The Top 10 Nintendo 64 Video Games of All Time

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Ok, look. I hate to be the one that has to tell you this… but the Nintendo 64 came out 24 years ago. I know. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be alright.

Yes, this ancient piece of gaming technology might be considered an antique by some, but just like the Sega Genesis – the N64 was host to a slew of incredible games that are still worth revisiting today. (Please make this pocket-sized version a reality asap!) Even if you only consider system exclusives—sorry, Tony Hawk Pro Skater—we’re left with a bevy of top-tier titles that are difficult to contain in a Top 10 – but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try.

First things first though, you’ll probably need a console. You can grab one on eBay, they’ve got a great selection here.

Here’s our list of the Top N64 games of all time (in no particular order because, damn, they’re all just so damn good).

Star Fox 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Star Fox on the SNES might have made a name for itself as a decent third-person rail shooter but Star Fox 64 truly perfected the formula and made the franchise a household name. The game felt epic, allowing players to navigate their Arwing throughout the Lylat solar system to battle it out on fully realized planets and in massive space encounters. Each level consisted of dizzying corridors or arenas full of enemy ships only for players to be tossed into an intense climactic battle against a colorful new boss character.

Despite numerous titles in the franchise that have since been released, Star Fox 64 remains the crowning jewel to which all subsequent games are seemingly compared. Sure, it’s a little short and not the most difficult gaming experience, but the incredible charm and arcade-style scoring system have kept us coming back to battle Andross’s forces (and perform “barrel rolls”) again and again.

Buy it here.

Paper Mario

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

The N64 definitely wasn’t known for its RPGs but when they touted a spiritual successor to the ever-popular Super Mario RPG, it was big news. Paper Mario ditched the top-down, 3D aesthetic of its predecessor for an adorable 2D cutout version of the Mushroom Kingdom and the results are stunning. Plus, our favorite Italian plumber utilizes new paper-related abilities that remain unique to this series alone.

In true RPG fashion, Paper Mario focused just as much on its characters and environment as its combat. It brings the Mushroom Kingdom to life as a vibrant community rather than just a side-scrolling world full of Bowser’s minions and features tons of witty dialogue and a brilliant soundtrack by Yuka Tsujiyoko (of Fire Emblem fame). While not your typical Mario game, it was the perfect swansong for the N64 in 2001.

Buy it here.

Banjo-Kazooie

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Describing Banjo-Kazooie to someone who’s never heard of it will make you sound like you need to be institutionalized. Yes, you’re an anthropomorphic bear. Yes, you’re also a giant bird that resides in the aforementioned bear’s backpack. Yes, you’re on a mission to take down an evil witch that literally just wants to be as hot as the bear’s sister.

Of course, as anyone who’s played it can attest, Rare’s N64 action platformer has the perfect amount of charm, humor, and floating objects to collect to make it an unforgettable treat. With a bevy of moves to learn from a large cast of memorable characters and a wide variety of expansive levels, Banjo-Kazooie not only earned a sequel that was equally as impressive but it rooted a special place in our childlike hearts forever.

Buy it here.

1080 Snowboarding

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Combine a solid racing formula with the late-90s obsession with extreme sports and you get 1080 Snowboarding. It’s arguably the best sports title on the N64 (though, NFL Blitz 2000 definitely gave it a run for its money) and paved the way for every snowboarding video game you’ve ever played since.

It featured incredible graphics and physics for its time and blended racing and tricks in a natural way, not unlike the SSX series, which released a year later. Sadly, the 1080 games came to an end after a rather mediocre Gamecube sequel, but the entry title—with its bumping soundtrack and genre-defining gameplay—was anything but forgettable.

Buy it here.

Super Smash Bros

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. truly came out of nowhere with Nintendo announcing the game only three months before its Japanese release, but looking back, it’s crazy that nothing like it had happened before. The game adopted a zoomed-out third-person perspective more in-line with platforming titles than traditional fighting games and forced 12 of Nintendo’s most iconic mascots to launch each other off of a stage rather than tick away at a health bar.

