The Nintendo 64 was the last console released by Nintendo to feature cartridges as its form of media. Of course, it’s known for more than just the way in which the company stored data, as it is also the console where gamers really learned that first-person shooters were possible on a system that wasn’t a PC.
While the N64 had plenty of games that it’s remembered for, there are plenty more that just didn’t get the praise they deserved in their time. For one reason or another, the games we are going to look at today just wen’t very popular. Today, we are going to give them their moment in the sun, and hopefully, you will go back and play them, because you will still have a great time!
Jet Force Gemini
This game is kind of a mashup of some of the most popular genres on the Nintendo 64. It’s part third-person shooter, part platformer, and part action-adventure game. It strikes a perfect balance between all of the genres, and it goes all out to deliver fun gameplay in each of them. It’s from Rare, the same company responsible for Goldeneye, the shooter that defined console shooters before Halo came along, so you know it’s a quality gameplay experience.
The setting is also really cool, with a Star Wars-like aesthetic. It is also known for featuring some of the best music of any game on the N64, which is some serious praise when you consider some of the incredible titles available on the console. Jet Force Gemini wasn’t as popular as games like Goldeneye, but it’s definitely up there with it in terms of quality. Copies of the cart can be had for about $8 on eBay, so you can go back and play it without breaking the bank.
Sin and Punishment: Successor To The Earth
The rail shooter is a genre that is not very well-represented today, as the rise of the first and third-person shooter has made the genre largely unnecessary. However, back in the late 90s, games in the genre were far more popular, and a fantastic example is Sin and Punishment, which was a game for the Nintendo 64 that was never actually released in the west until much later when Nintendo brought it to the Virtual Console on the Wii.
The game is largely a display of magnificent set pieces, with beautiful boss fights that are as fun to play as they are to look at. Even all these years later, the game is still quite enjoyable to see, and timeless nature of the gameplay makes it a perfect game to go back to, even all these years later.
We’ve actually talked about WinBack before when we discussed some of the most game-changing shooters throughout gaming history, and I want to take this opportunity to give it some love again, as it really is a fantastic third-person shooter that deserves to stand side-by-side with Goldeneye in terms of the way it defined the genre.
Besides featuring cover, something that shooters did not do before it, WinBack also has some fantastic stealth elements that compliment the shooting in a way that feels both fun and exciting. For whatever reason, not enough people played this game back in the N64 era. Perhaps everyone was too busy shooting it out in Goldeneye with their friends, but Winback really deserves more praise than it received. You can find a loose copy of the game on eBay for around $8, so you can go back and enjoy this game on the cheap.
Blast Corps is another game from Rare, a company who was one of the most prolific developers for Nintendo hardware back in the day (Rare is still around, but its games are not synonymous with quality in the same way they were during the N64 era). Blast Corps is regarded as one of the best games for the N64, yet it’s rarely spoken of in the same breath as games like Super Smash Brothers, Goldeneye, and Ocarina of Time.
The gameplay is all about driving around and destroying buildings. With games like Battlefield 4 making destructible environments such a huge selling point, it’s quite impressive that a game released all the way back on the N64 had such an enjoyable level of destructibility. It’s not the deepest game ever made, but it’s just dumb fun, and that’s what gaming is all about. Used copies typically sell for around $7 on eBay, so this is a game that you can definitely go play without a huge investment.
The Nintendo 64 is a console that is filled with fantastic games, many of which are spoken about today along with some of the more popular games. So now we turn to you, our readers: what are some Nintendo 64 games you remember fondly that did not get the praise you feel they deserve? Hit the comments section below and let us know!