There have been a lot of Mario games over the years. We’re not sure if everyone knows this, but the Italian plumber has been in more than 200 games, and that’s just a rough estimate.
He has worked as a painter, a plumber, a street cleaner, a referee, a fighter in a death match, a racer, and just about every other job you can think of. So, why don’t we narrow this down a bit and talk about Mario on the GameCube back in the good old days?
Best: Luigi’s Mansion
Luigi’s Mansion was released as a launch title for the Gamecube. Back in the day, it got a lot of flak for not being Super Mario Sunshine. While it isn’t the most ambitious Mario game on the Gamecube, it is very different and a nice change of pace.
Luigi’s Mansion is full of surprises for gamers around every corner, from the fact that it stars Luigi to the fact that it has a campy horror style. Even though its mechanics and gameplay are simple, it’s still fun to play, and the graphics look great for a game that came out in 2001. This game should get more attention.
Worst: Mario Party 7
Since there are so many Mario Party games for the Gamecube, it’s hard to say which ones are the best or worst. But since Mario Party 7 was the fourth Mario Party game for the system, it was clear that the series was losing a bit of steam.
In Mario Party 7, the boards have more tricks than in previous games in the series, and if you don’t have the microphone that came with the game, landing on a Microphone space will do absolutely nothing for you. It’s good that this game brings 8-player Mario Party to the Gamecube, but that’s not enough to save it from being average.
Best: Super Mario Sunshine
First of all, Super Mario Sunshine is the best Super Mario game for the GameCube. Back in the day, fans had mixed feelings about this game because it was so different from Mario 64 in style, gameplay, and tone. Mario can’t just run around and jump into paintings anymore; he has a job to do, which is to clean up Isle Delfino. Even if you don’t like the F.L.U.D.D., Super Mario Sunshine is still a great Gamecube game with a lot to offer.
Worst: Mario Kart: Double Dash
Here’s the thing: Mario Kart: Double Dash is a game we like. It was a fun Mario Kart game that felt just as unfairly fun as all the others. And while Double Dash introduces a lot of unique cast members with fun dynamics, it has some glaring flaws that make it hard to rank it anywhere near as high as Mario Kart 8 or Mario Kart Wii. The character-duo-specific items were a good idea that didn’t work out, and the lack of new songs made many people think of this game as “one of the bad ones” for good. And while that’s not always true, you can see where they’re coming from just by looking at the Baby Park track.
Best: Super Mario Strikers
This soccer game feels like one of the bigger risks that Nintendo took in terms of style and overall tone. Rarely does a Mario game take a big chance, but this one and Super Mario Sunshine are the best examples we can think of. Mario Strikers is a soccer game with over-the-top action that is almost as good as the classic movie Shaolin Soccer.
The art style they used is great, and the fact that each Captain had his or her own group of friends made each team feel different. The game also played really well. The second Mario Strikers game, Mario Strikers: Charged, wasn’t as good as the first one, but this is still a great Mario Sports game.
Worst: Mario Golf Toadstool Tour
Honestly, it’s hard to say that any of these games are “bad,” but Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour comes pretty close. The game itself isn’t bad, but it doesn’t add much to what made Mario Golf on the N64 such a cult favourite. They might have been afraid that it would be like starting from scratch, but Nintendo didn’t take many risks with this sequel. It felt much too safe. The game had a good difficulty curve, a lot to do, and a great group of golfers to play as. But we can’t get past the fact that it feels like Mario Golf again and not like a sequel that builds on the first game.
Best: Paper Mario And The Thousand-Year Door
The first Paper Mario game on the N64 was the start of a long and sad history for the Paper Mario series. Even though that game was great on its own, it wasn’t until the GameCube sequel Paper Mario and the Thousand-Year Door that people really noticed how unique this spin-off series was, especially considering how fun and challenging the gameplay was.
Most fans still like TTYD the best, and that’s probably not going to change any time soon. That could be because each new game in the series moves further and further away from what made it great in the first place, or it could be because TTYD is a great game on its own. People might even say that this was the first “Craft World” game from Nintendo, which later gave rise to games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Wooly World.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
This Mario RPG from 2004 is often mentioned in the same breath as the best GameCube games ever made. It focuses on action, and battles are still done one turn at a time. It won the RPG of the Year award in 2005. It has an interesting story and simple game mechanics, making it a fun experience all around.