Critics complained that the game lacked depth and balance, disqualifying it from being considered a true fighting title, but any SSB fan knows its chaotic nature is what truly sets it apart as something special. Now, the franchise has grown into a pillar of the competitive gaming community, but there’s no way the series would be where it is today without this quirky and ridiculously fun initial title.

Buy it here.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

PC gamers had been familiar with high-intensity, laser-filled dog fights for a while thanks to the X-Wing and TIE Fighter flight sim series, but Rogue Squadron finally introduced console players to Star Wars aerial combat in all its glory. Sure, you could make the argument that Shadows of the Empire introduced the Star Wars piloting experience two years prior with its opening mission on Hoth, but Rogue Squadron provided the polish and depth that we craved after being teased with that initial (somewhat janky) snow level.

With 15 regular missions, each taking place on a new planet, Rogue Squadron truly gave players the experience of battling the might of the Empire from the cockpit of just about every Rebel Alliance starfighter. Add a medal system for each mission and opportunities to replay levels with different spacecraft and you’ve got one hell of a flight combat simulator. The only thing we’re really bummed about is the lack of a multiplayer mode, which would have fit into this one perfectly.

Buy it here.

Mario Kart 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

It might not have been the first Mario Kart game but Mario Kart 64 was the first to incorporate 4-player split-screen for ultimate multiplayer mayhem. The single-player experience was admittedly a little shallow but it only took one Grand Prix run or high-intensity round of battle mode with four of your buddies to make you realize that this game was truly one for the ages.

The mix polygons and sprites give the game a genuinely cartoony feel that seemed perfect for the series and the addition of the blue shell, while controversial, is noteworthy if only for the number of friendships it has ruined. It probably isn’t the best Mario Kart entry in the franchise but there’s a good chance it’s the one that holds the fondest memories.

Buy it here.

GoldenEye 007

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Arguably THE multiplayer experience, GoldenEye 007 was the game responsible for the severing of friendships, broken controllers, and completely dominating our lives… and we loved it. Sure, it’s technically based on a James Bond film of the same name, but the vast majority of players remember it predominantly for its frantic and addictive split-screen multiplayer.

While PC players had been playing first-person shooters for years, GoldenEye became the definitive FPS for console gamers, and it has held a sort of legendary status ever since. The single-joystick control scheme might feel a bit wonky and dated compared to the dual-sticks of modern console shooters, but games like Halo and Call of Duty definitely wouldn’t be where they are today if GoldenEye 007 hadn’t paved the way. You could also make the argument that Rare’s Perfect Dark improved upon the mechanics and gameplay of GoldenEye, but which game gave you more memories with proximity mines? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Buy it here.

Super Mario 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Few games, if any, made a splash in the video game community like Super Mario 64. It was the first game to feature Nintendo’s jumping mustachioed plumber in a fully 3D environment, but you’d never know it given the smooth-as-hell platforming gameplay, wide array of new jumping abilities, and diverse level designs. It was truly the perfect translation from two dimensions to three, and Shigeru Miyamoto and his team did it in one try!

There was so much to do in this game—not only in the levels themselves but in the castle overworld, too—that it’s easy to lose sight of the overarching goal (sorry, Princess). Sure, the camera can be a little finicky and graphical glitches are an occasional annoyance, but this N64 launch title is a brilliant entry in Mario’s fabled franchise and still a must-play to this day.

Buy it here.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time wasn’t even close to the first game in the fabled franchise but it was the first time Nintendo allowed us to take control of Link in a fully 3D rendered world, and, boy, oh boy, did they nail it. Boasting an astounding (at the time) 40 hours of gameplay across vast fields, mountains, and lakes, Ocarina of Time felt enormous and truly epic as you watched Link grow from child to adulthood, battle incredible bosses, learn magical new abilities, and time travel to finally defeat Ganon.

