The GameCube is 20 years old, and I’ve been playing a lot of LEGO games recently. So I figured why not use my knowledge to rank all five of the LEGO games that were released on the GameCube! To my surprise there were only five, because the explosion of LEGO games that Traveler’s Tales brought along happened too close to the end of the GameCube’s lifecycle.
So, which one will be the best LEGO game?
5. Bionicle Heroes
(2006, TT Games Publishing)
While it was the final LEGO title released on the GameCube, it was also the final Bionicle title ever, as well as the last game on the console by Traveler’s Tales!
The island of Voya Nui is being ravaged by six Piraka, and it’s up to you to gather masks and use them to defeat the Piraka.
Taking the form of an over-the-shoulder shooter, it’s actually a shame that this is the only LEGO title to do that. Sure, the dodgy controls, the very limited camera movement, the troublesome lock-on mechanic and basically every separate bit of this are pretty terrible… But when you mix them together, they show promise! The main mechanic is the mask swapping. Each mask has its own unique weapon and ability - only one can build, another can walk in water, etc. It’s an interesting mechanic. Or you can just kill wave after wave of enemies to turn gold and be able to do anything and everything for a limited time. Both ways work. Unfortunately, it’s very repetitive, so there are many more negatives than positives.
(2003, Electronic Arts)
The first console release for the Bionicle construction toy line, it was actually the third game in the franchise after two Game Boy Advance titles.
Makuta has returned to wreak havoc on the island of Mata Nui, so it’s up to the Toa warriors to defeat him once and for all.
You play as six Toa in turn through the different biomes of Mata Nui. Each Toa has its own ability, such as swimming, and an environment to match. With generous checkpoints - which you will need - it’s certainly not the worst third-person game I’ve ever played on the GameCube. The decision to make the Toa’s melee weapons fire energy bolts and be unable to deal physical damage is just one of the weird choices that I’m not sure about. Was that a thing in the toy line and cartoon? On top of having to learn a bunch of new words just to follow along, it’s definitely more for fans than newcomers.
3. Drome Racers
(2002, Electronic Arts)
Based around the LEGO Technic line of construction toys, this was the third game in the LEGO Racers line, that sought out the older gamers by minimising how “LEGO” everything looked.
In the far off future of 2015, rise to the top of the racing ranks in a variety of vehicles across all sorts of courses.
It’s quite packed, with a career mode, three arcade modes, and quick races if you just want to try out a track. The career mode has 18 cars to unlock, as well as 18 tournaments to compete in, along with 24 challenges - it’s quite feature-rich! There are weapons and power-ups to use during races, too. As someone who isn’t a fan of racing games, even I’ve got to admit that this one is pretty fun. However, It has pretty generic music, and the engine sounds quickly get very annoying.
2. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
(2005, Eidos Interactive)
The first console release for a licensed LEGO toy line, I blame it for why I’ve been buying LEGO games for 16 years.
Take on the chronologically first trilogy of movies with a whole bunch of minifigs.
The first LEGO game developed by Traveller's Tales, who have gone on to develop every single LEGO title since. It started off strongly, which you can tell because all of them have had the same basic formula since. Each level is pretty linear and contained which means it’s ideal for short play sessions - but unfortunately, that also means it’s a pretty short game. Of course, all of the familiar sound effects and music are present, but there are no voices, everything being communicated with grunts - which at least adds to the humour.
1. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
As the second franchise title, released 18 months after the first, it did what all good sequels do - brought more of the same, but better.
Help them, player, you’re their only hope.
With bigger levels, a larger cast of characters and nicer graphics, it certainly doesn’t hurt that this was based on the trilogy of movies that most fans enjoy. Traveller’s Tales really pushed the boat out, and it shows. It’s the epitome of what everyone likes about the LEGO games, along with everything that people like about Star Wars. As a bonus, even set in space and filled with aliens, it still didn’t have as many weird words as Bionicle.
So there you have it, the best LEGO game on the GameCube. Of course, all of these were multiplatform games, so maybe they would be ranked differently on another system? Probably not, though.