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The GameCube Games We Want Ported to the Switch

There are numerous stellar GameCube titles that you just can't play on modern hardware. Why isn't Nintendo porting these excellent games?
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The Nintendo GameCube didn’t sell very well. This is a sad fact that doesn’t make much sense. It was an excellent console and had some of the very best games ever made. The controller is a thing of beauty, an ergonomic and fun-to-hold piece of hardware that never fails to put a smile on your face. Just look at it! It’s a cube! That plays games! A GameCube!

Nintendo GameCube controller being held in both hands
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The GameCube’s lackluster sales led to it being swiftly replaced by the Nintendo Wii, a much more experimental successor with motion controls and a very different design ethos. The Wii could play GameCube titles with backward compatibility, but since the release of the Wii U, the GameCube generation has become much harder to play on modern consoles. 

As Nintendo continues to roll out ports of their older titles through services like Nintendo Switch Online, fans have started clamoring for more support for the GameCube era. There’s strong demand for GameCube games on the Switch, but which ones would fans most like to see? Today, we’re counting down the ten GameCube games we’d most like to see ported to the Nintendo Switch.

Super Smash Bros: Melee

This one might seem like a weird pick, given that Super Smash Bros Ultimate is already on the Switch. Here’s the thing, though: Melee and Ultimate don’t feel the same. Melee is a fast-paced, frenetic fighting game that emphasizes twitch skills and unusual mechanical skills.

Ultimate, while not as “crunchy” as Melee, is still a great game in its own right. Fans of the GameCube title would be delighted to see it appear on the Switch, complete with HD upscaling and a new aspect ratio.

There’s also the added bonus that a GameCube version of Melee could have online play. That alone would propel it to millions of sales, and Nintendo’s refusal to bring the game to the Switch is a continuous, conscious decision to not make money.

Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe was one of the Capcom Five, a series of five GameCube exclusives that ended up no longer being quite so exclusive a few years after they were released. Still, it’s one of the most unique and engaging games to hit the GameCube in its lifetime. It’s a side-scrolling platformer with heavy beat-em-up elements designed by Clover Studios, the team that also made Okami and Godhand.

Just like director Hideki Kamiya’s previous outing, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe grades the player based on how stylish they were throughout each section of the game. Using VFX like slow-motion and double-time speed, the protagonist can solve puzzles and pummel enemies like an action movie star.

The game’s stylized graphics would look great on the modern Switch hardware. While a port of this game is more up to Capcom than Nintendo, it seems like a no-brainer.

Mario Kart: Double Dash

The Mario Kart series is in a great spot right now with the Booster Course Pass introducing a full game’s worth of new tracks to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Still, as great as MK8 is, it’s not the same as Double Dash, the beloved GameCube entry in the series.

In Double Dash, players can team up with a driver and a passenger. This adds new layers of strategy to the game, allowing players to craft their favorite duo. That’s something the series hasn’t touched since Double Dash, making it worthy of revisiting.

Nintendo once again should consider this port if only to give the GameCube classic a shot at online play–something it never had in its original release. 

Metroid Prime

The entire Metroid Prime trilogy needs to be on the Switch yesterday. Rumors have swirled for years that the trilogy has been updated with upscaled graphics and traditional controls, but Nintendo is just sitting on it until it’s time to release. 

If this is true, the time is now. Metroid Prime is one of the finest games ever released, and it’s currently not available to play on modern hardware. A proper port with upscaled graphics and more traditional dual-stick controls would be an amazing addition to the Switch’s library.

Nintendo will probably line such a release up to coincide with the announcement of whatever Metroid Prime 4 is going to be. That game has suffered a troubled development but was supposedly restarted by Retro Studios back in 2019.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess isn’t the best Zelda game on GameCube. That honor belongs to The Wind Waker. It’s also not the best Zelda game released in 2006. That would be Okami, Clover Studios’ masterpiece that came out for the PlayStation 2 that same year. (Okay, that one isn’t literally Zelda, but come on, look at it). 

