The Nintendo GameCube followed the release of two major consoles, the Gameboy advance, and Nintendo 64. Fan favorites like Mario party, and Zelda found their way to this console, and revolutionized gaming.

Travel through the world of Hyrule, or experience the cold confines of space. The GameCube had some of the best games released in gaming history. Join us as we take a deep dive into the top classic GameCube games of all time.

When we critique GameCube games we take a holistic approach to deciding what makes that game excellent. With multiple excellent releases on the GameCube, sifting through which games deserve the top spot is a tricky situation.

We rate the best GameCube games in existence based on the following factors:

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  • Genre defining gameplay
  • Streetcred
  • Fun factor

GENRE DEFINING GAMEPLAY

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In order for a game to be ranked among the best on the GameCube, it must have genre defining gameplay that sets it apart from other games that have released on the console.

Games that take a novel approach to combat, like Zelda Twilight Princess, make the list because they provide players with an experience that cannot be found elsewhere. If a game provides a genuinely unique experience to players, it will definitely be rated highly.


STREETCRED

Streetcred is an important factor in deciding which GameCube games are the best. If you talk to folks who had the chance to play the GameCube in the past, many will reference the same games.

Super Smash Bros Melee, for example, is a cult classic and still has a major competitive following with tournaments happening on a yearly basis.

We use sites like metacritic to track the general popularity of games as they have ratings based on an aggregate of user reviews and professional reviews. They are a reliable source for discerning how folks feel about the games we review.

FUN FACTOR

The last factor we pay attention to is how enjoyable the game is. Some games might not redefine the genre, but they become great by providing the player genuine enjoyment.

Games that provide players with fun, like split screen co-op games, are usually rated highly because of the memories they leave players with.  

10 BEST GAMECUBE GAMES OF ALL TIME

1. CUSTOM ROBO

Custom Robo - Gamecube
  • Jump into mechanized melee in the single-player role-playing game, as you create Custom Robos to lead into battle
  • Choose from over 200 different parts and test your customized robot in 30 different combat arenas
  • Battle it out in multiplayer mode -- four people on one screen, testing their robot-building skills in frenetic combat

In Custom Robo, players take control of Robos, customizable holograms that can battle with one another. Each Robo can be equipped with a series of offensive and defensive weapons that change their combat capabilities.

Robos fight in arenas known as Holosseum decks. There are a variety of Holosseum decks to fight on including frozen gelid plains and hellish volcanic zones.

Beyond the customization of Robos and Holossuems, is an intricate action RPG filled with many tropes from the genre. Combat is both action-packed and deeply tactical. Players have to consider the frame of the Robo they are using, and pair skills that synergize well with each Robo.

Custom Robo has received a user score of 8.2 on metacritic. Most folks enjoyed the deep customization this game provided. People also enjoyed the high replay ability of this game.

Custom Robo supports up to 4 players on one console making it a great game to play with friends.   

We rate Custom Robo a 4 out of 5.


2. SONIC ADVENTURE BATTLE 2

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Sonic Adventure 2 Battle - GameCube
  • 12 playable characters each with different story lines.
  • A wide array of game modes including various styles of gameplay.
  • Supports two player split screen so that you can share the fun with a friend.

Sonic Adventure Battle 2 is a large game that allows players to play as numerous characters from the Sonic universe. With the introduction of a new anti-hero, Shadow, players can even team up with the ranks of Dr. Eggman to take on missions.

Sonic Adventure Battle 2 changed the Sonic formula by providing players numerous game types to select from. Players could race one another head to head, or take part in a treasure hunt with characters like Knuckles and Rouge.

Sonic Adventure Battle 2 also features a widely popular soundtrack that still garners high YouTube views to this day. On metacritic, Sonic Adventure Battle 2 has a general score of 8.4 making it a favorable game.

Sonic Adventure Battle 2’s greatest contribution to the GameCube is its variety. Excellent gameplay mechanics, an incredible soundtrack, and split screen capabilities make Sonic Adventure Battle 2 one of the best GameCube games.

We rate Sonic Adventure Battle 2 a 5 out of 5.


3. METROID PRIME

Metroid Prime
  • This is the first 3-D game of the Metroid series.

