Six more of the best N64 games we’d love to see on Nintendo Switch Online

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The Nintendo 64 service on Nintendo Switch Online has got off to a bit of a slow start, but at this point we have a decent number of big hitters available on the app. We’ve got N64 classics like Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64, Wave Race 64 and Mario Kart 64, GoldenEye 007 is just around the corner and we’ve even got a few hidden gems like Sin & Punishment and WinBack.

So what else could we see on there? The N64 has a relatively small but well-formed library compared to other platforms, and while some games are doubtless out of the question for resurrection due to licensing restrictions, there’s a bunch of other great games it would be really interesting and fun to see get some love on the Switch.

We’ve previously covered some of the games we’d love to see on the service — and three out of the five we listed there have actually made it already — so let’s ponder six more N64 classics we’d love to see on Nintendo Switch Online!

Body Harvest

Body Harvest N64 box art

Developed by DMA Design, creators of the Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings series, Body Harvest is an ambitious open-world action game in which your task is to protect civilians from being slaughtered by aliens. The game unfolds across several distinct time periods, including World War I-era Greece, 1940s Java, the 1960s in the USA, Siberia in the 1990s and 2016 (then considered “the near future”) on the aliens’ comet.

Body Harvest’s freeform, non-linear gameplay and use of both on-foot and vehicle-based gameplay means that many consider it to be a natural predecessor to Grand Theft Auto III and onwards. While there are elements of the game that are an acquired taste, it’s definitely an interesting and noteworthy entry in gaming history, unique to the N64’s library, which is well worth revisiting.

Castlevania 64

Castlevania for N64

I suspect we’re more likely to see some sort of rerelease of this via Konami rather than through the N64 app on Nintendo Switch Online, but either way, Castlevania 64 deserves another look. Shunned by many for its seemingly ill-advised move to 3D, Castlevania 64 is actually an enjoyable, interesting and well-crafted game when taken on its own merits. It’s one of the most atmospheric games on the platform, and features some spectacular boss fights.

There were actually two Castlevania games for N64: the original, and Legacy of Darkness, which featured a new story and acted as a prequel, but also included a “remake” of sorts of the original, albeit lacking some features. It would be great to see both.

Diddy Kong Racing

Diddy Kong Racing for N64

If we’re getting GoldenEye 007 and we have Banjo-Kazooie, it appears that Rare is on board. And with the Kongs being a Nintendo property, surely it’s time we saw the “best N64 kart racer that isn’t Mario Kart” put in an appearance?

Diddy Kong Racing was noteworthy for its single-player “Adventure” mode, which offered considerably more substance and long-term interest than Mario Kart 64’s equivalent offering. It features great music, imaginative track design and multiple playable vehicles; its multiplayer was arguably weaker than Mario Kart’s, but who cares when there was such a good solo game in there?

Duke Nukem 64

Duke Nukem for N64

Duke Nukem 3D was primarily known as a PC game, since it was immensely popular on that platform due to its inherent moddability. But the N64 version was a very competent conversion — albeit without the lewd bits — and was particularly noteworthy for its excellent split-screen deathmatch mode.

Since high-speed Internet hadn’t yet become widespread for most consumers at the time of its original release, multiplayer on the PC original version of Duke wasn’t a thing for a lot of players — so having the opportunity to enjoy it on N64 was bliss. And I suspect it’d still be a lot of fun today.

Mischief Makers

Mischief Makers for N64

Treasure make weird games, and Mischief Makers is certainly one of those weird games. But it’s also a lot of fun. Unfolding as a 2D platformer with a strong focus on grabbing, shaking and throwing objects, Mischief Makers is a cult favourite among the N64 library that I doubt anyone would complain about seeing again.

The game had a bit of a mixed reception on its original release, but this was partly down to it being a 2D-style game in a world that was, at the time, obsessed with the new and shiny world of 3D graphics. More recent commentators have remarked on it being an underappreciated classic, and another great game unique to the N64.

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for N64

Dismissed by some as a Zelda clone on the time of its original release, the N64 version of Konami’s long-running Mystical Ninja series was a highly enjoyable — if, at times, deliriously bizarre — platform adventure that was absolutely packed with personality. It also did a great job of highlighting what was, at the time, a vast cultural rift between western game players and Japanese popular culture, with its offbeat sense of humour often proving indecipherable to English speakers.

Full of great music, wonderful playable characters, excellent gameplay and even some songs to sing along with, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon is an N64 game it would be an absolute pleasure to see again — and I suspect a lot of us might “get” the jokes a bit more this time around!

The Nintendo 64 app for Nintendo Switch Online is available for free to subscribers of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service.

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Pete Davison
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