Are You N, Or Out?
With the massive success of the NES and SNES classics Nintendo is taking full advantage of the nostalgia generation in a way that truly only Nintendo can pull off. Other companies even as wildly successful as Sony have failed to truly capture what makes these retro consoles so special. And that’s the games, Nintendo is essentially the Disney of video games. They have an expansive vault of classics accumulated over time that they can use at will to sell in a new way. With a bevy of first party software licensing is rarely an issue for the undisputed best games of each system, and it has shown. Both classic consoles released have almost immediately sold out as soon as they are available and the demand is obviously there. Which means that of course the next big console to get a classic edition should be the N64. The console known for bringing video games into the third dimension. A truly revolutionary step forward in video games not just for the technological advancements, but also the gameplay and stories that were told on this system.
10. Mario Golf
Mario Golf was one of the premier sports games on the system along with Mario Tennis. And, while I personally enjoy Mario Tennis more, we have gotten a new Mario Tennis game on the Switch already. Even though a new Mario Golf game hasn’t been announced yet there surely is going to be a new iteration of the series on the console. But what better way to wait for the new game than playing the original on a classic system. Including this game scratches an itch of a community ready for a new game in an ever improving series. The original is by no means the best game in the series, with Mario Golf Toadstool Tour and Mario Golf World Tour surpassing the original and adding to the legacy of the series. The original Mario Golf was a cornerstone of the N64 and one of the must own games of this console.
9. Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 is the first Rare game to show up on this list and with good reason. One of the later games in the N64’s life cycle, Rare took the formula that worked so well with older games such as Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64, and while it didn’t quite live up to the lofty bar the other games set, it is still defined the Donkey Kong series for a number of years. It also holds the Guinness world record for most collectibles in a video game ever, so including this game on this console would add lots of replayability to the console itself with only a finite amount of space. This game deserves a spot on the list for just how ambitious it was, it is a marvel to fully complete the game and the N64 classic could be the definitive way to play the game.
8. Mario Party 2
Mario Party is one of Nintendo’s best selling series so of course the franchise has to be represented in some way when compiling this list, the only question is which one should it be? While the easy guess might be the original game, the reality is that the game was extremely flawed and created a major legal hassle for Nintendo and they lost a court case because of it. So I don’t think we will see that game resurface anytime soon. That leaves us with Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 3. While both are fun and provide a good time for anyone playing, Mario Party 2 gets the edge because it is the definitive Mario Party title of the generation. The thematic boards and costume changes fitting the style of the board is more memorable to any kid that played the games than the actual mini games. Mario Party 2 is the gold standard in the memory of every kid that played the N64 growing up. It is the definitive Mario Party N64 title.
7. Paper Mario
Paper Mario is personally my favorite franchise ever. The wit and humor that comes with the game, while bringing a completely new gameplay style that introduced me to RPGs and what they can be opened my eyes to a whole new world of what video games could be. A small game that only takes about 20 hours to beat and isn’t that hard of a game, it is remembered more for its incredible cast of characters, an actually interesting story, and one of the most unique art styles that Nintendo is still trying to recapture with other series like Kirby and Yoshi. Being able to explore Toad Town and all of the other areas that paint a beautiful picture of a paper version of the Mushroom Kingdom. While the series has been turbulent at best with newer games gaining a growing disdain for the new direction of the series, this game remains pure in the minds of every fan of the series. Going back to this game is like going back to your favorite bedtime story as a kid, is isn’t complex or difficult, and that makes it even better, having it be so approachable is the charm of the series.
6. Star Fox 64
This is the Star Fox game that every other Star Fox game wishes it could be. Since Star Fox 64, most game sin the series have just reformatted the original game in some way with slight variations. Of course not every game in the series has done this, but especially more recently that has been the growing trend. This is the game that truly put the series on the map and it is why no matter what happens the series will hold the acclaim that it does. The legacy this game has left is not just on the N64 but the gaming industry as a whole and Nintendo desperately wants to find that magic in the series again but unfortunately no game has even come close to the bar that Star Fox 64 has set
One of the definitive Rare titles of this era. This game is the reason Rare was considered to be one of the best developers alongside Nintendo at this time. Super Mario 64 revolutionized platformers and the space that the play in, but often times Banjo-Kazooie is the game that is considered to have perfected it. Finding a balance between collecting, story, and gameplay, this game is pure joy to play and retains its polish to this day. Currently available on the Xbox game store and Game Pass respectively, even if this game doesn’t come to a classic console, it is worth playing this game where you can. It is Rare at the height of their peak with this game and it would be debatable if an N64 console were complete without this game on it.
4. Mario Kart 64
This iteration of Mario Kart easily rounds out the top 3 Mario Kart games ever with Double Dash and 8 filling in the other two spots. This game laid the groundwork for future games in the series and lifted the series to more than just a party spinoff game. This game has taken on a life of its own more than almost any other spinoff game to come from this time. This game has become a staple franchise in its own right with its own history and innovations. This is due in no small part to this game. The courses, battle mode, improved graphics all added up to leaving a lasting impression on audiences for generations to come. Many of Nintendo’s most influential series had their watershed moments on this console and Mario Kart is one of the best examples of this.
3. Super Smash Brothers
The one that started it all. Super Smash Brothers has become gaming’s largest crossover event and a relative museum of video game history. Going back to the original game would be jarring at first for many people like me who have already played so much of Ultimate, yet it would probably be the best dose of nostalgia this console can offer. Few games hold up as well as this game, and while the game has done almost nothing but improve since the early days on the N64, going back to the humble beginnings of the original 12 characters would be a blast. Not only would it serve as a major nostalgia trip, it also helps show how far Smash, Nintendo, and Video Games as a whole have come. Many of the characters in the game now didn’t exist when the original game came out and playing the original game is like opening a time capsule from 100 years ago.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
If there is only to be one Legend of Zelda game on this system, this would be it. While both this and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask deserve to be included. Ocarina of Time is still widely regarded as one of, if not the best, video games ever. The dungeons, quests, even down to the items in this game are so noteworthy that traces of this game are in video games all over today. To not include this game would be as much of a controversy as not including Majora’s Mask. Including both games would be ideal. However, if there can only be one, Ocarina of Time should be the one included.
1. Super Mario 64
No other game embodies what the Nintendo 64 was more than Super Mario 64. The signature game that was revolutionary in how it tackled 3D environments and single-handledly launched video games into a brand new dimension, literally. Super Mario 64 defined the console for what it was and what game development could be. Having a Nintendo 64 mini without Super Mario 64 is like having apple pie without the apples. There is one guaranteed game to be on this console. More than any other game, this one in particular will be featured on all the advertisements. Long story short there is absolutely no way this game isn’t included.
What games do you hope to see on the Nintendo 64 classic if it comes out? What other top 10 lists would you like to see? Let us know in the comments down below and make sure to Like and Subscribe for more Bring Your Own Games.