With the recent trademark application hinting towards the possibility of a Nintendo 64 Mini, it has gotten me thinking on what games I would like to see on it. You naturally have your own wish list; ‘The Know’ did their own segment on what games they would like to see, albeit before the trademark of the N64's unique controller surfaced.
My list, which assumes that there will be as many games with the N64 Mini as there are with the SNES Mini (i.e. 21, because any less seems disappointing, right?), will not be taking into account licensing, as this is a “wish list.” The games are in alphabetical order (except for the 21st), as it would be difficult to arrange them by favourites; there were so many classics! So, here is what I hope will be on the N64 Mini.
1. 1080 Snowboarding
A killer soundtrack, this game is a bit hard to get used to at first. But, ‘1080 Snowboarding’ successfully creates a fun and smooth experience, with Nintendo being able to showcase their ability to make memorable sporting experiences with 3D graphics.
A personal favourite that it a step above ‘Super Mario 64’ (in my opinion), the witty dialogue, catchy music, and memorable cast of characters make this a “must play.” It is a bit frustrating dying within levels while trying to get all 100 notes, as the note counter resets to 0. This was fixed in the Xbox 360 version, so hopefully it can carry over. Same goes for Stop ‘n’ Swap.
You can’t have one without the other. With the same great qualities as the first, this sequel also builds on its predecessor by giving the player a lot more to do (akin to the first and second generations of Pokemon). There is a great deal of backtracking to be done, which may be a turn-off for some, but ‘Banjo-Tooie’ is a fresh and entertaining adventure throughout.
4. Diddy Kong Racing
Introduced a year after ‘Mario Kart 64,’ ‘Diddy Kong Racing’ is more than just a racing game. The game features a story mode, with a collectible component which was a trademark of two other Rare-developed games (see 2, 3, and 5). There is a multi-player mode to race with friends, but the adventure within is enough to keep someone coming back.
5. Donkey Kong 64
Another Rare treasure on the N64, ‘Donkey Kong 64’ borrows many concepts from other platforming games of the time. Rare’s hallmarks of unique characters, funny dialogue, and a great soundtrack are all present, this time with a brand Nintendo fans are used to. The collect-a-thon nature and backtracking may deter some, as with the Banjo games, but the experience is a worthwhile one.
6. F-Zero X
I have never played an F-Zero game before, but I have heard many good things about the franchise; I have also heard a lot of complaining that there has been no new iteration in a while. Racing to the extreme, this version sacrificed graphical detail to ensure the game ran at a smooth 60 frames per second. The Expansion Kit, which was released for the 64DD in Japan, would be a nice addition.
7. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
This is Kirby’s only outing on the N64, and therefore his first foray into 3D (well, technically 2.5D). Kirby games have a similar formula, so there isn’t really anything for me to say regarding the game. You do get to play as King Dedede at certain stages, so that is pretty neat.
8. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
The time limit given may be annoying, but the game retains its place as one of the best in the series. Being able to transform with different masks is definitely unique, with the complex (if not darker) story proving to be one of the best things about this game. Keep in mind, too, that development here took one year compared to the four years it took to make ‘Ocarina of Time.’
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
One of the best games in the series (‘Link to the Past’ and ‘Breath of the Wild’ are the contenders), ‘Ocarina of Time’ is an absolute masterpiece. Like ‘Majora’s Mask,’ it was remade on the 3DS, but the originals still hold up. ‘Ocarina of Time’ itself is crucial to the lore of the series – with the timeline branching to three different possibilities based on the ending – and crucial to this collection.
10. Mario Kart 64
Although the graphics are a bit of a turn-off (compared with the likes of ‘Diddy Kong Racing’), this game is still very entertaining with a group of friends. There were definitely some lessons to be learned in course design (ahem, Wario Stadium), but ‘Mario Kart 64’ remains a staple of the console.
