The Nintendo GameCube is a console beloved for its excellent and unique selection of titles. Yet in spite of this, only a scant few entries in the system‘s library have been brought over to future consoles. To make matters worse, many of these games have greatly appreciated in value in the two decades since their release, with some selling for hundreds of dollars. This makes it extremely difficult to play many classics from the system in the modern day (at least not without resorting to illegal means). Whether you played the system back in the day, or are only just discovering them now, these are 10 GameCube games that are in desperate need of a port or remaster on modern hardware.
10. Gatcha Force
One of two games about fighting with toy robots on this list, Gatcha Force is infamous among GameCube collectors due to the absurdly high price it commonly goes for on the second-hand market. Sadly, unless you are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars, most players will never get to experience this gem (at least not legally). The premise is quite simple; the player collects various robotic gatchapon toys and uses them to battle other robots. Battles are fast-paced and fun affairs. Each gatcha robot has its own strengths and weaknesses, arenas are quite large and heavily emphasize speed and mobility. The story is nothing to write home about. In fact, the English voice acting is laughably bad, but at least never gets in the way. While not quite a masterpiece, this game certainly deserves more than the abysmal reviews it received back in the day. It’s clear that Capcom was really hoping to make this into a big franchise, and while it may have fallen short of that goal, it still made a really fun game.
9. Custom Robo
Custom Robo on the GameCube is actually the 4th game in its series and the first time it saw the light of day outside of Japan. Judging by how good this game is, it really seems that we have been missing out. The game primarily focuses on combat between various robots in 3D arenas. As the title implies, it is possible to heavily customize just about everything about these robots, from their weapons loadout to what kinds of armor and mobility upgrades they have access to. The game encourages players to experiment with a variety of different builds and change out parts as needed to deal with different threats. Combat is overall very fun with a surprising amount of depth for players to sink their teeth into. The story is a lot of fun too, featuring some of the most hilariously written NPC side stories that I have ever seen. The main premise involves a police force that uses toy robots to fight terrorists and save the world from an apocalyptic AI. What’s not to love? This game is simply a ton of fun. I highly recommend it.
8. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader
A graphical showpiece for the launch of the GameCube, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II – Rogue Leader was an instant classic that delighted countless Star Wars fans across the world. The game has players take control of either Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles piloting a variety of space and aircraft in their struggle against the Galactic Empire. These battles include movie-accurate depictions of famous battles such as the attack on the Death Star and the Battle of Hoth. There are also a number of completely original scenarios set between the events of the movies; such as a raid on the Maw Instillation, or a stealth mission to steal the Lamda Class Shuttle used in Return of the Jedi. The game includes a ton of unlockables as well, ranging from optional missions to new spacecraft. Rogue Leader is a fantastic example of the arcade flight combat genre. There were actually plans to port this game along with the other two Rogue Squadron games in a compilation for the Wii, but developer Factor 5 going defunct in 2009 put the kibosh on those plans.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures would be very difficult to bring over to other systems. This is because the game was specifically built around the use of the Game Boy Advance to GameCube link cable which gave each player exclusive information. Even back when this game was new getting enough players with the required hardware was a challenge, but well worth it for one of the best cooperative experiences in all of gaming. Up to 4 players can take control of different colored Links as they compete and cooperate in their quest to stop the Wind Mage Vaati and his mysterious benefactor. Unlike most entries in the series, Four Swords Adventures utilizes a level-based structure but still manages to pack in plenty of varied combat encounters, puzzles, and exploration. If you can get some friends together, or even just play single-player, this game provides a fantastic time, featuring the same level of polish and excellence that the Zelda series is known for.
6. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Marking the series debut in 3D, as well as its return to consoles, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is a fan-favorite entry in the long-running strategy RPG franchise. This game would also see the debut of Ike, who becomes the leader of the Greil mercenaries after the death of his father. The game is fairly traditional for the Fire Emblem series, featuring turn-based tactical gameplay based around the weapon triangle system. The addition of a third dimension as well as CG cutscenes adds an additional cinematic flair that was missing in prior games. The story is excellent, introducing players to the many intrigues of the continent of Tellius, even discussing themes of bigotry. Overall an excellent game that is a must-play for fans of the series. Unfortunately, the game is incredibly hard to come by, with copies easily selling for hundreds of dollars.
5. F-Zero GX
In my opinion not only is F-Zero GX easily the peak of its series, but it is also one of the finest racing games of all time. F-Zero GX is a masterpiece of high-speed thrills and intense futuristic racing action. F-Zero GX was a minor technical miracle in how it was able to maintain a rock-solid 60fps alongside frankly jaw-dropping visuals for the time. The game is also packed with content, including a full story mode and plenty of well-designed and spectacle-filled tracks to tear through at 900km/h. The game can also be extremely challenging but never feels unfair. Make no mistake, this is a game that demands complete mastery of its mechanics and track layouts with often even small time-saves meaning the difference between victory and defeat. This is a game that will kick your butt, but keep you coming back for more.
4. Skies of Arcadia Legends
This one is sort of cheating when you consider the fact that Skies of Arcadia Legends is technically an enhanced port of a Sega Dreamcast game, but the fact that the game hasn’t seen any other releases and the GameCube version is the definitive edition of this classic JRPG justifies its inclusion on this list. In my opinion, one of the finest JPRGs ever made, it is an absolute crime that there is no easy way for players to experience this game. The adventures of Vyse and his merry band of sky pirates are full of exciting battles, lovable characters, and an optimistic worldview often lacking in games today. One thing that made this game unique was its use of ship-to-ship combat, often some of the most exciting and nail-biting parts of the experience. The game also had a unique art style and fantastic music. Overall a great game that everyone with even the slightest interest in JRPGs should play.
3. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
The first M-rated game published by Nintendo, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a horror masterpiece that sadly underperformed in its day. Heavily inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, the game revolves around the dark history of an ancient book called the Tome of Eternal Darkness. Players take control of the various people who have owned the tome throughout history as they seek to unravel its mysteries while struggling against eldrich horrors. A genuinely terrifying game, Eternal Darkness is renowned for its ability to mess with the player’s head. This is primarily done through the use of a sanity system that makes the game more unhinged the more the player looks at and learns about the various horrors that they encounter. This includes a number of unique fourth wall breaks designed to really get under players’ skin. While somewhat unconventional for its genre, Eternal Darkness is still a fantastic horror game that still provides plenty of good scares even today.
Chibi-Robo was largely overlooked when it first came out due to being a late release in the life of the GameCube. This is really a shame when you consider the fact that it is one of the best games of its era. Chibi-Robo is at its core an old-school adventure game, but one played from a third-person perspective. Players take control of the eponymous 4-inch tall robot as you explore the house of the Sanderson family. Your job is to make the family happy by completing various tasks. Not exactly the most exciting premise in the world and the game does admittedly get off to a bit of a slow start, but stick with it and you will find an intricate game world full of interesting characters. Chibi-Robo’s story manages to be sad, comedic, and heartwarming. An overall fantastic experience from start to finish that should be played by more people.
1. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Widely considered the peak of Mario RPGs, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is Widely beloved for its memorable characters, clever writing, and refined gameplay. The Thousand-Year Door is remarkable in how it seamlessly combines clever comedy with some genuinely heartfelt moments. Mario’s quest to find Princess Peach sees him in a variety of memorable situations, such as making deals with the Pianta mafia, joining a wrestling league, and even solving Agatha Christie-style mysteries. Gameplay is rock solid as well, iterating on the tried but true turn-based combat of its predecessor, making for a system that is easy to learn but with a decent amount of depth. There is a reason why fans have been clamoring for the Paper Mario series to return to the style of this game. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is simply fantastic, and it set a high bar for comedic RPGs.