N64 Mini Classic: 27 Games We Want to See
Nintendo recently announced that the Super NES Classic Edition is headed our way in September. It’s undoubtedly going to fly off of shelves, and there are already pre-order issues because of the low stock. If you even see one out in the wild you can consider yourself lucky. But, it’s likely Nintendo won’t stop there.
Just a few days ago, Nintendo filed for a few trademarks around controller designs for their many systems. One of these was for the Nintendo 64’s iconic trident styled controller. Many speculate that this is proof that a N64 Mini Classic Edition is headed our way. Whether the trademark correlates to a Nintendo 64 Mini, I don’t know. But one thing is for sure – it’s coming.
So when the Nintendo 64 Classic Edition hits our shelves in 2018, what classic N64 games will it bring along with it? Here are 27 games we’re hoping Nintendo considers to make the cut. Note that titles like Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007, the THQ wrestling games, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and the Banjo series are all omitted due to licensing issues. It’s unfortunate, but highly unlikely these would ever have a shot at making the consoles cut.
Here are the games we would want to see for the inevitable N64 Mini Classic:
When you think of the Castlevania series, no one ever thinks about the 1999 Nintendo 64 title. But it wasn’t bad! The series’ first foray into a 3D world, Castlevania on the 64 earned pretty favorable reviews. And Nintendo has proven that they work well with Konami, bringing Castlevania to the NES Mini and Contra III to the SNES Mini. The Nintendo 64 Castlevania would be a solid addition to this list.
Diddy Kong Racing
Nintendo’s other “kart” racer series was Unfortunately one and done. Diddy Kong Racing was awesome! Players had the ability to pilot either cars, hovercrafts or planes. And each of the game’s levels were designed accordingly. It ended up being Nintendo’s sixth best seller on the Nintendo 64, so it’s a wonder Nintendo never brought it back. A sequel was planned for the GameCube, Donkey Kong Racing, but it was eventually canceled due to Microsoft purchasing Rare. I would imagine Nintendo has all the rights to make a proper sequel, but they haven’t as of yet, so who knows. Regardless, this is a no-brainer addition from Nintendo for its mini 64. And a great experience for anyone who thought Mario Kart was the only kart racer in the Nintendo family.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
I don’t know if Disney would let Rogue Squadron out to play, but if they did, it would be an amazing addition. The flight mechanics were fantastic, and the visuals at the time were top notch. Critics universally agreed that the sound design was a highlight too. The game’s audio was – wait for it – out of this world…
Donkey Kong 64
Some love it. Some hate it. But it’s notorious for sure. The collect-a-thon that is Donkey Kong 64 was DK’s first – and last – attempt at a 3D platformer. Many thought it was egregious the sheer amount of collectables that were requested of you. Others enjoyed the amount of time it took to complete. Regardless, everyone agrees that the DK Rap was a hit for the ages.
Wave Race 64
“MAXIMUN POWER!” Any Wave Race 64 enthusiast immediately has flashbacks of that phrase. Whether you were doing barrel rolls or unlocking dolphins to ride, it seemed like there was a ton to do in this gem. A gorgeous sequel helped showcase what the Gamecube could do later on, but Wave Race 64 started it all.
Star Fox 64
The original. Often imitated, never duplicated. It seems that Nintendo has yet to put out another addition to the Star Fox series that has hit the same level of mastery that the original did. The game was a sight to behold back in 2000. And the 4 player split-screen dog fights were a underrated portion of the complete package.
I figured I had to choose between Wipeout 64 and F-Zero X for this list – the latter obviously won out. X features a plethora of gameplay modes and racing options – all with blazing speed on the Nintendo 64. The series’ first foray into 3D was a fantastic one. It’s not quite as amazing as the GameCube’s F-Zero GX, but it’s damn close.
Harvest Moon 64
Before Animal Crossing made its North American debut on the GameCube, there was Harvest Moon 64. The game garnered quite the cult following after its 1999 release. Starting with just your hammer, axe, sickle, hoe and watering can, it’s up to you to build your measly farm up to something respectable. Should the game make the N64 Mini’s cut, it’s sure to suck hours of your life away.
While Mario had hosted golf tournaments on NES a few times before, Mario Golf was the first proper entry in the successful series. The quirks of the Mushroom Kingdom were a perfect fit for an arcade styled golf outing. And while the formula has been refined over the years, it still lends credit to its roots that took hold back on the Nintendo 64.
Mario Kart 64
The original 3D Kart entry, Mario Kart 64 was every group of friends’ go to game. Whether racing through the Mushroom Kingdom, or hunting each other down in Block Fort, Mario Kart 64 was an absolute party must. It took until the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo to even come close to as good as a Battle Mode again.
Mario Party 2
At least one Mario Party entry is a sure thing for the N64 Mini, and my bet is it’s this one. Arguably the best of the Nintendo 64 iterations, Mario Party 2 is an absolute blast if you have the right setup. And that setup is simple – 4 friends and 4 Nintendo 64 controllers. It’s a formula for a ton of fun – and possibly some broken analogue sticks…
Where there’s Mario Golf, there’s typically Mario Tennis too. While great games themselves, the Mario Tennis series never quite hit the ace shots that Mario Golf did. That does not however, make it a poorly executed attempt. Especially with four player doubles, Mario Tennis is a blast to play with friends. Just don’t plan on satisfying yourself primarily with the sometimes painfully unfair single player modes.