Metroid Prime has players take control of space bounty hunter Samus Aran in an excellent first-person shooter action adventure game. Players are tasked with discovering the cause of an infection, Phazon, that is wreaking havoc on Tallon IV.

Metroid Prime brings a darker story that places Samus on a world that is overrun with infection. Storytelling was a combination of cutscenes, and pieces of lore you could discover while exploring the world.

Metroid Prime was the first Metroid game to feature the first-person perspective, and place Samus into a 3D world. This is widely considered to be a masterpiece.  It has received a metacritic score of 97 and is considered to be the best GameCube game of 2002.

Metroid Prime combines the first-person shooter genre, and adventure genre in a way not many games have been able to replicate. Built on Nintendo’s keen eye to level design, Metroid Prime represents a deep gameplay world that deserves to be explored.

We rate Metroid Prime a 5 out of 5.


4. LEGO STAR WARS: THE VIDEO GAME

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
  • Compete in action packed lightsaber duels against Darth Maul
  • Experience mind-blowing space battles in your starfighter
  • Use the Force to construct items that access secret areas and help you overcome obstacles

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game combines two industry favorites, Lego and Star Wars. The result is a game that’s core design is based on accessibility and cooperative fun.

Players can choose from 56 different characters that span Star Wars Episode I, II, II, and A New Hope. Play as General Grievous or even a Wookie! Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was a down to earth fun game that many parents could play alongside their kids.

The level design, and mission design structure in Lego Star Wars: The Video Game is exceptional. The combat is forgiving, with a learning curve that will respect most gamers time.

This game has received a metacritic score of 79 meaning the game was generally well received. We include this game on the list because it truly provided family fun on the console.

We rate Lego Star Wars: The Video Game a 4 out of 5.


5. SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE

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Super Mario Sunshine
  • Play as Mario and use your water cannon to clean the graffiti and fight back against angry villagers

Super Mario Sunshine is an action adventure platformer that proved to be a certified hit on the GameCube. When a trip to Delfino island goes horribly wrong, Mario must solve a series of puzzles and challenges to get down to the bottom of who is vandalizing the island.

Super Mario Sunshine introduced players to the FLUDD (Flash Liquadizer Ultra Dousing Device) that operates as a cleaning multi-tool. Players use this tool in various creative ways to complete trials of Delfino island.

It is commonly argued that the FLUDD changed the way Mario games played and ushered in a new form of design for Mario themed games. This game was well received and currently stands as one of the highest rated GameCube games on metacritic with a score of 92.

We think Super Mario Sunshine offers players a unique glimpse at some of the first novel game design features that would go on to define Mario games. Super Mario Sunshine is a fun romp, and a different Mario adventure than players are used to.

We rate Super Mario Sunshine a 4 out of 5.


6. SUPER SMASH BROS MELEE

Super Smash Bros Melee
  • Number of Players: Offline: 1-4 Players
  • Number of Players: Simultaneous: 2-4 Players
  • More characters and stages are unlocked as hidden objectives are met, and coins rewarded for playing in all modes can be...

Super Smash Bros Melee is a cult classic that was released following the success of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. Melee features a large cast of Nintendo characters covering Nintendo creations like Zelda, Donkey King, Pokemon, Metroid, and even Fire Emblem.

Super Smash Bros Melee Is easily the most iconic game of the Nintendo GameCube. Players could battle it out in free for all modes or team-based modes with a number of different objectives. Combat is tight requiring precise combat and great technical skill.

For most people, Super Smash Bros Melee is played as a competitive party game where you use items to gain the advantage. For folks that play the game today, Super Smash Bros Melee is a high intensity competitive game with a very active community.

Just watch this video to see the high speed and precision that folks use to play Melee at the highest levels.

We rate Super Smash Bros Melee a rating of 5 out of 5. We consider this game to be the best game released for the GameCube ever.


7. VIEWTIFUL JOE

Viewtiful Joe - Gamecube
  • Innovative 2-D or 3-D hybrid action and stunning visual effects
  • Fight evil-doers as the super coolsuper hero Viewtiful Joe and rescue you're girl
  • Vividly comic and funky cartoon-style visuals

Viewtiful Joe is a campy, funny, and endearing side-scrolling beat ‘em up game. This game plays like an action-packed cinematic reel with combat taking place in both the foreground and the background.

