The fourth day of my five-day long extravaganza of classic N64 games is on us. Today sees me break into the top ten best N64 games of all time. Rest assured, every title from this point on is a copper-bottom classic and well worth a play. Looking for day one, two and three? Click the links.
10: Pokémon Snap
You’ve heard of on-rails shooters, but what about an on-rails snapper? Pokémon Snap tasks you with taking photographs of Pokémon in lively, wonderfully designed environments. You are equipped with items such as ‘Pester Balls’ and apples to get the attention of the Pokémon you are trying to photograph. At the end of each stage, you are given a score based on the quality of your snaps. Who knew that a wildlife photography game would go on to prove so successful?
9: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Majora’s Mask was developed extremely quickly, but the quick turnaround was no bad thing. Its three-day cycle is one of the odder gameplay and storytelling mechanics I have come across, but it totally works. You are set off in a dangerous Groundhog Day quest that sees you put on a variety of slightly creepy masks, including three of a dead Goron, Zora and Deku Scrub. Majora’s Mask is a creepy game and it carries it all with a delightfully macabre grin. Just like Ocarina of Time before it, Majora’s Mask is an absolute delight to play, and you’ll never want to put it down.
8: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards introduced a moving 3D camera into the Kirby universe for the first time, although the gameplay (thankfully) remained on a 2D plane. The move to 3D graphics really livened up the Kirby formula, and it was a shame it wasn’t seen again in a mainline entry until Kirby’s Adventure Wii. On top of the fantastic visuals, you were able to combine powers, a feature that sadly hasn’t come back since. One of the finest Kirby games to have ever graced our game machines.
7: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
While I’ve heard that Pro Skater 3 may be better, I have only ever played 2, and what a game it is. With a soundtrack featuring the likes of Anthrax’s cover of ‘Bring the Noise’ and Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Guerilla Radio’, you could be sure that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 would be great. Featuring extremely addictive gameplay, you skate your way through several spectacularly well-designed stages, with several missions in each. You could go for really high scores, find hidden tapes or collect things such as hall passes in the fantastic school stage. New skaters and tricks were brought in over the original game, but most important was the manual, which allowed for bigger combos and much higher scores.
6: F-Zero X
I thought Extreme-G was awesome, right up until the day I played F-Zero X. For me, this is still the benchmark for the futuristic racer. It’s blisteringly fast, has an incredible soundtrack and is just as much fun in singleplayer as it is in multiplayer. The graphics were left simple to allow for a smooth 60fps, and the pay-off was worth it. You really get the feel of how fast the hovercars are going on neon-lit tracks that loop through the sky. This is an exciting, demanding and stupidly fun game. While GX on the Gamecube gave the series gorgeous visuals, it never quite matched up to F-Zero X in my opinion.
Tomorrow you can see the top five N64 games of all time. Keep your eyes peeled.