GameCube Games
January 12, 2005 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Got a GameCube and would like some players' feedback regarding building a library. [+]
posted by blueshammer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (45 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Donkey Konga
Mario Kart Double Dash
Eternal Darkness
Spiderman 2
Wario Ware
posted by adampsyche at 12:15 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck and have a real aversion to getting burned on a purchase (in terms of getting too few hours out of enjoyment out of it; short multiplayer games that have high replay or good multiplayer are OK). I have Mario Kart (bundled with the system) and Zelda, both of which I love. In short, I'm trying to come up with a tight little desert island collection of games.

1. I want a multiplayer FPS. Should I get Timesplitters 2, Metroid 2, or some third option? It seems obvious that Metroid 2 has the better single-player, but if TS2 is better for multiplayer, I'm likelier to pick up that and Metroid 1 (both cheap) than splurging on Metroid 2 ... unless someone wants to chime in that Metroid 2 is significantly better than Metroid 1.

2. Super Monkey Ball vs. Super Monkey Ball 2 ... friends swear by these games, so I'm willing to buy it blind. But which one? (They're the same price.)

3. Wario Ware or Mario Party 4, 5 or 6? Assume the classic Nintendo nostalgia built into Wario Ware isn't a big selling point for me.

4. What's the best single-player platformer/FP game for my novice wife? Mario Sunshine? Animal Crossing? Pimkin? Another option? I realize these games all have very different play styles, but she enjoys Super Mario World as much as The Sims, so I feel like I have some latitude here. Again, assume casual play (which I understand is a strike against Animal Crossing).

5. Is Resident Evil 4 ($50) worth it? X-Men Legends ($35)? Smash Bros. Melee ($30)? Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($20)? Eternal Darkness (< $10)? i understand that you might answer all those questions yes, but i'm curious as to which you would consider the real>
6. Is shelling out $40 for a used copy of the Zelda Collectors Disc (both NES games + Ocarina and Majora, the latter two of which I've never played) worth it, or are their current-gen games in that questing vein that are more worthy?

7. What's your desert island title? Likewise, what's the most underrated title out there, to you?

8. Is there a retailer, reseller, swapping community, blog, filter site (a la, etc., that you've used & liked? Or that should be avoided? Gamefly and similar services are more than I'm interested in paying a month for this hobby.

(Addendum: I'm a pretty lightweight gamer in terms of hours devoted to the hobby -- this is my first current-gen home system since the Super Nintendo. I got the Cube in part because my wife enjoyed playing Super Mario World on the SNES when we got it out a few weeks ago, and I realized the unit's social possibilities, both with her and with friends. We've already had two entertaining nights of four-player Mario Kart and Mario Party 6 (rented). So I want to have my library emphasize multiplayer games, both party games and action titles, but I would also like some great single-player games for myself. I have the patience to wait for prices to tumble from $50 to $20 and have no compunctions about buying used.)
posted by blueshammer at 12:16 PM on January 12, 2005

posted by u.n. owen at 12:16 PM on January 12, 2005

Super Monkey Ball 2. Lots of fun, and the golf minigame in it is surprisingly good.

On preview: Eternal Darkness was worth the $50 when it came out. It's that good. And Pimkin is good for a casual player who only plays once in a while since it's easy to learn.
posted by shawnj at 12:17 PM on January 12, 2005

Adam, does Donkey Konga ever get more involved than drumming along to songs? I demo'd it at the store, and while I had a good time doing the DDR thing on the bongos, I can't see having my interest in the title sustained if that's the only activity.
posted by blueshammer at 12:18 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm not a GCN owner, but I have several friends with them, and have logged alot of hours playing with them.

The only thing I *don't* like about Monkey Ball 2 is that it took away the one-at-a-time Monkey Target, instead making it simulteanous. I had alot of fun in the original Monkey Ball passing the controller around and trying outrageous, high-scoring stunts. They're less rewarding if no one is watching because everyone is trying to play their own game.

