Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the best-loved games on Nintendo’s then-new console, and its influence can still be felt in today’s N64 and GC ports of the series

It’s the magic of good design. Specifically, the magic of good graphics. Nintendo’s early line-up of GC titles was bang on the nose, featuring quite a few of the company’s finest in glorious action. From the likes of WarioWare: Smooth Moves, people-pleasing favourites like Super Mario Galaxy, Super Metroid, and even more, the big hitters all look gorgeous in motion, ranging from the ultra-polished sprites of Hyrule Historia on the left-hand side of the screen to the deliciously cartoony style of Ocarina of Time on the right-hand side. As for the rest of the company’s lineup, there’s not much to pick apart from. The only noteworthy move is a re-scheme of the Super Mario Advance titles, which are now in a new 3D direction and feature both local and online multiplayer modes, along with the usual roll-out of classic NES game mechanics. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at every Gamecube game that’s appeared as part of the system’s library in the last 16 years, starting with the most recent entry and skipping the stuff that never entered the library and wasn’t getting re-released. With the good old console gone, we’re turning to you to pick out your own favourite games of the last 16 years with our list of the best Zelda games of all time. (If you haven’t actually finished with Zelda yet, do that early.) #1 (NW) Super NES Nintendo 64, Gamecube, GBC, DS) The first real third-party Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, landed in the region a full four years ago, and it set the tone for everything that was to come. It was a beautiful, sweeping adventure that saw you playing as Link in an epic quest to save the universe from Ganon, and it showed a glimpse of the Gamecube’s capabilities as a full-blown action RPG. Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the best-loved games on Nintendo’s then-new console, and its influence can still be felt in today’s N64 and GC ports of the series. #2 (N64) Super NES Gamecube, GBC, DS) Zelda is now home to some of the finest tactical, first-person action games ever made, like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. But before that we had to settle for the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which arrived just a few years earlier. This time, though, it’s a bit of a different story. This time, it’s the turn of Princess Zelda, who in this game is far more powerful than Link, a far cry from the original Ocarina. She has to work alone, and must rebuild the Master Sword and sail the seven-sided Sword Tower in order to defeat Ganon. It’s an adventure that puts you right in the middle of the Great Link War, and then makes you watch it all unfold. #3 (NES, SNES, N64) Mega Drive/Genesis You’ve probably picked out a few of the better NES games that didn’t make it to your console. You might have missed out on games like Konami’s obscure Engine and Tecmo’s experimental R-Type, only to find them waiting for your droolatory pleasure at a bargain price. Be assured, we’ve got you covered. #4 (NES) Mega Drive/Genesis One of the earliest of the original Metroid games, this time out the ice-bound beast is once again at your disposal. The gorgeous 3D adventure is a sequel to the 1995 original, and sees you playing as Samus Aran, the space-bound veteran stripped of her armour and ready to blast away at a range of space-themed weaponry. The same familiar creatures make a return, but the game has a few new features that make it feel fresh, right from the off-beat soundtrack to the number of new and familiar enemies. #5 (NES, SNES, N64) Mega Drive/Genesis Released in Japan, this hyper-detailed space shooter is the beating heart of the Metroid series’ fanbase. A true space shooter, you’re bombarded with a steady stream of enemies, all of whom are trying to kill you with lasers. As Samus, you’re equipped with a jetpack that can lift you sky-high, enabling you to clear entire swathes of the screen. It’s Samus’ ability to fly that makes this game so tense, and it makes this action far more intense.