GameCube, Nintendo's little purple lunchbox, turned 16 years old on September 14, its launch date in Japan. Notorious as one of the only Nintendo platforms not represented on the company's Virtual Platform or eShop (yet), the GameCube hosted some of the best exclusives from the sixth generation of game consoles. As the release date of the Super NES Classic "mini" console draws near (and with plans to re-release the hard-to-find NES Classic in 2018), the Shacknews staff ruminated on some of the games we'd love to play again should Nintendo grace us with a miniature version of an already-tiny console.
Here, in no particular order, are the 11 games we want to see on a GameCube mini console.
WWE Day of Reckoning
Anyone who enjoys wrestling video games knows of the legendary Nintendo 64 titles developed by AKI. While AKI never got to make a wrestling game for the Nintendo 64’s successor, THQ and Yuke’s released WWE: Day of Reckoning in 2004, the spiritual successor to WWF No Mercy. Featuring similar mechanics to the older titles along with a huge graphical upgrade, Day of Reckoning was an absolute blast to play with friends. It featured a solid wrestler creation system and fast-paced gameplay. Arguably the last great wrestling video game, it was followed by an excellent sequel in 2005. –Chris Jarrard
Super Monkey Ball
The Super Monkey Ball franchise eventually went on to become one of Sega’s biggest successes since the company abandoned console manufacturing, but that might never have happened if Super Monkey Ball didn’t so thoroughly delight gamers around the world when the GameCube launched. Originally developed for arcades, the game presented players with small but challenging environments to navigate within a strict time limit, along with an assortment of mini-games that ensured Super Monkey Ball would be a hit at parties. Bowling, billiards, golf, and racing were perfect complements to the tightly constructed courses set on islands in the sky. It’s a formula that remains engaging to this day, one that has brought the monkeys to a wide variety of platforms, and it might as well have all started with the GameCube. –Jason Venter
Resident Evil's brand of survival horror oozed atmosphere, but many of its most shocking moments boiled down to "jump scares": dogs bursting through windows, zombies lurching out of closets, hunters hiding just out of sight of its static camera angles. Eternal Darkness had its share of the ghastly and grotesque, but developer Silicon Knights had one primary goal: to mess with your head. Spanning generations of characters, the game's story told a Lovecraftian tale centered on the sanity meter, a game system that measure the player-character's state of mind.
Every eldritch horror that characters see ebbs at their sanity, triggering sights and sounds that draw a thin line between reality and fiction. Blood drips from ceilings, statues rotate around to glare at players as they move through environments, zombies shrug off bullets, rooms tilt and spin. Other effects are cosmetic, such as the player's TV volume rising and falling, and an error message stating that the memory card has been corrupted. Then the screen clears and the player, shaken, is returned to where they were when the sanity effect occurred, left to wonder what will happen next.
Eternal Darkness was one of the best GameClube exclusives without "Zelda," "Mario," or "Metroid" in the title. The sanity effects were novel, the story engrossing, the cosmic horrors terrifying. –David Craddock
Pokémon Colosseum launched in North America 2004 and was the first ever 3D Pokémon RPG, we wouldn’t get a 3D main series title until nearly a decade later with X and Y. Due to this, Colosseum set the bar extremely high early on for what the Pokémon franchise could achieve. Simple features such as showing Pokémon moves fully animated in 3D were a breath of fresh air for fans of the main series. Another great feature in Pokémon Colosseum was that players could transfer their Pokémon from their Gameboy games into their Colosseum game and battle their friends on the big screen in 3D.
