1080 Snowboarding was fantastic for those of us who never had the chance to carve it up on a real mountain. The controls were tight, the graphics were awesome, and the gameplay was too much fun. Even hearing the sound of the snow slushing about was great. Nothing was better than coming in first during a race while pulling off some tasty stunts on jumps. 1080, you were probably just way too cool for us, but we can dig it.
Resident Evil 2
The nightmare returned in this port of the PlayStation game. But instead of a straight-up port, the N64 got more of an enhanced version of the title, which added alternate costumes, violence levels which could be customized, different colors for blood, and more content from the developers. This made for a game that was just as scary and exciting, but with much more content for players who wanted to flesh out their experience in Raccoon City.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Never before had we seen something so crude, ridiculous, and altogether hilarious on the N64. To think that the cuddly little squirrel from Diddy Kong Racing now starred in his own game, which was rife with pop culture parodies and foul language. Some of the explicit jokes and toilet humor in this game could probably make viewers of South Park gag (well, probably not, but they’re still pretty bad). But if you had a sense of humor, you were treated to a game with lots of laughs, fun gameplay, an excellent multiplayer mode, and an ending that breaks the 4th wall and makes you wish the craziness didn’t have to end.
Who doesn’t love a good Mario game with an RPG flavor? In this game, Mario’s adventure is presented as a storybook, making for an attractive visual aesthetic as our hero and his pals walk around like cardboard cutouts. He has to save Peach again (surprise), and collect Star Spirits in order to stop Bowser from using the Star Rod to gain invincibility. It’s charming, it’s fun, and is one of the more unique Mario experiences this side of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 was 3D action-platforming heaven, even if you weren’t a fan of Nintendo’s greatest ape. The game featured DK’s adventure on the DK Isles as he went around to save his friends from K. Rool. Once they were rescued, you could control each character and use their unique abilities and weapons to get further in the game. This made for an increasingly addictive experience as you tried everything you could to power up the Kongs and beat down K. Rool.
This game was pretty much GoldenEye, except it starred a woman named Joanna Dark. It was so awesome and big that you needed an Expansion Pak just to boost the RAM in your Nintendo 64. This futuristic spy shooter packed a pretty cool campaign mode, but the meat of the experience was in the multiplayer. Fighting your friends was incredibly satisfying in this game, no matter what multiplayer mode you played. Our pick for the best weapon in the game? The Laptop Gun. Why? Because it’s secondary fire mode set it up as a sentry, mowing down any foes that came near it. How awesome is that?
Mario Kart 64
If you wanted a game that brought friends together while tearing them apart at the same time, Mario Kart 64 was it. It employed the same Mario Kart formula we loved, with wacky tracks, items to either benefit you or harm others, and a roster of racers featuring Nintendo’s Mushroom Kingdom All-Stars. But now it was in 3D and you could face off with three other players in Battle mode! Every time one of our balloons flew away, we lost a piece of ourselves and had to get revenge on the offending racer. After all, what’s a couple of red shells between friends?
Banjo-Tooie was the sequel to the hit game, Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo and his bird friend, the backpack-dwelling Kazooie, returned to stop Grunty, the villainess who was defeated in the first game, and her sisters from getting her body back to normal and wreaking revenge. The cast from the original game were all present, as was the platforming action that made the Banjo experience so great. Best of all were the new transformation spells that turned the bear and bird duo into different creatures with skills to help them on their quest. As far as sequels go, this one was one of the absolute best.
C’mon, Rare, you’ve almost got a monopoly on this list! Oh well, we actually don’t mind that much. GoldenEye 007 was based on the Pierce Brosnan movie and offered perhaps one of the most important first-person shooter experiences in the history of console games. To this day, it enjoys popularity among gamers and is considered one of the pioneers of modern FPS gaming. The gameplay was innovative and the multiplayer could get a group of friends playing for hours on end. But once someone got the Golden Gun, that’s when you had to bolt.
Super Smash Bros.
What a legendary game Super Smash Bros. was! For the first time ever, you had Nintendo’s all-star family in the same game, duking it out in multiplayer combat. If you had ever dreamed of using Link’s Hookshot to grab onto Pikachu and launch him into the depths of the Mushroom Kingdom, this was your chance! This fighting game is being played at conventions and competitions to this day, showing that it’s aged very well and continues to be one of the most celebrated titles on the N64.
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