Originally released in 1996, the Nintendo 64 went on to become one of the most popular gaming consoles of the 1990's and was host to some of the most ground-breaking advances in videogames. If you have one stored away in an attic, you should totally consider dusting it down and giving it a spin. They still hold up remarkably well for games that are coming up on twenty years old. We've managed to boil it down to its five best releases. Check it out:
5. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
Although you could argue that its sequel - Majora's Mask - was a refinement of what Ocarina Of Time was, the sheer brilliance of this is what wins out. The game was, much like GoldenEye, so revolutionary that it's hard to imagine the impact it's had. Games like Skyrim, Fallout 3, Mass Effect and the entire RPG (role-playing game) genre have been influenced by it. Up until this point, RPGs had been top-down screens, all about number-crunching and very much a dull and linear experience. Ocarina of Time threw out the rulebook and wrote its own. It's a rulebook that's been followed closely ever since.
4. LYLAT WARS
It borrowed liberally from a number of films - Star Wars, Independence Day, Aliens - but what it may have lacked in originality, it made up for in out-and-out gameplay. The great thing about Lylat Wars was that you could pick it up and, in a few short minutes, you'd be fully engrossed and enjoying it completely. The then-revolutionary use of cut-scenes, the cheesy-as-hell dialogue and the overbearing music all made for one of the best shooter experiences on the console, or indeed any console of that era.
3. SUPER MARIO 64
Like Ocarina Of Time, Super Mario 64 took the rulebook, shredded it and started over. Up until then, Super Mario's side-scrolling adventures had played a huge part in each Nintendo console's fortunes. The original NES, released back in 1985, came bundled with Super Mario Bros., whilst the Super Nintendo came bundled with Super Mario All-Stars. Unsurprisingly, the Nintendo 64 came bundled with Super Mario 64. What's more, the sheer length of the game made for something closer to an RPG experience than a standard platform. Plus, that stretchy face thing at the start was really cool.
2. MARIO KART 64
If ever a game caused sibling rivalries and screaming matches in the late 90's, it was Mario Kart 64. The game's multiplayer feature and its easy-to-use controls meant for some blisteringly fast gameplay. Everyone had a favourite course - Rainbow Road was insanely difficult, but if you could get the right jumps, you could leap forward easily. Everyone knew the secret tunnel in Koopa Troopa Beach. Banshee Boardwalk threw everybody off. There really was no limit to Mario Kart's replay factor.
Although PC games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D had invented the first-person shooter, GoldenEye refined and popularised it. The importance of it can't be understated. There would be no Call of Duty. There would be no Battlefield. There certainly would be no Halo. Even its multiplayer feature was ahead of its time. In fact, the multiplayer feature was made as an afterthought. The programmers came up with the idea and designed it within a few short weeks.