11 Most Nostalgic Gamecube Games

Take a look and see if your favorite Gamecube game made this list!
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Like most people my age, the Nintendo Gamecube is one of the most nostalgic pieces of machinery in our young, but mature minds. I still remember the moment when 8-year-old me realized I had just gotten this little box of nostalgia.

I was with my dad in Arizona, going to elementary school. As the dates got closer to Christmas, the festive tree followed suit. The soft glow of the Christmas lights illuminated the living room just enough to serve as the perfect night light.

Under the tree sat a long, rectangular present with my name on it. I stared at it for a few minutes every day, just mulling over what it could be. 

One day, my dad finds me looking at the oddly shaped present persistently to crack its code. As he dries his hair off with a towel, he acknowledges my attempt to decipher it.

"I know you think there might be a Gamecube in there, but there isn't. I mean, look at the shape. There's no way that could be a Gamecube. Sorry, son."

I was discouraged, but I struggled it off. 

At least I'm getting something I thought.

Boy, was I fooled.

The time came for me to open up this rectangular gift. As I ripped off the thin, fragile wrapping paper, here appeared a toolbox.

Or so I thought.

I was baffled at the thought of my father getting an 8-year-old a toolbox. Speechless, I continue to open my gift.

Sure enough, I see it.

The purple diamond encasing a smaller cube was staring right at me. I was probably the most excited about a present than I ever been. If my dad didn't pull the wool over my eyes for this present, I may have not had such a prominent imprint on that memory like I do today.

My nostalgia with Gamecube stretches before I ripped it out of its packaging, and that was only the beginning.

I spent countless hours of my childhood playing Gamecube. I even have one sitting under my desk, ready to be fired up as I write this.

With that being said, here are the top 11 games from the Gamecube era that are most nostalgic to me.

1. Super Mario Sunshine

Super Mario Sunshine
Image Source: Wikipedia

I'll start with the first game I had for the Gamecube. In fact, it came with the console in a promotional deal. I didn't get a chance to set the console up that night, but on Christmas morning, it was on.

I set up my Gamecube like an electrician would in a new house. I became lost in Super Mario Sunshine. 

I still remember the island of Delfino and the versatile water backpack companion named F.L.U.D.D. This new water backpack added a dynamic to the moves you could perform with Mario.

Cleaning up the islands of Delfino to clear Mario's name, which he was wrongly accused of graffitiing and stealing the island's Shine Sprites was a different route than its predecessors. 

I didn't need a new game for a while after I got my Gamecube since this game occupied my time well past Christmas Day.

2. Super Smash Bros Melee

Super Smash Bros Cover Art
Image Source: Wikipedia

This one is a world-renowned party favorite. Me, my step-sisters, and my step-dad would constantly play this game in a chaotic frenzy, knocking each other off the various stages for hours on end. On the opposite end, we would watch each other play the story so we can unlock more characters.

My go-to Smash Bros character was Link and still is today.

3. Pokemon Colosseum

Pokemon Colosseum Cover
Image Source: Wikipedia

This console installment for Pokemon was much darker than its predecessors. The protagonist, Wes, battles to save Pokemon who have had their hearts darkened to become stronger courtesy of the evil Cipher Organization.  

Wes is accompanied by Rui who can see the essence of shadow Pokemon. Once a Shadow Pokemon is spotted by Rui, you must steal the Pokemon from the current trainer and train the darkness out of its heart.

I fell in head first with this game. If I remember correctly, I got this game in 5th grade. One particular memory I have is trying to look at the clock every few seconds so I can prolong my upcoming bedtime to keep playing longer.

4. Super Monkey Ball 2

Super Monkey Ball 2
Image Source: Wikipedia

This is another party favorite. Again, I remember playing with my family for hours on end. The platform puzzles with adorable monkey protagonists trapped in plastic, rolling balls was a corky concept, to say the least.

But it sure was fun.

Getting the monkeys to the end of the puzzle will free them and they will proceed to fly away with their newly found wings.

There are a plethora of mini-games in Super Monkey Ball 2. My favorite was the "Monkey Target." Trying to fly your monkey and drop it on the highest possible point platform was constantly played by me and my family.

5. Mario Party (All of them)

The 7th Mario Party Game
Image Source: Amazon

Continuing with the party games, we'll talk about the king of party games for the Gamecube in Mario Party. This again was a family favorite. I'm not going to pick a specific Mario Party since there have been 2 dozen installments of the series.

In a virtual board game, we would all pick our favorite characters and select a map. This game provided a healthy competition between my step-sisters and me.

