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With the recent release of the NES Classic, the Internet is exploding with the possibility of a SNES Classic. While a SNES Classic would surely sell like hotcakes —which are just pancakes by the way — these publications are thinking too small. Here at Goomba Stomp we like to dream big. A hypothetical SNES Classic‘s 16-bit processing power couldn’t even hold a hypothetical candle to the hypothetical powerhouse that would be the Nintendo 64 Classic.
This tiny N64 treasure chest would come packed in with 30 games, have four controller ports — with chords that are long enough for actual use— and work with modern TVs to present the best possible version of N64 games available.
Here are ten games that need to find their way onto this possible future gem. To be clear, these are not necessarily the 10 best games ever released for the N64, but the games that best represent the legacy of the system.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Kicking off this list at number 10 is a game that many would expect to be closer to number 1. Ocarina of Time is considered by many to be one of the greatest games every made. While it is emblematic of Nintendo’s ability to craft great innovative games, Ocarina of Time does not stand the test of time. It is difficult to argue that it is even the best game in the Legend of Zelda series today, but the N64 would not be remembered as the console that it was without it, and many would love to see the game return to the N64 Classic.
After breaking free from having the name “Mario” in his game titles, Yoshi’s Story shows that 2D can still work in an era when 3D was making a massive push in the industry. The visuals are incredibly charming and, while the screen can get cluttered, the game still looks good today.
When this game was released, the world was in the midst of Pokémania. While the first game in the series brought our friends into full 3D, the second entry added better mini games and Gen 2’s entire roster of Pokémon. The game was never rereleased, making it hard to play today, which would make it a welcome addition to the N64 Classic.
Not many games today let you race on water against your friends. From multiplayer to its overall arcade vibe, Wave Racer is a great party game. Bringing the series back could prove that there is still a huge community of people willing to get wet and sweaty on the racetrack.
Four-player mayhem is what the N64 is remembered for, and Mario Party 2 is a great example why. With some of the best mini-games in the series and the never-ending fun of beating your friends at the last second, Mario Party 2 jazzed up board games in a big way.
Nintendo might treat Star Fox as the red-headed stepchild of the Big N family, but Star Fox 64 is one of the most timeless games on the system. Its short playtime makes it great for rainy afternoons, and its multiple paths make it perfect for replayability. There is a great feeling of success when you fly through the stone rings at water level in the first world to unlock the alternate route. As an added “bonus,” the game offers a strange multiplayer mode that is, honestly, best left forgotten.
Arguably one of the best 3D platformers of all time, Banjo-Kazooie takes collectibles and exploration to a whole new level. Though this game is made by Rare, which is now owned by Microsoft, Nintendo’s lawyers need to make it happen. The game was rereleased on the Xbox 360 and as part of Rare Replay on the Xbox One, but the bird and bear duo need to come home to where it all began.
The pinnacle of four player couch games, Mario Kart 64 set off a boom across the industry for kart racers. While some might say that Diddy Kong Racing is a better game, Mario Kart has the Big N vibe that cannot be ignored. Back in the day, it was hard to find anyone with an N64 who did not have this game. Owning four controllers made sense because of this cartridge, and will be the reason that the hypothetical N64 Classic will have 4 ports.
Golden Eye combines many of the key features it takes to make this list: a healthy dose of nostalgia, four player support, and difficulty in obtaining today. While Nintendo would again need to pull off some legal voodoo magic, the likes of which have not been seen since “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the payoff would be oh-so-sweet. The inclusion of this game alone would justify a price hike that gamers would gladly pay for.
Unlike Golden Eye, Super Mario 64 is a single player game, that is readily available on the Virtual Console. Yet, you cannot think of the N64 or video games as we know them today, without it. It not only defined a console, it set the standard for movement in a 3D space that is still in used to this day. The game is also a near perfect 3D exploration game, full of secrets, exploration, and challenge. Super Mario 64 is the N64, and that makes it the most important game to find on the hypothetical N64 Classic.
Justinas Staskevicius is a freelance writer based in Montreal, Canada. His stories about antifascists, eSports and benefit concerts have graced publications including Goomba Stomp, GigSoup and CULT MTL
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