games / Columns

Top 8 N64 Games Wanted on Switch

October 12, 2021 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Resident Evil 2 Remake

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about N64 games, specifically the ones I’d like to see on that new Switch service. It kind of goes without saying that almost any/all Nintendo-made N64 games will end up on the service, either at launch or very soon after. Also, don’t expect to see any licensed games so stuff like WWF Wrestlemania 2000, Beetle Adventure Racing, or NFL Blitz on the service. With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Buck Bumble

Just for the theme song alone. Bit of a joke here, to be honest.

#8: Extreme-G 2

The N64 had its share of off-beat futuristic racing games for it. Aside from F-Zero, there was the Xtreme series, Aero Gauge (shudder), Wipeout, and at least one or two others I think. F-Zero is a lock already but I actually dig Extreme-G 2 more. I like that it has weapons, like most kart racers, so you can get ahead with some skill. I really love the speed effects though, the game normally is pretty controllable but once you get past the sound barrier, it becomes a real challenge. This is especially true where the screen gets inverted. It’s not a great game, it’s a damn sight better than Aero Gauge, but the horrible wall-scraping noise does drop it a few places.

#7: Gex: Enter the Gecko

Sue me, I liked this Gex game. It was a pretty blatant super Mario 64 clone but it wasn’t bad. And considering it came out on the PS1 as well, it was actually pretty impressive. The N64 version was pretty hampered by a reduction in music and voice lines but it still is fairly playable. Well, less voice samples and a whole lot more fog to hide some visual issues. Gex’s whole concept is that he can go into different TV levels to find remote controls to take down Rez, so he can get cable television back. This is a worthy goal, much more than rescuing some princess. Gex: Enter the Gecko wasn’t hugely unique but it was still a decent platformer to spend some time with.

#6: San Francisco Rush 2049

Let’s be real, the Dreamcast version of this game is far better, at least when it comes to graphics. That said, the N64 version is still pretty alright. The racing part of 2049 is fine enough but it’s really the stunt mode that makes 2049 really fun. The game basically gives you a fairly large map full of ramps and jumps for you to drive off of, where your car wings then come into play and you can do rolls and other tricks to get points. This was a very enjoyable mode, since it just let you play as much as you wanted, to try and nail the perfect jump to get a lot of points.

#5: The World is Not Enough

Let’s be honest, Goldeneye? Never going to happen. Perfect Dark, also, never going to realistically happen. There is a shot, though, with The World is Not Enough. While not as good as Goldeneye, TWINE is still a very enjoyable first person shooter on the N64. It’s responsive, has the usual Bond gadgets and the N64 version has a multiplayer mode the PS1 version didn’t have. TWINE isn’t as good as Goldeneye, but really, few games are.

#4: Mega Man 64

Mega Man Legends is an odd game. It is a 3D platformer/shooter where you play a new incarnation of Mega Man, with Volnutt as his last name, as he explores the ruins of a civilization that has come and went. You control Mega Man like you did Link in Ocarina of time in a usually 3D space, but you could also lock onto enemies which would transform your controls into something more action-oriented, since you could dodge and strafe around them. Mega Man 64 is just the N64 port of the game, with slightly worse audio (a reoccurring theme for this column), but Mega Man Legends/64 is still interesting to play, and to see how Capcom was trying to experiment with the Mega Man formula.

#3: Star Wars Rogue Squadron

While the X-Wing series on PC was known for more simulation dogfighting when it came to Star Wars, the Rogue series was known for more arcade-style combat. Also, for its console and era, Rogue Squadron had a fair amount of dialog and music in it, far more than most games on the N64. Rogue Squadron just had some great shooting combined with some of the more memorable moments of the Star Wars trilogy of films. Plus, who doesn’t want to play a game where you get to hang out with Wedge Antilles? The other Rogue games were obviously better in terms of graphics, having a new system certainly helped, but Squadron also looked damn fine on the N64, especially with the expansion pack.

#2: Resident Evil 2

The fact they managed to get Resident Evil 2 on the N64 is a miracle. The fact they were able to get RE2 on the N64 without anything being cut is a bigger miracle. They crammed 2 CDs (1,400MB) worth of data on a 64MB cartridge, which is like the mother of all data compression jobs. While I still prefer the PS1 version of the game, the N64 one had multiple costumes, a random item mode, and some extra stuff for you to find and read. Some concessions were made but if you didn’t know the game was on PS1 first, you’d be in for a pretty amazing experience. The above is a video of my friend Ben Paddon talking about the game/port work that went into it.

#1: Super Smash Bros

This is the one Nintendo-made game on this list and I’d call it “iffy” if it gets released for this service. I’d honestly love it if it did, I think there is a charm and simplicity that the later games got away from. The later games went more in an actual fighting game way, while the original Smash Bros is a fighting game, sure, but it’s a pretty basic one. The reason I think it might not come to the service is that I just don’t think Nintnedo cares much about this iteration of the game. I could be wrong and it may come out soon but I guess we’ll see. If they get that online multiplayer working with this game, I’d probably end up playing it online more than I did Smash Bros Ultimate.

For comments, list which N64 games you’d like to see on the service and why.

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Top 8 Sega Genesis Games Wanted on the Switch