Nintendo’s NINTENDO 64
(September 30, 1996-2001)

64-bit muscle with Nintendo power

Well it looks like my Nintendo 64 is dead and buried, which is sad to see because I really enjoyed my N64 over the years. Looking back I remember first getting my N64 used in March of 1997 with the used game Pilot Wings 64 for about 250 Canadian (which wasn't too bad at the time because N64's were going for 299.99 bucks brand new). Although Pilot Wings 64 looked awesome back then it wasn't really all that action packed so I got bored with the game and I traded it in for Super Mario 64 in the Summer of 1997. By this time the N64 started getting a bad reputation for not enough games available and for the high price of their games (because of the high cost to make cartridges) plus Nintendo's biggest rival (Sony) was preparing for the release of their biggest game to date: Final Fantasy VII. The Final Fantasy series has been best known to be some of the better RPG's made for any Nintendo machine, so when the new Ultra 64 (later named the Nintendo 64) game system was being hyped in 1996, Square soft was already on board preparing a new Final Fantasy for the next Nintendo machine. Things seemed to be going well between the two companies but that all changed when Sony made a deal with Square to release Final Fantasy VII exclusively for the PlayStation. The deal was so good that Square wouldn't release any new games for the N64, Game boy, Saturn, or any other competitor at all. Now that Square cancelled the N64 version of Final Fantasy, this really hurt the N64 in Japan because the RPG is extremely popular in that country. When the Nintendo 64 was released in Japan, it was the fastest selling system ever, selling 500,000 units in only a month. However it lacked the games in the coming months and the Japanese forgot this system when square's FF 7 was released for the PS.

In just three months, Nintendo would release the N64 over here, but it's a different story this time. Super Mario 64 wowed everybody and many American Companies (Midway, Lucas Arts) released games for the N64 which kept it alive and selling sometimes better than the rival PS. The N64 still got hurt by massive delays, remember that Zelda was suppose to come out summer 1997 not fall 1998, and the year 2000 is no exception, Perfect Dark came out May 2000, NOT December 9, 1999 like it was suppose to.
Square was a big boost for Sony but the N64 continued to sell well in the United States and Canada in 1998 despite Sony's best efforts. The whole Wrestling theme was really big that year and people when nuts for WCW/NWO Revenge and WWF War Zone. Nintendo may have lost some thunder in 1998 with bombs like Yoshi's Story but they quickly gained it back with massive hits like Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye's re-release later on in 1998. The 4 controller ports in front of the system were really making the N64 the console of choice for the multi-player gamers out there and Nintendo started to really dish out these types of games in 1999 with Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. Although 2000 was another great year for the N64 (Pokemon Stadium was even the top selling console game of 2000) but it was clear that the fun machine was just too out of date because of its blurry graphics and weaker sound thanks to the limitations of the cartridge compared to the CD-Rom. The new 128-bit Sega Dreamcast and Sony's low game prices were just too much for the poor old Nintendo64.

Sadly, Nintendo has no plans to release any new games beyond the second half of 2001 or in 2002 (only games like Tony Hawk 3, Maddan 2002 and the Power Puff Girls are being released but only in limited numbers) Sadly the Gamecube will NOT be backward compatible so you cannot play your N64 cartridges on the system but the Nintendo Wii lets you download some of these games from the Virtual Console. If you think that you seen it all for the Nintendo 64 then maybe you should consider getting some of the import titles? Despite the fact that the N64 was never a huge hit in
Japan there are still tons of great (and not so great) N64games only released over there. First off there was the popular Custom Robo series where you get to create your robot and place them into one on one battles to earn money for more parts. The games were a cross between Virtua On and Pokemon. There are also other cool Japanese games like Sin and Punishment and BangaiOh to find.

Final Word: Let's face it. Nintendo makes some the best games in the world and the Nintendo 64 only continued that tradition but now in 3D. It wasn't a perfect machine but you don't know what your missing if you don't play some of these games at least once. Heck, I had more fun with my N64 then I had with my Playstation and I'm not afraid to admit it. So long N64, thanks for the memories.
System Rating out of 100: 82/100
Find the N64 system on eBay here!

Rare scale: 1/10 are you kidding? You can't find one?

