The Nintendo GameCube is one of the most memorable video game consoles of all time, thanks to its exceptional catalog of versions.

The machine was actually a relative laggard for the sixth generation of consoles, arriving almost 12 months after the PS2 and more than two years after Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast.

She made her debut in her native Japan in September 2001 and arrived in North America shortly thereafter on November 18. For those who reside in the US, this actually makes it 3 days younger than the original Xbox.

For Nintendo, the GameCube also represented many firsts. At the time, it was the manufacturer’s only platform to use optical discs as its primary storage medium, and it supported inline functionality for some titles (which is obviously very common now). Not to mention that it also offered a range of exclusive games that have since become true classics.

It even laid the groundwork for some features that would be developed in later generations of consoles. For example, gamers could connect their Game Boy Advance handhelds to the system and then use them as secondary displays, much like the Wii U’s GamePad.

The history of the GameCube

The image shows Shigeru Miyamoto (right), creator of the Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Pikmin franchises. The legendary game designer poses next to the GameCube in 2001. On the left is then Nintendo’s director of corporate planning, Satoru Iwata.

Reflecting on the legacy of the GameCube, Nintendo expert “Marionova” (who co-directs the Forest of Illusion Game Preservation Group) said: “It was a pretty amazing console. While it wasn’t the most popular and had some of the lowest sales of this generation, it left behind a truly amazing library of games, like Super Mario Sun and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

“As with the rest of Nintendo’s consoles, [the] exclusives were one of the main reasons it stood out. Other than that, there wasn’t much else to do. It was one of Nintendo’s last gadget-less consoles. “

Indeed, the GameCube has only managed to move a modest 21.74 million units around the world. This figure is paltry compared to the 155 million sales of the PS2, as well as the performance of its immediate successor: the Wii.

Speaking of which, since the release of this latest console (which has become a worldwide phenomenon), Nintendo has stopped trying to compete directly with Sony and Microsoft. These days, the publisher is much more focused on their own work, with an emphasis on using motion controls, gadget peripherals, and colorful, family-friendly versions.

With the GameCube, on the other hand, they were targeting the same audience as the PS2, offering more specific titles like Resident Evil 4, TimeSplitters 2 and Eternal darkness: Requiem of reason. They even made a deal with Shinji Mikami to produce a range of third-party exclusives (known as the Capcom Five), which were decidedly grainy and more action-oriented than the games you normally associate with the company.

Of course, it didn’t go as planned and they learned a valuable lesson. Modern Nintendo now has a much more cohesive house style – with Animal crossing, Super Mario, Pokemon and Zelda in the foreground – and he knows exactly what his audience wants, which has paid off.

How many games have been released for the Nintendo GameCube?

Screenshot of Super Mario Sunshine
The image shows the improved version of “Super Mario Sunshine” from the “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” pack on the Nintendo Switch. The original game was one of the biggest hits of the GameCube system.
Nintendo of America

Describing why the GameCube didn’t quite take off in 2001, Marionova explains: compared to other consoles. For example, the Xbox and the PS2 were both capable of playing DVDs, while the GameCube didn’t offer this feature, which is probably another reason it sold so poorly. “

As Marionova points out, while there were some hardware limitations with the GameCube, one thing no one can dispute is that it had killer apps. Titles like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime, Luigi’s mansion and resident Evil 4 have become indelible classics. In fact, this latest game is so valuable that it has been ported to over 10 other systems in the years since its launch.

GameCube’s library is absolutely amazing, but you might be wondering how many versions there were at the end of it. Answering this question is a lot harder than you might think, as the gaming industry isn’t exactly known for preserving its history.

While some have suggested that there are only around 550, the editors of Wikipedia have compiled what is arguably the most comprehensive list of GameCube releases. This one totals around 653 entries but, even then, the tally is slightly muddled by the fact that there are bonus discs, expansions, and packs to consider. Not only that, but some of these games have only been released in certain territories, making it even more difficult to get a definitive number.

News week contacted Nintendo itself to ask if they can confirm the official list, but they were unable to review this request.

Corroborating the Wikipedia list, preservation expert Marionova estimates that there have been at least 650 games released in North America for the GameCube. They are in a position of great authority in the matter. After all, they’ve spent a lot of their time archiving Nintendo’s history, restoration of original game prototypes and collection of old cartridges.

When asked if it was easy to find old GameCube discs, Marionova said, “Finding physical versions of these games is a big challenge, which is why so many fans are forced to turn to piracy. . Games like Super Smash Bros. Melee Where Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door may cost you more than a brand new version of Switch.

“On the one hand, there really aren’t any good ways to get these games legally. Nintendo doesn’t offer too many ways to play them. On the other hand, it’s still piracy, so everything the world will not be happy. “

Nintendo GameCube games on screen
The image shows boxes for the Nintendo GameCube versions on display at the Nintendo World grand opening at Rockefeller Center.
James Leynse / Corbis / Getty Images