Top 100 Gamecube games

P.N.03
P.N.03 is a simplistic, stylish game focused on straightforward shooting and dodging, with you purchasing upgrades to improve your character. Nintendo had some problems with Japanese 3rd parties during the N64 era, and so really tried to rebuild bridges with companies like Capcom and Namco when releasing the GameCube. PN03 was the result of one of the deals that Nintendo struck up at the time, it was part of the hyped “Capcom 5” which were to be five big GameCube exclusives that cemented a new, close relationship between the two companies. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way, and most of the games ended up being ported to PS2 when Capcom got cold feet, but this, and Resident Evil 0 did remain exclusive. Its a fun, albeit uncomplicated game
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Hunter the Reckoning
Gory multiplayer action game that is similar to Gauntlet, but with more RPG elements added to it. The game has you and (hopefully) three friends shooting and slashing your way through legions of bad guys whilst finding new weapons and leveling up. Its a fun diversion, but best played in multiplayer with friends, this GameCube port is a little downgraded from the XBox.
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Goblin Commander
This is a real-time strategy game where you need to direct your army of Goblin’s to harvest resources and build structures to produce more units. The game gives you all the stuff you’d expect from its genre, and also allows you to manually control the big, lumbering monsters yourself whilst giving out orders. There aren’t many of this type of game on the GameCube, so its fortunate that this one is more than respectable.
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Smuggler’s Run: Warzones
Objective-based offroad game with large environments and a fun 4-player mode. The gameplay merges variations of popular multiplayer staples like Capture the Flag (grab an item and return it to your base) and Flag Tag (hold an item for as long as possible without it getting stolen) with theme’s involving smuggling contraband and avoiding the law. Its a game of high speed pursuits, and aggressive collisions.
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Dr Muto
Quirky 3D platformer where you need to explore the different levels collecting Atoms (similar to “Shines” in Mario 64). The game gives you a lot of tricky platforms to navigate, as well as the ability to change into a variety of different animals with different abilities. The graphics look a little make-shift at times, and there is the odd camera issue here and there, but its still a good, if slightly flawed game.
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ATV 2
4×4 racing game with mechanics somewhat similar to SSX, you do tricks in order to build up a bar that allows you to boost, and can also attack your competitor’s to gain the advantage. The graphics here are reasonable, and all in all its a pretty fun diversion for a weekend.
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NHL2K3
An excellent Ice Hockey game from Sega’s US developers, Visual Concepts. The game controls well and looks great (for the time), its got good computer AI, a wealth of options, and in-depth gameplay.
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Sega Soccer Slam
Fun arcade-style Football game from Sega with a focus on brutal tackles, fighting and special moves, with nary a Red Card in sight. The game has some nice, cartoony graphics, intuitive controls, and a first-rate multiplayer experience. There’s also a nice Virtua Tennis-esque Quest mode to keep you busy.
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Donkey Konga
A rhythm action game that came packaged with the GameCube’s bongo peripheral, Donkey Konga basically has you beating the drums and clapping to the beat of popular songs. Its a pretty fun novelty game that’s good to bring out at parties for some funny 4-player competition (and the drums aren’t actually that expensive to buy anymore either).
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WarioWorld
This is a fun and fairly simple beat-em-up game from cult-favourite developer Treasure. The game has you playing as anti-hero Wario as he bashes his way through armies of bad guys in a search for goodies. There’s some minor platforming here to do and stuff to collect, and the fighting is intuitive and fun. The game is somewhat short and easy, so don’t expect a masterpiece up to the company’s usual standard.

Capcom Vs SNK II
Good fighting game pitting the characters of Capcom games against those of their rivals Snk. The game looks great and has a lot of modes and options you can choose that effect the fights in different ways. This GameCube version is slightly less accurate than the PS2 and Dreamcast versions and tends to be deemed as not tournament worthy, but for anyone who’s not too serious about playing the game its still a lot of fun to experience with friends.
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Phantasy Star Online Episode III
The third episode of Phantasy Star Online, and its a big departure for the series, with this one focusing on turn-based card-battling. The game has a main hub where you can walk around and interact with other characters and shop, and a missions list that you need to complete in order to progress the story. Missions take the form of card battles which take place on a grid, you take it in turns attacking each other, summoning creatures and moving. Its a good game, but bear in mind that its more a complex card game than RPG (unlike Baiten Kaitos for example).
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Mario Party 5
Here we go again with yet another Mario Party game! By now you probably know the general set-up of the series, its a party game which takes the form of a board game with the players moving from space to space after a dice throw, at the end of each turn everyone plays mini games in order to get coins and bonuses. The game is fun for multiplayer but quickly becomes dull for those playing alone. Not much different from any other games in the series but at least presentation and graphics have been improved and it is fun.
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Bloody Roar: Primal Fury
This is a very respectable 3D fighting game where all the characters can turn into powered up beast forms. Its not massively unique, but represents its genre well enough and is polished and fun, with nice art design. This iteration in the series is actually an updated version of the PS2 game Bloody Roar 3, with improved graphics and new characters.
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Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
Classic hack n’ slash RPG with an isometric viewpoint. The game includes a very well thought out experience and equipment system that leads to some deep RPG fighting and in-depth gameplay. The plot here is above average, and the game includes a cool 2-player co-op mode. I dropped this a good few places as unfortunately the game is a little inferior to the other versions.
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Lost Kingdoms II
JRPG sequel that has you battling in real time and exploring the levels and villages to open up new locations on a map to progress through the game. The RPG is another card battler, but is unlike the others of its type on the system as its all action-based and in real-time. Essentially your character throws the cards to the floor in real-time and they materialise weapons for you to use, create AI monsters which fight for you, or make creatures that give you status effects (such as giving you health, or attack bonuses), as the cards are used up more are automatically drawn and allocated to the four face buttons. It feels a little low budget at times but is one of the more accessible and fun of its type on the system and has quite respectable art design, there’s a fun 2-player competitive mode too.
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Conflict Desert Storm 2
Tricky squad-based 3rd person shooter with a nice amount of attention to detail and measured gameplay that stresses vigilance. One of the more notable aspects of the game is its 4-player co-op mode that focuses on teamwork and communication where you and a group of friends fill each of the important squad roles.
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Lego Star Wars II
Another fun and accessible release in Traveler’s Tail’s Lego series of tie-in games. These games have you playing through the plots of famous movies with a cast and environment consisting completely of Lego products. Gameplay is focused on action, with you shooting and slashing at the armies of enemies, solving very simplistic puzzles, and collecting tons of stuff. The best elements of the game’s have got to be their humour and charm, and their fun 2-player co-operative support. There were two games in the series on GameCube, but this one covers the classic movies so its automatically better!
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The Sims
Simulation game where you get to play god with the inhabitants of a small household. The game (created by the guy who made Sim-City) has you feeding, washing, and just generally taking care of virtual people, as well as designing and renovating their living quarters. There’s a lot of customisation involved as well as a good amount of interactivity too. Its quite a compulsive experience if you get into it, but bear in mind that this game takes up pretty much an entire memory card!
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Madden NFL 2005
A very good American Football game from Electronic Arts with all the features you’d expect for the time. This release was definitely an improvement over the previous year’s offering, polishing up the defensive gameplay and greatly improving the graphics.