From the music and sound design to gameplay and cutscenes, everything in this game was top-notch and completely immersed players in its version of Hyrule. Plus, the monumental conclusion is canonically responsible for splintering the franchise into its multiple timelines, so not only is Ocarina of Time a crucial installment in the world of video games but possibly the most important entry in the entire Zelda franchise.

Buy it here.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

The Guys From Toto Perform Quarantine “Africa” From Their Homes

Toto Performs Quarantine Africa
(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

If there’s one song from the 80s that withstood the test of time, it’s “Africa” by Toto. Every so often, it reenters the public consciousness, be it by way of Scrubs episode, Weezer cover, or even buzzing Tesla coils. It’s a near-perfect song, and it’s never going anywhere.

In the spirit of this recent slew of virtual pop culture reunions, some of the guys from Toto got together to dust off their 1982 hit.

Returning for lead vocals you is Joseph Williams.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

On percussion, we’ve got Mr. DOO-DOO D-DOO D-DOO D-DOO DOO PSHHH himself, Lenny Castro.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

And on vertical phone orientation, we’ve got guitarist Steve Lukather.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

You know the words. You know the legendary drum fills. Now get ready to hear “Africa” as you’ve never heard it before: through the lens of a quarantine. Enjoy!

“I really hope you guys out there are safe and well,” says Steve on guitar. “God bless. Hang in there.”

Father Figures: Big Bad Dad

“I am the proud father of an 8-year-old daughter named Winnie.

For years, I was lost on a path toward self-destruction. I was involved in violence, drugs, and alcohol, and seemed destined to end up either dead or in jail.

I managed to forge a career and get married, but always had a monkey on my back. My behavior began to hurt everyone in my life as much as it was hurting me.

Then my daughter was born. The first day I held her, everything in my life changed.

For the first time, I had a direction. There was never an option to fail. My overwhelming love for her made me look myself in a mirror and resolve to become a better person for myself and for her. It took hard work, humility, and honesty for me to get to where I started to feel love for myself and face the demons that were in my closet.

Because of my daughter and the strength she gave me, I built an amazing life for us and have such an amazing relationship with her everyday. We even wrote and published a book together: Big Bad Dad.

These days, I am part of a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching men to show humility and emotion, and encouraging them to speak about their feelings and ask for help.

My daughter completely shifted the way I think about life and the way I live as a man and I am so grateful to her every single day.”

– Ryan Bourquin

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

“My Dad, My Hero” Campaign Helps Kids Honor Their Military Dads

“My Dad, My Hero” Campaign Helps Kids Honor Their Military Dads
(YouTube/Lincoln Military Housing)

Being an amazing dad already means that you’re a hero to your kids. When you’re a military dad though, you’re doing hero double-duty and deserve to be recognized as such. Lincoln Military Housing, a partnership between Lincoln Property Company and the Department of Defense, has helped over 36,000 military families find housing across the country. They know firsthand how much military families sacrifice, and they realize just how heroic these military parents are to their country as well as their kids.

Being the child of a military parent (or two) can be challenging, with fairly frequent moves as well as long periods of time where they may not be able to see their parent in person. Lincoln Military Housing decided that kids needed a way to honor their military dads, and they launched the “My Dad, My Hero” campaign to capture the love and admiration these kids have for their dads.

“It is important as a community that we highlight and celebrate our military children and their fathers. Whether their father is deployed or supporting a spouse in the military, they all provide a great service to our country. Our goal was to honor them through a story told by their very own children,” Ashley Gorski Poole, VP of Marketing and Communications for Lincoln Military Housing, explained on PRWeb.

