The Nintendo GameCube is a home console first released in Europe in May of 2002. It was the successor to the exceptionally popular N64 and Nintendo’s entry in the sixth generation of video game consoles, competing directly with the PS2, Xbox and Dreamcast, at the time. While the GameCube was characterised as a commercial failure, losing Nintendo a sizeable market share, there were some fantastic games released on the console.

Here’s Game Swap Shop UK’s top 10 must play games for Nintendo GameCube owners or those thinking about adding a GameCube to their retro Nintendo collection. While we could well have included multiple Zelda games on this list we’ve tried to diversify it a little!

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released in Japan in December 2002, in North America in March 2003, and in Europe in May 2003. The ninth entry in the Zelda series is simply a must have title for your GameCube library. It features a good story, beautiful visuals and a great combat system – not to mention the melodies! This classic action adventure game has aged incredibly given the stunning visuals and if you’ve still not played the original game you’ll certainly be wanting to revisit the cel-shaded world, excellent combat, charming characters, intriguing dungeons and cool little side quests.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee is probably one of the most inventive fighting games ever released. It’s the second installment in the series and features characters from Mario, Pokemon, Star Fox and of course Zelda. You can choose to do battle in over 20 stages and duke it out with tons of items, like Bob-ombs and the Super Scope. Again the visuals for this game are simply beautiful with Mario’s overalls detailed down to the rivets! In our opinion, this is a must-play for any Nintendo fan or fighting game fan out there.

Animal Crossing

Who doesn’t love Animal Crossing? The game was originally released in Japan for the N64 before getting enhanced and released the same year for the Nintendo GameCube. The first installment in the franchise was a critical and commercial success and is considered one of the earliest examples of the casual game genre. If you love Animal Crossing and haven’t played the game that marked the beginning of the franchise then what are you waiting for?

Metroid Prime

Readers of this who have only just been introduced to the Metroid franchise through the massively successfully Metroid Dread will no doubt be looking at other Metroid games to delve into. Metroid Prime for GameCube is definitely up there with the best of them! It’s the fourth main installment in the Metroid franchise and the first game in the series to use 3D computer graphics and a first-person perspective.

By the way, if you’ve not played Metroid Dread yet, we’re currently running a competition to win a copy plus a £20 eShop voucher for just 50p! Enter below…

Mario Kart Double Dash

With so many great features, it’s hard to argue against Double Dash being the best Mario Kart game. While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great entry and a pivotal part of the Switch’s array of games, it’s not quite as special as Double Dash. From the characters to the courses, amazing features, awesome battle mode and so much more, Double Dash is a must-own for GameCube owners…

Soulcalibur II

Soulcalibur II is a 2002 fighting game developed by Project Soul and published by Namco and the third installment in the Soulcalibur series of weapon-based fighting games. This is arguably the best entry in the series with its unique cast of characters and diverse combos. Heavy hitters, rapid-attacking characters, and everything in between were available in this game. It was also rated the 18th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power’s Top 200 Games list.

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 for GameCube makes use of, at the time, the console’s technological prowess to the fullest – allowing for breathtaking 3D graphics and effects. One of the most beautiful looking GameCube titles to grace the console and a masterpiece of video game storytelling. As I write this it’s my favourite survival horror of all time to this day and up there in my top 10 games list ever!


Pikmin is a 2001 real-time strategy and puzzle video game, developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. The game was created and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, and is the first entry in the Pikmin series. If you’ve still never played a Pikmin game, start with this! If you’ve only been introduced to the series through the latest games on the Switch and Wii U and have a GameCube then pick this us as soon as you can, you’ll love it! It’s a fairly short game (only 30 game days, which could be finished in a weekend) but it looks and sounds great and is highly addictive! There’s also a cool challenge mode for added replay value.

F-Zero GX

F-Zero GX is the fastest racing game ever made and one of the most imaginative and fun. It’s just a blast! I really can’t wait until the day they remake F-Zero for the Switch or future consoles. F-Zero GX is the fourth installment in the F-Zero series and the successor to F-Zero X. The game continues the series’ difficult, high-speed racing style, retaining the basic gameplay and control system from the Nintendo 64 title.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

The Thousand-Year Door is the second game in the Paper Mario series following Paper Mario. It takes many gameplay elements from its predecessor but emphasises timing moves correctly. The story was engaging, the gameplay was great and it actually won the “RPG of the Year” award at the ’05 Interactive Achievement Awards. The story is around 30 hours to complete and it really captures the excitement and fun of the Super Mario Bros Series. One of the most beloved and influential RPG’s ever made. Expect to pay £100+ to pick this one up though.

So there you have it, Game Swap Shop UK’s 10 must play games for the Nintendo GameCube. Let us know in the comments or on social media which of these you’ve played and which you haven’t! Also let us know if you have a game in your top 10 that’s not made our list 🙂