Nintendo 64x64

26/64

1996

Wave Race 64

"18 years on and the wave physics still mightily impress; capturing the essence of jet skiing is WR64's finest achievement, yet not its sole one. Firstly, eight tracks that are so well-constructed the replay value moves into decade three. Secondly, it's immensely challenging - myself yet to win at expert! If the PAL version hadn't suffered and there'd been 4-player then a ten would've beckoned."

9/10 - Steven Smith 64

#nintendo64x64

User Reviews (6)

"Awesome wave mechanics? Check! Awesome course design? Check! Awesome difficulty? Check! I remember having an argument with a guy in college about how wave race for GameCube was superior to that lame clone that came out for ps2. Have it on n64 and on wii vc. Looks extra crisp on wii. One of the better single player racers of all time! Word word word!"

9/10 - TheBigHamlin 64

"Wave Race 64 was a fantastic launch title for the N64 in 1996. The graphics, wave physics, and racing mechanics were never topped, not even by the Gamecube sequel that ended up just being too difficult for it's own good. The music and track design was stellar and two-player multiplayer matches worked well. This game is fun, I'd love to see it on 3DS!"

9/10 - BoFiS 64

"A good racing game that provides challenge, but not much longevity. The graphics were very impressive for the time and are still adequate today. Though I can't say that I've been jet skiing, the gameplay of Wave Race 64 captures how I'd imagine it would be. A case of quality over quantity. Blue Storm would improve upon Wave Race 64 in almost every aspect."

8/10 - Franklin 64

"The physics are perfect, the graphics hold up surprisingly well, and the environments are perfectly varied. The only negative aspect of this game is the always irritating announcer, and even he is part of the drive to succeed in the game. I still periodically go back into obsessive Waverace64 phases, because nothing else has captured the magic of that title since the 64 Launch."

9/10 - earthboundlink 64

"+amazingly tactile wave physics +tracks are well designed and sometimes evolve on different laps +tricks are not too difficult and are satisfying to land -lacks option to turn off incredibly annoying announcer -very few tracks and racers -no reward for doing tricks in racing mode -no 4 player -stunt mode could've benefited from online leaderboards -doesn't include rumble support as in Japan-exclusive Shindou version"

7/10 - VGScrapbook 64

"Nintendo wanted to show off how impressive it's new hardware could handle water and waves. But instead of just sticking to a fancy tech demo, it grabbed the Wave Race franchise from it's 2D Game Boy roots and made a fully 3D, extremely fun racing game with the randomness of the sea making sure no two races where ever quite alike. Plus, there's Dolphins!"

9/10 - Shiryu 64

Comments (27)

Ventilator

What was wrong with the PAL version?

Duggie_Brown

Back in the day, N64 Pal games were slower than the US/JPN versions, also they had large borders and sometimes choppier framerates. The game itself still played like a dream though and still does.

Spoony_Tech

I absolutely love this game. One of the most fun racing games even to this day. Graphics were ahead of it's time if you ask me. At least the water graphics and physics.

Duggie_Brown

@Spoony_Tech I agree; I played it again recently and can confirm that the jet ski still feels glorious as it surfs on the crest of the waves. Great game and a series that Nintendo really needs to revisit if you ask me.

DonJahnson

I would love to see another game in the series or at least a wave race inspired track on Mario kart, we wanna glide across the water Ninty not sink and race at the bottom!

ULTRA-64

One of my favourites on the N64. Have not played this in years but can still remember so much detail. Loved the courses as there were so many routes and it's the first game I can remember with tracks that changed and evolved as the race wore on. How many games can you ride off into a sunset next to an iceberg doing a handstand on a jet ski! This is the franchise I most want to see a revival/remake of by far!

Audiobrainiac

Sure do miss this one. I'd love to have it on current hardware. -coughs- "Nintendo"

JimLad

Warm up time, follow that dolphin!

shonenjump86

I really like this game. There needs to be a new game in the series.

datamonkey

Freakin' love the Wave Race games. Can't understand why Nintendo haven't made a new one...

