Last week, I co-recorded a podcast episode for “Podicus Wrecks” (look us up on the “Comicdom Wrecks” page!), reminiscing about old favorites on the various Nintendo platforms. I got to thinking: what are my all-time favorite Nintendo games?
After some rummaging around in the memory banks- a lot of it, in some cases- I’ve come up with a list of my favorite games. For this list:
- I’ll note if I owned the game or if I just played it at a random location.
- I’ve only owned the Nintendo Game Boy (the ORIGINAL), the SNES, and the N64. I don’t remember exactly how many games I owned but I think it was: 2 (GB), 8-12 total (SNES), and 15-25 total (N64). Some of those games were traded in for other games.
- There are some games that I played on other systems before I played them on a Nintendo system; generally, they won’t be on this list, unless there was some serious play time put into them.
- This is a “favorites” list; I’m not necessarily listing the “best” games I’ve played. “Goldeneye 007”, for example, is one of the best games I’ve played but probably won’t be on here because I only played it once, in multiplayer mode; that wasn’t enough time for me to call it a “favorite”. There are exceptions to this guideline.
So, here is the first part of the list, numbers 7-12, with some Honorable Mentions:
“Gex: Enter The Gecko” (N64) – a wise-cracking, super-spy gecko (voice by Dana Gould), out to save the world, one remote at a time. The wise cracks, one-liners, and site gags were entertaining enough on theri own; the gameplay was enough fun to make it an entertaining few hours with the siblings.
“Mario Party 8” (Wii; not owned) – I played this a few times at 2 of my best friends’ apartment. It’s basically a board game with a Mario Bros. theme; you have quite a few mini-games that you can complete and some obstacles to avoid (BOWSER!!), while traveling around the board, collecting stars and coins. It’s a neat game, good for all ages and in most settings!
“1080 Snowboarding” (N64) – this was the most surprising game not only on this list, but in my former library, in terms of how much I liked it. I bought it because it was cheap and it looked kinda interesting. It turned out be really fun. The Match Races were pretty cool and the courses were interesting.
“NFL Quarterback Club 1998” (N64) – What hooked me to this game was the fact that my favorite player at the time (Brett Favre) was on the cover. I remember spending quite a bit of time playing, yelling at, and cheering at QB Club.
“Mortal Kombat 4” (N64) – I’ve been a fan of the Martial Arts Tournament for ages and MK 4 did not disappoint. While the roster was smaller than other MK games, this one still had enough of a variety to keep things fun. Especially when you and 2 of your siblings would take Reiko, Jarek, or Jax, and repeatedly kick the opponent in the side of the knee, getting that character to exclaim something ridiculous: “Tournament Leg-Breaking”™. 😉
“Star Wars Episode 1: Racer” (N64) – I was caught up in the hype of Star Wars: Episode 1, and bought this game for the N64 as a result. “Ok” was my movie reaction; “Sweeeet!” was my game reaction. This game was ridiculously fun! There were 16 (I think) racers that you could choose from, each with different sizes (which mattered: Pods could get bumped around and damaged by bigger Pods), speeds, handlings, and accelerations. The tracks were a little confusing but very nice to look at. Multi-player mode was great, especially when you could tag-team a NPC racer, forcing them off a track. It was a fun game!
“Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3” (SNES) – As much fun as “Mortal Kombat 4” was, “Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3” was even more fun for me.
There were over 20 fighters, including characters I had never seen before: Jade, Smoke, and NOOB SAIBOT. The Fatalities were over-the-top gruesomely fun, the Babalities were… strange. Pulling off combos didn’t seem too difficult but I was more of a defensive fighter: I wanted to stop your offense, then unleash something horrendous. Like NOOB’s ‘Black Hole’ or Sindel’s scream. This was one of the games that my Dad also would jump into. He was more of a “classics” fan (Pac-Man, Jr., Donkey Kong, Jr., Space Invaders, etc.) so it was a fun surprise to see him fighting with Sonya Blade.
“Wrestlemania 2000” (N64) – The ONLY reason this game wasn’t ranked higher on my Favorites list was (*SPOILERS*) because another wrestling game in the Top 3 was played more often. There was SO much fun stuff with this game! The Royal Rumble match – the Battle Royal match – let you pick how many people were in the match and was a fun time on its own. There were easily 50 wrestlers in the game, plus you could make your own, in a very large Create-A-Wrestler mode. Current wrestlers could be edited. The Season Mode let you start feuds and win/defend titles on Pay-Per-Views, something that was a rarity at that time. There was enough going on in this game that even non-hardcore wrestling fans (like my sister) could spend HOURS playing, without being bored.
“Mario Kart 8” (Wii; not owned) – I think this would be in the Top 3, once I get in more playing time. Other than the “Tokyo Extreme Racing” franchise on the Sega Dreamcast and Playstation 2/3, this game has more racers and carts to choose from than I’ve even seen in a racing game. Not only that, but each car can have custom tires, wing/glider, and body, adjusting everything from speed to traction. The tracks are amazingly well-done: mountain scenery, upside-down rave tracks, the iconic Rainbow Road (as ridiculous as in other games), even a Toy Story-esque, Kids’ Room track.
Part 2 of this trip down Nintendo Memory Lane will have numbers 1-6 on the list, as well as some games that did not make the list. What are some of your favorite Nintendo games?