Vexx
Fun 3D platformer in the vein of Mario 64 that has you exploring levels searching for “Wraith Hearts” to open up new levels. The game has some good platforming action and fluid melee combat, the camera can be a little problematic at times (hence the game’s placing), but all in all its a good game for fans of the genre. This GameCube version is noticeably superior to the PS2 release.
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Aggressive Inline
This is an underrated Inline skating game that feels like a mixture of Tony Hawks and Sega’s Jet Set Radio. For a game with such generic packaging and title the game actually has a lot of personality and style, with memorable levels and graphics.
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Castle Shikigami II
Very nice scrolling shooter of the bullet-hell type, with great aesthetics and intricate bullet patterns. Here, you get bonuses for skimming close to the enemy bullets, and doing so powers up your attacks. The game was first ported to the GameCube, but later gained versions for all the major systems, this GameCube version is a very respectable port.
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Extreme G 3
A pretty nice futuristic racer that really managed to surpass my expectations. This third game in the series brings the gameplay back to the original title, with the long, winding rollercoaster-esque feel of that game’s courses making a reappearance, as opposed to the sharp turns of the second game (which to be honest I was always disappointed with). The gameplay is definitely some of the more polished in the series here, with a much better feel of control than earlier games, and the graphics and art design are first-rate. Its a nice racing game for fans of the genre, but is totally overshadowed by the mighty F-Zero GX.
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NBA Street V3
A good Basketball game from sports stalwarts Electronic Arts that builds on earlier games in the series and includes many refined customisation options. This release in the series includes famous Nintendo characters Mario, luigi, and co as GameCube exclusives.
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Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Another polished release from Electronic Arts, Most Wanted carries on the traditions of the Need For Speed series, including some exciting races through city streets and civilian traffic and a lot of car customisation and tweaking. The game has you roaming around looking for races to take part in and completing objectives to progress the above average story. This particular iteration in the series has a focus on exciting police chases.
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True Crime: New York
Unfortunately The GameCube never got a port from the stellar Grand Theft Auto series, but it did at least receive the two reasonable True Crime titles, Sand Box games which have you playing the part of a police officer in the big city, arresting criminals and responding to calls for help (and often just causing havoc). This iteration, the second in the series, polishes up the gameplay a little and gives you a big city to police and explore.
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Medal of Honor: Frontline
World War II themed first person shooter that has you storming the beaches at Normandy and pushing on into Nazi occupied Europe. Its a fairly linear action game with a focus on shooting and straightforward missions, it gives a good feel for the chaos of WWII (for its era) and definitely represents one of the true highpoints of the MOH series.
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Freedom Fighters
3rd person action and strategy game set in an alternate history where Russia has occupied the US. The game has you working with resistance fighters trying to free New York from these invaders, you control the main character in 3rd person shooter style, but also give out simple orders to your Ai teammates for back up. The game is well put together and does just enough of its own thing to make it stand out from the crowd.
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2
Hyper polished football classic from Konami that really pushed the genre forwards to new levels of gameplay and control. Playability is high, the stadium detail and presentation is first rate, and the commentary well done. Unfortunately, oddly enough the game was never actually released outside of Japan, so its one for importing sports fans only.

