For awhile now, rumors have indicated that the Switch’s Virtual Console will finally see the arrival of GameCube games. Those rumors haven’t been officially confirmed yet either, but we’re still optimistic that Nintendo’s beloved purple cube will see a revival on the Switch. And when it does, these are the games we want to see on it:
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life by Marvelous Entertainment Inc., Victor Interactive Software, Marucome, Natsume, Nintendo
Harvest Moon games have been sparse on consoles in recent years, which is odd, considering the explosion of popularity in similar games like Farming Simulator and Stardew Valley. Maybe it’s because the earlier games hold up so well. A Wonderful Life isn’t a flashy game. You just spend hours tilling the fields, taking care of animals, and raising your family, but its cathartic style of gameplay could be perfect at home or on the go with the Switch.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance by Intelligent Systems, Nintendo
Path of Radiance may be downright ugly compared to more recent Fire Emblem games, but the strategic gameplay still holds up incredibly well (if you can tolerate it not holding your hand like the newer games in the series). And the story of mercenary Ike is still one of the best in the franchise. The Switch is sorely lacking in RPGs at launch, so putting Path of Radiance on the Virtual Console could fill a big hole in the system’s first few months.
Wario World by Treasure, Nintendo
Wario is best known for his mini game collections now, but he still has one great 3D platformer under his belt. In a lot of ways, Wario World is very similar to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, but with deeper combat. It makes sense. Wario is a villain after all. Sadly, Nintendo has never sought to expand on Wario’s 3D adventures, and with copies of Wario World scarce, it would be a perfect Virtual Console game for the Switch.
Pikmin 2 by Nintendo
The first Pikmin game launched on the GameCube, and while fun, it also kind of felt like a tech demo. Pikmin 2, on the other hand, delivered on all the promises of the first title, with even more Pikmin to control, larger levels, and much improved AI. It’s also quite possibly the best looking title on the GameCube, holding up remarkably well more than a decade later.
Killer7 by Grasshopper Manufacture, Capcom
Goichi Suda (Suda51) has made a name for himself crafting unique and stylish video games. Killer7 has ironically made it into two of our lists. One for PS2 games we want to see on the PS4, and now this one. Killer7 is the story of a group of assassins who exist purely in the mind of an elderly wheelchair-bound man. Gameplay is sort of a cross between a first-person shooter and a light gun game, and somehow the whole thing ends up as a deeper examination of Japanese and American politics post-World War II with amazing music. It’s better than it sounds, and something that more gamers really need to experience.
Star Fox Adventures by Rare, Nintendo
Who would have thought back in 2002 that this would be the last great Rare game? Or the last great Star Fox game for that matter? Originally slated for the N64 as a completely new property called “Dinosaur Planet,” Rare re-tooled the title for the GameCube and added in the Star Fox characters at the suggestion of series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. The result was a game that took heavy inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time while retaining so much of the character that made Rare games of this era great. It’s just a shame what’s happened to Rare and Star Fox in the years since.
Metroid Prime by Retro Studios, Nintendo
In the early 2000s, Nintendo had seemingly forgotten about Samus Aran. Super Metroid had been released in 1994, and other than an appearance in the first Super Smash Bros. game, Nintendo completely ignored the property. Then, it was announced that we’d finally get a new Metroid. In first-person. From an unproven American developer. Early internet message boards went ballistic about how Nintendo was ruining Metroid. But then we all played it. And we loved it even more than Super Metroid. Now if we could just get Nintendo to give us another proper Metroid title…
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes by Silicon Knights, Konami
Metal Gear Solid is an all-time classic, but going back to PS1 games is rough in 2017. The Twin Snakes fixes this by redoing the entire first game in the style of Metal Gear Solid 2. The added gameplay tweaks make for an easier experience (some would say too easy), but it’s also a lot smoother to play through than going back to the 1998 original.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader by LucasArts, Factor 5
There have been a lot of Star Wars games over the years, but few have nailed the feel of actually being in George Lucas’s universe the way Rogue Squadron II did. Every sound and location is straight out of the Original Trilogy. And even if you’re not a huge Star Wars fan, the challenging flight combat gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Unfortunately, the third title in the series, also on GameCube, featured lackluster on-foot missions that kept it from living up to the greatness of its predecessor.
Luigi’s Mansion by Nintendo
The GameCube was actually the first Nintendo console to launch in North America without a Mario game, something that has now become something of a custom for Nintendo. That was okay though, because instead we got this fun little adventure game starring Mario’s younger brother. For Luigi’s first solo game, Nintendo thankfully avoided just giving us another platformer, and instead turned Luigi into a ghostbuster. The ghost-sucking mechanics still feel fresh 15 years later, and if you like the GameCube game, the more recent 3DS sequel is even better.
Viewtiful Joe by Clover Studio, Capcom
There were few 2D games on the GameCube. Maybe that’s because no other developers wanted to compete with Viewtiful Joe. While the basic gameplay remains similar to platformers and beat ‘em ups of the ‘90s, Viewtiful Joe added in VFX powers that slowed down or sped up time, and made the stylish 3D visuals look even more amazing. It’s been a longtime since Joe starred in a game of his own, so maybe porting the original to the Switch would even motivate Capcom to greenlight a much-needed sequel.
Super Mario Sunshine by Nintendo
While hotly anticipated when it was announced, Super Mario Sunshine has since become something of a black sheep in the Super Mario series. It’s not that it’s a bad game by any means. The controls are as tight as any Mario game, and the levels are still bright and gorgeous. But the use of Mario’s water-squirting backpack FLUDD just rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way. The thing is, that without FLUDD, this would have just felt like a Super Mario 64 expansion. FLUDD is what gives Sunshine its identity. Maybe giving the game new life on the Switch could help rehabilitate Sunshine’s image with gamers.
Tales of Symphonia by Namco Tales Studio, Production I.G
For most American gamers, this was their first introduction to Namco’s Tales series. And while those games have only become more refined over the past decade, many of us still have fond memories of Lloyd Irving’s quest to save the world on the GameCube. Yes, the PS3 remake is now readily available, but a release on the Switch would be welcome by Nintendo fanatics who have shunned Sony consoles over the years.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door by Intelligent Systems, Nintendo
Nintendo has taken to all sorts of experimentation with the Paper Mario series in recent years, adding in stickers, paint, and other gimmicks that just generally make the titles feel less fun. The Thousand Year Door doesn’t have any of that. It’s just classic Paper Mario with a great storyline and enjoyable, timing-based combat. We don’t want any more Paper Mario gimmicks on the Switch. We just want The Thousand Year Door.