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The 25 Essential N64 Games

The 25 Essential N64 Games - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 29 September 2021 / 2,770 Views

Today is a special day. September 29, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Nintendo's fifth-generation home console, the Nintendo 64, in North America. Of all the systems I've had the pleasure of owning, the N64 is my most cherished. Is it the best? That's a hard argument to make. If I remove my emotional connection to the machine, it's difficult to make a convincing case for it eclipsing its predecessor the SNES, for example. Yet I can't imagine ever giving it up. It arrived when I was 13 years old, and accompanied me as gaming turned from a diversion into a full-fledged hobby.

I recall getting the system as a Christmas gift in December 1996. It came bundled with Super Mario 64, which was nothing short of a revolution. I beat the game in a week; I simply couldn't put it down. Later that year came Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire with its dastardly "challenge points", and in 1997 another eye-opening adventure — Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. I distinctly remember following its progress ahead of launch in monthly issues of Nintendo Power. Once 1998 arrived, and with it F-Zero X, 1080° Snowboarding, Banjo-Kazooie, Star:Wars Rogue Squadron, and most importantly, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there was no turning back. By 2001, when the Nintendo GameCube arrived to supplant the N64, I had a huge collection of N64 carts and accessories, and an enormous reservoir of happy memories.

Indeed, many of my best gaming memories involve the N64. I remember spending hours on GoldenEye 007 trying to get that invincibility cheat. I remember huddling with high school classmates in the winter of 2000 and comparing notes on which masks we had found in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Most of all, I recall spending dozens of hours with my best friends Jason, Kevin, Lou, and Matt playing Mario Kart 64, Super Smash Bros., and Perfect Dark.

In order to relive these memories and to honor the legacy of the N64, I've composed a list of the 25 essential N64 games. I've spent the last few months replaying some old favorites and trying some titles for the very first time, in order to arrive on what I consider a definitive list. Some of the games I adored as a kid didn't end up making the cut, but in general I was pleasantly surprised by how many of them held up after two and a half decades.

I limited my search to exclusives or "console launch exclusives", to borrow from the Microsoft lexicon. All games are listed in alphabetical order. Enjoy!


1080° Snowboarding

The N64 had a decent number of snowboarding games, but none surpass 1080° Snowboarding. The game boasts a variety of different modes, lots of flashy tricks, some fun secret characters, and several gorgeous snowy backdrops. Best of all, 1080° finds a satisfying middle ground between arcade accessibility and the technical appeal of a simulation, thanks to tight controls and realistic physics. One downside? Multiplayer supports only two players.



The first of six Rare games to make this list, Banjo-Kazooie is a stellar platform-adventure game and, to this day, one of the more beloved N64 titles. It expanded on the gameplay tenets of Super Mario 64, delivering larger worlds, more complex mechanics, and a greater emphasis on exploration and collecting. Its levels are packed with secrets and interesting characters, and its audiovisual component is spectacular. 



In many ways superior to Banjo-Kazooie, and in some ways inferior, Banjo-Tooie remains an incredibly ambitious title from the halcyon days of Rare. This is still Banjo-Kazooie at its core but with enormous worlds, greater interconnectedness, and even more impressive technical triumphs — including impossibly long draw distance. The technological aspirations come at a cost however: dips in frame rate. Still, this is a must-have for N64 owners. 


Beetle Adventure Racing

Electronic Arts has a shaky history with Nintendo, but the publishing giant did give the N64 one of its finest racing games: Beetle Adventure Racing. What sets this racer apart from the pack: approachable controls, forgiving gameplay, and, best of all, a collection of lengthy, beautiful tracks packed with secrets, shortcuts, and memorable moments. Take a tour of Inferno Isle to come face to face with a rampaging T-Rex in a scene right out of Jurassic Park.


Diddy Kong Racing

Rare in the mid to late 1990s seemed to operate under the assumption that "anything you can do I can do better". Whether or not you consider Rare's output better than Nintendo's during the N64 era, I think everyone can agree that the healthy rivalry between the two companies inspired greatness all around. That's certainly the case for Diddy Kong Racing, which one-ups its contemporary Mario Kart 64 by way of a significant single-player adventure mode — a rarity for racing games.


