The Nintendo GameCube is eighteen years old today! In honour of reaching this prestigious milestone (which now enables it to enter pubs and watch a whole range of naughty movies in the UK), we asked Nintendo Life readers to score their favourite GameCube games. The results have now been assembled into the list of 50 games you see below.
A big thank you to everyone who responded, and it's not too late if you missed out. The ranking is formed entirely from each game's user rating in the Nintendo Life Games database. However, unlike other static lists, this one can (and no doubt will) constantly evolve to reflect ratings from Nintendo Life users, so you can still participate. Thanks to this fluidity, don't be surprised to see a few of these games shift up or down over the coming days and weeks, either.
We've done this for a growing number of Nintendo consoles, so if you're interested be sure to check out the best Nintendo DS games, the best 3DS games, the best Game Boy games and even the 50 best Switch games - each and every one a fluid list that can change over time. Try rating the games in them, too!
That's enough waffling. Let's dive in and see your picks for the all-time 50 best GameCube games...
A collaborative adventure in the Legend of Zelda mould was something many had dreamt of for a long time, and the Four Swords part of the GBA port of A Link to the Past made the jump to the TV screen here in Four Swords Adventures. There's a single player game in there, but the real meat of the experience involved each of the four players hooking their own GBA to the GameCube with the requisite link cable and controlling their Link in a screen-hopping adventure long before Nintendo went asymmetric with the Wii U gamepad. It's a brilliant co-op Zelda game hampered only by the fact that it required so much kit to function.
Proving that there's little that the portly plumber can't turn his hand (or foot) to, Next Level Games' Mario Smash Football (or Super Mario Strikers in the US) offered solid soccer action in a colourful package with Mushroom Kingdom residents brightening up the beautiful game and adding a little flair and excitement to proceedings - no nil-nil draws here! The polar opposite of the simulation-style that 'proper' football games were going for, this is a fast-paced five-a-side frenzy that did well enough to get a similarly satisfying sequel on Wii.
Factor 5 decided to throw platforming sections into the mix for this follow up to the incredible launch title Rogue Leader, but the lacklustre execution of these sections dragged down the entire experience and was lightyears away from the quality of the arcade-style flight gameplay. Consequently, Rebel Strike is a game of great highs and crushingly-dull lows. Fortunately, the inclusion of the entire first game in 2-player co-op mode made it worth picking up regardless, and it also included the original arcade Atari version of Star Wars for retro enthusiasts.
A remake of the GBA game WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames!, this home console version added multiplayer to an already brilliantly unhinged concept of microgames that mashes together tiny tasks with a time limit to produce a hectic, hilarious experience. It feels like R&D1 were unchained and allowed to vent their bursting creativity, channelling it into a game without being encumbered by the usual Nintendo 'polish' everyone expects, which gives this game (and the wider series) a remarkable and unique feeling of freshness.
46. Chibi-Robo (GCN)
Chibi-Robo is difficult to describe because it doesn't neatly fit into any particular category or genre. It's part-platformer, part-adventure, part-amiable helper game which mixes in elements of Toy Story as you work to help the Sanderson family solve their everyday problems. The eponymous altruistic robot himself is a charming little chap who's starred in several games since this GameCube introduction (and he also has the most devastatingly cute amiibo imaginable), but he's never quite reached the heights of his debut here. Lovely.
The first and only sequel to Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, this offered some gameplay tweaks but didn't fundamentally alter the base experience from the first game. It was released in 2006 when the ailing GameCube was on the very last of its last legs and the developers made the decision not to move it to the upcoming Wii. With hindsight, that was an obvious error - Baten Kaitos Origins would have inevitably got more attention than it found at the time on the purple box. Interestingly, it was one of the first games localised by 8-4, the localisation house who would go on to work with Nintendo on the excellent Fire Emblem: Awakening and Xenoblade Chronicles X, among others.
Coming from Clover Studio, Capcom's starry development team behind the likes of Okami and God Hand with members who would go on to form PlatinumGames, this sequel continues movie-obsessed Joe's story as he becomes a superhero and teams up with his girlfriend, Sexy Silvia, to defend humanity from an alien invasion. Very similar to the first game, it oozes style and energy from every pore, although it lacks a co-op multiplayer mode you might expect from a sequel. Still a belter, though.
43. Ikaruga (GCN)
The GameCube version of this masterpiece shooter will cost you an arm and a leg these days, and with the Switch version of Ikaruga offering extra benefits like portability and the ability to twist your Switch and play in Tate mode, it's hard to justify splashing so much cash just to get it on a cute GameCube disc. If you still own it from back in the day, though, Treasure's seminal shmup is indeed something to treasure forever. Still hard as nails, though.
Bringing together the best of Sonic's Mega Drive catalogue (and Sonic 3D Blast), this disc also includes Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ristar and Flicky for good measure (plus Comix Zone and The Ooze in Japan). Originally a GameCube exclusive, an even larger collection was eventually released on other consoles named Sonic Mega Collection Plus with more Sonic goodness from the Game Gear, as well as the Japanese exclusives above. A shame these weren't included originally, but the games you really want were here and Sonic CD and a bunch of other rarities would come along in the Sonic Gems Collection, so after watching him for years on rival consoles Nintendo gamers could gorge on blue hedgehog on GameCube.
Squeezing RE2 onto N64 required a Herculean effort, but this is essentially a port of the PlayStation version with very little in the way of bells and whistles. The greatness of the base game shines, of course, and arguably makes it worthy of placement here, but anyone expecting a REmake-style overhaul was left sorely disappointed by this barebones version. Resident Evil 2 is a great game, though, however threadbare the presentation.