This week we’re talking about dangerous spies, watch Arwings fly and wrestling rivalries intensify – It’s the Retrogaming Chart Show!
It’s November and we are less than a month away from Christmas. But it’s too early to think about that now, as we have the matter of looking at a retrogaming chart from yesterday. This time we are jumping back over the pond to the US of A, through the pages of Nintendo Power – The official mouthpiece for the console manufacturer’s American branch, for the Nintendo 64 Top Ten Power Chart. This month’s chart isn’t really based on sales, but more a combination of sales charts, and voting from within Nintendo as well as from players themselves.
Before we begin this month’s rundown, I must let you know that next month – That is to say, December’s chart will be the final Retrogaming Chart Show ever. So, I’m opening up the floor – Is there a console you’d like me to cover for the final episode? Let me know and I’ll make it happen!
Anyway, on with the show.
10. Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo)
At number 10 is the second edition of Mario Kart, and it’s probably the entry that put the series on the road to greatness, thanks to its excellent tracks and hilariously fun four-player mode. Making the jump to 3D was a difficult thing for many 16-bit games, but Mario Kart 64 did so incredibly well, with a game that still holds a place in the heart of anyone that played it at the time.
9. Star Fox 64 (Nintendo)
Speaking of games that successfully made the jump to the 64-bit generation, defining the series in the process, here’s Star Fox 64 at number 9, a game that’s arguably the best of the franchise with its exciting levels, multiple vehicles, and many a memorable moment. Plus, it was the debut of the Nintendo 64’s Rumble Pak, bringing force feedback to the system.
8. Mission: Impossible (Ocean)
At number 8 is Ocean’s take on the 1996 cinematic version of Mission: Impossible. It was inevitably compared to Rare’s GoldenEye 007 due to the subject matter, and of course, this game was always going to come off second best – But that might be a little unfair, as for the time there’s a lot of originality within this release.
7. 1080 Snowboarding (Nintendo)
Some popular piste-based action comes in at number 7 with 1080° Snowboarding, a cult favourite amongst Nintendo 64 owners, and it’s easy to see why, delivering trick-based fun, over a year before Activision’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater hit the scene and kick-started the extreme sports trend in video games. But it’s not just about tricks, as there are also downhill races to take part in to become the best snowboarder around.
6. Waialae Country Club: True Golf Classics (Nintendo)
The last game on this list was far too intense, so let’s take things down a notch and hit the golf course in Waialae Country Club: True Golf Classics at number 6, a game that recreates the course in Hawaii that shares a name with this release. Supposedly, it’s the best golf simulation game, but most people would argue that Mario Golf is the better recreation of the sport.
5. WCW Vs NWO: World Tour (THQ)
The Nintendo 64 had a reputation for great wrestling games, and it all started here with THQ’s WCW Vs NWO: World Tour, in at number 5. Featuring a roster of WCW’s finest, this game innovated with its unique grappling system, which remains as one of the best wrestling game mechanics ever, and set the groundwork for a series of excellent games that were fun whether you liked professional wrestling or not.
4. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo)
On the Nintendo 64, games rarely get any bigger and better than the system’ debut release, Super Mario 64, at number 4. There isn’t too much to say about this one – But you can’t deny the importance of Mario’s first foray into 3D, a title that truly defined the 3D platformer as we know it.
3. WWF War Zone (Acclaim)
At number 3 is the second wrestling game on this chart – Acclaim’s WWF War Zone. While its gameplay mechanics are lacking when compared to the games published by THQ, Acclaim certainly made up for it in terms of presentation with recognisable wrestlers and even a few voice samples in there as well. It has sadly been bettered by many other wrestling games on the system.
2. Banjo-Kazooie (Nintendo)
At number 2 is a game that started life as a Super Nintendo game, before drastically changing direction and becoming one of the Nintendo 64’s best platformers. Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie was another of those games that put Rare on the map, a game that took the basics from Super Mario 64 and expanding upon them, adding the developer’s trademark penchant for secrets and collectables.
1. GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo)
At number 1 is another Rare game, and arguably one of their best – GoldenEye 007. Another game that started life as a Super Nintendo concept, before being moved to Nintendo’s 64-bit system. Despite being released well after the movie it’s based on, this first-person shooter impressed with its mission-based structure, unlockable cheat modes, and its legendary multiplayer mode that to this day remains a favourite at parties. It’s follow-up, Perfect Dark might be the better game, but there’s something to be said about taking on missions as 007 himself.