Despite how much the Nintendo 64 lacked in terms of its game library compared to the PlayStation, there are plenty of great games available.
And it’s not just your Super Mario 64s and Ocarina of Times, there are many games that few have heard of, let alone played. In this article, I’m gonna look at 10 of my most-wanted N64 games on Nintendo Switch Online, a mixture of popular classics and hidden gems.
10. Bomberman Hero
Bomberman is a game held in very high regard. This is thanks in particular to the multiplayer mode that’s become standard for any and all entries in the series. However, there is more to Bomberman Hero than just its multiplayer mode, serving as one of the best demonstrations of how much value Bomberman has as a single-player game.
Bomberman Hero is a cross between an action-adventure and a platformer, and represents a significant improvement over its predecessor, Bomberman 64. The game is pretty challenging, especially the boss fights, so be ready to blow things up!
9. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
While Conker’s Bad Fur Day is definitely most well-known for how lewd and crude it is, that is not the only value it brings to the table. It’s one of the better collect-a-thons on the Nintendo 64, and although it’s not the most polished, it’s still tons of fun. The game sends you through a wide variety of interesting and humorous settings. It may start you out with your typical 3D platformer setting, but eventually, you find Conker going to war or going to… well, shit. It also gets pretty wild with the references, especially later on in the game.
The single-player game is solid, but to be honest, more people need to try out the multiplayer mode, and this is the perfect opportunity to do that. Whether it be war games, racing, or the heist mode, these Player VS. Player modes will keep you busy for a while.
8. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
The whole Goemon franchise was a pretty interesting look into Japanese culture for American gamers back when it first came to the west, and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon really takes things up to 11. It doesn’t worry for a single moment about confusing players with how wacky it is.
If you’re not interested in playing a comedy action-adventure game, then this game might not appeal to you. For me though, it’s a breath of fresh air for a game to not take itself seriously at all. It gives it way more of an identity than it would have if it was just trying to be another take on the Ocarina of Time formula, which would have been such a tragic loss. The game is not executed perfectly, not by any means, but it’s one of those games that sticks with you for a real long time.
7. Puyo Puyo Sun 64
Puyo Puyo is one of my favorite puzzle game series, and the N64 game in particular holds a special place in my heart. I played this game a lot growing up, and it was one of the cutest games I’d ever played. I loved playing through the single-player mode and finding out more about my opponents. But the real meat of the game is its multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer is so addictive, and it requires a lot of planning to get crazy combos. When you master the gameplay, combos become practically effortless! The only big downside is that getting too good makes it too easy when you’re playing against friends. But when you find someone who is as good as you are? A good game of Puyo Puyo can get real intense.
There have been a lot of different unconventional kinds of Tetris games, and for me, this one is definitely the most successful attempt by the company. It wouldn’t be the first 3D Tetris – we literally had 3D Tetris on Virtual Boy – but it’s a lot more well-thought-out. Instead of having to clear lines like in typical Tetris gameplay, it’s more of a match three style, where they have to make three of the same shape touch to get rid of all three of those shapes. This also affects other nearby pieces of the same shape.
The puzzle itself is a 3D sphere, with Tetris pieces arranged all around it, and you have to navigate across this sphere to try to break down the layers. In addition to the normal gameplay, you can also receive assistance from items, such as rockets, to break the layers even faster. The single-player mode is focused on reaching the center of the sphere, while the multi-player is a race between either another player or the CPU to see who can finish the fastest. It was such a blast when my sister and I played as kids, and I’m excited about playing it again with her online.
5. Turok: Rage Wars
To be honest, Turok: Rage Wars is not the best Turok game on the N64, not even close. What made me choose it was because of its emphasis on competitive multiplayer. I had a blast playing Rage Wars as a kid, and being able to play it online would be a great way to go back to it. The game has lots of different ways to play, including 1v1 and team deathmatch modes, Capture the Flag, and my personal favorite, Monkey Tag – where you turn your opponent into a monkey and try to frag them. Despite the multiplayer being the draw, however, there is still plenty of fun to find with the single-player Trials, which offer dozens upon dozens of challenges to overcome.
Another thing I like about this game is the selection of playable characters, and for a deathmatch game, you, of course, want to have a good selection. And frankly, Turok has one of my favorite casts of characters, though maybe only because of the fact that you can play as a Velicoraptor. Sure, you can’t use weapons as this character, but instead, you have some vicious raptor claws to tear your opponents apart with. There’s nothing cooler than that!
I think this is easily the most obscure entry on this list, and one of two Japan-only games. Honestly, it’s unfortunate that this has not been played by more people, as the premise and style are so fun and creative. It’s honestly such a shame that this never came anywhere other than Japan, because I think it would have been a big hit with N64 fans. It doesn’t hurt that there weren’t as many fighting games on the platform as the PS1 had.
The game has you playing as the doodles (or Rakuga) of kids, and the gameplay itself is something of a simplified fighting game, at least when compared to the likes of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat anyway. Ultimately, the characters are what make it stand out so much, as their designs make you feel like actual children drew them.
3. Perfect Dark
With GoldenEye 007 on the horizon, and Rareware games already on the Switch, this is the perfect opportunity to bring what I think is the best Rareware shooter ever made to the platform. Plus, they don’t have to worry about licensing like they had to with GoldenEye 007 (Microsoft aside anyway). But since we’ve already gotten Banjo-Kazooie and are eventually getting GoldenEye 007, I doubt this game will ever see the light of day.
While GoldenEye 007 was definitely the bigger game, I think Perfect Dark is a refinement of what they tried to achieve with the first, making what I think is a superior game. The game looks so much better, they added voice acting, and the addition of secondary functions to your weapons makes the gameplay experience much more diverse, single-player or otherwise. If you enjoy GoldenEye 007 multiplayer, you will love Perfect Dark too, if not more.
2. Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. may seem quaint by comparison to the incredibly large roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but there are still a lot of reasons to check out the N64 game. For one, it is uniquely fun to play, and plays completely differently from any other Smash game. The jumping, movement, and even the movesets feel so different, and it has such a unique aesthetic and vibe that can’t be reproduced in any other Smash game. Combine that with 2-4 player online multiplayer, and you have got a real hit on your hands.
With only 12 characters and 9 stages in total, it may seem like there’s not much to do with this game. And sure, you certainly have fewer options available, but the roster has a good variety of playstyles available, and the stage designs are surprisingly diverse. Honestly, and this is just a personal thing, but my favorite thing to do with classic Smash is play with the Poke Ball Pokemon. Not only are there some Pokemon that haven’t been in another Smash game since, but the fact that they were only flat 2D images makes them look charming.
1. Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
Super Smash Bros. or Perfect Dark feels like the perfect choice for the number one spot, but to be honest, while these are great, the lack of role-playing games for the N64 on NSO is quite apparent. For American gamers, there were only a few options, and to be honest, it was not much better for Japanese players. The Nintendo 64 scared a lot of role-playing game developers off like Square Soft and Enix. One of the few options, and arguably one of the best, is Ogre Battle 64, which is coincidentally also one of the only strategy games on the console.
This game is a solid, fun, challenging, and long – emphasis on long – game. It even has multiple endings, with one of them being the best ending that has to be reached by special means. If you didn’t get the best ending on your first go through, the gameplay and story are good enough to justify a second playthrough anyway.
It’s not nearly enough to make up for the RPG deficit of the N64, but it should at least satisfy RPG N64 owners. It’s a great game in its own right, and one of my all-time favorites.