The first console we will look at will be the nearly all but forgotten Nintendo GameCube. Released in November 2001 in the USA, and May 2002 in Europe, the GameCube was to take Nintendo to all new levels. It featured a redesigned control-pad that gave you total control your environment, a powerful “Power PC” processor running at 486mhz to give you an unparalleled graphical experience, plus offered something that only Nintendo could offer… Nintendo specific games!
Before we delve into the top five most fun GameCube games that you can play today (for little money), we’ll look at where you can pick up a working GameCube and games. One quick look on eBay see’s second hand GameCube’s going for as little as $20 (or £14). It’s a bargain! Local retro-gaming shops see GameCube’s go for as little as £10 in the UK, making it one of the cheapest consoles you can buy if you are on a budget. Games can be found in the same places, as well as numerous second-hand outlets. Prices vary from a couple of dollars to many dollars, but as a whole, if you persist you’ll pick yourself up some amazing bargains. I managed to pick up Paper Mario, Mario Kart Double Dash, Zelda, Pikmin 2 and a few others for £1 each in a local shop, so I know that bargains are out there.
So, without further-ado, and having played through my fairly large GameCube collection, I bring you the five most fun to play GameCube games in 2012 (in no particular order)!
1: Mario Kart Double Dash.
You really can’t beat the excitement of a good arcade racing game, and the Mario Kart series has always brought top quality fun for Nintendo fans. As the title suggests, it’s a “Go Kart” racing game starring all your favourite Mario characters (20 in total), from Mario and Luigi through to Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Wario, Yoshi and much more.
The game is fun today because all the mechanics of the game are just right. It’s a challenge when you’re racing, the opponents AI is perfect, meaning it feels like you are playing another human, and the pick-ups are great with a wide variety of weapons and speed add-on’s etc. It’s a fantastic game and a Nintendo exclusive to boot! It can be picked up quite cheaply from various sources.
2: Super Smash Brothers: Melee
Fighting games are two-a-penny in the console World, however a really fun multi-player experience such as “Super Smash Brothers: Melee” is a welcome change to your normal one-on-one beat-em-ups. Once again this Nintendo exclusive features a whole host of Nintendo characters, and once again this game shows that Nintendo can make extremely fun games when they really want to.
Super Smash Brothers has you trying to destroy multiple enemies on a single-stage level by either depleting their energy or pushing them off the play area. It’s very simple in premise, but absolutely amazing fun. There’s not too much too it, but because it looks so good and sounds so good, the whole game is a joy to play. Once again, this game can be found at reasonable prices.
3: Spiderman 2
This is probably the cheapest GameCube you’ll ever pick up, but it’s one of the best 3D Gamecube platform games. A mixture of fighting, web-slinging and puzzle solving, Spiderman 2 is fun to play because once again the mechanics work, and for once the GameCube’s joy-pad is easy to use (as opposed to being a mess to use after playing Playstation and Xbox titles with far superior pads).
Spiderman 2 loosely follows the plot of the second Spiderman film, and has some great cut-scenes and voice acting. It will give you many hours of enjoyment for very little money, which is what this top five is all about. As mentioned, this game can be picked up for almost next to nothing, and is worth every penny.
4: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Mario in a 2D paper-like universe with 3D backdrops is a strange beast of a game when you start playing it, but soon becomes quite addictive like only a great Nintendo title can do. Unlike most Mario games, Paper Mario has RPG elements and turn-based combat which make it a whole different kind of game from the traditional Mario games.
It’s a lot more in depth than anything else on this list, although that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play, because it really is. The story is compelling, and will make you laugh out loud with some of the cut-scenes. The only problem some may find is the price, as this title can go for a lot of money. Lucky for me I picked it up for just £1 (around $1.50)
5: Star Wars Rogue Leader (Rogue Squadron 2)
This game is fun because it feels like you are a part of the Star Wars Universe. Graphically it looks and feels like the Star Wars films, and as it’s an arcade game with various sections such as flying, driving and shooting, it has a lot of depth that could have easily been lost with sloppy programming.
Star Wars takes you through 10 missions across various planets and spans the entire Star Wars original trilogy. This game can be a little bit hard on times, but once you learn the ropes and get the feel for the mission you are playing, it really is an enjoyable little game. Again, this game can be found quite cheaply at various retro-gaming shops or eBay.
So, there we have it, games that are fun to play today, and hopefully a little bit different to the usual selection if games that you see listed around the internet. Following articles will have the most fun games on Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Genesis, PS1 and PS2 to name just a few.