And Super Smash Brothers Melee is one of the longest-lived games I have already played. It's, what, three years old now? Four? And it still gets almost constant rotation every time I'm with a Gamecube owning friend. By all means, get it soon!
posted by jammer at 12:21 PM on January 12, 2005

4. What's the best single-player platformer/FP game for my novice wife? Mario Sunshine?

My aunt liked the Mario series but got frustrated with the controls of Mario Sunshine, especially trying to shoot water at that first boss while dodging. I've heard good stuff about Paper Mario though, that's suppossed to be more like the classic 2d Mario and it's gotten great reviews.
posted by bobo123 at 12:21 PM on January 12, 2005

does Donkey Konga ever get more involved than drumming along to songs?

Donkey Konga really comes into its own when playing with friends. You can fit (I believe) up to 16 people in cooperative mode. Bashing away on the congas with a group of good friends is just indescribably entertaining.

If you only ever play it by yourself, it will probably get boring fast, unless you're a bemani freak.
posted by jammer at 12:22 PM on January 12, 2005

Donkey Konga is best with friends whilst drunk. Not a good one person game.

And yes to Monkey Ball, I have the first one. I also want to try Pikmin.
posted by adampsyche at 12:30 PM on January 12, 2005

Zelda. Its the one Gamecube game I've played, and it's great.
posted by painquale at 12:30 PM on January 12, 2005

I didn't like Mario Sunshine, but I really loved Luigi's Mansion, which was a launch game.
posted by sugarfish at 12:33 PM on January 12, 2005

Underrated? Gotcha Force. I've never met anyone who's even heard of it, let alone played it. It's increadibly niche, dealing with collecting tiny japanese toy robots and fighting them against each other. The plot is incoherant, and the voice acting is so awful it's wonderful. I love it, but your milage may (and probably will) vary.

FPS? Go for Timesplitters 2. I've never seen a FPS with more CRAP to do. There's so much unlockables in that game, and the ability to make your own levels adds a lot.

Go buy Smash Bros. Buy it now.
posted by hughbot at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2005

1) I've heard Timesplitters 2 is the best multiplayer FPS on the gamecube, so I say get it and Metroid 1. (Plus, you don't want to play Mertoid 2 before 1, do you? Blasphemy!)

2) Super Monkey Ball 2. It has everything from the first one and more.

3) I'd say Wario Ware and Mario Party are two different beasts. That being said, Mario Party is the kind of game where everyone's really excited about it, and then halfway through the game everyone wants it to end. Then, you forget how excruciting it is by the next time you play. I've had more fun playing Wario Ware, and the games are much shorter.

4) Get Animal Crossing. My girlfriend is a video game novice, and she's really gotten into it. It's closer to Sims than Mario Sunshine.

5) RE4 has been getting great reviews, so if you're into RE, go for it. Haven't played X-Men, but, again, I've heard good things. Smash Brothers is a MUST HAVE if you're multiplaying. I haven't played PoP or Eternal Darkness, but my brother did and loved both.

6) If you want the Zelda games, that's the only way to get them. If you're looking for similar games, I suggest getting a Game Boy player for your GameCube, as games like that are more common on GBA. There's a revamp of the SNES Zelda on GBA, and the just released a brand new Zelda game called The Minish Cap. Also look into the Golden Sun series.

Donkey Konga is a must for multiplayer gaming. My brother got it for christmas, and we were enjoying it so much that we went out and bought 3 more sets of congas the day after christmas. It's really fun when you get into the syncopation of 4 people playing together.

Also, I'm not really a sports game guy, but I've really, REALLY been enjoying the two Tony Hawk's Underground games (though it could be argued that those aren't "Sports", per se). You should be able to pick up the first one for $20.

I've heard good stuff about Paper Mario though, that's suppossed to be more like the classic 2d Mario and it's gotten great reviews.

Actually, it's more like a mixture of Mario and Zelda. Much more RPG elements. If you played Super Mario RPG on the SNES, that's its closest relative. And I wholeheartedly recommend it.
posted by emptybowl at 12:49 PM on January 12, 2005

I third/fourth Paper Mario. It's my Desert Island Game (at least until I finish it).

Also, Mario Golf is a great lazy-afternoon game. Add a few beers and a few friends and it gets even better.

Also consider Zelda Four Swords for a group game. It's pretty good.

And my brain can not understand with a thousand percent of it's parts why you don't have, nay, why you're not playing right now, Smash Brothers!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:57 PM on January 12, 2005

1. Metroid Prime. I have Time Splitters 2 on X-Box and never really got much out of it. Between MP1 or 2, go with 1. They're basically the same game, so if you want to save money, go with the cheaper one.

