Back in the day, I used to be a loyal Sega Megadrive owner, well I say loyal it was more to do with the fact that I couldn't afford to pay for another console along with an extra set of games, so I had to settle for taking control of the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Echo the Dolphin. Then a magical Christmas or birthday came along, I can't remember which it was for too long ago, and I received a rather large present that I quickly unwrapped to reveal a shiny, brand new Nintendo 64, which threw me into the world of Nintendo along with everything it had to offer. I quickly fell in love with the fantastic range of games that were available and I've decided to chronicle my favourites for you to peruse through at your leisure.
10 Diddy Kong Racing
This is the first of many Rare games to feature in this list. Diddy Kong Racing sadly lost out when pitted against Mario Kart in my opinion, but I still loved having the choice of zipping around in either a car, a hovercraft, or a plane, trying to collect as many balloons as possible whilst maintaining first place to gain all the glory. Whizpig was a great arch enemy, who you really wanted to defeat, and lets not forget that this was the game where we got our fist glimpses of Banjo and Conker.
9 Banjo Kazooie
Bringing us an unlikely partnership between bear and bird, as well as another fantastic villain in the form of Gruntilda, Banjo Kazooie was a great platform game that contained some brilliant characters in a classic fairy tale style story. Running around the environments learning new moves thanks to Bottles the mole was great fun, and collecting all the musical notes, jiggys, and the cute little Jinjos provided gamers with a satisfying challenge. Also, I can remember being particularly scared by this game after venturing too far out into the sea in one of the beach levels, as I was soon pursued by a shark with murderous intentions and quickly had to make a break for land to avoid his deadly jaws.
8 Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 was one of the few games that required the expansion pack to increase the consoles RAM to a level where it was capable of running the game, which would certainly account for the fact that it was one of the more impressive looking titles on the 64. It also introduced us to some of the extended members of the Kong family, each of which had specific musical instrument attacks and where required to grab all the golden bananas, plus their own uniquely coloured bananas in every area. King K. Rool and his army of Kremlings also returned to pose a threat to the DK Isles yet again. On a more recent note, I have to say that whilst Donkey Kong Returns looks like it's going to step back into the series classic format, I can't help but feel that it's a step backwards from this game.
7 Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart has been the embodiment of multiplayer racing fun since it was first conceived and the 64 version was no exception. Gaining trophies in the single player is rewarding and unlocked the unlocked the extra difficulty, which allowed you to play on mirrored versions of the racing tracks. Your choice of character was also important, as you were abele to nip round the tracks with lightweight characters like Toad, or barge your enemies off the road using heavyweight characters like Bowser, however my favourite character was Yoshi who fit into the balanced middleweight characters. This instalment of the series also contains my favourite version of Rainbow Road.
6 Super Mario 64
What can I say about Super Mario 64, it was and still is an outstanding platform game that encouraged gamers to explore large worlds, in order to grab as many stars as possible to progress further in your quest to save Princess Peach yet again, after Bowser invades her castle and takes it over. Not only were the graphics and gameplay amazing, but the soundtrack was something very special as well and it's certainly stuck in my mind over the years. Mario derived special powers from different caps that were left lying around the environments, including the wing cap, the vanish cap, and my personal favourite the metal cap, which transformed the persistent plumber into a silver version of himself that was immune to most types of damage. Yoshi also made a brief appearance, but you'll only get to see him if you take the time to grab 120 stars.
5 Lylat Wars
Lylat Wars, or Star Fox 64 depending on whereabouts in the world you live, was one of the first games that came out for the Nintendo 64 and the two were often included in a bundle, which meant that in a lot of cases this was the first game that 64 owners got their hands on, and in my opinion it remains one of the best to this day. Blasting wave upon wave of enemies to their graves was immensely enjoyable, whether you were engaging them in dogfights in space or just above one of the many planets' surfaces, scrambling across the ground in your battle hardened little tank, or gliding through the sea in your streamlined submarine. The number of ways that you could get to the final battle against Andross meant that the single player had a lot of re-playability, and the multiplayer provided gamers with a great experience.
4 Perfect Dark
Aliens, a gun that could shoot through walls in a similar fashion to the rail gun seen in Eraser, a frantic multiplayer experience, a paranoid plot, and a female lead, what more could you want from a futuristic espionage game! Rare obviously built on Goldeneye's engine, to bring us Joanna Dark's debut and it certainly paid off because this is a wonderful first person shooter with an arsenal of sublime weapons for disposing of your enemies. Also, extra points have to go to this title for providing you with a little grey alien companion called 'Elvis', who's present in a couple of missions.
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Despite being set in a cartoon world this is a game that's definitely targeted for adults and starred a fluffy little squirrel who first appeared in Diddy Kong Racing and shocked us all, in the best way possible, by being foul mouthed, lecherous, and enjoyed a drink or two. In my opinion this is the number one comedy game, and nothing since has come close to making me laugh quite so much, thanks largely to the amusing script, colourful characters, and the endless movie spoofs. It also had a brilliant multiplayer, and contained one of the most sinister video game enemies in the form of the Teddies.
2 The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Like most people, Ocarina of Time blew my mind, and the scale of the game wasn't apparent at first as you casually explored the village that Link first finds himself in. Then the plot of the game thickens and you get to venture out of the village, which leads to a breathtaking moment as you get your first look at the plains of Hyrule and you realise that the world you're about to explore is massive. Getting around is one of the first problems that you need to solve and luckily the solution comes in the form of Epona. Then you get to embark on your quest to defeat Ganondork and save Hyrule, during which you meet a whole host of characters including the Gorons and the Zoras. Needless to say, pretty much everything about this game is epic and it's marvellous to watch the story unfold before your eyes.
1 Goldeneye 007
Yep that's right, no real surprises here. The single player allowed James Bond and first person shooter fans alike to drop into 007's shoes and progress through the familiar surroundings of the film. The various difficulty levels allowed you to keep going back for multiple play throughs and 007 mode was a challenge even for the toughest gamer. However, it's the multiplayer that's kept people going back for more, and I have to admit that if I'm given the choice between a modern multiplayer shooter and Goldeneye's multiplayer, deciding between them can still be a challenge. So, in conclusion this has reached the top spot not only because it's a superb game, but also because it's stood the test of time and still makes people root around crowded store rooms to find their old consoles and brush off the dust for yet another action packed session.
The N64 had a fantastic range of games, including the likes of Rogue Squadron, 1080 Snowboarding, F Zero X, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, which all narrowly missed out on placing in the top ten, however the ones that made the list certainly deserve to be there because they're all amazing titles.