Rank & File: Nintendo 64

Welcome back to Rank & File, where we rank things and then file them away. Today, we’re ranking Nintendo 64 games.

You know how it works. I asked a bunch of the bros to rank Nintendo 64 games and then I combined all of our ballots to come up with a final ranked list. Every title included by more than one bro qualified for our final list with the most popular and most beloved titles appearing toward the top of the list.

Sources vary, but there were about 300 games released for the console in North America. Our final rankings include 69 of those titles (ha!) and our individual ballots collectively span 111. More than a third of the console’s library can thus be found below. Wow!

Without further ado, here is the singular consensus take from a record-setting 15 Rank & File contributors, followed shortly thereafter as always by the many various individual takes.

RANK GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Super Mario 64
3 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
4 Mario Kart 64
5 GoldenEye 007
6 Banjo-Kazooie
7 Super Smash Bros.
8 Star Fox 64
9 Mario Party 2
10 Pokémon Snap
11 Mario Party
12 NBA Hangtime
13 Perfect Dark
14 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
15 Diddy Kong Racing
16 Donkey Kong 64
17 1080° Snowboarding
18 Gauntlet Legends
19 Paper Mario
20 WWF No Mercy
21 Mario Party 3
22 NFL Blitz
23 Banjo-Tooie
24 Mario Tennis
25 Snowboard Kids
26 All-Star Baseball ’99
27 Pokémon Stadium
28 WWF WrestleMania 2000
29 WWF Attitude
30 Wave Race 64
31 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
32 Blast Corps
33 Mario Golf
34 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
35 Cruis’n USA
36 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
37 Rampage World Tour
38 Yoshi’s Story
39 Beetle Adventure Racing
40 WWF War Zone
41 San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
42 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
43 Jet Force Gemini
44 WCW/nWo Revenge
45 Nagano Winter Olympics ’98
46 Hydro Thunder
47 Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
48 Rayman 2: The Great Escape
49 Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
50 FIFA: Road to World Cup 98
51 South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack
52 Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey
53 ClayFighter 63⅓
54 Star Wars Episode I: Racer
55 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
56 Road Rash 64
57 Mission: Impossible
58 Dr. Mario 64
59 The World Is Not Enough
60 Fighting Force 64
61 Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
62 Bomberman 64
63 Bomberman Hero
64 F-Zero X
65 Gex 64: Enter the Gecko
66 Excitebike 64
67 Earthworm Jim 3D
68 Cruis’n World
69 Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes

Quite a list, no? We’ve got plenty to examine here, but let’s start with the top ten. The thing that jumps out immediately is the diversity in genres – two adventure games, two 3D platformers, two rail shooters (one set in space, the other featuring photography), a kart racer, a first-person shooter, a fighting game, and an all-purpose “party” variety game. The second thing that jumps out is the lack of diversity in the developers and publishers; two titles were made by Rare and the rest are entirely Nintendo-owned properties.

However, further down the list we run into something we haven’t seen on a Nintendo console since perhaps the Nintendo 64 itself: a thriving variety of third party titles. We’ve got multiple titles featuring skateboarding, snowboarding, boat racing, and Star Wars. Baseball, football, and basketball are all represented more than once, as is professional wrestling. There are a handful of first-person shooters and 3D platformers all over the rankings. There are decidedly M-rated adult-oriented games and there are games with cute little anthropomorphic mammals – and those categories aren’t even mutually exclusive to each other!

Our collaborative rankings also put to rest, once and for all, a number of debates that used to rage within the Nintendo 64 community. Among them:

GoldenEye or Perfect Dark?
GoldenEye.

Super Mario or Banjo Kazooie?
Super Mario.

Best means of conveyance with which to race against your buddies?
Go-karts, then snowboards, then jet skis, then sports cars, then Volkswagens, then speedboats, then podracers, then motorcycles, then plasma-powered hovercars, then dirtbikes.

All-Star Baseball or Ken Griffey Jr.?
All-Star Baseball, at least if it’s 1999.

Ocarina or Majora?
Ocarina, of course.

Wasn’t every Mario Party game the same?
No.

Best wrestling game?
No Mercy.

Best Bomberman game?
No difference.

Realistic sports simulations or arcade-style insanity?
With these graphics? Hangtime and Blitz all day.

Mario: Golf or Tennis?
Tennis.

Pokémon: battles or photos?
As Pokémon Go has reiterated twenty years later, it’s more fun to see them in the wild than it is to make them hurt each other.

Nintendo 64 or PlayStation?
We’re not touching that one with a ten-foot pole. (Yet.)

Lastly, here are everybody’s individual ballots.

