WarioWare, Inc: Mega Party Game$! (GCN)

A remake of the GBA game WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgames!, this home console version added multiplayer to an already brilliantly unhinged concept of microgames that mashes together tiny tasks with a time limit to produce a hectic, hilarious experience. It feels like R&D1 were unchained and allowed to vent their bursting creativity, channelling it into a game without being encumbered by the usual Nintendo 'polish' everyone expects, which gives this game (and the wider series) a remarkable and unique feeling of freshness.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess took the series back to an art style closer to Ocarina of Time, albeit a little earthier and obviously benefiting from the power of the 'Cube. For many fans, it was the 'realistic' Zelda they'd been pining for after Nintendo took a left turn with The Wind Waker's cel-shading, and although it didn't quite strike all the right notes, it still features some breathtaking dungeons, memorably oddball characters, and a unique atmosphere.

Setting a precedent that Nintendo would later repeat with Breath of the Wild, Twilight Princess straddled generations, bookending the GameCube and launching the Wii with some added waggle and widescreen.

Ikaruga (GCN)

The GameCube version of this masterpiece shooter will cost you an arm and a leg these days, and with the Switch version of Ikaruga offering extra benefits like portability and the ability to twist your Switch and play in Tate mode, it's hard to justify splashing so much cash just to get it on a cute GameCube disc. If you still own it from back in the day, though, Treasure's seminal shmup is indeed something to treasure forever. Still hard as nails, though.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GCN)

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is a brilliant psychological horror game that blends Resident Evil-style survival horror with Lovecraftian Old World magick and an era-hopping historical narrative to create something quite unique and only available on GameCube. It may take you a while to get into its spellcasting and unusual mix of styles (and that may be the reason second-hand copies cost mere pennies for so many years), but once it gets under your skin it's a hard game to shake. The fourth wall-breaking sanity effects always steal the column inches, but the ambitious, dread-soaked story deserves just as much recognition, and whether you're a hardcore horror aficionado or a novice that needs a walkthrough with the lights on, we recommend playing this any which way you can.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN)

The first home console Fire Emblem to be released in the West — and only the third to be localised — GameCube's Path of Radiance introduced us to Ike, leader of the Greil Mercenaries and rocker of a blue barnet. The game was the first in the series to feature fully 3D graphics, and features the strongest story of any game in the series.

Ike would go on to join the fight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and gain notoriety there before returning in the Wii sequel to this game, Radiant Dawn. Unfortunately, this luminary pair of home-console Emblems aren't too easy to find these days, with both of them still exclusive to their original hardware and fetching eye-watering prices on the secondhand market. By modern standards, Path of Radiance is lacking somewhat when it comes to presentation, but how we'd love to be able to play it anew without having to crack out the 'Cube! We like Ike.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

There's a reason that to this day Super Smash Bros. Melee has a dedicated hardcore following in the fighter community. Fans will say it's tighter, faster, and requires more skill than other entries. They'll point to it being far more entertaining to watch than its successors, down to this faster pace. They'll point out its better balance. All compelling arguments.

More broadly, though, it's a brilliant local multiplayer brawler that sanded the rough edges off the N64 original, added a metric ton of content, and — yes — feels the most balanced of all entries in the series before the roster ballooned. Smash would continue to grow from here on out, but there's an elegance and purity to the GameCube iteration that makes it worth revisiting if you're knee-deep in Ultimate and want to try a different flavour of superstar brawling.

Metroid Prime (GCN)

Metroid Prime is the kind of game that people say 'shouldn't' have worked. Despite finding the 2D heart of both the Mario and Zelda franchises and transplanting them into 3D, somehow there was extreme scepticism that it could also be done with the Metroid series as well. Perhaps it was because second-party studio Retro Studios was at the helm rather than Shigeru Miyamoto and his band of wizards at Nintendo HQ, but Retro managed to produce one of the finest games on the system, or indeed any system.

