The Top 10 GameCube Games: Titles that Changed the Game for Nintendo

Last updated: 12/27/2023
5 minutes read

What are the best GameCube games of all time? There are plenty to choose from, but we’ve put together the definitive list.

GameCube changed the game for Nintendo. Not only did it give the company a way to compete with the next generation of consoles, but it also opened the door to better aesthetics, slicker animations, and deeper gameplay.

To show you what we mean, here’s an overview of the seminal console and a rundown for the top 10 GameCube games in history.

The 10 Best GameCube Games in History

OK, so you’ve got your GameCube console or GameCube emulator ready. The question now is, what to play? For that, we have put together the below list.

We haven’t ranked the games on it in any order because everyone will have their preferences. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration, these GameCube games are all fantastic.

Soulcalibur 2

This 3D fighting classic was Namco’s follow-up to the game-changing Soulcalibur. The graphics were slicker and smoother in this version, but the thing that made it stand out was the special characters. Each console had its own unique fighter.

PlayStation gamers could use Tekken’s Heihachi, while Xbox players can unlock Spawn. However, GameCube owners (or someone with a GameCube emulator) got the best deal because they could fight with the Hero of Time, Link.

Mario Kart Double Dash

If you’ve got a GameCube console or GameCube emulator and you want to create a lasting bond with someone, play Mario Kart Double Dash. This racing game has plenty of great qualities with great graphics and iconic maps.

However, the best feature is the dual controls. Basically, two players can control a single kart, which makes this the ultimate team-building exercise as players have to swap places between driving or defending.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

This has to be one of the best GameCube games because it sold more copies than many of its peers. However, it’s not on our list just because it sold millions of copies. This game took minutes to learn, but hours to master. That made it engaging.

Add to this the fact all of Nintendo’s greatest characters were locked in a battle royale, and it’s easily one of the best Nintendo GameCube offerings in history. Believe it or not, people still play this game competitively to this day.

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime is not only one of the best GameCube games of all time, it’s one of the best video games period.

Nintendo took a risk remaking this game because Super Metroid was considered a classic, but it did a fantastic job of bringing the action-adventure game into the modern area. We're talking about a full reimagining, moving the 2D experience into the first person.

The developers stuck to Metroid’s original formula but turned it into an immersive 3D world.

The soundtrack and enhanced video game aesthetics breathed new life into Metroid and brought in a new audience too.

Super Mario Strikers

Mario and his friends have always been sporty, but this football offering skews things in a slightly different direction. You do get to play football and score goals. However, in this GameCube game, Mario and his teammates have violent streaks.

That means dirty tackles are fair game. This game is actually getting a revival on the Nintendo Switch, with Mario Strikers Charged promising more sports action.

Beyond Good and Evil

What do you get when you combine a sci-fi theme, some anti-establishment political vibes, and a photographer named Jade? That’s right, you get one of the best GameCube games in history.

This Ubisoft creation is hailed as a cult classic thanks to its storyline, animations, and use of atmosphere. Many have waited for a sequel, but it has never quite happened. Regardless, the legacy lives on and it has developed into a cult classic.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The team behind Wind Walker took many chances, but they all paid off. For starters, the cel shaded graphics caused a backlash back in the day as fans wanted a realistic aesthetic, although most now recognize it as the franchise's most iconic look.

Beyond that, the title takes place on the ocean and not in forests. Second, Link was turned into a child-like character, a move that could have made him look weak. In reality, it made him stronger.

He became the Hero of the Seas and that makes Wind Walker one of the most popular GameCube games ever.

Pikmin 2

Modern Flash games and browser games are dominated by puzzles, but Pikmin 2 showed that they can be just as good on consoles. Released in 2004 and developed by Nintendo, this game requires you to explore an unknown planet by completing intricate puzzles.

The more tasks you complete, the more of the planet you uncover.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

There are plenty of fantastic sports-based GameCube games, but few can match Toadstool Tour. Not only is this Nintendo’s only Mario golf game, but it’s also beautiful in its simplicity.

Three clicks are all you need to swing your way around a variety of intricate courses and take on a cast of skilled competitors.

Madden NFL 2004

The 15th installment of the Madden series is still regarded as one of the best. It’s one of the top GameCube games in history. The reason people still love Madden 2004 is its gameplay.

Nintendo GameCube opened up new possibilities regarding animations and character actions. That means Madden NFL 2004 featured smooth, quick player actions. These upgrades made it feel more realistic than previous games in the series and, thus, a GameCube hit.

What Even Is the Nintendo GameCube?

The GameCube was Nintendo’s first foray into sixth-generation consoles. The official GameCube release date in North America was 2001. It launched in PAL territories the following year, but the console’s story began a few years earlier.

Nintendo first signaled its intention to compete with the PlayStation in 1999. The code name Project Dolphin got people talking, which meant there was plenty of hype before the official GameCube release date.

The GameCube console differed from previous Nintendo products because it used optical discs. This format signaled a change of direction for the company and allowed game developers to push the boundaries further than before because of the increased storage space.

The GameCube release date led to a stream of impressive new games. Which ones were the most impressive? Scroll down for our top 10 GameCube games.