Steve GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
3 Mario Party 2
4 Super Smash Bros.
5 Pokémon Snap
6 Mario Party
7 Banjo-Kazooie
8 Super Mario 64
9 Mario Party 3
10 South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack
11 Gauntlet Legends
12 Star Fox 64
13 NBA Hangtime
14 Yoshi’s Story
15 NFL Blitz
16 Mario Kart 64
17 Pokémon Stadium
18 GoldenEye 007
19 Perfect Dark
20 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
21 Harvest Moon 64
22 Beetle Adventure Racing
23 Rampage World Tour
24 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
25 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
26 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
27 WWF No Mercy
28 Road Rash 64
29 Toy Story 2
30 Snowboard Kids
Keith GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Banjo-Kazooie
3 WWF No Mercy
4 NBA Hangtime
5 Super Mario 64
6 GoldenEye 007
7 Perfect Dark
8 WCW/nWo Revenge
9 All-Star Baseball ’99
10 Wave Race 64
11 Cruis’n USA
12 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
13 NFL Blitz
14 WWF WrestleMania 2000
15 Banjo-Tooie
16 Gauntlet Legends
17 FIFA: Road to World Cup 98
18 WWF Attitude
19 Snowboard Kids
20 Hydro Thunder
21 San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
22 Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey
23 WCW vs. nWo: World Tour
24 Milo’s Astro Lanes
25 Mario Party
26 South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack
27 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
28 Mario Golf
29 Pokémon Snap
30 Mario Tennis
31 Donkey Kong 64
32 Fighting Force 64
33 Rampage World Tour
34 Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
35 WWF War Zone
36 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
37 ClayFighter 63⅓
38 Killer Instinct Gold
39 Earthworm Jim 3D
40 Nagano Winter Olympics ’98
41 ECW Hardcore Revolution
42 Cruis’n World
43 Triple Play 2000
44 NFL Quarterback Club ’98
45 Star Wars Episode I: Racer
46 Beetle Adventure Racing
47 Yoshi’s Story
48 Cruis’n Exotica
49 Diddy Kong Racing
50 Gex 64: Enter the Gecko
51 1080° Snowboarding
52 Pilotwings 64
53 Chameleon Twist
54 Road Rash 64
55 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
56 Excitebike 64
57 Mission: Impossible
58 Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes
59 WCW Nitro
60 WCW Mayhem
61 Mike Piazza’s Strike Zone
62 Mario Kart 64
63 Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt
64 Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
Ryan GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 WWF WrestleMania 2000
3 WWF No Mercy
4 Super Mario 64
5 GoldenEye 007
6 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
7 Snowboard Kids
8 Perfect Dark
9 Banjo-Kazooie
10 NBA Hangtime
11 Wave Race 64
12 Cruis’n USA
Ben GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 1080° Snowboarding
3 Mario Kart 64
4 Super Smash Bros.
5 Diddy Kong Racing
6 GoldenEye 007
7 Mario Party
8 NFL Blitz
9 NBA Hangtime
10 Mission: Impossible
11 Snowboard Kids
12 San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
13 Nagano Winter Olympics ’98
14 All-Star Baseball ’99
15 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
16 WCW/nWo Revenge
17 WWF No Mercy
18 Wave Race 64
19 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
20 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
21 Banjo-Kazooie
22 Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
23 Hydro Thunder
24 Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Marissa GAME
1 Donkey Kong 64
2 GoldenEye 007
3 Beetle Adventure Racing
4 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
5 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
6 1080° Snowboarding
7 South Park
8 Pokémon Snap
Andrew GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Banjo-Kazooie
3 WWF War Zone
4 WWF Attitude
5 All-Star Baseball ’99
6 NBA Hangtime
7 Gauntlet Legends
8 Perfect Dark
9 ClayFighter 63⅓
10 NFL Blitz
11 Snowboard Kids
12 Nagano Winter Olympics ’98
13 San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
14 Rampage World Tour
15 Fighting Force 64
Sweeney GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Star Fox 64
3 Super Mario 64
4 Banjo-Kazooie
5 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
6 Resident Evil 2
7 WWF Attitude
8 GoldenEye 007
9 Super Smash Bros.
10 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
11 Perfect Dark
12 NBA Hangtime
13 Banjo-Tooie
14 Dr. Mario 64
15 Sin and Punishment
16 Cruis’n USA
17 Mortal Kombat 4
18 Pokémon Snap
19 1080° Snowboarding
20 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
21 All-Star Baseball ’99
22 Wave Race 64
23 Mario Tennis
24 F-Zero X
25 The World Is Not Enough
26 Mario Party
27 Rainbow Six
28 Mario Kart 64
29 Vigilante 8
30 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Kelsey GAME
1 Mario Party 3
2 Mario Kart 64
3 Super Mario 64
4 Mickey’s Speedway USA
5 Mario Party 2
6 Yoshi’s Story
7 Pokémon Snap
8 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Webber GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Super Mario 64
