The original Super Smash Bros game is considered to be a multiplayer fighting classic fir the N64 from 1999. Ever since its release the original Super Smash Bros game had managed to reach over 5.5 million copies in sales. In fact, Super Smash Bros became the fifth best selling game for the N64 game that Nintendo had made due to its overall popularity between ‘99-‘01. As a fighting game Super Smash Bros was one of the most innovative titles within that genre that Nintendo had ever made. The gameplay for Super Smash Bros looked and felt like something that would have been a huge attraction in arcade around the world in 1999. Super Smash Bros provided multiplayer gameplay that allowed up to four people and included the some of the most iconic Nintendo characters of all-time. The idea of having an arcade release Super Smash Bros in arcade centers prior to its N64 release sounds appealing.
But then again Super Smash Bros being a N64 console exclusive is one of the few factors that contributed to its success following its release. However, the fast paced fighting gameplay and non-stop action along with the chaotic atmosphere in Super Smash Bros made the game seem like one that would have worked in arcade during 1999. An arcade version of the original Super Smash Bros game may not have been as much of an attraction as its successor Super Smash Bros Brawl from ‘01; mainly because Smash Bros Brawl was considered to be more iconic in general. One of the main reasons why Super Smash Bros Brawl would not have worked in arcade centers in the early 00’s is due to how gaming was starting to change. By the early 00’s arcade centers were starting to decline in popularity and online gaming was began to surge in popularity around the mid 00’s. But there is no doubt that not having an arcade release of the original Smash Bros game was a missed opportunity by Nintendo to some extent.
The Super Mario Bros series has been around since the mid 80’s during the NES days of gaming. When it comes down to popularity the very first Super Mario Bros game is quite possibly one greatest video games of all-time not only because it helped shape the platform genre of gaming but it was also very successful as well. The original Super Mario Bros game has reportedly sold over 40 million worldwide since its original release and the series itself had only grew in popularity as time passed. While Super Mario Bros 2 was a pretty fun game that allowed players to choose multiple characters including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad it was not as successful as its prequel. Despite, the improvements in gameplay featured in Super Mario Bros 2 it sold less than both its predecessor and successor and was often seen as the black sheep of the trilogy. While the original Super Mario Bros 2 game reach over 7.4 million in sales since ‘88; Super Mario Bros 3 managed to reach over 13 million in sales and was almost every bit as popular as the very first installment within the series. Super Mario World from 1990 which appeared on the SNES was arguably the best game within its series during the 90’s in general.
Super Mario World had a beautiful overworld along nice looking 2D sprites, stages and animation with the inclusion of Yoshi. Players could spend days, weeks or even months trying to complete Super Mario World since the game itself had multiple overworld maps and became more challenging towards the end of the game. Super Mario World ended up reaching over 20 million in sales since appearing on the 16-bit SNES console and is considered to be of the greatest installments within the entire series. We then got Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES which was a 16-bit remastered collection of the first three NES Mario games from the 80’s; with the addition of Mario Lost Levels. Super Mario All-Stars was a huge success sales wise and sold over 10 million copies worldwide since ‘93. We also got to see other 2D classics on the SNES & Game Boy throughout the 90’s such as Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario RPG which were all critically acclaimed classics that sold millions worldwide as well. The Super Mario Kart game from ‘92 was a nostalgic classic where players were introduced to iconic stages such as: Koopa Beach, Choco Valley and Rainbow Road. By the mid 90’s the world got to see Super Mario 64 & Mario Kart 64 two games that are legendary among the gaming community. While Super Mario 64 managed to sell roughly under 12 million copies for the N64 Mario Kart 64 arguably had the best soundtracks that one would ever hear in a racing game.
