I think a lot of people can agree that the pinnacle of the 1990s was the Nintendo 64. At least, with gaming, that is. With that said, the Nintendo 64 offered what seemed like an insane selection of high-quality games at the time. From racing to first-person shooters, for the first time, gamers felt like they had the world at their disposal. Today we’ll be sticking to their staple – adventure games. Naturally, it was beyond difficult to narrow down our video game list to 10, so sit back, relax and enjoy the best adventure games for the N64.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)
The first full 3D adventure in the Kirby franchise was a total hit. The side-scrolling 3D platformer has players fighting through Dreamland as none other than Kirby in an act to retrieve the sacred crystal shards to defeat Dark Matter. This was the first game where Kirby actually teams up with King Dedede. Between the unconventional teamwork and the tons of challenging levels, this game was amazing.
Bomberman 64 (1997)
We’ll be totally honest with this one. Bomberman 64 was a pain in the you know what because of all the fun puzzles and (sometimes) time restraints. As annoying as these parts were, it was all the more rewarding as you work through each level and defeat dangerous space pirates every step of the way.
Yoshi’s Story (1997)
This was the first N64 game that focused on Yoshi, who was previously known as basically Mario’s horse. The graphics of this game weren’t the best of its time, but the gameplay more than made up for it. The side-scrolling platformer was a classic as you fought to protect the fruit-bearing super happy tree from the likes of the super jealous Baby Bowser.
Star Fox 64 (1997)
The source of the infamous “do a barrel roll” meme, Starfox 64 was ahead of its time in a dogfight-style aerial battle. The only game of it’s time that even compares was Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. There were countless levels as you played as Fox McCloud and his team of fighter pilots.
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)
The second Zelda installment for the N64, Majora’s Mask picks up after Ocarina of Time. You play as Link in an alternate reality from that of the Ocarina where you have to save the moon from complete destruction. The graphics were totally ahead of its time, which was surprising considering it only took Nintendo 2 years to make and develop it.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape (1999)
Rayman 2 was so much fun! The plot begins when you find yourself (Rayman) and a couple of allies in a prison aboard a giant ship. Shocker, you eventually escape from your cell and retreat deep into the forest to reconnect with Globox, Rayman’s trusted guide. From dashing through swamps to swinging on vines, this action-packed game was arguably the best of the series.
Donkey Kong 64 (1999)
If there is one lesson to take away from Donkey Kong 64, it’s not to mess with a monkey’s bananas. You play mostly as Donkey Kong on Donkey Kong island where you fight the likes of King K Rool to retrieve your stache of delicious bananas and free Diddy Kong from captivity. This game was full of fun puzzles and mini-games that really spiced things up and made for an excellent sequel to Donkey Kong Country.
We’re not going to lie, Banjo-Kazooie is tough, even for adults. There are 9 worlds in total where you have to complete (sometimes annoying) puzzles to collect musical notes and advance to the next world. Like Super Mario and Donkey Kong 64, it was the closest thing to being ‘open-world’ at the time, meaning you could go back and try old missions, meaning not everything had to be completed in linear order. The uniqueness of the story and gameplay made this game a major hit.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Considered one of the highest-rated games of all time, Ocarina of Time is a staple in the Zelda franchise. You play as both young and adult link as you move throughout time to help Zelda defeat the sinister Gannondorf. This game allowed for a lot of flexibility for its time, like playing special songs to give you unique power upgrades to help you advance through the story.
Super Mario 64
The game that everybody (and we mean everybody) had was Super Mario 64. The entire game takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom (mostly within Peach’s castle) where Mario must collect stars to advance throughout the castle and defeat bowser. Getting to explore the castle and play levels ranging from haunted houses to lava fields, ice worlds, and carpets in the clouds – it really felt like this game had no limits. This game set the standard for not only Super Mario, but all other 3D adventure games to come.