Donkey Kong 64

To this day, Rare remains the king of the collectathon, a sub-genre of platform-adventure games focused on amassing dozens of trinkets, totems, and trophies. Donkey Kong 64 probably represents the height of Rare's obsession with collecting stuff, for better or worse. The size and scope of the game are extraordinary; there are five playable characters, scores of collectibles and secrets, multiple special moves and projectile weapons, and many huge levels in which to get lost. Is Donkey Kong 64 sometimes too much of a good thing? Yes. But it's also one of the biggest, boldest adventures on the N64. Plus, the instruction manual is a masterclass in self-deprecating humor.


Excitebike 64

Excite isn't one of Nintendo's marquee franchises, but it's been sneaky good since its inception in the 80s. The apex of the series might just be Excitebike 64, a motocross racing game with realistic physics and a collection of diverse modes. Once you overcome the initially steep learning curve — be sure to play the super helpful tutorial — you'll learn to love the precise controls and true-to-life gameplay. Be sure to check out the track editor and the randomly-generated Desert Track, where you race to extinguish campfires in an open-ended arena.



During my research for this list, I was consistently impressed by the number of good N64 racers, particularly futuristic racers. Extreme-G, along with the next game on the list, are arguably the best of that sub-group. Developed by Probe Entertainment and published by Acclaim (a great friend to N64), Extreme-G is a kinetic racing game with looping roller coaster-like tracks, devastating weapons, an incredible sense of speed, and several appealing Tron-esque bikes.


F-Zero X

It might not be the prettiest N64 game, but boy F-Zero X makes up for its spartan appearance with an amazing technical achievement at the time: 30 racers on screen at a blistering 60 frames per second. With excellent track design full of loops and tubes, a steady difficulty curve, 30 playable vehicles, a fun death race mode, and a novel random track generator in X Cup, F-Zero X belongs in every N64 collection.


GoldenEye 007

Another essential part of any N64 collection — perhaps the essential part — is GoldenEye 007, the best movie tie-in game of all time and a landmark achievement for console first-person shooters. What really makes GoldenEye special, apart from its attention to detail and wildly addictive multiplayer mode, is its tiered single player campaign, which demands you replay each level at three difficulty settings, each with progressively sturdier enemies and more challenging objectives. 


Mario Golf

By embracing the arcade maxim of "easy to learn, difficult to master", the designers at Camelot turned out a surprisingly nuanced golf game in Mario Golf. Indeed, don't let the cartoon graphics and Nintendo mascots fool you; you'll need to study the slope of the course and the strength of the wind, and master shot angle and power to win each hole. Apart from the main event there are several fun modes like "speed golf" and mini golf. Don't sleep on this one.


Mario Kart 64

The Nintendo 64 hosted some all-time great multiplayer experiences and party games, and Mario Kart 64 was one of the first and finest. The racing controls are great, particularly after you've mastered power sliding and mini-turbos, and the game's 16 tracks are imaginative and diverse. In order to extract everything you can from Mario Kart 64, however, you must have a few friends along for the ride. This is especially true for Battle Mode, which alone is worth the price of admission. Four friends fighting to the last on Block Fort? It doesn't get any better than that.


Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

The N64 had several genres in good supply: platformers, racers, shooters, wrestling games, etc. What it didn't have, however, was role-playing games. Yet the console wasn't totally bereft of worthwhile RPG titles. One of the best, and arguably the most obscure, is Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber, which almost deserves a spot on the list for its name alone. Part RPG, part RTS, Ogre Battle 64 boasts remarkable storytelling, ravishing sprite work, and outstanding music by Hayato Matsuo, Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto. Moreover, its tactical gameplay is as deep as an ocean. Make absolutely sure you study the tutorial before you dive into the kingdom of Palatinus.


Paper Mario

The other great N64 RPG is Paper Mario, although it couldn't be more different from Ogre Battle. Approachable and easy-to-understand, Paper Mario is an ideal entry point for players unfamiliar with the rules and tactics of turn-based RPGs. It's also a remarkably joyful and rewarding game, with excellent art direction, a fun sense of humor, and a different kind of battle system that blends turn-based commands and reflex-based button prompts.


Perfect Dark

Rare's spiritual successor to GoldenEye 007 is a masterpiece in its own right, one that builds upon the Bond blueprint to great effect. The single player campaign is a triumph, thanks to its conspiratorial storyline, diverse locales, and fascinating weapons and gadgets. Multiplayer is equally great, due to a huge suite of customization options and configurable computer-controlled bots, or "simulants". Unfortunately, like Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark features an unreliable frame rate.


Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Nintendo and Rare were responsible for most of the great 3D platformers on the N64, but don't count out Ubisoft, which published both Rocket: Robot on Wheels (which narrowly missed making this list) and Rayman 2: The Great Escape. More linear and straightforward than games like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, Rayman 2 is nevertheless a terrific platforming experience with gorgeous environments, smooth animations, and many different gameplay styles. 


Sin and Punishment

All I can say is thank goodness for the Wii Virtual Console. If not for the Wii's deep digital repository of classic Nintendo titles, fans outside of Japan might never have experienced one of the N64's finest titles: Sin and Punishment. Designed by the shoot-em-up geniuses at Treasure, Sin and Punishment boasts a heady mixture of rail shooting and shooting gallery gameplay that makes it one of the most unique experiences on Nintendo's fifth-gen console. The only drawback? It's over all too quickly.


Star Fox 64

Three years before Sin & Punishment landed on Japanese N64 systems, another on-rails shooter, Star Fox 64, burst on the scene and became an instant classic. Rail shooters aren't for everyone, but it's hard to dislike this second installment in the Star Fox franchise. The controls are tight and responsive, the voice acting is iconic, and the single player campaign is immensely replayable, thanks to branching paths and different victory conditions. 24 years later, this is still the pinnacle of the Star Fox series. 


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

N64 owners were spoiled when it came to Star Wars games. The best of the bunch is Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, an arcade space shooter set mostly between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The game sports excellent flight controls, exceptional graphics — as long as you have an expansion pak installed — and amazing sound and music that's true to the source material. Furthermore, thanks to a system that grades your performance and bestows medals at the end of each level, the game features huge replay value.


Super Mario 64

What can you say about Super Mario 64? The game was revolutionary. Its combination of precise analog control and open-ended exploration helped usher in a new model of gaming excellence. 25 years later, it remains as weird, experimental, and magical as ever, even if its camera sometimes refuses to play nice. Endlessly inventive and consistently surprising, Super Mario 64 is a mandatory piece of any N64 collection.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

When it comes to The Legend of Zelda on N64, you can't choose poorly. The N64 hosted two of the franchise's finest, including Majora's Mask, a strange adventure with exemplary graphics, sound, world-building, and dungeon design — not to mention a repeating three-day cycle conceit that remains to this day one of gaming's most inventive, outside-the-box ideas. 


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Like Super Mario 64 before it, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time successfully transitioned one of Nintendo's most beloved properties into the third dimension, and created a legend in the process. Ocarina is a special game, with memorable characters, challenging dungeons, sidequests and secrets aplenty, plenty of head-scratching puzzles, a wistful story, and some of the best music and sound design in video game history.


Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Without a doubt, Turok is one of the top franchises on N64. In its five years on the market, the system saw four Turok games, the best of which is Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Iguana Entertainment took what worked from the first game — deadly dinosaurs, powerful weaponry, and large, branching levels with lots of secrets — and doubled down, creating more intelligent enemies, more cruel and unusual weapons, and enormous, complex levels that demand plenty of backtracking. 


WWF No Mercy

You can't go wrong with any of the Asmik Ace Entertainment/AKI Corporation-developed wrestling games on N64, but if you can choose only one, go with WWF No Mercy. It's the culmination of everything the two studios created starting with WCW vs. nWo: World Tour in 1997. The intuitive, reliable grappling system is back, alongside a deeper championship mode with multiple belts and several branching storylines. The game's best feature might be its unusually deep character creator, which allows players to choose from hundreds of individual moves.


Wave Race 64

25 years later, Wave Race 64 remains something of a technical marvel. The water effects and physics are just so darn realistic. Indeed, it would be hard to identify a game, aside from Super Mario 64, that demonstrated the technological possibilities of the N64 more convincingly in its opening months. When you combine the game's lifelike waves and tides with controls that are both accessible for beginners and nuanced enough for veterans, its makes for a must-have racing game. If only there were more tracks and more racers.


And that's my list! Any head-scratching inclusions? Any bone-headed omissions? Sound off in the comments section. And please feel free to share your favorite N64 games and memories.

