N64 Classic. And Classics It Had.

What we’ve been waiting for

Nintendo recently announced it’s N64 Classic and we can’t wait!

The N64 in many people’s mind is the ultimate party console and best system ever. Featuring a slew of legendary couch multiplayer games, anyone old enough can probably tell numerous stories of hilarious situations from birthday parties and sleepovers.

This was a golden age of gaming that we may never return to. With the boom of online gaming, many developers, don’t even consider that you may want to play a non-sports game together in the same room, breathing the same air.

We both have an original N64, but there’s something very appealing of not having to blow into any cartridges. If we ran things at Nintendo, the N64 classic would have these 20 titles.

Let’s jump right into it.

1. Super Mario 64

Julian: If you owned an N64, you had to have played this game. Though each Mario game pretty much gets rave reviews, the 64 version was the first step into 3D platforming and boy was it a graceful step. The controls, fluidity, graphics (at the time), level design, and story were all virtually flawless. I don’t think I need to say much more about this game. Mario speaks for himself. Omitting this from the N64 Classic would be sacrilege.

mario 64

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Fred: Another obvious pick for the N64 Classic, this is one that I’ve restarted a few times over the years. I had it on my phone, my laptop and recently picked up the physical cartridge so it could sit next to my N64. Ocarina of Time is my first memory of an open world. In elementary school, this meant I could spend an entire day running around Hyrule, without the constraints of a linear story. Easily one of my faves in the Zelda series.

3. GoldenEye 007

J: Despite playing The Last of Us for almost 3 years straight, Goldeneye, the best video game adaptation of a movie ever, is perhaps the game I’ve logged the most hours in in my life. A true-to-the-movie single player campaign with replayability in difficulty and cheat code time trial hunting coupled with a groundbreaking and transcendent multiplayer experience for first person shooting, Goldeneye had it all – story, characters, weapons, levels and sheer fun. And DK mode.

4. Super Smash Bros

F: I actually didn’t get hooked on the N64 version of this game until college. I’d be a little embarrassed to admit the number of times that I spent duking it out with friends well past 3 AM. It’s fun for any newbie to jump into the chaos, while the advanced mechanics allow the more serious gamer to dedicate dozens of hours towards mastering each character. Sporting the biggest roster of Nintendo characters from our list, of course this one will be on the N64 Classic.

5. Mario Kart 64

J: Mario Kart 64 is only the second entry of the series and, like many of these games, took a giant leap from its SNES version to the N64 version. Bigger courses and improvements in mechanics and game modes made this a staple in everyone’s N64 library. A perfectly timed lightning bolt used on your best friend on the last lap of Wario’s Stadium is a feeling of sinister joy that can’t easily be replicated.

6. Mario party 2

F: Board games weren’t really on my radar back then, but the concept of Mario Party was too good to pass up. Players roll a virtual die to move around the game board, completing mini-games in the process. The person at the end of all rounds with the most stars wins the game. It’s a straightforward premise which has so much replayability due to things like stealing stars and 3v1 activities.

7. Star Fox 64

F: Slippy is annoying, but Star Fox 64 is awesome! As part of an elite squadron of animal fighter pilots, you fly straight-forward towards enemies, collecting power-ups along the way. There were a host of moves that you could do to avoid enemy fire (Do a barrel roll!) and the multiplayer mode was executed really well.

8. Perfect Dark

F: Even though Goldeneye is still my favorite N64 shooter, Perfect Dark is a close second. It’s wild weapons and high level of multiplayer customization resulted in some wacky gameplay. There’s literally a gun that can shoot through walls. How cool is that?? And despite the similarities, this game is simply too good to leave off the N64 Classic.

9. Banjo-Kazooie

J: Banjo and Kazooie placed a bid to enter into a top heavy list of Nintendo exclusive titles. From Mario and Donkey Kong, Megaman and Samus, to Link and Kirby, Nintendo had several unique characters and each iteration of their game was typically great. Rare, who developed a few other titles in our list gave us another 3D platformer offering nonlinear and unique gameplay as the odd pair tackled their challenges and enemies. The N64 Classic needs a title that some of its most loyal fans say it’s even better than Mario 64.

banjo-kazooie

10. Diddy Kong Racing

J: Released almost a year after Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing granted players a similar enough but also different enough experience. The list of power ups was decreased but the ways to race tripled. Now hovercrafts and aeroplanes presented alternatives to the kart, which provided different ways to tackle each track. The game also set itself apart from Mario Kart as it sported a story mode which was somewhat captivating.

