The games that shaped a generation: GameCube

17. Pikmin
Nintendo | Nintendo | 2001

Collect and control an army of adorable minions, collect the parts of your spaceship and escape. It's Mario meets realtime strategy

What made it so great?
Commanding armies means waging wars. But Pikmin is different. Your strange force, made up of little red, yellow and blue plant/insect creatures, is more concerned with fetching, carrying and solving puzzles than fighting. Of course, you do have to beat up other insects and creatures to do your task, but this is a game that blends the inventive puzzles of Zelda and the clever levels of Mario with a totally different type of gameplay into something uniquely engrossing.

The game's controls were extremely easy to get used to, but the tasks could be pretty complex. This mixture is what made the game so much fun; if you get really addicted, replaying the game to see how fast you can make it to the end is a lot of fun. It's a short game, but a very polished and distinctive one.

Get ready to play
You have 30 days of game-time to rescue all the parts of your spaceship and make it off the planet's surface. Now, you don't need every single one to make your escape, but it'll still be a bit of a struggle your first time around (game-days are short.) This battle against the clock annoys some, but we feel it lends the game a required tenseness.

Been there, done that?
The obvious choice is Pikmin 2. It loses the time-limit that many didn't like from the first game, but also adds repetitive dungeons that bog the game down. 50/50.