Published on December 25, 2022

11 Best Nintendo GameCube Racing Games

The Nintendo GameCube was and still an underrated console. With a library full of great games, it was not short on racing titles including some of the greatest first-party games, and a decent array of underrated gems. This list has a lot to enjoy from Mario Kart Double Dash to multiple need-for-speed titles.

Today we offer you a selection of our best Nintendo Gamecube racing titles, including exclusive titles, a few ports, and some unique hidden gems that might have gone under your radar.

Table of Contents

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!


2003
About
Release Date
November 07, 2003
Developer
Nintendo EAD
Publisher
Nintendo
Franchise
Mario
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2003-11-07
2003-11-14
2003-11-17
2003-11-19

Mario Kart Double Dash!! was a huge graphical leap compared to the n64 prequel offering a solid Nintendo title, and one of the greatest Kart racing games ever. The title offers a kart racing-themed game with a huge cast from the Mario universe and multiple tracks borrowed from the same world.

Double Dash offers four main modes: Grand Prix, Time Trial, Versus, and battle mode. Most of these modes can be played co-op with a few of them which can be played single-player only. Mostly the player will compete on different tracks where the goal is to reach the finish line first while avoiding enemies’ attacks and traps. The player can also collect different power-ups and attacks that can be used to delay other players. Overall, Double Dash is a must-play on the system offering solid gameplay and amazing graphics for the time.

Kirby Air Ride


2003 カービィのエアライド (Kābyi No Earaido)
About
Release Date
July 11, 2003
Developer
HAL Laboratory
Publisher
Nintendo
Franchise
Kirby
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Multiplayer, Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2003-07-11
2003-10-13
2004-02-27
2004-03-04
2004-03-30

Kirby Air Ride took a different approach compared to other Kirby games offering a breath of fresh air for the fans. Kirby competes with his friends in a racing competition using Air Ride Machines.

The game is played primarily through the use of vehicles, the player competes on different racing courses against enemy AIs where the goal is to reach the finish line first. Developers made sure to make the game casual friendly with a simple controls layout, no input is necessary to accelerate instead the player must just steer. Overall, Kirby Air Ride is an amazing casual friendly pleasing both old fans and newcomers.

F-Zero® GX


2003
About
Release Date
July 25, 2003
Developer
Amusement Vision
Publisher
Nintendo
Franchise
F-Zero™
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2003-07-25
2003-08-25
2003-10-31

F-Zero Gx followed the success of F-Zero X on the n64 offering the same formula with enhanced visuals and controls. The game continues the legacy of the previous titles offering a fast-paced racing game with great challenge and a unique feel.

The player participates in different futuristic racing events, riding a plasma-powered machine in an intergalactic Grand Prix. Just like the previous game, the game put heavy emphasis on track memorization and reflex. The game offers a fair challenge where each machine needs time and focus to master with unique weight and feel.

Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit 2


2002
About
Release Date
October 02, 2002
Developer
EA Black Box
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Franchise
Need for Speed™
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Canada
GameCube Releases
2002-10-02
2002-10-25

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is an arcade racing game, it marks a direct sequel to Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit and marks the sixth installment of the same series. Similar to its prequel the player race on a series of events across many course tracks, the goal is to reach the finish line first beating your opponents and at the same time evading the police pursuit.

Two main modes are available: World Racing Championship, in which the player competes in a series of classic racing events against AI opponents, and Hot Pursuit mode which adds the police chase to the race. The game features a decent arsenal of licensed cars including Ferrari, Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar, Lamborghini, and many more.

Auto Modellista


2002 アウトモデリスタ (Auto Moderisuta)
About
Release Date
December 06, 2002
Developer
Capcom
Publisher
Capcom
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Multiplayer, Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2003-07-03
2003-08-30

Auto Modellista is an over-the-top arcade racing game, Capcom made the right choice by choosing the cel-shaded graphics giving the game a style of its own with a unique premise. The game is similar to many closed-circuit simulation racers with some minor tweaks including arcade to sim-cade controls.

While the game might be an arcade racer developers made sure to include a lot of technical details, especially for tuning enthusiasm. Every modification counts including engine, tires, gears, and many more, the modification option determine how well the car will perform under several track types and weather condition. Also, the player has the ability to modify the outer look of each vehicle including color, badges, hoods, and spoilers.

Wave Race: Blue Storm


2001
About
Release Date
September 14, 2001
Developer
Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player, Split-Screen PvP
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2001-09-14

Wave Race: Blue Storm is a jetski racing game, the game is a direct sequel to the 1996 Nintendo 64 Wave Race 64. The player can choose between eight racers each with its own unique stats and abilities.

You compete in different water-themed racing tracks where the goal is to reach the finish line first, the main gimmick of this game is the weather condition. Depending on the weather the game will throw at you many obstacles including waves, and rain which can force you off track. While many gamers prefer the n64 prequel over this one I still consider Blue Storm a must-play on the system despite the crushing difficulty.