The main franchise was in its third generation of games, and Pokémon Colosseum arrived at the perfect time to shake up the increasingly familiar formula. Rather than assuming the role of an optimistic 10-year-old, you played as Wes, an older, much more knowledgeable trainer. Another great feature in Pokémon Colosseum was that players could transfer their Pokémon from their Gameboy games into their Colosseum game and battle their friends on the big screen in 3D. Having this title revived on a “GameCube Classic” would be a great way to look back at the game that influenced the next several generations of one of Nintendo’s greatest franchises. –Donovan Erskine
Nintendo diehards had clamored for a sequel to Super Metroid for years and were left dejected after the series failed to make an appearance on the Nintendo 64. In mid-2000 Nintendo tapped Texas-based Retro Studios to bring Metroid to the GameCube. Unlike its side-scrolling predecessors, Retro’s new Metroid would be a first-person affair and was met with pre-release backlash from fans after it was unveiled. The criticism was unwarranted as the studio arguably delivered the best GameCube title in the entire library. Metroid Prime was a top-notch experience by every measure, effortlessly combining first-person combat and exploration with third-person morph ball sequences. A visual marvel for its generation, Metroid Prime is unquestionably the brightest star in the GameCube lineup. –Chris Jarrard
A racing series so fast it make Sonic the Hedgehog look like he's standing still, F-Zero received arguably its greatest entry in F-Zero GX for GameCube. GX distinguishes itself from racer rival Mario Kart Double Dash in several ways. High speeds combine with challenging courses to test players' concentration and reflexes. The game runs at a buttery-smooth 60 frames per second and never hiccups, distilling F-Zero's trademark speed to its purest form. The introduction of a story mode fleshed out its single-player offerings and, factoring in local multiplayer, rounded out the package to near perfection. –David Craddock
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
When Nintendo shared an early concept video that showed Link and Ganondorf battling in an ancient temple, fans were delighted to see that a follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was on the way. That explains why so many felt betrayed when their next peek at Link’s upcoming adventure looked very different. Link had become a cel-shaded cartoon figure, exploring a world Disney’s artists might have drawn. He no longer resembled the strapping warrior they recalled, which caused many players to ignore The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker when it finally arrived with a little boat, a big ocean, and an even bigger adventure. Those who gave the game a chance, however, found one of the most ambitious outings in Hyrule to date… even if its closing moments did drag on a bit. –Jason Venter
Mario Kart Double Dash!!
Following up the smash success of Mario Kart 64 was a frightening undertaking, but Nintendo’s EAD team knocked the project out of the park. Introducing double occupant karts to the series, Double Dash let two players ride in one kart, with one player driving and the other handling item duty. It was bigger and better than its predecessors in every way and even supported the rare Gamecube broadband adapter, allowing up to 8 GameCubes to play together over a LAN. A top-notch battle mode provided stress relief from the races where your opponents always screwed you over with blue shells after you clearly outmaneuvered them for the first 99% of a race. They never stop hitting you with the blue shells. Ever. –Chris Jarrard
Super Mario Sunshine
Nintendo could have played it safe with Super Mario Sunshine and designed a direct sequel to Super Mario 64. Instead, they dared to be different, and dirty. Mario Sunshine sees players running and jumping across a variety of sunny, beachfront vistas, using their new FLUDD cannon to wash off grime and graffiti left by Bowser Jr. The FLUDD cannon opened up new platforming possibilities through adapters, letting players float, blast, and skim across water. Hidden challenge levels stripped Mario of FLUDD and forced players to navigate platforming obstacles. While these challenges were some of the hardest stretches of platforming in a Mario game to date—if not ever—they were also some of the cleverest, appealing to players who wanted to test their run-and-jump mettle.
Super Mario Sunshine caught flak from some pockets of the gaming community for daring to toy with convention. In hindsight, it was one of the most unique Mario titles, tying fundamental platforming skills to a bright and colorful new world. –David Craddock
Take the depth of a real-time strategy title. Cut it in half, then combine that with half the depth of a classic sim. Designer Shigeru Miyamoto brought those two halves together to form Pikmin, one of the most unique titles to appear on the GameCube. Released shortly after launch, the game presented players with a colorful, verdant world that invites exploration. Then it gave those players limited time to reassemble a ship with help from various creatures known as “pikmin,” so the pudgy explorer Olimar could seek out new adventures on other planets. It’s all very silly, but it mostly worked very well and it proved Nintendo still knows how to produce magic when it gets creative. –Jason Venter
Resident Evil "REmake"
Within the Resident Evil series, and arguably within the genre as a whole, no game evokes the ethos of survival horror more proficiently or terrifyingly than Capcom's 2002 "REmake" of the 1996 original. Shinji Mikami bulldozed the Spencer Estate and rebuilt it with photorealistic graphics that ooze dread, from lightning flashes that light up rooms cloaked in shadow to zombies leaning against windows, the moonlight painting their silhouette on adjacent walls. New foes such as the Crimson Head and Lisa will leave your hands sweaty and your thumbs paralyzed with fear over your controller's analog sticks.
Packed with myriad gameplay layers and atmospheric graphics that still hold up, REmake still wears the moldering crown of survival horror. –David Craddock