The Nintendo GameCube launched in Japan in September 2001 and a couple of months later on 18th November in North America. Unlucky Europeans wouldn't get their hands on it until the following year, but the wait was worth it for one of the best-looking video game consoles of all time. The NGC (sorry, GCN) is a beautiful, compact piece of kit.

Gamecube System Open
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

Eschewing the jack-of-all-trades direction of its contemporaries, the console concentrated on doing just one thing well: playing games. Its striking indigo colour, big chunky 'A' button, cute little discs, and infamous carry handle ultimately worked against it in an era of sleek, all-in-one multimedia machines, but it was a powerful little box of tricks that played host to a fabulous library of games. This was the last time Nintendo put itself in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft in pure spec terms before changing tack with the Wii.

We asked Nintendo Life readers to rate their favourite GameCube games, and the result is the list of 50 games you see below. The ranking is formed entirely from each game's user rating in the Nintendo Life Games database. However, unlike other static lists, this one constantly evolves to reflect ratings from Nintendo Life users, so you can still participate.

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!

If there's a game bubbling under the top 50 that you'd like to rate, feel free to find it using the search tool below and give it a score out of 10. That's enough waffling, though. Let's dive in and see your picks for the all-time 50 best GameCube games...

Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.

50. X-Men Legends (GCN)

The success of Raven Software's 2004 ARPG X-Men Legends and its sequel essentially led to the creation of the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series. Putting you in the shoes of everyone's favourite mutant squad, Legends sees you battling through baddies on a variety of co-op missions as you try to stop Magneto from wreaking terrible revenge on all the muggles.

Featuring a large roster of characters all looking great with some natty cel-shading, not to mention Patrick Stewart lending his dulcet, movie-star tones to this iteration of Professor X, too, this was a great licensed game on a console which had more than its fair share of rubbish tie-ins.

49. Mario Smash Football (GCN)

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.

48. Killer7 (GCN)

One of the infamous 'Capcom Five', Suda51's Killer7 launched for the GameCube back in 2005 and, in time, became a cult classic. It revolves around the titular group of assassins and a noir-heavy story that delves into governmental conspiracies and murdering lots of folk, naturally. It's an acquired taste, that's for sure, thanks to its slightly stilted on-rails, first-person gameplay that blends gunplay and puzzle-solving with eye-catching cel-shaded visuals.

It's an intoxicating mixture and one that makes for an unforgettable slice of video gaming violence and adventure. Even if you don't jibe with it, you certainly won't forget Killer7.

47. 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.

46. Viewtiful Joe 2 (GCN)

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.

45. WarioWare, Inc: Mega Party Game$! (GCN)

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.

44. SSX Tricky (GCN)

1080° Snowboarding might have had one-on-one contests, but it (and other games of the time) took a more serious approach to video game snowboarding. SSX Tricky on the other hand was built around the idea of Boardercross, a sort of Motocross variant that pitted a group of boarders against each other at the same time. Consequently, this slickly produced game had a little more of an irreverent, 'fun' personality with a focus on arcade style thrills and spills over the precision and 'realism' of Nintendo's take on the sport. Looking back, it's a breath of fresh air compared to EA's offerings on Nintendo consoles these days.

43. Sonic Mega Collection (GCN)

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.

42. Baten Kaitos Origins (GCN)

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 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 gotten significantly more attention than it found at the time on the then-ailing purple box, even though Wii was backward compatible. Both games are available on Switch in HD remastered form.

Interestingly, this 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.

41. Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (GCN)

The follow-up to Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness released in 2005 and had you catching Shadow 'mon and 'purifying' them. Using the GBA-GC link cable, it was possible to connect any of the Game Boy Advance mainline entries to XD for battling and trading and, although it didn't change things significantly from its predecessor, it still provided a decent 3D Pokémon experience before the mainline games went into the third dimension.