Looking Back at the Nintendo 64’s Top Platformers

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The Nintendo 64, in many ways, is one of the most iconic consoles in gaming history. This is, of course, a tough statement to quantify due in large part to the prolonged success and periods of innovation that Nintendo has been responsible for. Still, we stand by the N64 as one of the most important gaming consoles in the industry because it pushed gaming to a level that was completely foreign. The N64 embraced 3D graphics while simultaneously perfecting one of the greatest genres in games: the platformer. Today we are going to honor the N64’s unique and creative platformer library by looking at a few of the best titles to ever see release on the console. This seemed only right to do in wake of the release of ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ for the Nintendo Switch.

The greatest strength that the Nintendo 64 brought to the world of platform gaming was its ability to extend the playing space into three dimensions. Of course, Nintendo had always been involved in the platforming era, basically inventing it, but those titles stayed to just 2D in prior years entries. In the 3D environment we were able to partake of one of the greatest games of all time: ‘Super Mario 64’. Playing ‘Super Mario 64’ was considered almost a seminal moment in the lives of every young boy or girl who picked up a controller. The 3D graphics, free-roaming ability, and catchy gameplay was enough to send parents to stores all over the globe to get a copy for their children. ‘Super Mario 64’ seems to be the defining title of its generation and one of the key influences on the upcoming, and likely perfectly rated, ‘Super Mario Odyssey’. Nintendo also released the equally incredible ‘Donkey Kong 64’ which approached the platformer in similar fashion while also giving us the infamous, and hilarious, DK Rap. How can you go wrong here?

If Italian plumbers didn’t do the trick for you then you perhaps had time to play ‘Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon’. This Japanese port was relatively ignored upon its initial translation to American English but years of time have given us the ability to appreciate it even more. ‘Mystical Ninja’ leaned heavily upon the culture and humor of Japan and is largely considered one of the rarest titles in the N64 library. Only 200,000 English copies were ever sold and that makes it quite hard to buy.

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