The Top Five Nintendo 64 Games of All Time

The Nintendo 64 (or N64) was Nintendo’s third game console designated for the international market. It was released in 1996 in Japan and North America and in 1997 in Europe and Australia. The console used ROM cartridges and was succeeded by the GameCube in 2001. The console was immensely popular, boasting an array of beloved games. Five of the best selling, most popular games are described below.


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Super Smash Brothers

Super Smash Brothers was the fifth-most-sold game for Nintendo 64, selling 5.55 million copies around the world. The game was published in 1999 by Nintendo and features an exciting take on traditional fighting games. In Super Smash Brothers, players can play as Nintendo’s most famous characters like Pikachu, Link and Mario, as well as a slew of lesser-known options.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda franchise has been quite popular and profitable for Nintendo, and Ocarina of Time, the fifth installment, was no exception. It was developed by Nintedo EAD and published in 1998, selling 7.6 million copies worldwide. Ocarina of Time was the first 3D game in the Zelda series and is widely considered to be one of the greatest games ever made.


Ranked third in terms of sales for all Nintendo64 games, GoldenEye 007 capitalized on the popular James Bond franchise and was developed by Rare. Released in 1997, the game sold 8.09 million copies and spawned incredibly popular videos. The game was a first-person shooter, in which players act as James Bond, fighting to prevent criminals from causing a global meltdown.

Mario Kart 64

Developed by Nintendo, Mario Kart 64 was the second installment in the popular Mario Kart franchise. The game was released in 1996 in Japan, followed by North America and Europe in 1997 and sold almost 10 million copies. It’s a racing game featuring popular characters from the Mario universe.

Mario Kart 64 improved upon the previous version, adding 3D graphics and new four-player support. The improved graphics allow for new track features, like elevation changes, walls, pits, bridges and more, though the items and characters are 2D sprites. Four game modes are available, including Grand Prix, which puts one or two humans in a series of races against computer players. Time trial is a single-player mode, while versus mode allows up to four humans to race head to head. Battle mode is another multiplayer option, featuring last-man-standing-style game play.

Super Mario 64

The best-selling game of all time for the Nintendo64 is another member of the Mario franchise, Super Mario 64. Produced by Nintendo and released in 1996, the game sold nearly 12 million copies across the globe. It boasts 3D graphics like many of the games on the list, telling the tale of another romp through Mario’s world.

Hailed as a revolutionary new game, Super Mario 64 set new requirements for other 3D platform games and left a long-lasting impression upon 3D game design. The dynamic camera system and analog control implementation were quite new and groundbreaking. Super Mario 64 places emphasis on world exploration, including many diverse missions, but it still keeps true to the original Mario elements.

The Nintendo64 was quite a popular video game console, released by Nintendo in 1995. During the years of the N64 reign, many popular games were released. These five are the best selling of all time, selling several million copies apiece.

Jerome Ellington is a freelance writer specializing in video games, card games, board games, CCGs and other gaming topics; to learn more about cards and other fun items visit Card Kingdom.

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