You’ve seen day one of my top 25 N64 games – now it’s time for day two, with numbers 20 through to 16.
20: LEGO Racers
You’ve heard of Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Kart 64, but the only kart racing game you’ll find on my list of the best N64 games is LEGO Racers. While the items, characters and tracks may not be on the same level as Mario Kart, LEGO Racers does something that other games don’t. You can design your own driver and kart from the ground up. I loved this game and have a lot of fond memories of the bad karts I designed.
A futuristic racing game set to some slick trance beats, Extreme-G often gets forgotten to the likes of F-Zero and WipeOut, but I’ve always had a soft spot for this game. You zoom through great tracks on bikes that look like they came straight out of Tron. Unlike F-Zero, however, Extreme-G comes with defensive and offensive upgrades such as homing missiles, lasers and invisibility. Like Mario Kart, Extreme-G came with a solid battle mode. Extreme-G was another reason why the N64 was the console of choice for multiplayer.
18: Yoshi’s Story
The Yoshi platformers have always failed to live up to the almighty Yoshi’s Island, but Yoshi’s Story has a pretty good go at it. Featuring an art-style that combines the chunky 3D graphics of Donkey Kong Country with Yoshi’s Island’s crayon aesthetic, Yoshi’s Story is a charming little platformer. It’s very short and pretty easy, but is still a fine outing for everyone’s favourite long-tongued green dinosaur.
Banjo-Kazooie is often dubbed one of the finest 3D platformers of all time, but I never quite loved it as much as others seemed to. Rare’s seminal collectathon is full of humour and charm, but as a child I found the whole thing to be a little difficult. I really enjoyed what I played, but could never get very far in the game. If I was better at games when I was but a child, Banjo-Kazooie would probably be higher up on this list.
16: Paper Mario
The original Paper Mario is a great, hilarious RPG that brought the world the amazing paper aesthetic. While the franchise has hit new heights since, the original N64 title deserves to be played. Everything great about the series is present here – a true classic. Yet again, that this game is so low on this list is a testament to the quality of the N64’s library.
Tune in tomorrow for day three: 15-11. You don’t want to miss it.