Nintendo launched the Nintendo 64 console 20 years ago today. The console didn’t get the strongest sales or support compared to the juggernaut that was the Super Nintendo, but the Nintendo 64 is still beloved by many today and stands as one of the most sought-out catalogs of games for collectors. Due to the interesting controller design and the hazy look of the 3D graphics (normally called “N64 fog”), a lot of Nintendo 64 games have not aged very well. To celebrate the console’s anniversary, I figured it would be nice to share a list of N64 games that still hold up very well today for those who would like to kick back and enjoy some classic N64 goodness. Let’s get started.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The game I still consider to be the best game ever made, Ocarina of Time still holds up amazing well today. The controls are still very solid, the graphics aren’t too horrible on the eyes, and the adventure is still amazing today. The hallmark of the Nintendo 64 library and an essential game for any gamer’s library.
- Banjo Kazooie
A lot of older 3D platformers have not aged well due to funky camera controls and outdated mechanics. Thankfully, both Banjo Kazooie games play wonderfully even today. The muddy textures may be an eye-sore but the dialog, humor and cutscenes are still super charming even today.
- Pokemon Snap
This simplistic Pokemon game may be short, but it’s still a blast to revisit. Riding around in 3D environments like some sort of ride at Disney Land and trying to catch the best photos of all of the Pokemon running around and hiding is still very much enjoyable today as it was at release. Pokemon Snap is a very underrated N64 title.
- Super Mario 64
Yet another essential game for collectors. Like Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64 still plays wonderfully in 2016 thanks to the (mostly) solid camera controls, fantastic level design and tight platforming controls. I still consider this to be the best Super Mario game ever made and that hasn’t changed today.
- Mischief Makers
Speaking of platformers, Mischief Makers is a great little sleeper hit that deserves more attention than it received. Thanks to the 2.5D presentation and the great controls, Mischief Makers aged beautifully. If you can find a copy I highly suggest giving it a spin.
- WCW Vs. NWO: Revenge
The memories I have of playing this game with friends are timeless. Revenge existed in a time where wrestling games were some of the best multiplayer experiences you could have. Developer AKI was the king of arcade wrestling titles and WCW/NWO Revenge was the best of the bunch. I still have a blast playing this game.
- Star Fox 64
After playing the disappointing Star Fox Zero who desperately tries to channel the great vibes of Star Fox 64, you’re better off going back and just playing this one instead. What a great excuse to play Star Fox 64 than to pop it in for the anniversary of the Nintendo 64! The game still controls wonderfully, performs well and includes multiple reasons to go back through and play it all over again.
The granddaddy of cover-based shooters! Winback is a action game that was revolutionary at the time for having solid cover mechanics. This tactical shooter is another very underrated title that deserves to be played. The game still controls and plays very well and it’s fun to revisit to see how cover mechanics have progressed through the years.
- Harvest Moon 64
The second best Harvest Moon game, Harvest Moon 64, is still an absolute joy to play in 2016. The characters are very memorable, the gameplay and controls have aged very well and the music is great too. The stories surrounding each character in the town that are crammed into this package heighten the experience a lot. Good luck finding a copy at a reasonable price, though!
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
I still consider Rogue Squadron to be one of the greatest flight combat games ever made. Surprisingly, the graphics have held up very well today thanks to Factor 5’s talent work with the N64 hardware. The controls are still strong and the mission design and gameplay are a lot of fun. If you missed out on this one, go find a copy now!