This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo 64. It is famous for being the console that revolutionized 3D graphics in gaming and proved that you could do 1st person shooters on a home console. Many consider it one of Nintendo’s best consoles due to the groundbreaking move to 3D and the amazing catalog of games that came with it.
We felt we couldn’t let this anniversary go by without a celebration, so we gathered the entire Mega Dads team to rank their 25 favorite games for the N64. We then gave a point value to each position on the list and averaged them out to create the definitive ranking! From Mario and Zelda to Pilotwings and Turok, the N64 had it all! Here are the 25 greatest Nintendo 64 games!
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was an original story that took place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. While the control scheme took a bit to get used to, after an adjustment period, it wasn’t too bad. My personal favorite parts of the game were those that involved flying in various vehicles including Snow speeders on Hoth and Dash Rendar’s ship, the Outrider. There were plenty of hidden items and secrets to find as a reward for exploring
Today, the graphics are noticeably dated and the controls are frustrating, but when it was released, Shadows of the Empire was a great addition to the Star Wars universe! –Jason
The very first Pokèmon game to hit American Nintendo 64s wasn’t what most of us were expecting. Instead of intense battles, you just…move slowly along a track and take pictures. Pokémon Snap wasn’t the Pokémon experience I was looking for, but that didn’t stop me from playing it every chance I got until I explored and catalogued all the game had to offer. Secret pokémon, hidden level exits, and a secret final level with Mew were more than enough to keep me snapping away for weeks. The only part of Pokémon Snap I didn’t get to engage with was printing my favorite pictures at Blockbuster, only because my town did not have one. Pokémon Snap earned a loyal following that spent the next 20 years hoping that every Pokémon announcement would bring them a sequel, and that’s a legacy worthy of respect. -Will
Rare’s classic first person shooter was something of a mixed bag for me. The single player campaign was hit or miss, with some amazingly cool gadgets and weapons, but a dopey story. For my money, it was all about the incredible multiplayer. It was highly customizable and in addition to traditional modes like Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, featured unique modes like Hold the Briefcase and Hacker Central. And the ability to add bots meant that you could take a break from killing your friends to team up with them as well. Even though the game didn’t quite live up to the legacy of it’s predecessor (Goldeneye 007), it was still a blast to play and I dumped countless hours into it. -John
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is an interesting twist of themes and genres based on an Acclaim comics series that mixes Native American imagery and weaponry with dinosaurs and machine guns… a mad mixture that begs to be made into a video game. Turok is equal parts jungle exploration and puzzle-solving and run-and-gun baddy busting and it executes on all of them well. There are very few other games, particularly in the Nintendo 64 era, that would present you with such variety: running, climbing and swimming through a jingle infested with velociraptors, demons, human poachers and more.
Banjo Tooie is the sequel to Rare’s amazing ‘Mario-like”, Banjo Kazooie. These two games proved that a capable developer could not only mimic the formula of Nintendo’s flagship game, but improve upon it in many ways.
What sets this game apart from the first is its wicked sense of humor. Banjo Tooie begins with the hilarious murder of Bottles the Mole following the heroes late night poker game. The ensuing adventure is a revenge fueled affair to re-murder the re-animated witch Gruntilda. Yeah. This shit is hardcore. -Adam