Top 15 Nintendo 64 Games You're Never Too Old to Try

Updated on December 11, 2017
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Poppy lives near Tokyo and likes to read novels and play video games, especially fantasy RPGs.

The Nintendo 64 was released in 1996 and remains a well-loved console that is the source of a lot of joy and nostalgia for several generations of people around the world. It, along with the Playstation, brightened up many homes and created some precious memories for kids and adults alike.

People's love for the classics inspired Nintendo to create remakes of several of them on DS and Wii. Many people actually still own their original Nintendo 64 as it is arguably sturdier than newer consoles. They're also available to buy in many electronic stores and online.

Here is a list of the top 15 Nintendo 64 games of all time.


15. Jet Force Gemini

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: Rare
Genre: third-person shooter, fantasy

Jet Force Gemini is a shooter game set on an alien planet. It has a single-player mode where you choose between the male character, Juno, the female character, Vena, or the dog, Lupus.

For '90s games, Jet Force Gemini was pretty open-world and had a lot of fun sidequests and gun types. There is also a multiplayer option with various levels.

Although it isn't the most famous Nintendo 64 game, it holds a lot of great memories.


14. Disney's Tarzan

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: Sony, Eurocom
Genre: adventure

To celebrate the Disney's Tarzan in 1999, Konami and Sega released the video game version. The game is level-based and has a lot of fun sidequests like collecting sketches and letters.

The game also had original music from the movie so fans of the film could enjoy the immersive world of Tarzan. You could play as child Tarzan, adult Tarzan, and even Terk, Tarzan's best gorilla friend.


13. Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: Ubi Soft
Genre: adventure, fantasy

This is one of those games that stays with you. The original world of Rayman is a place where the evil pirates have taken over, plunging the world into darkness. The game even starts with your hero captured, making it quite a solemn theme for a kid's game.

Lums, the world's life force, are scattered and you have to collect them. With interesting puzzles, collectible items, and an immersive storyline, it deserves a spot on this list.


12. Donkey Kong 64

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: Rare
Genre: adventure

Although Donkey Kong always played the bad guy in the days of 1980s arcade games, DK was the protagonist of this fantasy adventure. You have to collect bananas and save the other Kongs that have been kidnapped.

This fun game is a source of nostalgia for many and put Donkey Kong on the map as a well-known Nintendo character.


11. Mario Kart 64

Date of release: 1996
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: racing

Mario Kart 8 has sold 2.7 million copies in the USA alone after its release on Nintendo Switch. Part of this was to do with the happy memories of playing previous versions, where we could choose our favourite characters and race our friends.

Mario Kart 64 had some great courses such as the famous Rainbow Road. Many people could relive the '90s of racing their friends as Luigi, Toa, Yoshi, or Princess Peach. It's definitely a classic not to be forgotten.


10. Yoshi's Story

Date of release: 1997
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: side-scrolling, platform

Yoshi's Story tells the tale in the form of a pop-up storybook where one of the Koopa Kids is causing mischief. You can choose your favourite colour Yoshi and even collect extra colours. To finish a level, you have to eat 30 fruits.

To make it extra challenging, you can try to only eat melons, the most valuable fruit. This fun game is strangely addictive and just as cute as can be.


9. Pokémon Snap

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: HAL Laboratory, Pax Softnica
Genre: first-person rail shooter simulation

Pokémon was a familiar sight when it came to video games with the anime and previous releases on Game Boy and Game Boy Advance. For the first time, though, the story had nothing to do with catching and training Pokémon, but taking pictures of them.

Each level had different Pokémon characters and sometimes it would be possible to get really funny pictures. It was a super fun game that would be great to see a re-release of.


8. GoldenEye 007

Date of release: 1997
Developed by: Rare
Genre: first-person shooter, action, stealth

Based on the famous James Bond movies, Tomorrow Never Dies in particular, was this fun stealth shooter game. It was the third bestselling Nintendo game and received multiple awards.

You can rescue hostages, collect different weapons, and destroying specified items. This 3D game was really popular in its time and absolutely deserved to make this list.


7. Pokémon Stadium 2

Date of release: 2000
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: puzzle

This was another fun Pokémon game. You could catch eggs as Chansey, grab fruit as Eevee, and knock each other off platforms as Hitmontop. There was also a battling game where you could work your way through gyms and trainers by choosing your favourite Pokémon and fighting with them.

This game provided hours and hours of fun for lots of '90s kids and created some fond memories.


6. Banjo-Tooie

Date of release: 2000
Developed by: Rare, 4J Studios
Genre: action-adventure

Banjo-Tooie, the sequel to Banjo-Kazooie, involves collecting items and exploring an entirely new world. It was quite challenging for a kid's game and provided days and even weeks of entertainment.

