When the Nintendo 64 dropped way back in 1996 I don't think anybody, including Nintendo, knew it would be such an instrumental release in the video game world. The last major console to use a cartridge to store information, the 64 was widely championed by critics upon its release and lapped up by fans.
What made the Nintendo 64 stand head and shoulders above the competition was the games released specifically for the system. 389 games found their way onto the 64 over its lifespan, with titles such as Donkey Kong 64, Super Mario 64, GoldenEye 007, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask helping make it such a huge success. Lesser known titles like Vigilante 8, Harvest Moon 64, and Body Harvest helped the 64 find a larger audience and keep sales high.
Of course, not every game delivered the goods, with a large number of 64 games failing to impress. War Gods, Deadly Arts, and the abomination known as Superman 64 are just three games Nintendo fans wish never existed.
With rumors of a mini-64 on the horizon, I've gone down the rabbit hole and picked 15 games I wish never existed so they won't be re-released, along with 15 underrated gems that should be given another life.
Heavily influenced by Midway's Mortal Kombat series, War Gods is one of those fighting games that fails in every aspect. There are ten fighters to choose from, all who have been given powers by some alien dude and are forced to face off against each other to crown the ultimate warrior. Or something along those lines.
Everything about this game screams Mortal Kombat, with the game even including fatalities.
In short, it's a horrible Mortal Kombat clone with no redeemable or original features. This one deserves to be put in the trash can.
Marketed as a sequel to the original PC series, Doom 64 is an engaging first-person shooter set in the hellish world of previous Doom games. Players must traverse 32 levels, battling demons using all manner of weapons, including a chainsaw, a double-barrelled shotgun, and the newly introduced Laser, as they try to save the day.
The game retains the energy of the original and offers a sense of intense paranoia as you wander darken corridors waiting to be attacked by evil mutant creatures. Doom 64 is also one of the best Doom ports, with impressive graphics and frame rate adding to the games greatness.
Another first-person shooter, Hexen: Beyond Heretic is the sequel to the 1994 smash Heretic. While the majority of versions of this game are decent, the 64 port is one of the worst, turning a great game into an almost unplayable mess.
As the 64 is cartridge based, this port of Hexen is based on the floppy disk release, meaning no full motion video cut scenes and some pretty bad music and sound effects. The gameplay is pretty much the same but the graphics are lacking, taking away from the feel of the game.
Games don't get much more enjoyable than Blast Corps. 57 levels of utter destruction make this the most fun you can have sitting on your couch. The plot centers around an out of control missile carrier you have to keep safe by destroying everything in its path.
You control a number of different vehicles as you crash through buildings and takeout obstacles in this wonderfully rendered game. It might be a simple premise but Blast Corps works so well because of it.
The first RPG released on the Nintendo 64 in The West, Quest 64 isn't exactly on par with Zelda. Playing as an apprentice mage named Brian (not sure about the name) who must collect amulets as you wander the Ireland-inspired fantasy world on your way to a showdown with the game's final boss.
While advertised as an RPG, the game doesn't include a money system while experience points are earned by how a player performs in battle. It's certainly something different but doesn't really work. The storyline is also boring and the graphics meh, making Quest 64 one game Nintendo can leave buried if they ever release the mini-g6.
This vehicular combat game is an enjoyably violent spin-off of the well-received racer Interstate '76. Set in an alternative universe where the West is on the verge of an economic collapse, players choose from a selection of flamboyant characters and cars with their mission being to take out other characters in a variety of open world arenas.
The action is non-stop and the thrill of taking out your enemies using power-ups and special weapons is fantastic. This is Mad Max-style combat in the vein of Twisted Metal without the cartoony feel.
Similar to the film, the video game tie-in, Blues Brothers 2000, is a disappointing effort. Loosely based on the film, delays meant it didn't get released until two years after the film dropped, losing any momentum it might have had. This is a run of the mill platform game that finds you having to rescue various members of the band.
Sloppy controls, disinteresting challenges, and below average graphics don't help this one.
As GameSpot declared in their review of the game, "Blues Brothers 2000 isn't a horrible game overall, but there are plenty of other great 3D platformers out there for the N64."
Blizzard's StarCraft is one of the best sci-fi strategy games around. Set during the 25th century as three warring races compete for control of the universe, this space epic has everything.
Despite some average graphics, the Nintendo 64 version of StarCraft is faithful to the PC original. The audio matches that of the PC game and the control system is surprisingly easy to use considering you don't have a mouse to point and click.
It might not have got the plaudits of the original but StarCraft 64 is a worthy console port of this awesome game.
