The Nintendo GameCube is often seen as the “black sheep” in Nintendo's console history.
The GameCube was Nintendo's first foray into disc-based gaming, and it was met with both excitement and skepticism. From its square shape to its purple-coloring, the GameCube was decidedly unique.
Over its lifespan, there was over 650 games released for the system.
Longtime fans will remember such classics as Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, and more.
The system saw a decent amount of third-party releases, but it always felt as though the GameCube was last in line to receive support.
It's been over 15 years since the GameCube launched in the early 2000's, and as time wears on, the rarity of its library increases.
While you won't see GameCube games reaching insanely high prices, many of the rarer titles cost just as much (if not more) than a brand new modern game.
We've put together a list of 20 exceptionally rare GameCube games, some that you may know, others might be a surprise. If you owned a GameCube and have your games laying around, it might be worth it to look over them and find out how much money you’re sitting on.
For a dedicated collector, you'll want to have a selection of these games available.
The GameCube gave us some of the greatest games in all of gaming history, so it's no surprise that the desire for collecting them is so high.
20. Super Smash Brothers Melee
Price: $45 – $200
Widely regarded as one of the best party and fighting games ever made, Super Smash Brothers Melee continues to be sold at a higher price than normal.
It's not exactly a rare game, but it's highly sought after and considered a must own.
The game series continued as Nintendo released more consoles, and the franchise is still making headlines today.
Many consider Super Smash Brothers Melee to be the best entry in the entire series, further raising the demand.
19. Mario Party 4
Price: $40 – $120
The Mario Party series kicked off on the Nintendo 64, and still remains somewhat popular to this day.
Mario Party 4 was the first of three Mario Party games on the GameCube, making it an instant-purchase for Nintendo fans.
The game is part board game and part mini-game competition, with you and a group of friends competing to collect the most stars. The game had a way of causing chaos among friends, similar to the effect of Monopoly.
Whether you loved it or hated it, Mario Party is a must have for true Nintendo fans.
18. Time Splitters: Future Perfect
Price: $40 – $80
Although it's been lost to time, Time Splitters was one of the best first person shooting franchises ever made.
It had tons of fun modes, wacky weapons, and satisfying arcade-like action. Whether you were playing solo or blasting away friends, Time Splitters was a great time.
Time Splitters: Future Perfect was the last game in the series, and arguably the best.
The game might not be the rarest of the bunch, but it still plays well to this day.
If you're a fan of older first person shooters like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, you'll adore Time Splitters.
17. Def Jam: Fight for NY
Price: $40 – $110
Published by industry titan Electronic Arts, the Def Jam franchise was short-lived but well received.
The game played like a classic 2D fighter with a twist; the entire roster was comprised of modern hip-hop and rap artists.
The game celebrated hip-hop culture while also delivering satisfying fighting, making Def Jam: Fight for NY a wonderful experience for both fighting game and rap music fans.
The game was popular on many systems at the time, but the GameCube normally saw lower manufacturing numbers.
Due to its popularity and nostalgia factor, the game might cost you more than you'd expect.
16. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Price: $30 – $100
This follow-up to the N64 classic was highly regarded for its witty writing and entertaining battle system.
The Paper Mario series contains characters from the ultra-popular Super Mario Brothers universe, but appropriates them into a vastly different experience.
Instead of running at breakneck speeds and hopping on goombas, players attacked and defended in a turn-based battle system.
Like Final Fantasy, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door told a lengthy and gripping tale while offering some fun strategy gameplay.
Games developed by Nintendo tend to hold their value even a decade after release, and this (combined with its high acclaim) makes Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door one of the rarer RPGs on the GameCube.
15. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Price: $30 – $100
Like Paper Mario and Super Smash Brothers Melee, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was one of the most popular first-party games released on the GameCube.
This entry in the enormously popular series was highly anticipated, and the game was delayed a few times.
Because of this, the game was released towards the end of the GameCube's life cycle, releasing around the same time on the newer Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii was a huge success immediately, and because of this, Twilight Princess was manufactured and released in higher quantities on the Wii than the GameCube.
Despite this, many people consider the GameCube version the superior experience.
