Despite the game droughts that constantly plagued the system, something that’s become common place for Nintendo consoles, the Nintendo 64 had a dearth of fantastic titles. Even with third party companies leaving, the N64 managed the masterfully bring many Nintendo mainstays into the third dimension. If there’s one console I spent the most time with, it was this. Here are my top 5 N64 games.
5. Mario Kart 64
This was the first game to utilize the built in four controller ports on the system. Though there have been many entries in the series since, none have managed to capture the essence as well as this has. Even playing the flashback courses in Mario Kart 7 or 8 doesn’t manage to do them justice. A friend still has his N64 hooked up just to play this. It’s fantastic.
4. Starfox 64
There’s only been one great Starfox game, this one. And they managed to perfect it on the second try. Let’s face facts, this is mostly a remake of the original SNES version. This perfectly captures what Starfox is, something no other entry has managed to do. Why it’s so difficult to iterate on this experience is beyond me. It still holds up perfectly today, as seen in the 3DS remake.
I had a lot to say about this game. So much so that it was my first article to break 900 words. It was my, and many others, first first-person shooter. While innovations in the genre have quicklyleft this behind, as evident by the recent remake, there’s still plenty this game does that few have managed to reproduce. Mixing that with a bit of nostalgia firmly cements this game’s place.
2. Super Mario 64
I’ll never forget picking up that tiger claw shaped controller at the kiosk at Toys “R” Us that fateful Sunday, September 29, 1996, the day the system released. Taking Mario from the castle into Bob-omb Battlefield is something I’ll never forget. Pushing Mario from a crawl to a run, jumping in any direction flawlessly, the game was perfect. Sadly, I doubt another game could ever illicit such a feeling again.
I’ve told the story how this game completely annihilated my Thanksgiving break in 1998. It was a long six year wait from A Link to the Past to this. Much like Final Fantasy VII before it, I still vividly remember gobbling up every bit of news I could sink my teeth into. Mental images of the screen shots from levels that never came to be still haunt my dreams. So does Lord Jabu-Jabu’s Belly. That place was f’en creepy.
Though my list doesn’t differ wildly from the others across the internet, this stands to show how important and powerful these games were. Though many don’t hold up graphically, as it was an ugly time for games, everyone of them easily stands the test of time as experiences. Well, maybe not Goldeneye. Honorable mentions: Banjo Kazooie, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and F-Zero X. Also, I suffered through Quest 64. That game was terrible.
What does your Top 5 list look like? Similar to mine? Comment below!
Four times my kid brother erased the data in SSB “on accident.”