games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Gamecube Games

April 4, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. I figured since last week I talked about the Wii U, I might as well talk about another Nintendo console this week, the Gamecube. Truth be told, I got a Gamecube really late in the lifecycle of the console, practically when it was over. A lot of Gamecube stuff didn’t really interest me at the time, and the overall lineup for the console is kind of weak. That’s not to say there weren’t great games for the system, but compared to the original Xbox, and especially the PS2, it was somewhat lacking. I do have a few honorable mentions here before I start. Zelda: Wind Waker (the HD port is better, and I just talked about it last week), Zelda: Twilight Princess (it’s better than the Wii version, but still a garbage game), and Pikmin (I just never played it). With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Super Mario Sunshine

Super Mario 64 was considered a landmark game for its time, bringing 3D to gaming in a way that wasn’t really thought of before. Super Mario Sunshine…didn’t have that effect. Granted, there was the “it’s been done before’ mentality, but also the levels of Sunshine aren’t as memorable, the camera is worse in Sunshine, and the F.L.U.D.D. was finicky and weird. Still, if you could get past these issues, Sunshine is a decent enough game, for what it is, and at least set expectations low for Galaxy, which exceeded them immensely.

#7: Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi’s Mansion was one of the few Gamecube launch titles that didn’t suck, with the other two being Wave Race and Rogue Leader. While there were a few Luigi-centric titles in the past, they were largely throwaway junk. Luigi’s Mansion was a pretty cool adventure/horror game where you roamed around his new mansion, trying to defeat ghosts and find out what happened to Mario. Hunting down the ghosts, first stunning them with your flashlight then sucking them up with your vacuum is satisfying, and made it feel like more of a Ghostbusters game than the game that came out years later.

#6: Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

I still admire the ambition of Eternal Darkness. Very few games, even now, have more than one playable character, but Eternal Darkness has almost a dozen, I think. All the characters can impact the story and introduce different aspects of what is going on. The sanity meter, and following effects, is still a unique thing, and I think only one other game (Indigo Prophecy) even attempted this. While Denis Dyack continues to howl at the moon that Shadow of the Eternals is getting made, Eternal Darkness is a very special game still.

#5: Metroid Prime

When I think about Metroid Prime (2 and 3 for that matter), I’m reminded of the Dark Knight quote, “Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.” This kind of sums up my feelings on the Prime series. While the Gameboy Advance games picked up the slack with Fusion and Zero Mission, the Gamecube got Prime which was…odd. The way you circle strafe around enemies felt a tad cumbersome. I actually like the Prime series, but it doesn’t feel wholly connected to the actual Metroid franchise. Still, all the Prime games were solid games, even the third one (for the Wii), and deserve a place on this list.

#4: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

I know the MGS fanboys out there like to crap on this game. They pine away about how the game is more Americanized, or the over the top cut scenes, while also keeping the dream alive about MGS 5’s mission 51 is coming out. These people are crazy. Really, the only issue with Twin Snakes is the controls, since the Gamecube controller is one of the most ill-conceived controllers ever. However, taking the gameplay from MGS 2 and plunking it down into MGS 1 lets you experience the game from a different perspective. Plus, it was great returning to Shadow Moses that had a great level of detail to it. Maybe not as good as MGS 4’s, but it was still solid enough.

#3: Resident Evil 4

Ok, RE4 has come to at least…10 other consoles besides the Gamecube, since its original release. While the Gamecube version isn’t the best one, by any stretch, it was originally labeled as a “Gamecube exclusive” which is very funny in retrospect. Still, Resident Evil 4 really changed the face of survival horror, placing a much greater emphasis on action and gunplay, more than the past Resident Evil game had. It also went towards a more tongue-in-cheek vibe, with the merchant asking “What are ya’ buying?”, whenever you talk to him, or the ludicrous fight you have with Krauser near the end of the game. It’s really datable if Resident Evil 4 was a good thing for the franchise, since it led to RE5 and more importantly the turd known as Resident Evil 6, but Resident Evil 4 was a milestone game for its time.

#2: Animal Crossing

While Animal Crossing technically started on the N64 in Japan, it was first on Gamecube in America. Animal Crossing moves at a slow pace at first, since the goal is really to build whatever kind of house you want. However, there is always the pressure of repaying Tom Nook, otherwise known as history’s greatest villain, back. The game is cute, colorful, and just fun to explore and interact with the different citizens that can populate the town. Plus, you can unlock old NES games in it, which is great.

#1: Super Smash Bros Melee

I literally spent $40 buying a copy of this game a few weeks ago, and that was just for the disk. Melee took the original Smash Bros game, threw in over a dozen new characters, several new modes, and speeded the gameplay up by 50%, if not more. Characters are well-balanced in this game, even somewhat joke characters like Jigglypuff can be deadly in the hands of the right people. The new adventure mode, which not as deep as I would want, is still extremely fun to play, going through a lot of different Nintendo properties and setting up unique battles or tasks for you to complete. The best part of Melee, and the reason it’s still talked about today, is the multiplayer mode though, letting you have chaos with 3 other players, or going one on one against another player, which is why the game was still recently being played at gaming tournaments. Smash Bros Wii U might have lately taken its crown, but Melee is still fondly thought of as the best Smash Bros game.

For comments, list which Gamecube games you enjoy and why.

Next Issue
Top 8 Wanted Episodic Games

article topics :

The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison