The GameCube was like the little engine that could. It pumped out dozens of great games year after year after its launch in 2001. But both it and the original Xbox struggled to keep up with the massive popularity of the PS2, which had the advantage of launching a full year earlier in 2000.
2003 was not the best year for the GameCube. It our a good year for Mario though, with plenty of killer spinoffs worth mentioning twenty years later. Third-party support was also great, from exclusive offers to multi-platform deals. These examples are some of the best, which fans will surely be happy to see on the Switch in one form or another.
8/8 Beyond good and evil
What if The Legend of Zelda took place in a dystopian society and Link was a journalist? That’s a good approximation of what Beyond good and evil is about. Explore the city, uncover its secrets through photography, dive into dungeons, fight some enemies and repeat.
Will the sequel, Beyond Good And Evil 2, ever come out, or will it be teased until the end of time? While that dream may never come true, at least the original got an HD remaster, making it easily accessible to fans and new players alike today.
7/8 Enter the matrix
The events explored in Enter the matrix take place at the same time as they enter The Matrix Reloaded. The game focuses on two agents briefly mentioned in the film, Ghost and Niobe, both of whom are playable in the game.
The game was an action shooter with full bullet time physics that mimicked the movies. It was one of the better film examples from this era as it gets the mood of the films just right. It was also unique as it expanded on the lore rather than rehashing the film’s story.
6/8 Mario Kart: Double Dash
Mario Kart: Double Dash was one of the more experimental entries in the Mario Kart series. It is the only one that has two characters riding the same vehicle. This created one of the more fun co-op modes in this franchise as one player could focus on driving while the other targeted rival drivers.
It’s a shame Nintendo didn’t explore this idea further, though Mario Kart 9 have to get out eventually. Maybe they can try the double maps again. Another 2003 spinoff worth a brief mention is Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour which was another quality golf title starring the lovable jumping plumber and his friends.
5/8 SSX 3
SSX 3 is a wild snowboarding game from EA back when the publisher was a bit more experimental. This series was Tony Hawk of the snowboarding world, meaning it was more arcade-like wild sports games. This allowed non-sports fans to jump on board to have fun alone or with friends.
It wasn’t exactly easy as hardcore players could have fun as well as trying to master the more elusive tricks and tracks in the game. The wild physics, offensive soundtrack and level variation made SSX 3 one of the better entries in the series.
4/8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a generic name for a brawler based on these mutated ninjas, but the game is actually pretty good. It is based on the 2003 reboot series and was a direct tie-in to the show. It has cel-shaded art to make it even more cartoonish.
At its core, it’s a basic hack-and-slash game that’s better with friends. There were three games in this miniseries, but all three are still trapped in this era. Maybe 2003 is the year they get HD remasters like how the classic brawlers were remastered in 2022 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection.
3/8 Prospective Joe
Prospective Joe was a tribute to Power Rangers and superheroes in the form of an action platformer. Joe was an avid fan of cheesy movies when his movie hero Captain Blue one day threw him a way to transform into a hero himself. To stop the movie villains from wreaking havoc in real life, Joe donned his new suit and went to town on these idiots.
It was supposed to be a GameCube exclusive along with many other games announced for the system by Capcom. On the other hand, Prospective Joe got a PS2 port later and it came with new bonuses that Dante appeared from devil may cry. That doesn’t detract from how good this GameCube version is.
2/8 Wario world
Wario world is the first and only 3D platform adventure for the bizarre version of Mario. It wasn’t as dense platforming as Wario Land handheld games, but it still has some wild gameplay. Not all platform game series make the jump into 3D well from the start.
Castlevania struggled for years before finding a decent footing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. If only Wario could get another shot too, he’d show the genre a thing or two. Presumably fans would do anything to get their hands on a Wario platformer in any form at this point since the last one was Wario Land: Shake It on Wii in 2008.
1/8 The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was first released in Japan in 2002 before coming overseas in 2003. It was a nautical adventure that was a nice change of pace for the series even with its kinks. Ten years later it got an HD remaster on the Wii U.
Rumors of a Switch version have been circulating for years now, and maybe, just maybe, 2023 will be the year the game shows its face again. The original didn’t even need a remaster in the first place since the cel-shaded art style makes sure it holds its own alongside the more polygonal entries that Ocarina of time.
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