The Nintendo 64 is easily one of my favorite platforms. While it didn't have the insanely massive library of Sony's platform, quality trumps quantity every day of the week. It featured a wacky three-pronged controller, an attachable rumble pack, and the first opportunity to experience Nintendo franchises in 3D. To pay tribute to this iconic 64-bit platform, we here at GameRevolution put together a list compiling the greatest games the console had to offer. So enough dilly-dallying, let's get started!
25. F-Zero X
If you're looking for a crazy racer, there are few better places to look than the Nintendo 64, as you'll soon find out. F-Zero X is one such game, delivering a super-fast racing experience unlike anything else available at the time. The jump to 3D took the sense of speed and intensity of F-Zero to new heights, making this game one of the most memorable and personality-filled racers of its day. If you enjoy a good challenge and have a need for speed, Captain Falcon has you covered.
Who doesn't love to shoot dinosaurs? Turok 2: Seeds of Evil satisfied every kids' wish by giving them the ability to mow down reptilian monsters in a first-person shooter. The franchise really hit its stride with the sequel, delivering a tense and enthralling single-player campaign, as well as a multiplayer mode that featured up to four players. With a number of different characters to choose from and several different modes, the MP of Turok 2 offered some of the best friend-filled action of its day.
Fans of Star Wars who owned a Nintendo 64 should be all-too familiar with Star Wars: Episode I Racer, a pod racing game that did the sci-fi universe of George Lucas justice. While the movie proved to be a major disappointment to most, quite the opposite was true of this N64 racer. With various pods to choose from and the ability to zip around at super-fast speeds, one can't find much fault in this awesome piece of fan service.
22. Mario Party
While the Mario Party franchise may make your stomach turn today, back on the Nintendo 64 it was still a fresh and unique series, one that resulted in many worn out N64 controllers. There's nothing quite like the original, and the slew of memorable mini-games scratched that light-hearted gaming itch we all have. Who would have thought a virtual board game filled with Mario-centric mini games could be so incredible?
21. Blast Corps
Before Microsoft bought Rare, the studio created a number of incredible title, many of which launched on the Nintendo 64. One absolutely worth mentioning is Blast Corps, a demolition game that tasked players with blowing up a slew of buildings. Seriously, who doesn't like to blow things up? This game is centered around that very premise, so it should come as no surprise to you that GR has selected this as one of the platform's must haves. It's pure fun. After all, that's what gaming is all about, right?
Head over to page 2 for #20-16.
The Star Wars franchise got quite a lot of representation on Nintendo's third platform, and the undisputed best title of the bunch has got to be Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. This spacecraft-navigating shooter was an absolute blast back in the day and surprisingly holds up significantly well even now. The very fact that this game was the predecessor to one of the most remarkable launch titles on the GameCube is reason alone to give it a nod.
Strategy role-playing games are few and far between on the Nintendo 64, so when Ogre Battle 64 launched, fans of the franchise had plenty of reason to rejoice. Not only does this Quest-developed RTS feature a deep and complex plot with multiple endings, it requires careful thought and mastery to succeed in each battle. This is strategy done right.
18. Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Snap is one of those special games that lives on in the memory of so many N64 owners who have an affinity toward Nintendo's monster-collecting franchise. While the game itself is relatively simple, tasking the player with snapping pictures of the cute little creatures, it also served as the first time gamers got to see the world Pokémon in three dimensions. That little fact simply can't be understated.
17. Mario Golf
If you owned a Nintendo 64 and ever found yourself looking to kick back and kill some time with your pals, there weren't many better options than Mario Golf. This low-key, relaxing game was a great way to unwind and just chill with your best bros. With a number of different characters from the Mario universe to choose from and a plethora of interesting courses to play on, this became one of the N64's go-to games for multiplayer fun.
16. Harvest Moon 64
Who would have ever thought that a farm sim could be so much fun? Harvest Moon 64 hit the right balance of work and reward, creating an addicting feedback loop that would have players constantly coming back for more. With an insanely charming art style and so many different things to do, Harvest Moon on the 64 made working with crops and livestock so much fun. If only maintaining a farm were really this much fun!
Head over to page 3 for #15-11.
15. WWF: No Mercy
THQ's followup to WrestleMania failed to disappoint, and will go down in history as one of the greatest pro wrestling games of all time. WWF: No Mercy is beloved by Nintendo 64 gamers with an affinity toward the genre thanks to the incredibly deep and engrossing story mode, which blew its predecessor out of the water. The multitude of modes and ability to create your own wrestler only made the experience all the more epic. If you love wrestling, this is an absolute staple for your collection.
14. Mario Tennis
I loved Mario Tennis, and coming from me, that's saying a lot. I don't consider myself a major fan of the Mario sports games by any means, but the moment I got my hands on Mario Tennis, the responsive controls and addictive gameplay had me hooked for hours on end. With a slew of iconic characters from the Mario universe to choose from, along with a wide array of courts, each with their own unique twists, there's plenty of value in this nifty little package.
While Donkey Kong 64 proved to be a disappointment when compared to other 3D platformers like Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario 64, the Kong-centric racer was far from underwhelming. The game plays an awful lot like Mario Kart 64, but has a plenty of unique additions to distinguish itself. You can choose between different types of cars, hovercrafts, or airplanes—so yes, there's lots of variety. It's really no wonder why fans have been crying out for a sequel ever since it graced the gaming world in 1997.
