Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games of All Time

The Nintendo 64 made its North American debut back in 1996, introducing gamers to brand new 3D worlds and hosting unique renditions of Nintendo’s iconic franchises. Though the system had its quirks, opting to stick to cartridges rather than use CDs and utilizing an oddly shaped three pronged controller, the console was able to make a mark for itself by providing a unique experience compared to the competition at the time. Many features such as analog control, rumble feedback, and built-in 4 player support were all popularized by the Nintendo 64 and have continued to influence video games up to this day.

Having now launched 25 years ago and with N64 games soon to make their way to Nintendo Switch Online, it is worth looking back on some of the most notable titles from this beloved console that have left their mark on gaming history.

#10 – Iggy’s Reckin’ Balls

The game that helped define speedrunning. Iggy’s Reckin’ Balls flawlessly combined spherical-based platform racing with wacky character visuals. Numerous players experienced the adrenaline rush of trying to shave a few seconds off their time while also trying to stave off your opponents. The Nintendo 64 was well known for having plenty of racing games, but none have stood the test of quite like Iggy’s Reckin’ Balls.

#9 – Chameleon Twist

Chameleon Twist has more of an underground following but that doesn’t make it any less revolutionary. This adventure platformer was the first to incorporate tongue-based gameplay into 3D environments. With tight controls and masterful level design, Chameleon Twist remains a must play title on the system.

#8 – Gex 64: Enter the Gecko

Possibly the best of all the lizard games on the Nintendo 64 (and for good reason). To this day Gex remains one of the most recognizable video game mascots due to his snarky attitude and timeless one-liners referencing various celebrities. One could say that without Gex the modern platformer as we know it would not exist today.

#7 – Hooters Road Trip

Another racing title, although Hooters Road Trip stands out as being the only game to ever incorporate both short shorts and high-octane racing into one package. The game was so successful that it eventually led to the creation of a chain of restaurants themed after it. This would have ranked higher were it not for Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits giving it a slight edge over Hooters.

#6 – Virtual Chess 64

Every great system needs a great puzzle game. The Game Boy had Tetris and the Nintendo 64 had Virtual Chess 64. Utilizing the same AI used to train professional chess players in East Germany, Virtual Chess 64 offers a challenging chess experience only enhanced by the addition of breathtaking character animations.

#5 – Pilotwings 64

Launching beside the system in North America, Pilotwings 64 gave players the ultimate freedom by allowing them to experience the joy of flight – as a bird. The game was presented as more of an open sandbox rather than a set linear game where players could explore as they pleased, flying over bus stops or landing to fight other avian rivals over a dropped bag of french fries. Pilotwings 64 still manages to hold up and highlights the system’s impressive capabilities.

#4 – Among Us

Anyone who played multiplayer on the Nintendo 64 likely has memories of playing splitscreen on Among Us. Incredibly popular during the life of the system, Among Us was responsible for many late nights at childhood friends’ houses. With simple but addictive gameplay, Among Us quickly became a staple of the Nintendo 64’s library. Every multiplayer match was a true battle of wits, that is, as long as your friend could be trusted not to screenlook.

#3 – Razor Freestyle Scooter

Extreme sports hit peak popularity at the turn of millennium and luckily Razor Freestyle Scooter was their to answer the demands for a video game adaptation. The gameplay was easy to pick up yet difficult to master, providing the perfect balance to keep players coming back for more. Of course the branding helped as well. Nothing looks cooler than riding a Razor scooter. My parents only got me a generic scooter from Walmart. I tried to tell them it wasn’t the same but they wouldn’t listen.

#2 – Hagrid’s Day Off

Hagrid’s Day Off could perhaps be considered the first true slice-of-life title. Featuring the often underappreciated side character from the first Harry Potter novel turned blockbuster film, the game makes use of a variety of puzzle, adventure, and strategy elements. As you progress through the game, you slowly begin to uncover deeper questions about existence. What does it mean to be alive? What does true fulfillment mean for each person? Why am I replaying games from my childhood in a futile attempt to experience the same joy I felt back then? Save me, Hagrid! Save me from this torment!

#1 – Waluigi’s Taco Stand

The crown jewel of all Nintendo 64 games. Waluigi’s Taco Stand not only introduced the food management platformer genre, but it also set the standard for what all future titles should be. Timeless level design, iconic music, and a massive world to explore, Waluigi’s Taco Stand was and still is in a league of its own. With perfection achieved, Nintendo to this day continues to ignore this game’s existence, knowing that everything produced afterward simply pales in comparison to this masterpiece.

About the author

Sustaining on instant noodles and a wavering DSL connection, it is uncertain how Vestro has continued to survive let alone still form a cognitive thought. Regardless, he still manages to come out of his soba induced coma now and then. He can be found spending his time pretending to understand Japanese media as well as picking up the remaining shards of his broken dreams.