Console Birthdays

Within the last few days, Nintendo’s last three pre-Switch home consoles celebrated their birthdays!

The GameCube (16) is now old enough to drive, the Wii (11) is in middle school and the Wii U (5) is entering kindergarten.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that two of these were consoles I loved and the other one I enjoyed slightly (to be generous) less. It shouldn’t be difficult to figure out which ones are which.



Release date: November 18, 2001

To this day, the GameCube remains one of my favorite consoles, eclipsed only by the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 64.

The GameCube had some of the first games that I really remember my brother and sister and I fighting over. We never had a peaceful  game of Mario Party, but really who amongst us has?

Thanks to my age when it came out, the GameCube had some of the first games that I really looked forward to (aside from the original Paper Mario) and sought out information related to them. I had a video game magazine that featured Super Smash Bros Melee that I begged my granddad to buy for me in the checkout line at the grocery store right before we were set to go on an hours long car trip. I was fascinated and remember struggling to read the pages under each street light we passed as we drove at night.

I remember, too, being excited for and then skeptical of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door because I heard about the Great Gonzalaz bit and though “there’s no way that game will be any good.” Boy, was I wrong!

GameCube favorites:

  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
  • Super Smash Bros Melee
  • Super Monkey Ball 2
  • Mario Party 6
  • Mario Party 7



Release date: November 19, 2006

The Wii was always a weird console in my life. It came out at a time when I had stopped playing video games as much and so it wasn’t something I was really interested in.

The first time I played it was at my friend’s house and we played Wii Sports, which was fun but not enough to make me actively desire to own a Wii. Either way, I did end up getting a Wii for Christmas one year and it actually had a lot of games (SSB Brawl with its awesome Subspace Emissary) I had fun with as well as some disappointments (SUPER PAPER MARIO).

This was by far the hardest list to come up with 5 games for.

Wii favorites:

  • Super Smash Bros Brawl
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • New Super Mario Bros Wii
  • Super Mario All Stars
  • Wii Sports


Wii U

Release date: November 18, 2012

The Wii U is a console I held off on getting, unknowingly, until almost the very end of its life cycle. I ended up getting one as a graduation present in spring 2015, but I can say without a doubt that it was definitely worth it.

I don’t think, for the longest time, that I realized the Wii U was a thing? I know I had to have heard about, just from the sheer amount of time I was spending online then. I feel like this whole console was a blind spot for me for almost 2 years. ????

But it has an awesome library, for the amount of games I usually get anyway, and it was a lot of fun. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the gamepad and, frankly, I’m still not 100 percent over that thing. Especially the fact that you can’t easily get replacements for it. Some games did incorporate the gamepad in really solid ways though, like the entirety of Mario Maker and, specifically, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition. I’ve played three different versions of Arkham City and the armored edition is definitely the best. It used the gamepad in really excellent ways.

Wii U favorites:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Super Mario 3D World

Can you tell which consoles I like best out of these three? Haha! Definitely GameCube and Wii U, followed way behind by the Wii. Something about it just never clicked with me.

What are your favorite games from any of these three consoles?




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