Skip to main content

8 Nintendo GameCube games that need to come to Switch

The Nintendo GameCube is now 20 years old. It feels like only yesterday that I was lugging the purple cube around to my friends’ houses by its handle. It may not have been a sales monster like the Wii or Switch, but it’s a console that stirs fond memories of the early 2000s for myself and many others. It helped modernize 3D games, taking us out of the awkward transitional era we got with the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation.

What makes the GameCube particularly memorable is its strong library of games. Its library is a collection of big hits and hidden gems from Nintendo and third-party studios. It was a creative outpouring during what would become regarded as a golden era for gaming. So why is it impossible to play so many of those hits today? Try to find your favorite GameCube game on Switch today and you’ll come up short. The best we’ve gotten so far is Super Mario Sunshine, which is no longer available on the system due to Super Mario 3D All-Stars‘ baffling timed sales window.

It’s a bizarre decision, though one that’s par for the course for Nintendo. The system is lacking tons of classic games, from the Game Boy collection to the N64 libraries. But the total lack of GameCube love feels especially glaring considering how many standout gems the system produced. I’ve put together a list of eight games that should come to Nintendo Switch, but know that this is only scratching the surface. The GameCube library goes so deep that it would need a double-stuffed Classic edition of the Switch to contain them all.

Metroid Prime

Samus gives a thumbs up in Metroid Prime.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Metroid Prime is one of the most important Nintendo games of the past 20 years. It effectively resurrected Metroid from the dead after it skipped the N64 and turned it into one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises. Not only that, it revolutionized the first-person shooter genre by creating a game that was more focused on platforming and investigation. While Metroid Prime and its sequels were ported to the Wii (and available on the Wii U), none of those games are available on Switch. And that’s especially weird considering that Metroid Prime 4 will release on the console eventually. How are we supposed to catch up on the trilogy if there’s no way to play it easily?

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Link sails on his ship in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When it was first announced, Wind Waker was instantly polarizing. Its cel-shaded art style caused an uproar as gamers demanded realistic graphics. Luckily, the peanut gallery was wrong, as Wind Waker is still the best-looking Zelda game out there. Nintendo gave the game a slick HD remaster in the Wii U days, adding some second-screen menu controls, but you can’t play it on Switch. In fact, you can’t play most 3D Zelda games on the system outside of Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild. Considering how many Wii U games have come to Switch, is it too much to ask that the Wind Waker remaster sails over next?

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

The colorful cast of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door stands on grass.

The Paper Mario series is a sore spot for fans. Its early games were tight RPGs that provided real challenge for players who wanted a tougher Mario experience. Since then, the series has fallen off as it tries to court a more casual market. The Switch’s Paper Mario: The Origami King was a charming enough adventure, but it didn’t necessarily reach the creative heights of previous entries. When it comes to older titles, fans are especially ardent about the GameCube’s Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The RPG wasn’t just a high point for Paper Mario, but for Nintendo as a whole. It’s a finely crafted adventure filled with memorable characters, an excellent story, and ironclad RPG mechanics. A rerelease announcement during a Nintendo Direct would break the internet.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

The logo and cover are of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’ve never heard of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, I don’t blame you. Developed by Silicon Knights, the horror game is the very definition of a hidden gem. It was a completely new IP that came out of left field at the time. It’s most known for its brilliant “sanity” system, where bizarre effects happen the more the characters lose their minds. Sometimes you’ll notice that the walls are bleeding. Other times, you’ll walk into a room and your head will fall off. The game has a blast freaking players out, even going so far as to drop fake crash errors and false endings. It’s a completely one-of-a-kind idea, and it’s a shame that it can’t be played without a GameCube. The game was never ported to any other platform, including PC, so it’s just stuck in GameCube limbo. It deserves to be freed.

F-Zero GX

A car races around a track in F-Zero GX.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

F-Zero is, essentially, a dead Nintendo franchise. The company seems to be focusing all of its racing game efforts exclusively on Mario Kart, leaving Captain Falcon’s series in the dust. There hasn’t been a console F-Zero game since F-Zero GX in 2003. That’s a shame, because that game is one of Nintendo’s finest multiplayer offerings. It’s an incredibly fast-paced racing game filled with gravity-defying tracks. It was something of a blueprint for Mario Kart 8, which would go on to adopt some of its ideas. Whether or not it holds up is irrelevant; it’s just downright unfortunate that there’s no way to experience it in 2021 without an outdated console.


