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 411mania » Games » Columns

411 Games Top 5 5.10.14: Top 5 Nintendo 64 Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 05.10.2014

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Who didn't like the N64?

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In our on and off series looking at the best from retro systems, it is time to honor the Nintendo 64

Robert Cooper (Music Zone Reviewer, Writer of Metal Hammer Doom News Report, Regular Contributor to The Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer," 411 Podcast Contributor )

Honorable Mention: 007 Goldeneye-had to leave it off of the list because it hasn't aged as well as the others, but it's still one of my favorite N64 games and was the second one I ever owned, Super Smash Bros.

This is a list made more for what the franchise became rather than this game itself.

5. Star Fox 64: This is the only game on this list that I don't own, as I have borrowed it from a friend and am going to give it back to him one day. I still have fond memories of this game and go back and lay it on occasion. Not to mention it is always fun to quote Peppy with "Do a barrel roll" (that is technically not a barrel roll) and "Shoot the tentacles". This is a game that still holds up incredibly well and is the gold standard in Star Fox games up to this point.

4. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: I sucked so hard at this game as a child. While I'm only mildly better at it as an adult, I was absolutely awful back in my youth. I would constantly get lost, crash into stuff, or manage to fly my way under a bomber as it drops a bomb. While I'm not great at the game, I still love to play it even to this day.

3. Super Mario 64: This was the first game I ever owned on the N64 and ironically the last one that I have beaten. I got the game at the ripe old age of 7 and didn't beat it until last year at the age of 21. It was definitely a fun ride and the amount of variation between the levels, as well as the amount of goals in the levels is astounding. The only thing I have to bitch about is the camera, which is a pain in my ass and has aided in the killing of Mario many times as I was controlling him.

2. WWF No Mercy: Of course this was on my list, I still play this game every single week. It's never stopped being fun for me and I adore it. Every single match is an experience where I try to test my mettle against the computer that actually has a pretty good AI, though it's not Fire Pro good. That being said, the amazing story mode, the variety of matches, and the great CAW mode that still holds up today, surprisingly, it's one of my favorite games of all time.

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: This had to be #1, it's so damn good, everything was beautifully done. I want to actually go play it right now as I reminisce with myself about how wonderful it was. I'm actually about to go do that now, we all know how good this games is, and if you don't, go fucking play it!

John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasional Contributor to Four Player Co-op)

5. WWF No Mercy: I have successfully fought my inner WCW fanboy and have finally decided that due to having an actual campaign mode as well as create-a-wrestler, that WWF No Mercy is the best wrestling game on the Nintendo 64 (that was released in the US at least.) I think the fact that people still ask about why a developer hasn't picked up the AKI engine to use for a game (even though it would be horribly outdated now) is a testament to how good this game is. Its always fun to come back to this game with friends, because at first everything feels so slow, but after a match or two you get used to it again. It always felt to me that No Mercy was the last wrestling game where every single move mattered and felt like there was weight behind it; all the SmackDown games involved just doing moves until you got a finisher stored up and then you could use it whenever, which was certainly an exciting element, but how many people ever reeeeally started matches in those games without at least one finisher pre-stored? With No Mercy every single time you did your finisher it was earned, and if you didn't pull it off in time, it was pretty much your own fault, and I kind of miss that.

4. Banjo-Kazooie: It's sad to see what happened to the Bear and Bird, they did not deserve Nuts & Bolts. The original game was, to me, lightning in a bottle. It was just so different for other games that came out at the time. The bright, cartoonish style of everything, the sense of humor, the AMAZING soundtrack, and super tight gameplay all make this easily my pick for the best 3D platformer on the N64, and one of the best of all time. I decided to go with this over Super Mario 64 because although SM64 basically changed platforming forever, it still has its share of problems, while I feel that Banjo-Kazooie, outside of some trouble with the camera in a few parts, improved on everything SM64 did.

3. Paper Mario: The N64 seemed to be the era that Nintendo gave us a lot of things we wanted in a way we didn't expect. Everyone wanted a Super Mario RPG sequel, and Paper Mario is about as good of a *spiritual* sequel as we will ever get, I imagine. The aesthetics are different, the combat is a bit different, but the same humor and cast we all know in love remained. Anytime someone brings up Mario not being known for plot, this game and it's sequels are always the first thing I bring up.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Full transparency here -- I've played about 8 hours worth of OoT. Never beat the game, I'm pretty sure I only got through the first temple (if that). Its undeniable the influence this game has had on gaming culture and "the community" in general, however. It is still considered by most to be a perfect game, and one of the best games ever made full stop. It would be silly of me to leave it off of the top 5 because I never finished it.