Viewtiful Joe sets itself apart from other beat ‘em up games by including a unique mechanic called VFX Powers. VFX Powers transform the game into a film reel where time is either slowed down or sped up. Players use this mechanic to overcome a variety of challenges, and ultimately to look cool.

Viewtiful Joe is considered a masterpiece and has excellent Streetcred. Metacritic has aggregated a total score of 93 for Viewtiful Joe, proving it is widely regarded as exceptional.

This game is stylish, humorous, and an absolute blast to play. The world Viewtiful Joe inhabits is well designed and will definitely intrigue players in 2018.

We rate Viewtiful Joe a 5 out of 5.


8.LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Set in an era after the events in The Ocarina Of Time, this incredible adventure takes a different young hero named Link...
  • Link's sister Aryll has been taken by a monstrous bird. Link sets sail to track down the bird and get her back --...
  • As you face monsters and try to think your way around obstacles, you'll earn the Wind Waker -- a special conductor's...

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is visually stunning and adds a cartoon like visage over the land of Hyrule. Link must travel the world to help free his sister from the evil sorcerer Ganon. Along the way Link meets powerful allies such as the pirate Tetra, and a talking boat the King of Red Lions.

Wind Waker is an absolute joy to play. A large portion of the game is spent traversing the map to get to different parts of the world. Travel takes place on the King of Red Lions. Eight directional winds can control the sail to guide the player in various directions.

Players could control the current of the wind by performing different melodies with a baton. Precision in terms of melody and time signature was necessary to control the wind, and even change the time of day.

Critically the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker ranks among one of the best games in existence. This game is a must play.

We rate this game a 5 out of 5.


9. SOUL CALIBUR 2

Soul Calibur 2 - PlayStation 2
  • 13 historic fighters
  • 7 exciting modes of play
  • Collect 200 different weapons

Soul Calibur 2 is the second release of the popular Soul Calibur franchise. It was first released in Japan, and then summarily brought over to America.

Players can select from a number of fighters, including Link, to engage in weapon-based combat. Timing is very tight, yet combat is not too punishing for newcomers to the series.

This game ranks as one of the best games for the Nintendo GameCube because of the tightness in combat, and its accessibility. Someone new to the fighting game genre could pick this game up and learn it in a matter of hours.

We rate Soul Calibur 2 a 4 out of 5.


10. RESIDENT EVIL 4

Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition
  • Legendary Visuals - Resident Evil 4 features a breathtaking visual style and effects.
  • Behind the Camera View - The camera follows you from behind and allows for intuitive and comfortable movement in this...
  • Hordes of Enemies - Tackle creatures that defy the laws of nature, including horrific new creatures infested by a threat...

Resident Evil 4 is a game that has received critical acclaim for its excellence in tackling the survivor horror genre and in revolutionizing the third person shooter genre.

Players take control of Leon S. Kennedy, a US special agent who is tasked with rescuing the President’s daughter from a patristic cult in rural Spain.

Resident Evil 5 revolutionized gaming by including an over the shoulder camera that was used for shooting as opposed to a first-person camera. The over the shoulder camera made combat feel more fluid and cinematic.

In addition, Resident Evil 5 included contextual commands that would appear depending on the action that you needed to take. This changed video game design by providing designers with a way to make worlds more interactive in meaningful ways.

We rate Resident Evil 4 a 5 out of 5.

BUYER’S GUIDE

Although we have provided you with the top GameCube games of all time, you may want to explore other games that exist for the GameCube.

We recommend that players consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to buy a game for the GameCube:

  • Research narrative
  • Watch gameplay reviews

Narrative drives a game. Make sure you are interested in the narrative of a game before purchasing it.

There are many folks on YouTube who provide in depth reviews of video games. Seek a review out for the video game you are interested in before purchasing it.

THE BEST GAMECUBE GAMES ARE INCREDIBLE

Each GameCube game that we have listed is considered to be a masterpiece. We believe that these games are well worth the hunt in tracking down physical copies.

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