12. Paper Mario
Remember Super Mario RPG for the SNES? Man, I loved that game and longed for a sequel. While we never received a proper Square-developed followup, Intelligent Systems provided the next best thing, Paper Mario. With a turn-based battle system akin to the Super Nintendo classic, wrapped within a gorgeous paper-style aesthetic, this RPG is easily the one of the most charming games you'll find on the Nintendo 64. The title has gone on to spur a number of sequels, all of which are absolutely solid experiences.
11. Gauntlet Legends
I don't know how many hours my brother, cousin, and I spent playing Gauntlet Legends. This up-to-four-player co-op hack and slash action game was all sorts of addicting. With a number of different character classes to choose from, plenty of secrets to search for, and epic unforgettable bosses, there's no reason why any N64 owner should have missed out on this killer title from Atari and Midway Games.
Head over to page 4 to see #10-6.
10. Mario Kart 64
Hailed by many as the greatest kart racer of all time, Mario Kart 64 is an absolute must have for any Nintendo 64 owner. Zipping around any one of the many different (and incredibly diverse) tracks always made for a good time with friends, and still does today. The game also boasts many other improvements over its predecessor, especially the host of new items to take down your opponents with. Sure, the blue shell caused a lot of controversy back in the day, but you've gotta take the good with the bad, right?
9. Star Fox 64
"Do a barrel roll!" That phrase is reason alone to earn Star Fox 64 a spot in the top ten. This fantastic space shooter featured an unforgettable cast (for better or worse) as well as rumble support, which was a huge deal at the time. Remember that hefty add-on you had to snap into the back of your controller? The game also featured multiplayer battles, which were an absolute blast if you had three other buddies next to you on the couch.
Collect-a-thon platformers were quite plentiful on the Nintendo 64, but none had the same level of undeniable charm as Banjo Kazooie. This bear and bird duo were totally adorable, so long as you could look past all of the squawking. With so much to hunt for and collect, this Rare-developed platformer provided hours upon hours of addicting entertainment. There's a reason why Nintendo fans had a total fit when Rare parted ways with Nintendo and the loss of Banjo is one of them.
Now I know what you're thinking… WTF GR?! Why isn't this game higher on the list? While Goldeneye 007 is easily one of the most memorable and influential titles on the N64, it was outclassed by another FPS we'll get to later. That said, Goldeneye was an absolute masterpiece back when it first launched. Up until that time, the first-person shooter genre didn't really work on console, but Rare somehow pulled it off with the help of James Bond. Multiplayer battles were an absolute blast, and dominated a lot of my childhood.
While The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has proven to be one of the most polarizing Zelda games ever to hit store shelves, it is also one of the most creative and interesting entries in the series. The time mechanic totally changed the way you needed to approach the adventure, and served as a refreshing twist in the wake of Ocarina of Time. The dark and ominous tone, coupled with the insanely creative mask mechanic makes Majora's Mask one of the most memorable experiences available on the platform.
Head over to page 5 to see #5-1.
Who know a foul-mouthed squirrel could be so endearing? Rare's decision to take a very (im)mature approach to the 3D platforming genre was one of the most brilliant decisions the studio ever made. The wonderful balance between ridiculous violence, humor, and charm, make Conker's Bad Fur Day one of the best N64 games of all time. With various levels inspired by popular films and events, the game is loaded with relatable and super creative content.
4. Perfect Dark
While Goldeneye came first and perhaps made the bigger impact, Rare's second stab at the FPS genre on the N64 proved to be the superior experience. With a slew of creative guns, impressive visuals, and more of that awesome couch-based competitive multiplayer, it's all too easy to lose yourself in Perfect Dark. I also loved how the game classified your play style at the end of each MP match. I always managed to earn the reckless award.
I don't even want to know how many hours of my life I spent playing the original Super Smash Bros. This mash-up brawler, filled with a bunch of iconic characters, was an absolute blast to play with three other pals. With a slew of different items, a vast array of different themed stages, and chaos galore, this is easily the best multiplayer experience you'll find on the N64. I don't know about you, but after I graduated from Kirby, Pikachu became my character of choice. That thunderbolt attack was incredible.
There aren't many games quite as genre-defining as Super Mario 64. During a time when 2D platformers ruled the market, Nintendo took a bold step forward into three dimensions with Mario, and pulled it off. The final product has gone on to become one of the greatest platforming experiences you'll ever find, and will be remembered as the Nintendo 64's most influential game, right behind…
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. There, I said it. I know it's a popular one to throw around, but deal with it. There's a reason why it has become such an iconic piece of gaming software, and much of it has to do with the mind-blowing experience that was entering Hyrule field for the first time. Ocarina of Time served as a major step forward for 3D adventure games, raising the bar for the genre for years to come. With a plethora of memorable and expertly-crafted dungeons, along with a charming story and gorgeous visual style, the first Zelda title on the N64 is easily one of the greatest gaming experiences you will ever have. Period.
There you have it. Did we miss any of your favorites? Sound off with your N64 faves in the comments below.