The touching video features pictures of military dads with their children, handwritten notes, and heartfelt tributes to their beloved dads shared by the kids themselves. The campaign collected over 90 videos, letters, and pictures from military families seeking a way to properly honor their heroic dads. To help kids feel like they’re part of a community of kids just like them, and as a way to thank kids for their submissions, Lincoln Military Housing is sending each kid who contributed to the “My Dad, My Hero” campaign a special challenge coin.

Challenge coins are an important tradition in the military. Challenge coins are given to show membership in a certain group or to recognize a special achievement. Not only did these kids get to honor their dads in a beautiful way, but they also got to take part in a tradition that is undoubtedly meaningful to their dads as well.

Thank you military dads (and all other members of the military, of course), you’re our heroes too.

The 10 Best Comments of the Month: June 2020

Best Comments of the Month

Every month we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s last month’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments:

1. Doesn’t Mince Words

2. Cursed!

3. Plot Thickens

4. Alright

5. Driving Miss Daisy

6. GOAT

7. DJ Wingman

8. Be the Dad

9. Mind the Gap

10. Dad Level 100

Check out the previous edition of the best comments of the month here.

Sega Is Releasing a Mini Console Loaded With 32 Classic Games

Sega Mini Console
(Sega/Hardcore Gaming 101)

Sega is slowly becoming a titan in the gaming world of portable emulators. Last year, the Japanese video game developer announced the Genesis Mini, a plug-and-play consoled packed with 40 classic games, from Altered Beasts to Ecco The Dolphin.

(Target)

More recently, they revealed the Game Gear Micro, which is exactly what it sounds like.

(Sega)

Well now, in what could very well be the shrunken console industry’s first hat trick, Sega has unveiled the Astro City Mini. This mini replica is shaped to look just like Sega’s 1993 Astro City arcade cabinet, which is super iconic in Japan and sought after to this day by collectors.

You can check out the official Japanese promo video here:

The portable console will come pre-loaded with 36 classic games, of which the following have been confirmed:

  • Alien Syndrome
  • Alien Storm
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
  • Columns II
  • Dark Edge
  • Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
  • Virtua Fighter
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Altered Beast

If you’re not hip to Altered Beasts, educate yourself.

Also, exciting fact: this is the very first time Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder

and Dark Edge…

(Sega)

will be available to play on a home system. Until now, they’ve only existed in arcade form. Pretty cool!

There will also be handheld controllers, sold separately, which will come in handy once you HDMI this bad boy to the TV and bash some side-scroller aliens on the big screen.

(Sega)

The Sega Astro City Mini will soon be available in Japan for ¥12,800 (approximately $114), but no word on an international launch just yet. This looks dope though, so fingers crossed!

“Just Resting My Eyes,” Says Dad Waking up From 8-Year Coma

"Just Resting My Eyes"
(Getty/ER Productions Limited)

In a development that’s baffling medical professionals worldwide, 56-year-old dad Gary Hudson awoke from an eight-year coma this week, only to matter-of-factly assure his family he’d simply been resting his eyes.

“Just lettin’ the lids get take a load off,” Gary said, having just spent the better part of a decade with no observable cognition or awareness of external stimuli. “Can’t be just dozing off mid-Monday now can we.”

Gary, whose cerebrum had recently forgone communication with his brain stem for almost 3,000 consecutive days, guaranteed his loved ones he’d merely shuttered the blinds for a “short rest.”

Sources claim Gary emerged from his comatose state after an orderly changed the hospital room TV channel, which he was watching.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Dad Grades: Walter White From Breaking Bad

(Sony Pictures)

It’s been 7 years now since Breaking Bad drew to a close, and we heard Heisenberg utter those unforgettable final words: “Goodbye, Lydia.” No really, that was the last thing anyone on the show said, if you don’t count Jesse’s getaway scream. Seriously. Go check. We don’t talk about this enough. Insane.

