The Nintendo Switch is proving itself to be a great piece of gaming hardware — even if, at present, it’s really just an expensive Breath of the Wild machine — but things will only get better as more quality games are released. One way that Nintendo will really be able to fill out the Switch’s library is to make its Virtual Console service available on the system, as no other company has as impressive a back catalog as Nintendo’s. Once VC does make the jump to Switch, we’re sure to see the same assortment of NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 classic that have been made available on the Wii and Wii U but if the rumors are true, I’m definitely more excited by the prospect of downloading GameCube games on the Switch.
The GameCube may not have had a ton of games released for it, but it does have a number of legitimate must-play games and features some of the best first-party games Nintendo ever produced. Given Nintendo’s history of releasing Virtual Console games at a trickle, we’ll probably have to wait awhile for many GameCube games even when (if) Nintendo starts making them available, but if they can prioritize putting out the following 12 games, the Switch will quickly become a must-own console for those who grew up playing GameCube.
*Note: I’ve only included games that were originally published by Nintendo, as it’s likely that these would be the easiest games for the company to re-release on the Switch (in other words, don’t expect games like Resident Evil 4 to come up here, even though it absolutely should be on the Switch).
12. Pikmin 2
In an ideal world, Nintendo would re-release both the original Pikmin and its sequel on the Switch (preferably as a compilation) but if I had to pick only one, it would be Pikmin 2. Pikmin 2 is pretty much the ideal sequel, as it improves on its predecessor in just about every way imaginable, while also introducing some fresh ideas of its own. The most welcome feature in Pikmin 2 is its removal of the unnecessary timer from the first game, allowing players to play the game at more leisurely pace and not have to race to beat the clock. It also introduced new Pikmin, more areas to explore, and better control of the Pikmin themselves. While Pikmin 3 for the Wii U is arguably the best overall game in the series, Pikmin 2 holds up to this day and its relaxing structure and deep experience are well-suited for a system like the Switch.