It has been 20 years since the first Nintendo 64 was sold. Oh how time flies. The famous console was released on June 23 back in the year 1996.
Back then, Nintendo 64’s only competitor was Sony’s PlayStation, and the former was the last major home console that used cartridges. The console came with an eye-catching and unique controller which was very popular.
Nintendo 64 has seen a lot of legendary games such as Super Mario 64, Golden Eye 007, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time during its time in circulation.
Today, in order to mark its 20th anniversary, we have come up with a list which features the top 10 Nintendo 64 games of all time.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was released back in 1998, is still regarded as one of the best console games ever released. The game is highly regarded by many because of its impressive graphics, puzzled environment and great camera controls.
The game allowed players to explore a lot of places and things which makes it a very interesting quest. It also has a great story along with nice actions and beautiful cut scenes. The game never let the player get bored. What’s more impressive in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the climax. After all the adventures throughout the game, it in the perfect possible way, making you crave for the next Zelda game straight away.
2. Super Mario 64
The next game to feature in this list is Super Mario 64. The game was released in 1996 along with the Nintendo 64 console. Super Mario 64, which is still regarded as one of the best Mario and N64 games of all time, was also the first 3D game of the famous series.
The game had a very colorful, yet simple and cartoony style of graphics which attracted a lot of people. The controls of the game was also very precise with some great moves, such as triple-jumps. Overall, the game, which seemed much more polished than the 2D versions, provided great experiences to the players.
3. Excitebike 64
Excitebike 64 was released in 2000 exclusively for Nintendo 64. The game, which was developed by Last Field Productions and produced by Nintendo, is held among the best Nintendo 64 games of all time. The dirt-bike racing game had a total of 20 tracks, which included both indoor and outdoor courses, along with stunt areas. Excitebike 64 had great graphics, licensed bikes, accessories and riders, and also some interesting features like the uphill climb challenge. The game also included a four player multiplayer mode.
Excitebike 64 is got most of its influence from the original Excitebike game which was a 2D side-scrolling racer and was released back in 1981. Excitebike 64, on the other hand, had an outstanding 3D environment with detailed graphics and superb physics. The game’s texture design, animation, and frame rate is picture perfect, hence it provided a very smooth experience to the players. The game never let the players to get bored as it provided a lot of exciting opportunities. Overall, the game can be termed as marvelous.
4. Goldeneye 007
Goldeneye 007 is the next game to make an entry to this list. The game, which was developed by Rare and published by Nintendo, was released exclusively for Nintendo 64 in 1997. The game was also the first definitive first-person shooter to be released in a console. Goldeneye 007, which sold over eight million copies worldwide, is also the third best selling Nintendo 64 game of all time.
Goldeneye 007 has an amazing storyline, great sound, and a nice sense of reality. The game was also praised for its blistering graphics which had great animations, detailed environments and realistic effects for its time. This was the first shooter to have realistic effects such as glass transparencies and bullet holes. The gameplay, coupled with the action of the game, also deserve some praises as they are both exciting and fast. The game went on to win various awards and accolades down the line and is still regarded as one of the best Nintendo 64 gaming titles of all time.
5. Wave Race 64
Wave Race 64 is a jet-ski racing game that was released for Nintendo 64 in 1996. The game was developed and published by Nintendo itself. The game was released just two months after Super Mario 64 and went on to become one of the most successful racing games ever.
When we talk about Wave Race 64, there are hardly any competitors in its class to date. The game had nice controls, well balanced physics, amazing graphics, great gameplay, and exciting track designs. The game also allowed the players to perform some incredible stunts like submerging the jet-ski, turning on a dime, and jumping over obstacles once they mastered the controls. The game was an exciting experience overall and we hope that Nintendo brings back the same nostalgia again in the near future.
6. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater features next on our list of top 10 Nintendo 64 games of all time. The game was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision, and was released in 2000 for multiple platforms such as Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Gameboy Color and Sega Dreamcast. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is one of the revolutionary video gaming titles that brought skating into video games.
The Nintendo 64 version of the game had smooth smooth graphics and a nice environment. The players could perform several tricks on the game using the controller wisely, even though it was tough. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater dominated the Nintendo 64 for quite a bit of time and is still regarded as one of the best games ever across all platforms. Since then, the game has seen 10 of its installments unfold.
7. Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. is one of the best selling game titles of all time. The game, which was developed by HAL and published by Nintendo, was first released back in 1999. The game was later re-released several times for different platforms such as Gamecube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U.
The game featured eight characters upfront, four unlockable characters, and had a four player multiplayer and versus mode. In multiplayer mode, Super Smash Bros. also allowed the players to predetermine the rules of the game themselves. This feature was highly praised by both the critics and the players. The game was also named by Nintendo Power in the list of best multiplayer experiences in Nintendo’s history because of its close quarters combat and special moves.
8. Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64, which was released during 1996-1997, was developed by Nintendo EAD and was published by Nintendo. The go-kart racing game had some amazing modes like the Grand Prix, Time Trials, Battle Mode, and Versus Mode. The game also featured famous Nintendo mascots like Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, and of course Mario himself.
The game provided the players a lot of options regarding race levels, and each of them had their own unique themes. The graphics of the game, although simplistic, were very catchy with a colorful and cartoony touch. Mario Kart 64 is famous mainly because of its amazing multiplayer mode. The game is also regarded as one of the best multiplayer titles from Nintendo ever to be released. The game had Nintendo gameplay mechanics, balanced controls and power-ups, and nicely-designed battle arenas. Mario Kart 64 is also known to be one of the most addictive games of all time.
9. Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark is the second game developed by Rare to be featured in this list. The first-person shooter was published by Nintendo and released exclusively for Nintendo 64 in 2000. The game is regarded as the ‘spiritual successor’ of Goldeneye 007, which also shares similarities in its gameplay.
Perfect Dark was one of the most anticipated titles of 2000, and it didn’t disappoint. The game received 95% and 97% on GameRankings and MetaCritic, respectively. The graphics of the game were praised for its dynamic lighting, clear textures, and realistic animations. The gameplay of Perfect Dark is also highly praised because of the AI, and the nicely maneuvered actions added even more delight. Perfect Dark is still regarded as one of the highest rated games and is Nintendo 64’s most successful title.
10. Rayman 2: The Great Escape
The action-adventure game Rayman 2: The Great Escape features last on our list. The game was released in 1999 on Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, Gameboy Color and PlayStation. Rayman 2: The Great Escape has been already featured in numerous ‘Best Games of All Time’ lists in the past.
The game, which was developed and published by Ubisoft, has considerably raised the standards of 3D gameplay and design. The game received largely favorable reviews from both critics and fans, and scored 90 out of 100 in Metacritic. The game was praised for almost all of its aspects including gameplay, graphics, controls, and sound. Overall, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is a great game and deserved this spot on the list.
What do think about this list of all time top 10 Nintendo 64 games? Do you think any other games we missed and should have been featured?