The Gamecube was a console that I think a lot of people missed out on. Now with the rise of the Nintendo Online service and the potential that Gamecube games might come to the system, you might want to know the best Gamecube games to play.
The Gamecube had a lot of amazing games and it was one of my favorite consoles, so it’s hard to include all of the best Gamecube games. However, in this post, you can check out our list of the Top 15 Best Gamecube games you need to play.
Mario Kart Double Dash
Mario Kart is one of the most popular Nintendo franchises, but Mario Kart Double Dash really stands out as one of the best Gamecube games. This Mario Kart game is a similar entry to others in the Mario Kart franchise, but there were quite a few welcome additions to this game that make it one of the best GameCube games.
The first thing you’ll notice is that you drive your karts as two people. One driver will control the steering of your kart and the other will help with drifting and using items. Another interesting feature of this game is that each character has their own unique special items they can find while you explore courses. On top of that, you can actually play two players each controlling one team of racers.
The game also greatly enhanced the drifting mechanic of the game. Also, each racer has its own unique abilities which can give you a wide variety of strategies when it comes to choosing your two racers.
The controls are excellent and with 11 new additional characters introduced to the series, this is a must-play kart racing game! If you haven’t played Mario Kart Double Dash, I highly recommend it as it still holds up as one of the best Gamecube games.
Metroid Prime was another amazing entry for Gamecube. It took the classic Metroid-style gameplay and transformed it into an epic 3D environment. Metroid Prime follows Samus Aran as she tries to eliminate the ongoing space pirate threat in the universe.
This was also the first 3D Metroid game and turned the traditional Metroid action-platforming gameplay into a first-person shooter exploration game. It was a lot of fun getting to explore the world of Tallon IV and take on the classic Metroid villains in 3D.
They did a great job taking Metroid from the 2D world into the 3D world while still maintaining the fun Metroidvania elements of exploration and powering up. You’ll get to use many of the classic Metroid items like the charge beam, grapple beam, morph ball, and much more.
At the time the controls were great, but going back now it might be a bit of a struggle to get used to as it doesn’t feature twin-stick controls like modern first-person shooter games. If you are a fan of sci-fi, first-person shooters, or the Metroid franchise I would highly recommend this game.
It is definitely one of the best Gamecube games and still holds up as one of my favorite games in the Metroid series.
Fire Emblem Path of Radiance
Fire Emblem is a long-running tactical RPG series from Nintendo, but for many years it was never released in the USA. Since they started releasing Fire Emblem games in the USA it has quickly become one of my favorite RPG series.
Fire Emblem Path of Radiance was actually the first 3D Fire Emblem game and the first to come to consoles in the USA. The story centers around Ike and his father’s band of mercenaries the Grail Mercenaries as they try and prevent an all-out war between the neighboring seven kingdoms.
The game also features a new race of characters that can transform between a human form and a beast form. This leads to some cool character designs like half-tiger half-humans, half-dragons, and much more.
There are many classes of characters to choose from as well, like mages, warriors, archers, priests, cavalry, pegasus knights, and many more. As your units gain the experience they can even go through a variety of class changes making them more powerful.
It is a very challenging game as it features perma-death, so if you lose a character in battle they will be gone for the rest of the game. There are also hidden characters you can find and unlock during the story as well.
Fire Emblem Path of Radiance features a compelling story, addictive gameplay, and it is one of the best Gamecube games worth playing.
Super Smash Bros Melee
Super Smash Bros Melee is a unique fighting game that blends together many of the best Nintendo characters into one game. The game has a unique battle style where instead of characters having a life bar they have a percentage bar.
Your goal is to knock people off of the screen and the higher percentage the further you will fly after each hit. You’ll get to play in battle stages from many of your favorite Nintendo characters as well. So you’ll get to experience some stages from retro Nintendo games in a whole new light.
There are plenty of items and musical tracks from many of the best Nintendo games as well. Another fun aspect of Super Smash Bros Melee is unlocking new characters. When you start the game you’ll have a smaller roster of characters to choose from, but as you play you’ll unlock many other classic characters.
There is also a robust multiplayer option where you can face off in massive multiplayer battles, team battles, and much more. The game also has fun challenges and other mini-games you can play like breaking targets and a home run contest. You can also unlock hundreds of unlockable video game-related trophies by completing various challenges.
