Emulators have been around for a long time, but in the past, they required a powerful computer just to run stably. Fortunately, this has changed, and many emulators (like BlueStacks) can be run on the majority of laptops and computers. This has been a catalyst for fans of Nintendo’s GameCube who want to relive their childhoods. Setting up the best GameCube emulator gives them the rare chance of playing their favorite games and reliving those childhood memories they adore. But before you can jump into this, you have to find an emulator that fits what you’re looking for.
What is the GameCube Console?
The GameCube is a console that Nintendo released across the world in 2001 and 2002. This release was shortly after Sony’s PlayStation 2 (PS2) and Microsoft’s Xbox hit the market, but the GameCube’s game library was arguably different from what PS2 and Xbox players had access to.
Up to 4 players could play the GameCube at once and some popular games it is known for include:
- Super Smash Bros
- Mario Kart
- The Legend of Zelda
- Resident Evil 4
- Animal Crossing
- Super Monkey Ball
And there were also a number of well-known series such as NBA, Need for Speed, Tony Hawk, James Bond 007, and of course, FIFA. It’s been over a decade since Nintendo chose to cease GameCube sales, but this console has been a staple in the gaming industry. When the best GameCube emulators were being released online, the popularity surrounding this console’s games came back.
A great thing about these emulators is that there are options for Windows, Mac, iPhones (iOS), and Android devices.
What is an Emulator?
An emulator is simply a piece of software that recreates another software’s environment. In this instance, a GameCube emulator enables users to run a GameCube on a computer or smartphone, which usually wouldn’t be capable of doing so.
The reason for emulators being so impressive is that consoles have specially designed hardware and software. As such, it can be challenging to run the GameCube software on hardware that isn’t the original console. However, this is obviously no longer the case. Emulators are available for PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, Android, iOS, and even Super NES.
5 Best GameCube Emulators
You now have some background information on what the best GameCube emulators do and what they are. Below are the five best emulators for you to check out.
Best GameCube Emulator #1. Dolphin Emulator
Dolphin Emulator was a big hit when it was first released. It’s free to use, and as long as you have a semi-powerful computer, you can enjoy playing GameCube games. As the emulator got popular, the developers improved its performance and also made it double as a Wii emulator too.
It is capable of providing a crisp 1080p display, but if your computer isn’t as high-end as you’d like, you can change this setting. Pretty much any game can be played flawlessly on Dolphin, and since it’s an open-source development, there are constant improvements being made by the official developers and avid GameCube fans. Users on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers can all install this impressive emulator.
- Runs fast and relatively smoothly
- Capable of showing a 1080p picture
- You can save the emulator’s state and pick up where you left off by reloading it
- Gamers can connect their Wii controller or nunchucks
- Open source allowing input from talented GameCube players
- Acts as a GameCube emulator and a Wii emulator
- It is still a work in progress
Best GameCube Emulator #2. Whine Cube Emulator
Another emulator that we consider one of the best GameCube emulators is the Whine Cube Emulator. After preparing the emulator, you can run any compatible DOL or ELF file without the graphics or audio being distorted.
One big downfall to this emulator is that it doesn’t support commercial games. Therefore, you’ll only be able to play custom games that were uploaded by other gamers.
Errors are a common occurrence when first setting up a GameCube emulator. It’s no surprise that there is a built-in debugging feature that makes it easier to pinpoint exactly why one of your GameCube games isn’t working properly. With this information, you can fix the emulator and start enjoying video games.
- Runs fast and smooth, even on older computers
- Provides high-quality graphics and audio
- Easy to configure and includes a control changing menu
- Supports any Primitive HLE system
- Unstable and infrequently crashes
- Users must enable the debugging every time they need to use it
- There have been no updates to Whine Cube Emulator since 2008
- Unable to run commercial GameCube video games
By the way, here is the guide on the rarest GameCube games for your further reading.
Best GameCube Emulator #3. GCEMU Emulator
Next up is a slightly unusual entry which hasn’t actually been officially released. GCEMU was an upcoming GameCube emulator that got a lot of attention for one reason above all others. To make sure the emulator ran smoothly and gamers could use it on low-end computers too, it had a unique compilation algorithm.
With that in mind, many gamers were excited to see the finished product. Unfortunately, that day never came, and in 2005, the developers announced their intentions to stop developing it. All we have now is the incomplete version.
- Very fast and runs smoother than most emulators
- Built with an impressive emulation algorithm
- Incomplete and therefore lacks a lot of essential features
- Prone to crashing and generally not a stable program
Best GameCube Emulator #4. Dolwin Emulator
Fourth on our list is the Dolwin Emulator. Right off the bat, we can see that this is an emulator that has proven to run smoothly capably. Unlike the other best GameCube emulator Dolphin, you will require a high-end gaming computer. If you’re using an average laptop or your gaming computer is older than most, give this one a miss.
The user-friendly interface is incredibly easy to navigate, making it simple to change the settings and prepare it for gaming. With the high-level emulation that Dolwin Emulator is capable of, you can run pretty much any GameCube game you want. Take note of the fact that it’s been a while since this emulator had an update, so there may be some performance issues.
- Runs smoothly with minimal frame drops on powerful computers
- Supports 1080p and fullscreen gameplay
- User-friendly GUI makes it easy to configure the emulator and controls
- Only a suitable GameCube emulator if you have a high-end gaming PC
- Unable to run commercial games
Best GameCube Emulator #5. Cube Emulator
Last up is Cube Emulator. Just like the name, this best GameCube emulator is simple and doesn’t go above and beyond as you might hope for. You can install it on any computer system, and since it is open source (like Dolphin is), there is community support for this emulator.
Much like the rest of these emulators, you won’t be able to load and play a commercial GameCube game in Cube Emulator.
- This emulator’s main purpose is to be developed well enough to run commercial games
- Provides high-quality graphics and audio tracks
- Easy to set up and play GameCube games with
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers
- Still a work in progress which has led to inconsistent bugs, glitches, and crashing
- Not fully capable of playing commercial games
Bonus: Record Android with MirrorGo
For gamers who use emulators on their Android devices, you’re in for a treat because Wondershare MirrorGo provides you with a means of viewing your device’s display on a computer. The benefit of this is you can view the display on a bigger screen, thus making it more enjoyable.
- View your Android’s display in HD on a computer monitor
- Use your computer to record an Android’s display
- Smoothly run Android apps with your device rather than using unstable emulators
- Control your Android apps using the mouse and keyboard
- Sync your game data with MirrorGo
- Use hotkeys to start and stop your recordings effortlessly
Check it out for yourself! Use the free trial to get a better understanding of how Wondershare MirrorGo works and what it includes, then purchase the full version to jump right into the Android recording experience.
To Conclude on the Best GameCube Emulator
Topping our list was the Dolphin Emulator. Even though this is one of the newest emulators to hit the internet, it is without a doubt the best GameCube emulator we’ve seen. Because it is open-source and has had a lot of potential since launching, Dolphin receives endless support and community input. That doesn’t take away from how impressive the rest of these GameCube emulators are! While Dolphin is at the top, the others are just as great.