Nintendo will likely aim their upcoming games at the nostalgic crowd looking to revisit the gems buried deep in Nintendo 64 gaming history. While the Nintendo 64 Classic will surely feature many more than five titles upon release, these are five to look out for, despite the potential for licensing challenges, as The Sun alludes to. With no date quite yet, but all of the legalese looking to be in place, gamers can anticipate big news from the Big N in the weeks and months to follow.
1. Goldeneye 007
While it may not be in the cards given Nintendo’s previous proclivity to include only first-party titles on their re-released consoles, with so much demand and money on the table there may just be enough interest to make the port worthwhile. There isn’t a millennial gamer alive that never spent a weekend nestled on the couch, hanging out with some friends, and playing some golden gun or paintball mode split-screen action. With a challenging and extremely difficult campaign, particularly in a 00 Agent run, Goldeneye 007 was perhaps the most well-known and best-selling title for the Nintendo 64 that didn’t feature Mario or Zelda in the title. Images of a basement carpet covered in empty soda cans and half-eaten pizza come immediately to mind, backgrounded by hysterical chatter and accusations of cheating for choosing Oddjob when remembering this pioneering spy shoot-em-up.
2. Super Mario 64
The game that fully transported everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber in the red hat and blue overalls into three-dimensions, Super Mario 64 was not just an excellent game but a revolutionary step forward for the entire industry. Transported into a magical land whereby hopping into a portrait would take you to a large map with several open-ended objectives to capture those precious stars, players were enamoured from the moment the opening credits hit. Bonus points for including the ability to mess around with Mario’s facial features in the very same menu.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
While diehard fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise may claim that A Link to the Past published on the SNES in 1991 remains the singularly best entry in the series (and they may not be wrong) it was Ocarina of Time which brought the IP from a beloved fan stable into a mainstream success. Generations were raised on the open-world adventure title, summoning Epona with a haunting tune from the handy, titular wind instrument and doing battle with the wicked Ganondorf and his fiery steed in the climax. Incredible storytelling for its time complemented by a soundtrack that surely tops the entire N64 catalog in breadth and depth, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is simply a title that Nintendo cannot afford to miss when compiling a list of games to feature on the new retro redesign of their previous hardware. A rabid fandom surrounds the franchise and for good reason!
4. Wave Race 64
While Mario Kart 64 is a gimme for the list, many gamers might also fondly remember the first-party effort published by Nintendo in North America in 1996 focused entirely on jet-ski racing and stunting. With a peppy soundtrack and inspired design that allowed for twitch gameplay and the feel of a solid arcade racing experience, Wave Race 64 was a rental shop staple and a game that demanded great focus and more than a bit of luck in dodging each of the obstacles thrown at you in every stage. Running smack-dab into the side of a wharf or an enormous ship was always good for a laugh and a distraction from the more serious fare the system became known for later on.
5. Turok: Rage Wars
Adding in a controversial M-rated title to close out the list, Turok was an intellectual property that started off strong and got even better with the power of the expansion pack and the release of Turok: Rage Wars. Then, it petered out with a too-late follow up in the form of, again, simply Turok published as a rebranded first-person shooter in 2008 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This last Turok bore no canonical resemblance nor owed any debt to the works established in the earlier games. Rage Wars was a multi-player bonanza featuring a huge number of levels to host your carnage, a full roster of playable characters, and totally insane weapons to skewer your opponents with including the aptly named cerebral bore. Bloody, frenetic, and totally marketed with mixed results to teenage boys hopped up on hormones, the game sold well and delivered something innovative and truly creative within a burgeoning couch co-op shooter scene.