2. No idea, I've only played the first. Good game though.

3. I hate these game so I'll stay out of this question.

4. For me, best single player for a novice would be Pickmin 2. For the more experienced, Viewtiful Joe 1 and 2.

5. I've not played RE 4, but I'll probably get it sometime soon. Of the others, I'd say I've played more Smash Bros. Melee than any other game on my GC, but you really need 3 or 4 people.

6. If you haven't played Ocarina of time, I'd get the disk, but for $40... I would have thought it'd be cheaper than that. Mine came free with Wind Waker.

7. Desert Island title, Viewtiful Joe 1. Underrated, Alien Hominid and Ikaruga. Both of those are two player, both difficult (IKARUGA more so), but both lots of fun.

8. Here in LA, we have the greatest videogame store, ACME, on Melrose and La Brea. The people who work there are absurdly friendly and go out of their way to make their customers happy. From your profile, this info won't help, but maybe it will for someone else.
posted by SAC at 12:57 PM on January 12, 2005

(Deep breath)

1. Metroid Prime 2's multiplayer is, in a word, arse. Extremely limited, repetitive, small-scale and hamstrung by controls that're designed for a much slower-placed, more thoughtful single-player mode. I'd get TS2 - it may not be perfect in singleplayer, but the MP options are practically endless and it's fantastic fun.

2. I hear Monkey Ball 1's the purer, more fun game.

3. I'd give Cube Wario Ware a miss, since the actual content's exactly the same as the GBA version, but with a few multiplayer-focussed gimmicks tacked on - however, I'm totally of the opinion that Wario Ware's one of the best games released in the last ten years, so I'd either pick up a GB Player and the GBA game (given how cheap GBA carts tend to be) or buy an actual GBA/DS and wait for Mawaru (Wario Ware Twisted!) or Sawaru (Wario Ware Touched!) respectively, depending on whether you prefer to rotate or poke things.
Oh, and the nostalgia factor's a tiny component of the whole manic Wario lovin', so don't let it put you off.

4. Mario Sunshine's good, but maddeningly fiddly and patchily difficult. I always found Animal Crossing a bit empty for a sit-down-and-play Gamecube game (though I have high hopes for the DS sequel), but untold millions of people adore it, so it's gotta be worth a try. Of the three, though, I'd recommend Pikmin (2 if possible) - it's gentle, relaxing and you can take it at your own pace. Plus: adorable!

5. Resi 4: YES! X-Men: dunno. Smash Bros: Yes for multiplayer, no for solo. Prince of Persia: Yes, definitely. Eternal Darkness: Not really. It's hopelessly overrated.

6. I'd say Ocarina and Majora are better than the current-gen Wind Waker by a good way. Particularly Majora, which I wuv with all my heart. The collector's disc is amazing value for the amount of gameplay you're getting. Go! Buy!

7. Desert island game from any platform: Disgaea. Desert island Gamecube game: Tales of Symphonia. Underrated Cube game: Beyond Good & Evil. Absolutely fantastic action-adventure goodness (think Zelda with less fetch-quests and no clearly demarcated dungeons, a fantasy-meets-sci-fi-meets-French-comic-book plot and lots of snapping pictures of animals and driving hovercraft co-piloted by a pig).

8. Yes, but they're all UK-specific and import-focused, sadly (NTSC-UK, RLLMUK). Oh, and if you're ever after Japanese imports, Play-Asia is usually about as far as you need to look.
posted by terpsichoria at 1:01 PM on January 12, 2005

Ah, I second Mario Golf. Can't believe I forgot it. and Four Swords is probably the most fun multiplayer experience I've had on the Gamecube, but the problem is that to play each player has to have their own Game Boy Advance to plug into the GameCube. (Sounds like a marketing ploy, but trust me, it's absolutely necessary.) If you already have 3 friends with a GBA, though, grab Four Swords AND Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, and GO TO TOWN!
posted by emptybowl at 1:03 PM on January 12, 2005

Ack! I must flagellate myself for forgetting Viewtiful Joe! Think of it as a super-stylish update to the old scrolling beat-em-ups. It's incredibly (wonderfully) unforgiving on the harder difficulty levels, so it might be worth waiting to pick it up 'til you're back into your videogame stride again. Ditto Ikaruga - I don't think it's quite the best contemporary 2D shooter out there, but it's certainly the easiest to come by on an unmodified US console, and is absolutely excellent. Again, very very unforgiving, mind.