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No_Name_Needed (on 29 September 2021)

Great list! I admit I'm somewhat biased though since I still own 14 of the games on this list. The N64 was such a great system.

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S.Peelman (on 30 September 2021)

Great list, but it could be even longer. Even right here in this comment section, people already mentioned a dozen more games that wouldn’t really be less than most of those that made the list. N64 is just too great. You really do can say it was the best console ever made, and it’s the console I have the most games for. Personally I’d include Shadows of the Empire, Mario Party, Blast Corps and Smash Bros. Especially BC and SotE, two of my favorites. Also, Mario 64 isn’t just mandatory on N64, it’s mandatory for every gamer to play; one of the most important games ever made. :-)

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Veknoid_Outcast S.Peelman (on 30 September 2021)

Thanks! I definitely agree it could have been longer. It was tough in the end to limit the list to 25; I had to cut out some great games.

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S.Peelman Veknoid_Outcast (on 30 September 2021)

Yes, I can understand the struggles of list-making. XD
Did you replay these or is it all from memory?

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Veknoid_Outcast S.Peelman (on 30 September 2021)

I replayed them! In some cases, like Ogre Battle, Beetle Adventure Racing, and Mario Golf, I played them for the very first time. I used the Virtual Console and eBay to fill in any gaps in my existing collection.

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S.Peelman Veknoid_Outcast (on 30 September 2021)

That is impressive! :-)
I would love to do something like that myself some time. Just, play a whole bunch of classic games from all kinds of systems. Some to relive their greatness, some for the first time. I just never get around to actually doing it. :-(

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2zosteven (on 29 September 2021)

Big games here, played almost everyone of them. Play several of them today.

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drbunnig (on 29 September 2021)

Delighted Beetle Adventure Racing is on the list. What a great game. Would have loved to have seen Space Station Silicon Valley here too.

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Illusion (on 29 September 2021)

I am shocked that Smash Bros was not on this list, it's easy to forget that the N64 was where this giant franchise started. Also, Pokemon Stadium should probably make this list as well due to it popularity alone.

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victor83fernandes Illusion (on 29 September 2021)

To be honest Smash bros isn't for everyone, its one of my least played on the switch, I prefer a single player adventure game, fighting games are more appealing for multiplayer.

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SvenTheTurkey victor83fernandes (on 30 September 2021)

Yeah but wwf is on the list and not Smash? I like those wrestling games from that developer. But if you're going to have a 4 player brawler, I think smash is the better choice.

I think it was more of a commentary about one of the best multiplayer N64 games missing from the list. I'd probably even put a Mario party on the list.

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victor83fernandes SvenTheTurkey (on 30 September 2021)

In my opinion neither should be on the list, neither is really that good at all compared to what we have today.
They should mention only classic games that are still enjoyable today, example, mario 64, zeldas, I would even say mario tennis as it was better than what we had on the switch, Wave race, Turok, etc all games that I would play today on an emulator which enhanced graphics.

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SvenTheTurkey victor83fernandes (on 30 September 2021)

If you're going to take that stance, almost nothing on the N64 is classic including Mario and Zelda. Everything has been improved since then. Even if you say that botw is hard to compare, wind waker did ocarina of time better.

I have a cousin that never played smash 64 before so we fired it up a week or two ago. We all had fun. Yeah, ultimate is insanely better, but the original is still fun.

All games of the N64 era have the issue of being at the formative days of 3d. Even for as fun as they are, I still think they need cut a little slack to enjoy them because of the direct comparisons to modern games.

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victor83fernandes SvenTheTurkey (on 30 September 2021)

Not really, Mario 64 and such are better than most modern games, there's really nothing like mario 64 available even today. And no, Mario galaxy and mario odyssey are completely different types of games altogether.
This is not like comparing fifa 2000 to fifa 21 which is basically the same game with much improved graphics and features.
Mario tennis 64 is also kind of better than todays mario tennis because there were much less gimmicks. So on an emulator with improved graphics I'd replay tennis 64 over mario tennis on switch.
Also games such as Pilot wings and Wave race just do not exist even today, those are unique.
You mention smash bros on n64 which is basically the same as todays smash bros but with worse graphics, gameplay, features etc
Other games that come to mind that are true classics are the pikmin games on gamecube, sure we have pikmin 3 today, but 1 and 2 are still very playable today as it has its own story and missions.