The N64 Accessories (what you need to know)
N64 Controller
The N64 Controller is HUGE but fairly comfortable. It doesn't feel as good as the Playstation controller but it's really useful for the 3D games out there thanks to the new analog stick (Sony would later add two analog sticks to their controllers but it was Nintendo's original idea and Sony's analog sticks are far too loose for my liking).Although the N64 controller also includes a digital cross pad similar to the Super Nes controller cross pad, it's only 4 way instead of 8 way which is kind of annoying in games like Killer Instinct Gold. The N64 controller has a serial port in the back that works with the accessories the Rumble Pak, the Transfer Pak and the Memory Game Pak.

Rumble Pak
Star Fox 64 was introduced as the first ever 'feedback' console game in
August 30 1997 because the game was packaged with the new Rumble Pak. The Rumble Pak makes Nintendo 64 games more interactive by making the controller shake after taking hits (or for any almost moment really) in the game. Plugs right in the back controller easily but you still have to be careful not to switch the Memory Pak for the Rumble Pak during game play. You need 2 AAAbatteries for the Rumble Pak to work.

Memory Game Pak
The Game Pak holds 123 blocks of Memory which isn't too much considering that a lot of games take around 40 blocks (like in Bust A Move 99 and Rush 2) to save data. If you want to check your Game Pak data then you have to get a Controller and Game Pak plugged in the N64 then hold down the Start button before you turn on the system. Most Nintendo games like Super Mario 64 and the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time doesn’t need a Game Pak because they feature build in battery back up instead.

Expansion 4 Meg Pak
This little device upgrades the Nintendo 64 by adding an extra 4 Megs of Ram (that doubles your system's Ram by the way). Just replace your wimpy Jump Pak inside the N64 with Expansion Pak and you're ready to go. The Expansion Pak will only work on certain games though so be sure to check the box to see if what games get upgraded. Donkey Kong 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask NEEDS the Expansion Pak to work plus other games like Star Craft 64 and Perfect Dark will have additional features added to games.

Transfer Pak
The Transfer Pak originally was packed in with the hit game Pokemon Stadium in 2000 but you can also buy it separately if you like. This lets you transfer your Game boy game data to a certain N64 game if it’s compatible.

Some of the most Common N64 games: Some of the Rarest N64 games: eBay
Body Harvest
Dark Rift
Ken Griffey Jr Major League Baseball
Madden 64
NHL 99
Pokemon Snap
Quarterback Club Whatever
War Gods
WCW/NWO World Tour
WWF Warzone
Bust a Move 99 (Acclaim, 1999)
Clayfighters Sculator's Cut (Blockbuster, 1998)
Harvest Moon 64
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
Internation Superstar Soccer 2000 (Konami, 2000)
NFL Blitz Special Edition
Star Craft 64 (Nintendo/Rebellion, 2000)
Track and Field 2000
Transformers: Trans Metal
Tony Hawk Proskater 3 (Activision, 2002) This was the last N64 game ever so it may be collectable.
Worms Armageddon

Top Ten favourite games for the N64:
10. Star Soldier Vanishing Earth (Hudson Soft, December 1998)
9. Tetrisphere (H2O, September 1997)
8. Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo, April 1999)
7. Star Fox 64 (Nintendo, 1997)
6. Banjo Kazooie (Rare, 1998)
5. Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask (Nintendo, 2000)
4. Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time (Nintendo, November 1998)
3. Super Mario 64
2. Conker's Bad Fur Day (Rare, 2001)
#1. WWF No Mercy (THQ/Aki, November 2000)

Other great N64 games:
Banjo Tooie
Battle 64
Wave Race 64
Rayman 2
Banjo Kazooie
Ms. Pac Man Maze Madness

N64's Most Disappointing:
Knife Edge
WCW Mayham
Aidyn Chronicles The First Mage
BomberMan Hero
Magical Tetris Challenge

N64's Worst Games:
Anyone who hates a game machine has probably plays the wrong games right from the start. For example, these N64 games!
StarSoldier's top five worse n64 Games:

5. South Park Rally (Acclaim, 2000)
4. Hey You Pikachu (Nintendo/Game Freak,
December 10, 2000 )
3. Batman Beyond (UBIsoft, 2000)

2. WCW Nitro (THQ, 1999)
1. Superman 64 (GT Interactive, 1997)

N64's Most Underrated:
Star Soldier
Flying Dragon

Go to N64 REVIEWS > >