N64 Mini Classic – What 30 Games Should Be Included?
Last week I pondered over what 30 games I thought should be included in a SNES Mini Classic if Nintendo were to ever release such a thing (how awesome would it be, though?). This week, I’m taking a look at 30 games I think should be included in a Nintendo 64 Mini Classic!!!
1 – Super Mario 64
Pretty certain I could have not said a single word about this and moved on to #2 and nobody would have said a thing. Super Mario 64 was the definitive N64 title. A launch title. The definitive 3D game. Nintendo took their flagship franchise and made the leap from 2D to full 3D and blew everyone away. Other developers tried the same thing, but often failed completely (hai, Sonic!). Super Mario 64 was the benchmark for any game looking to make the transition into the THIRD DIMENSION. HAS to be on this system.
2 – Mario Kart 64
While personally this is probably my least favourite Mario Kart game (I haven’t played 7 yet), its still good. I know, I know, people out there will hate me because I don’t adore it, but maybe its because I never had the chance to use the multiplayer features of this game. The N64 included 4 controller ports and this game was perfect to utilise them, but its not something I got the chance to do. Anyway, its Mario Kart, only now it has 64 bits to make it look, sound and feel even better. More tracks, more racers (or at least, some different ones, I forget how many are in it lol), and battle mode left in tact (still upset with MK 8 and its battle mode). A lot of people consider this to be the best in the series, so it simply needs to be included.
3 – Paper Mario
Sadly, with the N64 staying with cartridge based games instead of moving on to CD’s, Square shifted focus from Nintendo to Sony, so not only did the N64 not house any new Final Fantasy games, but we were never able to get a true sequel to Super Mario RPG. Luckily, we did get a new form of Mario RPG in the Paper Mario series (well… for a couple of games anyway)! The unique art style went in a whole different direction from what Super Mario 64 did; focusing more on the 2D aspects rather than 3D. The story is highly praised, and the gameplay is extremely fun. I’ve yet to dive into this one, despite owning it on the Wii U’s VC, but rest assure its high up there on my “must play soon” list. Adding it to a Mini N64 might get my arse in gear to play it though… hint hint Nintendo!
4 – Mario Party 2
Mario. 4 player party game. Think this one is considered the best. Never played it, but like Mario Kart 64 it really shows off the 4 player aspect of the console. And ruins friendships, apparently.
5 – Super Smash Bros
Speaking multiplayer party games… get your friends together and beat the crap out of them! Yey! Nintendo took some of their biggest characters, threw them all into one game and let you batter whoever you wanted. Genius, really. While fighting games always had a vast array of characters, none of them were well known from their own games. Instead they were stuck inside that one franchise. Here you can play as Mario or Pikachu or Samus and battle the likes of Zelda and Fox McCloud. People are still playing this in tournaments today. That’s how good it is!
6 – Pokemon Stadium
POKEMON, GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL! AND THEN BATTLE THEM TO THE DEATH ON THE NINTENDO 64!!! Pokemon Stadium might not have been a big 3D Pokemon Adventure game, but it did have the unique feature of letting you transfer your Pokemon from Red, Blue and Yellow into the game to battle with. And that’s cool as fuck. With the re-release of Red, Blue and Yellow on the 3DS VC, and a new online Pokemon Cloud thingy, transferring Pokemon from those games to this on a Mini N64 might very well be possible!
7 – Pokemon Stadium 2
The sequel now allowed you to use you Gold, Silver and Crystal Pokemon! Not only that, but now there are a bunch of multiplayer mini games as well! POKEMON~!
8 – Pokemon Snap
Might as well continue to take advantage of the success of Pokemon Go and add another Pokemon game onto this system. Pokemon Snap was an “on rails shooter”, but instead of blasting Pokemon to pieces (which actually sounds like fun too…), you took pictures of them. Sounds simple, but you also had to trigger certain events in order to capture pictures of certain pokemon, while trying to get the BEST shot too. Shockingly we never saw a sequel for this on the Wii U, despite the gamepad seemingly being made for a game like this, but we do now finally have it on the Wii U’s VC. Oh hey, and maybe Nintendo could let you transfer your pics to your PC and let you print them out!
9 – WWF No Mercy
For variety, we need a sports game on these consoles imo. Technically this is SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT, but screw it, its a billion times better than any actual sports game on the system. Well.. not quite true because the game game is an EXTREME SPORT, but still. Shut up. WWF No Mercy is great. Considered by many to be the best wrestling game ever, and while I absolutely do not agree with that, it is still one of the best. ONE OF. The N64 had some quality wrestling games for both WWF and WCW, but I went with No Mercy just because it has more to it than WCW/NWO Revenge. Mainly a season mode. Plus The Undertaker is in this game. He isn’t in WCW. So there. WRESTLING.
