I’ve found the more you like a particular system, the harder it is to pick your top ‘5, 10, 15’ favourite games. I get the feeling many retro gaming ‘top’ lists change on a daily basis, I know mine do.
I find it harder to write a top 5 for the Amiga than I do, say the N64, as I’ve only ever owned and played a limited number of games for the latter. Therefore my list is of a limited nature in that the top 5 is taken from about 20 N64 games I’ve actually ever played extensively.
On the other hand, I’ve played many more Amiga games, over a hundred that I could class as ones I know well, and also still enjoy playing, therefore, harder to pick just 5.
Anyways, enough waffling, on to my top 5 N64 games, and the odd reason why they are my favourites.
As much as I love GoldenEye, game and movie, Perfect Dark had me gripped from the start and throughout, it was a great story within an amazing sci-fi setting, with a great lead character in Joanna Dark. Arguably an improved game all round compared to GoldenEye, bigger levels, better graphics, huge sound track and an awesome array of weaponry (Ed – You better start looking for the body armour making comments like that).
On top of the single player the multi-player blew me away with the amount of customisation you could do by making your own custom combat scenarios, and fighting bots or other players. The game is still fantastic to this day, whether you’re playing alone or with friends.
Again, like with Perfect Dark, it’s the multi-player that sells it to me in this game, as much fun and polished as the single player is there’s nothing better than jumping in your Arwing and having awesome dogfights around Corneria with other players, however, unlike Perfect Dark you’ll need to have a few friends around to join in for this one.
I used to love the rush to be the first to grab the double laser, or a bomb, which would give you a nice advantage for a little while. I also noticed, with the group I played with at least, no-one ever wanted to be the tanks in multi-player, they never seemed quite as good, or fun to play.
Mario Kart 64
My favourite version to date, there’s nothing in particular I can say to explain why its my favourite, apart from the fact there’s not a single track in the whole game I entirely dislike, but definitely quite a few I’m better at than others.
A few of my favourite tracks are Koopa Troopa Beach, Wario Stadium and Royal Raceway, the first 2 offer some great short cuts and I love visiting Peach’s Castle in Royal Raceway. Probably my least favourite tracks are Sherbet Land and Yoshi Valley, I just can’t get my head round the latter and the former I get too distracted by penguins.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Not my favourite Legend of Zelda game, (see Link’s Awakening), but Ocarina of Time was definitely the first larger scale adventure in the series I enjoyed and completed. My knowledge of the series was pretty limited having never owned a NES or SNES before my N64, so apart from the aforementioned Game Boy game this was pretty much my introduction to the series. The sheer colour and scale of the game world after playing Link’s Awakening was pretty awesome and I’ve definitely been a bigger fan of the series ever since this one.
I can still hear the Ocarina songs in my head, and my favourite level is the Shadow Temple, great atmosphere, creepy bad guys and weirdest boss by far, my least favourite is the Spirit Temple (you just couldn’t top the Shadow Temple before it).
I do like a good Star Wars game, and Rogue Squadron was awesome, even its name gets me a little bit excited (Ed – easy tiger). I find the foggy graphics a little off putting these days but then I’ve noticed that with a lot of my favourite N64 games. This was pretty much the first time I got to fly an X-Wing in a Star Wars game, so I was already sold, after borrowing it from a friend (for far too long) I ended up buying my own copy.
I’ve never quite gotten gold for every mission, and I’m not sure I’ve even finished it, but it was fun to play, great to fly each different fighter, and destroy the Empire along the way. It was a close match between this and Shadows of the Empire, but Rogue Squadron hits the nostalgia button just a little bit harder.
Thanks for taking a look at this list of my top 5 games on the N64! What are yours? I’m almost certain yours will be different, and possibly even for different reasons! Crazy.
Honourable mentions and not quite appearing in this list:
GoldenEye, Shadows of the Empire, Pokemon Stadium, F-Zero X, Donkey Kong 64