The Nintendo 64 had a late start into the 3D generation after numerous delays. The console finally launched in 1996, two years after PlayStation debuted its first console. Why bring that up? Well, because of this late start and because Sony made some better deals with other parties, the N64 library is fairly small.
Across all regions apparently, 388 games were made, but can one name more than thirty, or forty at max? The best games are well known, like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Then, of course, there was Rare that greatly supported them as well. Whether these are high profile games or random third-party entries, their lack of a presence in the modern age is troubling.
Here are 10 titles are still trapped exclusively on the N64.
Okay, so here are a few facts upfront. Yes, Super Smash Bros. was once available outside of the N64 via the Virtual Console on Wii. Great. Delete this entry, right? Wrong! Since that shop is no longer available, the only way to get it now is via the original cartridge. That convoluted reason is why we are keeping it on here.
We know this first game does not hold a candle to the newest iteration, thanks to the graphics and roster. That said there are still those out there nostalgic for the original.
GoldenEye also has a strange release history. First of all, this did get remade for the Wii in 2010. As it was more of a re-imagining, let’s not count it. Secondly, no, this was not included in Rare Replay, which had almost every single game Rare ever made all except this.
Rare Replay was an exceptional collection on Xbox One, but the absence of GoldenEye 007 was very noticeable. The obvious reason why it wasn’t on there and why it hasn’t been released on Virtual Console is quite obvious: licensing fees.
Both of the Pokémon Stadium games are actually nonexistent on Virtual Console. They weren’t even on the Wii side. There is an obvious reason why they are both unavailable though. They simply aren’t that great.
At the time seeing Pokémon battle in 3D was groundbreaking, especially since this started out as a Game Boy series. That wow factor is not so present anymore. They lack pizazz as they are just battling games without an exploratory campaign akin to the main entries.
A game that rivals Star Fox 64, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, is not, nor has it ever been on any version of Virtual Console. The same goes for Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire. Both of these games were huge hits on the N64.
The former was one of the first games to feature the expansion, rumble pack, which was a huge deal. And the latter jumpstarted the Star Wars train once again as content at that point had been lacking. The point is they are both very important to both the N64 and the Star Wars brand as a whole.
Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon is, inarguably, a bad, or at the very least, a weird name. After all the first Ganbare Goemon game to debut in the West was called The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Couldn’t they have just added a two at the end?
Names aside, this is actually a lot like the 3D Zelda games. So if Ocarina of Time was a favorite and one also likes ninjas and samurai, well, this would be a nice port.
Here is a bit of trivia that seemingly makes no sense. On the Wii and Wii U versions of the Virtual Console, Mario Party 2 was made available to purchase, but the first and third games never were. Why pick the middle child?
We also realize that many of the N64 Mario Party games don’t necessarily hold up as well today just like Super Smash Bros. That said if the second one is on there then so should the other two, or at least the first.
Mystery Dungeon is a series of roguelikes. Shiren the Wanderer is an original property, but the franchise has also gone onto to create RPGs with other franchises as well such as Pokémon and Dragon Quest.
This version is the fourth in the Shiren the Wanderer sub-series. It’s one of the more brutal roguelikes around, but if one were up for a challenge, it would be cool to get a Western release.
No, we are not confused. This is not the Custom Robo game from the GameCube. That was actually the fourth game, but the first for the West. Because of that, the name was simplified in order to not confuse new gamers, just like how Fire Emblem first launched in the West with the seventh title.
Anyway ,this game, and the series overall, scaled more towards kids, like Pokémon. In many ways, it shares a lot with it, but instead of monsters, the hero collects parts for his titular Custom Robo.
The N64 was severely lacking in the RPG department. This was in part due to their once longtime partnership with Squaresoft dissolving as they decided to cozy up next to Sony and the PlayStation instead.
That is all to say Quest 64 was not the best RPG of this era, but N64 fans had to take what they could get. It isn't terrible by any means. It’s just very basic, but it still deserves a place on a digital shelf.
Mischief Makers is a game made by Treasure. Many may remember them more for output on Sega consoles what with Gunstar Heroes and Guardian Heroes. This was actually their first Nintendo game. It’s part platformer, part puzzle action game. It is definitely not their best title, but like Quest 64, it is important to the console’s legacy.