GameCube classics we want on Nintendo Switch

Gamecube Open
Gamecube Open (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Nintendo has been answering the calls of nostalgia fans over the last few years. The Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass memberships include retro games available directly to the Switch. These include beloved titles like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword that have been remastered and built for the new console. Watching the company go on this roll has us wishing they would bring back some more classics from the GameCube era.

The Nintendo GameCube came out in 2001 and while it didn't sell as well as it was anticipated to, it is still a favored system among many Nintendo fans. There were many games created for the system before it was discontinued in 2007. Here are just a few that we wish would make a reappearance on the Switch.

Animal Crossing

Gamecube Animal Crossing

Gamecube Animal Crossing (Image credit: Gametropolis / YouTube (Screenshot))

Before there was an island, there was a simple town. This particular game has an interesting history and the franchise has seen overwhelming success since. Initially, this was only released in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. December 2001 through September 2004 they enhanced it, adjusted it to celebrate holidays based on the region of the game, and released it for the GameCube in Japan, North America, Australia, and Europe.

When it was first being created they imagined it not being the adorable lifestyle simulation game that it is, but a dungeon-based RPG. Instead, players enter a town to start a new life among the residents where they improve their homes by paying off their debt to Tom Nook piece by piece, shop for new clothing items, donate to the local museum, and build relationships with the villagers by interacting with them and helping them with various tasks.

The biggest difference I have noticed in the latest game compared to this GameCube treasure is the way you interact with your villagers. While you still write letters and connect with them, every once in a while you will see them with a little cloud over their head and help them make a decision, but regularly exploring your village looking for the items they've asked for your help with isn't how your conversations go anymore. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons has done an amazing job of keeping the base mechanics of the game, simultaneously adding new exciting features like the Happy Home Paradise DLC, there's nothing that will hit you with the same nostalgia as playing the original.

Beyond Good and Evil

Gamecube Beyond Good And Evil

Gamecube Beyond Good And Evil (Image credit: IGN / YouTube (Screenshot))

Beyond Good and Evil is a cult classic action-adventure game following the rebellion of an investigative reporter, Jade. In this sci-fi universe, people are disappearing. You play as Jade while she uncovers the truth about Alpha Sections in control of the planet. There are elements of stealth, racing, combat, and exploration that all help you get to the bottom of what's really going on and save your friends from becoming victim to it.

Although the game did not sell well during the launch period, it won IGN's Best Story award in 2003 for the GameCube version as well as many other awards and nominations for the character, story, audio, and design across multiple platforms. It was not only available on GameCube, but also on PlayStation 2, Windows, and Xbox. A remaster of the game has been done on other systems. Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network both saw HD versions of it in 2011, but no HD remasters have been released for Nintendo.

Ubisoft released a trailer for a prequel to this game in 2017. Although the official game website has not posted any updates since July 2020, Ubisoft has told Bloomberg in February 2022 that the game is in pre-production. A release date has not been announced. In the meantime, a throwback to the original on the Switch would be welcome.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Gamecube Eternal Darkness

Gamecube Eternal Darkness (Image credit: PlayscopeTimeline / YouTube (Screenshot))

For fans of horror, Lovecraft, and thrills, there is Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. This is a revolutionary game in more ways than one. Firstly, it is a dive into a whole new segment of games for Nintendo as the first M-rated game the company published. Secondly is the unique sanity meter which drops whenever you're seen. If it drops too low before you can get it back up, your brain begins to play tricks on you. Players will start hearing, seeing, and experiencing things that may not be actually happening.

You don't go through the story as the same character or even at the same time. There are twelve characters and different timelines in four places. The developers did a great job at tying it all together to make it a cohesive story. The non-linear approach to the story and Sanity Effects are in the game with the intent of messing with the player's head. Players try to survive, combating monsters and solving puzzles while attempting to hold onto their sanity.

The unique features of the game were very well received by players and critics alike. In 2002 it won and was nominated for many awards including GameSpot's Game of the Year on GameCube and an IGN Editor's Choice Award.

Luigi's Mansion

Gamecube Luigis Mansion

Gamecube Luigis Mansion (Image credit: TheHappyFaceKing / YouTube (Screenshot))

A family-friendly spooky game where Luigi gets to be the star! While this isn't Luigi's first solo appearance, it is definitely the most popular. When it was released in November 2001 it was the best-selling game. It added a great twist to the classic gameplay style Nintendo is known for.

In Luigi's Mansion, Luigi is told he won a mansion but he's suspicious. He asks Mario to meet up with him at the mansion he's won. When he arrives he can't find Mario. Shortly after, he discovers that the mansion is haunted by King Boo who has taken his brother. Luigi then explores the mansion, faces the ghosts inside with the help of Professor E. Gadd, and puts aside his fears to save Mario.

As you go through the game you have the usual adventure, puzzle-style you're used to in Nintendo games. But this spooky storyline you can share with family was unlike any other at the time. Now, we have seen Luigi's Mansion 3 on the Nintendo Switch and enjoyed the new gameplay features and multiplayer options, but we'd love to go back to where it all started!

