Nintendo 64: the ranking of the games in the Additional Pack

the Additional Pack of Nintendo Switch Online, which will bring you games Nintendo 64, games Megadrive and a DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is fast approaching. Although some consider the offer too small for the moment, sixteen games from the 64-bit console of Nintendo have been announced yet. Sixteen games to discover or rediscover, while our time at all is limited: this is why we have chosen to make you a ranking of these, from the worst to the best, so you know which one to start with. Obviously, there is no subjectivity here: all the content of this article is based on complicated mathematical theorems that do not take into account the nostalgia of its author.

16. Dr. Mario 64

Dr. Mario remains a funny, clever and quite addicting puzzler … but this version N64 is just a simple update of the game of the SNES, already present in the Nintendo Switch Online. The only real novelties here: very nice character sprites and the possibility of playing in multi up to 4 (online, what’s more, on Switch). There is a reason why Nintendo never released this game outside of North America.

15. Operation: WinBack

nintendo 64 operation winback

the Syphon Filter from Nintendo 64, namely a rather nice game but which takes up so much of the competition that one will not be able to help but wonder, controller in hand, “why the hell am I playing this and not the originals?“. We will nevertheless retain a cover mechanism which was quite innovative in 1999.

14. Yoshi’s Story

nintendo 64 yoshi's story

Simple but not simplistic platformer, Yoshi’s Story is far from being a bad game. Too bad it is handicapped by an artistic direction of rare ugliness, even for the Nintendo 64. Why the hell not have taken advantage of the power of the console to make beautiful 2D Yoshi’s Island ? Still worth it if you have kids or haven’t touched them before.

13. Pokémon Snap

nintendo 64 pokémon snap

After a suite on Switch which improved everything there was to improve in the game, is it worth relaunching Pokémon Snap ? Perhaps, if you are nostalgic for this innovative formula or have never touched the new episode: after all, the title of HAL Laboratory is not devoid of charm and still manages, despite its visuals which show their age, to immerse us in its relaxing and charming world.

12. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

nintendo 64 kirby

Taking the games in hand for this article, I was impressed with how Kirby 64 remained fun to play in 2021 and even retained a certain freshness in a franchise that does not yet shine by its innovation (what should change next year). A more difficult game than it looks, which uses both the new perspectives allowed by 3D and the abilities of our favorite little pink guy to create variety and challenge. We regret just a few levels below the melee from a visual point of view.

11. Mario Tennis

nintendo 64 mario tennis

Honestly, between this one and the next, it could have been a tie. Mario Tennis is undoubtedly a little more repetitive than its golfing sidekick (golfesque?) and that’s what earned him this place below. But what a joy to play in multi, especially since you can indulge yourself online at Switch ! A real party game, easy to learn but with a fairly good progression curve to satisfy the most seasoned players.

10. Mario Golf

nintendo 64 mario golf

And Mario Tennis shines with its multiplayer mode, Mario Golf offers for its part more solitary pleasure with its many game modes and its deep tutorial which makes it a very good introduction to the genre. Not to spoil anything, it is rather beautiful – for Nintendo 64, let’s get along. With gameplay that strikes the perfect balance between fun and simulation, the version N64 from Mario Golf just might be the best arcade golf game in video game history.

9. Lylat Wars/Star Fox 64

nintendo 64 lylat wars

Well, we have to admit it: it’s not very nice, especially on our big modern TVs. But, once the controller in hand, the magic operates again and we take a crazy pleasure, almost instinctive, to pilot the spaceship of Fox McCloud and knock out all the enemies. We will also salute the ingenuity of the level design, which pushes to redo the levels to discover the secrets while managing to never lose the players, which compensates a little for its short lifespan.

8. Mario Kart 64

No longer obliged to imitate 3D to offer races, Mario Kart 64 can finally unleash its full potential and is the first step towards the recognition of one of the funniest licenses in the history of video games. Going back in 2021, however, remains a bit difficult, as the karts seem too rigid and unwieldy for our modern standards. But we will gladly invite nostalgic friends to face us and no doubt that, as usual with Mario Kart, we will have a great time.

7. Sin and Punishment

A lot of games Nintendo 64 had to make graphic concessions to adapt to the power of the console as well as to the cartridge format. A lot, but not the game developed by Treasure (Ikaruga) and Nintendo, which impressed quite a few journalists on its release, while the Dreamcast was already on the shelves. Effects, music, staging, precise and nervous gameplay that elevates the rail shooter genre to other heights, everything contributes to making Sin and Punishment a cult game that we will relaunch with pleasure on Switch.

6. F-Zero X

So, of course, it is not F-Zero GX, which represents the playful culmination of the license, but the version N64 from F-Zero still holds up damn well in 2021. A version that seems to have been polished like a diamond by Nintendo until all that’s left is a pure and precise driving experience, raw from the formwork, which won’t even forgive you for a missed turn. The real arcade experience at home.

5. Banjo-Kazooie

Many 3D platformers of the time tried to overtake Mario 64 by offering more stuff to collect and more powers, which often resulted in unattractive titles that tended to get too scattered (yes i’m thinking of you, spyro). Most Banjo-Kazooie succeeds where others have failed, by bringing the science of gameplay to Rare, environments that make the fuck to those of the mustached uncle, a thunderous soundtrack and above all a lot, a lot of fun.

4. Paper Mario

And The Thousand Year-Door is unanimously recognized as the best game in the franchise, the first Paper Mario laid the foundations for it in 2000, with a combat system that constitutes the logical evolution of that of Super Mario RPG, an original artistic direction (who has aged very well) and the usual excellence ofIntelligent Systems in the writing that offers us a lot of hilarious scenes – supported by a freewheeling VF who does not hesitate to give “I will marav you”. Just allow some time in front of you to finish it.

3. Super Mario 64

The game that defined what a 3D platformer was and which remains, even today, a milestone of the genre. Many times imitated, never equaled: despite levels of monastic sobriety and a perfectible camera, the accuracy of the gameplay of Super Mario 64 surprises again and we find ourselves being caught up again in this universe, in search of the stars that we may have missed in the past because they are too difficult to reach. “It’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it right“Said Drake, but, in this specific case, we have a game that has done both. Prefer however – if possible – the version present on the compilation Super Mario 3D All-Stars, whose resolution has been improved.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Almost everything has been said about Ocarina of Time and its influence, which is still felt today. A founding title that shows its age in certain aspects (as for Majora’s Mask, the 3DS version is better), and whose combat system can sometimes be frustrating, but which remains a joy to be revisited today, beyond any nostalgia. An essential that you must have done at least once in your life and that you would like to erase from our memories to find, if only once, the happiness of discovering it. A game so good that it will have made many people buy the console with one of the worst controllers in the history of video games.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Rather than making an easy sequel to Ocarina of Time, Nintendo preferred to throw everything out of the window for this second episode Nintendo 64 and come back with a darker and more experimental game, with a time loop mechanic that may have confused more than one. Is it successful? It will depend on who you ask, both Majora’s Mask polarizes. The price to pay for a daring game, which will break the heads of players with its confusing puzzles taking advantage of said loop, but which in return will offer them a very beautiful universe, coherent and touching, which will culminate in a final which will be engraved in your memory forever.

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