In March 2017, Nintendo will put the final nail in the Wii U’s coffin by releasing its successor. The machine is called the Nintendo Switch and, like all Nintendo hardware, it has a unique standout feature. Not only can you play it on your television, but you can also take it anywhere and play games on its built-in screen. It’s a promising device, made even more promising by a rumor that it’ll be able to play GameCube games thanks to the Virtual Console.
Nintendo’s Virtual Console is a digital store that offers classic games from previous Nintendo consoles. If GameCube games do end up coming to the Switch, it will be a great way for fans to bask in the glory days of their youth. Or — more likely, considering the GameCube’s poor sales — to experience the system’s best games for the first time. Here are some of the GameCube games we’re hoping to play on the Nintendo Switch.
1. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
If you were anywhere near the internet when Nintendo debuted the art style of Wind Waker, you probably heard a collective gasp as fans clutched their pearls in horror at the game’s sheer cartooniness. The style looked downright childish to longtime Zelda fans, making just about everyone question whether Nintendo had gone mad.
History proved those fears unfounded. The game played like a living cartoon, and looked far better than nearly any of its contemporaries. And thanks to the smartly designed dungeons, it turned out to be one of the best 3D installments of the franchise to date. Believe it or not, the internet was wrong about this one.
2. Resident Evil 4
With as many times this horror classic has been re-released, we’re not exactly hurting for ways to play Resident Evil 4. But this is one of the best games of all time, so being able to play it on the go on Switch would make it even better. Whether you’re clearing zombies out of an otherwise idyllic European town or taking down a giant troll in the woods, there’s hardly a chance to catch your breath in this remarkable action game. Most people agree the series began going downhill after this installment, but when a game is this good, it would be almost impossible not to.
3. Super Mario Sunshine
Often considered the black sheep of the core Mario series, Super Mario Sunshine is much better than its reputation might have you believe. Sure, Mario might be wearing a weird Super Soaker backpack, but it provides a whole new set of fun things to do with the mustachioed plumber. The best advice is to accept that this game is different from the rest and to go with it. Switch owners deserve a chance to revel in its weirdness.
4. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
The original Metal Gear Solid was one of the most groundbreaking video games ever released when it came out in 1998. So when Nintendo teamed up with Konami to remake it on GameCube in 2004, it was a big deal. The Twin Snakes is a bigger, better version of the original, thanks to much improved graphics, new story segments, extra weapons, and a first-person mode. Now that’s how you remake a classic.
5. Super Smash Bros. Melee
This one’s a no-brainer. The Super Smash Bros. series may have started in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, but Melee perfected it. The basic premise behind Smash Bros. is that it puts all the Nintendo characters you know and love on the screen and lets them beat the stuffing out of each other in a delightfully frivolous and lighthearted way. Of all the installments to date, Melee is considered the best by the many of the most hardcore Smash Bros. fans. It’s also the best-selling game in the GameCube’s entire library, making it an easy inclusion on the Switch’s Virtual Console.
6. SoulCalibur II
Released in 2002, SoulCalibur II was hailed by many fans as the best three-dimensional fighter ever made, and for good reason. It had a huge, well-balanced cast of fighters, each with a weapon they could use to bring the pain down on their opponents. The graphics and sound were top notch, and whether you were playing it alone or with a friend, the game gave you plenty to do. Thanks to its killer gameplay, SoulCalibur II holds up well to this day.
7. Metroid Prime
Before Metroid Prime came out, fans of the series wondered how — or even if — Nintendo would be able to bring the classic side-scrolling series into three dimensions. Those doubts turned out to be misplaced, because developer Retro Studios transformed the ongoing saga of Samus Aran into one of the best first-person shooters of all time. All the hallmarks of the Metroid series are here: exploring alien planets, finding powerful new weapons, and fighting enormous, hulking bosses. Preserving Metroid Prime by putting it on the Switch would be a smart move.
8. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
The GameCube’s Paper Mario installment is one of the best in the series. This 2D-meets-3D RPG finds Mario and friends in a predicament they know all too well: The princess has been kidnapped. That wouldn’t win awards for originality even back in 2004, but the game’s sheer wit and charm won over nearly everyone who played it. It didn’t hurt that Nintendo honed the turn-based combat to near perfection, thanks to the action elements you could pull off if you got your timing just right.