Though Nintendo’s GameCube wasn’t hugely successful from a commercial point of view, there are so many underrated GameCube games out there that deserve our attention.
The portable purple powerhouse is still fondly remember and played host to a great deal of fantastic exclusives. Luigi’s Mansion, Eternal Darkness and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker all come to mind immediately, but there were many more.
Well, not too many more. The GameCube played host to just over 600 games. Compared to the PS2, which boasted more than 4300, there were still titles that managed to get far less recognition than they deserved.
Beyond the classics that GameCube owners knew and loved, what were the most underrated GameCube games? Let’s take a look at a the best right now!
10. Auto Modellista (2003)
Also featuring on our list of underrated PS2 titles, Auto Modellista seemed to just disappear without making any impact once released on GameCube.
It still did badly even though there was far less competition in the driving genre on Nintendo’s console. And yes; you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it even made it beyond PS2 and Xbox.
Still, it’s an excellent game regardless of the format. Despite its deliberately stylised visual look, it’s a serious driving game with a huge selection of collectables. I love gathering car parts and cars themselves to unlock and customise my collection with.
The cel-shaded look, as well as the arcade-style sound effects and music really do give it a unique style. It’s just a shame that gamers didn’t warm to the concept…
It could have really been something special if given the chance to develop over the course of a series. Regardless, it definitely deserves a place on the underrated GameCube games list.
And coincidentally, it’s not the last Capcom game to be featured here…
9. P.N.03 (2003)
P.N.03 takes the 9th spot in this list of the most underrated GameCube games of all time!
Directed by Shinji Mikami (of Resident Evil and Devil May Cry fame), it’s part of the ‘Capcom Five’ line-up of titles that were all supposed to be GameCube-exclusive.
Only four titles eventually appeared (the announced ‘Dead Phoenix’ was cancelled before completion). And, of those four, only P.N.03 remained exclusive to Nintendo’s then-beleaguered console.
P.N.03 (short for ‘Project Number 03’) seemed to baffle critics and audiences alike. With Mikami’s most iconic games being notable for their dark content and acrobatic, fast-paced, blockbuster action, P.N.03’s gameplay felt out of place.
Weirdly, it’s based around rhythmic, well-timed shooting and dance-like defensive moves.
Main character Vanessa Schneider felt almost like a dancer in control of powerful energy weapons, moving and shooting gracefully in sync with the brilliant electronic soundtrack.
The bright, high-tech environments and robotic enemies were another departure from Mikami’s famous horror-based games. Maybe this was a deliberate move on the part of the developers, or perhaps audiences just weren’t ready for such a U-turn.
P.N.03 is definitely a unique experience and one which came to mind immediately for this underrated GameCube games list.
Remember; underrated doesn’t mean bad!
8. Evolution Worlds (2002)
Evolution Worlds is up next, one of the most underrated Gamecube games that really should be in every collection.
It previously appeared on the Dreamcast as two separate dungeon-crawling RPGs (Evolution and Evolution 2. The GameCube title Evolution Worlds cuts down the first game somewhat but does include the full sequel.
It’s basically like an abridged audiobook… but it’s a video game…
The game has a cutesy, steampunk-esque feel to the visuals. And while the dungeons sometimes have bland backgrounds, the game looks and plays well.
Plus, it’s great value for money with plenty of hours of gameplay!
7. Odama (2006)
Odama is a true one-of-a-kind game from Yoot Saito. He’s also the creator of another microphone-powered, singular oddity; the Dreamcast’s creepy virtual pet ‘game’ Seaman.
Odama is an absolutely bonkers combination of historical warfare, real time strategy and…pinball.
Yes; you read that right…
Despite the very bizarre concept, the game seems to take its historical setting very seriously.
Voice commands can be given to your troops using the microphone which came packaged with the game. It’s another aspect that really made Odama feel like nothing else out there (bar Mario Party 6 & 7).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is still a unique title. Plus, given its somewhat experimental feel, we’re unlikely to see much like it ever again.
6. Geist (2005)
First person shooters weren’t all that common on the GameCube. Still, while Geist was a first person shooter, it certainly wasn’t like your average FPS.
Geist – German for ‘ghost’ – sees players taking control not of the main character as such, but his soul.
With the ability to possess all living creatures, players take advantage of different abilities and progress through inaccessible areas while getting rid of tough enemies.
Weirdly, it’s also possible to take control of inanimate objects too…
A robust and hilarious multiplayer mode – which also features the same possession mechanics as the single-player campaign – completes the package.