Based on the arcade game of the same name, California Speed is a stock standard driving game that offers little in the way of variety. Although you can choose from a number of different vehicles and change the color and transmission type, this doesn't impact the game in any way.
The tracks are boring, the graphics s0-so, and the multiplayer mode quite confusing. This is a basic racing game you'll immediately regret playing so stay clear.
When you hear the words farm simulation it doesn't usually illicit cries of joy, but Harvest Moon 64 is actually pretty darn good. The objective of the game is simple; takeover your Grandfather's dilapidated farm and get it back up and running.
While visually not great with a slightly annoying soundtrack, it's the gameplay that makes Harvest Moon 64 outstanding. You would have never thought rebuilding a farm and looking after and training animals could be so addictive.
Considering how great GoldenEye 007 is, the Nintendo 64 has a heap of poor quality first person shooter options. Despite it's interesting premise (18 levels divided into four episodes representing four different time periods; 25th century Japan in the year 2455 AD, Ancient Greece in the year 1200 BC, the Dark Ages in Norway during the year 560 AD, and near-future San Francisco in the year 2030 AD), Daikatana is one of the worst games of the genre.
A computer controlled sidekick and limited save points detracted from the overall feel of the game, while the game also contains a number of glitches and some shoddy graphics. Many attribute the downfall of video game developer Ion Storm to the critical and commercial failure of Daikatana.
Usually when it comes to racing games you want a selection of vehicles to choose from but it's all Volkswagen Beetle's in this nifty 64 title. Similar to Need For Speed, players take part in a variety of races on different tracks across the world. There's also a vehicular combat mode along with the ability to unlock special tracks, vehicles, and other fun additions.
The upbeat soundtrack pairs well with the explosive action on the tracks, and while it can get a little repetitive, all the Beetles are well designed and handle like real cars. The multiplayer mode is also heaps of fun.
Virtual casino games can be fun but they never compare to the real thing of being in a seedy Vegas establishment playing poker until the early hours of the morning. While Golden Nugget 64 does its best to create the illusion of being at a high profile casino, it just can't capture the atmosphere that makes casinos such a weird place to visit.
You can choose from 10 classic Vegas games (poker, blackjack, slots etc...) but after a few hours you'll be wishing you were at an actual casino. It doesn't help that the soundtrack is pretty bad and the audio gets more annoying the longer you play.
Don't believe the reviews, Mace: The Dark Age is an awesome fighting game many fans overlooked upon its initial release. Set in the 12th century players take control of ancient warriors attempting to take down the evil Asmodeus.
It's another fighting game inspired by Mortal Kombat but this one actually works well and adds its own unique twist on the fighting genre.
You can interact with the environments to cause damage while each fighter can perform an execution move on their opponent at the end of the bout. This great looking fighter is hugely underrated and one of my favorite 64 titles.
Everyone remembers the controversy Carmageddon caused when it was first released on the PC in 1997, but people quickly forgot how bad the Nintendo 64 port turned out. Not only does it look and sound bad but Carmageddon 64 replaces the humans you mow down with zombies in a bid to avoid censorship issues. Not a good idea.
Throw in clunky controls, poorly pixilated characters, and boring gameplay and you're left with a generic racing game with no standout features.
Taking control of genetically engineered soldier Adam Drake, players must do their best to investigate a race of aliens who come to earth every 25 years to harvest organic material, including humans. This open world extravaganza features well-designed levels, great animation, an intriguing plot, and addictive gameplay.
Using vehicles is also a major part of the game and adds another element of excitement, helping make Body Harvest another overlooked classic 64 title.
The Power Rangers were big business in the 90s and early 00s so it's no surprise they featured in a great number of video games. One of the worst is the Nintendo 64 title Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue.
There were four versions of this game released for four different consoles, with the 64 release a 3D action game beset by horrible graphics, poor plotting, and almost zero gameplay.
While it does feature the major characters and villains from the show that's about the only perk, with the television show much better entertainment.
Based on the Shadowman comic book series, this video game adaptation finds players taking control of Shadow Man Michael LeRoi, a voodoo warrior protecting earth (Liveside) from demons trying to cross over from the Deadside.
Combining great action with an intriguing storyline Shadow Man is a dark and creepy game that still holds up today.
The majority of Castlevania games are fab but that doesn't extend to Castlevania 64. The first 3D game in the famous series, Castlevania 64 finds you taking control of either the gifted young magician Carrie Fernandez or the whip-wielding Reinhardt Schneider as you infiltrate Dracula's castle and try to end is reign.
As with previous installments, this is an action adventure game that received decent reviews but pales in comparisons to other entries in the franchise.
