Sure, I’ve probably caused plenty of controversy just from this article’s headline alone but hear me out…

Be advised, I am trying something new with this article to make sure it’s not too long by splitting it into 2 or 3 articles

The GameCube came out at what could be described as a tough time for Nintendo during the early part of the 2000s. It came out on the back of the Nintendo 64 which had suffered against the PlayStation (partly due to its use of cartridges rather than discs) and into a generation war against the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft entering the console industry with the Xbox. What was unique though was that it was the first Nintendo console to not have a Sega counterpart as the Dreamcast was stopped before the GameCube’s release.

The Nintendo GameCube in Indigo (with a Japan exclusive Spice Orange in the background)

The GameCube was also lacking against these consoles in terms of features it offered – it couldn’t play DVDs and could not even play CDs. It was and still is a dedicated video game console, and arguably one of the last given even the Wii had access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer at least.

Despite all this, I still maintain that it is one of Nintendo’s best consoles. There are many factors for this which I will now over these articles list and detail; plenty of which I’m sure people will disagree with, but I’m intrigued to see what everyone thinks.

Software

When one looks at the software available on the GameCube, it actually becomes apparent how many good, if not great, games were released on the system. They covered a wide spectrum of games from first to third party entries (and several shovelware movie tie-ins admittedly); but everyone had a great game they could enjoy.

Firstly, you have the basics for a Nintendo system:

– Super Mario Sunshine, while not Mario 64 or Galaxy, is still a really fun 3D platformer and offers something completely different to the rest of the franchise by allowing you to ride rollercoasters and play pachinko with Mario. I personally prefer it to Galaxy and Odyssey, and have it really close to 64. Also it’s where Mario first got to wear a Hawaiian shirt and shades so bonus points for that.

Super Mario Sunshine – Mario finally gets a break. Or does he?

– Luigi’s Mansion. A game which saw the second banana of the Mario Bros lead the system’s entry into the market. This was a Hoover-em-up, a brand new type of game and one which was again really fun to play, sucking up ghosts. The Game Boy Horror was a nice touch too.

– Metroid Prime 1 & 2. These provided a new dimension for Samus Aran (literally!) by putting her into 3D. This new FPS perspective works really well for the franchise and obviously got enough backing as shown by the clamour for the much awaited Metroid Prime 4.

– Zelda. Even if you ignore Four Swords Adventures, the GameCube got The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, two of the biggest and most popular entries in the franchise (shown by their Wii U rereleases and the desire for Switch ports – come on Nintendo, make it happen!)

– Super Smash Bros Melee. The best entry in the Smash Bros franchise for me personally, and definitely the one I have the most enjoyment playing. It doesn’t have too many characters or stages but covers a wide spectrum of Nintendo’s history with Mr Game & Watch up to Ganondorf included.

These are just some of the “first” party games released on the system – others include several Mario Party and sports entries, Pokemon Colosseum and XD, Mario Kart, StarFox and more.

Of course, the third party support wasn’t too shabby either:

– Sonic the Hedgehog. The GameCube had such a pull it beat the PlayStation and Xbox to having Sonic games released on it. These included Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (on or near launch), Sonic Adventure DX and later released classics on the Mega and Gems collection.

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle – the first Sonic game to appear on a Nintendo console and a port of the Dreamcast version but with the versus multiplayer built in rather than DLC. Also the first GameCube game I owned (even before the console!)

– More Sega: Sega also launched Super Monkey Ball on the system along with later releasing games such as Sega Soccer Slam, Virtua Striker, Skies of Arcadia, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg and Crazy Taxi.

– EA: Along with the standard FIFA and Tiger Woods entries, EA also further supported the system with great entries such as Need for Speed Underground 1 & 2 (2 is better in my opinion!), several James Bond games (especially Nightfire, awesome game!) and SSX.

– LucasArts: Many Star Wars games were released with some of my favourites being Rogue Squadron 3: Rebel Strike (Rogue Leader is a better game but Rebel Strike had the whole of Rogue Leader as co-op) and Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast (love force choking someone and throwing them off a cliff).

– Multiple other big titles such as Burnout, Resident Evil, Soul Calibur, Tales of Symphonia, Metal Gear Solid and others (probably helped by the decision to use discs rather than cartridges).

The best version of Soul Calibur 2 – featuring not only Link from the Legend of Zelda, but he’s armed with a butterfly net!

Either way, it quickly becomes apparent that despite the movie tie-ins etc, there are a vast number of high quality games that were released on the system from both Nintendo and external third party companies and that the GameCube library is nothing to scoff at.

Part 2 will look at features of the console that add to my opinion that it is one of Nintendo’s best and it may go to part 3 depending how long it is, for now we’ll all have to wait and see…

Thanks for reading, make sure to let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below or on my social media by using the links at the top of the page. Also make sure to follow to see when part 2 comes out!

Disclaimer: All photos are of my own collection and belong to me. The Nintendo GameCube logo used in the thumbnail is the legal property of Nintendo with no copyright or trademark infringement intended.