Paper Mario: I'm less enamoured than some Mefites here. It came across a bit soulless. I'd go for a GB Player and a copy of Mario & Luigi (much the same sort of game, but funnier and with infinitely less padding between sections).
posted by terpsichoria at 1:12 PM on January 12, 2005

Sorry, I missed that multiplayer part of the first question. If you want a multiplayer game, stay the hell away from Metroid Prime 2. I have no idea why they even put that in. In overall game quality though, MP kills TimeSplitters.

Oh, and X-Men Legends is just okay. You really have to be a fan of the comics to get into it. Otherwise, the control is a bit weird and the gameplay somewhat repetitive.

And just to cancel out sugarfish, I hated Luigi's Mansion and really liked Mario Sunshine... though the best parts were the ones without the waterpack.

Really? Majora's mask? Ocarina of Time, I thought, was perfect, but Majora's Mask is just OK.
posted by SAC at 1:15 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm not a regular gamer either and it sounds like our tatses are similar. Since you like Mariokart you should try Mario Tennis. It's a great multiplier game and easy to learn as well. You can play head to head and it has some party-style games as well.

I was unimpressed with X-Men Legends for the Xbox. It was repetitive button-mashing at its worst.
posted by euphorb at 1:16 PM on January 12, 2005

Even though I endorsed Paper Marion, I agree with terpsichoria. Mario & Luigi is way better. (And now that I think of it, I did find the cutscenes between chapters in Paper Mario excruciating.)
posted by emptybowl at 1:18 PM on January 12, 2005

SAC: Yep, after playing through them maybe three times each, I definitely prefer Majora. There's something about the awful, inescapable threat of the moon crashing into Termina that really appeals to me. Plus, the whole game has this gentle melancholy tone (the sad origins of the masks Link uses to transform, the gradual panic and resignation in the townsfolk over the three days, Anju and... *sniff*... Kafei...), there's that lovely sense of urgency that's so lacking from most save-the-world plots, and overall, although they're fewer in number, I thought the dungeons were better-designed.

It's a close-run thing, though. Ocarina's final section is really bloody epic, there are loads more dungeons, and nobody ever asks you to protect their cows from aliens. Hell, I love 'em both.

emptybowl: I think it's just that, for me, no villain can ever live up to Fawful. I have fury! Bah!
posted by terpsichoria at 1:30 PM on January 12, 2005

I picked up SSX Tricky for $5 at a circuit city sale and its been worth the $20 or 40 i wouldve payed before, friends and kids that have come over have fallen in love with it, and i'm not a sports game fan fan myself and i still dig it.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 1:43 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm going to skip the I-second-suchandsuch part.

1. TS2--
2. Super Monkey Ball 2--many more minigames
3. Rent either one before deciding to buy it.
4. Rent Animal Crossing before buying anything.
5. If you're mainly concerned with multiplayer, only Smash Bros. is worth it.
6. Briefly, it depends on how much you liked OOT and Majora's Mask.
7. Desert island: Mario Golf
Underrated: Bomberman Generation
8. I like for meta-reviews.

And a few titles that I don't recall seeing mentioned above:
Bomberman Generation and Bomberman Jetters: Strange, not graphically impressive, and among the best multiplayer games ever created.
NBA Street 2: The first one's just so-so, but the second is a multiplayer good ol' time.
Def Jam: Fight For New York: Again, the first one isn't that great (unless you really like N64-era AKI wrestling games), but the sequel is an excellent multiplayer experience.
Mario Golf: Golf games are a love-'em-or-hate-'em affair, but they're great multiplayer games if you're into them. If you prefer something more realistic, you can get Tiger Woods 2K4 for a good price these days. (In general--if you like sports games, last year's version is usually priced at about twenty bucks.)
Tetris Worlds: I can't believe no one has mentioned this. Besides being the GC version of one of the best games ever made, it's the video game for people who don't like video games. Chances are, some of your friends fit into this group.
posted by box at 1:52 PM on January 12, 2005

I think that the multiplayer part of Wario Ware is worth the price of the game alone. Great fun.

