In celebration of this mighty 64-bit console's 25th anniversary, we're republishing this reader-ranked list of the top 50 Nintendo 64 games ever. As with all our Top 50 library lists, this ranking is is based on User Ratings in the Nintendo Life games database and is subject to fluctuation, even after publication!
So, if you haven't rated your favourite N64 games, feel free to exert your influence and potentially switch up the order of the games below...
The Nintendo 64 is a console which tends to divide gamers. Launching back in 1996 (or 1997 in PAL regions) as the gaming industry's bread-and-butter switched from sprites to polygons, the console represents — from a certain perspective — the first time Nintendo really dropped the ball. Tired of the platform holder's licencing terms, many developers jumped ship to Sony's PlayStation, attracted by fairer deals and cheaper disc-based media. In the meantime, Nintendo doubled down on an esoteric piece of hardware with confusing, kiddy-coloured controllers that were arguably out of step with gaming's maturing audience.
On the other hand, for many gamers the N64 evokes some of our very warmest, strongest gaming memories. It was while brandishing this console's three-pronged pad that many of us took our first steps into a three-dimensional Mushroom Kingdom or Hyrule, and the unrivalled excitement of 4-player split-screen Mario Kart or GoldenEye sticks in our mind like few other multiplayer experiences.
Thanks to the User Ratings submitted by readers, we present to you the top 50 N64 games ever. There's no doubt that we've got a fine selection of 64-bit lovelies below, but remember, this list is not set in stone. The ranking will continue to evolve automatically according to user scores submitted to the Nintendo Life game database, so don't worry if you missed out on 'voting' — you can still do so by simply scrolling down and rating them now!
And should the fancy take you, you can do the same for each of Nintendo's consoles with our top 50 best games lists, including NES, SNES, Game Boy, GBC, GBA, Nintendo DS, 3DS, GameCube, Wii, Wii U and more.
If there's a game bubbling under the top 50 that you'd like to rate, feel free to find it using the search tool below and give it a score out of 10. Otherwise, plug in your Rumble / Controller / Transfer / Expansion Paks and get ready for the best N64 games of all time...
Note. In order for games to become eligible, they need a minimum of 50 User Ratings in total.
AKI's first wrestling game on the N64, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour set the template for the series of wrestlers that followed and would eventually culminate with WWF No Mercy. The improvements and refinements that would follow naturally make World Tour the lesser game compared to its peers, but the foundation put down here is still solid and enjoyable.
A calm platformer featuring a robot named Rocket who must save Whoopie World (a theme park that's about to open) from the wrath of a destructive raccoon named Jojo. Rocket: Robot on Wheels won't win any awards for narrative genius or originality, but it's a pleasant experience and if you're after a 3D platformer from the era, you could do far worse that this one from Sucker Punch Productions and Ubisoft.
Blast Corps involves clearing a path for a slow-moving truck carrying a malfunctioning nuclear missile to a safe detonation zone - a zone which is blocked by buildings and other structures ripe for destruction. As with many 64-bit titles, its early polygonal visuals are arguably looking a little dogged these days, but don't let its looks put you off. This incredibly silly concept makes for one of most fun games on the N64.
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was a technical showcase for the system which took the baton from the immensely popular first game and upped the ante in every possible way. Highlights include the Expansion Pak-powered 640x480 resolution visuals and the iconic Cerebral Bore, a gun that fired a brain-drilling bullet once you locked on to an enemy's melon. Acclaim's game is now available on Switch in remastered form courtesy of Night Dive Studios, although that version doesn't come on a kickass black cartridge.
An underrated entry in the Rareware library, Jet Force Gemini coupled cute design with chunky, gungy third-person blasting in a world-hopping quest to defeat insectoid overlord Mizar. Juno, Vela and trusty good boy Lupus' adventure is not without flaws, but JFG is a surprising deep and satisfying one that's worth investigating if you're a Rare fan looking for gems that passed you by around the turn of the millennium.
Though this couldn't rival F-Zero X in pure performance terms, it was still a very impressive racer which had a progression system with purchasable pod enhancements. Based on the best bit of The Phantom Menace (apart from the Darth Maul bits and all the soundtrack), it had a special two-pad mode similar to GoldenEye which enabled some twin-stick precision that more-closely mirrored the controls of the onscreen pods. Watto’s banter and post-race rendition of the Cantina theme is also excellent. It's now available on Switch, too.
NFL Blitz 2000 offered four-player football (American-style, obviously) and added an extra dose of chaos and carnage to the already... er, 'spirited' game. The result was one of the best arcade takes on the sport and a game which elicits grins and faraway nostalgic looks when mentioned in casual conversation.
Unless you're in Britain, where it's not impossible they'll confuse it for a hockey game. It's the letters, see?
Most people who played Beetle Adventure Racing! back in the day probably went in with low expectations, but coming from Paradigm Entertainment — a studio that worked with Nintendo on Pilotwings 64 and also made the excellent F-1 World Grand Prix games on the system — it's a fun, beautifully constructed little racer that's well worth revisiting.
The N64 was notoriously underserved in a handful of genres — RPGs and fighters among them — but Ogre Battle 64 was a stellar strategy game. Following on from the series' previous appearance on SNES, it doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's an fantastic example of the genre. It also features possibly the finest post-colon subtitle in gaming.
In August 2002, this became the final game released for the Nintendo 64 in North America. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 also received a port on GameCube, and although the version on the older console was never going to fare brilliantly in a direct comparison, it's still a fine game. Largely overshadowed by its flashier disc-based brethren, Edge of Reality sent the console out on a high with this final entry in the N64's Birdman trilogy.