10 – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released on just about everything at the time, and was extremely popular. Extreme Sports in general were very popular, with Tony Hawk being a big name at the time. We were extremely lucky that THPS came out and was actually very good, as games with any sort of licence involved typically turned out pretty bad, regardless of genre. Addictive gameplay, fun levels, good controls, plenty of moves to pull off and secrets to collect, a great multiplayer mode and an amazing soundtrack helped people who didn’t even like Skateboarding LOVE this game. Had to choose between this and the sequel, but decided on the first game, leaving the second game for another system…
11 – Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Sticking to licence game that don’t suck; STAR WARS! Fly around in an X-Wing (and other flying vehicles from the Star Wars Universe) and blow shit up. And uhhh… well that’s it, as far as I can recall. Its tons of fun though! And its Star Wars. Can’t really go wrong here! Also, Nintendo can make the Mini N64 to have the RAM expansion pak built in, allowing players to play this game with the improved textures, as some might have never had one before!
12 – Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
More Star Wars! Shadows of the Empire is set mainly between Empire and Jedi, but the first level is set on Hoth allowing you to meet Han Solo, and participate in some classic action against AT-AT’s! From there, you travel around the Galaxy meeting, helping and occasionally battling some of the most well known and beloved Star Wars characters. It can be frustrating in parts (a certain vehicle level…) but overall its really fun, and was the first game to expand on the existing Star Wars Universe!
13 – F-Zero X
Everything the first game was and more. Up to 30 cars at once can race, and it can all be done at a smooth 60FPS! In order to achieve this though, the textures aren’t anything special, but really, when you are racing at super high speeds around insanely difficult tracks, do the textures not looking up to scratch REALLY matter? No.
14 – Banjo-Kazooie
The first (of many) Rareware titles that will appear on this list! Super Mario 64 helped define the 3D Platforming genre. Rareware too the formula and refined it, giving us bigger levels to explore, more collectables, a deeper story (nothing mind blowing, mind you), plenty of abilities and power-ups, and some awesome tunes to listen to while we play! One of the finest 3D Platformers available on the system!
15 – Banjo-Tooie
Well, since the first game was so well received, might as well make a sequel! Banjo-Tooie takes everything from the first game and makes it BIGGER. BIGGER levels to explore and more abilities and power-ups. Pretty much exactly what a sequel should do!
16 – Blast Corps
This is such a fun game. Very unique too, and often forgotten about by people. Take control of demolition vehicles (not exactly ones you’d see at a construction yard!) and destroy everything in your path. Well, the path of a leaking nuclear missile. Not the longest game, but great to pick up and play any time.
17 – Goldeneye 007
A revolutionary CONSOLE First Person Shooter, both for single player AND multiplayer. While the game is a little dated these days, back when it released, this was something special. Firstly, a film licensed game that didn’t suck. Secondly, it took full advantage of the 4 controller ports allowing for split screen multiplayer action against 3 of your friends. This type of action was only seen on PC for the most part, but Goldeneye 007 and Rareware helped bring it to the home console market, and gamers haven’t looked back since!
18 – Perfect Dark
Video game licensing can be a bitch, so while we never got a genuine sequel to Goldeney by Rareware, we did get Perfect Dark which was basically the spiritual successor. Joanna Dark is every bit as bad-ass as James Bond, hell, more so, and the gameplay is a more refined version of what Goldeneye gave us. Again, Rareware knowing how to make sequels, even if this wasn’t technically a sequel. Goldeneye might be remembered more fondly, but for my money this is the better game.
19 – Diddy Kong Racing
Mario 64 not doing it for you? Well give THIS a try! Diddy Kong Racing is my go to kart racer on the N64, and imo the best on the system too. Rareware once again comes in and blows everyone away by essentially out-doing Nintendo at their own thing. First it was 3D Platformers, and now Kart Racers! DKR features Diddy Kong from the first two Donkey Kong Country games, then is filled with completely new ones who we wouldn’t get to really know until they got their own games releases, such as Banjo and Conker! Not only did they set up new characters, but they also changed up the basic formula for a kart racing game. No basic “cups” to compete it, instead we have an open hub world to access races, complete with a Mario-esque “star” system to unlock new levels using Balloons. Oh and BOSS RACES too. PLUS as well as just karts, you can also pick from a plane or a hovercraft, which can dramatically change how levels are played. All in all an excellent game!
20 – Conker’s Bad Fur Day
The last Rareware game on the list, promise! CBFD was originally going to be your basic cutesy animal character platformer… until developers decided to go the completely opposite way and make a mature game instead! Conker is a foul-mouthed, drinking, sex obsessed squirrel who gets so drunk one night he has no idea what he’s doing, and wakes up hung over and lost. You simply have to get home… but its harder than it sounds! Famous for its giant shit boss and bouncing boob plants, CBFD is a sought after game for the system because of how crazy it is, how mature it is, and the fact it didn’t sell well due to being released towards the end of the system’s life span. I’m lucky enough to have picked up a CIB copy a few years ago for an insanely cheap price, but for those who don’t own it, sticking it on a Mini N64 would be perfect, especially since the N64 version isn’t censored!
