20 Nintendo 64 games we’d love to see added to the Switch Online expansion pack

The Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack was recently launched, not without its share of critics. Despite some emulation errors and inability to change button mapping in the app, it has nevertheless been quite fun to revisit some familiar (and less familiar) Nintendo 64 beads on the Switch. Of course we always will more.

In addition to the original offer, Nintendo has also confirmed an upcoming batch that will arrive in the coming months, but we feel really good and interesting games are still absent. It is also worth noting that we have put some rare games on this list. Remember now, Banjo-Kazooie comes to the service (the IP address shown in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, of course), so more than one obvious example on our list, it is entirely possible that Microsoft and Nintendo may come to an agreement on other classic rare games. Are they longshots? Yes, but we retain hope.

There are other games we have chosen because they were rare or only for Japan back then, and we’ve seen in NES and SNES apps that Nintendo occasionally adds some relatively obscure games. There are also a few obvious ones that are definitely on Nintendo’s to-do list.

We’ve also added a poll at the end – tell us which games you would like to see. So let’s get to that.

1080 ° snowboarding (N64)1080 ° snowboarding (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD

Release Date: March 31, 1998 (USA) / October 9, 1998 (UK / EU)

A game that teaches the reward of dedication and perseverance. Winning the race may seem like the game’s point, but the real goal is there in the title – to draw a 1080 °. It took some of us years, but we kept going and – boom – finally, we did it. The speed and precision match with beautiful images of the moment, where sunlight shines from the piste and snow spraying up behind your board. It had framerate strains, but its subtle controls allow you to sharpen shallow turns and elegant arc across the track, giving a good taste of the feeling you get from the real sport.

When you do not fall on your ass, that is.

Blast Corps (N64)Blast Corps (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Rare

Release Date: February 28, 1997 (USA) / September 1, 1997 (UK / EU)

This game involves clearing a road for a slow-moving truck that transports a defective nuclear missile to a safe detonation zone – a zone blocked by buildings and other structures ripe for destruction. As with many 64-bit titles, its early polygonal visuals seem a bit stubborn these days, but don’t let its looks deter you. This incredibly silly concept created one of the most fun games on the N64.

Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)

Publisher: THQ / Developer: Rare

Release Date: March 4, 2001 (USA) / April 6, 2001 (UK / EU)

The first of our hopeful rare contributions, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, proudly stood out from the crowd of cute platformers back then as a blood-soaked, scatological comedy. We’re still a little surprised that a Nintendo second released a game full of gangs, to be honest – even the Xbox remake sounded most of them. Conker was a technological triumph for the aging 64-bit system when it was launched in 2001, and although the movie parodies are much of their time and the humor does not hit everyone’s spot, we would love to see it again.

Diddy Kong Racing (N64)Diddy Kong Racing (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Rare

Release Date: November 24, 1997 (USA) / November 21, 1997 (UK / EU)

Diddy Kong Racing did for Mario Kart 64 pretty much what Banjo-Kazooie would soon do for Super Mario 64; Namely, take the template down from Nintendo and expand it with colors and creativity to produce far more than just a tribute. DKR expanded the single-player into an adventure, and the addition of aircraft and hovercraft required much larger, more complex circuits to run around. The game also gave Banjo and Conker’s console debuts. What more do you want, jam on it?

Dōbutsu no Mori (N64)Dōbutsu no Mori (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: April 14, 2001 (JPN)

Its localized name is Animal forest, although you probably know the IP better from its GameCube successor Crossing animals. Yep, Japan had an exclusive version of the first game that made its debut on the N64, just months before it would then appear on the shiny new GameCube. It is worth being clear that this would be highly unlikely due to the extensive localization required, but as an exciting arrival and an insight into the franchise history it would be a nice addition. Heck, even though it’s exclusive to the Japanese version of the app, we’ll happily play it that way.

Donkey Kong 64 (N64)Donkey Kong 64 (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Rare

Release Date: November 24, 1999 (USA) / December 6, 1999 (UK / EU)

There are some who blame the collapse of collectathon 3D platforming craze on Donkey Kong 64, and while it’s hard to argue that Rare might have gone a little too far with the huge number of insignificant doohickeys that can be assembled, it’s a game that screws everything up to eleven, and there’s something admirable about its inexcusable ‘ more is more ‘approach. Featuring five playable Kongs (you know them well), huge worlds and an abundance of mini-games (including emulated versions of the original Donkey Kong and Rare’s arcade Jetpac), DK64 was a hell of a value proposition back in 1999, and we think it probably deserves a new assessment after 20 years of bashing. Come on, Cranky, take it in the fridge.

Excitebike 64 (N64)Excitebike 64 (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Left Field Productions

Release Date: April 30, 2000 (USA) / June 8, 2001 (UK / EU)

The Canadian developer Left Field Productions, the team behind the lovingly remembered NBA Courtside games, was responsible for this ingenious participation in Nintendo’s motocross series. By moving the gameplay from side to side to the rear rider 3D, it fused the careful pitch and throttle control from the original game along with the subtle mechanics of N64 stable mates Wave run 64 and 1080 ° snowboarding to produce something as deep, rewarding and addictive as the racers.

GoldenEye 007 (N64)GoldenEye 007 (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Rare

Release Date: August 25, 1997 (USA) / August 25, 1997 (UK / EU)

The best movie affiliation ever made? Not only was Rare’s game hugely influential on the console’s FPS genre, but it also gave N64 owners a proper ‘adult’ experience to put their teeth into. At a time when PlayStation was too cool for school, GoldenEye 007 delivered some real ammunition in the console wars, and its 4-player death battles – remarkably, a last-minute addition before the game went gold – led to some of the best multiplayer memories we have for any system. You only live twice> Bunkers> Power Weapons? What about License to Kill> Facility> Guns? We’re easy, but no matter what you do, make sure you have ‘Sight ON Auto-Aim OFF’.

Just imagine the buzz of this oncoming and supportive online game, but let’s be real too – it’s the longest of longshots.

ISS 98 (N64)ISS 98 (N64)

Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami

Release Date: September 1, 1998 (UK / EU)

Konami’s Major A study took the solid foundation off ISS 64 and built on it with some wonderful additions, including an optional top-to-bottom view and the judge’s appearance on the field. It may sound like a tiny and almost insignificant detail, but having the judge on screen blew our minds back in 1998. And look, we know that licensing issues make this extremely unlikely, but we do not care – we want it.

Jet Force Gemini (N64)Jet Force Gemini (N64)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Rare

Release Date: October 11, 1999 (USA) / November 2, 1999 (UK / EU)

An underrated entry in the Rareware library, Jet Force Gemini combined cute design with chunky, gungy third-person blasting in a world-jumping mission to defeat insectoid overlord Mizar. The adventures of Juno, Vela and the faithful good boy Lupus are not without flaws, but JFG is a surprisingly deep and satisfying adventure worth exploring if you are a rare fan looking for the gems that passed you by around the turn of the millennium.


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