Gamer Koala

The Best GameCube Games of All Time

The GameCube was Nintendo’s fourth home console, released in 2001 in North America. Prior to the GameCube, Nintendo had held out on disc-based games, preferring to stick with cartridges for the Nintendo 64 (despite a failed attempt to create a disc-drive add-on that eventually became the Sony Playstation).

The system perhaps suffered from limited online capabilities, but Nintendo did deliver some unique features. The ability to use a Game Boy Advance as a secondary screen and controller on a few games was quite cool (and something they took further with the Wii U system two generations later).

By the time the GameCube was discontinued, it had amassed a decent library of games. So join us as we rank what we believe are the 10 best games for the GameCube!

10. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

Cover art of Star Wars Rogue Leader Rogue Squadron II for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2001)
Developer: LucasArts
Game Type: Arcade Flight
Multiplayer: No

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader puts players in the cockpit of iconic Star Wars starfighters for intense aerial battles. As a pilot in the Rebel Alliance, you engage in thrilling missions inspired by the original Star Wars trilogy.

The game’s stunning visuals, immersive sound design, and exhilarating dogfights captured the essence of the Star Wars universe. Rogue Leader showcased the GameCube’s graphical capabilities and offered an immersive and thrilling experience for Star Wars fans and space combat enthusiasts.

9. Pikmin 2

Cover art of Pikmin 2 for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Pikmin 2

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2004)
Developer: Nintendo
Game Type: Strategy Puzzle
Multiplayer: Yes

Pikmin 2 continues the delightful and strategic adventures of Captain Olimar as he enlists the help of colorful plant-like creatures called Pikmin. In this real-time strategy game, players command armies of Pikmin to navigate hazardous environments, solve puzzles, and collect valuable treasures.

Pikmin 2 expanded on the mechanics of the original, introducing new Pikmin types, intricate cave systems, and a co-op mode. Its cute visuals, fun gameplay loop, and surprising strategic depth made it a unique and beloved title worth of this ranking.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Cover art of LoZ Twilight Princess for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2006)
Developer: Nintendo
Game Type: ARPG
Multiplayer: No

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess takes Link on another epic (and this time quite dark) journey through the kingdom of Hyrule. Players must free the land from the clutches of the Twilight Realm and confront a menacing new foe. The game’s expansive world, challenging dungeons, and engaging storyline captivated players with its sense of scale and exploration.

Twilight Princess pushed the GameCube’s graphical capabilities to new heights, creating a visually stunning and immersive experience. With its mature themes, memorable characters, and cinematic presentation, Twilight Princess is one of the most significant entries in the Zelda series.

7. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Cover art of Mario Kart Double Dash for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Mario Kart Double Dash!!

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2003)
Developer: Nintendo
Game Type: Racing
Multiplayer: Yes

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! takes the beloved kart racing franchise to new and interesting heights with its dynamic two-character per kart gimmick… err, feature. Players choose a duo from the extensive cast of Mushroom Kingdom characters and race against each other on various tracks. The objective is to outmaneuver opponents, use power-ups, and cross the finish line first.

With its addictive gameplay, exciting races, and chaotic multiplayer battles, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! became a staple for parties and gaming sessions with friends. The game’s vibrant visuals, tight controls, and unique track designs made it a timeless classic for GameCube owners.

6. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Cover art of Paper Mario Thousand-Year Door for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2004)
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Game Type: RPG
Multiplayer: No

Twilight Princess isn’t the only RPG on this list! It’s time to talk about Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. As the paper-thin hero, Mario, players embark on a quest to rescue Princess Peach and uncover the secrets of the mysterious Thousand-Year Door. The game features turn-based battles, witty dialogue, and a cute, engaging storyline.

The Thousand-Year Door’s unique paper aesthetic, clever gameplay mechanics and memorable characters made it a standout title. This delightful RPG demonstrated the incredible versatility of the Mario universe and offered a delightful journey that blended humor, strategy, and heartfelt moments.