Geist was a game that suffered from disagreements in direction between developer (n-space) and publisher (Nintendo). As a result, the final product ended up being less satisfying than it could have been after the protracted development period.
That said, Geist remains a fun game that was unfairly overlooked upon release. It’s another title for the underrated GameCube games list that’s both unique and exclusive to Nintendo’s console.
5. Amazing Island (2004)
The near-trademark Sega blue skies are on full display in Amazing Island.
The Number 5 entry in our list of underrated GameCube games feels like it was a few years ahead of its time too. It would have been likely to find a much bigger, more receptive audience and a natural home on Nintendo’s GameCube successor, the Wii.
Amazing Island is essentially a mini-game collection, It supports up to four players in local, head-to-head multiplayer battles. But that’s not all…
It also features an excellent monster creation system that allows a great deal of flexibility and customisation. Amazing Island even featured some excellent multiplayer monster battling too. Though one mode, ‘Monster Cards’, al the players needed to link a Game Boy Advance to the console.
As with several games on this list, Amazing Island feels inherently unique. I’s definitely a shame that it seems to have disappeared from the general collective consciousness of the gaming world.
This is a polished, colourful and accessible title that can be played and enjoyed by just about anyone of any skill level!
4. Battalion Wars (2005)
Originally designed as a spin-off of the fantastic Advance Wars strategy series, Battalion Wars featured real-time, squad-based third person action and light tactical elements.
As such, it was eventually distanced from the original series with a name change. It still released in Japan featuring the same branding as Advance Wars – known there as Famicom Wars.
Battalion Wars is a very different game mechanically to Advance Wars, so it’s understandable that attempts were made to distinguish the two series.
One thing’s for sure though: Battalion Wars is great fun and definitely deserved a much more positive reception than it received from either critics or audiences. Weirdly, everyone seemed pretty indifferent to it upon release.
The game received a sequel on the Wii, which was sadly hampered by awkward controls…
… as were many of the best Wii games… shame, really!
3. Doshin the Giant (2002)
Doshin the Giant takes the bronze medal in this list of the most underrated N64 games of all time!
A ‘God Game’ originally developed for Nintendo’s ill-fated, Japan-only 64DD add-on, Doshin the Giant saw players in control of the eponymous, cute, yellow behemoth.
Players wander around an island helping – or hindering – the inhabitants through good or bad deeds. The giant has a demonic alter-ego named Jashin, who gamers can transform into whenever they choose.
Being able to raise, lower, and have other effects on the island through the Giant’s actions makes it feel like Populous, albeit with your character present in the world itself. Plus, the Good/Evil choices bring to mind PC creature-raising title Black & White.
It’s Peter Molyneux by way of Nintendo, then, and it’s an interesting, humorous and very straightforward game to play.
Despite a unique premise, there’s no denying that Doshin is a visually basic game that looked dated upon its release in 2002 – a result of its 64DD origins.
And, you guessed it, this meant that it never really got the attention or praise it deserved.
2. Future Tactics: The Uprising (2004)
A turn-based/real-time hybrid strategy game from Wetrix developer Zed Two, Future Tactics: The Uprising was unfortunately stuck in development hell for years before being picked up by publishers.
And once again, it pretty much passed everyone by…
With colourful, stylised visuals, great animation, and a fun script, Future Tactics: The Uprising is an original take on single player and multiplayer battling.
It also had some fantastic elements such as destructible stages, as well as turn-based/real-time hybrid gameplay.
The bland cover art and even the generic title didn’t do enough to entice gamers to try the game out, which is a real shame. It’s definitely one of the most underrated GameCube games out there and a real must-have for Ninty fans.
1. Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (2003)
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is the most underrated GameCube title of the year.
Another Sega title for the list, but this time it’s a Sonic Team title that deserved to be a much bigger hit than it was.
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is a charming, appealingly colourful game in which main character, Billy, rolls eggs around the various platform stages. He has to utilise said ovoids to give himself special abilities.
It’s a beautiful, fun game that received fairly positive reviews upon release. Sadly, it absolutely tanked from a commercial perspective.
The Sonic connection wasn’t enough of a selling point to overcome the slightly bizarre platforming antics, with audiences clearly not interested in the egg-rolling action.
Though Billy Hatcher himself has made cameos in numerous Sega titles over the years (including an appearance in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing), the poor sales of this game meant that he’s never had a proper shot at the spotlight.
Without a doubt one of the most underrated GameCube games ever made, putting it firmly at the top of this list!
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.