Pac-Man Vs
This brilliant party game was a free extra included with many Namco games (Pac-Man World, R Racing Evolution etc etc). The title has you playing the classic Pac-Man game against your friends, with one person playing as Pac-Man himself whilst the others take the part of Ghosts. It puts the GameCube’s GBA link-up feature to good use with the Pac-Man player getting the complete view of the stage via the GBA and the Ghosts trying to track him down using the limited-view television screen. A novel idea that’s well-implemented.
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Red Faction II
Very respectable First Person Shooter, certainly one of the more notable on the system. Red Faction II is a smooth and fast science fiction action game. The series’ main draw at the time was in having dynamic, destructible environments, allowing you to shoot up and alter the play field. This aspect of the game was actually simplified here in this sequel, and the game feels a lot more scripted as a result, but there’s still a lot of destruction to be had. The set-pieces, action, and weapons have all been polished and the 4-player mode is 1st rate.
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Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams
Very well put together 3D platform game with a good deal of variety and polish. It does all the staples of the genre well, with a lot of platforming action, new moves to unlock, and puzzles to solve. The developers went for a more straightforward progression here over the original (which was more akin to Mario 64 in structure) but it all works pretty well and keeps the game moving at a good pace. The storyline is probably one of the more notable elements, its actually quite funny and engaging.
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Baiten Kaitos Origins
Prequel to the earlier card-battling RPG on GameCube, Baiten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. Like the original this one has you exploring towns, getting into battles and refining your deck of cards, but it also tries to be a little more open-ended than its predecessor. Its a very solid RPG exclusive for GameCube, but its focus on card battling may limit its appeal.
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Star Fox Assault
Slightly disappointing Star Fox sequel, one of the results of Nintendo’s then practice of farming out their popular licenses to 3rd parties, in this case Namco. The game is actually a lot of fun, its a rail shooter that carries on the traditions of the series well overall. It doesn’t do anything particularly new, and the one area it does try to innovate (the on-foot missions) falls flat, but it looks fantastic and still provides a lot of classic shooting action. Where the game really does build on its precursor though is its 4-player mode, which has you running around taking shots at each other, and jumping into planes and tanks. Its far more polished and exciting than it was on N64, and is definitely one of the standout features of the game.
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Luigi’s Mansion
Very fun early game for GameCube starring Mario’s less popular little brother, Luigi, in a Ghost-busting action adventure game. Here you need to explore the environments inspecting objects and looking for Ghosts to suck up with your vacuum cleaner. As mentioned its very fun, but comes across as a bit unfinished, its over very quickly (I finished the game in a little over 2 hours on my first go) but is brilliant while it lasts.
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I-Ninja
This is an underrated 3D platformer from Argonaut Software, the company who co-developed the original Star Fox, and it has to be one of their most polished solo releases. The game is a sword-slashing Ninja affair with lots of dexterous moves and diverse gameplay. You run through the levels rail-grinding, grappling, and running along the walls whilst dispatching enemies with fluid combat and intuitive controls. The story and character design can come across as a bit generic, but everything else is very well done and leads to a game definitely worth checking out.
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Mario Golf
Golf game from Developer Camelot starring many of Nintendo’s popular characters. Whilst not a million miles away from the earlier N64 release, the game has all the features you’d want and expect from a golf game, its colourful, intuitive, and generally just has a lot of personality. There’s also a many modes, both serious and more fantastical to check out.
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Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4
This is a fantastic 3D fighting game based on the popular Manga. The game is a Japanese exclusive with dynamic, accessible gameplay and intuitive controls. This release in the series polishes up the gameplay mechanics further over its forerunners, and also adds in an excellent 4-player battle mode which works by adding a button that cycles through available targets when pressed. The game does a great job of bringing the characters to life, and is set in what is probably the point in time when the Manga was at its peak.
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Mr Driller: Drill Land
Unfortunately yet another Japanese exclusive, this time a puzzler in the long-lived Mr Driller series. The premise is quite simple, you need to drill down the stages collecting air without getting crushed by blocks after you’ve undermined their foundation. Its a straightforward idea but really becomes addictive when you start trying to aim for high scores. This release in the series includes a lot of admirable extras. There are many different modes here that give a different spin on the gameplay (such as simplistic adventure modes, and treasure hunting where you need to avoid boulders rolling after you), and the presentation is very high.