It also helps us developed team-building skills as we sometimes played in groups. The mini-games at the end of every turn seemed endless in their variety, keeping us kids entertained for hours.

6. Madden '05

Madden 05 Gamecube Cover
Image Source: Fully Retro

Now, this wasn't a Gamecube original, but it's one of the most nostalgic games for me. The combination of this game and watching the Minnesota Vikings turning their season around in 2004 introduced me to my favorite sport and passion that has long outlived my playing days.

I've played almost every Madden since 2005 and I can say with all confidence:

This is the best Madden game of all time. The introduction of the hit-stick was game-changing and is still in Madden today.

Since the NFL and EA license agreement in 2005, there has been no other development company able to make a simulation football game with all of the NFL teams.

Consequently, with no competition, EA sports has gotten incredibly lazy with the Madden series in the last decade. 

There are literally HUNDREDS of game modes and features missing in the newer Madden game than its older counterparts. 

It's funny to think that a triple-A caliber video game title rips out its most enriching features and game modes in order the exploit younger players with microtransactions. However, it's not surprising.

Youtuber SOFTDRINKTV made a hefty list of all the features missing in the newer Maddens:

 

7. Sonic Heros

Sonic Heros Cover
Image Source: Wikipedia

Another game not exclusive to Gamecube, Sonic Heros is still a favorite of mine from that console. The fast-paced levels with colorful and expansive worlds provided an emphasis on finishing the levels with speed and the number of enemies defeated.

You could choose four different teams to play story mode which gave four separate storylines culminating in an epic climax with the evil Dr. Eggman.

I remember my Dad getting this game for me and sending it in the mail. I ripped it out of the package and didn't look back.

This is the first game I truly binged on. I had a 6-hour game session the first time I played it. I remember finishing the binge and looked in the mirror to see my eyes had bags under them.

This was the first time I noticed bags under my eyes. Since that day in 4th grade, they haven't seemed to leave.

Imagine that.

8. Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing Cover
Image Source: Wikipedia

Now a worldwide phenomenon on Nintendo Switch, Animal Crossing had humble, yet adorable beginnings. 

The small, yet amiable world gave a sense of calm as you fished, collected artifacts, and helped your neighbors.

One interesting time playing this game was when Resetti the Mole popped out in front of my house in the game. He is a character that practically forces you to save your game.

In defiance, I was about to reset the game. As soon as my finger brushed over the reset button, Resetti screamed "DON'T PRESS THE RESET BUTTON!"

This encounter got my friend and I spooked as we actually thought Resetti the Mole could feel us almost touching the reset button.

9. Zelda Windwaker

Legend Of Zelda Windwaker
Image Source: IGN

Just about all of the Legend of Zelda games are legendary on their own, so it's without a doubt Wind Waker was a classic for Gamecube. 

This installment showed a young, more animated Link taking on the "Great Sea" by manipulating the winds with his anamorphic sailboat the King of Red Lions.

I watched my friend play this game more than I actually played it myself, but I was equally as emersed in the spectacle as I would have been playing it.

10. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

Harvest Moon Cover

This game has such a soft spot in my heart. 

The premise of Harvest Moon is that you're a young man from the city inheriting your father's land in the rural town of Forget-Me-Not Valley. You must get married in the first year while growing crops and raising animals on your farm.

I played this game for hours on end, but never finished it because it was a slow-moving game. I never got bored watering my crops, taking care of my animals, or fishing at the local river though.

I always went for Celicia to be my wife, I thought I could get a discount on seeds from her mother.

11. Resident Evil 4

RE 4
Image Source: Wikipedia

Last, but certainly not least, I want to talk about one of the greatest video games of all time. Resident Evil 4 has been remastered countless times on many different consoles, but it had its beginnings as an exclusive game for the Gamecube.

Leon S. Kennedy attempts to investigate a small, unnamed village in Spain to rescue the President's daughter who was kidnapped by a cult.

Upon arriving in this town, Leon is faced with an even greater challenge as this cult is controlled by parasites. 

This game truly terrified me as a 5th grader. The first time I played it, I was by myself and jumped at every sudden sound or movement.

This was a game that was so long, it had two discs. The replayability was also high, so I would go on to watch friends play through multiple times as well.

This game is still popular today, and rightfully so.


Little Discs, Big Nostalgia

I couldn't mention all of my favorites Gamecube games as it would be too high of a list. Needless to say, these top 11 games had a great impact on me as a child and I will hold them, dear to my heart (and my entertainment center) for as long as I can.

Paul is passionate about mastering the craft of writing. Adaptive and charismatic over pen and paper, no subject is out of the question.

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