Best N64 Games on Nintendo Switch Online

The Nintendo 64 was released in 1996 and quickly became a sensation with its innovative 3D graphics and revolutionary gameplay. Popular franchises like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda have been reimagined with this new technology and allowed players to explore places like Hyrule in ways previously unimaginable.



Related: Unannounced N64 Games We Hope Will Come To Nintendo Switch

Unlike the NES and SNES games, it took Nintendo a while to finally release the N64 games for the Nintendo Switch Online service. Access to these titles costs a bit more, but the N64’s library is full of compelling adventures that are still fun to play today. There are currently only a handful of N64 games on the Switch (a new game comes out about once a month) and while many of them are good, others feel just as magical and exciting as ever. they were when they were released almost three decades ago.

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ten Mario Tennis

Mario had a lot of downtime during the N64 era. After Super Mario 64 launched alongside the console and became an instant classic, the plumber spent the rest of the 90s partying with his friends and taking up new hobbies like tennis.

Mario Tennis is a great sports game that’s packed with fun modes and mini-games. The controls and mechanics are intuitive after a few games, and it’s a pleasure to play alone or with friends. Mario Tennis was also the debut of Waluigi, who has since become one of Nintendo’s most popular and interesting recurring characters.

9 Star fox 64

Star Fox 64 was one of the most impressive and compelling N64 games when it launched in 1997. It was one of the first titles to use the Rumble Pak expansion, which made it incredibly immersive. Its branching path system has also made it one of the best games to replay over and over again as you search for secret paths and objectives.

Unfortunately, Star Fox 64 hasn’t aged as well as other N64 games. Its campaign only takes a few hours to beat, and finding hidden paths without using a guide can be incredibly frustrating. Star Fox 64 has been remade for the 3DS with improved visuals and voice acting, and it would be great to see this version on the Switch for a much smoother experience.

8 Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Snap is a unique game in the N64 library and it was also one of the first to use photography as a game mechanic. You play as Todd Snap, a photographer hired by Professor Oak to travel Pokemon Island in order to take pictures of the creatures residing there.

Watching Pokémon interact with each other in their natural habitats is fascinating, and using items to influence their behaviors is always fun. Like Star Fox 64, however, Pokemon Snap is an incredibly short experience. The campaign can be finished in a few hours, but its charm and excellent gameplay make it worth it.

seven Kirby Chapter 64: Crystal Shards

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was the only Kirby game released for the N64, and it’s also one of the pink hero’s finest adventures. It’s packed with colorful and creative stages, a thrilling soundtrack, and a slew of hidden collectibles worth finding. Crystal Shards even includes fun mini-games to play with friends.

Related: Ranking Every Mainline Kirby Game From Worst To Best

What helps Kirby 64 stand out from other entries in the series is its Power Combo system. Kirby can usually suck up an enemy to gain his ability, but power combos allow you to fuse two skills together to create one of many possible powers. Experimenting with new abilities helps the game feel fresh with every playthrough, and the final boss fight is one of the most memorable in the series.

6 Mario Kart 64

Super Mario Kart was a great game, but Mario Kart 64 was able to take all of the ideas from the original and expand on them to create a chaotic racing game that’s still popular to this day. It’s home to some of the best tracks in the series and now features online multiplayer through the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Mario Kart 64 is generally considered one of the best N64 games, but it’s not the best Mario Kart on Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has gorgeous visuals, a phenomenal soundtrack, and even contains classic N64 tracks that look like new with some clever overhauls. It’s fun to jump into Mario Kart 64 for a nostalgic road trip, but it’s not quite as polished as its modern iteration.

5 Super Mario 64

This may be a controversial place to rank Super Mario 64, the game that launched alongside the console and changed the industry with its innovative controls and 3D graphics. It’s an amazing game that has influenced so many others, but the version on Nintendo Switch Online is slightly inferior to another version available on the device.

Although you can no longer buy Super Mario 3D All-Stars on the eshop, it’s still relatively easy to find physical copies at retailers or online. There aren’t many major differences between the original and the remastered version on 3D All-Stars, but the improved textures and implementation of rumble features make for a slightly smoother and more engaging experience.

4 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

There were only a few years between the releases of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, but the two games feel very distinct from each other. While the former is a more conventional open-world adventure, Majora’s Mask is a dark and dreary journey set in Termina, a nightmarish world with an impending expiration date.

Related: Majora’s Mask’s Most Memorable Characters

Majora’s Mask is packed with cool mechanics and ideas, including a three-day cycle, Link’s ability to transform into other species, and a surprising amount of side quests revolving around the citizens of Termina. It only offers four dungeons to explore, but each one is packed with memorable puzzles and incredible boss fights.

3 paper mario

So far we’ve seen Mario appear in multiple genres on the N64, including sports simulation and platformer, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the plumber has also starred in a turn-based RPG. Paper Mario launches the 2D character into a world inspired by a pop-up book for a hilarious and captivating journey.

The world of Paper Mario is filled with familiar and new characters, and each location is full of tricky puzzles and unforgettable moments. The turn-based combat system is excellent and forces you to think a few steps ahead to beat tough bosses like Huff N. Puff. The gameplay and environments help Paper Mario stand out, but the still amazing dialogue makes it one of the best N64 games on the service.

2 Banjo-Kazooie

Rare has developed nearly a dozen games for the N64 and a majority of them are considered the best console games. Titles like GoldenEye 007 and Diddy Kong Racing allowed teams to experiment with multiple genres, but they’re best known for platforms like Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Kazooie.

It’s unfortunate that more Rare games aren’t available on Nintendo Switch Online, but Banjo-Kazooie is one of Rare’s best games. Its dynamic world often feels more immersive than that of Super Mario 64, and the amount of collectibles is dazzling. Banjo-Kazooie also contains one of the platform’s most catchy soundtracks.

1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

While Super Mario 64 introduced players to 3D worlds filled with puzzles and challenging platforming sections, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the first games to tell an engaging story in a world mysterious. Its lush environments, haunting soundtrack, and captivating narrative are just a few of the things to look forward to if you’re planning on playing it for the first or fiftieth time.

Ocarina of Time contains dangerous dungeons, intriguing side quests, and some of the best boss fights in the franchise’s long history. Ocarina of Time was eventually remade for the 3DS with improved graphics, but the original version still holds up incredibly well. It is currently the highest rated video game of all time on Metacritic and now you can play it whenever and wherever you want with the Nintendo Switch Online service.

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