are also many excellent compilations of classic games released on GameCube:
- The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition
- Sonic Mega Collection
- Sonic Gems Collection
- Midway Arcade Treasures 1-3
- Namco Museum
- Namco Museum 50th Anniversary
- Mega Man Anniversary Collection
- Mega Man X Collection
- Nintendo Puzzle Collection
Many of the best cross-console games and series made it onto the GameCube as well:
- Tomb Raider: Legend
- Beyond Good and Evil
- Tales of Symphonia
- Timesplitters 2
- Timesplitters: Future Perfect
- The Simpsons: Hit and Run
- X-Men Legends 1-2
- 3 Viewtiful Joe games
- 3 Prince of Persia games, including The Sands of Time
- Spider-Man 1-2
- 6 Resident Evil games
- 4 James Bond 007 games
- 8 Tom Clancy-branded stealth/shooter games
- 80 or so sports games from your favorite sports video game franchises.
So you see, unlike the Nintendo 64, the GameCube has plenty more to offer than just first-party titles.
4. Excellent Multiplayer Fun
If multiplayer gaming is your thing, the GameCube is essential to your collection. It has an excellent variety of non-exclusive multiplayer hits, like Timesplitters 2, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and Need for Speed: Underground 2.
But the best multiplayer titles are the GameCube exclusives, like TLoZ: The Four Swords Adventures, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Party 4-7. Don’t forget the 4 Super Mario-themed sports games on GameCube: Golf: Toadstool Tour, Power Tennis, Superstar Baseball, and Strikers (soccer).
5. Less “Gimmicky” Gameplay Than the Wii
Pictured: The thing that ain’t broke (and don’t need to be fixed).
Plus, the GameCube is the only way to play the original—and arguably best—versions of some ofthese games, including TLoZ: Twilight Princess and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. To illustrate, many have complained about the multiplayer experience of the Nintendo Switch Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition. It exchanges the bonding experience of 4 buddies playing in one living room for clunky remote play online, among other problems.
As for the Wii version of Twilight Princess, where you swish the Wiimote like a sword—why did Wii developers constantly suspect that button-smashing gamers are secretly harboring the physical agility of actual ninjas? If we knew how to sword fight in real life, we’d probably be doing something more impressive than sitting on our couches and staring at game screens. Maybe it’s just that, compared to the Japanese gaming demographic, American gamers are, um, “differently-abled.”
6. Many Ways to Play
Going into more depth, the GameCube version of Crystal Chronicles requires 1 GameCube console, 1 game disc, 4 Game Boy Advance consoles, and 4 GameCube Game Boy Advance link cables for a multiplayer game. The same is true of TLoZ: The Four Swords Adventures.
While this is expensive and complicated, it also makes for a pretty unique gaming experience. And besides these 2 examples, there are over 60 other uses for the GameCube Game Boy Advance link cable.
Furthermore, the GameCube has many other innovative peripherals and features. Most, like the DK Bongos and the Action Pad (dance pad), are compatible with very few titles.
More notably, though, GameCube’s Game Boy Player allows gamers to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges on their TVs. It’s the successor to SNES’s Super Game Boy and the first, last, and only official Nintendo peripheral to play GBA cartridges on a TV screen.
7. Online/LAN Play (Yes, It Still Works)
Speaking of different ways to play, many GameCube games have online features. At this point, though, you’d probably assume that these features are discontinued like the Wii Shop Channel. If so, you’re partially right.
First, understand that there are only 8 GameCube games that support online/LAN play, and only through the sold-separately GameCube Broadband or Modem adaptor. Most of the compatible games support LAN play but not online features. The only games with online play are Homeland, a Japan-only RPG, and Phantasy Star Online I, II, Plus, and III.
The official servers for Phantasy Star Online were discontinued in 2007. Fortunately, there are fan-maintained servers that are still in use today! So, yes, you can still play your GameCube online in 2023.
As for GameCube LAN parties, that works, too. The best example is Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Imagine: 8 consoles, 8 screens, and 16 players competing for the gold, Mario Kart-style!
Every Retro Gamer Should Own a GameCube
It’s official. The world is long overdue for a GameCube comeback.
If you don’t have one, get one. Shop our Selection of Nintendo GameCube for all the GameCube consoles, controllers, games, and accessories you need.