Whilst Nintendo are usually good with making classic titles available for new players to purchase via their Virtual Console system, the majority of games from the GameCube era have yet to surface digitally – and as a result, the original physical versions of these gems are worth quite a bit of cash. Let’s take a dive into some of the wonderful, weird and wacky titles that could either cost or earn you a small fortune
Capcom’s one-off gacha fighting IP Gotcha Force was met with mixed reviews upon release, but it’s become somewhat of a cult classic thanks to a ravenous group of robo fanatics. Whilst certain aspects of the game definitely don’t hold up today – the kiddy, bootleg voice acting being the first that springs to mind – there’s a lot of fun and replay value to be found in what’s essentially the video game prototype for Gundam Build Fighters. Worth copping if you’re a total mecha nerd.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Heralded by many as the last truly excellent instalment of the Paper Mario franchise, The Thousand-Year Door is a real treat for any diehard RPG fans out there. Its turn-based battle system spiced things up with real time events and a staged performance scenario, its characters were colourful and its wit was unlike anything seen in a Mario title up to this point. With the last two entries in the series being torn to shreds by fans, it’s no wonder people are clamouring to snap up this relic of old.
Pokémon XD: Gale Of Darkness
The sequel to Pokémon Colosseum – the first 3D console adventure for the series with an actual story – Pokémon XD: Gale Of Darkness was difficult to come by in Europe even during the game’s launch period. Expanding on the somewhat dark plot line of purifying Shadow Pokémon – a feature some older fans of the series have been yearning to make a return – the game was an eye opening look into the potential of the series outside of its portable pixel home. Although Game Freak are planning to release a console version of Pokémon on the Switch in the near future, Genius Sonority’s excellent take on will be a difficult one for Masuda & co to live up to.
SeaWorld Adventure Parks: Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures
One of two bizarre cases in which a seemingly random European third party title has skyrocketed in price following the GameCube’s discontinuation, SeaWorld Adventure Parks: Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures is . If you thought SeaWorld’s villainy only applied to real life dolphins and whales, just wait until you see the bullshit they force their virtual counterparts through. An awful game, but a valuable one nonetheless.
As a result of the console’s relatively short lifespan, Dreamcast JRPGs found a new breadth of life via ports to the GameCube. Sting Entertainment’s Evolution Worlds has not aged particularly well – its ragtag group of heroes are jank and goofy even by old school JRPG standards – but it’s an invaluable (yet pricey) addition to anyone looking to round out their ‘Cube RPG collection.
Skies Of Arcadia Legends
Another high value revitalised Dreamcast JRPG, Skies Of Arcadia Legends is certainly the more reputable of the two titles on this list – receiving critical praise both with its initial release and its Gamecube port. If a grandiose swashbucklin’ adventure through the skies on a flying ship seems like your thing, Skies Of Arcadia Legends might just be worth the investment.
Kirby Air Ride
Although Masahiro Sakurai might be most well-known as the genius behind Super Smash Bros., he’s also responsible for one of the ‘Cube era’s most renowned and interesting titles. A jovial racing alternative to the routine platforming of the lovable pink blob, Kirby Air Ride is beloved by many old school Nintendo fans – and its high resale value only reinforces that notion.
Before Chibi-Robo became a sacrificial pawn in Nintendo’s rollout for their latest Mini Direct, the minuscule robot was the star of its own platforming adventure series. As is the unfortunate case with many undervalued stars, the public’s interest in the house appliance hero rose exponentially following its passing – and the GameCube debut of Chibi-Robo has become one of the console’s most valuable titles. Rest in peace, little buddy.
Fire Emblem: Path Of Radiance
Released at a time where the majority of Western Nintendo fans’ only frame of reference for Fire Emblem was the inclusion of two sword-wielding princes named Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, it’s not surprising that Path Of Radiance has become one of the ‘Cube’s most sought after titles following the franchise’s massive spike in popularity outside of Japan.
Forget Mario, forget Link, forget Pikachu – Frogger is the grandaddy video game character with the biggest net worth from the GameCube era. Like stumbling upon 99 Rare Candies without using a GameShark, the PAL version of Frogger Beyond is so rare it often fetches around £200 on eBay – which is like, £80 off the retail price of a Nintendo Switch. One of the best consoles of the last decade or a mediocre 3D platformer? That’s your call.