Nintendo 64x64

23/64

1998

Banjo-Kazooie

"Its Mario 64 comparison was always inevitable and which is better is divisive. BK's biggest strengths lie in its 'Rareness': game engine crafted excellently; splendidly contrasting worlds of increasing challenge; Grunty's surprise quiz; and Rare's unique humour injection. Does it have innovation to surpass Mario 64? Some say BK couldn't exist without Nintendo's launch title. And the Grunty finale? Well, she's just not Bowser..."

9/10 - Steven Smith 64

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User Reviews (19)

"Banjo-Kazooie, though lacking the charm of RARE's Donkey Kong releases, is a great game. Whereas Mario 64 centred on the protagonist possessing a set amount of skills, differently applicable to each environment, in Banjo-Kazooie the hero learns fresh moves and transformations to venture into new areas. This gameplay mechanic is very enjoyable taken on it's own merits, but lacks the genius of Mario 64."

8/10 - Franklin 64

"Banjo-Kazooie is an excellent game, that puts other platformers around it to shame. No stars to gather but there's jiggies instead, and a witch's castle shaped like her head. It's overflowing with charm, fun and delight, with colourful worlds and controls most tight. An outstanding game about a bear and bird's quest, that's got a lot to offer, and it's one of Rare's best!"

10/10 - GreenGaming 64

"Banjo-Kazooie represents Rare's first foray into 3D platforming. Its warped and instantly warming sense of humour is refreshing to this day. The Teddy bears' picnic hub theme tune sets the tone of the game, shifting mood and pace with effortless ease. Each world is jampacked with fun and collecting every jiggy and note provides a wonderful challenge. Banjo-Kazooie is a treasure trove of greatness."

10/10 - YoshiTails 64

"What can't be said about this game? Packed to the brim vast worlds, lovable characters, clever writing, memorable soundtracks, and tons of collectables, this is a game clearly ahead of its time and has aged very well. This is what a game is supposed to be like, letting you do whatever you want, whenever you want. Banjo-Kazooie isn't a game, it's a breathtaking adventure."

9/10 - Imagine23 64

"Banjo Kazooie is one of the best platform game ever made. The game contains a lot of content and variation, a lot of different levels (from a snowy peak to a polluted cargo bay for example)and a game-play that never feels boring, from fly to shoot eggs and punch wacky monsters. Sadly none of the sequels reached the bar created by the first game."

10/10 - Frank90 64

"+every world is a memorable fun-filled dream +one of the most charming games ever made +very replayable +whimsical soundtrack +delightful transformations +dynamic music system +humorous dialogue +Click Clock Woods' seasons mechanic -Kazooie's noises can be annoying -swimming/flying controls could be better -Banjo-Tooie link doesn't work -some collecting required, which a few people may not like -inspired by Mario 64, so it had less impact"

10/10 - VGScrapbook 64

"While Mario may win in the innovation category, Rare took everything great about the N64 launch title's success and managed to improve on it. Whimsical characters, ingenius level design, and a very catchy soundtrack combine to make Banjo-Kazooie a must own game. It represents Rare at their best, and is probably my favorite game in the entire 64 library. Now to play it again..."

10/10 - bizcuthammer 64

"In an era when huge imaginative worlds were a thing, Banjo-Kazooie established a standard and paradigm for future 3D platformers to come. Charming characters, ingenious dialogue, colorful level designs, fascinating music and some fun gameplay mechanics made this the gem every single game developer should strive for in terms of content. RARE's N64 legacy shall live on and be always omnipresent in the collective mind."

10/10 - RingoTanuki 64

"Oh, Banjo-Kazooie. How can you not like its incredible likability? The second game that Banjo the bear appeared in after Diddy Kong Racing, this platformer is full of charm and very well-detailed worlds, not to mention the characters are very adorable and the controls are well done. It may have a difficult final boss fight, but overall it's a fun experience from the start."

10/10 - StarBoy91 64

"My first 3D platformer, and in my opinion still the best. Miles better then Mario 64, because this one has lots of british humor, many cool moves, lovely characters, great music, great N64 graphics, lost of collectables and big levels. Getting to the enboss isn't a easy task and takes a lot of effort. DK64 nor BK'S sequel (Banjo Tooie) could beat it. Recommended!"