The gameplay isn't on par with previous games and the graphics and sound quality just passable. I much prefer the classic side-scrolling Castlevania than this 3D version.
As the title suggests, Hybrid Heaven mixes a number of video game genres in one action-packed game. Merging both action-adventure and RPG genres together in one epic game, Hybrid Heaven is much better than you'd think, with some nifty graphics and a rather interesting plot.
Coming up against synthetic humans and an alien race known as the Gargatuans (even though they're only three feet tall), Hybrid Heaven places a strong emphasis on powering up, exploring levels, and solving puzzles.
I used to love watching cartoon series Rugrats when I was a kid. It combines laugh out loud humor with some semi-serious storylines and great animation. Unfortunately Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt lacks all the charm of the animated series.
Although it does feature the actors from the show providing the voices of the main characters, the game is a poor rip-off of Mario Party. Made up of three different board games, with neither being all that fun to play, Scavenger Hunt is slow, boring, and just not fun.
Here's another strange but compelling platform game for the 64 that will have you hooked. Taking control of the badly damaged robot Evo you must solve puzzles and stun mutated animals and take over their bodies to survive. Wild right?
The gameplay is almost flawless and contains great British humor thanks to developer DMA Design, who were also involved in the original Grand Theft Auto. Despite not being able to save your progress mid-game and some rather daft graphics (see picture above), this challenging and involving platformer is great fun.
In a bid to expand the Mortal Kombat universe Midway decided to release games focusing on certain characters, with the first being Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
The game turned out that bad Midway abandoned the concept and focused on a new Mortal Kombat game. Yikes!
It's easy to see why when playing this horrible cash-in. The action-adventure gameplay doesn't work well and the graphics are lacking on the 64. Due to the cartridge not having enough space, cutscenes are replaced with still images, taking away from the feel of the game.
Visually similar to previous 64 hits Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day introduced gamers to a greedy, heavy drinking squirrel on a mission to return home to see his girlfriend.
Unlike the games it's inspired by, Conker's features graphic violence and crude humor that made it a hit with adults. Combine this with great animation, a fantastically detailed world, and awesome audio and you have yourselves one of the best games released just before the 64 came to an end.
The game is so well liked it was remade in 2015 for modern day audiences and is surprisingly on par with the original.
Commonly known as Deadly Arts, G.A.S.P!! Fighters' NEXTream is an awful fighter inspired by classics like Tekken and Virtual Fighter.
Not only does it have a ridiculous title but this game is a tepid fighting simulation with flat characters who possess a variety of boring moves.
The game isn't helped by fidgety controls and a slow frame rate. With only eight main characters to choose from, Deadly Arts is another in the long line of failed 64 fighters.
This arcade-style racer is part of the Rush franchise and features a bunch of tracks to race around in futuristic San Francisco. The game includes a number of excellent game modes - including a stunt mode, deathmatch battle mode, and race mode - as players manoeuver their flying cars through a variety of tracks.
As well as being a fun game to play solo or with friends, San Francisco Rush 2049 has a hard-hitting drum & bass soundtrack that suits the hectic racing.
South Park remains one of the funniest animated television shows but this 2000 video game is anything but a laughing matter. A Mario Kart-style rip-off, South Park: Rally allows you to choose characters from the show and race around various tracks as you try to win the rally outright.
While Trey Parker and Matt Stone do lend their voices to the game, they had no involvement in the actual creation of the game, which is probably why the storyline and dialogue are horrible.
This third-person action romp is often forgotten about but well worth investigating. As part of the Jet Force Gemini team, you must attempt to stop the alien tyrant Mizar and his army from taking over the universe.
You have a variety of weapons at your disposal as you search the galaxy taking out alien hordes and freeing hostages. The action is non-stop as the alien enemies increase in numbers and difficulty the further you get in the game. The 3D world is well developed and offers an enjoyable shooter with some great graphics and level creations.
As I type this, Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sounds Of Silence" is playing and no song describes this game better. Superman 64 is a disaster on all fronts. Delayed multiple times and partly responsible for the collapse of developer Titus Interactive, nothing good came from this title.
Absurd A.I., blocky graphics, terrible sound, and virtually no gameplay make Superman 64 hands down one of the worst games I've ever played in my short life. Just stay away, please.
Released exclusively for the Nintendo 64, this first-person shooter is another epic adventure set in the Turok universe. This time around, players can choose between Danielle and Joseph who both possess different skills that have their advantages.
With 16 different weapons available and a multiplayer mode that includes 42 different maps, you'll never get bored of playing this one.
The science fiction influenced plot follows the events of Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil and features a fantastic solo campaign. While it might not reach the heights of GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark, Turok 3 is probably the third best first-person shooter on the 64.