Also: Viewtiful Joe!
posted by adampsyche at 1:56 PM on January 12, 2005

I'm a big gamer, but I try to buy games that company will enjoy. So with that in mind:
1. NGC is pretty bad for FPS. TimeSplitters 2 if you only want it for multiplayer. Metroid's multiplayer is no fun at all, but very good single player.
2. I'd go with Monkey Ball 2, just because it has many more games. They aren't all good, but more choices is usually better.
3. I agree with the comment that they're very different games. WarioWare is fast-paced, laugh yourself silly fun. Mario Party (they're all pretty much the same, though many people prefer 5) is like a board game that you'll sit down and play for a few hours. Mario Party is really only good with 4 players, though, while WarioWare is good with 2+.
4. Paper Mario, absolutely. Not only is it a fun game, but it has some of the best dialog of any console game ever.
5. Don't get RE unless you love the series. The Xbox Prince of Persia was amazing, but I don't know how well it translated to NGC. Either that or Eternal Darkness would be my suggestion. (Personally, I cannot stand SSB:Melee)
6. Not sure, haven't played them.
7. Paper Mario and Wind Waker. Truly awesome. Soul Calibur 2 and Skies of Arcadia are two more cheap, really good games.
8. Sadly, you can't really bargain-shop for video games, but there's are lots of good "platinum" (or whatever they call em) games for $20 at any game store.
posted by Sibrax at 1:57 PM on January 12, 2005

Pikmin 2 is totally awesome.
posted by edmo at 2:03 PM on January 12, 2005

1 - Time-splitters 2 is the best, although it's not for everyone, my friend and I had OK fun playing through it but probably should have rented. Also consider Serious Sam on the GC, it's fun, although not up to the standard of TP2, and graphically not the best.

2. 1, I would say, although the second has more mini-games. GC has kind of gotten shafted by Sega on the Monkey Ball games as they are coming out on PS2 and I believe Xbox soon as both games in one with extra levels and so on. Still arguably, the GC controller is the best for SMB. If you have another console you might want to hold off on that purchase for a while. BTW, it does teach good controller skills, but I found the games got a bit boring after a while.

3. Haven't played. I don't think WW is very long, but got decent enough reviews. I don't know anyone who's played it. Haven't played Mario Party either. You probably just pick up the most recent.

4. Animal Crossing and Pikmin.

5. Yes it is if you enjoy these kinds of games. Haven't played it yet, but the reviews are extremely good as is player feedback. On the other hand, you are in a situation where you can play the older games and pick up RE 4 later. SSB is one of the best games on the system. POP is a quality game, although I found it a better rental as I really don't think I'll ever play it again and didn't live up to the hype that surrounded the game around launch. I hear Beyond Good and Evil is good but haven't played it yet. I really liked Eternal Darkness, although it's a flawed game and the magic system is at times unnecessarily convoluted it has some nice levels which you get to go back and explore in different eras which I found quite interesting. Give it a try.

6. Yes, although Nintendo being who they are will no doubt bring out these games again for successive consoles. But if you want them now for the GC they are definitely worth it.

7. Underrated - Resident Evil 0. I believe Nintendo are bringing out remake and 0 in a double pack.

8. I just read general gaming sites and forums. I live in Australia and haven't imported for a while but National Console Support used to be really great. You need a freeloader disc to play imports.
posted by lucien at 2:03 PM on January 12, 2005

No love for the sports sims here? I could play EA Sports' NHL2K4 forever, especially without having the real thing around.
posted by rocket88 at 2:08 PM on January 12, 2005

Sorry, got Wario Ware mixed up with Wario World. Wario Ware is a fun multiplayer game and well worth picking up.
posted by lucien at 2:25 PM on January 12, 2005

1. Super Smash Bros. should be considered a standard purchase. Hectic multiplayer, unlockables will keep you going for years (literally).

2. You've already got Mario Kart, good.

3. Surprised there hasn't been more mention of Mario Tennis. Easily as good as Mario Golf, and more "action" oriented. Obvious multiplayer benefits, but the single-player tennis game is great fun as well.

