Every Pokemon Game On The Gamecube

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Highlights

  • Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire is the worst Pokemon game on Gamecube, serving as nothing more than a storage system for third-generation Pokemon games.
  • Pokemon Channel may lack content, but its charm lies in its unique concept of being a beta tester for Pokemon TV channels.
  • Pokemon Colosseum is the best Pokemon game on Gamecube, with a darker plot, the ability to trade Pokemon and high-quality battles. A remake or re-release is desired by many players.

The main series of Pokemon games has always been handheld-exclusive, up until the release of the Nintendo Switch. While players on handheld were gifted with enthralling and engaging RPG adventures, home console players would also receive Pokemon games, albeit in a very different form.

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GameCube is no exception. Throughout the system’s lifespan, Nintendo released four Pokemon games, all of which were compatible with third-generation Pokemon games released on Game Boy Advance. The GameCube was also the first home system to receive Pokemon RPG games, which, however, were very different from the main series titles. With that in mind, which Pokemon games were the best on Gamecube?

Updated on February 29, 2024, by Ben Painter: Traditionally, Pokemon was always a handheld console series, but several spin-off games were introduced on consoles like the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, which were not a part of the mainline run of Pokemon games. This is a trend that has continued to this day with Pokemon Snap, Pokken Tournament DX and Detective Pikachu Returns available on the Nintendo Switch. Some of these home console titles were well-received, while offers shunned, never to be played again. This update adds detail to each entry stating how each Pokemon GameCube title still holds up today, and whether they should be revisited by fans.

4

Pokemon Box: Ruby And Sapphire

Metascore: N/A

Gameplay screenshot from Pokemon Box Ruby & Shappire

Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire

Released

July 12, 2004

Developer(s)

Nintendo

The worst Pokemon game on the GameCube is undoubtedly Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire. The reason is very simple: this is barely a game. In fact, it’s nothing more than a storage system for mainline third-generation Pokemon games. Players could upload and store their Pokemon from other games in Pokemon Box. To be fair, there are some additional features, such as having Pokemon breed, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is nothing more than a storage system. This is easily one of the worst spin-off ideas of all time, even if applications like Pokemon Bank and Pokemon Home could be seen as successors to this original concept.

While originally released with Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire in mind, as the title suggests, the game is also compatible with Pokemon Emerald and Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen, so every third-generation mainline game can upload creatures on Pokemon Box. This allows players to transfer between those games without needing two Game Boy Advance and a Game Boy Advance Link Cable, which many players don’t have today. Despite its abysmal reputation, the game has become increasingly rare over time and is now very difficult to come by at a reasonable price.

Is Pokemon Box: Ruby & Sapphire Worth Revisiting Today?

Definitely not. At the time, the game was seen as revolutionary. When starting a new game on Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed or LeafGreen, the entire game would be reset, essentially wiping all Pokemon from the game. Pokemon Box allowed Pokemon to be kept. Perfect for completing the Pokedex, as certain Pokemon could only be caught on one save file; the starter Pokemon, for example. But this is just not necessary anymore. Pokemon Home has this exact same feature but is available for modern Pokemon games like the latest entry, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. To summarize, Pokemon Box: Ruby & Sapphire is completely outdated.

3

Pokemon Channel

Metascore: 55

Gameplay screenshot from Pokemon Channel

Pokemon Channel

Released

December 1, 2003

Developer

Ambrella

Genre(s)

Adventure

Pokemon Channel is one of the weirdest spin-offs in the franchise, and it’s partially a spiritual successor to Hey You, Pikachu! on Nintendo 64. The game is very simple in structure yet difficult to explain in a few words. Basically, players are tasked with being beta testers for new TV channels dedicated to Pokemon. Players will need to surf through various channels in order to report feedback to Professor Oak, but they will also be able to explore the house they are in and some outdoor areas.

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While the game is very short on content and there’s arguably very little to play, it still has a unique charm. Watching Pokemon TV is an oddly fascinating and charming experience, and while this is surely a far cry from the epic adventures of the mainline games, it’s still a decent distraction, especially for kids, who were the game’s main target. Also, the game provides one of the ways to get a legitimate Jirachi, which players can download on Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire upon beating the game.