11. Mario Tennis
Easy to play, and fun to play with others, this is another example that Nintendo can make excellent sports games. It may be looked at negatively for introducing the world to Waluigi, but the various modes are enough to keep one entertained, despite the graphics. Possibly, Nintendo could enable wireless/infrared with the N64 Mini to allow connection to the 3DS, which has the GBC version of this game on the virtual console (which originally could be linked to the N64 game with the Transfer Pack).
12. Mario Party 3
With issues arising from the first Mario Party due to some minigames causing blisters (having to spin the control stick around) and Mario Party 2 already being on the Wii and Wii U virtual consoles, this seems like the best one to put on here. With four controller ports (all hopefully working), it could be great getting friends together to play this one.
13. Paper Mario
The latest games in this series have been disappointing, to say the least; this is one of the best. On a system that lacked proper RPGs, this game was welcome for its funny dialogue and unique sense of style. Although there is often debate on whether this or its successor is the best one, there is no second-guessing the place ‘Paper Mario’ has on the Nintendo 64.
14. Pilotwings 64
With its predecessor skipping the SNES Mini, this game is similar in that it was also a launch game for its respective console in North America. Although it has not aged well, especially when compared to ‘Pilotwings Resort,’ the sense of exploration and flight mechanics make this a very freeing game compared to other games where flight was a main factor (ahem, ‘Superman’).
15. Pokemon Puzzle League
Possibly the best puzzle-based game I have played, I hold fond memories of this game: me playing against my parents, my parents playing against each other, and trying to beat Mewtwo. Very addicting, Pokemon fans will be especially drawn to the game due to the story mode loosely following the plot of the first anime series.
16. Pokemon Snap
Although disappointing that all the original 151 Pokemon cannot be photographed, this is still a great game where curiosity is rewarded. You will definitely be replaying levels, but it’s fun to experiment and see Pokemon in their natural environment. And some of the Pokemon are just so darned cute!
17. Pokemon Stadium
Pokemon is great on the handheld console, but a necessary step on bringing it to the N64 was to make Pokemon 3D. Revolutionary, this game enabled you to face off against trainers and Gym Leaders, play various mini-games, and connect with your GB Pokemon games. A nice bonus from Nintendo would be the ability to connect the Pokemon games on the virtual console to keep many of the features intact.
18. Pokemon Stadium 2
Similar to the first game, this version incorporates the second generation. Just as fantastic for hardcore Pokemon fans, I reiterate my opinion that connectivity to the 3DS would be a nice bonus.
19. Super Mario 64
Despite not having aged that well, this game is a must-play. And it is still entertaining, even if it graphics can’t compare to Mario’s latest 3D outings. With many staples of the series being introduced (movement mechanics, Stars), this game is essential to this collection.
20. Super Smash Bros.
One of the best ideas of all time, this game was the start of a spectacular series. With a roster that is small compared to the Wii U/3DS versions (12 compared to 58), ‘Super Smash Bros.’ nevertheless enabled Nintendo to highlight many of their franchises in one package. Although the controls aren’t as great as today, this game is still a blast to play by yourself or with friends.
21. Earthbound 64
Similar to ‘Star Fox 2,’ this game would be a boon for the N64 Mini. Know as ‘Mother 3’ in Japan, it has never been released in any form outside of its home country. It was originally intended to be an N64 game, and was cancelled in Japan – 60% complete – when priorities were changed to the Gamecube. This may be less likely than ‘Star Fox 2,’ but imagine the reception if this was announced.
Well, there you have it. Naturally, there will be some variance between what I have here and what you are hoping for. Some other games that were close to making my list were:
- Goldeneye 007
- Mario Golf
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
- Wave Race 64
If the N64 Mini does get announced, you can bet your Expansion Pak I will be waiting outside my local game store hours before it launches (I learned my lesson from the NES Mini, where I arrived 30 minutes ahead of time). Are you fond of Nintendo’s strategy to play on our nostalgia? Would you get the N64 Mini, if it ends up being released? And what games would you want on your wish list for the N64 Mini?
“Get N or Get Out,”