Let’s go back to a time where if you behaved enough and didn’t straight fail all of your classes at school, your parents might allow you to go to the local movie store and rent that giant ass 50lb plastic suit case looking thing that contained what us preteens desired more than anything else in life... a Nintendo 64! But you couldn’t just hang out with a chunk of overly priced hardware and crazy colored controllers, no, you needed the games! Here are is a list of games you simply could not live without, enjoy!
10. Mario Party 3
Released: May 7, 2001
This game takes 8 players from the Mario game cast and has them battle it out in over 70+ mini-games on a Battle Royale game board. The objective was to collect as many stars as possible before the turns ran out, you would move around the game board by hitting a dice and move spaces according to the number you rolled. You also wanted to collect coins to help you buy items that could help you on the game board, tie breakers were also determined by who had more coins as well.
There was a pretty large “luck” factor in this game, which would turn some of the more competitive players off to it, but as far as casually playing with friends and family, there was a good chance you could all hate each other by the end of the evening. Steal my star will ya?!
9. Pokémon Snap
Released: June 30, 1999
You get to take pictures of Pokémon! Lots of them, lots and lots and lots of them!
Lots of pictures, lots of Pokémon!
You drift around in some all-terrain vehicle as Todd Snap for Professor Oak and take pictures of Pokémon for “research”. You unlock special items to help you take pictures of Pokémon like apples and smoke bombs, and then you get to take pictures of you hitting the same Pokémon in the head and/or groin area with said apples and smoke bombs!
Yes, it’s dumb, but it’s awesome!
If you loved Pokémon and wanted nothing more than to see them interacting in their natural habitat, then this game was for you. Having a steady aim and snapping that perfect pic with perfect timing was very rewarding. I mean, sometimes it was of ones questionable butt, with a smoke cloud in the way, at 1000X zoom and for some reason, that pic gave you all the points! While getting a pic of incriminating evidence that a Gyarados was involved in tax evasion was immediately put into the trash can kind of confused some players. It was overall a fun game, and anyone young or old could enjoy it!
8. StarFox 64
Released: June 30, 1997
This game was a must have because of that freakin awesome “Rumble Pak” that was included. It was also a pretty solid game. A reboot from the original StarFox for the SNES, the game has received critical acclaim for its smooth animation, voice acting and detailed visuals. The game has been deemed by many critics and gamers as one of the best games ever made!
The game follows our pilot Fox McCloud in his Arwing in this 3D scrolling shooter where the player can maneuver somewhat around a fixed path throughout the game.
It’s just one of those games you got to play, “flying around and shooting stuff” just doesn’t do this game any justice, but that’s pretty much all you do, that and seeing if you don’t off yourself due to the high pitched squawking of Slippy Toad throughout the game.
7. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Released: March 5, 2001
Conker’s Bad Fur Day took everything we loved from the other platforming games made by the same developers (Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64) and made a far more mature game that featured graphic violence, alcohol and tobacco use, profanity, vulgar humor and pop culture references.
Due to its “mature” rating and poor advertising, Conker’s Bad Fur day failed commercially, but gained a cult following due to its unique style.
In other words, if you were a kid and got ahold of this game, it was awesome!
You play as Conker the Squirrel and make your way through many levels helping characters with chores consisting of boss fights, puzzle solving, gathering objects or racing opponents which would result in you earing cash to open new areas.
Conker uses his trusty frying pan and array of unique abilities and weapons to fight bad guys and to help his newly discovered friends. Like getting “a fat assed bitch” off of a talking box’s back because she is scarred of a talking mouse who you must explode by making it eat too much cheese or helping a drunk overweight king bee “pollinate” a sultry big-boobed flower by tickling her with your “big, long, hairy” tail until she exposes herself. Yep, fun for the whole family!
6. Mario Kart 64
Released: February 10, 1997
Ah, Mario Kart! I remember waiting after school for our parents to get home and we would have a best out of ten matches always being concluded on Rainbow Road almost daily. We laughed, we fought, we cried, we threw things, we broke controllers, we hated the person who held onto the lightning bolt power up that made us all shrink and fall off cliffs, all the things that make wholesome friendships last!
Taking all of our favorite Mario series characters, putting them in go-karts and letting us go crazy on several banana peel infested tracks was what this game was all about. Pretty much you just race and gather power ups to help you pass your friends like a third grade test, gloat, then get wrecked by a blue shell from the jerk in last place! Good times.
5. Super Smash Bros.
Released: April 26, 1999
So what’s better than the Mario, The Legend of Zelda, StarFox, Donkey Kong, Metroid, EarthBound, F-Zero, Yoshi, Kirby and Pokémon franchises?
So if you can’t beat em, put them all together and make them beat the crap out of one another in multiple levels also coming from each franchise. Sound good? Well selling over 5 million copies in its first two years, made this game a must have for Nintendo 64 gamers.
Everyone had their favorite character and their favorite level. Using randomly dropped power ups for inflicting damage or healing up made for some pretty intense matches.
