Back in the day, I used to eat, sleep, and breathe N64. I have 81 N64 games, and have beaten all of them (except for Body Harvest and Glover, but if you’ve ever played them, you’d understand why they aren’t worth playing all the way through). I looked at ratings, re-played plenty of games, and checked out other Top N64 Games lists for ideas. I'm possibly a bit biased, but hopefully not overwhelmingly so that any other lover of the N64 would consider this list ridiculous
Okay! Let’s cut to the chase.
#25. Quest 64
This is actually my favorite video game of all time, so it kills me to put it so low on this list. It has a beautiful soundtrack, pretty good graphics, and a great story behind it. It’s decently hard and long, which makes it a great adventure game. It was the Nintendo 64's (poor) attempt at featuring an RPG game... which is actually the ONLY thing that the Playstation could boast over N64 (the Final Fantasy series). The only two things missing from the game are currency and extra party members. It has a decent replay value as well, so it’s not just a one-time-play-through-and-throw-away game.
#24. Mario Tennis
I love Mario games, and I play and teach tennis. Mario + Tennis = My ideal game, right? I have to stick it down at #24 though. It has a fun multiplayer mode... but the tournament mode isn’t challenging in the slightest. It’s a fun game with all the traditional Mario characters, and requires a decent amount of strategy (provided you’re above the level of just playing with Boo and hoping to curve it past your opponents, as we all know). You guys DO know you can hit lobs (A then B) and drop shots (B then A), right? It’s a realistic copycat of how real tennis could be played. Minus the bob-ombs.
Little known fact: If you translate "Boo Ghost" into Japanese, it sounds a lot like "Douchebag".
#23. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
This is a really good game, and I don’t even like skateboarding. The single player mode manages to be somewhat in-depth and tough, and there are multiple multiplayer modes (graffiti, HORSE, etc.). An obvious downside is that it’s only two-player, and there’s no replay value for single player.
#22. Mystical Ninja starring Goemon
This game isn’t as well known as other adventure games in the United States, because the main character (Goemon) isn’t nearly as famous as some of the other big names in Nintendo (Donkey Kong, Mario, etc.). The Goemon franchise simply isn’t big in America (it’s big in Japan; there was even an animated series for it). That being said, MNsG has great graphics, an interesting and novel storyline, and doesn’t have any glaring flaws. The characters are all interesting and unique, from Goemon’s blue pineapple hair and extendable pipe to Yae’s ability to turn into a mermaid.
Never give up! Never surrender!
#21. Yoshi’s Story
What a cute game It’s about time that Nintendo made a Mario-less Yoshi game! It’s got good graphics (it’s a side-scroller, but considered “two-and-a-half-D”, rather than 2-D, because of the pop-out parts of the game). It has good graphics and requires a lot of strategy to get perfect scores in each level. There’s no multiplayer mode, unfortunately, so it’s sticking at #21.
#20. Mario Golf
Another stereotypical Nintendo-sports game: versatile, fun, and multiplayer-capable. For some odd reason, it lacks many of the Nintendo icons, favoring a few seemingly arbitrary human characters that you won’t recognize. However, there are plenty of tournaments and objectives to play through in this game, and an awesome mini-golf mode. Great replay value. Hell, my two little brothers and I played this last week.
#19. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
I know. I can’t stop laughing either. Okay, here’s the plot scheme for CBFD: Does anyone remember the cute little squirrel, Conker, from Diddy Kong Racing? Perhaps you’ve played the Game Boy games featuring this adorable little animal? Well, in CBFD, he’s matured QUITE a great deal. This game is rated Mature (I KNOW! A Nintendo game rated Mature!?). The entire game he’s either suffering from a hangover, battling in a giant pile of shit, hitting on a female flower with quite large breasts, or doing any other dirty, risque, disgusting thing you could possibly think of. And there’s a LOT of cursing and blood spillits. And I’m not even joking. However, this game is incredible. Rare truly outdid itself with this game. While, at the surface, this game looks like the anti-Nintendo product of all time, it boasts tough levels, great gameplay, good graphics, and an appeal to... solely older, teenage boys. If you can manage to ignore the disgusting ridiculousness of it, you’ll truly find a well-rounded game.
I'm just gonna go ahead and post the Google Images link... there are far too many great pictures of this game to paste as a compilation:
+ Show Spoiler +
#18. NFL Blitz
It’s not every day that Nintendo makes a non-Mario sports game. It’s also not every day that a sports game focuses more on beating the shit out of the opponents than winning. I have both NFL Quarterback Club ‘98 and NFL Blitz for my N64, and I gotta tell you... the latter blows the former out of the water, because even if I throw an interception, I can then proceed to take out every member of my opponent’s team by diving into them. This game is just plain fun, and just plain manly. It has a multiplayer mode and has some pretty cool codes too.
