Here you will find my brief reviews of Nintendo 64 (N64) games, along with a rating from 1 to 10. A rating of 9-10 indicates a great game; 7-8 is a good game; 5-6 is a mediocre game; 3-4 is a poor game; and 1-2 is a horrible game. At the bottom of the page can be found my Top 10 list. To view a video showing most of these games, see 50 Nintendo 64 Games.
This is a fairly fun, but slow-paced, baseball game. It has one major flaw, however: Bugs. Your season stats will get screwed up long before the season ends, and sometimes the game completely crashes. It's frustrating to play for 40 minutes only to have the game crash in the ninth inning. It's a decent sports game otherwise, but still, the flaws prevent me from recommending it.
This 3D platform game stars a hillbilly bear named Banjo, and a backpack-dwelling bird named Kazooie. You must explore large levels as you defeat enemies and collect items such as music notes. My biggest complaint involves the music notes that you must acquire. Even though it saves the number of notes you have, it does not save the notes themselves. If you have 80 notes in a level and you need 90, you can't just go back and collect the ones you missed--you must collect all 90 at one time. Even though I'm not a big fan of the characters in this game, Banjo-Kazooie is a solid game that's fun to play.
Destruction is the name of the game in this unique action/puzzle title. A nuclear missile is being transported to a new location, and you must make sure it gets there safely. You'll use bulldozers and other machines (including giant robots) to clear a path by destroying everything in sight. It may seem to be all action at first, but later levels include puzzles in the form of obstacles that can't be easily destroyed or avoided. This game is a lot of fun, but a few of the vehicles (namely the dump truck) are a bit hard to control.
This action game from Seta and Midway lets you pilot one of eight different helicopters. You must fight your way through seven missions filled with enemy vehicles and soldiers. Even though this game is quite short, there are some challenging (and frustrating) parts. Aiming in itself can be hard to do, especially when your altitude is constantly changing (and no, you can't directly control your altitude). And some of the enemy's superhuman soldiers are able to leap up into the air and hang on to your helicopter, making your chopper wiggle around wildly until the soldier eventually falls off. And while some of the music is decent, the rest of it is downright horrible. Even though this isn't a game I'd recommend, it is mildly fun for a short time.
This 3D platformer may star a cartoonish squirrel, but it is not for kids. It is rated M for Mature (ages 17+) because of profanity, sexual innuendo, blood, and gore. The game tries to be funny, which sometimes works but often doesn't. As for the gameplay, the game uses "context sensitive" pads which give you different abilities in different areas. So pressing the B button may allow you to shoot a gun, swing a pan, or urinate, depending on the situation. This does give the game some variety, but it feels more like a bunch of mediocre mini-games thrown together. Unfortunately, the controls are often sluggish and poor camera angles make it difficult to do something that should be simple. The game can be frustrating at times, with obscure level goals (the disco level takes the cake for that category). Conker's Bad Fur Day has a couple of enjoyable parts, but the vast majority is a chore. It tries to get by just with graphics and humor but shoddy gameplay. That doesn't fly with me.
This is what Mario Kart 64 should have been. It may look like another go-kart racer, but Diddy Kong Racing has much more to offer. For example, you don't have to drive a go-kart; you can control an airplane or hovercraft instead. There is also an adventure mode that lets you explore the world, collect balloons, and even "battle" against boss characters. This game also features some great music and a variety of multiplayer modes. It's not your typical racing game, and that's a very good thing.
In this 3D platform game, you play as five different members of the Donkey Kong family. You explore eight huge worlds, collecting bananas, completing tasks, defeating enemies, and playing a wide variety of mini-games. Each character has many things to find in each world, which ends up making this game absolutely huge. There are also several multiplayer modes and bonus games, including a port of the original Donkey Kong arcade game. Despite a flawed camera system that makes certain parts of the game frustrating, Donkey Kong 64 is a very entertaining and extremely addictive game that I highly recommend. It also has a lot of incredible music that adds to the fun. This is the best N64 game I have played.
While Doom 64 has similar gameplay to other early Doom games, it has its own unique levels and other features. It does have its share of problems, including some areas of the game that are excessively dark. It also lacks a two-player option. But overall, it is a fun game. It runs fast and smoothly, has eerie music and sound effects, and includes tons of demon-blasting action.
This excellent supercross game is one of the best racing games available for Nintendo 64. It has 20 courses, both indoors and outdoors, that are well-designed and fun to play. There are also many extras in this game as well, including a track editor, a stunt course, a soccer game, and a conversion of the original Excitebike NES game.
This is a very fast-paced, futuristic hovercraft racing game from Nintendo. There are 24 tracks you can race on, plus randomly-generated tracks that can be accessed in the "X Cup." F-Zero X isn't as outstanding as the original F-Zero (and doesn't seem to have the same atmosphere), but it still is a solid and enjoyable game.
This is an action/adventure game for up to four players. You can play as a wizard, a warrior, a Valkyrie, or an archer. You fight monsters, use magic potions, seal up lairs, collect items, and search for the exit of each level. Between levels, you can purchase health and other power-ups. One minor complaint I have is that you can't manually change the camera angle during gameplay. Even though the camera generally works well, there are times when altering the viewpoint could have been very helpful. The gameplay in Gauntlet Legends does become a bit repetitive after a while, but the game is still challenging and fun to play.