While the Mario games from the 90’s were more iconic there was no doubt that in terms of quality the titles we have seen from the 00’s onwards were far more superior games in comparison. In fact, the 00’s was the decade where we got to see the releases of titles such as Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Mario Kart Wii along with Super Mario Galaxy. The New Super Mario Bros series was like a breath of fresh air to many people during the mid to late 00’s because the 2D gameplay was reminiscent to the older installments within the series from the mid 80’s-early 90’s. However, the New Super Mario Bros games provided players with 2D gameplay with 3D visuals in a addition to simultaneous multiplayer mode which not he done on the NES/SNES during the 80’s or 90’s. The New Super Mario Bros game from ‘06 along with its Wii sequel from ‘09 sold over 30 million copies individually and are among the best selling titles within the entire series. We also got to see the release of Mario Kart Wii in ‘08 which became the second best selling Mario game of all-time reaching over 37 million in sales. While Mario Kart Wii might not be the most memorable installment within the Mario racing series it was highly successful due to popularity of Nintendo’s Wii console from late 2006. Prior to the release Mario Kart Wii Nintendo released Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii console in November 2007; Super Mario Galaxy was a critically acclaimed 3D platformer with a fantastic soundtrack and a and a solid plot where the setting takes place in multiple galaxies opposed to Mushroom Kingdom. Super Mario Galaxy had reached roughly under 12 million copies in sales since its Wii release back in late ‘07 is considered to be one the best 3D platformers within the series along with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Odyssey.
We then look at the 10’s decade and Nintendo gave us some outstanding games such as: Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, Super Mario Maker along with Super Mario Odyssey. Despite, being exclusively on the Nintendo DS Mario Kart 7 reached over 11 million units in sales following its release in 2011. It was also in ‘11 where Super Mario 3D Land was released for the Nintendo 3DS and managed to reach roughly under 13 million in sales. Super Mario 3D Land in some ways felt like a prelude to Super Mario 3D World which included multiplayer gameplay where players could select Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad. Super Mario 3D World was the type of platform multiplayer game that Nintendo fans wanted to see in the Super Mario series since 90’s. Despite, being an incredible 3D platformer Super Mario 3D World had only reached over 5.8 million in sales which overall is pretty good. However, the Wii-U console was considered to be a flop sales wise in comparison to its competitors along with previous consoles that Nintendo had released with the exception of GameCube. Super Mario Odyssey from ‘17 was without a doubt the best Mario platform game that we got from Nintendo during the 10’s decade. Super Mario Odyssey felt like the 10’s version of Super Mario 64 and included cinematic cutscenes and soundtracks that made the game feel somewhat like a kids movie. Super Mario Odyssey not only received praise from various gaming publications but it also managed to reach over 18 million units in sales since its release in late 2017.
While the 80’s & 90’s may have been the period where Nintendo released its most iconic Mario games the overall quality of the titles that came out during the 00’s-10’s decade was without a doubt more superior. In fact, many would probably agree that the Mario series has aged like fine wine since the 80’s. It seemed like Nintendo has released more successful Mario games within the past two decades than they did in the 80’s & 90’s. Despite, Nintendo producing more successful Mario games during the 00’s & 10’s decade the very first game from ‘85 is still the most popular game within the entire series after being around for 35 years. While everyone has their own respective opinions on which decade was the best for in relation to the Mario series; everyone can agree that Nintendo has done an incredible job on the series fresh for over three decades which is an incredible milestone within the gaming world.
SM64 is considered to be one of the most legendary 3D Super Mario games of all-time especially since it was the very first that we got to see within the series in general. Super Mario 64 from the mid 90’s was remembered for its critically acclaimed gameplay, graphics and soundtrack making it the second best selling video game for the Nintendo 64. Since its release back in ‘96 Super Mario 64 had reached over 9.8 million copies in terms of worldwide sales before the N64 was ultimately discontinued in 2001. As far as soundtracks are concerned Nintendo arguably produced some of its best work with Super Mario 64 with legendary soundtracks for different levels such as: Koopa’s Road, Bomb-Omb Battlefield and Dire Dire Docks. The soundtracks in SM64 seemed far better than anything from the 2D Mario installments from the NES/SNES era of gaming. Also, there are hardly any 3D Mario games that came after SM64 that had a memorable soundtrack that was on the same level in terms of quality with Super Mario Galaxy from ‘07 possibly being an exception.