The design, extraordinary atmosphere and sense of exploration and progression of the 2D games all transfer incredibly well into a first-person shooter and while the Wii version might have added the IR pointer control scheme of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there's still something to be said for experiencing the original using the controller it was designed for. With Metroid Prime 4 in development for Switch, now is a great time to rediscover the original and what made it so great — and with the sublime Metroid Prime Remastered now available, it's never been easier.

Animal Crossing (GCN)

It's arguable that this series really came into its own in a portable context with the wonderful Animal Crossing: Wild World on Nintendo DS, but the N64 original nailed most of the systems first time out and this GameCube port of that Japan-only release introduced Animal Crossing's pleasant real-time village antics to the west. It's a series that you play a little bit every day and that's much more easily accomplished on a handheld system which you can whip out on the bus or take on your lunch break. It's hard to return to a village tied to a home console these days, but then again it's hard to return to any previous entry once you've become accustomed to the myriad quality-of-life improvements of the next. We'll always have the memories, though, and this first taste of village life was sweet.

Doshin The Giant (GCN)

Doshin The Giant is a wholly unique and pleasingly confusing experience. Balancing working hard and being loved alongside doing things quickly but being hated — as well as random natural disasters — allows for a degree of tactics in an otherwise super chilled-out game. Villagers can have unreasonable demands that often contradict their neighbour's, who is standing two metres away, but that’s the price you pay for having such heavy responsibilities. It’s showing some signs of age in its visuals, but the terraforming mechanics alone are still impressively modern, and make Doshin the Giant a great game to play even today.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GCN)

Seeing Metal Gear Solid — a game synonymous with Sony's PlayStation — on a Nintendo console was a very welcome, if jarring, experience back in 2004. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was developed in the main by Silicon Knights, the same studio behind Eternal Darkness, and incorporated aspects of gameplay from Sons of Liberty into the original MGS game. It also boasts obvious graphical upgrades and entirely re-recorded dialogue featuring almost all the original cast. The new additions were generally well-received, although the gameplay additions arguably trivialised some of the original game's difficulty. Still, it's a fine version of a classic and well worth adding to your collection (although tracking it down for a sensible price these days is a mission worthy of Solid Snake himself).

Super Monkey Ball (GCN)

Times they were a-changing back in the early 2000s and for gamers there was no surer sign than a Nintendo console launching with a game from arch-rivals Sega. Fortunately, Sega hit the ground running (or should that be rolling?) on other companies' hardware with Super Monkey Ball, a fantastically surreal and vibrant series of gauntlets that had you tilting the terrain to guide a monkey in a ball to a goal. It really is all in the title, and while Sega fans might have felt blue at the time, this was a great indication that the company's spirit would live on.

TimeSplitters 2 (GCN)

Developed by Free Radical, a studio formed from several of the people behind N64 Rareware hits GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, this sequel built on the foundation of the PlayStation original with a more satisfying story, more refinement... and generally more of everything. For Nintendo gamers smarting after Rare joined Microsoft's stable of development studios, Timesplitters 2 offered a thrillingly familiar-feeling multiplayer FPS deathmatch experience which we'd love to see return in some capacity on modern systems, especially handheld hybrid ones produced by Nintendo. Until then, we'll have to make do this the GameCube original.

What year did GameCube come out?

The Nintendo GameCube launched in Japan on September 14th, 2001. It would arrive in North America on November 18th, 2001, and in Europe on May 3rd, 2002.

How many GameCube games are there?

In total, 651 games were officially released on the GameCube.

Can you play GameCube games on Wii?

Yes, you can! The Wii has GameCube controller and memory card slots – you'll need both to play GameCube games on the Wii.

What's the most expensive GameCube game?

Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire was only sold in North America by the New York Pokémon Center, and even then, it was only on sale for a year. It's thought to be worth as much as $5,000!

What was the best-selling game on GameCube?

Super Smash Bros. Melee is the best-selling GameCube game, with 7.41 million copies sold.