So hype continues to ramp up about the SNES Classic and the NES Classic will indeed be making a comeback, regardless of the fact it never should’ve gone out of production to begin with.
But it got me thinking, now that the SNES Classic is coming, obviously the next console in line for a classic version would be the Nintendo 64. So let’s say the default number is 30 games. What would go in this bundle of nostalgia? Well, let’s take a trip back and time and figure out what games will go into this future piece of wonderful childhood memories.
NOTE: There is one notable game missing, that being “Conker’s Bad Fur Day”. Because let’s be honest, Nintendo is not putting that game in there, due to its “offensive” content.
The Nintendo Essentials – #1-15
The most obvious choice, the game many consider to be the greatest game of all-time, let alone the best game on the Nintendo 64. A legendary adventure, some of the greatest bosses and dungeons we’ve ever seen in the Zelda franchise, fantastic music, a solid story…
…and the Water Temple.
You obviously can’t have one Zelda without the other. While Majora’s Mask isn’t nearly as high in the minds of gamers as Ocarina of Time, there’s no doubt that this game did some unbelievably unique things for that time and introduced a lot of kids to a much more dark kind of story, a game that definitely had a lot of us learn a few important life lessons and grew from it.
Also it kicked my ass. A lot.
Another gem, another classic, the amazing transition from the hallmark of Nintendo’s lineup into the three-dimensional world of graphics. Like Ocarina of Time, this game is considered one of the greatest of all-time, classic music, great bosses, solid gameplay and one of my favourite games to watch speedruns of.
I can barely muster 50 stars period, let alone doing it in an hour.
The game that started it all, the games that finally answered questions of who would win in a fight. Super Smash Bros took this theme and ran away with it and no one has ever been able to come close to replicating the thrill of these kinds of games.
Because no other game has a meme the level of Falcon Punch.
While Super Mario Kart was the original, Mario Kart 64 was the one that started perfecting the Mario Kart formula. Still my favourite Mario Kart game to date, the track selection was so good back then and it’s one of those games that even though it looks terrible now, it still hasn’t aged gameplay-wise to me, it’s still perfect.
Yoshi Valley FTW!!!
A lot like how Super Mario RPG made us realize that the Mario franchise was more than just a platform and could go into a more strategic direction, then Paper Mario came out on the N64 and gave us an RPG that had such unbelievable charm and mechanics that few RPGs could ever come close to replicating. A series that really isn’t talked about enough.
To be fair, there are like a thousand different Mario games nowadays…
It’s no Donkey Kong Country, but the three-dimensional transition was relatively smooth for the Donkey Kong franchise. Not my favourite game on the system, but you cannot deny the value of this game within the lineup on this console.
It’s a great game, but I strongly disagree with the 90 it has on Metacritic. It’s good and belongs on this package, but it ain’t THAT good.
Now here’s the best Donkey Kong-related game on the N64! Criminally under-appreciated game, was far better than it had any business being, as most franchises that had a kart racing game ended up being beyond bad. One of the best kart racing games of all-time in my opinion.
Just fuck the boss battles, holy shit I spent so much time trying to beat those.
This is actually the lone major Nintendo game I’m listing here that I’ve never played. But I recognize the value of this game, not just for the “do a barrel roll” meme, but for being what many consider to be the best in the series.
Which is easy considering any Star Fox games after it have been…less than stellar.
Speaking of really good racing games, here’s one that kicked my ass six ways from Sunday every single time I played it. One of the coolest games I ever played on the console, its fast and furious nature made the game so much fun to play, regardless of how bad you were at it.
Because 99.9% of us were really REALLY bad at it.
One of these games had to make it on the list and the second is easily the better game. More Pokemon, the system and mechanics were smoothed out and the mini-games on this version just enhance it that much more.
No one’s beating me in Streaming Stampede.
I don’t have a personal preference on which of the games on the console belong here, so I just went with the original. Another series of games that changed what kind of games we’ll play on consoles. Who knew a board game full of mini-games would be so much fun?!
Because Monopoly is NEVER fun. Stop it. Just fucking stop it!
Out of all of Nintendo’s major franchises, Kirby’s the one I’ve struggled to get into. But Crystal Shards on the N64 was the one Kirby game that actually grabbed my attention and I finished. I loved the style and mechanics of this game and goddamn that final boss. So freaking creepy!
Because not every Kirby game can be the cutest thing ever apparently…
We’re finishing the last two spots of 15 for the two big sports games in the Mario series. Starting with Tennis, this was really the game that got me interested in non-professional sports games. The hyperactive style of the game really grabbed me and forced me to look at sports as more than just realistic representations of the sport.
Because nothing’s more fun than smacking a tennis ball at supersonic speeds.
The other game was Mario Golf, which while it didn’t take crazy strides in making golf more unrealistic, it did however have an undeniable charm that kept me coming back, no matter how hard the windy desert course was.
Though I will admit, I played the fuck out of the mini-golf game within Mario Golf. So good!