Nevertheless, Breaking Bad was a pretty incredible show. Prestige TV at its prestigest. For 5-but-actually-6 seasons, we witnessed the trajectory of Walter White, a terminally ill chemistry professor turned maniacal drug kingpin. Through first-rate performances, masterful storytelling, and cinematography like this

(Sony Pictures Television)

fans were enthralled by Walt’s slow transformation into Heisenberg. But was he a good dad? No. What. Are you insane? Of course not. But we’re gonna give him a Dad Grades anyway.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

STRENGTHS

The premise of this show is rooted in Walt’s responsibilities as a husband and father. After being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, Walt decides he needs to make a shitload of money, and fast, to provide financial security for his family. This sounds noble, and something a good dad might even do! More later on how he chooses to acquire this money.

(Sony Pictures Television)

On the surface, Walt’s a great dad. A provider, a teacher, a protector. In season one, we see Walt start to break bad when his son, Walt Jr, who had cerebral palsy, is mocked while trying on jeans. Not on Walt’s watch.

With a second child on the way, Walt continually asserts that every decision he makes, he makes for his family. Occasionally, he’ll try to prove it, like in the season 5 episode “Fifty-One”, in which he concludes a driving lesson with Walt Jr. by purchasing him a brand new Dodge Challenger.

Best of all, he never once tries to rope his into the meth business. Nepotism runs rampant in this society, so it’s refreshing to see Jr. merely running a register and wishing folks an “A1 day” at the car wash. It is a money-laundering scheme, but whatever. He’s good at it.

(Sony Pictures Television)

Again, it’s clear that at first Walt operated with the most selfless of intentions, driven to leave his family peace of mind in the face of mounting medical bills. If you don’t think about it too much, Walt’s a good father.

WEAKNESSES

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.”

That’s Walt, to Skyler, in the series finale. Regardless of what we thought of Walt in season one, it’s suggested his motives, in the beginning, were ulterior.

Remember The Bucket List, that movie where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson live their lives to the fullest when confronted with terminal lung cancer? This is sorta like that, except instead of visiting the Taj Mahal and skydiving it’s becoming a treacherous drug lord.

Walt is a truly morally reprehensible guy. He wins us over through sympathy in the first season. We were sorta with when he choked out Krazy-8 and dissolved his body in a barrel of acid. We were sorta with him when he brought down Tuco. But dude…

He watched and did nothing as Jane, the love of Jesse’s life, choked to death in her sleep.

(Sony Pictures Television)

He convinced Jesse to murder the mild-mannered, relatively harmless Gale.

(Sony Pictures Television)

And need we remind you, in a later season, he straight-up poisons a child.

Walt was ostensibly the closest thing Jesse had to a father figure, and he was controlling, selfish, and manipulative the entire time. As Walt descended into unmitigated corruption, he never hesitated to throw Jesse under the bus. Once, while Jesse was literally under a car.

After Uncle Jack executes Hank in the desert, in what’s widely regarded as the series’ best scene, Walt spots Jesse hiding under a car and turns him over to Jack’s Aryan Nation buddies. But not before saying what’s quite possibly the shittiest thing anyone has ever said to another human:


Just a really bad man, man. Redemption was never an option.

Oh, and do we even need to bring up what a dick he was to his wife? People write Skyler White off as a nagging shrew for not being a sufficiently enthusiastic cheerleader while her megalomaniacal meth kingpin husband gives ricin to a six-year-old. Skyler wasn’t the bad guy, you were for thinking that.

Also, we’re gonna have to deduct points here for his poor execution of the classic dad move, Bringing Home A Pizza For Dinner.

VERDICT

Walter White is a despicable person. He lies habitually. He routinely puts his family in harm’s way. He’s the sole reason little Holly will never know her Uncle Hank. Also, did we mention the Jane dying thing? That. Walter White is Heisenberg, and Heisenberg is a monster, and no birthday bacon is gonna change that.

FINAL GRADE: F

Check out our previous edition where we graded John McClane from Die Hard.