Rayman 3
Another excellent Rayman platformer from Ubisoft. This one makes a lot of modifications to the series (Rayman himself has gone through some drastic personality changes), and is perhaps a little disappointing in longevity after the classic second game, but still has more than enough good points to outweigh the fairly minor negative ones. The game has some nice art design and graphical touches, with crazy psychedelic backgrounds and effects, and the GameCube version in particular has a bunch of nice extras over the other ports available, such as fun multiplayer GBA connectivity additions.
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Resident Evil 0
With this prequel to the popular series of survival horror games (another result of Capcom’s deal with Nintendo) the developers decided to try out a new gameplay mechanic where you control two different characters at once. The mechanic has you swapping between the characters and exploring the environment separately with them in order to solve puzzles and progress. Graphics wise this reverts back to the old-style 2D backgrounds, and the difficulty curve can be inconsistent at times, but the new gameplay elements lend a different spin on the usual hallmarks of the series and complements the tension and puzzle solving well.
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Second Sight
3rd person shooter made by the old Goldeneye 007 and Timesplitters team with a focus on psychic abilities. You start the game off as a patient with amnesia, and as you play through the game the story unfolds through the use of playable flashbacks. New psychic abilities are also granted to you as you proceed, ranging from telekinesis and energy blasts to things like astral projection (allowing you to scope out areas from safety), and the ability to possess the enemy (which is always fun). The game had the misfortune of being released around the same time as Psi-Ops, a very similar and slightly more focused game that ended up (unfairly) overshadowing it.
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Billy Hatcher
A memorable platformer from Sega that is somewhat similar to the old N64 game Glover. Much like many of the 3D platformers of this era Billy Hatcher gives you levels with multiple objectives that you need to complete in order to progress (kind of like the Shines in Mario). The gameplay revolves around manipulating eggs that can be used to run over enemies or bounced around the stages over obstacles. The eggs grow as you squash fruit under them, and can be hatched to give you a helper animal that follows you around and can be used to solve puzzles. There’s a few niggles here and there but generally this is a fun game that’s pretty unique and has a lot of charm, there’s even a reasonably fun 4-player mode thrown in for good measure.
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Need for Speed: Underground 2
A nice arcade racer from Electronic Arts with a focus on story and car tweaking. Like other Need For Speed games of this era you freely roam around the fully explorable city looking for races to compete in and visiting garages and shops. Completing a set of objectives progresses the story and opens up new parts of the game. This particular Need For Speed goes for more of a Fast and the Furious vibe so fans of those movies should definitely check it out.
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Star Fox Adventures
Rareware’s only finished game for the GameCube, SFA started out as a completely unrelated N64 game named Dinosaur Planet that had been set up as their answer to Ocarina of Time before it ended up being moved to GameCube. In the transition between systems Nintendo forced them to convert it into a Star Fox game (allegedly much to Rareware’s chagrin). The developers programming expertise and talent is very much on show here, with the game looking very impressive for its age (still some of the best graphics on the system), with first-rate fur effects and lush environments, gameplay is fun though not without the odd niggle.
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Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4
Another great release in the trick-based skating series. For anyone who doesn’t know, Tony Hawks games essentially put you into an environment with a set number of objectives (such as obtaining points by pulling off difficult tricks, or by collecting a specific number of items). This release was a big improvement over its predecessors, it expanded the environments greatly and offered a lot of longevity.
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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
A spinoff of the popular series made especially for GameCube with some phenomenal art design and aesthetics. Unlike the main branch Final Fantasy games this is a real-time Hack N’ Slash RPG. The focus here is very much on the multiplayer, which unfortunately requires four GBA’s, but this set-up makes for some unique and interesting gameplay (thankfully nowadays getting hold of these old handhelds is actually quite cheap, so its definitely something that can and should be checked out). Bear in mind that the single player (and to an extent 2-player) doesn’t quite work as well though, as much of the experience is based on the social and team work aspects.
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1080: Avalanche
This is a Stylish snow boarding exclusive for GameCube with a focus on racing and tricks. This sequel moved away from the technical, sim-ish gameplay of the N64 original and steered towards more accessible, arcade style gameplay in the vein of the SSX series. One of the more standout elements of the game is the titular Avalanche’s, every few levels here you are thrown into a tense and exciting race against the elements, with you desperately trying to stay ahead of the rumbling, cascading snow as it piles up around you.
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Baiten Kaitos: Eternal Wings
Card-based RPG from Namco with nice art design and a good battle system. The game has you navigating around the static 2D backgrounds (much like those of the previous generation’s Final Fantasy titles) exploring, gathering information from people, solving minor puzzles, and looking for cards. The battling is turn-based and has you making a deck of cards filled with defensive and offensive capabilities, bonuses are given if you use only cards of the same number, or ones which follow each other in numbered sequence. The sound quality is a bit poor at times and the plot, whilst enjoyable is not super-original, but the battle system is novel and all in all its a good example of its genre.

Puyo Puyo Fever
Great release in the classic block-falling puzzle genre. Like its predecessors Puyo Puyo Fever has you matching up coloured blobs, clearing them away before they fill up the screen and trying to set up chain reactions to dump junk on your opponent’s screen. This one adds some more modes and new gameplay features such as the frenetic “fever mode”.
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Gun
Impressive free-roaming action-adventure game set in the wild west. The game has you traveling around searching for bounties, horse-riding, and generally just getting into gun fights and trouble. Controls are well done, with an excellent slow-motion feature that makes it very easy to pull off some impressive-looking shots that would make even Clint Eastwood jealous. Everything’s pretty polished, the world is big, it looks great and its a lot of fun.
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Phantasy Star Online
Port of the groundbreaking Dreamcast game enriched with an admirable amount of extra content and levels. Phantasy Star Online is a hack n’ slash RPG with a focus on team-work, customisation, and item collection, you get the choice of a lot of different classes and weapons, and the battle system (which has you fighting in real-time with timed button presses of variable strength) is fun and easy to get a handle on. This version of the game also has a 4-player split-screen mode that greatly improves the offline experience.
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Hitman 2
Accessible stealth action game where you play the part of a retired Hitman who’s been dragged back into the life of crime. The game is quite easy to get into as you can somewhat kludge your way through the missions at times. However, being that you get many bonuses and extras for taking your time and doing the levels properly (undetected and with a minimum of collateral damage) its still worth taking seriously, making it still quite rewarding to master.
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XIII
An excellent first person shooter based on the Belgian Comic of the same name. The game has some very distinctive cell-shaded graphics and a strong Borne Identity-esque storyline taken straight from the comics (though very abridged). The gameplay is mission-based, with you going from location to location completing important objectives. Production values are high, with the likes of David Duchovny and Adam West supplying the voice-acting.
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WarioWare INC
Warioware is a unique party game that hits you with strings of random mini-games each lasting a few seconds. In that short time you have to work out what you’re supposed to do (based on a quick clue) and successfully complete said objective. The goals in the game are often funny (and sometimes downright weird, such as the nose-picking challenge) and the multiplayer is fun and frenetic, with an incredibly fast pace.
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Mario Tennis
An excellent, colourful, and intuitive Tennis game starring the popular Nintendo characters of old and new. The game gives you a quality Tennis experience whilst also including a fine selection of entertaining and wacky courts that are each based on a different gimmick. The graphics here are an improvement on the earlier N64 title, and the 4-player action is great fun for groups of friends.
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Battalion Wars
Action-packed strategy game where you manually control soldiers in 3rd person view whilst giving orders to your other units. The game has a lot of charm, and gives you lots of cool units to choose from with different strengths (as well as vehicles and such). Tactics come into play in regards to sending the right units into the right situations. Its a fun game which would’ve made for a pretty good action title even without the interesting strategy elements.
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Tales of Symphonia
A very respectable JRPG from Namco that was originally created for GameCube but later ported. The game is largely a case of standard fare for JRPGs in story and gameplay, but its all very well crafted and very polished. The battle system here is fun and accessible, with battles taking place in real-time on a 2D side-view field with you manually controlling your character doing button combinations, its kind of like what you would expect from a simplistic fighting game. The game allows you to avoid battles, and it all moves at a fairly brisk pace.
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Resident Evil: Code Veronica
A good port of the earlier Dreamcast game. Code Veronica was a long and ambitious release in the series, featuring proper dynamic 3D environments with camera pans for the first time (most of the classic games had 2D drawn backgrounds that you would navigate around). Its a big and memorable adventure for fans of the classic Resident Evil gameplay style of ammo-management, jump scares, and puzzle-solving.