This is the classic first-person shooter starring James Bond. It's not quite perfect; it can get frustrating when enemy shots keep you from moving and/or aiming well. Also, some mission objectives are not described adequately, and sometimes it's not clear what you are supposed to be doing. But still, this is a great single-player game and it's even better in the multiplayer mode.
This is a farming simulation game that also has some role-playing elements. You plant crops, raise animals, go fishing, explore new areas, make trips into town, buy items, make friends, meet a girl, get married, have a child, and much more. There are many fun festivals to enjoy throughout the year. This game is surprisingly fun to play and insanely addictive. The graphics are undeniably poor, but once you get involved with this game, you won't care a bit.
This is the N64 version of the water-based arcade racing game from Midway. Race on 13 courses as you grab boost balloons for extra speed and watch carefully for hidden shortcuts. Several of the tracks are very challenging and will take many attempts to complete. You'll need to learn the tracks well and find most (or all) of the shortcuts to have a chance in the trickier courses. The graphics are pretty good by N64 standards, but the boats don't control as well as they do in other versions of the game. The hydro jump is particularly hard to pull off in this version. Despite coming on a cool blue cartridge, Hydro Thunder is just a mediocre game on N64.
I'm not a big soccer fan, but it's undeniable that ISS64 is one heck of a great sports game. It's simple enough that anyone can play, but there is also quite a bit of complexity involved for those who want to master it. You can customize your formation, strategy, and players any way you wish. The announcer, while not perfect, is more than adequate, and his exciting goal calls are outstanding. But most importantly, this game is quite fun to play, alone or with friends.
This Zelda game is quite a bit different from all of the others. Zelda barely even appears in the game, the world (Termina) has a darker feel to it than Hyrule did, and there is now a time limit. An evil-looking moon is falling from the sky, and you must find a way to stop it. Link has the ability to change into other forms, which prove to be quite helpful along the way. Majora's Mask may not be as good as Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past, but it still is a very fun and addictive game.
Link's first 3D adventure is a classic. A huge overworld and many dungeons await you as you journey through Hyrule. Many weapons and tools from previous Zelda games have returned, but the new ocarina is Link's most useful item. Playing certain tunes on the ocarina can open up new passageways, warp you to another location, or even let you alter the flow of time. Adventure games don't get much better than this.
This is a very good football game from Electronic Arts. The gameplay is similar to that of every other Madden game, but that's not a bad thing. This version also has a "Madden Cards" feature that lets you collect various football cards. You can try to collect them all or you can use them as power-ups during an exhibition game. It's a nice addition to this high-quality game.
The original Super Mario Kart was an outstanding, innovative racing game. Unfortunately, this sequel fails to equal the excellence of its SNES predecessor. The control isn't quite as good and many of the courses are dull and exceedingly long. It also didn't help that my favorite character from the original (Koopa Troopa) is not in the game. Its only saving grace is that it can be fairly fun in the multiplayer modes. But still, there are better kart games out there. (See Diddy Kong Racing).
This is essentially a collection of 50 mini-games wrapped up into a board game form. Most of the mini-games are quite simple, and many are "button-mashers" where you do little more than mindlessly press buttons or rotate the control stick as fast as possible. But thankfully, there are some fun ones as well. Mario Party really shines as a multiplayer game, but it gets very boring when played alone.
Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and other Nintendo characters face off in this quality sports game. In addition to standard exhibition and tournament modes, there are several unique bonus games as well. One such mode gives your characters Mario Kart style power-ups, but my favorite is one in which you must hit the ball through various rings that appear on the court as you play. My biggest gripe with the game is the two-button control system. Even though the N64 controller has plenty of buttons available, you'll have to press different combinations of the A and B buttons to use certain shots. (A and then B for a lob; B and then A for a drop shot). The game still controls well, but it certainly isn't the ideal control setup.
This is an updated version of Tetris. It includes some new features, including multi-squares, mono-squares, and the ability to hold a piece for later use. These changes will alter your strategy somewhat, but the gameplay is still essentially the same as was in the original Tetris. But that's not a bad thing, as The New Tetris is still fun to play, especially in multiplayer mode. Some of the music is pretty good, too.
This is an excellent first-person shooter from Rare. The single-player mode isn't quite as great as that of GoldenEye 007 (although it's still very good), but the multiplayer mode is outstanding. There are many options so that you can customize the way you want to play, right down to choosing your character's outfit and face. Perfect Dark is perhaps the best multiplayer game I've played.
This flight simulator lets you pilot a gyrocopter, a rocketpack, and a hang glider while completing various tasks. There are also bonus levels that let you go skydiving or be shot out of a cannon. Overall, Pilotwings 64 is a good--but not great--game. My biggest complaint would be the camera angles, which make certain parts of the game very frustrating. You will lose points for crashing into walls that you can not even see. Many levels of the game are fun to play, but this game lacks the polish and attention to detail that the original SNES Pilotwings had.