The Major Classics – #16-25
The best FPS game on the Nintendo 64, I do not care about your arguments on Goldeneye, as much as I love that game. The setting was so much cooler, the weapons were so much cooler, there was an actual well-told story with great characters, hell I’d say even the multiplayer was better.
Because there was no fucking Oddjob in it!
Speaking of Goldeneye, I’m in no way shape or form saying Goldeneye wasn’t a good game, it was a fucking great game! It was the original FPS game on consoles that really pushed people into the multiplayer direction with these types of games. It also gave you hope that film-based games wouldn’t suck, something that happens so much nowadays.
But seriously, fuck Oddjob!
I don’t know how I’ve never played a game in this series, it’s one of those gaming mysteries of mine. But from people I know and have watched online, they all praise the hell out of this series. Great 3D platforming game during the era that saw Crash, Rayman and more, this was Nintendo’s solid console platformer that wasn’t Super Mario 64.
If Banjo-Tooie was better, lemme know, I just went with the original on this one.
Another solid racing game on the N64, but a water-based racing game. Goddamn was this game fun, one of the few racing games I mastered when I was little. I played it recently on an emulator however and boy oh boy I need to regain the skills I once had. Super fun racing game, not talked about nearly enough.
But to be fair, when you have Mario Kart 64 AND Diddy Kong Racing next to you, yeah you’ll be missed by a few people.
Another game I managed to miss, but man oh man everyone tells me how much fun this game was. I was never too into motorcycle racing games, they were always rough around the edges for me. But I’m told this one’s really good AND has a soccer mini-game?! Okay, I’m down for that!
Come to think of it, how has no one tried to do what Rocket League is doing right now?!
Oh my god the time I lost to sucking at this game. That’s how good this game was, I was terrible at it and yet I played the fuck out of this game. As far as I’m concerned, this was the Star Wars game that really kickstarted the flood of Star Wars game throughout the market. Because flying in a X-Wing is the most badass thing ever!
No matter how many times I crashed and died on the first level…
I never played football games, still don’t to this day. I will play the fuck out of NFL Blitz 2000 though! A game that truly represents why we need to stop having sports games that nowadays are lifeless representations of the sport filled with microtransactions. NFL Blitz 2000 is an arcade-football classic, making the sport far more fun than I consider it to be when watching it.
Because I just want to see car wreck level hits. Not realistic representations of what goes on between plays.
A time before the Tony Hawk series was terrible and now completely gone, the second game in the franchise is easily the best one, filled with the best courses, tricks, music, all that jazz. I really miss these kinds of games and it’s really sad that no one’s making them to the same level the original few games were.
I miss doing five-minute long manual grinds…
Missed out on this franchise when I was younger, as Jurassic Park scared me away from anything dinosaur-related. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the original games and footage I’ve watched of it makes it really fall into my wheelhouse with it’s wacky over-the-top weapons and such.
Again, if the second game is better, lemme know, just went with the original.
I put way too much time into this game than I should have. It’s even crazier considering no other Harvest Moon game has captured me to the extent the N64 version did, hell even Stardew Valley which is universally praised didn’t grab me. Harvest Moon 64 is an anomaly for me, a farming game that actually took hold of me and didn’t let go, one that I still enjoy to this day.
Karen is best girl, by the way.
The Hidden Gems – #26-30
If you have never played this unbelievable racing game, go download an emulator and this game right the fuck now! I don’t know if there’s ever been a racing game this insane that worked so well. The over-the-top nature, full of high speed, massive airtime and a ton of flips and spins, it works so goddamn well and is timeless to me.
I still spend my days trying to land 100-spin jumps.
The de facto “most underrated game” on the Nintendo 64. A game that I would have never heard of had I not walked into my local game rental store and all the games I wanted to play were already rented that weekend and the box art of this game just looked cool to me. You are doing yourself a massive disservice by not playing this third-person shooter, which I consider a “masterpiece” on the console.
Just talking about it makes me want to go back and play it…
I don’t care what anyone says, the Mega Man Legends games are in my opinion the best games in the entire franchise. I prefer the PlayStation version of the original game, but I first played this classic on the N64. Fantastic adventure game featuring Mega Man and has easily my favourite character in the entire series, Tron Bonne.
“You should’ve known better than to pick a fight with the Bonnes!”
This was one of my favourite games growing up, as much like most boys at that age, you just want to see cars crash into each other and explode all the time. This game is not the greatest, I’ll admit, but goddamn was it fun to play with friends growing up.
Never before was it so fun to lose.
Out of all the N64 games that I have played and nobody knows about, this is the one I want everyone to know about. It has a low rating online, but I could care less, it’s the game that introduced me to the absurdity of Japanese writing and comedy and let has some decent platforming and fucking mech battles!
But holy crap did this game make my head explode with all the wacky and strange Japanese comedy.
So that’s it, that’s my 30 games for a Nintendo 64 Classic. Let me know what you think about my selections in the comments below and add your favourites that you’d want to see!