9/10 - Henmii 64

"The progenitor of the "collect-a-thon" 3D platformer, this one holds up better than any of its successors today. Inspired worlds, massively inventive gameplay, and clever dialogue that surpass anything else that comes to mind. I have no shame in saying this is one of the best games ever made. I can also wholeheartedly say there weren't enough games trying to replicate this one's feats."

10/10 - HunteROB 64

"Never has a game been completed so many times, nor has one been confiscated by my parents so often. An adventure that holds up perfectly today, with fun characters, beautiful music and a great balance of collecting, events and level design. Every Xmas I play through to Freezezy Peaks and no level in history can measure up to the beauty of ClickClockWood's Season variation."

10/10 - InnerSpirit 64

"This was the very first game that I remember completing. Every world holds a special place in my heart and cements it as one of the best 3D platformers ever made. Its energetic and lively soundtrack fits every world, making it a joy to explore each new section. It's beautiful to look at and this is the game I play to cheer me up."

10/10 - Crystalking18 64

"To the untrained eye this might seem like a typical Mario 64 clone. Unfortunatley for those people this game somehow manages to dare I say it? beat Mario 64 at it's own game with massive levels, great music, Humor, and one heck of a final boss. it even had a surprise trivia show that no one expected this is one of the N64's finest."

10/10 - traceman 64

"Banjo was introduced in Diddy Kong Racing and he got his own game little after that. Enter Banjo-Kazooie, one of N64's finest games. It's collect-a-thon 3D platform adventure but thankfully contains less item collecting than the following 3D adventure Donkey Kong 64 offered. A humorous adventure featuring soundtrack by Grant Kirkhope. Everything works so well but I'd say the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, was even better."

9/10 - Luffymcduck 64

"I could honestly play this game forever. The charm, the humour, the challenege (read: Rusty Bucket Bay), it all boils down to a near-prefect experience. It took every gameplay element from Super Mario 64 and made it so much better. The polish and attention to detail makes this game an absolute essential for anyone who's anyone. Genuine humour is so 'Rare' in a game."

10/10 - AlexOlney 64

"This game's strength lies in the details. You can't go wrong with a collect-a-thon game and Banjo is certainly up there with the bests. Right from the beginning, you know you are playing a Rare game and that means FUN. Large worlds, extremely good platforming, it's all in there. The only thing it can't beat (nor does it need to) is Super Mario 64."

8/10 - Truner 64

"A huge game world, colourful and detailed graphics, varied gameplay, witty script and excellent music. Banjo and his acid-tongued companion Kazooie boast an impressive moveset used to navigate the various themed worlds and solve puzzles. There are a lot of collectibles but they all feed into the wider gameplay systems without feeling overwhelming. Better than Mario 64? Debatable. But it arguably has more panache."

10/10 - mookysam 64

"Beat it 100% twice, loved the challenge, the hilarious characters, numerous secrets, and how much there was to do and find. It felt like it's own massive world to me as a kid and still does today. This is IMO the best 3D platform game on the N64. The loss of this IP is hands down my greatest disappointment regarding Rare's departure from Nintendo."

10/10 - Kevlar44 64

Comments (33)

Clamango

Always wated Banjo and Kazooie as playable characters in Super Smash Bros.

RedDevilAde

This was my favourite game on the N64 and the one that sold me on buying one.

Spoony_Tech

I would give my right arm to play this on VC!

This was my favorite N64 game and there was plenty of good ones. I loved everything about this game!

Ralek85

Makes me feel the loss of Rare all over again. Truly one of the finest studios there ever was. BK is a classic and timeless piece of gaming joy, and just one of many they crafted over the years ... Best of all, I can say with some confidence, that for once, this holds true even accounting for quite a bit of nostalgia.

Big_L91

this is the no.1 N64 game I reckon.

danvandan

My favorite game of all time. I must replay it probably about once per year

Nareva

An absolute classic. I love this game.

Frank90

I would give my house to play this on VC or anything to play a hd remake (on Wii U not to Xone crap)

brentendo3

This is one of the few games I consider to be effectively flawless. Can't believe MS/Rare is just sitting on this IP.

YoshiTails

The best reason to have an xbox 360!

FritzFrapp

I don't share quite the same opinion about this one.
Great humour and technically very good, apart from the ropey camera, I had quite a lot of fun with this game, and enjoyed the interesting gameplay dynamics that the two characters threw up, but I didn't like the focus on collecting at all. I completed it to 100%, but felt strangely ambivalent about the game. Having been a huge Rare fan since their debut on the Spectrum as Ultimate, the cracks in the Rare glaze that had started to show with DK Country were wide open for me now. With the exceptions of Jet Force Gemini and the majestic Perfect Dark, I disliked everything they came up with after BK. This was the start of the slide to where they are now, in my eyes.
A good, but flawed game some way short of the highs they reached with the seminal GoldenEye and Diddy Kong Racing.