Nintex

Ah Waverace64. One of my favorite franchises of all time. I love that game. I bought a N64 on September 26 1997 for my birthday and Waverace was my first game I bought. I had seen some pictures of it in GameFan and was blown away at the graphics. Since I love water sports this game was a no-brainer for me. This game was way ahead of the norm of the time, graphics capabilities and water physics were astounding. I think I'd cry if a new one was announced… 17 years ago on this very day I was an awe-struck wave racer and I still think it's in its own league!

dkxcalibur

I have owned both games and love them both. It's a very unique racing experience that has not been well emulated by other series. The "floating" feeling in the controls was perfect.

marck13

Water had never looked better before.

BoFiS

There has been no greater satisfaction for me than unlocking the dolphin mode in this game by doing every single trick on a stunt run.

THENAMESNORM

@Ventilator the PAL version had a horrible conversion as most NTSC to PAL converted games did in the eighties and nineties, and it resulted in slower gameplay(around 17% slower I believe) so in theory, for every minute you race on a course in the US or Japanese version of Waverace 64, it will take you an additional 17 seconds to cover the same ground in the PAL game, making Time Trial comparisons a non-starter.

FritzFrapp

Special, special game that pushed the N64. Great looking, sounding and especially playing, Wave Race 64 is one of my favourites. Great fun.
This and the F-Zero series desperately deserve new entries – if Nintendo aren't up for it then I wish they'd let Monster Games or Sumo Digital have a shot.

Ventilator

@THENAMESNORM : Thanks..I remember these NTSC/PAL issues now.
On PAL Amiga and CD32 i often set it to NTSC to speed up the games.

holchasaur

I can't get over how great this game holds up. Whenever I spend a weekend afternoon in my retro game room, I find it hard to resist popping Wave Race in the N64. It's just pure fun.

Samuel-Flutter

I played a lot of this and 1080 the year the 64 came out. I think there were only like 6(?) games out by Christmas, and so it was slim picking. I enjoyed this game, but not as much as 1080.

Also I have to agree with some I the other posters, I would love to see this game series revived. I miss random games like this.

Dpishere

I wanted to try this series by picking up Blue Storm for Gamecube, but was turned off by some people's complaints of difficulty controlling the racers. Perhaps I should reconsider?

16bitdave

It's a good cheap racing game for the N64

Ichiban

Remember when Nintendo made a large variety of games? The N64 remembers.....

Dpullam

I really wish I would of had the opportunity to play this game during my childhood. This really looks like the type of game I could have a bunch of fun with. I've just always been into water sport type racing games.

MC808

@Luffymcduck Oh jeez...please don't even remind me of Wave Race on Gameboy. If anyone is wondering whether it's a good game or not, I'll just say this: Remember Street Fighter II on Gameboy? 'Nuff said. Some things just aren't meant to be.

Anyways, I love the N64 and GCN Wave Race's. Two of my favorite games ever, and no other water themed game since has even come close,... whether it be graphics, game play, or water physics....nothing can touch what was accomplished with Wave Race. They're also technical showcases for each respective system, and they set the bar pretty darn high. To this day the GCN sequel looks stunning to me, and I still play it all the time. Blue Storm running in high-resolution on Dolphin is a sight to behold, if your PC is up to the task. (Yes, I own a copy of the game)
A new Wave Race on WiiU would get me to buy a system, guaranteed. Sadly though, I don't think Blue Storm was enough of a financial success for the bean counters to justify another sequel. That's a travesty IMHO.
One reviewer said the GCN sequel was too hard for it's own good. Not too sure about that. I've mastered both games because I love them so much. Sometimes a game isn't "too hard", sometimes you just aren't that good at it.
The PAL version is 17% slower? That's insanity. I already wish the game had a bit better sense of speed than it does occasionally. A 17% drop would be totally unacceptable....unless I didn't know any better. Ignorance is bliss I suppose, but I feel sorry for people in PAL regions. lol

Oh, and tell Uncle James I said "hi".

Agent721

This is one of those I never owned on the 64 and always wanted to, but finally got it via the Wii VC. And even years later, it freaking rocked! The water physics were truly amazing for that time & the racing is still tons of fun.

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