Unfortunately you cannot play GameCube games on your Wii U Console, in it’s released state. Whilst the console has the capability – all of the hardware is included within – the disc drive cannot read the discs on which GC games were released. It also lacks the ability to accept both the controllers and memory cards native to the ‘Cube.
There are a few options however, for the avid gamer looking into the Nintendo back catalogue and aching for some of those old purple box titles.
Luckily, Nintendo did identify a few titles that were good enough to make the jump over two generations. In some cases these even came with baked in improvements, like Wind Waker HD getting a graphical update. Others saw their series’ continued, like Pikmin or the Paper Mario titles. They may not always be the original titles, but they’re certainly good games in their own right.
You could even argue that some series’ reached their pinnacle with the Wii U, like the Metroid Prime series or Super Smash Bros.
A piece of hardware coming with the capability to play a previous console, but missing a few steps. Those words are music to the ears of a certain subset of gamer that might be especially inclined to make changes… That being the case, there is a way to play GameCube games on the Wii U, all of them actually: Nintendont. It’s not exactly limited to GameCube games either.
We won’t go into the details of exactly how or why, only that it’s entirely possible. Should you be interested, it’s probably best to start here.
In the end then, it is entirely possible to play GameCube games on your Wii U, if you’re willing to dig a little deeper. Word of caution however: It’s entirely legal to homebrew your Wii U, and it’s legal to backup your games if you own the originals, but it’s not legal to download games that you do not own, so bear this in mind should you decide to do so.
Of course, you could just find the little purple brick on Amazon or Ebay. We kind of like the way it looks sitting under our TV.