Killer7's hero aims at an enemy with two guns.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s difficult to explain Killer7. Even when it first came out, it had players scratching their heads. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from Suda51, one of gaming’s most visionary creators. Killer7 is something of an on-rails shooter, where players press a button to move along a set line and shoot enemies along the way. While that makes it especially polarizing, it’s also turned it into a cult classic of sorts. There were rumors that it would come to Switch circa 2020, but those were firmly squashed. Now that No More Heroes 3 is out on Switch, it feels like as good a time as any to bring one of Suda51’s most legendary games to the system, too.

Super Mario Strikers

Mario kicks a soccer ball in Super Mario Strikers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you love Mario sports games, the Switch has a suitable lineup of games for you. Mario Tennis Aces and Mario Golf: Super Rush aren’t the best entries in their respective franchises, but they get the job done. But Mario’s athletic talents aren’t fully represented on the Switch. The GameCube era brought us multiple Mario sports experiments, which some working better than others. Among those, Super Mario Strikers stands out as a criminally underrated game. The fast-paced soccer game is full of frantic action, with hard hits and strong power-ups. Back in the day, it was a multiplayer staple among my friends. If we’re not going to get a new entry in the short-lived series anytime soon, we should at least get a chance to revisit this one.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

An epic logo for Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance shows characters fighting.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fire Emblem is now one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, but that wasn’t always the case. It used to be a total niche property that didn’t even come to the west until Mart and Roy made waves in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The first 3D game in the series, Path of Radiance, was a turning point for the franchise, setting it up for success on the Nintendo 3DS a decade later. Nowadays, a copy of the game is a sought-after commodity among collectors. A mint copy can run over $500, making it a unicorn in any GameCube collection. Obviously, most fans won’t want to pay that price to play a classic, so Nintendo could really throw us a bone here by bringing it to Switch.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Red Dead Redemption is coming to Nintendo Switch and PS4 this month
red dead redemption switch ps4 release date key art

The original Red Dead Redemption is coming to two new platforms, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, later this month. It'll retail for $50 on both platforms.
Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare Coming to Switch and PS4
Rockstar Games' open-world western game first launched in 2010 for Xbox 360 and PS3. It was critically acclaimed and a smash sales hit, creating a new franchise for Rockstar that could stand alongside the likes of Grand Theft Auto. It received a sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, in 2019, but the original Red Dead Redemption remained stuck on older platforms outside of backward compatibility support on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
That's why fans got excited when a rating for the game from the Game Rating and Administration Committee of Korea popped up. We've now learned that this rating is for new Nintendo Switch and PS4 ports of Red Dead Redemption by Double Eleven Studios. Red Dead Redemption will release across both of those platforms digitally on August 17, with a physical launch to follow on October 13.

It will cost $50 and includes the base campaign as well as the zombie-infested Undead Nightmare expansion; the Red Dead Online multiplayer is not included. This is the first time Red Dead Redemption will ever be on a Nintendo system, although it doesn't look like the port will have much in the way of Switch-exclusive features. That said, a press release does reveal that this will be the first version of the game to include Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese localizations.
Red Dead Redemption comes out on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on August 17. 

Read more
This hidden Switch feature will change the way you play Nintendo games
Two players play Nintendo Switch.

Any time I discuss the latest Switch game with my friends, I usually hear the same critique: “I wish I could remap the controls.” Major Switch exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Metroid Dread are seriously lacking in control customization, which can be frustrating if your brain has a specific idea of what a gamepad layout is.

There’s a fairly good excuse as to why those games don’t include controller customization options, though. It's because of a system-level controller remap option tucked deep away in the Nintendo Switch’s settings menu. If you didn’t know that existed (as few of my friends seem to), get ready for a solution to all your control issues that’s been hiding in plain sight all this time.

Read more
Pikmin 4 tips that newcomers and series veterans need to know before starting
Pikmin run from a giant spider in Pikmin 4.

Pikmin 4 is the fourth game in Nintendo’s long-running strategy series, but it may as well be the first. That’s because the Switch sequel reinvents the franchise’s 22-year-old formula, turning it into a more laid-back exploration adventure with more of a puzzle emphasis. That makes it the perfect starting point for those who never grew up with the series on GameCube (though all three of Pikmin 4’s predecessors are now available on Nintendo Switch).

If you’re entirely new to Pikmin, though, you’ll still need to learn the basics of the oddball strategy game. And if you’re a seasoned veteran, you’ll need to get used to some of the new features that alter how it's played. Before you set off on your space-faring adventure, here are seven tips you’ll want to keep in your back pocket.
It’s okay to multitask

Read more