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 3DS FEATURE

Nintendo Classic Mini N64: 21 games we want to see

Nay, NEED to see
Product: SNES Mini | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: 3DS, Switch
 
SNES Mini 3DS, thumbnail 1
Surely an N64 Mini is a given at this point. I mean, Nintendo literally can't make enough of the two that are already out to meet demand. Suffice to say, it's there.

Then there's the fact a whole generation grew up with the N64 as their first ever system, and would leap at the chance to replay some of the classics.

A few Pocket Gamer team members raised their hands at that, so we're getting our requests in early. Nintendo, if you're reading this, here are 21 games we want to see on the N64 Mini.

Oh, and we really, really want an N64 Mini. Make it happen!

Super Mario 64

Let's start with the obvious. This list wouldn't be complete without the N64's flagship title, Super Mario 64. This was the first ever 3D Mario, and it completely redefined the franchise.

In fact, it set the standard for all 3D Marios to come. Arguably, it's the biggest leap forward the franchise has seen, and maybe ever will see.



The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The N64 was defined by 3D, with basically all of Nintendo's core franchises gaining a dimension. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the first stab at a 3D Zelda.

We got an open world to explore and a mount named Epona to do so on. Much like Mario 64 did for Mario, it totally redefined the Zelda franchise.



The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Majora's Mask was released right at the end of the N64's life, and you get the feeling that Nintendo was in the mood to experiment. It's certainly the oddest - and darkest - entry in the franchise.

In fact, it has a lot more in common with Groundhog Day than typical Zelda. You've got three days to prevent the moon from crashing into Termina. Fail, and you reset right back to the first day.



Mario Kart 64

Mario Kart 64 wasn't quite as much a game changer as other titles on this list, as Super Mario Kart on the SNES was clearly attempting to be 3D anyway.

It was more evolution than revolution, but that's okay because the formula was already pretty damn good to begin with. Mario Kart fans happily settled for updated visuals.



Mario Tennis 64

Mario Tennis 64 was the second entry in the franchise, and the sixth N64 game to feature Mario. It arguably remains the best entry to date as well, and that's no mean feat.

It had a striking amount of depth for the time, with seven different shot types available to the player using just two buttons.



Mario Golf

Mario Golf made its debut on the N64, allowing you to play golf with Mario and pals in various courses in the Mushroom Kingdom.

It's notable for being an accessible alternative to the hit Tiger Woods games at the time, as it was very easy to pick up and play. That being said, there was a lot of depth thanks to weather effects, terrain types, and character attributes affecting how you play.



Paper Mario

The long-lived Paper Mario franchise actually began on the N64, despite the original looking a bit like an SNES game.

It's kind of a spiritual successor to Super Mario RPG. There are turn-based battles, characters to meet and assist, and a variety of gorgeous locations to explore.



Goldeneye 007

If you had an N64, chances are you had Goldeneye 007 and played it to death with your friends. And as the third highest selling game on the system, it deserves a place in the N64 Mini.

Goldeneye 007 marked a change in direction for first person shooters in a number of different ways. It provided a realistic alternative to DOOM, demonstrated that the genre could work on consoles, and provided multiplayer deathmatch for the first time.



Star Fox 64

Star Fox 64 is the reason Star Fox 2 never actually arrived on the SNES, as Nintendo felt the latter wasn't technically impressive enough.

So instead, fans of the original had to wait until the N64 to get more Star Fox action. But it was totally worth the wait, with gorgeous visuals and incredibly fast-paced shooting. It was very much the technical marvel Nintendo hoped it would be.



Donkey Kong 64

While Donkey Kong 64 was very warmly received at launch, selling a ton of copies, it hasn't quite aged so well. I guess people finally realised that collecting a bunch of items isn't all that interesting.

But still, it's the first ever 3D Donkey Kong and an important part of the franchise's history, so it deserves to make it onto the list.



Pokemon Stadium

Pokemon Stadium is another game you probably lost years of your life to with your friends on the couch back when gamers still did that sort of thing.

It plays exactly as it sounds, as you pit your favourite Pokemon against each other in turn-based battles. If you dreamed of being a Pokemon trainer, this was the game for you.



Pokemon Snap

Then there was the bizarre Pokemon Snap, for those that loved Pokemon so much that they didn't really want to see them get hurt.

Snap is basically an on-rails "shooter" in which you take snaps of Pokemon in their environments looking all adorable.



F-Zero X

Man, we miss F-Zero and would totally settle for playing X all over again. It's the first 3D entry in the franchise, and played in a nippy 60 frames per second.

It's super tough, featured a random track generator, and plays really, really fast. It's not a looker though, and wasn't really at the time. That's the only thing that could hold it back.



1080 Snowboarding

Nintendo sure was busy during the N64 period - so many excellent new franchises were created, including 1080 Snowboarding.

1080 Snowboarding provides snowboard racing fun, across a variety of different modes - a few of which focus entirely on performing tricks.



Wave Race 64

Wave Race 64 is yet another N64 racer that we want to see on the Mini. This one is water-themed, as the name suggests, and features jet skis.

It's cool because you get a speed boost if you pass different coloured posts at the correct side, without missing one. That encourages you to keep a solid racing line throughout.



Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was, curiously, the only Kirby game that launched on the N64. It followed in its predecessor's footsteps though, with Kirby exploring a gorgeous world, breathing in enemies to absorb their powers.

It's 2.5D, but features gorgeous 3D backdrops. In fact, it still holds up pretty well today visually. It's definitely a pretty one.



Yoshi's Story

Yoshi's Story is a direct sequel to the SNES title, Yoshi's Island. Though it provides more 2D platforming, the sequel injects a bit of puzzle solving into the mix.

It's a pretty experimental game, taking place in the pages of a pop-up book. You have to eat fruit in a certain order to get the highest score, so knowing a level inside out is paramount.



Pilotwings 64

Pilotwings 64 was a launch title for the N64 and is a 3D flight simulator in which you help six pilots earn their licence by completing a variety of tests.

Of course, you can also simply fly around the world, which is a cute miniaturised version of the United States. I think we'd all love to play Pilotwings 64 again.



Excitebike 64

Excitebike is another Nintendo franchise that has been forgotten and left behind, and it's a shame. Still, playing it all over again on an N64 Mini would be much appreciated.

It's the first 3D entry in the franchise, and features a bunch of licenced dirt bikes to race with. You can also choose from six characters, each of which have their own attributes.



Super Smash Bros.

Though most look back on Super Smash Bros. Melee as the defacto Smash experience, the franchise actually started on the N64.

What's Super Smash Bros. you say? How dare you! It's Nintendo's fighting franchise that features your favourite characters from throughout Nintendo history, and focuses on knocking your opponents off the arena instead of just depleting their health.



Mario Party

I've only ever heard bad things about the Mario Party franchise, but you have to admire Nintendo's persistence with it. There have been 10 mainline entries and four spin-offs.

But it all started on N64 with the original Mario Party, a boardgame-style collection of minigames that still has the highest Metacritic average of any in the franchise since.


 

Reviewer photo
Glen Fox 4 October 2017
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