If you are a fighting game fan and enjoy Nintendo characters, Super Smash Bros Melee is definitely one of the best Gamecube games you should play.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Gamecube is a 3D action beat’em up style game. The story of the game features classic Ninja Turtles villains like Shredder and you can play as any of the turtles. The game also follows the first season of the new TMNT cartoon show that came out around the same time.
This was the first Ninja Turtles game I had played that was in 3D so that was another new take on the beat’em up genre for the Ninja Turtle games. I think they did a great job transitioning into the 3D world and for the most part, the controls play very well.
The early arcade beat’em up Ninja Turtles games were always some of my favorites growing up. It had been many years without a good Ninja Turtles game coming out prior to this game’s release.
Another great feature of this game is that each Ninja Turtle doesn’t play the exact same. Each has its own unique weapons and special moves, which can increase the replay value if you want to beat the game with each turtle.
In each level, you’ll also face off against challenging bosses from the Ninja Turtles universe. There’s even a versus mode where you can fight it out against another player. If you like beat’em up style games I’d definitely recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as it’s one of the best Gamecube games!
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II
Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 is an MMO action RPG. The story of the game takes place in a distant future where a massive colony ship lands on the planet Ragol to colonize the planet.
Unfortunately, under mysterious circumstances, all of the colonists have disappeared. You play as a hunter that is sent to explore the planet and uncover what happened to the lost colonists.
There are a wide variety of character classes you can play as and character races to choose from. This will change your character’s playstyle, abilities, and weapon types they can effectively use. There are a lot of areas to explore with unique enemies and massive bosses you can take on.
The great thing about this MMO RPG is that it can be played entirely offline as well as online. In addition to that, you can play offline co-operatively with up to 4 players split-screen. My friends and I played this for hundreds of hours growing up and it was a ton of fun.
You can also share items and equipment between multiple characters on your same system so it makes it a lot easier to build multiple characters. If you like action RPGs this is one of my favorites of all time and is definitely one of the best Gamecube games.
The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker
This was the first Gamecube Legend of Zelda game and I was initially pretty skeptical on if I would like it or not. I was extremely excited for the next generation Zelda game to come out and to see the big leap in graphics from the Ocarina of Time and the Nintendo 64.
However, when I first saw the cartoon-style graphics this game featured I was disappointed. The good news is that once I had a chance to play it and experience all that was possible with the cartoon-style graphics this quickly hopped on my list of the best Gamecube games.
This game takes place hundreds of years after the events of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and most of the world have become a vast ocean. You’ll play as a new reincarnation of Link as he battles the forces of evil and Gannon.
This leads to some unique game mechanics as you’ll have to sail vast oceans to search for treasure, items, and dungeons. The gameplay is more linear where you’ll explore dungeons, get an item, beat a boss, and then move on to the next. However, you have many treasures and items to find throughout the open ocean so that gives the game somewhat of an open world feel as well.
The cartoon art style actually leads to some fun and unexpected game mechanics and it really grew on me as I played. If you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker, it is must play and one of the top Gamecube games worth playing.
Tales of Symphonia
Tales of Symphonia is an action RPG for Gamecube that has become one of my favorite RPGs of all time and is one of the top Gamecube games on our list. In this game, you’ll play as Lloyd and a band of other heroes as they journey together to save their dying world.
Tales of Symphonia is another installment in the Tales series, which is a long-running franchise. The stand-out feature of the Tales series is its action-based combat.
The combat feels similar to a fighting game but in a 3D environment. For example, you can map various abilities and attacks to the controller buttons and unleash them on enemies. You can also control one character at a time and switch at any time. This can allow you to time certain attacks as combos or to heal party members as you need to.
Not only is the combat engaging, but the storyline also is great as well, and has a few twists you won’t see coming. Another fun element of the game is the grade system. Depending on how quickly you defeat enemies in battle you will earn additional grade.
You can use grade to purchase special features after you complete the game like gaining double experience after a battle and much more. This greatly enhances the replay value of the game as you’ll want to play the game many times to use these special features.
This is one of the best RPGs and top Gamecube games and I definitely recommend it.
Resident Evil 4
Another one of the top Gamecube games and one of the best Resident Evil games in the series is Resident Evil 4. In this Resident Evil game, you play as Leon Kennedy as he goes on a journey to save the president’s kidnapped daughter.
