Pistol's Top 25 N64 Games: #5-1
#5: Star Fox 64
Star Fox on the SNES was a huge success, mostly because of the impressive graphics at the time which allowed you to fly in a 3D world with different worlds to explore. How do you improve upon this? Well Star Fox 64 had no problems doing that. With an even more impressive graphics core to use, Star Fox 64 was an absolutely looking gorgeous game. Star Fox 64 still had the fun and exciting fly and gun type of gameplay. Teamwork is still a core concept of the game as your teammates can be shot down so helping them is key, even though I would purposefully let Slippy get shot down. Because fuck Slippy. Star Fox 64 had a great multiplayer as well and introduced a couple of new vehicles as well. Star Fox 64 definitely earned its place as one of the top N64 games. Do a barrel roll!
#4: Goldeneye: 007
This is the game. This is the biggest game in your childhood in which your friends would hate you. There's no doubt that Goldeneye was one of the top games kids would play with their friends and over at sleepovers and would stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning, yelling at each other or hitting each other. And it's hard to think that the multiplayer aspect of Goldeneye was one of the last things added to the game. Outside of the multiplayer, though, lied a solid single player campaign that was pretty close to the movie storyline. With a handful of difficulty levels and a couple of secret levels, Goldeneye has become a classic and people still break out the N64 to play it. I just hope you weren't the douchebag who always kept picking Oddjob.
Seriously, Rare was such an amazing company back in the N64 days, releasing so many classics that are still hailed as fantastic games today. Banjo-Kazooie was one of the first 3D Platformers to be released, along with Mario 64. Banjo-Kazooie was able to show off what 3D platforming can do in a beautiful world with numerous levels for you to complete. The concept is simple; guide Banjo and Kazooie through a handful of worlds to collect Jiggies in order to confront Gruntilda to rescue Banjo's sister, Tooie. Along the way you'll find upgrades and abilities for Kazooie, such as sprint shoes that allow you to run at faster speeds or the beak bomb ability that allows you to dive bomb while in midair. Add in the fact that you can transform into creatures such as a walrus or a termite, Banjo-Kazooie was such a fun game to play that even after beating it, you'd want to play through again.
#2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Honestly, #2 and #1 on this list could easily be interchangeable as they are both amazing games and some of the best ever, but I decided to go with OoT as my #2 N64 game. The Legend of Zelda series was a huge success during the NES and SNES and the idea of transitioning a 2D franchise into a 3D world seemed like a daunting task. But this is Nintendo. And Nintendo was the biggest gaming franchise in the world so if anyone could do it, they could. The transition from 2D to 3D was just about flawless in LoZ: OoT. The land of Hyrule was absolutely stunning and the size of Hyrule was amazing, allowing you to explore for hours on end. With fantastic dungeon designs and the Z-Lock on targeting system, OoT was a massive innovator in the gaming history, paving the way for many future Zelda titles and other non-Zelda games. But fuck the Water Temple.
And as usual, a few honorable mentions
Sin and Punishment
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Mario Party 3
Resident Evil 2
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Super Mario 64
Just like the Zelda series, the Mario franchise was no doubt one of the most popular franchises and the idea of transitioning Mario to the 3D world seemed like a task that would take time, patience, and precise coordination. But just like with LoZ: OoT, Mario transitioned almost perfectly into the 3D world which created one of the best games ever. Mario 64 allowed you to explore Peach's castle on your own whim as you explored to find enough stars to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser after being invited for cake at the beginning of the game. The worlds were beautifully designed and were some of the best looking environments on the N64 and collecting all 120 stars was not an easy task as there were several hidden levels and collecting all the red coins could be a pain in certain worlds. If you've never played Mario 64, you're missing out on one of the greatest games ever.