The Nintendo 64 has gone down in history as one of the best gaming consoles ever created. Whether that's because of its ingenuity or the fact that people made so many memories on it is difficult to determine. Regardless, there are a lot of great games for the system that make it a must-have for anyone hosting a party.
However, many times, these games get a lot more praise than they deserve. Sure, they're excellent games, but when people start calling them one of the "greatest games of all time," it starts to raise a few red flags. They might've defined childhoods and been critically acclaimed, but to rave about them as perfect titles is a bit of a stretch.
We're taking a trip into the past as we look at some games on the N64 that are great, but not nearly as good as some people would lead you to believe. Throw your nostalgia out the window because we're going to point out 15 Nintendo 64 games that we feel are shockingly overrated.
15 Paper Mario
When Nintendo started taking our favorite plumber into the RPG genre, the results were fairly excellent. After Super Mario RPG gained its own following, the Big N followed it up with Paper Mario on the 64. Combining a unique art style with some solid gameplay, it would go on to be one of the more popular games for the console.
However, Paper Mario is fairly basic and heavily overshadowed by its successor, Thousand Year Door. Keeping this in mind, there are those who still rave about this game and cite it as something that needs to be played for every gamer. To be fair, it's a great game, but all of the praise it gets classifies it as overrated.
14 Goldeneye 007
There are a lot of great things in Goldeneye 007. The gameplay, mechanics, and multiplayer led to some of the greatest game parties of all time. However, I think that many times, people are mixing their nostalgic memories with how good the game actually is.
Goldeneye 007 made many positive strides for the FPS genre, but it did some things wrong as well. The controls and aiming are as clunky as you'd expect for a game on the N64, and the multiplayer can only entertain you for so long. Especially in today's market, you have your pick when it comes to first-person shooters. With massive titles like Overwatch and Battlefield, there's just no more room for Goldeneye 007. And we don't blame anyone for not wanting to play it now.
13 Diddy Kong Racing
There were two big kart racers on the 64, but it's the one starring Diddy Kong and other various characters that deserves the spot on our list. Diddy Kong Racing took the Mario Kart formula to new heights with a refined single-player and the ability to race on a car, boat, or plane.
While these functions make the game fun to play, there are still a lot of problems. This more open design makes it difficult to know where the tracks lead, and the controls aren't as responsive as a racer should be. Couple that with the fact that all but three playable characters in the game aren't recognizable at all, and you'll probably go back to play some more Mario Kart 64.
12 Pokémon Stadium
The Pokémon games hold some of the greatest memories with friends, but those always took place on the handheld consoles. When the series made the jump to the Nintendo 64, it was met with some interesting results. While a lot of people love Pokémon Stadium to this day, there's simply no reason to play it now, or any time.
The biggest reason why it was so beloved was that you could hook up your Game Boys to it and see your Pokémon on the TV. Other than that, there isn't much to Pokémon Stadium. If you need further proof why that style of game doesn't work well, look at how poorly Pokémon Battle Revolution was received on the Wii several years later.
11 Conker's Bad Fur Day
Developer Rare has created some great games over the years, and one of the ones that people flock to immediately is Conker's Bad Fur Day. Initially released on the N64, it took the cutesy style of a 3D platformer and mixed it with adult themes and humor.
However, with so many platformers on the console, there isn't much to make Conker stand out gameplay-wise. Much of the reason why it's still remembered is due to how vulgar and shocking it was. It subverted expectations, so it stuck in people's minds. Other than that, there really isn't much to put Conker's Bad Fur Day back on the map. I suppose if you like trash-talking squirrels and low-brow humor, then this game is for you.
10 The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask
When it comes to which Zelda game for the N64 is better, it can go either way. There are some who prefer the linearity of Ocarina of Time, but there are others who adore the challenge of Majora's Mask. For the purpose of this list, we felt that Majora's Mask was more deserving of the spot.
The reason for this is that while it was fairly different, many of the kinks in the gameplay hadn't been fully worked out, making for a confusing and frustrating experience at times. Anyone who's played the game knows how challenging it was to keep track of the time, monitor certain events, and then have to replay the whole thing over if you couldn't get it done in time.
The platforming behemoth known as Banjo-Kazooie took the N64 by storm, and it was only a matter of time before Rare would continue the series. Banjo-Tooie came out a few years later and promised a much larger adventure than the previous game.
Unfortunately, Banjo-Tooie has proven (in our minds) that less is more. The size of the game is overwhelming and leads to many moments where we felt bored or didn't know what to do. You were never guessing with Banjo-Kazooie, but Rare took one step forward and two steps back with its respective sequel. When comparing the two, it's clear which one holds up today, and that's easily Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (don't kill me, I'm just kidding).