Wave Race: Blue Storm
Bright and breezy jet-skiing sequel from Nintendo that has some excellent handling and water physics. The game has you racing between buoys vying for first place and pulling off impressive tricks and jumps along the way. The game doesn’t have a helluva lot of gameplay improvements over its N64 forebear, feeling somewhat like an enhanced remake at times, but the graphical improvement is significant and the original had pretty awesome gameplay anyway so that’s quite easily forgiven.
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Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
Somewhat underrated 3rd person shooter that has you blasting your way through some tense, action packed stages as a little Droid recently reactivated. Its a polished game that gives you a variety of different guns and grenades to use, (many of which are a lot of fun), as well as loads of upgrades to purchase. The 4-player mode here is also definitely worth mentioning, with a plethora of excellent modes and arena’s to play through with your friends. Each arena has a different set of robots that you can take control of which range in size and ability (hulking mech’s, nimble rocket-packed robots and flame-throwing ground units), and there’s also a bunch of vehicles like tanks and airplanes to commandeer.
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Chibi Robo
This is a nice little game that came out during the latter half of the GameCube’s life span. Here you play as a small toy robot who’s recently been purchased by a troubled family. Your job is to move around the huge house exploring and looking out for jobs to do, you generally just try to to make the household a happier place. There’s puzzles to do and upgrades to purchase as you progress.
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Timesplitters Future Perfect
First person shooter sequel to the excellent Timesplitters 2. Here the developers attempted to make a more cohesive plot to hold the different levels together (reacting to an occasional criticism of the earlier games). They worked a lot on the graphics, adding more effects (such as copious amounts of bloom), and also included some nice new modes. Mostly I’d say its a shining success, though I do still prefer the second game in the series truth be told, I felt it had a little more charm over this one, but honestly they’re both awesome.
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Animal Crossing
Simulation game from Nintendo with a focus on community and open-ended gameplay. The game begins with you arriving at a new village with very little to your name, from here you can work to buy new things (such as furniture), socialise with the NPCs, collect items, or do loads of customisation and design yourself. A unique and well made game for creative gamers.
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Crazy Taxi
Very respectable port of the classic arcade driving game (a definite improvement over the dodgy PS2 version). Crazy Taxi is a pick up and play game where the aim is to take on passengers and take them to their destination as quickly as possible before a counter runs down. Mastering a set of moves (such as specialised boosts and skids) are the key to shaving off those valuable seconds, and driving recklessly gets you some monetary bonuses along the way. Its just pure arcade fun.
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Killer 7
A very odd, very violent action-adventure title from the eccentric Goichi Suda (nicknamed Suda51), who would later go on to make the equally idiosyncratic “No More Heroes” series for the Wii. The game is a horror title that is somewhat difficult to explain in few words (but I’ll try!). Most of the time you are in 3rd person view, with the game restricting your movement to a selection of pre-determined directions, you move around the levels solving puzzles, and can bring up a first person stationary view that allows you to aim and fire at oncoming monsters. The only thing I could compare it to is maybe D2 on the Dreamcast (though the similarity is slight). Its a polarising game but should be checked out by anyone looking for something a little unique.
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Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
The third release in the Splinter Cell series, Chaos Theory builds on the stealth action that the series is known for with improvements in AI and graphics and some cool extra modes. The game is a true hardcore stealth title, there’s no blundering through the levels hoping to get lucky here, you have to be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times, making sure to stick to dark areas and make as little noise as possible. The GameCube version is a little downgraded from the original but is still definitely a worthwhile buy.
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Harvest Moon: Its A Wonderful life
Harvest Moon is a sort of farming simulation game. You essentially buy seeds, plant crops and look after your livestock as best you can in an effort to succeed and prosper in life. This particular release also has you interacting with villagers and looking to find yourself a bride. A lot more fun than it sounds!
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Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Strategy RPG from the classic Fire Emblem series of games. Though the series had already had a long history of success in Japan going back as far as the Famicom (NES) this was actually the first home console game in the series to arrive in the west (though there’d been some handheld releases). The game uses a turn-based battle system on a grid, with you giving out orders to each character in turn. Terrain and positioning play a part in the battle and characters gain experience and level up. Other than the battling this game has a lot of focus on a strong storyline, and the plot also plays out in a variety of different ways based on how you play the game.