14. Gauntlet: Dark Legacy
Price: $30 – $300
Gauntlet: Dark Legacy was a console version of the multiplayer arcade game. In it, you controlled one of eight characters, and moved through the game's various worlds attempting to survive.
The game was released on a variety of game systems and was tons of fun to play with friends.
The Gauntlet series is also highly regarded and considered a gaming staple, so it only makes sense that a popular entry in the series would still be sought after.
I've seen some wild prices for new copies of this game, but a used copy shouldn't cost you too much.
13. Mega Man X Collection
Price: $25 – $80
The Mega Man series first gained popularity on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and continued to be popular on the Super Nintendo.
By the time the series reached the SNES, they were already ready for a spin-off series, and that's what we got with Mega Man X.
However, Mega Man X was better than most of the original games, surprising fans and becoming an instant classic. The series continued, and eventually we got the Mega Man X Collection on GameCube.
This compilation contained six games in the Mega Man X series, and also contained a Mega Man racing game.
It's a great value and a great experience, leading to its higher price today.
12. Pure Evil 2-Pack
Price: $80 – $200
This oddly titled compilation featured two games; a remake of the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0.
While both games can be purchased separately for much lower prices, this compilation saw a low manufacturing run and as such, its rarity is often understated.
The games included are definitely worth playing, especially the gorgeous remake of Resident Evil. These games still receive modern high-definition releases, and for good reason.
If you've never played these two iconic horror games, I definitely recommend seeking them out.
If you're a true Resident Evil fan, you might want to hunt down this deceptively rare compilation.
11. The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition
Price: $30 – $90
Compilations on the GameCube weren't as popular as they might seem, but this Legend of Zelda collection was well worth picking up.
This collection featured four classic games and a demo of the GameCube exclusive Zelda: The Wind Waker.
Loading up the game gives you the option of playing either the original Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda II, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
A mix of both NES and N64 Zelda games, the collection was an amazing deal. Unfortunately, the game was only released as a bundle during its brief appearance at retail stores.
The game was also given away in various contests and deals, but never saw the release it deserved.
This collection is a no brainer for any Nintendo or Zelda fan.
Price: $40 – $200
Ikaruga was a hyper-fast and extremely difficult 2D shoot 'em up game.
Playing like a version of Galaga on steroids, players attempted to dodge a barrage of enemy bullets and return fire.
You could switch your ship color between black and white, absorbing enemy bullets of the same color. You could play either solo or with a friend, and the high difficulty ensured you would be playing for quite some time.
It's considered one of the finest games in its genre, but sold poorly on the GameCube.
This combination of supply and demand makes Ikaruga one of the rarest shoot 'em ups on any system.
9. Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Price: $10 – $80
This title combined the dancing craze of arcade legend Dance Dance Revolution with the iconic assets from the Super Mario Brothers world.
Dance Dance Revolution is mostly known as an arcade game, having players physically step on brightly colored arrows in time with the in-game music.
The franchise had a few releases in the early 2000's, and reached its highest point of popularity around the same time.
Nintendo saw this opportunity and hopped on, allowing their iconic mascot to be fused with the dancing genre.
This game was only available briefly during a holiday season, followed up by a meager restocking the next year. The game has since been discontinued, and fans of both Dance Dance Revolution and Super Mario Brothers eagerly await listings.
8. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Price: $50 – $150
The Metal Gear Solid series was hugely successful on the original PlayStation, and the series quickly became the most popular stealth/action franchise.
While the PlayStation 2 received the newest game in the series, GameCube owners got a remake of the original Metal Gear Solid.
With improved graphics and updated controls, the game got a decent face lift.
Some fans of the series dislike this remake, but I personally enjoy it quite a bit. As such, the game was met with mixed reviews upon release and didn't sell too well.
As the years have continued, the Metal Gear Solid series has seen increased popularity and sales.
For some, the best version of Metal Gear Solid exists in this rare GameCube release.
7. Gotcha Force
Price: $100 – $300
This is one of the lesser known GameCube games, and not for any particular reason. Gotcha Force was developed by Capcom and released in 2003, but received poor reviews upon release.
In this action game, you collected and battled toy mechs.
A lack of advertising and the aforementioned reception deemed Gotcha Force a commercial failure, but the game eventually amassed a cult following in later years.
