Retro gaming continues to be a hot trend lately, and one of the most popular retro gaming consoles is the Nintendo 64. One of the things that made the N64 so great was it’s ability to expand the platformer genre that had been confined to 2 dimensions. Whether you’re a retro collector or an avid emulator user, here are 10 Nintendo 64 platformers you should dust off and revisit.
Rocket: Robot on Wheels
First up on the list is a very underrated game developed by Sucker Punch Productions, which also created Sly Cooper and Infamous. You play as Rocket, a one wheeled robot who uses physics to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. As Rocket you’ll explore 6 different worlds, collecting tickets along your way. If you haven’t heard of Rocket: Robot on Wheels you definitely should try it out.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Rayman 2: The Great Escape is arguably the best game of the entire Rayman franchise outside of Rayman Legends. Unlike most of the games mentioned on this list, Rayman 2: The Great Escape was released on several different platforms, so it’s really up to you which console you’d like to experience it on. With that being said, we feel that the N64 version was the superior port.
Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
Another very underrated and generally unknown game for the Nintendo 64. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon unfortunately did not make a big splash in North America, but had many installments to it’s franchise in Japan. Mystical Ninja featured a very humorous storyline and one of the best soundtracks on the N64. With less than 200,000 copies reportedly sold worldwide, Mystical Ninja is one of the more rare games to find for the N64. If you don’t already own it, it may be best to use an emulator for Mystical Ninja.
Space Station Silicon Valley
Chances are if you played Space Station Silicon Valley as a kid you were very confused. It was definitely one of the most creative concepts for a platformer. You control Evo, a microchip traveling through a futuristic amusement park/space station. On your journey you must take control of animals bodies to survive, which have their own unique abilities. Using these abilities you must solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Although it was known for having many glitches Space Station Silicon Valley was still an entertaining platformer.
There’s no denying Banjo-Kazooie was one of the most entertaining games for the N64. The journey to return Banjo’s sister Tooty from Gruntilda’s grasp featured a lot of creative puzzles and obstacles. Players explore 9 different worlds collecting Jiggies and rescuing Jinjos until reaching the final battle with Gruntilda. This was one of many excellent Rare developed games for the Nintendo 64, and also had a very successful sequel…
Which we of course had to include on the list. Banjo-Tooie was the return of brown honey bear Banjo and his bird sidekick Kazooie. Banjo-Tooie featured worlds that were interconnected with each other, straying away from the stand alone levels of Banjo-Kazooie. A few helpful characters from the original were replaced, but all in all it was a perfect sequel to the original.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is the most unique platformer on this list, since it is technically a 2.5 dimensional platformer. Kirby travels along 6 different planets, collecting shards of crystal on it’s way. These crystals are then used to defeat the final boss. Although it is known for being a little on the short and easy side Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is definitely one of the best N64 platformers ever made.
Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong came a long way from the 2D Super Nintendo games of the early 90′s. Donkey Kong 64 featured a similar format to other games on this list, along with a variety of playable characters. Joining DK and Diddy on their adventure were Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong, and Chunky Kong. Donkey Kong 64 was also one of the only games to require the expansion pack to run. But most importantly who could forget the DK Rap?
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Quite possibly one of the most controversial and vulgar games ever made. Rare took their lovable squirrel Conker and transformed him into a binge drinking party animal, and it was awesome. Released toward the end of the N64′s life cycle, Conker’s Bad Fur Day became somewhat of a cult classic, and one of the most sought after games in many retro collections. The price for the game has shot through the roof over the last couple years, so an emulator may be the best option for experiencing Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Super Mario 64
The game that started it all. Chances are Super Mario 64 was the first N64 game you ever played, and no doubt it blew your mind. Super Mario 64 took the platforming genre to a different level with it’s many worlds and unique star collecting format that would be often imitated by later games. Although other titles on this list came close, Super Mario 64 is definitely the top platformer on the Nintendo 64.
The Nintendo 64 truly revolutionized the platformer genre, and there are several more solid games that are not included on this list. Next time you’re at your local retro game shop or browsing for a new ROM for your N64 emulator, keep an eye out for these 10 titles. We can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.