Top 10 N64 Games I Wished I Played In My Youth (And Still Haven’t!)

I’m not sure how many gamers there are like me, but I’ll come out and say it: I never owned an N64. Never had one, and not really planning to go out and own one. I grew up as a Playstation kid as the PS1 was the cheaper system when my mom went out and got me one. I think many gamers probably had the same predicament as me: we grew up poor or had parents that didn’t want to spend a lot of money on games (and instead give us lame Christmas socks and notebooks). But I don’t fault my family. I grew up on a console that was getting the RPGs and all the third party games. But still, there were quite a few things on the N64 that revolutionized the way we played videogames (like the joystick and Rumble Pak). I was able to play the N64 in my cousins’ house. But personally, as you already know, I never owned an N64. The only way I can “legally” play the games are on the Wii. But in hindsight, it’s still kinda sad knowing that I missed out on the happenings surrounding the system –in particular, the games. Before we begin, I have to set a criteria.

1) These are games that I have not touched, at all. To this day. As I type this. Never played, at all. Dead. Serious.
2) The “not owning” part is a given. But, if I did play them at all, they don’t count. And also, for other games games I mention “playing”, they don’t necessarily mean “owning.”
3) If I own the original games or enhanced port on the Virtual Console or any other system, they don’t count.

So without further ado, hit the jump button down there to see what games I missed out on.

10Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Released: 2001

Given the M-rating of this game, I probably would’ve (normally) not been allowed to play this game. But, a lot of people seem to remember this game, and most of them were below what the M-Rating calls for. Now, I really didn’t care much about this game since around this time, I kind of got tired of playing collect-a-thon platform games. I knew that the crude humor would turn the tired genre on its head and make it a unique experience. But I was just not interested. That is… until access to the internet became easier and discovered just how absolutely batshit this game actually is. A sunflower with boobs, a horny cog, and a giant singing pile of shit!? And you can piss on enemies to set them on fire? Wow… The game is available now on XBLA, but… the 360 in my house is not mine.

9 – Star Wars Rogue Squadron
Released: 1998

I love me some flying games. From Pilotwings to Ace Combat (later on) to Starfox, I always enjoyed the freedom behind flight. So I lost my shit when I saw the commercial for Star Wars Rogue Squadron. This was pretty much like having the All-Range mode in Starfox always active. And that commercial promised fast paced action. Even the kids in school were talking about how awesome the game was. It probably hurt a bit when I played the Star Wars Starfighter demo on the Ps2, like I missed out on something like it earlier. To add icing to the sad looking cake, it was made by Factor 5 (Super Turrican, Lair). And now, they are gone. Not sure who exactly has the rights to this now (though I’m pretty sure LucasArts is probably holding it).

8 – Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Released: 2000

Here comes the barrage of games that were hyped for me thanks to gaming magazine Tips & Tricks. I practically spoiled the whole game by reading the strategy guide for it in that magazine. But I still kinda wanted it, if only for the cool ability to mix any Kirby powers. Plus, I never owned a Kirby game until Kirby Canvas Curse (a game made in 2005!). So I never noticed that some of the music in Canvas Curse were actually remixes of the songs in Kirby 64 (like Mad Mechanism being a remix of Factory Investigation). Kirby Canvas Curse is still the only Kirby game I own (though I have played others in the series).

7 – Pilotwings 64
Released: 1996

You can’t help but feel sorry for Pilotwings. The most recent one was a launch title for the 3DS. But the other two suffered a much worse fate. The Original Pilotwings was a launch title for the SNES. It went up against…Super Mario World. What were people going to buy more? Thought so. It also didn’t help that for some shipments of the SNES, it came bundled with SMW. The Nintendo 64 though, oh man. Pilotwings 64 was, like the original, a launch title. It went up against…Super Mario 64! Ouch! Talk about overshadowing. Pilotwings 64 pretty much looked like this when it came out. But I digress. My love for Pilotwings is unmistakable. So it’s a bummer that I didn’t get to play its sequel (and see that mysterious Wario cameo I read on Tips & Tricks). I even made fanart for it many years later out of boredom.

6 – Pokemon Snap
Released 1999

This was the first Pokemon game to hit consoles and… I think it pissed a fraction of the prepubescent market. I know some kids were like “what the hell is this? I want to catch them, not take stupid pictures! What the hell can I do with that!?” Well, MAKE STICKERS BEE-YETCH! But in all seriousness, the premise was, and still is, pretty interesting. What hyped me up more for it was the first issue of Tips & Tricks that I read (and owned) that detailed how to take the best pictures of the Pokemon. Kinda makes you wish they make a new one for the 3DS or Wii U since they have gyro sensors.