Samuel-Flutter

This game and its sequel make me sad that Nintendo lost Rare. Well not just these two games, but these games were classic. I want Nintendo to buy Rare's old IPs, so we can get both on the virtual console, and maybe Banjo in Smash 5. A pipe dream, I know, but isn't that why Super Mario Bros 2 is all about?

MinecraftGreek

There is a great "HD" remake on the Xbox 360, was worth a good replay!

zeldagaymer93

This is literally my favorite video game of all time. I even bought a 360 before the next Banjo came out just so I knew I could play it when it did. Boy was Nuts and Bolts a disappointment. I know not to fall for that trick again.

Yai

I still weep for the Banjo-Threeie that will never be,

Neferupitou

I have no words to describe the epicness of this game.

Yellowtails

From the little I've played of this game, it was awesome and may be even better than Super Mario 64.

MeloMan

This game was the truth when I played it. A true testament to Rare in it's hayday. Sadly to this day, I still never played Banjo-Tooie

Dpishere

It would be no understatement to say that this game defined my childhood. When I was a kid my parents rented me the game and I ended up loving it so much I begged them to buy it for me! What followed was some of the best times I have ever had gaming and to this day I still love the collect-a-thon genre because of it. The sequel was superb as well as the underrated Nuts and Bolts! Maybe someday there will be a real Banjo Three-ie!

super08mario

I bought an n64 just to replay this game and it's sequel. So worth it. N64 is the best console.

AlexOlney

I remember getting this game for my eighth birthday all those years ago and it absolutely blew me away. One of the most memorable birthdays I've ever had.

Henmii

"And the Grunty finale? Well, she's just not Bowser"

Exccccuuuse me princess! The Gruntilda battle was MUCH better then the final Bowser battle! Not only was the final Bowser battle just a harder version of Bowser battles before, but the Gruntilda battle consisted of different phases. You even did fight her in the air. Besides, she's a much better villain then Bowser.

TradeMark

One of the best N64 games, and it is very high on my list of favorite games. While Super Mario 64 has some things over Banjo Kazooie, BK has better points as well, namely it felt like a more open world. In SM64, you can roam around, but ultimately, your goal is to head for the star you entered the world for (with some leeway towards getting other stars), borrowing from the level gameplay of it's Super Mario Bros. predecessors, but in BK, you can get the puzzle pieces in any order you want, as long as you have the ablities to reach it. Rare's rich humor and charm also made BK's world more lively and interesting.

While I love and cherish both games, I think I would give the slight edge to Banjo Kazooie. I also continue to dread the likeliness we will never get a Banjo Threeie that truly lives up to the legacy of the first two games.

electrolite77

I remember being amazed that a game could get so close (without actually matching) Mario 64. I got hours and hours out of this at university. Always loved the graphic style, the camera might have been questionable but the design and colours used were glorious. Also possibly the most Christmassy level of any game ever. Great stuff.

k8sMum

As soon as my kids went to bed that controller and BK were mine, all mine (insert evil laugh).

A real gem of a game and just so damn fun.

LtAldoRaine

For some reason I didn't pay attention to this game as a kid. How wrong I was. Played it two years ago, and it's amazing. Just one more reason to miss the old Rare. I played Tooie as well, and I think I like it even more than the first. I was seriously hooked. They sure don't make them like that anymore.

dkis007

I still remember going to Blockbuster and renting the heck out of this game when I was a kid. It was so lovely when I finally purchased the game in 2009 as it felt like a part of my childhood came back

InnerSpirit

Such a shame that BK will probably never get the sequel it deserves...

SphericalCrusher

This month's Retro Gamer magazine had a big writeup on Banjo Kazooie. Looked through it on lunch but didn't have time to read it all. Amazing game. I didn't own it as a kid (got it later) but always played it as my cousin's house.

Honelith

The best N64 game, while Mario 64 was great, BK was superior in every way. It's bigger, more varied, great visuals and music and lots of content on offer, it's a beautifully crafted 3D world.

JakeOfAllTrades

I'd argue that Banjo-Tooie is better in every way, but this game is still amazing.

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