Every Mario Game On The GameCube, Ranked

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Highlights

  • Mario has been featured in over 200 games, showcasing his versatility in various occupations and roles.
  • The GameCube era introduced many imaginative Mario games, highlighting Nintendo’s commitment to quality and innovation.
  • Mario games on the console, like Mario Party and Mario Kart, are fondly remembered for their unique gameplay experiences.

There are a lot of Mario games that have come out over the years. The Italian plumber has been in over 200+ games, which is truly incredible and goes to show just how incredible his presence in the video game industry really is. The guy has been a painter, a plumber, a street cleaner, a referee, a death fight combatant, a racer, and just about any other occupation players can imagine. The good old days of Mario on the GameCube are truly fascinating and provide a great glimpse of this character on Nintendo’s ever-evolving hardware.

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Given that Mario is Nintendo’s mascot and has continued to be the face of most of their games for quite some time, it’s easy to see why there are so many games featuring this Italian plumber on the console. These titles are all pretty fun in their own right, and many are fondly remembered to this day. It’s a shame that the GameCube didn’t sell as many units as it should’ve since this console’s library was packed with many imaginative titles that had a flair of their own. Almost every Mario game on this console boasts a certain level of quality that shows just how careful Nintendo is when it comes to giving this character the screen time he deserves.

Updated on April 9, 2024, by Ritwik Mitra: Mario is one of the most popular video game characters of all time. Nintendo has made it a point to feature their mascot in as many great video games as possible, with the mainline series being full of absolute hits that fans can’t get enough of. Of course, there are many spinoff games to check out too, although their quality can vary from game to game. Regardless, one guarantee that can be given is that Mario won’t feature in a game that is outright bad, and most titles have something going for them. The GameCube itself features several video games with Mario’s presence in them that are all engaging in their own right, and this list has been filled out with a few more special mentions of Mario’s appearances on the console.

Mario Party 7

Metacritic: 64

Mario Party 7

  • Platform: GameCube
  • Release Date: November 7, 2005
  • Developer: Hudson Soft

There’s a long lineup of Mario Party titles for the Gamecube. With this game being the fourth Mario Party title on the system, it’s clear that Mario Party 7 was a sign of the franchise running out of steam a bit, but the game is still a blast to enjoy with friends in its own way.

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The boards in Mario Party 7 tend to be more gimmick-based than previous titles in the series and, unless players have the included microphone with the game, landing on a Microphone space will do absolutely nothing important. That being said, the game still deserves some credit for bringing 8-player Mario Party to the Gamecube, which was a pretty big deal.

Mario Party 5

Metacritic: 69

Mario Party 5

  • Platforms: GameCube, Arcade
  • Release Date: November 10, 2003
  • Developer: Hudson Soft

Since Nintendo had their feet set on the GameCube after Mario Party 4 introduced the classic board game series to the system, Mario Party 5 is where Hudson Soft showed off what can be done on the purple lunchbox console.

Unlike other Mario Party games, players must pay to use items that can be polarizing, but it does make players think about which items are worth using. The boards are more imaginative than others on the system without resorting to cheap gimmicks. There are quite a few great mini-games as well like “Dodge Bomb” and the extremely tense “Night Light Fright”, making this one of the best Mario Party games that fans can check out for themselves.

Mario Party 4

Metacritic: 70

Mario Party 4 promotional image of Mario and title

Mario Party 4

Released

October 21, 2002

Developer(s)

Nintendo
, Hudson Soft

Genre(s)

Party Game
, Action
, Strategy

Graphically speaking, the first Mario Party game on the Gamecube was a massive leap forward for the franchise. It set the stage for the other titles in the series to completely wow players with their gameplay systems, and players will certainly get a kick out of this game as they try to beat their friends in this brilliant game.

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Mario Party 4‘s boards do tend to drag on and on with no loop around in sight which can become tiring. The minigames tend to all blur together, but they still end up being quite fun when players are battling against each other to emerge victorious. However, after the release of Mario Party 5 & 6 on this console, most people promptly forgot about this title, which was a shame.

Mario Party 6

Metacritic: 71

Mario Party 6

Mario Party 6

Platform(s)

Nintendo GameCube

Released

December 6, 2004

Developer(s)

Hudson Soft

Genre(s)

Party Game
, Platformer
, Shooter
, Fighting
, Strategy

As the third Mario Party released on the system, one might think that this title would be phoning it in but that would be selling the game short. With a unique day and night cycle for its boards that alter them depending on the “time of day” and some great times in its mini-game collection, Mario Party 6 is the best time players going to have with Mario and his party on the Gamecube.

This is certainly hefty praise, given the wealth of Mario Party titles on the GameCube. However, there’s just something incredibly special about Mario Party 6 that makes it infinitely playable to this day!

Mario Superstar Baseball

Metacritic: 76

Mario Superstar Baseball

Mario Superstar Baseball

Released

July 21, 2005

Developer(s)

Namco
, Nintendo SPD

No Mario game is bad (well, barring a few subjective exceptions). After all, Mario is Nintendo’s golden goose, and they always make sure to put the time and money into his games so they’re all of a certain level of quality. Mario Superstar Baseball is another title that is pretty fun in its own right, even if some people may argue that it’s not amazing per se.

Its sequel, Mario Super Sluggers, was immensely successful and beloved on the Nintendo Wii. It was a game that innovated the blend of Mario and baseball mechanics much more masterfully than this GameCube gem, with Mario Superstar Baseball setting the foundation for what many people argue to be one of GameCube’s more overlooked games around.

Super Mario Strikers

Metacritic: 76

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Super Mario Strikers

Platform(s)

Nintendo Switch

Released

November 18, 2005

This soccer game feels like one of the bigger risks Nintendo took in terms of style and overall tone. It’s not often that a Mario game takes any sort of big risks, but this and Super Mario Sunshine are the two best examples that people can think of. Mario Strikers is over-the-top bombastic soccer action at a level almost reaching the classic film Shaolin Soccer.

The art style they used is great, the Captains each having their cronies made every team feel unique, and the game just played fantastically! The sequel game Mario Strikers: Charged fell a tad in quality but overall this is one of the Mario Sports games that players simply can’t get enough of. There’s a reason why Mario Strikers: Battle League was a huge disappointment for many fans, given the high standards set by this GameCube title.

Luigi’s Mansion

Metacritic: 78

Luigi’s Mansion promo art


Luigi’s Mansion

Released

November 18, 2001

Genre(s)

Adventure

Given a lot of flak in its day for not being Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion was released as a launch title for the GameCube and while it isn’t the most ambitious Mario game on the console, it is extremely unique and a refreshing change of pace. From the title starring Luigi to taking on a campy horror aesthetic, Luigi’s Mansion surprises gamers at every corner with something different.

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Its mechanics and gameplay while simple are still quite enjoyable to play and the graphics hold up very nicely for a launch title in 2001. This is a game that deserves more respect, and certainly received the same as more and more people warmed up to this classic title over time. Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues the legacy of this title in great fashion, being jam-packed with detail and making the act of sucking up ghosts more engaging than ever before.

Mario Power Tennis

Metacritic: 80

Mario Power Tennis

Mario Power Tennis

Released

October 28, 2004

Once again, the GameCube era seemed to be the time Nintendo chose to try out the whole Mario Sports thing, and luckily for fans, it worked out. Kart racing, golf, and soccer games were all huge hits, and the realm of tennis was also done justice to with this title. Mario Power Tennis was a truly great game that fans can still enjoy to this day, and Mario Tennis Aces makes it infinitely clear that this particular sport seemed to do well with fans.

Something about the sport of tennis just translates so well with Mario characters, and the variety of tournament types, character types, and game modes made for one of the best quality sports games on the entirety of the GameCube. It helps that arcade-y tennis gameplay with a familiar cast of Mario characters makes for a near-perfect combination.

Metacritic: 81

mario golf

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is a game of great quality, even if some people thought that it didn’t build upon the cult classic that was Mario Golf on the N64. Maybe they were worried that it would be like reinventing the wheel, but Nintendo took very few risks with this sequel in a way that felt a bit too safe for most fans’ liking.

However, the game should be praised for its strengths. The title itself had a good difficulty curve, plenty of content, and a great cast of golfers. It’s just a shame that the formula wasn’t reinvented, with the improvements in this game feeling marginal at best. Still, fans who wanted a more arcade-y take on golf with their favorite Mario characters would be more than elated by what this title brings to the table.

Paper Mario And The Thousand-Year Door

Metacritic: 87

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Platform(s)

Nintendo GameCube

Released

October 11, 2004

The Paper Mario franchise has had a long career that all started with the OG Paper Mario on the N64. That game was amazing in its own right, but it wasn’t until the Gamecube sequel Paper Mario And The Thousand-Year Door that people took notice of how unique this spin-off series was, especially considering how fun and challenging the gameplay itself was.

To date, TTYD is still most fans’ favorite entry into the series and that probably won’t change anytime soon. That might be because each new entry into the series has only strayed further and further from what made it great in the first place, but it’s also because TTYD is just a fantastic game in itself. People could even mark this as the beginning of Nintendo’s “Craft World” genre that eventually birthed games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Wooly World.