1. Goldeneye 007: I didn't say that I had to make OoT my number one, however. Goldeneye is one of those games that there is pretty much nothing left to say about it. I know lately there has been a growing rise of haters because FPS games have become more dynamic and fleshed out, but that's the magic of Goldeneye to me; its the bare minimum experience of FPS games. People will point out the AI and the campaign mode's flaws, but do we really want to do that in an era where Call of Duty not only exists but thrives on its multiplayer alone and makes hundreds of millions of dollars from it? In Goldeneye MP, it's literally down to skill and map knowledge. No perks, no lag, no hacking. You lose because its your own fault. You can even see what your opponent is doing (if you're a dirty screen-watcher) for god's sake! There are more than enough options for game customization (especially if you include cheats and gameshark stuff like walk through doors), but it was also fun to come up with your own kind of games too. The unfortunate remake of Goldeneye has taken its toll on the game's reputation as well I think, but luckily we have wonderful people like the guys that made Goldeneye: Source to keep the dream alive.

Todd Vote (Games Zone Reviewer, Regular Contributor to Four Player Co-op)

Honorable Mentions: Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, WWF Wrestlemania 2000.

5.WWF No Mercy - To most, this is still the pinnacle of wrestling games. A plateau yet to be reached since. That should speak volumes to this now 14 year old game. The grappling system was fantastic, and there was nothing quite like hopping on the game and battling it out with 3 friends with the N64's four controller ports.

4.Excitebike 64 - Many a nights were spent passing the controller on this game. To this day, I can still hear that announcers voice calling out the names of the riders: Sara 'Sugar' Hill, 'Jumpin' Jim Rivers. Plenty of tracks and even a few mini games to keep you occupied for a long time. Oh, did I mention the original Excitebike was unlockable in the game?

3.Conkers Bad Fur Day - Conker was really something special in its day. Granted the Xbox 360 re-release was quite dated by the time it came to pass, but the original was one of the funniest games I've ever played. Conker had an ability to parody movies, and offer plenty of toilet humor, all while keeping things fun.

2.Killer Instinct Gold - Hated by many, loved by me. Killer Instinct is a polarizing title in that you never really hear anybody say "it's just okay". People either love the over the top combo system or they feel its cheap. I happen to be a big fan.

1.Golden Eye 007 - The first experience I ever had with a first person shooter game was also the first game I ever owned for the N64. Golden Eye was the bees knees when it released. 4 player slapping death matches were a thing of beauty.

Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer, Games Top 5 Organizer, Interim Host of The Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer," WWE Special Event Roundtable Organizer)

Honorable Mentions: Kirby 64, Mario Kart 64, Jet Force Gemini, Mario Tennis, Mario Party, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Stadium 2, Blast Corps, Gauntlet Legends

5. WWF No Mercy: The best wrestling game ever made period. It has storylines that branch around whether you lose or win, which is something no WWE game has been able to do. It had a damn good create-a-wrestler for it's time. It also had one fantastic roster and it also debuted the ladder match as well. The best part though was the grappling system and be able to play with three other friends on the couch to see who could win. A fantastic game that still holds up to this day!

4. Star Fox 64: Come on Nintendo, why can't we get a direct sequel to this game? I still think this game has some of the best flying and shooting ever made. Not to mention, some of the best memorable one liners in a game as well. It didn't take long to beat this game, but I played the crap out of this game trying to get better each play through because it was just so much fun to fly around getting rings and shooting down those big bosses.

3. Super Smash Bros. The one that started it all. The game I played the most with my family and friends because it was just so much fun. I loved picking either Kirby or Star Fox and just beating everyone down. The single player was fun to do on your own as well, not to mention all the unlockables. Particularly one Captain Falcon that was a bitch to try to get, only for him to knock you off the stage and you have to beat the game all over again just to get a shot at trying to unlock him again.

2. Super Mario 64: Mario came to 3D and blew everyone away with how beautiful and awesome this game was and still is. I was never able to beat the game, but I still remember my time with it very fondly. Being able to run around freely, jump around, and take out Bowser was a joy that I'll never forget. One of the best games ever made and certainly a trendsetter when it came to moving video games into 3D.

1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time What is there left to say about this game? Many believe it is the best game of all-time and it is certainly the best game on the N64 and easily the best Legend of Zelda game of all-time.

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Fun Links To Checkout

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If you don't listen to the Official 411 Games Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer" you should! Robert Cooper, Daniel Anderson, and I, discuss the games we've played this week, the gaming news of the week, and just have a lot of fun too. Here is this week's episode…

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Chronology (PC, Linux, MAC)

Soul Sacrifice Delta (PS VITA)

The Last Tinker: City of Colors (PC, Linux, & MAC)


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