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SvenTheTurkey victor83fernandes (on 01 October 2021)

But I think you're hitting on something to my point. The new Mario games are not very comparable but it's because they have improved. Mario 64 is great. I still play it a few times per year. But how many times does Mario stutter on the edge of a platform? Or hit an invisible wall? Or get the camera stuck in a weird position? The games today are far more polished.

The older 3d games were a little more raw. That's not always a bad thing, but I don't think you can say games haven't improved since the N64.

GameCube is completely different. That's what I would consider the modern era. There are a few rough edges here and there, but a lot of the lessons have already been learned. Pikmin 1, 2, and 3 are very similar, however, Pikmin 3 is clearly the most refined.

I never said older games, and specifically N64 games, are unplayable. I just mean to say that every game has rough edges that get smoothed out in later entries in a series. Yes, sometimes the games can be almost completely different like Mario, but mechanically the games are massively improved. If not, why are they making sequels? They would be better off changing the graphics and releasing the same game again.

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victor83fernandes SvenTheTurkey (on 02 October 2021)

They haven't improved at all, no recent or any other mario or any other platformer gives me the same feeling as Mario 64, missions are very different too. Even Mario Sunshine was a completely different game, just because it has Mario as the main character doesn't mean they're the same games with improved visuals.
That's like saying Alien 3 is improved on Aliens movie, not at all, all different movies, and the first 2 were actually the best. Just because CGI and special effects get better doesn't mean a movie is better, just like games.
Other example the call of duty games, I actually still prefer Black ops 1 and modern warfare, call of duty 4 over the newest, just because there's better graphics and gameplay doesn't make a game better, you need a lot more than that.
Excluding games that are basically the same like sports games, racing games, where the goals are the same.

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SvenTheTurkey victor83fernandes (on 02 October 2021)

If you don't recognize a lot of the technical glitches as flaws, then we just can't agree. I'm not talking about backwards long jumps or fun things. I mean things that have gotten in the way of enjoying the game. The ones I mentioned that I'm sure you have experienced.

Yes, we all had that sense of wonder from playing Mario 64 as a kid. Nothing can match that now because we're adults. But the game has flaws in terms of the mechanics and programming. That's fine. It was a shining example of a 3d platformer for 1996. But things have improved. The movement of Mario is better now. It's not because it's shiny and new and Mario.

But better gameplay doesn't make it better? That makes no sense. Better isn't subject. Your favorite can still be Mario 64. Hell, it might be mine. But I'm not going to say it's a better game than more recent entries. Some yes. But that's down to design, not the mechanics of the gameplay. The camera alone is a huge detriment to Mario 64. But it gets a pass because of the era it was made.

Also, Alien>Alien 3> Aliens. Controversial I know. But I prefer the thriller vibe more than the action. Now that's just my opinion. But I think that's the issue you're having with admitting that modern games are better. More adventure elements have been added to 3d Mario games since Mario 64 which was more of a traditional platformer. Although the galaxies and 3d world/land games are more straight platformers. So you just prefer a little bit of adventure game with your 3d platformer rather than more (sunshine, odyssey) or less (galaxies, land/world).

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victor83fernandes SvenTheTurkey (on 02 October 2021)

Games, are not just about the gameplay and graphics, many games have great graphics and perfect gameplay, but lack in originality, or story, or level design, music,
Mario 64 has flaws? Where? I play it on my PC in 4K with AA on max on my 100inch projector and looks still amazing and plays amazing on my elite 2 controller.
Camera isn't the best, but that's just a minor issue, I'd rather play a well made game with poor camera, than a boring souless game that looks pretty.
3D world isn't nearly as good, its far too easy, a game needs a challenge. Odyssey goes even to the ridiculous that you cant even die, and there's far too many collectibles, moons everywhere, its not a focused experience. The new marios are nowhere near 64 for the adventure factor even today because of that. Not to mention that most modern games have far too much hand holding.
Breath of the wild is a great example of a modern game that can be as good as the old games because it has the difficulty and it doesn't have hand holding or an easy mode and doesnt litter the map with pointless collectibles. But that was the exception rather than the rule.
Also you misunderstood my comments, I never said modern games are not good, there's a lot of great games being released, example, resident evil 8 is much better than the 90's resident evil games, Days gone is also amazing, I'm now playing Returnal and its one of my favourite games of all time.
Read my comments again, I said many old games aged well, because they were unique, but sports or fighting games don't age well because we get the exact same now, but with better graphics, more content and better gameplay, hence why it makes no sense for example to have on that list UFC game, when there's more unique N64 games like Pilot wings 64, which we don't have anything like it even today.