What's fun is that there were a few Easter eggs in there, such as a poster of Jet Force Gemini in one of the character's houses.


5. Banjo-Kazooie

Date of release: 1998
Developed by: Rare
Genre: adventure, strategy

Banjo-Kazooie tells the story of a bear and a bird. When Banjo's sister, Tooty, is kidnapped by the evil witch, Banjo and his bird buddy, Kazooie, have to go and save her. The witch's lair has portals to many different worlds where you can explore, complete quests, rescue Jinjos, and collect jigsaw pieces to open up new worlds and advance through the game.

Both Kazooie and Tooie were awesome, but playing the first one gave the player a completely fresh, new experience. Banjo-Kazooie was also released on XBOX 360 in 2008 and is the tenth best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time.


4. Super Smash Brothers

Date of release: 1999
Developed by: HAL Laboratory
Genre: fighting

The fifth best-selling Nintendo game and super fun is Super Smash Brothers, the older version of another popular game on Wii U. With characters like Link, Yoshi, Mario, and Samus, people were delighted to see their favourite Nintendo characters appear to play as and fight with.

Many new characters and courses have been introduced to this series since 1999, and with the ability to play online, it's still a popular choice for gamers almost twenty years on.


3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Date of release: 2000
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: adventure

Majora's Mask was well anticipated after previous Legend of Zelda games and tells the story of Link and the three days he has to save Clock Town from the wrath of the falling moon. This incredibly challenging fantasy game had a lot of returning characters and items from Ocarina of Time and told its excellent stand-alone story. It was later remade on Nintendo 3DS.


2. Super Mario 64

Year of release: 1996
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: adventure

The highest-selling Nintendo 64 video game of all time, Super Mario 64 introduced a lot of people to the world of Mario and charmed players with its immersive worlds (similar to Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie) and collectible items. People still love to play this incredibly fun game today and it remains a timeless classic.

Super Mario 64 was re-released on Wii U and DS.


1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Year of release: 1998
Developed by: Nintendo
Genre: adventure, fantasy, strategy

Voted 10/10 on IGN and 99% on Metacritic, this is probably the best Nintendo 64 game of all time. It tells the tale of a boy who lives in Kokiri Forest, but is the only boy without his own fairy. It turns out he's actually Hylian, and the one chosen to save the land from Ganondorf, an evil dark king.

With the famous temples, collectible items and a great storyline, this video game continues to be a classic. It was released on Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, and 3DS later so generations can continue to enjoy this masterpiece.


Which game deserves to be number one on this list?

See results

The 1990s was a great time for Nintendo and they released some unforgettable games that set the bar for a lot of gamers around the world. Did you see your favourite game on this list, or did I miss any?

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Poppy


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      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


        4 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Thank you, Nat! I remember the original version, too. The original Fire Temple music is super creepy; you can still watch it on YouTube.

      • Nat Zen profile image

        Nat Zen 

        4 months ago

        Great article Poppy; N64 is my favorite console, and I agree that Ocarina of Time deserves to be at the top of the list! Even though it became available on future consoles, the N64 version is still the best in my opinion with the original Fire Temple music and Gerudo symbols, before they got changed for "PC" reasons. Again, great article!!

      • Terrielynn1 profile image

        Terrie Lynn 

        22 months ago from Canada

        Hi I like this. It brings back some memories of games we played with our children. there wasn't alot to choose from Back then.

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


        22 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Aww I miss the gamecube haha. It didn't sell a lot but I loved it.

      • Jeremy Gill profile image

        Jeremy Gill 

        22 months ago from Louisiana

        Great list, you got all my old favorites with Zelda, Smash Bros, and Pokemon. Star Wars Episode 1:Racer and Diddy Kong Racing are other great gems.

        Rachael, I believe Mario Sunshine was for the Gamecube, though you say it's from the same era, so perhaps you already knew that. Either way, I agree it's a classic.

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


        22 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Wow that's pretty impressive!

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


        22 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        There are so many to choose from, right!

      • RachaelLefler profile image

        Rachael Lefler 

        22 months ago from Illinois

        Some of my favorite games from that era on here! I really loved Mario Party, Yoshi's Island, Diddy Kong Racing, and Mario Sunshine too.

      • Angel Guzman profile image

        Angel Guzman 

        22 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

        Yeah I beat every Sonic console game from 1989-2001 minus Sonic CD, Sonic Spinball, Mean Bean Machine, and Sonic Shuffle.

      • poppyr profile imageAUTHOR


        22 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Thanks for your comment! My mum told me she used to play Sonic the Hedgehog in the early 1990s when she was pregnant with me haha! Did you play Sonic, too?

      • Angel Guzman profile image

        Angel Guzman 

        22 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

        Wow great article. A good friend of mine had Nintendo 64. I had Sega Genesis.


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