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart Double Dash Gamecube

Mario Kart Double Dash Gamecube (Image credit: Nintendo)

Mario Kart is always a fan favorite on any Nintendo system, but Double Dash!! had a special feature we haven't seen in Mario Kart games before or since. The name Double Dash!! has a double meaning that comes from the two-character karts and a new Double Dash start feature. While this is still everything you'd expect out of a racing game, it does add a new element to the multiplayer options.

Playing solo you may not notice too much change as far as the gameplay mechanics go. But playing multiplayer there's a co-op option where one person controls the driving while the other is in charge of items. The rear player can even steal another team's item as they drive by if they aren't already holding an item. To get the Double Dash start, both players must hit the "A" button when the light turns green, similar to the Rocket Start in other Mario Kart games. There are also items in the game that are exclusive "Special Items" available to the pairs that aren't in other Mario Kart games.

Even though this was the second best-selling game on the GameCube, it had some mixed reviews from critics. Some argued that it wasn't enough of a racing game, and others felt it was too like the original. Although this may not be the best Mario Kart game, there isn't another option to play Mario Kart with these features and I'd love to see them on Switch.

Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime (Image credit: Nintendo)

Of course, you can't talk about GameCube games without bringing up the start of one of the best game series in the Metroid franchise, Metroid Prime. It was the first Metroid game to be in 3D first-person but brought back third-person for Samus' Morph Ball state. The first Metroid Prime was released in November 2002 and the second followed two years later, also on GameCube. The third in the series is the last so far and was released on Wii.

The series is set after Metroid and before Return of Samus. Tallon IV has been overcome by a poisonous gas and Space Pirates have taken shelter there to create experiments. In Metroid Prime, Samus has made her way there to stop them. After handling the Space Pirates on Tallon IV, Samus is sent to rescue a team from a ship but finds them dead, and even runs into Dark Samus.

Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are notoriously popular titles with several awards. They did very well at taking the common Metroid play and making it a little more modern with the 3D, first-person perspective. This isn't for the faint of heart though, Metroid Prime and especially Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are known for being a little more difficult to play than the other games in the franchise.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Paper Mario Screenshot

Paper Mario Screenshot (Image credit: NintendoMovies/YouTube (screenshot))

Paper Mario got its sequel with GameCube's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. This series incorporates the paper feature in an adorable and creative way. While the story is a classic Mario tale (Princess Peach has been captured and it's up to Mario to save her), the way you play it is different than the basic platformer structure.

Since Mario is made of paper, he can slide into hidden areas and change the view of the paper world by turning sideways. The game also brings in enemy battles, where instead of simply jumping onto your enemies to squish them out of existence, you go into an RPG-style turn-based battle.

This game has a humorous story, fun NPCs, and side quests. It is well-loved by players and critics alike. We did get to see Paper Mario: The Origami King, a new Paper Mario for the Switch, but we'd love to have this original title alongside it.


Gamecube Pikmin

Gamecube Pikmin (Image credit: Foulowe59 / YouTube (Screenshot))

The GameCube started another beloved series we have new games for on the Switch today, Pikmin. In this space-based puzzle and strategy game, the colored plant-like creatures are called Pikmin. Players control Captain Olimar who befriends the Pikmin to help him get the items he needs for his ship so he can get back before his air runs out.

The different colors and appearances of the Pikmin symbolize what they're good at. Using their strengths will help players get through each level. There's a limited number of Pikmin so you have to be careful how you use them.

This title was decently rated and is a great puzzle game, plus the cuteness factor always helps. For now, we at least have Pikmin 3 Deluxe to enjoy.

Pokémon Colosseum

Gamecube Pokemon Colosseum

Gamecube Pokemon Colosseum (Image credit: GoldMetalSonic / Youtube (Screenshot))

Yes, it's true that there are already numerous Pokémon titles on Switch, but this one takes it back to the beginning. Pokémon fans were first granted the ability to commence gym fights in Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64. Following this widely renowned game was Pokémon Colosseum, and it brought in the best of both worlds. In Pokémon Colosseum, players got to battle their Pokémon just like in Stadium, plus do some RPG exploration.

Players had the choice of playing the story or choosing from one of two battle modes where they can specifically battle like in Stadium. In the story, there is an organization stealing Pokémon and mistreating them and it's up to you to stop it.

Although it didn't have the usual aspect of wild Pokémon to catch and there were fewer overall creatures in the game, it was still a pretty good mix of the best aspects of the two types of Pokémon games that had existed up to that point.

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Gamecube Skies Of Arcadia

Gamecube Skies Of Arcadia (Image credit: Fandom)

While this title is technically a Dreamcast game ported to GameCube, I still think it's one worth the mention here and one I would love to see on Switch. This SEGA JRPG gave all the elements you love in a JRPG and added 3D space flying and an extra exploration experience. After its initial Dreamcast release in 2000, it was ported to GameCube in 2003.

