Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 26
NCAA Football 2003 (EA Sports, 2002)
It's Madden but in college now. I'm really not sure what the point of this game is if it doesn't even have player names in it. Was anyone desperate enough to play football as the 2003 Fresno State Football Men (probably their team name, I don't know) that they were okay with QB #15 throwing a pass to WR #87? Apparently yes.
NCAA Football 2004 (EA Sports, 2003)
The same game with a bunch more schools, although the more obscure ones are so generic that they don't even get their own playbook names. The announcers do have unique commentary for them, at least.
NCAA Football 2005 (EA Sports, 2004)
I wasn't aware that Delaware State University even had a football team, but you can play as them here. The main difference versus previous titles is that it tries to simulate home field advantage, but it's hard to imagine fans cheering all that hard for RE#37.
Need for Speed: Carbon (EA Canada/EA, 2006)
I was obsessed with this game as a kid who had just gotten a console and loved racing games. It is much uglier than I remembered, and even though the open world, destructible environments, and variety of races are all impressive, they're also all things that Burnout Paradise did incomparably better just 15 months later. There's no reason to go back to this game, which makes it al the more impressive that the PS3 and 360 servers are still up. They're not shutting down until 9/1/2021.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (EA Seattle/EA, 2002)
A lot of people swear by this game on PS2, but on everything else it had more sluggish controls and a reduced framerate. I'll give it credit for some interesting tracks, but it's impossible to look past how bad these cars feel to drive. Thankfully, it was remade for modern systems, so there'd be no reason to play the original even if it was a good port.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (EA Canada/EA, 2005)
Not to be confused with the 2012 reboot, this was the beginning of the series' ill-fated decision to focus on story. It plays virtually the same as Carbon, which makes sense considering that was its sequel.
Need for Speed: Underground (EA Black Box/EA, 2003)
Another one I played a lot of as a kid, and I didn't expect much from it now. Surprisingly, the racing mechanics actually hold up decently well. I think it's the slightly more zoomed in camera and more crowded tracks that give a better sense of speed and make you have to weave around obstacles.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (EA Black Box/EA, 2005)
I never played the sequel, which brought in an open world and more focus on customization. That apparently came at a cost of worse environmental graphics, as seen in the crummy building textures here. It doesn't feel as good to drive, either, although I do like the dusk-to-midnight progression from lap to lap.
Neighbours from Hell (JoWooD Vienna/JoWooD, 2005)
A port of a PC game. The original release in PAL and NA, but this was PAL exclusive. It's a stealth/puzzle game about sneaking around your awful neighbor's house and setting traps without getting caught. It has a good look and decent animation, but the gameplay is clunky and reviews were terrible.
NFL 2K3 (Visual Concepts/Sega, 2002)
This is one of the highest reviewed sports games ever, and also the only entry on the series on GCN. I'm not sure why either of those things is true, because the series did continue on PS2 and Xbox and at first glance it appears to be just another football game. I will remember it primarily for describing the Patriot's as "last year's Cinderella story" in the intro. Something something live long enough to become the villain.
NFL Blitz 20-02 (Point of View/Midway, 2002)
Another edgy sports series from Midway, but now the announcers are much quieter and you just get a lot of groaning and "oh God" from the players. It's actually a different sport because of weird changes like needing 30 yards for a first down, and I'm not sure why they got rid of the passing indicators that are in every other football game.
NFL Blitz 20-03 (Point of View/Midway, 2002)
This is virtually the same game. The only real difference I noticed is that they seem to have exaggerated the groaning even more and now every player stays down after getting tackled. The lack of changes isn't surprising considering this came out five months after the last one. What kind of release schedule is that?
NFL Blitz Pro (Midway, 2003)
It wisely tones down on all the ridiculous groaning, but unwisely turns the obnoxious announcers all the way up to their MLB Slugfest levels. Otherwise it's pretty much the same again.
NFL QB Club 2002 (Acclaim Studios Austin/Acclaim, 2001)
Acclaim got the first football game out on GCN, but it was bad and they did not manage a second. It looks terrible and has boring announcers. I accidentally did not select to play as either team, so I can't tell you how it feels to play, but I can say that the CPUs take absolutely forever to pick a play.
NFL Street (EA Tiburon/EA Sports BIG, 2004)
EA had to make a "street" version of every sport, so here's football, which is actually played on grass anyway. Like all the others, style points almost matter more than actually scoring and everything is exaggerated to silly levels. It was received fairly well.
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Cocoto Kart Racer
Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Family Stadium 2003
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
Jikkyou Powerful Major League
Kirby Air Ride
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Power Tennis
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
Mr. Driller Drill Land
Muscle Champion: Kinnikutou Kessen
MVP Baseball 2005