The Nintendo GameCube has turned 15 today, having made its debut in Europe on 3rd May 2002. A hugely underrated console in its era, the years since release have seen the arguably commercially underperforming console looked upon with a welcoming light. Out of the many classic titles on the console, here’s Switch Streamers’ picks for the top 15 we would welcome ported to the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has proved to be hugely popular on the Nintendo Switch (as well as the Wii U), but there’s much more that can be done besides. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was the first videogame title from the legendary franchise on the GameCube, and upon reveal was heavily criticised for its cel-shaded graphical style. This didn’t prevent it from going on to become one of the most widely acclaimed instalments however, later receiving a high-definition (HD) update on Wii U.
A forgotten treasure? Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe was one of the ‘Capcom 5’ touted from the publisher as exclusives for the GameCube. Resident Evil 4, perhaps inevitably, received a PlayStation2 port less than a year after it’s GameCube debut (and later launched on nearly every console under the sun), P.N.03 received mixed reviews, Killer 7 launched simultaneously on PlayStation2 and Dead Phoenix was cancelled. And so, Viewtiful Joe stands true as the GameCube ‘exclusive’ that got the most exclusivity for it’s buck. Shame the series has since flat lined.
Kirby Air Ride
Given that Nintendo had already released both Mario Kart: Double Dash!! And F-Zero GX on the GameCube to significant critical acclaim, Kirby Air Ride was considered a throwaway racing videogame. That’s a real shame, as despite its relative ease Kirby Air Ride offers some interesting mechanics. The simple controls are a defining feature: unlike most racing videogames no input is necessary for the player to move accelerate. The analogue stick is used to steer and the A button performs all other actions in the videogame including braking, charging up a boost, sucking in nearby enemies and thereafter using the powers absorbed from them.
A launch title for the GameCube, Luigi’s Mansion received some negative press at release simply for not being a Super Mario title. However, developing a cult following amongst the core Nintendo demographic lead to the release of a sequel on Nintendo 3DS 11 years later. A port of either of these titles would be welcomed on Nintendo Switch, in truth.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
So Mario Kart 8: Deluxe has just been released, and is storming the worldwide sales charts. However, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! remains an interesting entry in the series: a throwback to an era when Nintendo still believed that innovation in software would guarantee a good reception, and that an experiment was better than stagnation. That’s not to say Mario Kart 8: Deluxe is bad by any means – it’s arguably the best in the series – but a revisit to that dual-racer, two-player mechanic would certainly be interesting.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Another The Legend of Zelda title that made its debut on GameCube (albeit simultaneously with the Nintendo Wii version of the videogame, similarly to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess finally delivered that more realistic, darker theme that fans had been clamouring for more of since The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the Nintendo 64. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild arguably walks the line between this and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, but more The Legend of Zelda is always welcome.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Arguably one of the best Star Wars videogames ever made, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was the critically acclaimed follow-up to the Nintendo 64 exclusive Star Wars Rogue Squadron. A space combat videogame, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was followed by a third title in the series which took a massive misstep in adding on-foot sections.
It’s perhaps inevitable that we’ll see Animal Crossing arriving on the Nintendo Switch at some point, given that it’s currently one of Nintendo’s biggest-selling franchises, however the GameCube version was were it all started for many. An update of the Japan-only Nintendo 64 videogame, Animal Crossing was essentially released as a trial effort in North America back in 2002. It then took a further two years to see release in Europe, and even then in very limited numbers. How times have changed.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
One of the most popular cult titles on the GameCube, rumours have been circulation about a follow-up to the ill-fated Silicon Knights’ Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem for some time. However, many would be more than happy to simply welcome a remaster of the original title, Switch Streamers included!
Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet
Essentially a ‘Zelda-lite’ title in the Star Fox franchise – with a little bit of Arwing action thrown in for good measure – Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet is like marmite amongst Nintendo’s core audience; either loved or hated. Much of that emotion may come from the fact that the title was originally headed to the Nintendo 64 without Nintendo’s space combat franchise attached, and that since finding a good Star Fox title has been a hard job indeed.