Is Pokemon Channel Worth Revisiting Today?

Sort of, if players are looking for engaging or challenging gameplay, then the answer is no. Pokemon Channel does have a certain charm to it. Seeing Pokemon become news anchors or shopping channel hosts is certainly something that all Pokemon fans should witness. Ultimately, this game could be missed for gamers looking to play through all of the Pokemon games, as there isn’t much that this GameCube title adds to the overall massive picture of the Pokemon franchise. As spinoff games go, there are modern entries which could be explored instead. Pokemon Cafe ReMix, Pokemon Go, and Pokemon Masters EX all have more playability than this game.

2

Pokemon XD: Gale Of Darkness

Metascore: 64

Gameplay screenshot from Pokemon XD Gale of Darkness

Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness

Released

October 3, 2005

Developer

Genius Sonority

Publisher(s)

Nintendo

Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness is the second Pokemon RPG released on Gamecube. The game is set some years after the events of Pokemon Colosseum, and players are once again tasked with defeating Team Cypher, which is transforming Pokemon into Shadow Pokemon by corrupting their hearts. The game is set some years after the events of the previous game and is probably the closest thing to a mainline Pokemon experience on the Gamecube.

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Although some of the spin-off titles have not reviewed well, nearly every mainline Pokemon game has been appreciated by fans and critics.

However, the game still feels very different from mainline games, as the game’s focus is more on the narrative rather than the collecting and training side of things. Also, while Pokemon XD provides many quality-of-life improvements over its predecessor, it arguably has a weaker plot, and this is what makes the game only the second best on Gamecube. Despite this, every Pokemon fan should try and give it a go, even if it won’t be easy because the game is still trapped on the Gamecube.

Is Pokemon XD: Gale Of Darkness Worth Revisiting Today?

Definitely, this game offers a very unique experience unlike any other Pokemon game. This story-driven mode does not focus on collecting Pokemon and completing the Pokedex like the mainline games. Shadow Pokemon are an amazing concept which is all but exclusive to this game, apart from in Pokemon GO, so it is a great way to see them in their full glory. Shadow Lugia is iconic. For this alone, it is worth a playthrough. Good luck tracking down a copy of this game, however, as they are hard to find and the game is still trapped on the GameCube console. Something similar that is more easily found is Pokemon Legends: Arceus, or maybe even the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon franchise.

1

Pokemon Colosseum

Metascore: 73

Gameplay screenshot from Pokemon Colosseum

Pokemon Colosseum

Released

March 22, 2004

Developer

Genius Sonority

Publisher(s)

Nintendo

Pokemon Colosseum is the best Pokemon game on the Gamecube and an experience that every Pokemon fan should play through. The game was the first Pokemon RPG on a home system, which was revolutionary at the time. The main campaign has a darker and grittier plot when compared to the series’ standards, something that adds a unique charm to this adventure. Players are also able to trade Pokemon with all third-generation games, allowing for their favorites to appear in the game and help them out in beating the main story.

Other than that, the game also provides a battle mode, which allows players to focus on battles, rendered in beautiful Gamecube graphics. It’s not much by today’s standards, but at the time players had never seen such high-quality Pokemon battles. Also, the game included notable bonuses at launch: Japanese players got a bonus disc that allowed them to download Celebi on mainline games, while US players got an exclusive Jirachi. Because of all this, many players are asking for a remake of the game, or at least for it to be re-released on the Nintendo Switch Online platform.

Is Pokemon Colosseum Worth Revisiting Today?

Yes, Pokemon Colosseum has held up to this day as a way for players to experience 3D Pokemon Battles. Although this is now the norm in the franchise, it is awesome to go back and see the first time this happened in the Pokemon games. It is tricky to be able to play this game legitimately, as it is only available on the GameCube. As such, alternatives are Pokemon Battle Revolution on the Wii, or even the mainline Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch, which have a very similar style to Pokemon Colosseum’s battles.

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