All the way back on 3 May 2001, Nintendo released the GameCube to... well, fanfare is definitely the wrong word to use. A lot of people mocked the console for a number of reasons - most of which we'll get into in a few minutes. Those people are idiots. Big dumb idiots who never deserved something as beautiful as the GameCube in the first place.
Some of you, however, wisely paid no mind to the criticism levelled at this glorious little box. Some of you were maybe even lucky enough to be taken to the midnight launch by your mum despite the fact that it was actually her birthday that day. And maybe that's a fact that you're only just realising right this minute and you feel super bad about it... huh.
Anyway, we stand by the fact that the GameCube to this day is underrated. With some of the best games and features of any console in history. In fact, we'd go as far as to claim it's the best console of all time and, yes, we welcome your inevitable fury at that claim.
7. It Was Adorable
Come on, now. Look at the little guy. The GameCube was the Baby Yoda of consoles. The thing was 11cm high, 15cm wide and 16cm deep. In other, less boring terms, it was absolutely dinky. Plus, we didn't even mention those tiny little 8cm discs it took. Honestly, there was just something so endearing and charming about those things.
Also, whilst other consoles opted for drab, dull black, Nintendo made the GameCube bright goddamn purple. Yes, we know there was a black one too, but that one doesn't count. Purple is canon. And it had a handle on the back like it was some kind of techy happy meal, meaning you could carry it around with you. Why you'd want to we've zero idea but... whatever, shut up.
6. The Controller
Oh good giddy god. Lordy lordy loo. There will never be another controller like the GameCube's. As though it were carved by the gods themselves!
Sorry, we may have gotten somewhat carried away there, but seriously, guys, this was such a thing of beauty, especially if we compare it to the absolute nightmares people had to deal with from Sony and Microsoft. We're putting it out there right now, the PlayStation controller sucks, it's always sucked and for the life of us we've never been able to figure out why Sony insist on retaining that design.
That was still nothing in comparison to the original Xbox controller. Jesus Christ, remember that? That thing was like holding a coconut that had a number of smaller coconuts strapped on. Shudder.
But then you had the GameCube controller. This beautiful bit of ergonomically designed gorgeousness was the single most comfortable thing in the world. With it's squishy back buttons and shape that felt like Nintendo had just poured it into someone's hands as they held them in the ideal position... we're aware that got kind of sexual there. No, we don't apologise.
This is all the more impressive considering the fact that this controller followed up that horrid bit of moist trash that was the N64 controller. Once again, Nintendo stepping up their game.
5. It Wasn't Afraid To Experiment
Nintendo were by no means playing it safe when they released the GameCube. From the moment of its announcement, they made it clear that fans weren't going to be getting what they were expecting at launch.
Instead, Nintendo took the opportunity to experiment and introduce us to some phenomenal - but super goddamn weird - new franchises. Rather than Mario or Zelda, as expected, we were introduced to games such as Pikmin, Super Monkey Ball and Luigi's Mansion. All games that were critical darlings upon release that marked the beginning of franchises that are still beloved to this day.
The GameCube also marked major departures for long running franchises such as Zelda and Mario - we'll get to those - and need we mention the cult classics Viewtiful Joe and Eternal Darkness? No, we needn't.
4. It Had Some Of The Best Entries Of Numerous Series
Okay, we're just going to say it: WInd Waker is the single best Zelda game in the entire franchise. Okay, okay, put the pitchforks down, you guys. It WAS the best in the franchise until Breath of the Wild came out. There, happy? Nintendo faced such an astounding backlash when Wind Waker was first announced, and that was mainly due to the art style - people don't like cel-shading, who knew?
Personally, we never had a problem with the cartoony new look, but even if we did, we would've only had to play Wind Waker for an hour or two to realise that it has the best storyline, characters, map and quests of any Zelda game to date.
As well as that big ol' gamble. Nintendo also gave us Super Mario Sunshine, which took what Super Mario 64 created as groundwork and perfected and polished it, whilst adding some silly new gameplay mechanics that gave the game a ton of longevity. Sure it had... some strange story beats - again, there'll be more on that in a bit.
And as a final thought, can we just address the fact that it's a crime against both god and nature that Mario Kart Double Dash is the only co-op Mario Kart game we've gotten to this day?! For shame!
3. It Showed Nintendo Weren't Afraid To Stick To Their Guns...
The sixth generation of consoles marked the time that both Microsoft and Sony began deviating from being solely focused on video games and saw them pivoting towards creating multimedia monsters rather than just consoles - though one leaned a bit too heavily into the multimedia side of things. We all remember E3 2013, guys.
This didn't deter Nintendo one iota, however. Rather than provide multimedia support of any kind, Nintendo stuck to their guns - and kind of stuck a middle finger up at Sony and Microsoft in the process. By making a machine with the sole function being for you to play games, Nintendo loudly and proudly made it abundantly clear just how confident they were in their abilities as game developers - and it wasn't hollow boasting either.
Upon announcement and release the GameCube was criticised endlessly for its lack of features. But, frankly, that ended up being its greatest strength.
2. ... And That Arguably Laid The Groundwork For The Future
The fact that Nintendo steadfastly refused to support any form of media on the GameCube that wasn’t a video game seemed to pave the way for what would become the company’s overarching business plan for every future bit of hardware.
Ever since then, Nintendo haven't provided multimedia support on any of their consoles - bar the Wii U, but we don't talk about that. It’s particularly impressive that they stuck with this approach after we entered the age of streaming. When asked whether the Switch would support any streaming services – or multimedia support whatsoever – Nintendo made it crystal clear that it wouldn’t happen by stating that media support wouldn’t differentiate the Switch from its competitors, so why bother? The Switch is for gaming. Full. Stop.
These days, Nintendo have actually achieved something pretty impressive in that they’ve managed to essentially remove themselves entirely from the ‘console wars’. Whilst Microsoft and Sony – and many of their respective fans – duke it out for the crown, Nintendo have quietly, and comfortably, established themselves on a different plateau. They’re the fun, quirky little family console for children of all ages. And who’s to thank for that? This weird-ass little purple box, that’s who.
1. It Trolled Us At Every Turn (And We F***ing Loved It)
“Oh hey, guys. Nintendo here. We’re releasing a new console soon. What? Will it have Mario at release? Not a f***ing chance. It’ll have that weak-ass scrub Luigi instead and the game is about him falling for a mailing list scam and going around a mansion with a hoover. Also, he can’t jump, so it isn’t even technically a platformer. You’re also going to get some weird monkey pinball game? Not gonna lie, we were drunk as hell when we came up with that one. Also, when Mario does come out, the whole game is gonna be super weird... oh, and we’re going to imply that Peach and Bowser totally boned down at one point. We also heard that you hated the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time so we're making the new Zelda a cartoon where the whole map is nothing but water. Peace out.”
Holy. Hell. Seriously, to this day you’d be forgiven for thinking that the GameCube was actually an elaborate troll on Nintendo fans – with the company just doing whatever it wanted to see what they could get away with. And you know what? It turns out it was all of it. They could get away with all of it.
GameCube, you were cute, weird, and you just made so little goddamn sense, but we love you all the same. In fact, we love you because of all that.