The 10 best Nintendo 64 games ever

With rumours growing that we'll see a Nintendo 64 Mini before too long, here's the top ten games we'd like to see on it.

We’ve had the NES Classic Mini. We’re soon to get the SNES Classic Mini. Can you see where Nintendo are going with this? Yes, the internet is rife with rumours that they’re be a Nintendo 64 Mini announced for sometime in 2018, which is a bit like making wild, unjustified speculation that there might, at some point in the future, be a Fast & Furious 9.

Which immediately begs the question – if/when the N64 Mini does arrive, what games do we want to see on it? Putting aside fiddly licensing and ownership details that might stymie some of the best games hitting the new console, here’s the ultimate wish-list…

  1. Super Smash Bros.

Okay, it wasn’t exactly Mortal Kombat in the pulling-your-opponent’s-spine-out-of-their-gullet stakes, but there was a certain Justice League charm to Super Smash Bros, in which you got to play as all manner of Nintendo legends – Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, the lot – beating seven shades of cute out of each other on platformed battle arenas. You’d think a Pikachu versus a gigantic ape would be a foregone conclusion, but you’d think wrong…

  1. F-Zero X

Every metaller’s favourite gravity-defying sci-fi racing Kentucky Derby of a game, F-Zero X was the hi-octane thrill-ride of choice for the generation that didn’t yet have The Smiler or bad ketamine.

  1. Perfect Dark

Taking its cues from the innovations of Goldeneye 007 a few years earlier, Perfect Dark was a futuristic first person stalk’n’shooter that earned the N64 one of its few ‘mature-rated’ certificates – possibly because all of the adrenaline-fuelled gunfire was aimed at enemies with freakishly photo-real faces (considering their bodies seemed to be made of fuzzy Lego).

  1. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Long before Star Wars Battlefront, Rogue Squadron was an incredibly convincing sky battle between X-Wing and Tie-Fighter, right down to the authentic whizz-by sounds akin to orgasming metal chipmunks.

  1. Banjo-Kazooie

A bear with a bird rucksack runs around a 3D platform jungle making some of the most annoying noises this side of the guy from Interpol singing – and somehow this made for one of the most engrossing games of a generation. Let’s just say the drugs were better in the 90s.

  1. Starfox 64

You’re probably barrel-rolling in your seat at the merest mention of this vulpine starship trouper, who made his leap to the N64 with all of his oddball animal assistants, bizarre space monkey bosses and useless frog friends in tow. Shit tank though, eh?

  1. Mario Kart 64

Proof that just putting ‘64’ after the best games on the SNES was enough to make them brilliant for the next gen consoles too, the Mario Kart update was just as fabulous and fun on the 64, with the added bonus of 3D graphics and the devastating blue shell weapon that was basically just there to ruin your friendship with whoever’s winning the race at any given moment.

  1. Goldeneye 007

The N64’s first real ground-breaker, Goldeneye 007 is something of a legend thanks to its cinematic aesthetic, sniper mechanics, group playability and graphics that, back then, looked like friggin’ Avatar.

  1. Super Mario 64

Or Mario: Unleashed. Super Mario 64 saw the ubiquitous Nintendo icon cast out into his first ever 3D world where he could climb, swim, bounce off and generally headbutt pretty much everything on his way through masterfully designed levels with some of the 120 stars needed to unlock Yoshi hidden away so fiendishly they’d have Lara Croft throwing in the treasure hunting towel and going into teaching.

  1. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time

Vast, immersive and truly epic, Ocarina was the N64’s real masterpiece, setting the blueprint for generations of open world games to come with its genius boss battles, engrossing side quests and puzzles worthy of Only Connect. Some would argue it’s the best Zelda ever, but right now those people are too busy arguing that Dr Who should definitely have a penis.