Well, since I'm such a huge fan of the Gamecube, and no better a companion does the Wii have than its old purple brother, I have decided to post a list of what I believe to the absolutely essential Gamecube games for anyone's collection. I have compiled this list using my own beliefs, ratings, suggestions, and the lists of others to find a median where I believe it all comes together quite nicely. I will also list briefly why each game is essential. Ahem, and the games are...
1. Metroid Prime: A hugely diverse, expansive adventure with gorgeous graphics and sound and timeless gameplay extracted from the classic Metroid series, wrapped up with plenty of replay value and gameboy connectivity. Do you need more of a reason to buy it?
2. Resident Evil 4: The game that gave birth to many modern third person shooters of the day such as Gears of War, RE4 had the best graphics, cinematics, effects, and overall design of any game of last generation, and although some ho-hum ports were later designed for other consoles, RE4's true home is with the Gamecube, and rightly so, as it was unanimously praised as one of the greatest games of the last 10 years.
3. Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 & 2: The very first console RPG boasting gigantic environments and endless gameplay, episode 1, brought from the Sega Dreamcast, as well as a brand new Episode 2, exclusive to the Gamecube, given a graphical touch-up and beefed up with twice as many quests, characters, items and more. It's also the only true online game available for the Gamecube (and can still be played online to this day via private servers). It has been credited with bringing real online RPG gaming to home consoles, and it is no worse on the Gamecube than it was when it first shipped in 2000.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: While not as commercially successful as OOTA, wind waker is considered one of the most important titles on the GC, as it brought the series into a brand new visual style, gave it a truly dark and interesting storyline, and presented players with a style of swash-buckling adventure gameplay which has yet to be successful replicated. A true masterpiece of a game, technologically and elsewise, and deserves to be in any GC owner's collection.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Yet another game which could easily lay stake to some of the most gorgeous graphics of the 6th generation, as well as some of the best gameplay, TP is the spiritual successor of the all-worshipped Ocarina of Time and brings back all of the greatness of OOTA and more, and creates a vivid, living, breathing world like never seen before.
6. Timesplitters 2 (I prefer TS3, but most people don't so I'll put in TS2 instead, but trust me, get TS3 too): Upon its release, Timesplitters 2 was given universal commercial and critical success and cited as "quite possibly the greatest first person shooter of all time". Boasting 125 characters, 25 some guns, a map makingfeature, 8 hour story mode, cheats, 15 some games modes, and 15 pre-made maps, TS2 is a game full of replay value and 4-player Goldeneye-esque fun which has been emulated and drawn as a source of influence by FPS games for almost 10 years.
7. Super Smash Bros. Melee: Xbox had Halo, PS2 had God of War, and the GC had SSBM, one of the finest games ever crafted. A mix of hack and slash and fighting gameplay types with quite possibly 500 hours of game time and limitless 4 player modes, SSBM is still, to this day, played competitively and recreationally by thousands of people each year. It was the GC's number 1 selling title, and the flagship franchise of the GC.
8. Star Fox: Assault: While not welcomed with warm reviews due to its short gameplay length and bad ground-mission controls (mostly due in part to the fact that the reviewers were too stupid to realize you could change the control scheme in he options menu), SFA sold near 1 million copies and became a Player's Choice title, and has been a multiplayer favorite of the GC for years. SFA has been credited with having advanced graphics for its time and boasting a truly "epic feel", as well as having dozens of multiplayer unlockables, adding to the replay length. A fantastic multiplayer title, and a striking return to form for SF fans.
9. Star Fox Adventures: To this day, Star Fox Adventures has been credited with graphics so advanced that it could be, quote on quote, "mistaken for an xbox 360 launch title, if not better". Despite its visual eye candy however, Star Fox Adventures is a very unique game in the series, with gameplay mixing aerial combat between level transiations and zelda-like on-foot platforming/hack and slash in-game. While not everyone's cup of tea, it cannot be denied that is is an impressive looking game, and one which is fun- even if it isn't what fans of the series were expecting.
10. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem: Where do I begin? The incredible graphics with bump mapping and dynamic shadowing? The 50 some hours of gameplay? The totally unique and diverse magic and fighting system? Eternal Darkness is a game which defies all boundaries of conventional RPG's and horror games, yet seamlessly binds them together and creates an epic story like no other. You must own it.
11. F-Zero GX: If there is one racing game you be stuck with the rest of your life, it's F-Zero GX. Racing at speeds up to 2000 mph with 40 tracks, 30 pilots, a custom vehicle creaotr, emblem creator, arcade-to-console connectivity, instant-replay features, story mode, 4-player versus mode.....The whole game is just packed full of adrenaline-fueled, hard-as-rocks gameplay and customization. It really is the ultimate racing game.
12. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes: A recreation of the orignal "Metal Gear Solid" for the PS1, with web rankings, totally over hauled graphics, and fluid interesting gameplay with a great storyline. It's everything you've come to expect from an MGS game and more.
13. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: Not the most sophisticated racing game out there, but no one can deny it's one of the funnest. Not only is packed full of features such as 16-player LAN mode and dozens of races, courses, and game modes, it's quite simply a fantastic game with vibrant and colorful graphics, pick-up-and-play gameplay, and tons of fun alone or with up to 16 of your friends.
14. Super Mario Sunshine: While its seemingly lacking any kind of innovation when compared to its predecessor, SM64, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind game with great graphics and hours and hours of the same Mario fun you've been enjoying for years. While perhaps no the best in the series, it is one hell of a game, and one GC owners will be proud to have in their collection.
15: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door: Honestly and truly, a complete and utter rip off / remake of the original Paper Mario, but one cannot help but just love it for its unique gameplay and visual style, as well as nostalgia. Fans of the series new or old, it matters not, because it's a great game that many will enjoy.
16: Pikmin 2: Basically, it's everything the original Pikmin should have been. Fun, interesting, packed with strategy and intrigue. It's an RTS for the overlord in all of us, just one with colorful little creatures and- more importantly- dozens of hours of memorable gaming.
17. Viewtiful Joe: You really have never played a beat-em-up' like Viewtiful Joe until you've played, well, Viewtiful Joe. It looks like someone ripped all the characters out of a pulp-fiction comic book and put them into a video game with intensely awesome fighting action with upgradable attacks and skills and gigantic boss battles.
18. Batallion Wars: Even though it has its design flaws, as well as a little problem with length, Batallion Wars is just undeniably enjoyable. Wage huge wars with your meaty little soldiers and their tanks, copters, planes, air strikes, MG nests and mortars, and experience a cutesy world of war like never before.
That's about all I have down for now. I know there are a few more I'm forgetting but it's a pretty good list, especially for beginners or people who just want to beef up their Wii library with some sick games.