The Best GameCube Platformers

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While not the highest selling Nintendo console of all time, the GameCube was the latest innovation that brought players plenty of amazing and memorable experiences. After the success of 3D graphics on the N64, Nintendo cranked it up a notch bringing fans some of the most realistic graphics of the time. Instead of the strange claw shaped controller of the N64, the GameCube released with probably one of the best controllers to date that had an ergonomic feel and is still supported by Nintendo systems to this day. The GameCube was an all-around, amazing console with plenty of exciting games and features that set this apart from other consoles of the time.

Platformers have always been Nintendo’s forte, releasing some of the most iconic titles in the industry. The GameCube was no exception with titles like Super Mario Sunshine, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, and Rayman 3 defining the whole era. Many of the titles that made waves on the GameCube went on to cement themselves in the memories of players, being rereleased every few years, allowing for new audiences to experience what the GameCube had to offer. The GameCube was definitely the console to have if you were a fan of platformers.

Super Mario Sunshine

Probably the most notable platformer on the console, Super Mario Sunshine, took the 3D technology from Super Mario 64 and expanded it into a quirky, tropical adventure. Instead of taking place in the Mushroom Kingdom, Super Mario Sunshine brings Mario and friends to Delfino Island, a tropical island plagued by a mysterious vandal. With the help of E. Gad’s FLUDD, players must traverse the island in familiar Mario style, washing away the evil ink that has proliferated over the island.

Delfino Island feels like a living and breathing world, giving this title more atmosphere than previous Mario entries. Super Mario Sunshine is one of the best Mario titles to date, giving a fun spin to the 3D Mario world.

Mega Man Anniversary Collection

The Blue Bomber is back with a fantastic collection of titles in tow. Play through multiple generations of Mega Man, from the original that started it all to Mega Man 8 which debuted on the PlayStation. Fans will also be gifted with two Japan exclusive Mega Man titles, Mega Man the Power Battle and Mega Man 2 the Power Fighters.

There are plenty of bonus features included in this title such as Mega Man anime, developer commentary, and art. Mega Man Anniversary Collection is the game to have for retro gamers or newcomers to this classic series alike.

Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat

The origins of the infamous GameCube Bongos, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat is a return to the Donkey Kong platforming action that made the series great. In this title, players explore the jungle with the use of the bongos, controlling Donkey Kong’s movements with various different beats. Throughout each level, the player must acquire as many beats as possible before fighting an increasingly difficult boss.

There are several different areas, or “kingdoms”, to explore, each with their own levels. Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat is an exciting and strange take on the series, giving players a new adventure after a long hiatus.

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc

The atmospheric and quirky Rayman series is back for another adventure. In this entry, players must fight the evil Dark Lum, Andre, and his band of “hoodlums”. Much of the gameplay is the same as previous entries in the series, but with the addition of new power-ups, levels, and enemies.

This title takes the Rayman quirkiness to a whole new level, with much of the dialogue being jokes directed at the series or gaming as a whole. Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is an awesome, final adventure through the world of 3D Rayman titles, giving players plenty of charm, excitement, and action.


Developed by Namco, I-Ninja is an awesome 3D platformer that harkens back to titles of the past. The player takes control of an unnamed ninja who must rescue his sensei from the evil Emperor O-Dor and his army of Ranx. The ninja must use his various acrobatic abilities alongside power ups in order to vanquish his enemies and save Sensei.

I-Ninja is an amazing, yet simple, platformer that welcomes new players and provides plenty of challenge for hardcore gamers. Anime fans will be delighted with this title as well, giving players plenty of the anime tropes that they are familiar with.

Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams

After the events of the first title, Tak is caught in a deep sleep and no one knows how to wake him up. To Tak, he is still awake but in a new dimension, the Dream World. Tak must repair the Staff of Dreams and prevent Tlaloc from possessing it.

Much of the gameplay is similar to the first entry into the series, with plenty of magic to keep fans happy. The environments Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams are somewhat similar, except for the strange and exciting Dream World. Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams is an awesome sequel to an already exciting series.

  • Updated September 4, 2020