What prompted me to (finally) pick up Nintendo's boxy little system? By the time I bought one, they were just $99, for starters. And then there was the release of Animal Crossing.
OK, so that game was released (in the States) in late 2002--more than a year before I acquired a GameCube. I'd had my eye on it from day one, though, and as such it was the game I bought alongside my (now beloved silver) system.
Was it worth the wait? In a word: Yes. I've rarely put as much time into a game as I put into Animal Crossing. Something about its "life simulation" concept really resounded with me, I guess.
"Animal Crossing Painting" by Pocketowl
I know some people consider the game to be boring or tedious, as most of the time you're running errands, planting trees, picking fruit and watering flowers. Well, call me crazy, but I seem to enjoy those rather mundane chores when they're wrapped up in such cute packaging.
My only beef with the game? No matter how many love letters I sent to my female neighbors (my character was female, too), none of them reciprocated. Oh, well; you can't have anything, right?
See also: all of the previous '10 video games that made my life gayer' posts