Sonic Adventure 2
The GameCube port that nobody would’ve expected to happen just a few years earlier, Mario’s main competition finally arrived on a Nintendo home console in the form of Sega’s exhilarating Dreamcast platformer, Sonic Adventure 2. The game has a lot of variety and catchy tunes and memorable art design, the GameCube port is pretty good, whilst it has slightly weaker lighting and smaller Chao Gardens it has some improved polygon counts and bonus mini games in some areas. The first Sonic Adventure was also brought to GameCube but was not done half as well and should be avoided.
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Mario Kart: Double Dash
Another fun multiplayer iteration in the popular racing series. Double Dash’s main hook was to include two characters per car that you could swap between to pick up extra item boxes, as well as new character specific-abilities. The game goes for a more simplistic, accessible gameplay style with less focus on tactics and difficult shortcuts than its predecessors, and more on speed, dynamic turns, and handicapping to keep races close. The single-player mode is basic, showing none of the advances made by earlier games like Diddy Kong Racing, but thankfully the multiplayer racing is very fun, with the power-sliding mechanic in the game lending it a bombastic, arcade-like feel.
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Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Completely overhauled remake of the original PS1 stealth classic with many of the additions from later games added in as well as some all new cut-scenes. The original game was a action-stealth title from Konami that had you dodging and evading the guards and getting involved in memorable boss fights and set-pieces. This remake from Silicon Knights (creators of Eternal Darkness) is an admirable effort that does a good job of updating the game for the GameCube.
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Skies of Arcadia Legends
Port of the excellent Dreamcast Pirate RPG with some graphical improvements here and there. Like the Dreamcast game this has some clever dungeon designs, nice puzzles, and a well thought out battle-system that includes ship to ship clashes. The story here is also pretty good, and definitely better than the average JRPG fare.
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Mario Sunshine
Controversial Mario platformer that followed up the highly acclaimed N64 outing. Personally I think I come somewhere in the middle of popular opinion on this outing. Sunshine does come across as a little unpolished at times, with the game being a bit short and padded, and having an oddly inconsistent difficulty curve. Its more straight-forward than Mario 64, with fewer puzzles and no special caps, but the main new feature, a water gun that allows Mario to float and clean up graffiti is thankfully a lot of fun to use. I imagine I come across as negative here, but honestly it is a great game with memorable gameplay and colourful graphics, I just hold Mario games to a higher standard!
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Viewtiful Joe
Capcom brawler that allows you to mess with time whilst laying the beat-down on the armies of fodder blocking your way. You do the usual beat-em-up stuff, clearing areas of enemies with combos of punches and kicks whilst dodging and evading attacks, but the game also allows you to slow and speed up time, which can be incorporated into your attacks, and used to solve some clever puzzles. A unique title with a lot of humour and charm.
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Burnout 2
As far as I’m concerned this is the best car-based racing game on the console. This adrenaline-soaked arcade-racer has you taking risks (such as driving the wrong way down a one way street, or skimming close to traffic) in order to fill up a boost bar that gives you the ability to hurtle down the streets at dangerous speeds. The game is exciting, having a great sense of speed and some insane crashes. Definitely a big refinement over the original, it just feels more polished and less punishing.
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Metroid Prime 2
Brilliant sequel to the earlier GameCube game, this time concerning Samus’ counterpart, Dark Samus. The game has you exploring huge, sumptuous environments discovering upgrades for your weapons and abilities to open up new areas of the world. Its primarily an adventure game (aiming is largely handled for you using a targeting system) so don’t expect a first person shooter here. This sequel does occasionally feel a little “more of the same” with slightly less interesting environments than the original, but anyone who enjoyed the first game will love this too.
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Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Incredibly fun party game from Nintendo that uses the GBA “connectivity” feature for sneaky 4-player shenanigans (each player requires a Game Boy to use as a controller). The set-up here is much like the classic Zelda games of old, with you traveling around dispatching enemies and solving puzzles in the dungeons, but a new spin to the formula is added by having Link cursed into splitting into four separate versions of himself, opening up the creation of a variety of new puzzles. The Game Boy Advance features are well implemented, with players falling down holes and such only to land on their GBA screen until they rejoin the action. Whilst admittedly the best things about the game involve you finding ways to trick and screw over your friends (hehe) its still fun to play on your own.
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ReMake
This is a remake of the original Playstation survival horror title that had you exploring a creepy mansion of flesh-eating Zombies whilst conserving ammo and solving puzzles. Everything here in this remake has been completely redone. The new backgrounds are beautifully created and are truly a sight to behold, and some of the puzzles have been expanded on too. Fans of the series who found the changes of Resident Evil 4 a little drastic should definitely check out this re-tooled old-school blueprint for survival horror’s.

Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat
Possibly the most unique 2D platformer to come out of the generation, Jungle Beat was designed with Nintendo’s Bongo peripheral in mind, an unlikely combination which actually works far better than you’d think. The Bongo’s give a real interactive and kinetic feel to the gameplay, you tap on the drums to move left or right and clap your hands to grab at bananas, rapping on the drums whilst you’re atop an enemy delivers an epic beat-down, its elements like this that really help to draw you into the experience. Levels themselves are inventive and fun, with you bouncing off walls and being thrown around the screen at a quick pace.
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Super Monkey Ball

Sega got a raw deal during the 6th generation, they produced a fantastic console and provided a plethora of great games but alas it was not to be. Sega’s misfortune however was to be Nintendo’s gain, instead of having an extra competitor at launch Nintendo ended up with the latest Sonic game, Crazy Taxi, and this excellent little slice of Monkey madness bolstering up the early line-up. Monkey Ball is a lively and unique game in the tradition of Marble Madness, you have to roll balls around the courses by precisely pivoting the ground, avoiding all sorts of hazards along the way. Outside of the main game you get a bunch of accessible multiplayer party games to compete against your friends with, all of which are fun and original.
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Kururin Squash
Another very unique experience, Kururin Squash is a clever puzzle game that was never released outside of Japan (though a GBA version did make an appearance). The game has you navigating a rotating stick through labyrinthine, constrictive levels trying not to touch any of the walls or hazards. It doesn’t sound like much, but its actually a lot of fun and includes a lot of ideas, such as bumpers that change the direction of your rotation, and many other different abilities which come and go (one has you able to sink under water, another gives you an attack to deal with enemies etc etc). The game has bright and breezy graphics and some cool boss fights too.
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Rogue Leader
Factor 5 return with this superlative 3rd person rail-shooter sequel, and this time they even get to use the dogfights directly from the classic film trilogy! Incorporating the sounds and missions from the movies really makes a difference here, with the already excellent gameplay really coming alive to a new level. Any fans of the films are sure to be humming along to the music and getting drawn into the action like never before. Note that this game is actually all included in the (otherwise disappointing) sequel, Rebelstrike, but only for 2-player co-operative, if you want to experience single player unfortunately you need this one.
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Tomb Raider Legend
Tomb Raider returns revamped and rebuilt from a brand new development team. This time the game is from Crystal Dynamics, the Canadian company previously known for their Soul Reaver games. Sumptuous graphics and smooth control abound, with the game taking a lot of influence from the Prince of Persia series. Swing, climb and shimmy your way through the temples and set-pieces taking pot shots at the bad guys and solving some clever puzzles. Nice and very memorable game.
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Beyond Good and Evil
Definitely has to be one of the more underrated games of its generation, Beyond Good and Evil is a lively action-adventure game from French publishers Ubisoft. A lot of work and polish has clearly gone into the game, infusing it with great art design and some brilliant storytelling, including fleshed out characters and a nice plot. The world is ambitious for its time and there’s a commendable amount of things to see and explore.
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SSX 3

This is a real first-rate snow boarding game from Electronic Arts with excellent graphics, gameplay, and soundtrack. Like its predecessors SSX 3 involves racing other competitors whilst doing tricks to fill up a boost bar, the game builds on its forebears, really polishing everything up to the next level. There’s another release after this one, “On Tour” that has some nice extras (such as having Mario as a playable character) but I felt that this slightly trumped it with better art design and style.
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Ikaruga

Smart shoot-em-up from developers Treasure that breaths new life into the genre. The gameplay involves you swapping your ship between two colours, with you immune to bullets that share your current colour. Its a clever concept and the game is chock full of nice ideas, set-pieces and memorable moments.
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Soul Calibur 2

Addictive 3D fighting game filled to the brim with longevity and content, with some great graphics and a very solid fighting system to learn. Each port of the game actually had its own exclusive character to play as, with the GameCube version arguably getting the best deal by including the ever-popular Link from the Legend of Zelda series! 3D fighters were in somewhat short supply on GameCube, but thankfully this one goes some way to taking up the slack on its own!
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Pikmin 2

An excellent real-time strategy game from Nintendo where you command a group of walking vegetable-like creatures called “Pikmin”. These creatures can be sent to attack monsters and carry raw materials back to their base to create more Pikmin (and at an alarming rate! given the planet’s similarities to Earth I find myself wondering what happened to the human race? perhaps a plague of Pikmin wiped us out to use us as raw materials?!) Anyway, I digress. There are many different types of Pikmin in the game each with different abilities, and using their abilities to solve puzzles and strategise against enemies is the main crux of the gameplay. This sequel irons out the wrinkles of the original game admirably, its much longer, and the new inclusion of a secondary character cuts down on some of the backtracking.

Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door

Another accessible Mario RPG from Nintendo, sequel to the equally excellent N64 game. The battle system here is easy to get into, with the same focus on timed button presses and badge collecting as its predecessor, and the dungeons are a lot of fun, with a new factor of using your paper-like qualities to solve puzzles (Mario can fold himself into a paper airplane or boat to pass obstacles), each of these new abilities is helpfully “cursed” upon you by bad guys as the game proceeds. Packed with clever little touches and nice appeal.
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Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

One of the biggest surprises of the generation for me, the Prince of Persia series came back with a vengeance with this highly polished and influential title from Ubisoft. The game is an action adventure that has you navigating your way through what has to be one of the most dangerous and complicated palaces ever conceived (god knows how anyone ever managed to live there without accidentally getting themselves killed). One of the most impressive things about this game is how intuitive and well-rounded the control system is, traveling through the palace jumping, swinging, running across walls and holding onto ledges is a joy to experience, and the brilliant gameplay mechanic of turning back time (kind of similar to the old Fatal Rewind game) stops you from being penalised too much. This first game in the new series was the best, with later sequels unfortunately pandering to the lowest common denominator in an effort to increase sales.
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Twilight Princess