5 – Paper Mario
Released: 2001

Many consider this the spiritual successor to Super Mario RPG. Some know this as its beta name, “Super Mario RPG 2.” I, being the dumb kid I was back then, didn’t quite connect the dots with how similar Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario were. Then again I had, in my opinion at the time, better RPGs to play on the Playstation. Part of me still thinks I might’ve appreciated Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on the Gamecube a bit more if I played the first game; not because of the story, but just for the feel of the game and the thrill of playing a sequel to Paper Mario years later. Though I did get slight goosebumps when I heard the sound that plays when Mario takes out an item in battle (as it’s the same sound in Super Mario RPG).

4 – Mario Golf
Released: 1999

Golf falls under one of those sports that is fun to play, but boring to watch. I had a huge craving to play golf games when I was young. I remember going to Randall’s Island with my family and I’d make makeshift holes to put golf balls in. I remember renting NES Open Tour Golf and being really hooked on it (even though I didn’t get the mechanics, being so young an all). So I was really trying to play some sort of videogame golf. I played Hot Shots Golf on the Playstation, but it was a demo and my cousin had it. I would finally get the chance to really own a golf game with Mario Golf Toadstool Tour, so I really don’t feel too bad. But why Mario Golf when I could’ve played the other golf games. Simple: at the time, it was Mario. What kid didn’t want to play Mario anything at the time? But, I’ve grown to like many other golf games, especially Hot Shots Golf and this game (Neo Turf Masters if you’re interested).

3 – Yoshi’s Story
Released: 1997

Before Super Mario RPG took the crown as my favorite game of all time, for a short time Yoshi’s Island had that crown. I would play Yoshi’s Island courtesy of my sister’s friend since she let us borrow it. I loved the hell out of it. I even remember dreaming about it. I eventually owned a copy years later. But when I saw Yoshi’s Story in the videogame section of a catalog, and its commercial, I saw that it was a sequel to Yoshi’s Island, I wanted to play the game so badly. I remember drawing the Blaarg and that dragon from screenshots way back then. I wanted an N64 really badly at this point if it meant playing Yoshi’s Story. But, as the name of this list suggests, I have not touched this game. Ever.

When you see it...

2 – Goldeneye 007
Released: 1997

Looking back at this game today is like studying human emotion and reaction. We were hyped about this game when it game out. But looking at it now, it looks pretty hilarious (box faces and all). Now I really don’t care much for this game. But why is it so high on the list? Well, just for the the simple fact that I missed out on something revolutionary at the time. It was a really good multiplayer game, it was an FPS on a console that worked and played good, and made the N64 the go-to console for multiplayer games if you wanted more than 2 playing at the same time. It was ahead of its time and set the bar for what was expected for console FPSs and multiplayer games. I’ve seen people play this in the anime club in college a lot. But, I didn’t want to play. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t. It probably would’ve been better for me to play it in my youth since I could get all nostalgic about it and have that be reason enough to play it. But that time is gone, and my interest for the game is pretty much zero.

1 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Released: 1998

To many a gamer, I should probably be quarantined with little food and water and be forced to play this game on a large screen projector like I committed a heinous crime and don’t deserve to be seen in public until I repented for my sins. But it’s true. I have never played Ocarina of Time. And to this day, I still haven’t. I did have a chance, many chances actually. The first was the special bonus disc that game with Ocarina of Time and Master Quest when you reserved The Wind Waker. I was too late when I finally had a chance to reserve. Then there was the limited run of the special disc at retail. Never knew about it until it was too late. And now more recently, it had become available on the Virtual Console. But I don’t why I haven’t bothered to buy it. Maybe it’s because I kept getting distracted when a new game came out. Or maybe it’s looming release on the 3DS made me want to get that version when I decide to buy a 3DS. Or maybe it’s because I was more than satisfied with The Wind Waker to the point that that I wasn’t interested in getting Ocarina of Time.

I remember seeing it on the cover of Tips & Tricks from a friend of mine from the block. Didn’t really read the strategy guide for it inside. Since its release, this game has won many awards, recognized for many achievements like Z-targeting, remembered for its story, and had its music remixed countless times by fans and Nintendo itself. It has also appeared on many Top 10 lists from both fans and publications, sometimes in the #1 spot. Well, here’s a another #1 for it, as it has earned it for being the game that I have never played in my youth and have yet to play it.

Honorable Mentions:

Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Super Smash Bros., Mario Tennis, and Jet Force Gemini.

1 thought on “Top 10 N64 Games I Wished I Played In My Youth (And Still Haven’t!)

  1. Pingback: Retro Weekends – The Playstation | The Wired Fish

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