In this unique game, you ride in a hovering "Zero-One" vehicle armed only with a camera. The goal is to photograph dozens of Pokemon creatures scattered throughout seven different environments. Your pictures are scored based on how close you are to the Pokemon, the quality of the Pokemon's pose, and if the Pokemon is centered in your photograph. You can also get bonus points for catching them in a rare situation or by including multiple Pokemon in the picture. Some puzzle solving is also required to unlock some levels or to find certain Pokemon. The game's seven levels are short, only taking a few minutes each. But you will need to play them all multiple times to photograph everything that you need. The game doesn't have a lot of depth or replay value, although it can be mildly fun for a few hours. Pokemon fans may get more enjoyment out of this than non-fans like me, but judging strictly by gameplay, it's only a mediocre game.
This good first-person shooter comes from id Software, creators of Doom. The sci-fi look of the levels and the impressive use of sound effects give the game a cool atmosphere. The default controls may take awhile to get used to, as you need to use the C buttons to move instead of the joystick. Thankfully, you can choose one of several other controller configurations instead, but still the buttons are not completely customizable. One thing I don't like about this game is that ammo is often hard to come by. It isn't quite the blast-a-thon that Doom is.
This is an action/platform game starring the limbless character Rayman. You'll explore various lands, collect lums, rescue friends, solve puzzles, ride rockets, and fight pirates as you make your way through this moderately challenging adventure. Unlike Rayman's original Jaguar game, Rayman 2 is in 3D. But both games have one thing in common: They both combine great graphics with solid gameplay.
This racing game takes place on the streets of San Francisco. The gameplay is very unrealistic; you can do things such as leap over skyscrapers to pass up the other racers. Unfortunately, the subpar control makes it hard to steer your car in tight spaces, and the music in the game ranges from mediocre to unbearable. Yet still, this game is fun to play, especially in the two-player mode.
This is a challenging platform game with many puzzle elements. You have to complete a variety of downright odd objectives by killing, and taking over, the bodies of dead mutant robotic animals. The game is innovative and very challenging, but it's also quite weird. What other game has hovering sheep and exploding rat feces?
Fox McCloud is back in this 3D space shooter. You'll pilot an Arwing spaceship (and also a tank in some levels) as you blast your way through a variety of action-packed levels. The other members of your team (Peppy, Falco, and Slippy) will help you out occasionally, but more often they'll be demanding help from you or getting in your way. Their voices can get very annoying at times, especially that of Slippy Toad. The game has multiple paths to take, which gives the game some extra replay value. Even after beating the game, you'll want to complete the other paths as well. Star Fox 64 isn't as challenging as the original Star Fox, and it has a less serious, more lighthearted atmosphere than the SNES original. But even though I prefer the SNES title, Star Fox 64 is still a highly enjoyable game that any shooter fan should try out.
This is a 3D space shooter set in the Star Wars universe. The graphics and sound are impressive, but the rest of the game doesn't fare quite as well. Each level has various objectives that must be completed, although it's not always entirely clear what they are. And the camera angles are sometimes very awkward when turning. Also, many of the later levels get frustratingly difficult. Rogue Squadron isn't a bad game, but it's not a great one either.
Mario's first 3D adventure was perhaps the most groundbreaking game of its time. What Doom did for first-person shooters, Super Mario 64 did for 3D platformers. You'll explore the castle, where each door leads to a new level. Each level has multiple stars to collect, so replaying levels is a large part of the game. And yes, the plot is the same as virtually every Mario game (rescue the princess), but the great, innovative gameplay made this game a classic.
Drive on a variety of surfaces in this rally racing game. As you race, parts of your car will become damaged and will need to be repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, this happens far too often, as the cars seem quite fragile. To succeed, you'll need to find the right combination of parts suited for each race's terrain(s) and weather. When you don't have the right setup, your car may be hard to control or not fast enough to compete. There are also occasional control problems not related to car parts, sometimes involving sticking to an obstacle and having it turn your car around as you try to break free. The game also has Gran Turismo style license tests to help improve your skills. Overall, Top Gear Rally 2 can be somewhat enjoyable, even if it is a bit rough around the edges. It's also worth mentioning that the instruction manual does a poor job of explaining key aspects of the game.
Hop on your JetSki and speed to the finish line in this excellent racing game. It has great control and some cool courses. It lacks a four-player mode and the announcer's voice is somewhat annoying, but Wave Race 64 is still one of the best racing games on the system.
This is a dumbed-down sequel to Yoshi's Island. That SNES game was long and challenging, while Yoshi's Story is short and easy. The gameplay itself isn't all that different; you still run, jump, and shoot eggs at enemies. But now there is no Baby Mario to keep track of, and the object of each level isn't just to reach the goal, but to collect lots of fruit. It's still a decent platform game (and it has some good music), but the lack of depth keeps it from greatness.
This is my list of the best games that I have played for this system. This list will change over time as I play more games in the system's library.
1. Donkey Kong 64
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
3. Perfect Dark
4. International Superstar Soccer 64
5. GoldenEye 007
6. Super Mario 64
7. Wave Race 64
8. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
9. Harvest Moon 64
10. Excitebike 64