Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games are finally on their way to Nintendo Switch Online, and the big N was kind enough to give us the details on the initial list of titles we can expect on the service, as well as some future additions. With classics like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it’s a solid list that many fans of the system would be happy with. On the other hand, gamers that lived through the Nintendo 64 era know full well how zany and vast its library became, and leaving out such games from the party would be a shame.
Snowboarding games are a rare breed in recent generations. After the SSX series faded away, the genre hasn’t seen much action at all, making it the perfect time to take a trip down memory lane to see what makes these games tick. From the “Work Your Body” track to the cozy vibes of choosing a character at the lodge and riding your way out onto intricate courses, 1080° Snowboarding set a standard for the extreme sports genre that deserves to be revisited, especially with the potential of online multiplayer races.
Granted, this is incredibly unlikely due to a nightmare of licensing issues that Nintendo may never overcome, but it’s worth dreaming about at least. GoldenEye 007 to this day remains arguably the best James Bond game in existence, and many people may have missed out on it the first time around. A lengthy campaign with objectives that change based on difficulty, as well as a fantastically customizable multiplayer suite, would be a joy to play through with friends either in split-screen or online with friends as a Nintendo 64 Switch Online offering.
Perfect Dark seems a little more plausible to eventually appear on NSO than GoldenEye 007. Nintendo and Microsoft are already on friendly enough terms to allow Banjo-Kazooie to be confirmed as among the future Nintendo 64 Switch Online games, so it isn’t impossible to imagine more could come from this friendship. Joanna Dark’s initial outing was full of inventive gadgets, spy-based objectives, and enough multiplayer shenanigans to rival those of GoldenEye 007. Perhaps Switch could even implement gyro controls for some of the wackier weapons like the Laptop Gun.
Donkey Kong 64
Love it or hate it, Donkey Kong’s only 3D outing has a special place in Nintendo history. If the N64 portion of NSO continues to provide quality-of-life features such as save states and rewinding, then it could dramatically smooth out progression. Players would no longer need to play through lengthy sections to get back to where they died during trickier platforming sections or bosses, and they could even chip away at the collectibles using save states while on the go. The unique gameplay provided by each Kong deserves to be played by a new generation.
Mario Party 1-3
With some exception, Mario Party fans have grown increasingly disappointed with each subsequent release, and it speaks volumes that Mario Party Superstars has advertised its Nintendo 64-era boards as a key selling point. With a collection of Nintendo 64 Super Mario games added to the Nintendo Switch Online service, fans of the series could still enjoy the updated boards in Mario Party Superstars, but also experience the entire collection of boards of mini-games from the original games to boot. Online functionality would add oodles of replayability, and they would make for fun party games in local portable play.
Wave Race 64
Much like how 1080° Snowboarding helped to pioneer one extreme sport in gaming, Wave Race 64 helped another. Water-based racing games are an even rarer breed of genre in the gaming landscape, and for many players, Wave Race 64 was the peak of it. Controlling the bouncy jet skis through tight courses was a blast, and with modern-day features like online leaderboards, players could get even more competitive with their ocean surfing skills.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about to close the curtain on its grand crossover adventure thanks to the imminent reveal of the final DLC character for the game. That being the case, why not let fighting fans go back to the basics and revisit where the series started? The initial eight characters of Super Smash Bros. were a humble but refined selection of fighters to mess around with, and the fact that all maps from the game have made their way into future entries is a testament to their quality.
Diddy Kong Racing
While the excruciating wait for a new Mario Kart continues, it would behoove Nintendo to bring back a different kart racer (though Chocobo GP is coming too). Rare was on a roll during its time developing for the N64, and with Diddy Kong Racing, it created a karting experience to rival that of Mario Kart 64. Cars, airplanes, and hovercrafts provided a variety of vehicles to use, and an inventive story mode took players through various biomes complete with secret stages, boss battle races, and unlockable characters.
Pokémon Stadium took the idea of Pokémon battles and condensed them into their purest form. Framed as a tournament against tough Pokémon trainers and the gym leaders of Kanto, Pokémon Stadium sent players into 3v3 turn-based Pokémon matches. Pokémon could be imported from Pokémon Red and Blue, and bonus mini-games like eating expensive sushi quickly as Lickitung provided some welcome Mario Party-style shenanigans. It’s well worth a playthrough, even if just to hear the dramatic announcer react to your matches.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
As the first game in the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, the N64 classic left its mark on the larger franchise. Controlling Luke Skywalker and taking control of X-wings and other famous craft from the series, players would complete a variety of objectives and test their combat skills in familiar Star Wars locales. Unlockable levels such as the Death Star Trench Run added fantastic secrets to hunt for, and on Nintendo Switch, online leaderboards could let friends compare their level stats. Switch hardware might even be able to increase draw distances.
Which Nintendo 64 games do you want to see on Nintendo Switch Online?