Tube Slider


2003
About
Release Date
April 17, 2003
Developer
NDcube
Publisher
Interchannel
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2003-04-17

Tube Slider is a futuristic fast-paced racing game, the game shares huge similarities with titles like Wipeout and F-Zero. The player controls a hovercraft vehicle competing in several racing events across the galaxy.

Unlike most futuristic racing games, the races take place inside transparent tubes, the player can move 180 degrees around the tubes at ease offering a unique feel compared to other futuristic racing games. Tube Slider offers a decent selection of vehicles each with its own stats including acceleration, top speed, handling, power, and more. On the whole, the game is well-balanced offering a decent challenge and amazing graphics that still hold up to this day.

Crash Nitro Kart


2003
About
Release Date
November 11, 2003
Developer
Vicarious Visions
Publisher
Universal Interactive
Franchise
Crash Bandicoot
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player, Split-Screen PvP
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United States
GameCube Releases
2003-11-11
2003-11-28
2003-12-03

Crash Nitro Kart is a kart racing game, acting as a direct sequel to the mighty Crash Team Racing. The game follows the story of Crash and his beloved friends as they are abducted by mysterious aliens, to race in a galactic competition to entertain a mysterious galactic emperor.

Players who enjoyed Crash Team Racing will feel right at home with this title, as it offers the same feel and mechanics with new enhanced visuals. The main mode is the adventure mode, you can start by choosing between two teams each with its own characters, you can switch between racers at the beginning of each race, and each character has different stats and speeds. The main goal of each race is to reach the finish line first while using different power-ups and traps to delay your opponents. While Nitro Kart doesn’t hold up to the glory of Team Racing it’s still a fun Kart title to enjoy.

Burnout / Burnout 2: Point Impact


2001 / 2002
About
Full Name
Burnout
Release Date
November 01, 2001
Developer
Criterion Games
Publisher
Acclaim Entertainment
Franchise
Burnout
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
GameCube Releases
2002-03-05
2002-04-30
About
Full Name
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Release Date
October 03, 2002
Developer
Criterion Games
Publisher
Acclaim Entertainment
Franchise
Burnout
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concept
Modern
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
United Kingdom
GameCube Releases
2003-04-08
2003-05-09

The Nintendo Gamecube was blessed with the two first burnout games offering one of the greatest arcade racing games on the system if not ever. Burnout has been known for its aggressive driving and high speed.

The player participates in different racing events where the goal varies from reaching the finish line first to taking down the enemies. in the race, rewards are given reward if they take risks such as driving toward incoming traffics, near miss, taking down competitors, and many more. The second game offer expanded gameplay with a huge selection of cars, the new crash mode, and a long campaign. On the whole, both games are landmarks in gaming history offering one of the greatest arcade racing games to this day.

Need for Speed™ Carbon


2006
About
Release Date
October 30, 2006
Developer
EA Vancouver
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Franchise
Need for Speed™
Genre
Arcade Racing
Concepts
Modern, Realistic
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Canada
GameCube Releases
2006-10-30
2006-11-03
2006-11-09

Need For Speed Carbon is an arcade racing game, the game act as the tenth installment in the Need For Speed series. NFS Carbon takes place in the fictional city of Palmont City, following the events of Need For Speed Most Wanted.

The player participates in a huge selection of street race events across the city, earning money and fame. Progressing further in the game allows the player to buy new cars or upgrade owned cars to maximum performance. The game feature over 80 cars to be unlocked,  divided into 3 tiers, and the cars are fully customizable. While the HD port is still superior to the GC version, still the game is well worth it, especially on an old CRT.

Sonic Riders


2006
About
Release Date
February 21, 2006
Developer
Sonic Team
Publisher
SEGA
Franchise
Sonic™
Genre
Arcade Racing
Players
Single Player
Monetization
Buy to Play
Country of Origin
Japan
GameCube Releases
2006-02-21
2006-02-23
2006-03-17
2006-03-23

Sonic Riders is a hoverboard racing game revolving around the world of Sonic the Hedgehog. The game is based on characters from the Sonic franchise, racing each other using devices known as Extreme Gear.

Players compete to finish three laps of the racing track before their opponents and complete the race in the first place. A key component of the game is the Air Tank, the air serves as fuel and decreases slowly as the race goes on, if the player loses all the air in the tank the characters will start running on foot instead of riding the hoverboard making the player slow. The game features 16 playable characters, nine of which must be unlocked, including guest characters from Night into dreams, Super Monkey Ball, and Space Channel 5. Overall, this a solid spin-off with a huge cast and enjoyable racing gameplay.

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Freecs

A casual gamer who loves everything Nintendo, and swears by arcade racers, platformers, and hack 'n slash games.

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