#17. Bomberman 64
Remember this little gem? The story mode requires a lot of strategy and timing and planning. It’s remarkable. The multiplayer mode is great too (we all remember turning into ghosts and exacting our revenge on those who killed us...). Catchy music too. It definitely deserves a seat on the top 25.
Anyone else tear out his hair playing against the Leviathan?
#16. Rayman 2: The Great Escape
One of the many reasons why Nintendo 64 was known for its adventure games. This game is beautiful, tough, and the main character has no arms or legs. The gameplay is fantastic. It should also be noted that there is no Rayman 1 for the Nintendo 64, so it’s not a same-console sequel.
#15. Paper Mario
Another “two-and-a-half-D” side-scroller like Yoshi’s Story, except this game isn’t nearly as repetitive. It’s a very creative, fresh look at yet another Mario journey. Doesn’t have much of a replay value, but playing all the way through only once or twice is still worth it. No multiplayer mode; it really wouldn’t fit the game anyway.
#14. Mario Party
I have every Mario Party game (just because), and this is pretty much the only one truly worth playing. I hate sequels to party games; they get too repetitive. This game is a great party game if you have exactly four people (including yourself) at your house. If you have fewer than four, then you’re going to need to play with a computer. If you have greater than four people, then someone’s going to have to wait eighteen thousand turns to play. It’s still insanely fun to play though. Except for the Chance Time spaces. Everyone knows what I’m talking about... when you accidentally give all of your stars to your mortal enemy, with two turns left in the game. I’m pretty sure it was this very experience in which the acronym “FML” was created. Awesome party game, and Nintendo has always been big on multiplayer capabilities and party games. P.S.- I’d like to give a shout out to my homeboy, Luigi.
There's a very good chance that you're about to get fucked, and that the previous 30 turns and two hours meant absolutely nothing.
#13. Diddy Kong Racing
Okay, this game is near-perfect for its platform (racing games). A racing game that truly has a single-player story mode. Great graphics. Three vehicles. A giant, evil pig. A walking, talking clock. What more could a guy ask for? It is exceptionally well-rounded, and the races are more based on driving skill than using weapons (which aren’t entirely useless, though). Replay value is built in to the system (four times total: regular mode, silver coin challenge, mirror mode, silver coin challenge for mirror mode). It even has a two-player story mode, and a shitload of multiplayer racing/battle options. And codes! This is the most complete, thorough racing game that N64 has to offer. Of course, there does exist one other racing game that far surpasses DKR in the “fun” department... and that’s really what Nintendo is all about, isn’t it?
#12. Jet Force Gemini
This game has more realistic and darker graphics than the stereotypical Mario-worlds we all know and love. It’s not a cutesy game. It’s very advanced, and is very different from the rest of the N64 games. This third person shooter has a lot of different missions and collectables, making it a very thorough single player game. It also boasts a pretty sweet multiplayer mode. And a gun-toting dog.
Dr. House apparently never realized that Lupus solely belonged to the Jet Force Gemini team.
I’m generally not a fan of same-console sequels. They’re generally shitty attempts at milking the amazing qualities of the first game, with slightly older characters or extra weapons. But holy shit! If you’ve played Banjo-Kazooie, then you’ve undoubtedly fallen in love with it. That would warrant a look at Banjo-Tooie... which would in turn make you really, really like this game as well. The game is completely revamped, expanding on the myriad of possibilities and pathways left open from its predecessor. It’s beautiful. Of course, it retains the awesome graphics, awesome soundtrack, and fantastic gameplay of Banjo-Kazooie, but also throws in new... everything (including a multiplayer mode, just because it CAN!).
Top 10 - Take a deep breath! It’s time for the best of the best!!!
#10. Star Fox 64
Oh yes. A classic. This game is also probably the most quoted of all time. (I’m fairly certain that my brothers and I know every single quote from this game.) I was substitute teaching yesterday, and I swear in the middle of class a student raised his hand... I called on him... and the following conversation ensued:
Student: Mr. Mango... can you do a barrel roll?
Me: Absolutely. I usually press R twice, rather than Z.
Student: You’re the coolest sub ever, Mr. Mango.
Me: I know.
This game is utterly fantastic. The gameplay is great, and Falco Lombardi is a complete badass.
Just... enjoy the nostalgia: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241985/quotes
#9. Donkey Kong 64
Ohhhh... banana! This game boasts amazing graphics, and a crew of Kongs that come complete with their own instruments, ammunition, and rap song! The storyline is the stereotypical “beat King K. Rool”, but the journey through each well-designed, unique level is great. The fact that you have five playable characters means that you often must use one to make progress in another's quest. This type of co-operative single-player mode is pretty unique, and the final battle shows how working together truly pays off.
#8. Perfect Dark
To sum up this game in a single phrase: “Golden Eye 007 Version 2.0". It’s the superior of the two first-person shooters, with better graphics, weapons, and missions. Of course, it’s expected to be better than Golden Eye 007, considering it came out later. The single player is great, but the multiplayer is what makes PD really shine. I’ll frequently see this game being played at parties. Two words: Laptop gun.