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SvenTheTurkey victor83fernandes (on 03 October 2021)

Modern games are good. Old games are good. Old games are not bad because of graphics. I never once said that nor did I say new games are better because the look nicer.

My whole point is that unless you discount all of my points, like you did, old games are not better than new games.

And unless you reprogrammed Mario 64, it has bugs. Annoying ones. Like for instance an invisible wall in tictock clock where there is literally nothing there. Or the stuttering on the edge of a platform(not framerate).

And I thought breath of the wild was incredibly easy after the first hour. That doesn't make it bad. Hard isn't good. Breath of the wild is good because they improved a lot of things from previous games and made a lot of changes.

Anyway, I'm done. I'm not attacking your childhood, but that seems the way you feel.

  • -1
victor83fernandes SvenTheTurkey (on 04 October 2021)

Again you seem confused, you now say old games are not as good as new ones? What are you on, several old games are better, much better than several new games.
You call invisible walls a bug? That is no big deal, most games have a wall somewhere, you cant just go anywhere in every game. That doesn't take away from the greatness that was mario 64 as a platformer.
Breath of the wild easy? After one hour? You realize the game is like 100 hours right?
Hard is good in videogames, the whole point of videogames in the first place was to be a challenge that you had to overcome, that's actually the point of any game. Would you play a chess game where you would win easy and quickly without even thinking? That would be boring. You are confused again, I didn't say crazy hard, I only said hard, some games like uncharted have to be played on the hardest mode to be any challenge, others will be hard on normal, and so on, its all about balance, being hard enough to be engaging but not that hard that you'd have to retry a section hundred times. Both mario 64 and zelda hit that balance perfectly.
Games with an easy mode detract from this fun, because you might have a feeling of accomplishment by finishing a game on hard, which might take you weeks, and your mate will finish in a few hours in one day on easy, so it would detract from your accomplishment.
Zelda was perfect because, unlike assassins creed, you cant just climb indefinitely, you will run out of stamina, or you cant go too long in the cold, its always easy to survive, but not that easy like in most games where you don't even have to think about it.

If you say breath of the wild was too easy, then you haven't even gone far for sure. There's places you need to go and cant, because its too hot, you'll burn in seconds, others you will freeze in seconds. So you either didn't play the game at all, or you just talking crap.

What are you talking about my childhood? Breath of the wild came out when I was 34 years old, and I still play mario 64 every 3 years or so, at age 38 and will continue to do so when I'm 70. A good game is a good game.

You say breath of the wild was good because improved a lot of things on previous games, wrong. So wrong, breath of the wild was amazing because it was a very different Zelda. But other Zeldas like twilight princess or Wind waker are just as good, I put it on the same level of greatness, just very different types of games, one is full open world, the others are more focused on platforming, puzzles and linearity.
If I had to chose one of those Zeldas, I'd have a tough time. Breath of the wild has open world, but twilight has great music, better puzzles, better story pacing, I loved the wolf sections, wind waker on the other hand has my favourite art design of any zelda, especially on wiiU remaster version looks incredible.

But why am I even explaining this, in your opinion graphics and new mechanics will always be better, so why do you even bother playing games in 2021 if you can just wait for 2022 and have it better?

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SvenTheTurkey Illusion (on 30 September 2021)

Pokemon stadium was good, but it's essential to have the Gameboy games too. The rental Pokemon were a little too handicapped. That's the reason I wouldn't recommend it. Good if you're a Pokemon fan, but hard to recommend as a standalone game.

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Illusion SvenTheTurkey (on 30 September 2021)

Yeah, that is a good point. It's very hard to preserve some of these titles now even just for archival purposes.

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Amnesia (on 29 September 2021)

Thanks for Extreme G. FYI, there is a wonderful 3rd episode on Gamecube, certainly the best of all, and a really unknown 4th episode at the end of the 6th generation on the 3 consoles: XGRA, but they decided to go back to the camera style of XG2 which I don't like.