You’ll travel to a remote location somewhere in Europe and face off against a new bioweapon and more intelligent forms of Zombies. This time around the zombies can use weapons and communicate with each other making the game more intense.
Resident Evil 4 in my opinion totally revolutionized the Resident Evil series. It changed the gameplay perspective from a birds-eye view into a 3rd person shooter. This created a much better control scheme and made the game much more scary and fun.
On top of that, Resident Evil 4 introduced some RPG elements to the game as well. As you kill enemies you’ll collect money that you can then use in shops you’ll find that allow you to buy new weapons and upgrade your arsenal and inventory.
This made the gameplay more addicting and fun trying to collect everything. There are also a lot of hidden items scattered throughout the game that can be sold to the shop for a lot of money. There are even additional unlockables once you beat the game which really increases the replay value of the game.
If you haven’t played Resident Evil 4 and are a fan of survival horror games, this is a must-play game and deserves its place as one of the top Gamecube games.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3 Rebel Strike
If you are a Star Wars fan, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3 Rebel Strike is another one of the top Gamecube games. The Rogue Squadron series for the most part takes place during the events of the original Star Wars Trilogy.
You’ll pilot many of the classic spaceships from the Star Wars series through various missions that take place during the series. Some recreate scenes that happen in the movies, while others are supplemental to the main storyline.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3 Rebel Strike adds another gameplay element to the game of on-foot missions. This allows you to play classic characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. There are even missions in this game where you get to pilot ships and vehicles from the empire.
The game also has different medal levels you can achieve on the levels based on bonus challenges you can complete. These medals can then be used to unlock new ships and vehicles from the series like the Millennium Falcon and much more.
On top of that, you also can play through most of the missions from Rogue Squadron 2 in a split-screen two-player co-op mode. So it’s almost like you get two games in one. This is a definite must-play and is one of the best Gamecube games for Star Wars fans.
Imagine crossing Ghostbusters with the Mario franchise and you’ll get Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube. Needless to say as a massive Ghostbusters fan I was a bit skeptical of this game and didn’t actually play it until recently. I’m definitely glad I finally did as I now consider it one of the best Gamecube games.
The story of Luigi’s Mansion centers around Luigi getting a letter that he has won a mansion in a contest, that he didn’t even enter. Luigi and Mario go to investigate and when they do Mario is captured by ghosts.
You play as Luigi as he tries to save Mario from the haunted mansion. You’ll team up with professor E.Gadd and use his Poltergust 3000 vacuum to capture the many ghosts throughout the mansion and to save Mario.
The gameplay has sort of an early Resident Evil feel mixed with Ghostbusters. You’ll explore the mansion taking on many ghosts, but each room usually has some kind of puzzle associated with it. You’ll find many locked doors and you’ll need to capture certain major ghosts to move forward.
The game isn’t too challenging or scary for that matter, but some of the puzzles can get a bit tricky. You’ll have a variety of abilities for your Poltergust 3000 like shooting fire and ice to solve some puzzles and to capture certain ghosts.
Capturing the ghosts is very satisfying and depending on how well you do in the game, there are multiple endings. If you haven’t played Luigi’s Mansion, pick it up as it is certainly one of the top Gamecube games.
Resident Evil Zero
Resident Evil Zero is another one of the best Gamecube games and it is a prequel to the first Resident Evil game. It still features somewhat of a tank control scheme, but it does still play smoother than the original games that came out on Playstation. The graphics are also superior to the original PlayStation which makes it that much more fun to play.
The story follows Rebecca Chambers a police officer of the Racoon City Police as she investigates some brutal murders that are happening outside of Racoon City. While she is investigating she meets Billy Coen an escaped felon and ex-marine. Together they get caught up in unraveling the mystery of the Raccoon City murders and the events that lead up to the zombie outbreak in the first Resident Evil game.
One thing that is unique about this game is that you play as both the characters at the same time throughout the game. In previous Resident Evil games, you would play through the story as one character, and then after you beat the game you could experience the story as the other main character.
In Resident Evil Zero, you can swap between the two characters as you play to solve puzzles and to take on the various bioweapons. This leads to some fun and challenging gameplay as each character has different weapons and each can only reach certain areas. You’ll need to have both works together to reach the end of the game.
