Developed by Free Radical, a studio formed from several of the people behind N64 Rareware hits GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, this sequel built on the foundation of the PlayStation original with a more satisfying story, more refinement... and generally more of everything. For Nintendo gamers smarting after Rare joined Microsoft's stable of development studios, Timesplitters 2 offered a thrillingly familiar-feeling multiplayer FPS deathmatch experience which we'd love to see return in some capacity on modern systems, especially handheld hybrid ones produced by Nintendo. Until then, we'll have to make do this the GameCube original.
The original Resident Evil was a zombie B-movie classic which cemented the idea of survival horror in the minds of a generation, but also had a gloriously dodgy script and goofy characters that the series steered away from in subsequent entries. With REmake Capcom sought to realign the original with the upmarket production values of the later games, and boy did it succeed on that count. A complete overhaul of the PlayStation original, the power of the GameCube was put to use in conjunction with the beautifully repainted static backgrounds that still hold up today to produce a moody, evocative version of the Spencer Mansion we knew. With nods to its shlocky past, the game held surprises for veterans who knew the original inside out and arguably represents the best of the classic style, pre-RE4 entries in the venerable Biohazard series. For a system which looked so kid-friendly, it sure had some cracking M-rated games.
It's arguable that this series really came into its own in a portable context with the wonderful Animal Crossing: Wild World on Nintendo DS, but the N64 original nailed most of the systems first time out and this GameCube port of that Japan-only release introduced Animal Crossing's pleasant real-time village antics to the west. It's a series that you play a little bit every day and that's much more easily accomplished on a handheld system which you can whip out on the bus or take on your lunch break. It's hard to return to a village tied to a home console these days, but then again it's hard to return to any previous entry once you've become accustomed to the myriad quality-of-life improvements of the next. We'll always have the memories, though, and this first taste of village life was sweet.
17. F-Zero GX (GCN)
While debate still rages as to whether F-Zero X on the N64 or its Sega-developed GameCube sequel F-Zero GX is better, we can all agree that both games are rather special in their own right. The story mode in the latter helps paint a picture of the 'F-universe' and those cutscenes featuring Captain Falcon and the gang sure add some pizzazz. The series also certainly never looked better than this GameCube entry. The breakneck speed and brutal difficulty might put some people off, but racing doesn't get much purer than this and seeing as this was the last entry from the franchise to come to a home console a depressing sixteen years ago, this is still the hottest take on F-Zero going. Track it down.
The GameCube entry in Namco's Tales series, Tales of Symphonia, could be fairly described as an RPG for non-fans of the genre. The battle system is active and forgoes the static menus you might expect in favour of the 'Multi-Line Linear Motion Battle System' which makes things more dynamic for players who like that sort of thing. This was the first entry to feature 3D graphics and although the plot might be a little workaday if you're at all familiar with the genre, there's a lot to love here. The game was also released for PS2 in Japan, and PS3 worldwide, so the GameCube isn't the only place to catch up with Lloyd and the gang.
15. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
Removing the thirty-day time limit that so irked players in the first game, Pikmin 2 expands on the original in every way, creating a larger adventure with more of everything you liked before, plus a host of extra modes (including a surprisingly addictive 2-player component). Wingman Louie joined Captain Olimar this time around and the game also introduced White and Purple Pikmin, expanding the puzzling possibilities and the options available to you as the diminutive spacemen and their plant-based charges ran around gardens fighting beasties and collecting tasty-looking fruit, discarded objects and ship pieces. Some players might miss the tight focus of the original, but this is a fine sequel and worth hunting down whether on GameCube or the New Play Control! version released on Wii.
Seeing Metal Gear Solid — a game synonymous with Sony's PlayStation — on a Nintendo console was a very welcome, if jarring, experience back in 2004. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was developed in the main by Silicon Knights, the same studio behind Eternal Darkness, and incorporated aspects of gameplay from Sons of Liberty into the original MGS game. It also boasts obvious graphical upgrades and entirely re-recorded dialogue featuring almost all the original cast. The new additions were generally well-received, although the gameplay additions arguably trivialised some of the original game's difficulty. Still, it's a fine version of a classic and well worth adding to your collection (although tracking it down for a sensible price these days is a mission worthy of Solid Snake himself).
In a fit of nostalgia we fired up Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader just recently and were astonished to see how beautiful this 17-year-old game still is. As a launch game, this was the technical showpiece alongside Wave Race: Blue Storm which you showed off to your friends and we'd jump on an HD rerelease faster than a mynock on a power cable. The sequel even included this entire game in 2-player mode (which was arguably the best thing about Rebel Strike) and while there's no shortage of ways to play in a galaxy far, far away, this is still one of the best arcade-style renditions of the saga's finest flight-based moments.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a brilliant psychological horror game that blends Resident Evil-style survival horror with Lovecraftian Old World magick and an era-hopping historical narrative to create something quite unique and only available on GameCube. It may take you a while to get into its spellcasting and unusual mix of styles (and that may be the reason second-hand copies cost mere pennies for so many years), but once it gets under your skin it's a hard game to shake. The fourth wall-breaking sanity effects always steal the column inches, but the ambitious, dread-soaked story deserves just as much recognition, and whether you're a hardcore horror aficionado or a novice that needs a walkthrough with the lights on, we recommend playing this any which way you can.
Your favourite Mario Kart game tends to depend very much on which one you played first, or which one you've played the most in multiplayer. This can lead to much contentious debate, but we have wonderful memories of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! despite it often getting short shrift from many. While not overflowing with new ideas, the racers were presented as gorgeous fully 3D models for the first time, the two-driver gimmick was extremely satisfying and introduced a new layer of strategy as you switched characters and juggled items, and it has some great courses, including DK Mountain (ah, that little shortcut at the end!) and perennial favourite Baby Park, the hilariously hectic mini course. It might lack a certain je ne sais quoi if you're devoted to other entries in the series, but make no mistake, this remains a chaotic karting classic.