The 25 Greatest Nintendo 64 Games (5-1)

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!

Rare developed a knack for creating memorable mascot-like characters and it all started with the iconic Banjo and his feathered pal, Kazooie. Banjo Kazooie takes the dynamic duo on a jaunt to rescue Banjo’s sister Tooty from the grasp of the wicked witch Gruntilda. We embark on a journey across 9 levels throughout Gruntilda’s lair, spanning a variety of different environments… from the beach of Treasure Trove Cove to the frosty mountaintops of Freezeezy Peaks to the haunted Mad Monster Mansion and much more in between. -Brandon

Back in the 90s extreme sports games were big. Skateboarding, rollerblading and jet ski games were all popular. There was no better jet ski game made, then OR now, than Wave Race 64. Wave Race is an total blast of a game that holds up to this day.

Whether you’re weaving between oil tankers, skidding across glaciers or navigating a stormy coastline, Wave Race made every single race feel different and exciting thanks to the dynamic wave physics. While Nintendo followed up with a GameCube sequel, the original Wave Race stands tall as the best racer on the high seas. –Adam

For me, Goldeneye 007 was one of the first really enjoyable FPS games for a console.  I was a big fan of the film when it was released and the game followed the story fairly well.  Due to licensing, actual gun models and names couldn’t be used, but the point got across.  The level design was pretty good and beating the levels within a certain time unlocked various game modes and cheats that could be used in single or multi-player

Goldeneye stands out as one of the best local multi-player games in existence even to this day.  Many days after school, a friend would come over and we’d just play Goldeneye for hours and hours.  We’d even record our sessions on an audio cassette to playback and enjoy later.  Playing with proximity mines was always a favorite and our mutual disdain for the Caves level stands out in my memory.  Many 007 games have been created since, but none of them have had the magic of Goldeneye! –Jason

When it comes to moments in my gaming life that are etched into my brain, there probably aren’t any as deeply engrained as my time with one of the greatest video games of all time, Super Mario 64. From the time I first saw it and spent an hour playing around in the castle courtyard at the demo kiosk at Toys R Us, to bringing it home with the Nintendo 64 and Adam and I rigging up our parent’s stereo system to get “surround” sound. No game has ever felt more like magic than that game did back in September of 1996.

From the iconic soundtrack, to the brilliant level design, the game transported me into one of my favorite worlds in a way I never thought possible. I remember thinking that gaming would never be able to top what that game accomplished. And while playing it today you can obviously pick things apart like the camera control or the muddy textures, I think that I was right in that no game in the 25 years since has ever captured my imagination the way Super Mario 64 did. It revolutionized the entire gaming industry and still stands as an all time classic. -John

Here we are, the number 1 Nintendo 64 game according to Mega Dads, and it’s safe to say this is not a surprising result. Differences of opinion (*cough*Majora’s Mask is better*cough*) aside, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time tops lists of Nintendo 64 games time and again for good reason. Ocarina of Time brought the beloved Legend of Zelda franchise into the third dimension in a huge way. Hyrule field was large and polished in a way unseen to that point in time. Dungeons went from being a series of color-coordinated rooms to being fully-realized lava caves, old temples, giant fish bellies, and more. Nearly every aspect of the Zelda formula benefitted from the move to 3D.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time wasn’t just a tech showpiece, however. After welcoming players into a three-dimensional Hyrule and guiding them through a few dungeons, the time warp happens. Link’s story isn’t even half over. There are even more dungeons to do, items and weapons to collect, and places to go. The time warp and transition to adult Link is one of the best moments in any Nintendo 64 game. It’s not the cherry on top of an already great game, it’s an entire second dessert course! Even as someone that prefers the sequel, I can’t argue that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time deserves its place as the pinnacle of Nintendo 64 gaming. -Will

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