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Veknoid_Outcast Amnesia (on 29 September 2021)

Glad to find another fan! I’ll have to check out the sequels on GameCube.

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INCITATUSBR (on 29 September 2021)

where is 'Conker's Bad Fur Day'??? Inexcusable!

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JWeinCom INCITATUSBR (on 29 September 2021)

Doesn't hold up. The novelty of a cursing animal character is long gone by 2021, and the gameplay really isn't that good.

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Veknoid_Outcast JWeinCom (on 29 September 2021)

I have to agree with JWein. While I think a lot of the N64 Rare games are great — Blast Corps included, which just missed the list — Conker doesn’t hold up for me. It looks great and the pop culture references and vulgar humor make it unique, but in terms of gameplay it feels like a step backward from other Rare platformers. I will say the multiplayer is underrated, however.

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Machina JWeinCom (on 29 September 2021)

I watched someone streaming it recently. The gameplay was dire at times, but the humour was still good, at least with a good streamer & chat.

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JWeinCom Machina (on 30 September 2021)

Not my cup of tea, but to each his own. To be fair though, I didn't get especially far in the game. Maybe about 4 hours.

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SvenTheTurkey JWeinCom (on 30 September 2021)

It's a little bit of an artifact, but fun enough. Had pretty fun multiplayer. Single player can be a little rough. And it's not always clear where to go or what to do. But it's definitely an adventure. Lots of settings and fun references.

But yeah. Just comes down to taste. Top 25? Probably not. Top 40 maybe.

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GoOnKid (on 29 September 2021)

This list is fire!
My own list would include Smash Bros, Shadow Man, Jet Force Gemini, Forsaken 64, Castlevania 64, Pokemon Snap and Yoshi's Story.

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Veknoid_Outcast GoOnKid (on 29 September 2021)

Good choices! I’m a big fan of Forsaken 64. I also think Castlevania gets a bad rap.

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Illusion GoOnKid (on 30 September 2021)

Yoshi's Story also gets a bad rap for some reason, but I think that the game has aged amazingly well and is a lot of fun. The artistry in that game is incredible and if you challenge yourself to eat all 30 green melons on each level, the game is actually really challenging. Try playing a level like Banana Hut and tell me that this game doesn't have an insane amount of charm!

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ARamdomGamer (on 29 September 2021)

Where is Mischief Makers

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Illusion ARamdomGamer (on 30 September 2021)

This is another very underrated game. It got bad press back in '97 because it was basically an SNES game released on the N64 and people wanted something next-gen to justify the cost of the console and game. That said, in 2021, I think that a really well-polished 2D platformer beats a lot of the mediocre 3D games on the 64 and it has aged a lot better. This is a game that is definitely worth attention.

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CaptainExplosion (on 29 September 2021)

You left out Conker's Bad Fur Day!! Now the Great Mighty Poo will throw his shit at you.

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Amnesia CaptainExplosion (on 29 September 2021)

Totally agree, this game is the most powerful technically of the whole 5th generation of video games. It is a technical demonstration, and even without using the (fake) expansion pack.

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ArtX (on 29 September 2021)

Mario Tennis 64 is also great!

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Ljink96 (on 29 September 2021)

No Bomberman Hero or Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon? Blasphemy!

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Illusion Ljink96 (on 30 September 2021)

Mystical Ninja is one of the hidden gems on the N64. It is basically Mario 64 and Zelda OOT fused together with a ton of anime-style charm and comedy. In the absence of traditional JRPG's on the N64, this style of game is basically the closest equivalent. Tons of talking to villagers and collecting items, but with the Mario 64 battle system and platforming.

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abdulhade (on 30 September 2021)

Shadow Man and Resident Evil

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SvenTheTurkey (on 30 September 2021)

I played 75-80% of these games. Hopefully the N64 online can fill in most of the others.

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LivncA_Dis3 (on 29 September 2021)

wow no smash bros or marip party? lame list
or even pokemon stadium 1/2 even if they werent great

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victor83fernandes (on 29 September 2021)

Any N64 best list without Mario Tennis and Pilot Wings is a list to ignore.
And did they mean N64 essential exclusives? Because games like Resident evil 2, doom 64 and tony hawk 2 are better than many on that list

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