11. mario tennis

F: Like most Mario sports games, the tennis version has different ‘types’ of characters which correspond to their core strengths. Boo (my #1 pick) is “tricky”, which allows him to curve the ball while it’s in the air. DK is “powerful”, so his serves can be devastating. You can choose a character who best suits your playstyle and get a good rally going by just hitting A and B.

12. Mario Golf

J: Can Mario do any wrong? Even on a notoriously boring sport for kids, Nintendo managed to make the golf course fun in a way that only Tiger could at the time. Easy to learn controls and mechanics paired with power shots and taunts made this a fun, and surprisingly challenging, entry to the Mario catalog.

13. wcw/nwo: revenge

J: Many see WWF No Mercy as the superior game but having grown up on WCW vs nWo: World Tour and Revenge, I’m going to stick with my pick. Truth is, THQ knew what they were doing as they made all 3 titles. Gathering three of your friends to punch, slap, kick, and slam your way to victory was nonstop fun. Throw in chairs and special finishing moves and you would have to get wrestled away from this game.

14. 1080 snowboarding

J: I talked about how great Tony Hawk was in our PlayStation Classic post last week. 1080 Snowboarding had a similar draw to this niche sport. A tad more “realistic”, 1080 allowed you to race and trick your way down a mountain offering an experience that immersed you like never before. It even won Console Sports Game of the Year in 1999. More than enough reason to expect it on the N64 Classic.

15. Star wars: Rogue Squadron

F: You lead a squad of X-wing fighters, completing objectives to progress through levels. The controls handled smoothly, the graphics were great (with the addition of the expansion pack, of course) and there are a good amount of powerups for your ship. While this title lacked a multiplayer mode, the single player campaign was excellent and set the bar for future sequels.

16. the legend of zelda: majora’s mask

F: Set in an alternate reality to Hyrule, Majora’s Mask sees Link repeat a three-day cycle in Termina. He’s able to transform into different characters using masks and still has his trusty ocarina to influence his environment. The added abilities makes for dynamic gameplay. When combined with an alluring story, this is one of the greatest Zelda titles ever released.

17. paper mario

F: I really enjoyed Super Mario RPG, so I was pretty sure I’d really enjoy the combination of role-playing and puzzle-solving in this N64 successor. The game did not disappoint! Taking a slight turn from the 3D goodness that is Mario 64, Paper Mario has a more cartoonish style. You collect companions along your journey who assist Mario in and out of battle. There’s been some pushback from the gaming community that the difficulty of the game is too low, but I don’t think this was ever intended to be a very challenging game. I actually appreciate the simplicity and the customization options and would recommend this for anyone looking for a lowkey Mario experience.

18. wave race 64

J: Wave Race 64 was another very popular N64 game as it was included in some bundles with your console. Another less popular sport, this time players were granted the ability to race waverunners/jet skis (technically called personal watercrafts). Bouncing over the waves and cutting through the ocean, sometimes even besides (or on!) dolphins, really captured the feeling of euphoria many N64 games emitted.

19. Turok: Rage Wars

F: I never owned this one, but my cousins did. Much of my free time in 1997 went into multiplayer Turok matches. The premise of hunting dinosaurs was crazy enough on its on, but the competitive splitscreen mode is what really caught my interest. There were a bunch of unique “energy” weapons, including a boomerang, emaciator and flare gun. Plus, how could you not love a game that has a mode called Monkey Tag?!
{monkey tag youtube video}

20. Bomberman 64

F: As the first entry in the franchise with 3D graphics, Bomberman 64 took advantage of a top-down view of three-dimensional maps. Multiplayer was the most fun for me (I’m not sure that I even beat the single player campaign), which pitted up to 4 ‘bombers’ against each other in a square arena. Many of the environments would change mid-game, resulting in hilarious deaths as people fell through cracks in the ice!

bomberman 64

How’d we do? Are there any games you would swap out? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jocelyn
Jocelyn
5 years ago

So you and Steve going to go at the Smash Brothers for old times sack?

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