The developer also considers it one of their favorite releases, and reprinted the game for Japanese audiences in 2012, a full 9 years after its original release.
6. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus
Price: $70 – $300
Phantasy Star Online was heralded by developer SEGA as the killer app for Nintendo's online gaming service.
In the game, you dived deep into an expansive RPG universe, connecting and battling other players.
It represented early ideas in the MMORPG genre, and was unique and quirky.
However, the Nintendo GameCube's online service never truly took off, and the game's servers were shutdown in the late 2000's.
You can still play the game offline, but the initial connectivity that made the game so interesting has been lost to time.
As an idea, Phantasy Star Online represents the early days in online gaming, when we wished for the kind of experiences we have today.
5. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Price: $90 – $280
Although the Fire Emblem series is quite popular nowadays, the series didn't see that success until some characters appeared in Super Smash Brothers Melee.
As interest for this strategy series grew, so did interest for the previously releases games in the series.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is regarded as one of the better games in the series, and was released later in the console's life cycle. Due to the lower expectations at the time, the game was manufactured in lower quantities.
Imagine if Super Mario Brothers didn't become popular until the mid 2000's, and then suddenly everyone wanted to play Super Mario 64.
That's the case with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
4. Metroid Prime + The Wind Waker Combo
Price: $250 – $320
Like the Pure Evil 2-Pack, the two games in this combo pack can be purchased for a much more appropriate price as separate titles.
Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker are considered two of the best GameCube games, and incredibly good entries in their respective series.
As such, this compilation is as great as it is rare.
Like Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, the game only saw release in a holiday window, and was also bundled in with GameCube consoles.
Nintendo is notorious for its limited quantities of specialty items during holidays. For a modern example, look no further than the recently released NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles.
Due to this limited quantity, this compilation is now incredibly hard to find a decade later. Since you can find both games individually with ease, it might not be a must-have.
However, GameCube collectors going for a full collection will have to hunt it down.
Price: $200 – $300
Like Gotcha Force, Cubivore's rarity is mostly due to an underwhelming initial reception followed by sudden popularity.
The game was only released in Japan originally, but eventually got a localized version in 2002 by Atlus. Atlus is well known for their relatively low manufacturing numbers, and Cubivore was no exception.
This, coupled with a sudden popularity a few years after release, has made Cubivore one of the rarest GameCube games.
The game is also silly and lighthearted. In it, you play as a simple cube, and attempt to eat your way up the food chain, eventually toppling other powerful cubes.
It was a simple but satisfying formula, and one we don't see replicated often.
If anything, the rarity of Cubivore is a great representation of the GameCube on the whole.
An oddball release that eventually won over the hearts of many, Cubivore is both a great time and a hard find.
2. NCAA College Basketball 2K3
Price: $150 – $400
Sports games were never very popular on the Nintendo GameCube, and NCAA College Basketball 2K3 was also the end of the NCAA 2K series.
In many ways, its rarity is both expected and unexpected.
It's no surprise that sports games are some of the rarer games on GameCube; the genre always saw pretty low manufacturing numbers.
However, the lack of basketball titles (licensed or otherwise) on the GameCube makes NCAA College Basketball 2K3 one of the best sports titles on the system.
By its release, it seems that the publisher had all but given up on the franchise, and it was the final game in the series.
Being one of the GameCube's rarest titles is a weird final resting place for NCAA 2K3, but an appropriate one.
1. Pokemon Box
Price: $250 – $500
There's actually very little to say about Pokemon Box's actual content, as it's not really a game at all.
This GameCube disc was more of a utility program than anything else, allowing players to transfer and store their collected Pokemon to the GameCube.
By hooking up their Gameboy Advance to the GameCube using an equally rare cable, players were able to store up to 350 of the cute collectible critters at a time.
It's an idea that has since been implemented in modern entries of the franchise, but the idea of mass data storage was still a new one at the time.
Additionally, the software was only physically available for a short time at specific Nintendo store locations.
This combination of ultra-low quantities and oddly specific use makes Pokemon Box one of the most interesting GameCube discs in existence.
There's not much to do in it, and you won't get any practical use out of it today, but Pokemon Box is still an incredibly elusive inclusion in many collections.