3 Gauntlet Legends
4 Mario Kart 64
5 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
6 1080° Snowboarding
7 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
8 Super Smash Bros.
9 Mario Party
10 Paper Mario
11 Donkey Kong 64
12 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
13 GoldenEye 007
14 Mario Party 2
15 Star Fox 64
16 Mario Tennis
17 Pokémon Snap
18 All-Star Baseball ’99
19 Diddy Kong Racing
20 NFL Blitz
21 Mario Golf
22 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
23 Road Rash 64
24 Bomberman 64
25 Excitebike 64
26 Mario Party 3
27 Hydro Thunder
Trevor GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
2 Star Fox 64
3 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
4 Paper Mario
5 Super Mario 64
6 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
7 GoldenEye 007
8 Jet Force Gemini
9 Blast Corps
10 Banjo-Kazooie
11 Mario Kart 64
12 Perfect Dark
13 Rayman 2: The Great Escape
14 Banjo-Tooie
15 Diddy Kong Racing
16 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
17 Donkey Kong 64
18 Snowboard Kids
19 NBA Hangtime
20 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
21 Mario Party
22 Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
23 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
24 Gauntlet Legends
25 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
26 Rampage World Tour
27 Mario Golf
28 Pokémon Stadium
29 Wave Race 64
30 Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
31 1080° Snowboarding
32 Super Smash Bros.
33 Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey
34 Pokémon Snap
35 NFL Blitz
36 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
37 Bomberman Hero
38 Yoshi’s Story
39 Gex 64: Enter the Gecko
40 Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes
41 Mission: Impossible
42 War Gods
43 Quest 64
44 Nagano Winter Olympics ’98
45 ClayFighter 63⅓
46 Earthworm Jim 3D
47 Superman: The New Adventures
Stevie GAME
1 Diddy Kong Racing
2 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
3 Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
4 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
5 Super Mario 64
6 Paper Mario
7 Star Fox 64
8 Banjo-Kazooie
9 FIFA: Road to World Cup 98
10 Space Station Silicon Valley
11 Rayman 2: The Great Escape
12 NFL Blitz
13 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
14 Donkey Kong 64
15 Pokémon Snap
16 Pokémon Stadium
17 Mario Tennis
18 NBA Hangtime
19 Gauntlet Legends
20 Snowboard Kids
21 Mario Kart 64
22 Banjo-Tooie
23 GoldenEye 007
24 Wave Race 64
25 1080° Snowboarding
26 Mario Party
27 Madden NFL 99
28 Super Smash Bros.
29 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
30 Mario Golf
31 NHL 99
32 Bomberman 64
33 Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
34 Jet Force Gemini
35 Glover
36 F-Zero X
37 Perfect Dark
38 Star Wars Episode I: Racer
39 Cruis’n USA
40 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
41 Yoshi’s Story
42 Beetle Adventure Racing
43 NBA Jam 99
44 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
45 Extreme-G
46 Cruis’n World
47 Road Rash 64
48 ClayFighter 63⅓
49 San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
50 Gex 64: Enter the Gecko
Brian GAME
1 Mario Party 2
2 Super Mario 64
3 Super Smash Bros.
4 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
5 Pokémon Snap
6 Pokémon Stadium
7 Mario Kart 64
8 Mario Party
9 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
10 Mischief Makers
Colin GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2 Banjo-Tooie
3 Mario Kart 64
4 GoldenEye 007
5 Star Fox 64
6 Perfect Dark
7 Banjo-Kazooie
8 Mario Tennis
9 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
10 Super Smash Bros.
11 Super Mario 64
12 Donkey Kong 64
13 Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey
14 Mario Golf
15 Diddy Kong Racing
16 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
17 Jet Force Gemini
18 Mario Party
19 1080° Snowboarding
20 Rampage World Tour
Kevin GAME
1 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
2 Mario Kart 64
3 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
4 Blast Corps
5 Super Mario 64
6 Super Smash Bros.
7 Body Harvest
8 Star Fox 64
9 Pokémon Stadium
10 Banjo-Kazooie
11 Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate
Tim GAME
1 Mario Kart 64
2 Super Mario 64
3 Mario Tennis
4 GoldenEye 007
5 Mario Party
6 Super Smash Bros.
7 Pokémon Snap
8 Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
9 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
10 Mario Golf
11 NHL Breakaway 99
12 Mario Party 2
13 Paper Mario
14 NFL Quarterback Club ’99
15 All-Star Baseball 2000
16 Madden NFL 2000
17 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
18 Diddy Kong Racing
19 The World Is Not Enough
20 Star Fox 64
21 Banjo-Kazooie
22 Bomberman Hero
23 Hydro Thunder
24 Star Wars Episode I: Racer
25 Paperboy 64
26 Wave Race 64
27 Dr. Mario 64
28 South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack
29 Pokémon Stadium
30 WWF War Zone

 

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