#7. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
I would say that this game is amazing, but you just read the words “The Legend of Zelda”, so I feel it would be redundant. This game is crazy unique. The time crunch is an awesome limitation to employ. You can’t merely run around forever; you gotta know your shit! It’s all about perfect timing in this game... and, of course, mindblowing (I’m running out of synonyms for “great”) graphics, abilities, and quite the familiar cast if you’ve played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (and you should). The cartridge is gold and holographic too.
I got this poster in a Nintendo Power magazine a long time ago. It's awesome and I felt like sharing that with you.
The Top 6 - Three are known for their single player modes; three are known for their multiplayer capabilities. Can you guess which ones are left on the list?
You know how highly I regard the sequel. The original is breathtaking. Unless you’ve played Diddy Kong Racing (in which Banjo doesn’t exactly have a personality at all, and Kazooie didn’t even exist), you probably had no idea who the hell Banjo and Kazooie even were. I know I didn’t. Now, we’re all bffs. A jiggy here, a Jinjo there. Gruntilda’s lame rhymes and Mumbo Jumbo’s transformations. It’s okay to occasionally drown yourself in the nostalgia of this game’s awesomeness.
#5. Golden Eye 007
Perfect Dark may be better, but Golden Eye 007 set the bar for first-person shooters. This is actually the only game on my list that I don’t have (I know, right?), but I still recognize its importance to the progression of video games. If you ask someone to name any five N64 games, I guarantee you that Golden Eye 007 will be on that list. And its popularity is well-deserved. Is the Golden Gun OP, or is Oddjob OP?
#4. Mario Kart 64
I really don’t need to explain why this game is all the way up here, so instead I’ll just make a list of superlatives for this game:
Best Character (based on stats): Wario
Best Shortcut: Wario Stadium wall-hop
Craziest Level: Toad’s Turnpike in Mirror Mode
Most Useful Item: Lightning
Most Useless Item: Triple green shells when you’re in first place in Rainbow Road
Most Annoying... Annoyance: Thwomps in Bowser’s Castle
Guiltiest Pleasure: Annihilating Toad, just to hear him scream like a baby
The “FML” Award: Getting ready to drive off the big jump in Wario Stadium... and then noticing that second-player has a Lightning...
The “You’re an asshole” Award: Placing a string of bananas on the zig zag, rail-less bridge in Banshee Boardwalk.
The “This is so bullshit” Award: Getting hit by a truck in Toad’s Turnpike... and then immediately getting hit by a bus... and then a car... and then another truck...
Hmm... did I miss any?
#3: Super Smash Bros. 64
The number one multiplayer game for the N64. While Mario Kart 64 IS ridiculously fun and exciting, it’s still in the shadow of a game that pits famous Nintendo icons against one another in an all-out brawl. The original Super Smash Bros. will never get old. And I'm undefeated within my circle of friends as Ness and Pikachu ^^
#2. Super Mario 64
In September of 1996, the Nintendo 64 was released in the United States. I got mine for Christmas, along with three video games (Super Mario 64, Cruisin’ USA, and Wayne Gretzky’s 3-D Hockey). I put Super Mario 64 into the console, turned the game on and was instantly mesmerized.
I definitely teared up. Not only did Super Mario 64 set the bar so high graphics-wise that some games even TODAY don’t reach it, but it is absolutely the (second) best adventure game produced for the N64. Its only flaw is in its perfection; the following generations of main Mario adventure games (Super Mario Sunshine for the GameCube and Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii) could possibly be a step or two above Super Mario 64... but the leap from 2-D to 3-D that Super Mario 64 made could never be matched by any other sequel. This is the first reason (there are many) why the Playstation never had a chance in hell against the might of the Nintendo 64. Every world is beautiful and has interesting objectives. Gameplay is great. This is the quintessential Nintendo game; if you haven’t played it, you can’t truly appreciate the Nintendo 64. I played it again two months ago. I still love it. YOU CAN LEGIT FLY IN THIS GAME.
Slightly slower than the world record speedrun, but I love the music.
#1: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This is the most dazzling, complete, and thorough Nintendo 64 game ever produced. Nearly every Legend of Zelda game is a masterpiece, and this one is way up there on the list. There are zero flaws in this game. Nearly every rating board gives this game a 10 out of 10, and I agree with them. Another game you simply must play if you have the N64. What else can I say? If you’ve played it, you know why it’s number one. It’s as simple as that. Warning: The wallmasters, re-dead, and entire shadow temple will probably scare the shit out of you. But you won’t be able to stop playing. Sleep is for the weak.
And so, the Hero of Time saved Hyrule once again...
And that's my list Feel free to give me some feedback and opinions regarding which ones should or shouldn’t have been on the list, or what could have made the list better!