4. Can't go wrong with Mario Party 5 or 6, but I've had a hard time getting my friends to see past the "light-hearted" nature/theme of the game to enjoy it.

5. Super Monkey Ball 2, definitely. Multiplayer goodness, and maddeningly fun/difficult "Marble Madness" type single player game.

6. Also don't overlook Viewtiful Joe (1 or 2). Scads of style, won lots of awards, unique (but still "old school") game play. Can be difficult at times.

7. Want to race? Don't forget the blinding F-Zero X.
posted by robbie01 at 2:26 PM on January 12, 2005

Once you get the controls down, Mario Sunshine is easily the best mario game ever made. Simply awesome.

Of course, the first time I played through it, I hated it with a passion. Played simply to finish. Then I went back, and with my newfound leet skillz really enjoyed the game. YMMV.

I could never get in to Eternal Darkness, but I may have to try again.

Zelda is awesome. Zelda CD is awesome.

I recommend Metal Gear Solid- Twin Snakes, if you haven't played the PS version of MGS. Actually, even if you have. Simply one of the best games ever created, with updated graphics. Frustrating at times (sneak and hide gameplay), but fun too.
posted by graventy at 2:27 PM on January 12, 2005

so many answers already!

Add me to the pile that goes with Wario Ware over Mario Party. After a bit of playing with any party in Mario Party the game slows down. Wario Ware is just enough confusing and laughter to make it worth every penny.

also: congrats!! Gamecubes are adorable and so much fun!
posted by Lizc at 3:19 PM on January 12, 2005

Further seconding: F-Zero GX (, MGS: Twin Snakes (assuming you can handle the intrusive dialogue-heaviness, it's fantastic). Oh, and I just played a bit of the original Wario Ware for the first time in ages, and yes, it's by far a better multiplayer game than Mario Party. And the putting-the-cat-to-sleep minigame always makes me happy.

Also, I don't PARGON PARGON understand the PARGON PARGON ULYAOTH PARGON love for PARGON PARGON Eternal Darkness. It really never clicked with me. PARGON.

This... can't be happening!
(head falls off)
posted by terpsichoria at 3:35 PM on January 12, 2005

I love the Zelda collectors disc. A must have, especially if you don't still have the games on other platforms.

Super Smash Bros is probably my favorite GC game. Love Luigi's Mansion.

Under rated? Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters.
posted by Quartermass at 4:14 PM on January 12, 2005

The posts above me offer much good advice, but I'll just chime in with this:

Do not neglect Gladius. One of the best strategy RPGs I've ever played, and perfect for people who have jobs and social lives, as it only requires 15-20 minutes of your time at a sitting. It's by Lucasarts, and is an example of what that developer can do when it isn't churning out one Star Wars game after another.
posted by Prospero at 4:56 PM on January 12, 2005

What's this? No love for Mario Power Tennis? Now that's a multiplayer funfest. And of course I heartily recommend Smash Brothers, Mario Sunshine, Paper Mario, and (if Sonic the Hedgehog is your thing) the near-complete Sonic series available in Sonic Mega Collection, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, and Sonic Heroes. There's also a new StarFox title coming next month, StarFox Assault, that is supposed to be promising.

Luigi's Mansion and Wario World are good fun but too darn short. As for Mario Party I'm not a fan, but if you're dead set on a game from the series go with number 6. At least you'll get the free GameCube microphone.

Full Disclosure: I'm a product analyst for the Advanced Media Network.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:27 PM on January 12, 2005

A second hand chain around here called Gamerz (I'm not sure if it local or not) has a good policy. You buy the game and take it home. If you want to take it back, they give you your money back, minus a dollar a day rental fee. This is much cheaper than something like Blockbuster and then if you do like the game, well you payed a cheaper price than at Best Buy or Circuit City. Its the best of both worlds.
posted by gus at 6:11 PM on January 12, 2005

Someone loved Luigi's Mansion? Oh. my. god. Glad someone did.

Personally, I think both the Metroid titles kick ass. Zelda, as mentioned by just about everyone, is amazing. (Expect the soonish to be released Zelda to also be awesome) I actually thought Sunshine was alright. Paper Mario was funish, but I rented it and didn't feel like I would stick with it for too long.

As far as RPGs go, I really dug Tales of Symphonia quite a bit, but if you're going for gametime don't get Final Fantasy CC.