Players explore space to stop an empire from destroying the world. While the original is a great way to play, this port was still pretty well received. The benefit to playing the GameCube version over the Dreamcast version is the additional weapons and side quests, as well as a graphics upgrade. However, some argued that the graphics change could have been greater.

Although this game didn't sell as well as the developers had hoped, we still believe this was a wonderful game that got swept under the rug. We would love to see how it would do on the Switch.

Sonic Adventure 2

Gamecube Sonic Adventure

Gamecube Sonic Adventure (Image credit: Wikipedia)

Sonic has a roller-coaster history of game success. We consider this good vs. evil battle to be one of the ups in Sonic history. Sonic Adventure 2 allowed players to choose if they wanted to fight for the good side or the bad and followed a different storyline based on whichever team they chose. The cut scenes were a little cheesy with some over-the-top voice acting, but the gameplay itself was still very entertaining.

If you choose team good, you are trying to stop Doctor Eggman from using a weapon to control the world. As team evil, you are collecting the Chaos emerald fragments to help Doctor Eggman succeed in his quest to rule the world. Players even got to enjoy new characters Shadow and Rouge.

This was a best-selling game on GameCube for eight months. While there are some great Sonic games available on the Nintendo Switch already, this addition is an important game in Sonic history that would benefit the Switch's huge library of games.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros Melee

Super Smash Bros Melee (Image credit: LongplayArchive / YouTube (Screenshot))

Super Smash Bros. Melee is where the whole Super Smash Bros. franchise really began to build up the reputation and name it holds today. While it is the second game in the series, the greater number of playable fighters and stages, the addition of adventure and all-star modes, and the tournament version that allows 64 human characters to battle four at a time made this a fast favorite among Nintendo fans.

In this series, fans get to choose from a number of popular Nintendo characters to be their fighter and go head-to-head with other Nintendo faves. The fighters battle in popular locations from Nintendo games. It's a great crossover that honors many fantastic titles.

To this day there are Smash Bros. tournaments where players build up and show off their fighting skills in-game to see who is the best fighter. As the years have gone on more players, stages, and items have come into play and the Smash Bros. franchise remains to be one of the best on Nintendo.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Zelda Twilight Princess Hd

Zelda Twilight Princess Hd (Image credit: Nintendo)

Bringing in a whole new world and Link in rare form is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Hyrule is seeing "Twilight" coverage from an alternate dimension, threatening the existence of Hyrule as it stands. Link is sucked into the Twilight Realm and changed into a wolf, where a dark creature with the chaotic energy of a Shakespearian sprite named Midna rescues him and helps him prevent the corruption.

It is a very well-loved game in the Zelda franchise and won many game of the year awards. Before Breath of the Wild's release it was the best-selling Zelda game in history. While we had seen instances of Link traveling between different times and worlds before, the way the Twilight Realm played a new part in the story as well as the wolf abilities added completely new elements to a familiar idea. This made it seem still in line with a Zelda game format while also giving players something different to look forward to.

As the very last Nintendo-published game released on the GameCube, Twilight Princess was also released on the Wii. With Nintendo trying their hand at new motion technology in the Wii controllers, they went a little overboard on the controls for the Wii in some games, and this would be one of them. Being able to play Twilight Princess without the weird controls on the GameCube is a huge bonus. Bringing this game onto the Switch, they could handle it very much like the re-release of Skyward Sword, allowing the option of motion or no motion controls.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Zelda Wind Waker King Of Red Lions

Zelda Wind Waker King Of Red Lions (Image credit: SourceSpy91 / YouTube (Screenshot))

The first thing I think of when I think of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is the total facelift Nintendo gave to the art style with the invention of Toon Link. Sometimes as a fan of franchises like this, such a big change can be jarring, but this was fresh, adorable, and well-executed, and the fact that the game was all-around a well-made game made it even easier to take in.

In Wind Waker, players take to the sea as the silent hero, Link, as he journeys to save his sister. He's joined by the pirate captain, Tetra, and her crew as they band together to fight Ganon. His talking boat, the King of Red Lions, helps guide Link along the way and carries him across the water.

When this title was recreated for the Wii U they made an adjustment that fixed a huge complaint from the GameCube version that I think players would want to be carried over to the Switch: cutting the sea travel time. I vividly remember spending what felt like forever on the water just trying to get from point A to point B on the GameCube. Other than this adjustment, this title has aged well and could have some cool functionality added with the Switch's Joy-Cons.

An era of Nostalgia

GameCube seemed to be a time of experimental features for Nintendo games and for these titles, it worked! Some of the best-selling Nintendo games prior to the best games on Nintendo Switch have been on the GameCube console and it's one that I think we see the least amount of game access to on the Switch.

We've seen many titles from all other home consoles made available on Switch and I think it would be very natural to bring more GameCube games at least into the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass membership, if not giving them their own remakes as they did with games like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. If it can be done with N64 games, why not GameCube too?

Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.