To celebrate 10 years of the GameCube being available in Europe, we’ve looked at our 10 favourite games on the system. They system was full of genuinely great games and we’ve really struggled to pick just 10. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our favourites.
Resident Evil – 2002
HD Makeovers appear practically every other week these days, but none of them are a patch on this incredible effort from 2002. Capcom rebuilt it’s award-winning PlayStation game from the ground up, and the end results were absolutely sensational. Beautiful rendered backdrops, amazingly detailed graphics and stunning new cutscenes all combined to create the best remake we’ve ever witnessed. Yes it’s even better than Ocarina Of Time on the 3DS.
The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker – 2002
Forget Heavy Rain and any other cutting edge game that professes to act as a bridge between the medium of film and games, because Miyamoto already achieved it with his excellent Zelda game. The Wind Waker initially came under criticism due to its super cute looking cel-shaded graphics (gamers were expecting a more realistic approach as seen in various tech demos). Those oversized faces allowed Miyamoto to pack an insane amount of emotion into his characters, and we defy you to not get involved as Link’s adventure reaches its climatic end.
Ikaruga – 2003
Okay so this was also a Dreamcast release, but it still deserves credit. It’s quite simply one of the best shooters around, and it’s from Treasure. What further proof do you need? Okay, so how about we tell you that it has a beautifully complex scoring system (you shoot enemies quicker when you’re the same colour as them, but don’t get as many points) amazing looking bosses and cleverly designed enemy waves that almost made Treasure’s superb shooter feel like a quasi puzzle game. Find it, buy it love it.
Skies Of Arcadia Legends – 2002
Another Dreamcast game, but another one that is so brilliant it needs to be here. Widely regarded (and rightly so) as one of the best RPGs of its era, Skies Of Arcadia is a rip-roaring adventure that features pirates, hilarious dialogue and a bunch of genuinely lovable characters. There’s a clever battle system in place, the many fights with the huge Gigas are absolutely breathtaking, while the ending will leave your head spinning. It also features lots of cool additional extras, including a new character, that weren’t in the original game.
Resident Evil 4 – 2005
The first time Darran saw Resident Evil 4 running at a preview showing he actually looked beneath the table the GameCube was on, because he couldn’t believe it was running on the system. Even now, seven years after its release, it has yet to be eclipsed by any other survival horror game. Massively influencing – it’s inspired everything from Dead Space to Gears Of War – it remains the benchmark by which all other survival horror games (including Resident Evil 6) will be judged. Stunning to look at and with amazing boss battles, and clever quick-time events, Resident Evil 4 is quite simply one of the best games of the last decade. If you’ve not played it you really don’t deserve to call yourself a gamer.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem – 2002
It’s a testament to the willpower of Silicon Knights that Eternal Darkness ever received a release, as it was in development hell for years. Originally due on the N64 (you can see the roughness in many cut scenes) Eternal Darkness is an innovative survival horror and an intriguing take on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Starting off as Alexandra Roivas, you must explore your grandfather’s mansion in search of clues to his mysterious death. As you find pages of a book, you take on the roles of other characters ranging from a Roman centurian, to a Canadian firefighter, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s a brilliant concept, further enhanced by the creepy sanity effects that range from flies crawling across your TV screen, to the game pretending to accidentally wipe your save. An epic game that we’d love to see receive a sequel.
Super Monkey Ball 2 – 2001
Monkey Target. That’s the main reason this delightful puzzler has made our list. Rolling monkeys around mazes whilst collecting bananas sounds boring, but the reality is so, so different. Fast-paced (it was originally an arcade game) and filled with deviously designed tracks, the original was an excellent launch title, but the sequel was even better. It’s also an absolutely riot in multiplayer thanks to the aforementioned Monkey Target, which sees you rolling your monkey down a huge ramp, launching him into the ether and trying to land on tiny targets. Insane, amazing fun.
Metroid Prime – 2002
Retro Studios’ Metroid game had an extremely turbulent backstory, nearly getting canned. Nintendo intervened, a reinvigorated Retro Studios went back to work, and the end result was one of the GameCube’s best titles. The real beauty of Metroid Prime is that while it uses the first-person perspective and features lots of shooting, it’s actually an adventure game. Retro Studios performed the near impossible and managed to translate all the 2D elements of the Metroid games into the third dimension. Not since Zelda has a transition so impressed. Cutting edge visuals, a clever story and the sheer sense of wonder that came from exploring the world of Tallon IV made Metroid Prime a triumphant return for Samus and made Retro Studios’ Nintendo’s best exclusive developer since Rare.
The Legend Of Zelda: The Twilight Princess – 2006
Nintendo’s last GameCube release was one hell of a swan song to go out on. It may have felt like a re-treading of Ocarina Of Time for some, but The Twilight Princess still had plenty of magical moments and finally gave fans the mature looking Zelda game that they had been waiting so long for. Riding on the coat tails of The Lord Of The Rings, it’s an arguably better game than its Wii counterpart, thanks to the fact that the many weapons Link uses were also tailor made for the console. Okay so you didn’t get progressive scan or widescreen support, but we’ll lose those over more comfortable controls any day of the week.
F-Zero GX – 2003
Everything about F-Zero is super slick. It features fantastic presentation, superlative visuals and runs and a silky smooth 60 frames per second. It’s also fast, insanely fast, and packed with ferocious AI, deviously designed tracks and some of the best music to appear in the series. Boosted by a surprisingly deep campaign setting and offering a wonderfully addictive multiplayer mode, F-Zero is the best racer for the GameCube and one of the best racers of its generations. Yes it’s a hard game to master, but the satisfaction you earn when it finally bows to you is immense. Don’t miss it.