One of the last major GameCube releases, Twilight Princess was a long time coming, in the end being released on both GameCube and Wii at the same time. After the controversial stylistic departure of its predecessor The Wind Waker, this game represents a call-back to the ever-popular Ocarina of Time, aiming for a more realistic fantasy look, as well as a longer campaign with more complicated dungeons. The graphical style suits it well and being such a late game in the system’s lifespan it really shows off the GameCube’s capabilities in a way that a Wind Waker sequel possibly wouldn’t have been able to do to the same level. Taking a cue or two from Capcom’s PS2 Zelda-alike, Okami, Twilight Princess has you taking on the form of a Wolf and leaping about areas ruthlessly dispatching enemies or sniffing out clues. Its a very classy release with fantastic art design and is a meatier adventure than the Wind Waker, but possibly less unique.
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Eternal Darkness

H. P Lovecraft-inspired horror title from the Canadian developer Silicon Knights, a second party developer for Nintendo at the time. Eternal Darkness is a memorable and mind-bending game that has you taking part in different chapters taken from the “Tome of Eternal Darkness” a sinister book discovered by the main character whilst investigating the death of her Grandfather. Every time the main character reads a chapter in the book you get to play through the story yourself. Watching the plot unfold through the eyes of all these different characters is intriguing, and one of the most accomplished elements of the game. The other big draw here is the “Sanity Meter” a bar which decreases when horrible things happen, if it gets too low it starts to mess with the player in a variety of unsettling (and often funny) ways that are supposed to represent the player going mad. Its a very fun and quirky game.
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Smash Bros Melee

Now here’s a series that went through a big improvement in the transition from N64 to GameCube. Don’t get me wrong, Super Smash Bros was a helluva lot of fun back in the N64 days and was a very unique concept, but it did have a few niggles here and there (juggling was just a little too easy for example). Melee tightened up the gameplay mechanics, making the balance feel a lot more polished, and this coupled with some new advanced techniques like wavedashing (an accidental exploit in the game’s physics engine) make the game a far deeper experience. Even outside of that though there’s a lot of improvements, the level designs in particular are awesome and very dynamic, with battles taking place in a variety of shifting, high speed environments such as atop a bunch of hot-air balloons, or in the middle of a race with you jumping from car to car! The Single player mode here is also much improved over the original game, which was honestly a little simplistic, there’s a lot more content to see here, and its all structured far better. An admirable progression in all areas.
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Timesplitters 2

Back in 2002 I rushed out and bought a GameCube, the main factor in this purchase? my excitement at the idea of getting a new Perfect Dark game (yeah… that didn’t quite work out). Thankfully the old N64 Goldeneye Team ended up coming to the rescue and filled that void brilliantly with their Halo-killing (yup, I said it) Timesplitters series. Anyone familiar with Goldeneye will know what to expect, mission-based levels which require you to complete a set of objectives, lots of shooting action, and a fantastic multiplayer component are the order of the day. Unlike Goldeneye, Timesplitters has kind of a Quantum Leap-esque set-up, with each level throwing you into a different time and place, one moment you’ll be decapitating Zombies, next you’ll be taking pot-shots at aliens or robots, this helps to keep the game fun and absorbing. Everything here is really packed with humour and charm (possibly the first and only time I will use that word to describe a first person shooter!), and the game has piles and piles of content and things to do and see.
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F-Zero GX

For the GameCube iteration of their classic futuristic racing series Nintendo made the brash decision to hand over development duties to their former rival Sega, and wow was it a match made in heaven! Sega took the classic gameplay of the series, retaining its perfect balance of high speed and precision control, and infused it with the stunning graphics and stylish environments that were required to bring the series to the next level. But Sega’s team didn’t stop there, oh no, they somehow managed to make the game even more exhilarating and rewarding than ever before and packed it full of nice extras, really going the extra mile. Definitely one of the stand-out racing games for the generation on any system.
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The Wind Waker

Definitely a new direction for the Zelda series, Wind Waker decided to go with a more cartoony style and a new focus on sailing, with you playing as the latest iteration of Link who’s living after a huge cataclysm has drowned most of his world in water. Its a fun, imaginative and well put together release that will stick with you long after you’ve finished playing. There’s some padding towards the end but the whole thing has so much charm and personality that this is quite easily forgiven.
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Resident Evil 4

A huge departure for the series, this game represented the point where Resident Evil went from being a creepy, slower paced survival horror title to becoming more of an action focused game. Gone were the tank controls and pre-rendered backgrounds to be replaced with a behind the shoulder view and precision aiming. The classic Zombies also took a bit of a brake here with the main fodder enemies instead being victims of a stomach-churning parasite infestation. Overall the changes made for a very dynamic and accessible game filled with stunning set-pieces and a lot of excitement and tension.
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Metroid Prime

After missing out on the N64 era Metroid was finally brought back here by new developers Retro Studios, a US company that had its roots in Iguana Entertainment (the company that produced the Turok games). Retro had much to prove when they took on the beloved franchise and thankfully they didn’t disappoint, managing to recreate the feel and spirit of the original 2D classics perfectly here in 3D. Everything here is hyper-polished, the environments are memorable and beautifully rendered (with some of the most impressive graphics on the system) and power-ups such as the awesome grappling hook are a joy to use. All in all it just has to be my choice for the best game on the system.

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