21 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Well, time for one of those games I don’t care about, but if left off this list I’d need my head examined. Its Zelda, its a 3D open world-ish environment, and people love it. One of the flagship Nintendo IP’s than cannot be ignored on a Mini N64.
22 – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Another Zelda game. Lots of people like it a lot. A lot lot. So it definitely should be included. Also, didn’t they have some extra content for this game that was originally supposed to be on the 64DD? Or was that OoT? Either way, I think it eventually got a release on the Gamecube? Well that should be included here too. Unless I’m totally wrong and such a thing never existed, which is a possibility!
23 – Star Fox 64
Nintendo ditched the “Star Wing” name over here in Europe, and instead we got Lylat Wars. Nothing like consistency! The most recent Star Fox game on the Wii U was really just a remastering of this game, only with awful controls that only a handful of people like. So instead of paying for that pile of junk, Nintendo need to put THIS version of the game on a Mini 64 for all to enjoy! Actual 3D graphics for the series now, and more improved gameplay. Well worth your time.
24 – Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
While it seemed every franchise was moving to 3D, Kirby remained(and still does to this day) in the 2D World. I’ve not yet played this once due to its price, but from everything I know about it, I would love for it to be on a Mini N64 so I could finally get my hands on it. A usual Kirby game in a lot of ways, but now you can combine power-ups when you eat enemies! This allows for numerous combinations and can change the way you play. Looks like a lot of fun!
25 -Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Before Perfect Dark, before Goldeneye 007, there was Turok! A first person shooter that sold extremely well and also helped raise N64 console sales. Described as a mix between Doom and Tomb Raider, Turok put you into a world filled with Dinosaurs and other creatures. Levels to explore, things to kill and plenty of cool weapons to use. Another game that doesn’t hold up too well now, but was certainly a killer title back in the day!
26 – Mischief Makers
If I had to describe this game in 2 words, it would be “weird” and “wonderful”. A 2D Platformer that is unlike anything else you will ever play. Admittedly it has been a while since I played the game, so I’m struggling to truly talk about it. I think it simply needs to be on a Mini N64 so everyone can experience it for themselves, so perhaps me not saying much about it is actually a good thing!
27 – Wave Race 64
Cars? Who needs cars? Hit the waves and race around in Jet Skis on some wonderful water physics that are still impressive by today’s standards. A very fun game with plenty of challenge too!
28 – Beetle Adventure Racing!
A game I’ve never played, but really want to. I see this popping up more and more on “hidden gem” lists for the N64, and oh boy does it just look like a super fun racing game. Not your racing simulator game like Gran Turismo, or a cartoony kart racer like MK or DKR, but a nice, more casual racing game. Seeing clips of it in many videos, it comes across to me as being similar to one of Sega’s arcade racing games, and I quite enjoy those when they are good. Maybe a somewhat “out there” pick, but given its rise in popularity in recent years I think it would be a cool addition.
29 – Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
One of the VERY few RPG games released on the N64, and even then it isn’t your traditional JRPG game; its a Real Time Strategy RPG. This has never appealed to me personally, but was critically praised on release and is still loved to this day by N64 fans. And since this list needed an RPG on it, I HAD to include this!
30 – Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is very likely thought of by many as a “PS1” game. Yes, it got released on multiple platforms, but the PS1 was outselling everything by tens of millions so the majority of people will have played the PS1 version only. So why am I suggesting it for a Mini N64? Simple; it was fucking impressive. N64 carts were typically very small in storage space, ranging anywhere from 4MB to 64MB. The PS1 used CD-ROM technology, using 650MB or 700MB discs. Resident Evil 2 was a 2 CD game. And yet, they were able to compress it down onto a 64MB cart, with no lost content, complete FMV sequences, IMPROVED sound quality over the PS1, IMPROVED controls and even some additional content! A game over 1GB in data for the PS1 was put on a 64MB cart. Insane. Not only is it a tremendous game, but a feat of GENIUS on the part of the developers that ported it.
I have to say, coming up with 30 games for this list was a lot harder than I expected. I could have gone with more sequels to games already on the list, but I tried for more variety, and towards the end I was struggling to come up with games, because most of the games I have played on the system were either already on the list, or weren’t games I thought should be here. In the end I did manage it, and overall I am very happy with the 30 I came up with. As always, let me know in the comments what games YOU think should be there, what I missed and what you don’t think should be there from my list! Next week, I’ll be moving to another console, but not from Nintendo!