Update: Added an additional game slot.
With the success of both the NES and SNES Classic, one would only assume that sometime around next year, Nintendo will release an N64 Classic. While not nearly as successful as the NES or SNES, the N64 plays an important role in Nintendo's history - spawning many critical features and franchises that are synonymous with Nintendo and gaming as a whole.
With that out of the way, here are my 17 Picks for the N64 Classic! 1. Super Mario 64- Super Mario 64 is an obvious choice for the N64 Classic, that doesn't need much explanation. The game was one of the first true 3D Platformers, as well as the flagship title for the N64 upon its release. SM64 defined Mario's modern take in gaming culture, as well as establishing how a 3D platformer should operate.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time- Like Super Mario 64, LoZ: OoT redefined the Zelda series as whole. It introduced many notable gameplay mechanics that have become the identity of the franchise since the release of the series, and is the essential Zelda experience for the N64. Many critics praise LoZ: OoT as being one of the best Zelda titles to date, and even the best game on the system itself.
3. Super Smash Bros. 64- Super Smash Bros. is an iconic series for Nintendo nowadays, and it combines every core Nintendo mascot into one crazy beat'em-up party fighting game. As the N64 is the system which defined the party gaming experience, having SSB64 is a must for those wanting to fight their friends as their favorite Nintendo mascot.
4. Glover- "What's a Glover?" I hear people in the distance asking. Glover was a whacky platforming title in which the protagonist, Glover, undergoes his heroic quest to restore his kingdom by retrieving the lost crystals. What separates Glover from other platformers of the era, is the fact that you must guide a magical crystal around the level. The danger: it can easily be shattered - but, it has the ability to transform into various different balls. Using these transformations, Glover must traverse many lands to restore peace to the kingdom.
5. Pokemon Stadium 2- During the 90's, the Pokemon craze was huge. While a main series title has yet to be launched on a home console, the Pokemon Company was not afraid to release spin-offs of their massively successful hit. Enter Pokemon Stadium: A fantastic Pokemon Battle simulator with a short campaign that emulates that of the Gold/Silver/Crystal games. While the original Pokemon Stadium is fantastic, the sequel has something it doesn't: 100 new Pokemon. The inclusion of Generation 2 Pokemon is the primary reason why Pokemon Stadium 2 is featured on this list, and not the original.
6. Mario Party 2- On the topic of sequels, the Mario Party series is one which got its start on the N64, and introduced gamers to the must-have party games of the system. While the first Mario Party was great in its own right, the mini-game selection in the sequels are seen by many to be superior. Not to mention, the costume system gave the title its own sense of identity - making Mario Party 2 the definitive experience for the N64 Classic's Mario Party selection.
7. Goldeneye: 007- Good ol' RareWare. Back in the day when Rare still worked under Nintendo, they were known for hits such as Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie. Goldeneye was another gem among a list that rivaled the best of gaming companies - even Nintendo themselves. First person shooters were just getting their start back in this era, and RareWare had successfully defined the genre with its innovative controls and impressive graphics (for the time).
8. Dr. Mario 64- The choice between Dr. Mario 64 and Pokemon: Puzzle League was a tough one, but ultimately I decided to go with Dr. Mario. Puzzle games are an important genre to include on any system, and the N64 Classic is no different. While the game doesn't do anything too extraordinary, you can't go wrong with a Tetris classic.
9. BattleTanx- Yet another unique choice that's sure not to be on many lists, BattleTanx was an interesting series for the N64 that defined a genre of its own. With a decently difficult main campaign and an enthralling multiplayer experience, BattleTanx offers gamers a unique experience that would otherwise be absent from the console as a whole. Choosing from a selection of multiple different tanks, shooting your way through enemy territory will be a "blast" for everyone involved.
10. Paper Mario 64- The Paper Mario series was Mario's second leap into the RPG format. With the success of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Paper Mario 64 offered a similar experience with a more creative artistic direction. RPG's were not too common in the N64's library, so most would consider Paper Mario to be the must-have RPG for the N64 classic. Charming visuals, a enticing controls, and a colorful cast of characters set Paper Mario apart from most every other Mario game out there at the time - and is a title that no one has forgotten.
11. Mario Kart 64- The Mario Kart series has certainly evolved over the years. Getting its start on the SNES with Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64 was the series first foray into 3D. With several different racers, tracks, and weapons - Mario Kart was the king of its competition in the party racer genre.
12. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards- Kirby's first entry into 3D gaming took a more simplistic approach. While most character models and environment pieces were 3D, all gameplay itself was contained to a 2D grid, like that of a traditional platformer. Kirby's copy ability was slightly different this time around, as Kirby had the ability to combine powers. With a wonderfully fun main story and multiple mini-games to play between friends, Kirby 64 is a much more lax and familiar title for those who are more offput by the more complex designs of 3D games.
13. Diddy Kong Racing- RareWare's take on the racing genre might seem similar to Mario Kart 64 at first glance. However, upon further inspection, Diddy Kong Racing is much more diversified in that there is an actual main story to play through, as well as different vehicle types. With its own unique weapon system and three different modes of play, Diddy Kong Racing sets itself apart from the familiar racing genre established with the Mario Kart series.
14. Pokemon Snap- While Pokemon is known for its deviously complex RPG battle system, Pokemon Snap mixes things up with an on-rail shooter. While that may sound intense, Pokemon Snap is actually about taking pictures of the various Pokemon that inhabit Pokemon Island. Utilizing several tools, it is your job to "capture" every Pokemon by taking the best picture you can of it.
15. Yoshi's Story
- In a similar style to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Yoshi's Story also takes place in a more familiar 2D grid. The game boasts a similar playstyle to that of Yoshi's Island, while still being unique enough to be its own game. With a unique artstyle that is still lovable to this day, Yoshi's Story is a great addition to the line of the N64's 2D Platformers. 16. Star Fox 64
- Yet another flagship title for the N64, Star Fox 64 took everything that was great about the original SNES game and expanded it. The updated graphics made its predecessor look much inferior, and defined the Star Fox franchise for years to come.17. Donkey Kong 64- With titles such as Banjo-Kazooie out of the question for the N64 Classic, as Rare is now owned by Microsoft, Donkey Kong 64 is the definitive choice for RareWare's own take on the 3D Platformer. While many consider the bear and bird to be a much more wholesome experience, myself included, DK64 brings with it a charm of its own. With an overabundance of collectibles, DK64 will keep people playing the N64 Classic for a good while.
And these are my 17 choices for the N64 Classic! Let me know what you think - and if you would replace any particular title with another one.