With long-running rumours of a GoldenEye 007 re-release coming soon (pah, 'soon' my Aston!), we've once again been thinking about Rare's seminal N64 shooter. Mention 'James Bond' and 'games' in the same sentence and gamers of a certain age will get a faraway look in their (golden)eye as they recall crawling through vents into the gents in Facility or taking out security cameras with a PP7 in the Severnaya Bunker. Good times.
However, the games that carry the name of the world's least secret agent have been many and varied, with winners like Everything or Nothing, the underrated World is Not Enough, and a bunch more appearing on Nintendo consoles. 007 might have been quiet for a while — since 2012's 007 Legends, in fact — but we count 20 James Bond games released for Nintendo platforms over the years.
So while number 001 might be a foregone conclusion, we were very interested to hear about how the other games in Bond's past rank. Similar to our other reader-ranked polls, we asked you Nintendo Life readers to rate every James Bond title you've played from the list below.
Missed the 'voting' phase? No, you didn't. Remember: the order below is updated in real-time according to each game's corresponding User Rating in the Nintendo Life game database. Even as you read this, it's entirely possible to influence the ranking below! If you haven't rated your favourites yet, simply click the 'star' of the game you wish to rate below and assign a score right now.
So, holster that Walther for a moment, grab yourself a Martini, and let's check out the best (and worst) James Bond games on Nintendo systems...
We can't lie, we forgot this game existed. The home console version of Nightfire drew all of our attention at the time, and this GBA version from JV Games flew entirely under our radar — to the point where we missed it in our initial post asking for your ratings.
As a first-person shooter on a system that really struggled to handle first-person shooters, it looks like a technical triumph for the developer if nothing else. Feel free to let us know what we missed in the comments if you played this one!
Based on a cartoon series of the same name, James Bond Jr. is a side-scrolling adventure title that suffered greatly from poor animations and a distinct lack of challenge. Although it kept things relatively fresh with segments featuring gameplay not too dissimilar to R-Type, this unfortunately wasn’t enough to bolster its rather limited appeal. One for true hardcore fans, only.
What do you mean the ‘GoldenEye’ name was milked to death? How absurd.
Nevertheless, we got another 'GoldenEye' game eight years after the N64 classic, and it’s safe to say that the DS version of this definitely-not-a-crass-cash-in-on-a-popular-name really failed to hit the spot for long-time fans of the franchise. With poor enemy AI and a multiplayer mode that lacked in all areas, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was a low point for the series, indeed.
The NES version of James Bond Jr. is arguably a more substantial experience than its SNES sibling, with reasonably expansive environments and more involved objectives to complete. The gameplay is vaguely reminiscent Mega Man, but James Bond Jr. just doesn’t quite display the same flair.
Though it does admittedly showcase some pretty killer music.
Featuring a slightly weird top-down viewpoint, Quantum of Solace for the DS felt like a bootleg version of Metal Gear Solid — really bizarre stuff. Visually, the game is pretty poor, but it’s the gameplay that commits the worst sins, focusing on slow, lumbering combat that feels about as polished as a rusty fork.
Not very 007, then.
Using an isometric viewpoint, Everything or Nothing on GBA couldn't hold a candle to its home console counterpart, but it remained sort of enjoyable nonetheless. There’s a decent range of environments to explore, the combat isn’t terrible (though it isn’t great), and who can forget the hilarious sprite images of Judy Dench and Willem Dafoe.
Occasionally diverting, but hardly worthy of the world's greatest secret agent.
Despite some rather rudimentary visuals, the third-person shooting gameplay seen in Blood Stone on DS wasn’t that bad! Heck, we gave it an 8/10 in our review and called it "surprisingly fun and well put-together", praising the weapons along with the varied environments.
Double-O heaven? No, but double-O passable, at least.
Thanks to the Game Boy Color’s limited capabilities, The World Is Not Enough is one of the most archaic-looking of all the major Bond games. That said, the top-down gameplay is favourably reminiscent of the original Metal Gear titles, with plenty of exploration and experimentation on offer. We'd definitely take the N64 version first, but Bond has got into far worse scrapes than this 8-bit adventure.
007 Legends was billed as a bit of a celebration of the franchise, with its campaign taking place across multiple iconic Bond eras, inserting Daniel Craig into non-Daniel Craig Bond film scenarios. Despite the celebratory intention, developer Eurocom failed to create a worthwhile experience for 007 fans, with both the visuals and gameplay falling below par. It clearly tries to capitalise on the success of franchises like Call of Duty, but struggles to carve out its own identity as a result.
Wii U had more than its share of gems, but this is not one of them.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for the GameCube isn't a bad game by any means — in some ways it felt like a true evolution of the N64 classic. There are some exciting additions, like dual-wielding, and it blends elements and characters from Goldfinger, The Man With The Golden Gun, and GoldenEye (it seems EA had gold on its mind during its initial brainstorming sessions), but overall the combat is perhaps a little too bombastic for a Bond game.
EA's blatantly misleading use of 'GoldenEye' in the title left a bad taste in the mouth, too.