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The GAMINGbible Team’s All-Time Greatest Nintendo 64 Games

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The GAMINGbible Team’s All-Time Greatest Nintendo 64 Games

On this day (June 23) in 1996, Nintendo released the successor to the company's hugely successful 16-bit console, the Super NES. Bucking the trend for disc-based gaming, as followed by SEGA's Saturn and the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo stuck with cartridges, produced a controller that looked and handled wildly different to its competitors, and proudly put its new console's impressive CPU power in its name. (Missed a trick there, Atari.)

The Nintendo 64, initially revealed as the Ultra 64, launched with a genuinely revolutionary title in the shape of Super Mario 64 - still a high watermark in 3D platforming - and went on to sell over 32 million units. That's not exactly an exceptional high for its makers - the Wii would shift over 100 million (the Wii U, less than 14 million) - but nevertheless, the N64 holds a special place in many players' hearts. Including our own!

The Nintendo 64 and its NUS-005 controller / Credit: Public Domain, Evan Amos
The Nintendo 64 and its NUS-005 controller / Credit: Public Domain, Evan Amos

The console was home to a host of classics that, at their most exceptional and with nostalgia filters firmly turned off, still hold up today. Its 3D Zelda titles, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, were very different experiences but both are beloved by said franchise's fans. British studio Rare produced some outstanding games for the system, including Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, Blast Corps, Perfect Dark and, of course, the local multiplayer majesty of GoldenEye 007.

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The N64 also had its share of fondly remembered Pokémon and Star Wars games - the recent excitement for New Pokémon Snap simply wouldn't be there had the 1999 original not been such an accessible and fun game, for so many. And while it never quite had the RPG support the SNES enjoyed, Paper Mario was a wonderful spin-off from traditional mascot-starring fare - and it kicked off a successful sub-series that will see a new Switch game arrive in the shape of The Origami King, in July 2020.

To mark the console's 24th anniversary, here are the favourite N64 games of a selection of GAMINGbible staffers. There's no specific order to these lists - they're simply the games we feel are the best for Nintendo's fantastic fifth-gen console.

Pokémon Stadium
Pokémon Stadium

Tom Ryan-Smith
Pokémon Snap (1999, developed by HAL Laboratory and Pax Softnica)
Pokémon Stadium (1999, developed by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo EAD)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Conker's Bad Fur Day (2001, developed by Rare)
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (1998, developed by Factor 5 and LucasArts)

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GoldenEye 007
GoldenEye 007

Mark Foster
GoldenEye 007 (1997, developed by Rare)
Pokémon Stadium (1999, developed by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo EAD)
Banjo-Kazooie (1998, developed by Rare)
Super Mario 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (1998, developed by Factor 5 and LucasArts)

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, developed by Nintendo EAD)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Super Smash Bros. (1999, developed by HAL Laboratory)
Super Mario 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Paper Mario (2000, developed by Intelligent Systems)

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Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

James Daly
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Super Mario 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Pokémon Stadium (1999, developed by HAL Laboratory and Nintendo EAD)
GoldenEye 007 (1997, developed by Rare)
Star Fox 64 / Lylat Wars (1997, developed by Nintendo EAD)

Jet Force Gemini
Jet Force Gemini

Mike Diver
GoldenEye 007 (1997, developed by Rare)
Super Mario 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, developed by Nintendo EAD)
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (1997, developed by Iguana Entertainment)
Jet Force Gemini (1999, developed by Rare)

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Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64
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Super Mario 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, developed by Nintendo EAD)
GoldenEye 007 (1997, developed by Rare)
Mario Kart 64 (1996, developed by Nintendo EAD)
International Superstar Soccer 64 (1996, developed by Konami)

What are your all-time favourite Nintendo 64 games? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Game screenshots courtesy of MobyGames.com.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Feature, Pokemon, Super Mario 64, Nintendo 64, Nintendo, Retro Gaming, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart

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