Nintendo has announced a remake for Switch that will debut in 2024. We can’t wait to play this amazing game with a fresh new coat of paint!

5. Super Mario Sunshine

Cover art of Super Mario Sunshine for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Super Mario Sunshine

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2002)
Developer: Nintendo
Game Type: Platform
Multiplayer: No

More Mario? You know it. Super Mario Sunshine brings the beloved plumber to the sunny, vibrant Isle Delfino for a vacation-turned-adventure. Armed with a water-spraying backpack known as FLUDD, Mario must clean up the island’s pollution and save Princess Peach from the clutches of the villainous Bowser.

The game’s unique mechanics, including FLUDD’s various nozzles, introduced exciting platforming challenges and inventive puzzles. Super Mario Sunshine’s tropical setting, bright visuals, and delightful gameplay made it a delightful addition to the Mario franchise and a must-play for GameCube owners.

4. Resident Evil 4

Cover art of Resident Evil 4 for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Resident Evil 4

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2005)
Developer: Capcom
Game Type: Survival Horror / Shooter
Multiplayer: No

Resident Evil 4 launched as a GameCube exclusive, showing Nintendo’s commitment to more than just “kid friendly” games. As Leon S. Kennedy, players find themselves in a remote European village plagued by a sinister cult. Armed with an arsenal of weapons, you must navigate the treacherous town, solve puzzles, and survive relentless encounters with terrifying enemies.

The tense atmosphere, strategic combat, and gripping storyline made Resident Evil 4 an instant classic. Its over-the-shoulder perspective, innovative controls, and adrenaline-pumping setpieces redefined what a horror game could be, cementing its status as a GameCube classic.

3. Metroid Prime

Cover art of Metroid Prime for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Metroid Prime

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2002)
Developer: Retro Studios
Game Type: Action Adventure
Multiplayer: No

Metroid Prime revolutionized the beloved Metroid series by transitioning it into a first-person adventure. Players once again assume the role of Samus Aran, who is exploring the mysterious planet of Tallon IV and unraveling its secrets. The atmospheric environments, intense combat, and new immersive exploration makes Metroid Prime a classic.

But it really can’t be overstated… Metroid Prime’s seamless blending of action, exploration, and puzzle-solving created an experience that redefined the genre and solidified Samus Aran as a gaming icon. It was a fantastic evolution of a series that doesn’t get nearly enough new releases!

2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Cover art of LoZ The Windwaker for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2003)
Developer: Nintendo
Game Type: ARPG
Multiplayer: No

Ready to set sail? The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker takes place in a vast, cel-shaded open world of islands and oceans. This time, Link must rescue his sister and save the world from an ancient evil. To do so, he sets sail on his trusty boat across the Great Sea.

The Wind Waker’s charming art style, memorable characters, and epic quests set a new high mark for the series. Sailing the open waters, uncovering hidden islands, and delving into dungeons filled with puzzles and enemies made this entry in the Zelda series a fan favorite.

If you’re a fan of action RPGs, sailing, or Zelda games, you owe it to yourself to play The Wind Waker.

1. Super Smash Bros. Melee

The Best Gamecube Game of All Time

Cover art of Super Smash Bros Melee for Nintendo Gamecube

Game Info – Super Smash Bros. Melee

U.S. Release: Nintendo GameCube (2001)
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Game Type: Fighting
Multiplayer: Yes

Super Smash Bros. Melee takes the chaotic brawls of Nintendo’s beloved characters to new heights. Players in this multiplayer fighting game choose from various iconic characters and engage in frantic battles across dynamic stages. The objective is simple: knock your opponents off the screen and be the last one standing.

The game’s fast-paced gameplay, precise controls, and expansive roster of characters made it an instant hit. Super Smash Bros. Melee became a staple in competitive gaming due to its depth, balance, and sheer fun factor, solidifying its position as the ultimate multiplayer experience on the GameCube.