My Most Valuable GameCube Games
I believe the GameCube was the first system I really started “collecting” for. After being out of gaming for a while, and the interest recently renewed by the Dreamcast, I got a job at Funcoland (now GameStop) right before the GameCube came out. A new Nintendo console made me nostalgic for the days of the original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and all of the Nintendo franchises. As I worked at the store, I got to see or know about all of the games coming out for all of the systems (XBox and Playstation 2 also) but the GameCube was the one I was most fond of, and I pre-ordered, purchased or used the employee rental program on almost anything that even slightly interested me. I have a little over 200 GameCube games at this point, and I would guess that 185+ of them were purchased in 2001 – 2005, so these are not recent finds.
I’ve watched the value on these games continue to climb over the past 15+ years, and it has amazed me. This is my favorite game library that I have in my collection, and I wanted to take a look at the 5 most valuable games I have in it.
I purchased Cubivore back when it released in November 2002. I was an employee at Funcoland/GameStop and the GameCube was my favorite system, I pre-ordered everything because I was interested in everything and it also helped boost my sales numbers. This game was developed by Intelligent Systems (Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, Paper Mario) and published by Nintendo in Japan, so this was a game I had to get. At the time, Funcoland/GameStop had a 7 day return policy on new games, even if they were opened, so I always figured in a worst case scenario I could return a game if I didn’t like it. Fortunately, I enjoyed Cubivore a lot and played it with friends often after it came out. The game is weird and unique, and if you press the Z button, you take a crap. The value on this keeps going up, and I doubt we will ever seen any kind of re-release, sequel or remaster, so this game is likely forever buried on the GameCube. Since is really a Nintendo title, MAYBE we will see it if Nintendo’s Online Service ever includes GameCube games.
Why is it valuable?: It’s published by Atlus, and almost everything they release is small print and desirable, but this game is also co-developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo in Japan. Originally planned as a 64DD game, this is an odd Nintendo game that made it to the West because of Atlus, a great combination for a niche, desirable and valuable game.
Mega Man made me a huge fan of Capcom at an early age, most of their games had the kind of gameplay or artwork that I enjoyed. Gotcha Force looked like my kind of game and the potential for another Capcom classic. I pre-ordered it while I worked at Funcoland/GameStop and got it at launch, but I never really played much of it. From what I remember, I may have played this game once or twice for an hour or so each time. It seemed interesting/fun, but I used to jump around from game to game so quickly back at this time, I barely spent enough time to share any kind of opinion on it (ah imagine if I had kept it sealed!). Capcom sometimes will do random re-releases, but this game reviewed poorly and I think it’s only really sought after because of value, I doubt we will ever see a re-release but I wouldn’t rule Capcom out.
Why is it valuable?: I’m assuming this game flopped at released and there weren’t many copies made in it’s initial run. Nintendo released a similar game a few months later called Custom Robo. Custom Robo didn’t sell that great either, and it had better marketing and better review scores. Still, Gotcha Force is by Capcom, which has a pretty dedicated fanbase, so it keeps this game desirable.
A November 2003 release that I once again pre-ordered while I was working at GameStop/Funcoland, and this game out while my friends and I were still heavy in the Tony Hawk-era. As a fan of cel-shaded graphics, this looked like the kind of blend of art and gameplay I would enjoy. Go! Go! Hypergrind is actually a pretty good game, the controls are tight and it’s probably the best Tony Hawk-clone I have ever played. I’ve put several hours into this, and I would love to go back and pick it up to play some more. I don’t think we will ever see a re-release, remaster or sequel of this game, it is likely another one buried on the GameCube.
Why is it valuable?: I don’t have much to go on my speculation for this game being so valuable other than it’s published Atlus, and almost all of their games end up being a low print and valuable.
This has to be the most recognizable title or franchise on this list, but at the time this released, Fire Emblem was relatively new to North America and not nearly as popular as it is today. Path of Radiance came out in late 2005, which was only 1 year before the Wii and the end of the GameCube, another reason why this game didn’t get the recognition it deserved. The game didn’t even sell 200,000 copies in Japan, so I would assume overall there is probably less than 600,000 copies in existence, for a franchise with millions of fans. This is one of my most played games on this list, I never completed it, but it is one of my favorite GameCube games. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance may see a re-release, remake or remaster one day, Nintendo/Intelligent Systems has re-released and remade Fire Emblem games in the past and if they know the demand is there, this may get one too.
Why is it valuable?: This was the first Fire Emblem to hit the US on a console, so this series was relatively new to North America even with it’s Game Boy Advance releases. The game sold decently for the time, as I mentioned above it probably sold a little over 400,000 outside of Japan. But since it’s release in 2005 (one of the last GameCube games), the franchise has blown up and has a much higher demand, which made this a desirable game for fans to reach back in time for. For comparison Fire Emblem Three Houses sold over 3 million on the Switch and Fire Emblem Awakening on the 3DS sold 1.79million when it released in 2012.
RibbitKing just looks fun and Japanese quirky by the cover, the main character was reminiscent of Animal Crossing, this was definitely on both me and my wife’s radar. So again, as a Funcoland/GameStop employee I pre-ordered this and got it at released. We played it a few times, and from what I remember, it’s essentially a Mario Golf style game but instead of a golf ball…you hit a frog! It was actually pretty fun, this was easy to pick up and play and I think I’m gonna have to jump into a few games again soon.
Why is it valuable?: I have nothing to really build a strong case for why this game is valuable other than to say…look at it. It’s amazing that something as unique and Japanese as Ribbit King made it to the United States on a console that sold as mediocre as the GameCube. It likely only came to the US and GameCube because it already got the green light to come to the incredibly successful Playstation 2 (where Ribbit King is under $70). Since this game was a double disc, and those GameCube discs were more expensive to make than standard DVDs and CDs, this was likely printed conservatively and as no surprise to anyone, it likely didn’t sell well.