Nintendo has been fairly slow to trickle out N64 games on the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass, but the offerings so far have at least been consistently good, covering some real essentials from the platform’s relatively small but well-formed software library.
With any luck, we’ll see more Nintendo 64 games as time goes on — we already know GoldenEye’s on the way, for example — but for now there’s still plenty worth exploring, including some pretty substantial games that will last you a good few hours. So let’s take a closer look!
One of the best 3D platformers on the N64, this is a classic from Rare that will keep you busy and challenged for quite some time. Great music, too.
Dr. Mario 64
Nintendo’s classic puzzler returns to N64 with a visual overhaul and a bunch of new modes, including four-player simultaneous play. Tricky but fun!
While the graphical detail may be deliberately thin on the ground to keep the frame rate up, this remains a superb, speedy, technical racer for N64.
The legendary first-person shooter returns. While its dated controls will take some adjusting to, the gameplay and atmosphere is as solid as ever.
Kirby’s considerable charm remained completely intact when he first made the transition to polygonal 3D on N64. A delightful platformer.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
One of the darkest, most interesting Zelda games — though its time-centric mechanics and structure make it divisive.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The N64 game that brought Zelda into 3D. Still holds up well today, and set the series formula until Breath of the Wild.
One of the greatest arcade-style golf games ever created. Accessible but deep, lots of different modes to play and an absolute blast in multiplayer.
Mario Kart 64
Its visuals may be showing their age a bit, but this is still a favourite installment in the series for many for its relatively no-frills simplicity.
Virtual board game featuring simple minigames. Accessible and enjoyable for the whole family, but be prepared for its heavy luck-based factor!
Mario Party 2
Mario Party, but more. Introduces collectible items, as well as various different types of minigames for added interest. Still heavily luck-based!
Clearly taking some heavy cues from Sega’s excellent Virtua Tennis, the arcade sports action here is second to none — though the solo offering is a bit slim.
The N64’s spiritual successor to the SNES’ Super Mario RPG quickly became popular for its good humour and excellent gameplay.
Fly hang-gliders, jetpacks, gyrocopters and more in the N64’s most chilled-out non-violent game. Still a great game to just relax with.
Pokémon Puzzle League
It’s Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon with a Pokémon theme. Lots of ways to play for both solo players and groups of friends, and excellent puzzling action to enjoy.
This unusual, non-violent take on the rail shooter became something of a cult classic. While its visuals are a bit rough in places, the gameplay remains fun.
Sin and Punishment
This blend of rail and cabal shooters from Treasure features fast action and a real sense of spectacle — plus English voiceovers despite being a JP release.
Star Fox 64
For many, still the best entry in the Star Fox series, though some of the N64’s original controls map a little clumsily to the Switch’s controllers.
Super Mario 64
The game that defined what 3D platformers would be. Still holds up well today, though it will take modern games some time to adjust to the limited camera!
Wave Race 64
An enjoyable take on the racing genre, featuring the additional consideration of dynamic water affecting your craft’s handling. Great fun,
WinBack: Covert Operations
Metal Gear Solid it ain’t, but this is still a solid third-person action game featuring plenty of sneaking around — plus a surprisingly fun multiplayer mode.
Building on the childish aesthetic of Yoshi’s Island, this cute platformer has some interesting mechanics, though is known for being rather easy.
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