The Best GameCube Racing Games

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Released to North American audiences in 2001, Nintendo upgraded their 3D graphics to an entire new level with the GameCube. With the new disc medium, Nintendo could now squeeze more content into each game. Not only did the graphics get an improvement, but Nintendo also released one of the best controllers to date, even providing a wireless controller option. If players connected their Gameboy Advance to their GameCube, they could unlock even more content! With a large library of amazing 1st and 3rd party titles on the GameCube, it is a shame it did not sell more.

Racing games have always been appealing to players who want a relaxing drive in cars most people can’t afford, or destroy other cars without concern for physics or the law. With 3D graphics becoming more realistic by the year, racing games have seen new and exciting twists on the genre. Titles like F-Zero GX, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Need for Speed Underground were good enough reasons to buy the GameCube. The library of games on the GameCube was not only amazing, but changed the genre as a whole.

F-Zero GX

Every entry to the F-Zero series is a massive upgrade compared to its predecessors, and F-Zero GX is no exception. Using the GameCube’s new hardware to its full potential, F-Zero GX is one of the most fast-paced and exciting racing titles to date.

With a selection of 30 different pilots, each with their own abilities, and 20 different courses, there is always a new way to experience the game and get the best time possible. The Story Mode is definitely a highlight in this title, teaching players expert maneuvers and racing skills. F-Zero GX is a must-play for the GameCube.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact

After the success of the original Burnout, a sequel was inevitable. Burnout 2: Point of Impact delivers a massive upgrade to the original. This title is all about speed, and that becomes apparent when the Burnout Meter fills up and players flash past cars at neck breaking speeds. There are 32 all-new stages to race through in Burnout 2, and each stage offers a different level of difficulty and speed.

The GameCube’s new controller makes this title even better, giving gamers better handling and quicker inputs, allowing players to fly past opponents. Burnout 2: Point of Impact is a giant upgrade to the original and easily recommended for fans of racing.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart has always been an awesome title that brings together both casual and hardcore gamers. Players now select two drivers for their kart, allowing for awesome tag-team action during races. The driver controls the kart while the second character controls the many different power ups available to players.

The courses are even more exciting than before, with plenty of boosts, secret turns, and power ups hidden within. There are 20 different iconic characters to choose from, with cooperative play available, or a versus mode. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is arguably one of the best Mario Kart titles to date.

NASCAR Thunder 2003

The sixth entry into the NASCAR Thunder series brings even more classic stock car racing action to the GameCube. Career Mode is the highlight of this title, allowing players to take their driver, pit crew, and sponsorship through the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. If you are not looking for an involved experience as Career Mode, players can play the Quick Race mode for single race, NASCAR action.

NASCAR Thunder 2003 uses the GameCube to its full potential, giving players a glimpse of realistic damage mechanics and exciting bumper to bumper racing. NASCAR Thunder 2003 is a perfect game for fans of NASCAR racing.

XGIII: Extreme G Racing

Another awesome futuristic racer, XGIII: Extreme G Racing took some notes from F-Zero and wipEout to create one of the coolest racers to date. Based in the 23rd century, the player will assume the role of one out of twelve riders and take to some challenging courses that feature zero gravity sections.

The variety in each course makes this title extremely exciting, especially with the insane speeds that each racer will reach. By progressing through the game, players will unlock faster races similar to Mario Kart. XGIII: Extreme G Racing is an awesome take on futuristic racers, giving players an exciting adventure in some wacky courses.

Need for Speed Underground

Need for Speed Underground is Fast and Furious the game, and this game is easily one of the most exciting racers to date. This title allows players to perform some of the most exciting stunts and travel at crazy speeds without a concern for the police or the laws of physics. As players progress through the game, they will be able to trick out their starter cars in order to create a racing beast.

There are four different modes to choose from which offer different ways to crush your enemies. Drag is a simple, straight-forward race, Circuit gives players a long, multi car race, and Drift is, of course, full of hairpin turns that reward drifting. Finally, the Story mode provides a career for the player that is expansive and exciting.

Wave Race: Blue Storm

The sequel to fan favorite Wave Race 64 brings the awesome N64 action to the next generation. Wave Race: Blue Storm is an exciting jet-ski racer that has players navigating buoys to achieve victory. Players can run past certain buoys to turbo boost to the finish line, but if you miss five, game over. Stunts can also provide a turbo boost which is extremely helpful when it comes to getting the fastest time possible.

The physics engine received a major improvement, making Wave Race: Blue Storm feel more alive than its predecessor. Fans of the original will be delighted with this awesome return to jet-ski action.

  • Updated September 4, 2020