On the other hand, Godzilla Destroy All Monsters is painfully bad.
posted by absalom at 6:45 PM on January 12, 2005

5. Don't get RE unless you love the series.

That's garbage. I absolutely hated every Resident Evil game that I played -- controlled like ass -- but I am absolutely digging Resident Evil 4. So call that a definite YES from me.

I love F-Zero GX, but if you haven't played games much since the SNES, you might be in for a shock as the game is fairly difficult for some. I enjoyed the challenge, and if you approach it as a game to be mastered, you can get a hell of a lot of fun out of F-Zero.

If you are feeling even more masochistic, I'd suggest Ikaruga... IF you can find it anywhere.

Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, and Zelda: Wind Waker are absolute essentials, though.

Also, don't forget about Viewtiful Joe. It plays like an updated SNES game, but in a good way. Great visual style, too.

(Most underrated game? P.N.03)
posted by mkn at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2005

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is my most-replayed game. It's too easy, but so much fun and so elegant to play that I've played it all the way through ten or more times, I've had far more than my money's worth out of it. The second one (The Warrior Within) is buggy, but once you find out where the game stopping bug(s) is/are (I only came across one and then checked the gamer boards), it's also great, and they fixed both the too-easy and the too-short issues that the first one had, while keeping most of the good aspects.

All Zeldas go without saying. And the new-new one (not out yet) looks amazing.

I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil series as well (even though they're all just different takes on the same game, which is fine by me). They tend to be too easy as a general rule, but Zero especially is extremely creepy in parts and a lot of fun. I haven't played the newest one...yet.

Look for used games, you can often find very new games for quite a bit cheaper as used copies.

Oh, and get a wireless controller. Trust me.
posted by biscotti at 8:07 PM on January 12, 2005

Thanks, everyone. If I got 10% of all the games you've recommended, I'd probably have more games than I expect to purchase over the life of the system, but I appreciate the evangelism.
posted by blueshammer at 6:29 AM on January 13, 2005

I'll recap by breaking things down by the overall number of yes votes; the number in brackets will be the corresponding "no" votes for that title, if any. I filtered out lukewarm responses and overrode complaints of shortness if the respondent considered the game especially fun.

10 Votes
Super Smash Bros. Melee [1]

7 Votes
Wario Ware
Zelda: Wind Waker

6 Votes
Metroid Prime/2
Viewtiful Joe

5 Votes
Eternal Darkness [1]
Super Monkey Ball/2 (both games garnered five votes, so there's no real consensus on which to get)

4 Votes
Animal Crossing [1]
Mario Sunshine [2]
Paper Mario
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Timesplitters 2 [1]

3 Votes
Donkey Konga
F-Zero GX
Luigi's Mansion [2]
Mario Golf
Mario Kart Double Dash
Mario Tennis
Zelda: Four Swords

2 Votes
Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 4
Tales of Symphonia

1 Vote
Alien Hominid
Beyond Good & Evil
Bomberman series
Def Jam: Fight for New York
Final Fantasy: CC
Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee [1]
Gotcha Force
NBA Street 2
NHL 2004
PN 03
Serious Sam
Skies of Arcadia
Sonic collection
Soul Calibur II
Spiderman 2
SSX Tricky
Tetris Worlds
Tony Hawk Underground/2
Wario World

More negative than positive
X-Men Legends
Mario Party 4/5/6

Obviously, not the most scientific poll -- for instance, perhaps fewer people shilled for Mario Kart because I said I already had it -- but a good hit list for other GC newbies.
posted by blueshammer at 7:05 AM on January 13, 2005

Desert Island: Eternal Darkness. Its such a good game. I rented it a long time ago and just loved it. I might buy it used.

Racing/Fun: I'm surprised no one has mentioned Simpsons Hit and Run. I find it does get difficult in spots (I'm sure regular gamers will find it much easier), but the graphics and sampled simpsons voices, not to mention all the Simpsons in-jokes more than make up for it.
posted by skallas at 10:23 AM on January 13, 2005

I play platformers (Mario, Zelda, etc) almost exclusively, but SSX3 (snowboarding) has had me utterly enthralled for the past week. I find it very relaxing. Available used for around $15.
posted by erebora at 11:17 AM on January 13, 2005

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