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Until now, these lists have been fairly easy, but with this generation, cross-platform games became much more prevalent than they had been on past systems. Therefore, I’ve decided to list each game for the console I owned and played it on. Just because you don’t see a game here, doesn’t mean it won’t show up on another list for the PS2 or something.

Stuck in the Shadows: Star Fox: Assault, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Pac-Man World 2, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mario Party 6, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee

Luigi's Mansion8. Luigi’s Mansion
The unlikely, and somewhat maligned, launch title for Nintendo’s Gamecube has always been treated a bit unfairly in my mind. Was it a ground-breaking title? No, not particularly, but is is still a well designed game and a nice change-up from the traditional Mario formula, even if those games are top-notch. While it wasn’t the ground-breaking launch game Nintendo has been know for, it has stood the test of time very well and recently received its own sequel on the 3DS. Not a bad legacy at all.

Paper Mario7. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
I’ll admit, when the Paper Mario series first launched, I completely ignored it because I thought it looked odd and simplistic. I didn’t actually try the series until a few years ago when my son downloaded the Nintendo 64 game on the Virtual Console and I gave it a try. I loved it and we purchased this follow-up soon after. The Gamecube sequel improved on the already stellar N64 title in virtually every way. The story was even quirkier and more entertaining. The gameplay was very similar, but somehow seemed smoother in this title. Plus, the cast of sidekicks was back. Reminiscent of the first game’s characters, but different at the same time. I hate that I ignored this series for so long, but am glad I finally discovered it because it is truly a franchise that should not be missed.

Mega Man X6. Mega Man X Collection
I wrestled with this one because ultimately, none of these games originated on the Gamecube, but at the same time, this was released for the system and was a compilation of some of the best platformers ever created, so here it is. The Mega Man X Collection collected Mega Man X through Mega Man X6, as well as offering Mega Man: Battle & Chase as an unlockable. I won’t rank each game here, but will say that the first three Mega Man X games are revered as three of the best 16-bit games ever developed, as well as three of the best games period, all rightfully so. The fact that those, along with the less compelling but still competent sequels that followed are available on one disc is enough to put this game in my top 8.

Metal Gear5. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
I never played the MGS game on the Playstation. It just never interested me, but the Gamecube version intrigued me for some reason, so I picked it up and gave it a play through. While the series hasn’t been able to pull me in after this game, Twin Snakes did hook me very quickly. I’m not a stealth fan, but this game was a perfect storm of stealth and action for me because it didn’t force me to necessarily practice stealth at every turn, but gave me some choice in how I approached certain situations. Also, I thought the plot was very well done, if a bit wordy and…involved. I’ve only minimally visited this series since finishing this game, but for me, I think this game set a bar that the sequel couldn’t meet, so I abandoned it.

F-Zero GX4. F-Zero GX
Why do I love F-Zero GX so much? Because it doesn’t baby you at all. There’s no rubber-banding or power-ups to help you out. If you want to win, you have to be good, and even after hours and hours with this game, story-mode can still bend me over and…well, yeah. I love that though. I love being challenged by a game in a fair way, and F-Zero does just that. If you practice and learn the tracks, you can master this game, but it demands time. Also, no other game I’ve played, excepting, perhaps, F-Zero X, gives the sense of speed that this game is capable of. Flying around all manner of tracks with 29 other cars, all fast and jockeying for position is heaven for any racing fan. Not only is this my favorite Gamecube racing game, it is my favorite racing game period. It really is that good.

Prime 23. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Whereas Metroid Prime was untested ground for a Metroid game, Prime 2 had expectations placed on it due to the fact that the original Prime was so well received. It did not disappoint. Prime 2 continues Samus’s Phazon encounter on Aether, a world ripped into two dimensions, one of which proves toxic and harmful to Samus if she isn’t standing within the safety of a light beacon. This created some very tense moments and difficult enemy fights as you not only have to dodge your adversaries, but must keep an eye on your constantly dwindling health while not within the safety of the light beacons. Along with this clever mechanic came new power-ups and platforming that is ever bit the equal of Prime. One aspect of this game that I find very appealing is the difficutly. Much like F-Zero GX, Prime 2 refuses to hold your hand. It is a hard game and isn’t shy about letting you know that, but ultimately, that only makes your triumphs within the game that much more meaningful.

RE42. Resident Evil 4
I have a confession to make, I’d never played a Resident Evil game prior to RE4. Yes, I was familiar with the series, but the camera angles and tank controls were a turn off to me, so I avoided them. It was RE4 that drug me into the franchise, and what a trip it was. RE4 abandons most of the existing conventions of the franchise in terms of camera and controls, opting instead for an over-the-shoulder view. While this could have robbed the game of some of its suspense, the developers ensured that wouldn’t happen by packing RE4 with clever enemies and many white-knuckle boss sequences. The sense of being alone and isolated in an unfriendly area is immediate and almost overwhelming throughout most of the game, but that only serves to make you want to keep playing so as to find out what lies ahead. This game also has one of my personal favorite gaming sequences: the cabin siege early on in the game. I don’t think I’ve encountered any moment in a game since as tense as that five minutes.

Prime1. Metroid Prime
Well, this was an easy call. So much could have gone wrong with this game. New developer, new play style, and a franchise that had been dormant for quite a few years. Few would have guessed before its release that it would be the masterpiece it turned out to be. Prime managed to take the isolation and atmosphere of Super Metroid, and recreate it almost perfectly as a first-person adventure in a fully 3-d world. New to the series was the ability to scan enemies, pirate data logs, and chozo lore to learn more about the past of the planet Tallon IV, which you find yourself on in Prime. While the Metroid series has never had intricate plots, if you put in the work to find and read each of the scans in Prime, you’ll find a surprisingly rich story of a once thriving planet that eventually fell. I may be biased towards the Metroid franchise as a whole, but even without that inclination, I can’t imagine putting any other game as the top Gamecube game.

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Comments
  1. Excellent list. GameCube might just be my favorite Nintendo system. Not enough Melee here, though!

  2. Kaven says:

    yeah i have to agree with Prime as No.1.i mean,as much as i love Skies and some other games,this one had quite the impact given that i always wanted a 3D metroid game.it’s the finest experience on the gamecube i think.and,well,Resident Evil and Prime 2 as well.Resident Evil 4 is still my favorite.i played a bit of 2 and Zero before that.my top would include Skies of Arcadia and Fire Emblem in it i think.people really seem to love that Paper Mario game!

    • JAVGB says:

      Not a fan of Fire Emblem (or strategy games in general), but I would love to play Skies of Arcadia. It’s one of those games I need to track down on Ebay and play through.

      • Kaven says:

        i’m thinking of picking up both the original and the Gamecube version one day.it’s totally worth it!

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