Nintendo 64 Games

First released in 1996, the Nintendo 64 was Nintendo's first venture into 64-bit, 3-dimensional gaming. By the time it was discontinued in 2001, almost 33 million N64 consoles had sold worldwide. Its groundbreaking technology and large catalogue of landmark games made the N64 a huge hit that is still fondly remembered by video game fans today.

How Do Nintendo 64 Games Work?

  • Unlike many of its competitors, the Nintendo 64 console was designed to be used with game cartridges rather than optical discs. Solid-state cartridges are more durable than discs so a lot of original N64 games have survived.
  • Old N64 games may have dust buildup on the electronic contacts, which can prevent them from working in the console. Blowing on the cartridge gently can clear light dust, while heavier buildup can be removed carefully using a swab.
  • Many N64 cartridges store game save data using volatile memory powered by an internal battery. If that battery is flat, you may be unable to access save data. If necessary, the save battery is replaceable.

Which N64 Games Can I Choose From?

The N64 had a large library of games to choose from, many of which were recognised as gaming classics.

  • Nintendo consoles have always been known for local multiplayer and the N64 is no exception, boasting a whole suite of titles that are best played with friends on your sofa. These include the first three Mario Party games, Super Smash Bros, GoldenEye 007 and, of course, Mario Kart 64.
  • The N64 also had a selection of classic single player titles. Save Princess Peach in Super Mario 64, defend Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or jump and flap your way through Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Some rare or very popular N64 games have become collectors' items, especially unopened copies. Some of the rarer ones include Harvest Moon 64, Pokemon Stadium 2 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.

Which Accessories Do I Need to Play N64 Games?

  • The Nintendo 64 controller is instantly recognisable for its trident-shaped design, comes in a huge range of colours and is the obvious controller for playing N64 games. Controllers could also be equipped with accessories like the force feedback Rumble Pak and the memory-expanding Transfer Pak.
  • The N64 Expansion Pak was a plug-in accessory that doubled the console's RAM to 8 megabytes. This was required to play a few games including Donkey Kong 64 and Majora's Mask. It also unlocked enhanced graphics and gameplay for some other titles.
  • While some N64 games store saved games on the cartridge, others need a Nintendo 64 memory card to store save data.