When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping.)
|Metroid Prime: $7
Sure, it isn’t the 2D Metroid most of us would prefer, but Metroid Prime does a remarkable job keeping much of the feel of the original series to a 3D world. It also happens to be one of the most impressive and compelling games on the Cube.
Shop for Metroid Prime on eBay
Shop for Metroid Prime on Amazon.com
|F-Zero GX: $9
When two innovative game-makers get together, good things happen. Even though F-Zero is a Nintendo franchise, Mario and Co. let Sega do most of the development work for this racer. Sega’s arcade experience paid off as F-Zero GX is a incredibly fast, challenging, addicting, and visually stunning piece of racing goodness. Dare I say that this game is my favorite racer of all time (I prefer arcade racers to simulations).
Shop for F-Zero GX on eBay
Shop for F-Zero GX on Amazon.com
|Viewtiful Joe: $6
Viewtiful Joe 2: $7
This lovable series from Capcom took old-school beatemup gameplay, threw in some interesting gameplay puzzles and mixed with trendy cel-shading graphics. Capcom may not have been able to improve greatly on the series later on, but the original is still a must-own for a modern retrogamer.
Shop for Viewtiful Joe on eBay
Shop for Viewtiful Joe on Amazon.com
|Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader: $8
I can’t help but think back to the Gamecube’s launch and recall all the comments about this game and how the developers had to be careful to make the game look too much better than the actual movie it was based on. Rogue Leader II focuses on one of the more popular Star Wars gameplay mechanics, space combat.
Shop for Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader on eBay
Shop for Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader on Amazon.com
|TimeSplitters 2: $9
If you want a high-quality FPS that is designed for consoles, you need to pick up TimeSplitters 2. Developed by the same team that worked for Rareware on the N64’s Goldeneye 007, Timesplitters 2 has killer level design, great weapons, and a variety of multiplayer and minigame options. It may not have the realism that some modern gamers crave or a fascinating storyline, but it tops Halo in my book in terms of gameplay and all-out fun.
Shop for TimeSplitters 2 on eBay
Shop for TimeSplitters 2 on Amazon.com
|Super Monkey Ball: $8
Super Monkey Ball 2: $10
The Monkey Ball series was some of Sega’s last true example of pure creativity and genius as a multiplatform developer. Both games have a fun and challenging single-player mode, but also serves as a killer party title due to its diverse mini-games. Just stay away from Super Monkey Ball Adventure.
Shop for Super Monkey Ball on eBay
Shop for Super Monkey Ball on Amazon.com
Shop for Super Monkey Ball 2 on Amazon.com
|Soul Calibur II: $9
Anybody remotely interested in 3D fighters should not overlook the Soul Calibur series. After the rave reviews as a Dreamcast exclusive, the original Soul Calibur was followed up as a multiplatform sequel with a great deal of hype. The Gamecube version was an especially high seller due to The Legend of Zelda’s Link as a playable fighter. However, even though Soul Calibur III wasn’t much better, most gamers are selling off their copies and picking up newer installments. Now is your time to take advantage of this bargain.
Shop for Soul Calibur II on eBay
Shop for Soul Calibur II on Amazon.com
|Wave Race: Blue Storm: $9
Blue Storm was a fan favorite after launch as it was essentially an enhanced version of an N64 classic. Copies have become a bit more scarce the last year or so, but if you want a unique arcade racer, you may still be able to find it for a decent price.
|Pac-Man Vs. / Pac-Man World 2: $10
If you want a killer party game for retro freaks and non-gamers alike, look no further than Pac-Man Vs. Pac-Man vs. was actually a project of Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind Mario, Zelda, and most of Nintendo’s most successful game. It lets up four players battle it out in a Pac-Man “simulation”. One person take the role of Pac-Man while the others possess the ghosts and team up on Pac-Man. Having the platformer Pac-Man World 2 included in the package is just an added bonus.
Shop for Pac-Man Vs. / Pac-Man World 2 on eBay
Shop for Pac-Man Vs. / Pac-Man World 2 on Amazon.com
|Star Fox Adventures: $8
This game was initially a let-down to Star Fox fans as it doesn’t let you do all the space battling that you would normally expect from a Star Fox game. Instead, Star Fox Adventures plays more like a Zelda game with its action, adventure, and exploration. If you know this going in, you should find Star Fox Adventures an affordable treat.
Shop for Star Fox Adventures on eBay
Shop for Star Fox Adventures on Amazon.com
A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10
- Super Mario Sunshine: $11 – eBay / Amazon
- Resident Evil: $12 – eBay / Amazon
- Resident Evil Zero: $11 – eBay / Amazon
- Resident Evil 4: $12 – eBay / Amazon
- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker: $12 – eBay / Amazon
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: $13 eBay / Amazon
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: $12 – eBay / Amazon
Other Cheap Favorites
- Puyo Pop Fever: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Tony Hawk’s Underground: $5 – eBay / Amazon
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: $6 – eBay / Amazon
- Sonic Mega Collection: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- SEGA Soccer Slam: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Luigi’s Mansion: $10 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- XG3 Extreme G Racing: $8 – eBay
- X-Men Legends: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Red Faction II: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Batman Vengeance: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Simpsons: Hit & Run: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Sonic Heroes: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Robotech: Battlecry: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NBA Street Vol. 2: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NFL Street: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NFL 2K3: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
- SSX On Tour: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NHL 2004: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- NBA 2K3: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
- FIFA Soccer 2005: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Bloody Roar: Primal Fury: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Midway Arcade Treasures: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
- Sonic Adventure 2: Battle: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
My Starter Picks For $50 Budget
If I only had $50 to spend on starting out a Gamecube (or a Wii) collection, here would be my top picks:
- Metroid Prime: $7
- F-Zero GX: $9
- Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker: $12
- Viewtiful Joe: $6
- Super Monkey Ball 2: $8
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader: $8
- Total: $50
Note: I originally had Timesplitters 2 and Sonic Mega Collection in there instead of Wind Waker as those are personal favorites of mine and Wind Waker was previously more expensive. However, due to falling Wind Waker prices, it’s hard not to recommend it.