You must try to knock your opponent(s) off the stage. The more damage the player has sustained over the period of the match, the easier it is to knock them off, but every character has different abilities and special moves to dodge, float, fly or sprint back to the fighting platform. Timing was definitely key in this game, that and a little bit of luck.
I think this entire systems goal was to make you hate and be hated by your friends, actually I’m pretty convinced…
4. Perfect Dark
Released: May 22, 2000
If you liked GoldenEye, then chances were you would like Perfect Dark. Although, this game was far more Sci-Fi than 007, it used the same engine and had almost the exact same feel as its RareWare predecessor.
The main game followed our protagonist Joana Dark in her mission to stop an extraterrestrial conspiracy created by a rival corporation dataDyne. You could shoot an unlimited amount of random dataDyne employees and not even feel bad they wouldn’t return home to their families, why? Because every gun had two modes of destruction!
The weapons in this game were crazy! Like the Laptop Gun, you could fire it rapidly or turn it into a stationary sentry weapon, throw it, have it stick to a wall and give you cover fire as you also shot “Ted” the part time dataDyne employee probably making twice minimum wage to guard a hallway. Alien weapons could also be acquired with single shot or explosive rounds. There was even a gun that could see through the walls with an infrared-style scope, you could then shoot other players through any barrier through the entire map! Talk about making your friends rage quit! You could even make one of the popular assault rifles into a proximity bomb, so when someone goes to grab it, boom!
All of this being accessible in the multiplayer mode where you could fight in the traditional death match mode or enjoy co-op gameplay against differently gauged AI gave you and your friends plenty to do all weekend instead of doing chores or sleeping.
This game was also the most advanced 64 games you could get, with high resolution, Widescreen support and Dolby’s surround sound, but you had to have the Expansion Pack or you would be doomed to only being able to access only “some” of the multiplayer features.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Released: November 21, 1998
The Legend of Zelda games have always been awesome and popular. How do you even live up to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past? Well this game did a great job, that’s for sure.
Exploring forests, destroying clay pots and making sure the entire village is void of any overgrown vegetation was the name of the game.
Our hero Link is armed with a sword and shield that help him fight a large array of monsters and bosses alike. Link also had many other tools to help him save Hyrule form the evil Ganondorf, like his trusty boomerang, bow and arrow, deku nuts, bombs, slingshot and random sticks! Most importantly he had his Ocarina, which could be used to help the player progress throughout the game, even altering time!
Difficult puzzles and fights made this game challenging, sometimes you had to go by word-of-mouth strategies to help you get past some of the more tricky areas. Some people still shutter at the mere mention of “The Water Temple.”
2. GoldenEye 007
Released: August 25, 1997
This game! If you had any kind of resentment towards a friend or sibling, you could take out all your frustrations on them RC-P90 style!
There was a very solid single player game here that has me often going back to replay so I can relive a time where my back and knees weren’t giving out. Assume the role of British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond as you fight against a criminal syndicate trying to use a satellite weapon against London.
Using high tech gadgets and reading mission briefings to get the job done was quite the experience, but we needed guns, and lots of em! This game had a pretty large arsenal of unique weapons that had a pretty large spectrum of fire rates, accuracy and sound effects. There were also remote mines, grenades and a watch laser that could be used as weapons.
Take all of these weapons of warfare and put them in a multiplayer death match that could support up to four players split screen and you have a top selling N64 game. This was back in the day when you started the level unarmed and had to run to the nearest guns or ammo scattered throughout the level along with everyone else. This made for some pretty suspenseful moments, like when your little brother grabs the rocket launcher while you stand there dumbfounded two feet away. I mean, you both got blown up in the end, but what happened to your pride?
1. Super Mario 64
Released: September 29, 1996
This was the first game I saw that showcased what the N64 had to offer, it was on demo at our local movie/video game rental store. IT BLEW MY FREAKIN MIND! I had been playing the SNES and the Sega Genesis for years at this point and had been used to the 2D top view or sidescrollers for pretty much my whole life. I understand Sony’s PS1 had been out two years prior and offered 3D gamming, but it just didn’t appeal to us kids as much as the N64 did. To see my favorite video game character in 3D with all of his fancy jumps, punches and kicks, it was beyond amazing.
You followed our favorite plumber as he fights through the many possessed paintings hanging in Princess Peach’s castle as you try to gain enough starts to open locked doors in the castle locked by none other than King Bowser. Bowser has kidnapped the princess and left all of the mushroom people who inhabit the castle scattered and confused.
The game had so many levels and so much to do! From drowning in water, sinking in quicksand, being thrown off cliffs and even being burned alive inside a volcano, Super Mario 64 had it all! Luckily you can refill your life gauge with coins! Sometimes you would get lucky and find a red or blue coin that would help tremendously in staying alive in these crazy levels.
The atmosphere, the challenges and collecting all of the 120 available stars for those of us who had to do it all made this game one to always remember.
Which title did I leave out? Which Nintendo 64 game was your favorite? I would love to hear what games you enjoyed, thanks for reading!