Dad Builds DIY Cardboard Tetris Game For His Daughter

Dad Builds DIY Cardboard Tetris Game For His Daughter
(YouTube/Scooby Dooby Tube)

What’s your favorite way to play video games? Are you a PC gamer, or do you use a console like Xbox? If you’re anything like this dad from China’s Henan province, your favorite way to play classic games uses a different kind of box – cardboard, specifically. A video posted on Twitter in early July shows a dad playing a very unconventional game of Tetris, one where zero screens are involved. The board and game pieces are made entirely of cardboard, and the whole thing is hand-made by this talented dad. In the video, we see this smiling dad drop a game piece into a slot behind the game board. The piece then appears in a small opening at the bottom of the board, at which point the surprisingly focused little girl retrieves it and fits it in among the pieces she’s already placed.

This real-life Tetris game is slightly different from the original version, you know, aside from the fact that it’s 3D and extremely energy efficient. The lines on the board don’t disappear once completed, but instead, the goal of the game is to fill up the entire board without any spaces. As if this amazingly simple yet fascinating Tetris game isn’t enough, this creative dad has also built tons of other games for his daughter to play. He built a maze game, a marble obstacle course, a toy bank, and countless others.

In a YouTube video from the South China Morning Post that showcases many of this innovative DIY dad’s inventions, he explains that he did it in part so that kids would be less reliant on technology. The games are inexpensive to make but extremely time-consuming. Some of the more complex pieces can take half a month to complete. He explains that his crafty games have helped his daughter with concentration, and she has even started coming up with her own ideas for games the adorable pair could create.

“My goal is to turn this into a career, to improve it,” the gaming dad said in his Youtube video. “More parents, those who love DIY, or those who don’t have time to be with their kids can be influenced by the toys in some ways, to spend more time with their children.”

See more of this crafty dad’s inventions in the video below, and think about what potential games you may have laying around the house, just waiting to be built.

Batman Universe Expands Again, With New HBO Max Gotham City Police Series

Gotham Police car
(Getty/ullstein bild)

Wonder Woman 1984 is on the way, and after Aquaman’s success, there will definitely be a sequel to that too. But based on last year’s Joker and now all the news coming around about the many different Batman projects – including both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s potential return as different versions of the Dark Knight, it seems almost like DC is pivoting away from any attempt to mimic Marvel’s extended cinematic universe and putting all their money on the caped crusader.

The latest project is no different.

Matt Reeves is currently helming the next Batman adventure to hit the big screen, titled The Batman and starring Robert Pattinson, but it was gonna be a while even before the pandemic delayed production. But HBO Max, fresh off announcing Zack Snyder’s Justice League, is staying in the Batman business with a new TV show from Reeves, and based in The Batman’s universe.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Reeves is developing a police drama centered around the Gotham City that will appear in The Batman. Terrence Winter, who wrote on The Sopranos and brought Steve Buscemi’s Boardwalk Empire to HBO, will write and produce the new series. So at the very least, the pedigree is strong, and it will be exciting to see superheroes get the prestige TV treatment, especially after the success of Damon Lindelof’s (decidedly different) Watchmen.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a long-form format can afford,” said Reeves in a statement. “And getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream.”

The show will be “set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature film and will build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, ultimately launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. The series provides an unprecedented opportunity to extend the world established in the movie and further explore the myriad of compelling and complex characters of Gotham.”

This has already been done, on Fox, but that was a standalone show centered around Commissioner Gordon’s early days policing the city, with some appearances from young Bruce Wayne and a variety of origin stories for some familiar villains. This new venture will be directly tied to the movie universe, much like Marvel’s forthcoming collection of shows for Disney+. No word yet on whether Pattinson, Reeves’ Batman, or Jeffrey Wright, who plays Gordon in the movie, will appear, but that may depend on the success of the project, which is yet to be seen.

But one thing’s for sure: people can’t get enough of Batman and his universe, so building content around the popular superhero and his associated lore isn’t a terrible idea.