I’ll never forget the months my brothers and I spent pitching my parents on the latest video game system we had to have. I mean, it was a CUBE that you could play games on.
Ahh, the Nintendo GameCube.
Though it wasn’t Nintendo’s best-selling console of all time, it was definitely my favorite, thanks in part to a few games that were absolute gems.
So take the freakishly tiny disc out of the case, close the lid, and hit the gray button; we’re going to explore the top ten GameCube games of all time.
10. Super Monkey Ball 2
I would love to know what went through the mind of this game’s creator.
You control a small, adorable monkey inside a transparent ball, rolling through floating stages in the sky. Your monkey collects bananas and has to whiz through the obstacles to the end of the stage.
Super Monkey Ball was a fresh, exciting game. It was also a crowd pleaser, as it was really fun to play the minigames or just take turns trying to get through the infuriating levels. The multiplayer play was on point, too.
9. Mario Party 6
Now, there are a countless number of Mario Party games. Okay, fine, there are 11. But I personally like the 6th one second best (Mario Party 2 is the greatest), and it happens to be on the GameCube.
I like that this game has the day and night cycles, and the boards are a lot of fun. The one where you jump around on the smiling tree is my favorite.
8. Kirby Air Ride
Kirby Air Ride isn’t generally regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, but it is. It just is. The controls are simple, and the gameplay is straightforward. Grab a great vehicle, and smoke your opponents in races and minigames.
The music, graphics, items, and background characters made it charming, interesting, and fun. The interactive scenery (we all remember the first time we busted into that volcano!) made exploring and finding easter eggs a thrill.
Kirby is a simple character, and his game is without complexities but with a lot of fun.
7. Super Mario Sunshine
This game happens to be the third best-selling Game Cube game of all time, and for good reason. Mario returns to his blue-collar working class roots as he has to clean an entire island that’s covered in slime. Yikes.
It’s pretty awesome using a cleaning tool to fight enemies and uncover new parts of the island. Also, pretty awesome that this is one of the first games that you can ride Yoshi. Just good things all around.
6. Luigi’s Mansion
Finally, a game that doesn’t totally revolve around Mario! And better yet, Luigi gets to be the hero! This game is another good ol’, plain fun one that our beloved cube has to offer.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this game. Before the Internet, you just kinda…. played games? And you figured it out along the way.
Luigi’s Mansion was unlike so many other games. Recapturing ghosts, sucking Mario out of a painting, and playing Luigi as the main character was unexpected and great.
5. Pokémon Colosseum
Pokémon Colosseum is a fantastic game. Aside from graphics, it’s not a far departure from the classic Pokémon games. You battle other trainers, steal Pokémon, and evolve your own.
But, there’s so much more to do in this game, and the graphics are far more evolved than the old one. For Pokémon fans, this is a classic. It’s sort of nice to take a break from hunching over your Game Boy to play on the big screen, no?
4. Metroid Prime
Honestly, it would be pretty difficult not to rank this game in the top five.
Samus makes for a fantastic main character. Killing aliens, rolling around in the morph ball, visiting alien planets…
Though it’s not the first nor the last game in the Metroid series, it’s a good one. The first of the games to use first-person perspective, it allowed us to see the galaxy from a different perspective.
3. Animal Crossing
It was extraordinarily difficult not to put Animal Crossing in every spot on this list. But I had to pull back a little bit.
Not only is this a top title for GameCube, but this is truly one of the best games ever made. You’re an adorable villager living in a town with even more adorable villagers. You fish, pick fruit, catch bugs, and pay off your loan. You make friends with your neighbors, can design your own clothes, and visit other friends towns.
When the world gets hard, “Animal Crossing” is always there for you to donate a fossil to a museum, selling some items to Tom Nook, or just chat with a neighbor.
While there’s no real conflict or adventure in this title, it’s uncomplicated and just nice. It feels good. You don’t have to shut it off in frustration; and you shouldn’t. Because you don’t want to see Mr. Resetti!
2. Mario Kart: Double Dash
A Mario game, once again. And not a new one, at that. But hands down, Mario Kart: Double Dash stands the test of time.
The gameplay is standard, but the tracks are fantastic. Somehow, this Rainbow Road is even harder. Wario Colosseum, Mushroom City, and Daisy Cruise are some of the top races in this game.
The new items are fun, and having two riders per car is fresh fun for this franchise.
But the real reason this is second best? This game is just a ridiculous amount of fun. Will it end friendships? Yes. Is it worth it? You betcha.
1. Super Smash Brothers Melee
I mean, go home if this isn’t in your top five video games of all time. Like other games on the list, this wasn’t the first nor the last Super Smash Bros. Oh, but it was the best.
First and foremost, the controls are tremendous. You have so much more power over what your character does, and there are so many more moves. If you want to be Princess Peach and whack your opponents with an umbrella the entire time, you can. Same goes for Mr. Game and Watch.
But what really sets this game apart are the stages. You can run as far as you want in Hyrule Temple, see the stage quickly evolve at Pokémon Stadium, or follow the rotating stage at Brinstar.
There’s a reason this game remains so popular to this day—it almost never gets boring.
About the Author: Kelcey McClung is a freelance reporter who has been featured in a variety of publications. She loves Star Wars, Animal Crossing, and almost every PlayStation game ever made. If you think you’ve completed all the park objectives in Roller Coaster Tycoon more times than she has, she’ll take you up on that bet.