Plus, the game introduces some new creepy bioweapons like leaches that turn people into zombies and much more. It’s one of my favorite games on Gamecube and is definitely one of the top Gamecube games worth playing.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
This was the first 3D Sonic game I ever played and it still holds up to me as one of the best Gamecube games. The story of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is split up into two parts, a hero story, and a dark story.
The hero story follows Sonic and his friends on a quest to save the world from Dr. Eggman and Shadow the hedgehog. In the dark storyline, you’ll play as Shadow Dr. Eggman and other villains as they try and take over the world.
Each character you play has a bit of a different gameplay style as well. Sonic and Shadow for example go super fast through levels like a traditional Sonic game, but this time in 3D. Tails and Dr. Eggman pilot mech robots and shoot down enemies while they try and get through the levels. Finally Knuckles and Rouge the bat go on missions collecting parts of the master emerald.
On top of that, there is a fun part of the game called the Chao Garden. In this part of the game, you will collect, raise, race, and battle with Chao creatures. To me, it played like a cross between Pokemon and Chocobo racing from Final Fantasy 7.
While many people seem to really dislike 3D Sonic games, I’ve found this to be one that is actually really fun. If you are a Sonic fan and want to play one of the best 3D versions, I’d recommend Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, as it makes my list of the top Gamecube games.
Soul Calibur 2
Soul Calibur 2 was a 3D fighting game that was released on multiple systems including the Gamecube. What was really unique about this game was the fact that each game system got its own unique character you could play in addition to the regular roster of characters. For Gamecube, you got to play as Link from The Legend of Zelda, which is why this is one of the best Gamecube games.
Not only does this game feature a wide selection of characters, each with their own playstyle, but each character also has a weapon type they use. As you play the game you can unlock different weapons for each character and they all play a little bit differently. Some have a longer reach, others are faster, others do more damage, and much more.
Because of these weapon differences and various abilities it really lets you customize your character to your unique play style and strategy. This really increases the replay value of the game.
On top of that, there is a really fun weapon master mode, which combines the fighting game with some great RPG elements. You’ll explore a map that has multiple paths to choose where you’ll encounter unique battles with different win conditions and challenges. For example, you might have to fight an enemy that is invisible or has a short time to win, and many more challenges.
Through this weapon master mode, you’ll earn experience and gold that you can use to buy new weapons. The combo of a fighting game with these RPG elements and the ability to play as Link definitely make it one of the top Gamecube games.
Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door, is a unique RPG for the Gamecube, and if you like RPGs this is definitely one of the best Gamecube games. For many people, this is their favorite Paper Mario game in the series.
The story starts as a treasure hunt for Mario as he is sent a treasure map and letter from Princess Peach. This leads Mario on a quest for a way to open the Thousand-Year Door and along the way he needs to also rescue the kidnapped Princess.
You’ll play this turn-based RPG as Mario and several side characters each with their own unique abilities. These abilities also utilize timed attacks in the turn-based battles. However, instead of just pushing a button at the right time these time attacks often have congruent matching inputs on the controller. For example, when Mario swings his hammer you need to hold back on the joystick to power it up and time it just right for when he swings the hammer down.
On top of that, the battles take place on a stage, like for a play, and the audience can get involved in battles too. The better you perform in battle the more the crowd grows and they can assist in the battle or hinder your progress depending on how you do.
This game has a fun sense of humor and adds in some unique game mechanics based around Mario being made of paper. For example, you’ll gain abilities based on your paper characteristics like turning into a paper airplane to fly long distances and reach hard-to-get places.
If you like RPGs with a lighthearted story and fun atmosphere I’d definitely recommend this game as it is one of the top Gamecube games by far.
The Gamecube was one of my favorite game systems growing up and there were so many great games on the system. It’s hard to include every one of the best Gamecube games as there were so many good ones from so many different genres.
Many of the top Gamecube games also had multiple entries from a series so in this list I tried to limit the number of games from a series. The exception to this was Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Zero. One has more of the modern Resident Evil controls and 3rd person shooter style while the other has the more traditional tank control style from the original 3 Resident Evil games.
So if you see games that you like on this list you might want to check out others from the series as well. Overall though, the Gamecube had so many great games, I probably left out many that you may enjoy. Leave a comment below if there are any more of the best Gamecube games you think we missed as I may not have played them and I’m always looking to add more top Gamecube games to my backlog!