8 Excitebike 64
The idea of taking the fast-paced action of Excitebike and putting it into a 3D space was too good for Nintendo to pass up. This led to the creation of Excitebike 64 (there really weren't many clever game names during that period). The game promoted a much more modern style of racing, with updated visuals and graphics.
Unfortunately, Excitebike 64 still had its fair share of problems, despite being heavily praised. The biggest issue comes with the controls. It's difficult to get a handle on your character, and when they take a decent ramp, it can end up with you careening off the track with to no way to correct yourself. Then there was the fact that the soccer minigame was painful to play because of the player controls.
7 Mario Party
When it comes to the Mario Party series, I've always wondered why people tend to skip over the Gamecube ones and only cite the N64 versions as the best in the series. While they're certainly good, they have their fair share of problems, and that goes especially for the first entry in the franchise.
While Mario Party did a lot of unique things, there were still some mechanics that weren't ironed out until Mario Party 2 and 3. The different mini-games and boards were still in an experimental stage. Mario Party functioned more like a concept game rather than a fully realized release all on its own. If you want the best experience in the franchise for this console, go with the other two.
6 Yoshi's Story
If Yoshi's Story weren't presented as a full game, I might not put it on this list. However, when you compare it to Yoshi's Island, which came out years before this one, it's hard to ignore the fact that it does a lot of things worse.
At times, it feels like a Yoshi game but without its identity. The visuals aren't nearly as artsy as the game that came before it, and the levels are much shorter and easier this time around. As you progress through the game, you will have little to no trouble figuring out how to deal with the various obstacles of the world. It also didn't add anything to the formula established in the game prior to it.
5 Donkey Kong 64
The Banjo series wasn't the only project that Rare developed for the N64, as they also had another hurrah in the form of Donkey Kong 64. Coming off of the high of the Donkey Kong Country series, Rare had a difficult act to follow.
While the game itself is fairly well-designed, there are many things that keep it from being great or on the level of Donkey Kong Country. First of all, the game opens with a painfully long cutscene that you can't skip. Then, as you play, collecting everything is a pain because you're forced to replay many levels with different characters just so you can access certain areas. The game feels very repetitive at times as a result.
4 Perfect Dark
After Goldeneye 007 was created and spawned numerous late-night parties at your rich friend's house, the act was followed with Perfect Dark. This game improved upon some of the issues of Goldeneye, but that doesn't mean that it still isn't overrated.
For starters, despite its small improvements, Perfect Dark was more or less the same game as its predecessor. There wasn't much in terms of differences to make it stand out. Had it been saved for a future console, that might've been a bit more justified. But, basically releasing the same game with a few patch notes isn't going to cut it. It's not a bad game, it's just not as good as many people say it is.
3 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
After Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, and Kirby Super Star brought a classic image for the pink puffball, it was time for him to jump to the 3D realm with Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby was now in a 2.5D environment and had access to ability combinations which yielded some amazing results.
Unfortunately, this gameplay was not very balanced. Very few of the ability combos were any good, and collecting all of the Crystal Shards was a major pain, as you never knew which ability (or combination) you needed to have at hand. While the 3D style was nice, the camera jumping around to different angles gave the game a disorienting feel. Then there was the fact that the multiplayer was only good for a few minutes; the mini-games just felt lazy compared to other N64 games.
2 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
While the idea of traveling back in time and fighting all sorts of massive dinosaurs is enticing, especially for a video game, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter isn't as good as many people remember it being back in the day. Hunting down dinosaurs is all fun and well, but if you're not doing anything differently from other games in the genre, why should you play this one over the rest?
While it had a lot of good ideas, the game was never fully realized. It was your standard FPS game at the time. The only difference was the fact that you were hunting down dinosaurs rather than shooting people in the face, and this game reeks of that single gimmick. The series would slightly improve as it went on, but the reality is that the first game in the franchise is very overrated.
1 Super Smash Bros.
Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that this game exists and that Sakurai struck gold when creating it. Unfortunately, as time goes on and the series has advanced, Super Smash Bros. for the 64 doesn't hold up and has a lot of wonky mechanics that prevent it from being the best the series has to offer.
Let's start with the fact that the characters weren't very balanced. Some characters, like Kirby, were clearly better than others. Then there's the lack of different moves that wouldn't be put in until later in the series. Last but not least, the stages themselves aren't very interesting. There is little to no dynamic movement within them, although if that's your cup of tea, I suppose you can ignore this little bit. The point is that this game is fairly overrated, as is its successor.