Still, Twilight Princess is a great game that has been oddly absent from the Switch. Nintendo ported its terrible sequel, Skyward Sword, but has somehow resisted putting the excellent GameCube entry on the hybrid console.

It’s possible that they’re waiting until closer to the end of the system’s life to shower it in GameCube remasters. Or Nintendo could just hate money. Either one of these options is equally likely. 

Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi’s Mansion is one of the all-time best launch games to ever come out alongside a new title. While it’s not the mainline Mario game fans expected, it’s a fun adventure game with some spooky aesthetics and fun puzzles. It also got an excellent sequel on the Switch a few years ago.

Still, the original remains hard to play. You pretty much have to have a GameCube if you want to see where the series got its start. Nintendo could remedy that with a port–preferably one with graphics similar to the excellent Luigi’s Mansion 3!

The ability to take this all-time great title on the go would be a huge bonus to an already-great game. Make it happen, Nintendo!

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

The Fire Emblem series has had a huge resurgence in the past decade. Titles like Awakening and Three Houses sold like hotcakes and reignited interest in the turn-based tactical series. However, two of the middle-period entries in the series have become cult classics, and they’re hard to find these days.

The GameCube-exclusive Path of Radiance and Wii-exclusive Radiant Dawn each go for upwards of $100 on the secondhand market right now. Nintendo could make a small fortune by simply porting these games to Switch, just to give players another way to experience them.

They’re also classic Fire Emblem titles in their own right. The linked games tell the story of a mercenary named Ike and his quest to save the world. New players deserve a chance to see his story in all its glory.

Paper Mario and the Thousand-Year Door

Nintendo made two of the best RPGs ever with Paper Mario and its GameCube sequel, Thousand-Year Door. Then they kind of spun off into another dimension with Super Paper Mario and the rest of the entries in the franchise, which eschewed the charming turn-based combat and RPG-lite mechanics for something resembling the sensation of slamming one’s head into a concrete wall.

Still, Thousand-Year Door remains one of the funniest, most well-written RPGs ever made, and it deserves all the praise it gets from fans on the internet. It’s also a famously difficult game to get your hands on these days–secondhand copies can retail for upwards of $80. 

Nintendo could earn a lot of goodwill among irate Paper Mario fans by releasing a Switch port of Thousand-Year Door. The game is so well-made that it wouldn’t need anything extra to feel perfectly fresh and modern even 20 years after its initial release.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Wind Waker and its cousin Twilight Princess actually got a pair of HD remakes on the Wii U near the end of that ill-fated console’s life. Still, despite constant fan requests, that pair of remakes has remained on the Wii U and there’s been no indication that they’ll come out on the Switch.

The remake of Wind Waker is considered by some fans to be the definitive version of the game. It streamlines a few late-game quest chains in a way that makes the middle stretch through the back half of the story much easier to navigate. That, coupled with the slightly faster movement speed of the boat over open water, contribute to making Wind Waker HD a big improvement over the original. 

The company’s resistance to releasing updated versions of games it has already completed for recent systems continues to confound players. Perhaps the process of porting from the Wii U to the Switch is more troublesome than fans think, or perhaps the company just can’t be bothered.

F-Zero GX

There’s no series faster than F-Zero. This storied racing series has been dormant since the release of the universally-acclaimed F-Zero GX on the GameCube. For whatever reason, Nintendo has decided that people don’t love flashy, high-speed racing games.

If they’re going to continue to deny us our high-speed sci-fi game, could they at least throw us a bone and port GX to the Switch? It deserves a modern coat of paint more than perhaps any other title in the company’s portfolio.

The high-speed GX could benefit greatly from an HD upgrade and the ability to race online against other players. However, Nintendo doesn’t seem to realize this series exists anymore, so we’re not holding our breath for a port.