Mario Kart: Double Dash

Metacritic: 87

Mario Kart Double Dash

Mario Kart: Double Dash

Released

November 17, 2003

Developer(s)

Nintendo EAD

Genre(s)

Racing

Mario Kart: Double Dash was a pretty fun game and felt just as joyfully unfair as all the rest of them do. While Double Dash introduces a lot of unique cast members with fun dynamics, even with some minor flaws that bogged down the experience in the eyes of many. The character-duo-specific items were a cool idea, even if the implementation itself left a lot to be desired. It didn’t help that the game suffered from a shortage of new tracks.

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However, despite some issues, Mario Kart: Double Dash still served as a great experiment for the series that fans adore in their own way, even if people agree that it’s far from the best Mario game out there. Still, fans of the Mario Kart series will love to see this unique experimentation in action and how it changed the way players tackled races, compared to the norm.

Super Mario Sunshine

Metacritic: 92

Super Mario Sunshine


Super Mario Sunshine

Released

August 26, 2002

Developer(s)

Nintendo EAD

Genre(s)

Platformer

First and foremost is the premiere Super Mario game on the Gamecube, Super Mario Sunshine. This game was pretty polarizing with fans back in the day simply because of how different it was in style, gameplay mechanics, and tone than Mario 64. Mario isn’t simply running around and hopping into paintings willy-nilly now, he’s got a job to do, and that job is cleaning up Isle Delfino.

Whether players are a fan of the F.L.U.D.D or not, Super Mario Sunshine still has a lot to offer and is irrevocably one of the Gamecube’s best titles. That being said, one of the reasons why Super Mario Sunshine got a bad rap in the industry was because the title had its fair share of bugs, which was rather odd to see in a Nintendo game. The developer was known to polish up their titles as much as possible, which is why Sunshine feels like an anomaly where players have to accept some of the jank if they want to enjoy this game to its fullest.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Metacritic: 92

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Super Smash Bros. Melee

Released

December 3, 2001

Genre(s)

Fighting

To call the Super Smash Bros. series a Mario game would be slightly misleading, especially given that this title features familiar faces from most popular Nintendo games. However, this doesn’t change the fact that the majority of characters in this ambitious crossover fighting series were from the Mario franchise, showcasing a wealth of abilities that players were encouraged to use if they wished to beat down and Smash the many fighters in this title.

Melee is considered by many to be the greatest title in the series, with Ultimate being the only title that managed to live up to the lofty standards set by this amazing title. The movement is snappy, the moves are plentiful, and it takes quite a bit of skill for players to attain victory. At the same time, the game is pretty beginner-friendly and allows players to come to grips with the basics before moving on to more advanced maneuvers.

Special Mentions:

SSX On Tour (Metascore: 80)

SSX On Tour with Mario

SSX On Tour

Released

October 11, 2005

Developer(s)

EA Canada

During the GameCube era, Nintendo struck a deal with EA that allowed the publisher to release games on the console while also adding most of Nintendo’s popular characters. As a result, the version of SSX on Tour that was released on the GameCube features Mario, Peach, and Luigi as playable characters.

In a way, it’s hilarious to control these cartoonish characters in a sports game that’s trying to be somewhat serious. For what it’s worth, SSX on Tour is a great game, with fun snowboarding gameplay where most players will love controlling their favorite Nintendo characters. It’s easy to pick up and play, especially due to its arcade-y nature.

NBA Street V3 (Metascore: 88)

NBA Street V3 with Mario

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
  • Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Developer: EA Canada

The NBA Street games were some of the best sports video games of their eras. The arcade influence present in the series helped it stand out from the more realistic variant that EA pushed to audiences, with the authority and style present made it worth checking out for any fan of unique competitive games.

In general, it’s a shame that EA abandoned the Street version of their established sports franchises, which were a ton of fun to play and featured an alternate, stylish take on an established gameplay loop. NBA Street V3, they even added the novelty of being able to control Mario, Luigi, or Princess Peach in the GameCube version, which was a blast to play through.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (Metascore: 69)

DDR Mario

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

Released

October 24, 2005

Developer(s)

Konami
, Nintendo SPD
, Hudson Soft

Genre(s)

Rhythm

Dance Dance Revolution is one of the most popular rhythm games around, with the simple yet addictive gameplay making it an arcade classic in every way. However, many people were skeptical about the crossover of this franchise with Mario’s. Shockingly, Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix is fantastic as well and a unique gem that fans should check out for themselves.

It’s very well-made and innovates on the established Dance Dance Revolution mechanics in unique ways that make it pretty great to play through. Fans who want to check out a unique rhythm game with familiar faces will love what Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix brings to the table.

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