San Francisco Rush 2049
San Francisco Rush 2049 was the definitive arcade racer of the N64 era (sorry, Cruis’n USA). Atari Games took the fantastic game that hit arcade cabinets and added a bit more to it before bringing it to the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast. At home, player’s cars could sport stunt wings which enabled your vehicle to perform maneuvers mid-air. Because cars doing tricks is, you know, awesome.
Ogre Battle 64
Ogre Battle 64 is quite possibly the best real time RPG to hit the system. It featured great gameplay. As Magnus Gallant, players could control up to 50 troops. With leaders sporting different class abilities. The game had great replayability too. As players could experience one of six possible endings, some good and others bad.
Paper Mario 64
A.K.A. Super Mario RPG 2, Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64 is widely regarded as the one of the better RPGS to hit the system. And it did it differently than others like the aforementioned Ogre Battle 64. Nintendo kept things fun and not too hardcore with their RPG take. But fans loved it.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
As the only game outside of Super Smash Bros. to feature Kirby on the Nintendo 64, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is almost a “must include” just to get the pink ball of fun onto our theoretical console. The Crystal Shards performed okay with critics, and sold over a million copies. So it’s not like I’m just forcing it onto the list. And the game’s copy mechanic, which enabled Kirby to combine any of seven basic abilities, was somewhat revolutionary at the time.
Pilot Wings 64
As one of the three launch titles for the Nintendo 64, I spend innumerous hours with Pilot Wings 64. I was obsessed with earning gold licenses through the game’s tough courses. Whether it was hang gliding, using the Rocket Belt, or flying the gyrocopter – it was a blast to experience the “vast” landscapes of the 64 era. It’s a wonder that this franchise has remained dormant on consoles Pilot Wings 64‘s release.
Pokémon Puzzle League
Every gaming compilation needs a good puzzle entry. And Pokémon Puzzle League is arguably as good as it got on the Nintendo 64. It’s highly addictive variant on Tetris Attack, but with the Pokémon license in tow, made Puzzle League an instant favorite.
Fans have been begging for a new version of Pokémon Snap or some form of rerelease. The game did hit the Wii Virtual Console, but outside of that it’s been unavailable. The Nintendo 64 Classic Edition is the perfect place to bring it back. Let’s bring Todd Snap out of retirement, eh?
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Found on plenty of “Best of All Time” lists, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is widely regarded as one of the better platforms to hit gaming. It hit the N64 first before heading to PC and PlayStation a short time later. At the time, IGN described it as “the most impressive feat of game design and execution the platforming genre has ever seen.” High praise following Super Mario 64 hitting the system not long before.
Nintendo 64 owners proved quite lucky when Blizzard decided to bring StarCraft to Nintendo’s console instead of the emerging PlayStation. And StarCraft 64 turned out to be the definitive version. It featured a secret mission, the previously released expansions, as well as exclusive missions to Nintendo’s home console. The 64 edition even featured split screen co-op, which would make it a fantastic addition to a the Nintendo 64 Classic Edition library.
The attention to detail within Excitebike 64 was quite surprising to fans and critics alike. It was more of a sim than people may have expected too. But the minigames that were included and the variety of tracks within the cartridge kept the game replayable for quite some time. It’s a wonder Nintendo hasn’t gone back to the bike formula after the Wii’s modest Excite Truck attempt.
Super Mario 64
The originator of proper 3D platforming, and the game that showed all other 3D developers how it’s done. It may not be the best core Mario title to ever hit a console, but it’s certainly one of the most revolutionary. But I supposed that’s just what Mario games do in general, isn’t it?
Super Smash Bros.
I can still remember being mesmerized by Nintendo’s commercial for this game. It featured Pikachu, Yoshi, Mario and Donkey Kong all frolicking through a field to the tune of The Turtles’ “So Happy Together.” Until they weren’t.
Mario trips Yoshi out of nowhere and all hell breaks loose. It was absolutely fantastic. And an excellent commercial to garner interest in the brand new series. The beloved franchise just gained momentum from there – and it all started with this one.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Still widely regarded as one of the best games in history, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time deserves all the accolades and praise thrown its way. I don’t need to fluff this one up – it’s an easy addition to any Nintendo 64 library.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
How do you develop the sequel to one of the greatest games in history? By completely throwing its formula out the window. Sure, Majora’s Mask has the same DNA as Ocarina of Time, but they’re radically different. Nintendo’s implementation of the 3 day rotation and Groundhog Day effect it had on gameplay turned out to be an ingenious mechanic. Some might argue this Zelda outing is the best the Nintendo 64 had.
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
I don’t know if Nintendo would be willing to outright put a Mature title on the N64 Mini, but if they did, Turok is the one to go with. The original game in the series was mind-blowing to 64 owners. And many of us playing it as younger kids were outright scared shitless by the game’s prehistoric antagonists.
The game predated GoldenEye 007, so exploring the game’s open-world in first-person was a sight to behold. And that final boss? Oh, boy…