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2006 Review: The ten best GameCube & Wii games

Our pick of the best home console Nintendo games of 2006

Nintendo moves from one era into an exciting new one, and has kept the whole industry abuzz with excitement at the prospect of its new Wii console.

Now the Wii is here and there are already some great games available for it, but all the excitement surrounding Wii has somewhat overshadowed some of the fantastic GameCube releases that arrived in 2006, so along with the best Wii launch games, here are the best GC games that deserve their moment in the spotlight.

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Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

After nearly three years of waiting, and over a year of agonising delays, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is every bit as awesome as we'd hoped.

Nintendo has created by far the biggest and most awe-inspiring version of Hyrule ever packed so full of intriguing characters, side quests and secret caves that seeing everything will take even the most seasoned Zelda at least 50 hours. But that's 50 hours of pure glory for every Nintendo fan who does it.

The GameCube version is every bit as amazing, but if you want the full Twilight Princes experience you need to play the Wii one, with actions like fishing, throwing bombs and shooting arrows made awesome by the Wii Remote.

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Red Steel

When Nintendo unveiled the Wii and movement-sensitive controller, Ubisoft immediately jumped on board, pledging an astonishing nine games for the Wii launch period, and the one that got everyone excited was Red Steel, their ultra-slick first-person shooter.

Us gamers are suckers for anything remotely Japanese, so the game's all-over Japanese theme and Tokyo setting made it all the more appealing. With it's sword fighting that let players slash the Wii Remote to slice up yakuza gangsters, Red Steel was one of the most unique FPS experiences of 2006.

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Tomb Raider Legend

After a run of painfully average adventure managed to leave the reputation of one gaming's biggest stars in complete ridicule, Tomb Raider Legend arrived and brought Lara Croft back into contention.

Some complained that it simply repeated many of the tricks and puzzles of the original game that released on PlayStation in 1996, but for most of us, that was a complete godsend. Forget all those bike-riding, roof-hopping gimmicks, TRL is pure, rock-pushing, tomb raiding goodness from start to finish.

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Wii Sports

Wii Sports has bare-bones graphics, is without any deep tournament modes and you can see most of what it has to offer in the first hour of play. Yet this pack-in game is one of the most important games of 2006 because it demonstrates perfectly how Wii and movement-sensing controller will revolutionise gaming on the new console.

It's the game that the millions of potential gamers - who don't already buy games - will see being played in shops or at a friend's house and decide immediately that they must own Wii. For that reason, it does exactly what it was intended to do - show off the Wii, and has no doubt contributed massively to the overwhelming success of the Wii. And it's bloody good fun in multiplayer too.

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Wii Play

Again, just like Wii Sports, it's not about depth or features with Wii Play. It's about the role that it plays in demonstrating how amazing the Wii is.

Its nine games were designed to demonstrate each and every function of the Wii Remote, and with the exception of one or two slightly pointless games, many of them are genuinely addictive too. We find ourselves here at CVG competing daily to get the highest score in Shooting, or working together to crack every level in the rock-solid Tanks game. Billiards is great and so is Find Mii. And for just a fiver (it comes with a Wii Remote for £35), Wii Play is worth every penny.

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