The soundtracks in SM64 blended naturally with each level and the amount of creativity that went into the game itself added to its overall replay value. While the soundtrack for SM64 was awesome it should be noted that Nintendo had produced many memorable music scores especially during the 90’s in general. In fact, some would put Mario Kart 64 above SM64 in terms of having more memorable soundtracks with likes of Rainbow Road, Toad’s Turnpike and Raceways. There was definitely a magical aura that some of the N64 Mario games had back then that we rarely see nowadays and its something that long time fans of the series still cherish to this day. While everyone has their own respective opinion on which Mario game has the best soundtracks there is no doubt that SN64 would have to be in the top five on many people’s list.
As many people know Donkey Kong is one of the most iconic names within the gaming world. Ever since the very first Donkey Kong arcade game from ‘81 Nintendo has produced numerous titles within the series that were considered to be classics as it pertained to the platform genre of gaming. However, many people would argue that some of the most successful and high profile games within the entire series came due the 90’s within the SNES/N64 era of gaming. As far as 16-bit platformers are concerned games such as the Donkey Kong: Country trilogy from ‘94-‘96 were considered some of the best titles that Nintendo had produced for SNES. In fact, the Donkey Kong trilogy had reached roughly under million copies worldwide in terms of sales; while each game could give the likes of Super Mario World or any of the three Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis a run for their money. Also, we got to see Donkey Kong 64 for the Nintendo 64 a game that was also successful since it reached over 5.2 million copies in sales since its release in 1999. The success of Donkey Kong 64 was followed after the release of Diddy Kong Racing from ‘97; not only was it the first racing game within the DK set but it too also ended up becoming one of the best selling games for the N64 overall.
Diddy Kong racing reached roughly under five million in sales before the N64 was ultimately discontinued in retail back in 2001. It should also be noted that the Donkey Kong title from ‘94 for Game Boy reaches over three million in sales and is a memorable classic that retro gamers enjoyed as well. If anything the DK series may have reached its peat in popularity during 90’s mainly because the platform genre of gaming declined following that decade. While games like Donkey Kong Country Returns & Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze were attractions on the Wii/Wii-U console during the 10’s decade the series itself was not nearly as popular as it was during the 80’s & 90’s. While everyone has their own respective opinion on which DK games were among the very best many would definitely argue that the most memorable titles within the series came out during 90’s.
When it comes down to slightly underrated games for the N64 one of the few titles that some people might think of is Dr Mario 64 from 2001. As many people know the very first Dr Mario came out back in 1990 for the 8-bit NES and was considered to be a critically acclaimed puzzle game at the time. The original Dr Mario game was ported for multiple game systems throughout the 90’s decade including Game Boy and Super Nintendo. The plot for the original Dr Mario game was basic and involved players utilizing colored capsules to kill viruses which was a pretty interesting concept. The plot for Dr Mario 64 from ‘01 was a bit different and also involved one of Mario’s arch-rivals known as Wario. While Wario attempted to steal multivitamins from Mario he eventually fails and ends up forming an alliance with him to deal with mutual enemies. The main antagonists for Dr Mario 64 included Rudy The Clown and Mad Scienstein who end up being the ones who actually steal the multivitamins; leading to players having to battle multiple foes from the Wario Land 3 game which was pretty interesting.
While Dr Mario 64 was a pretty coolest puzzle game it did not sell an enormous amount of copies following its release mainly due to the year that it was released. Dr Mario 64 came out the same year that the Nintendo GameCube was released which was 2001; by this time people had already lost interest in the N64 and were focusing on the PlayStation 2 which was released back November 2000. Puzzle games like Dr Mario 64 were not too common on the N64 between the ‘96-‘01 time period especially since there was more emphasis on 3D gaming with a few exceptions such as Capcom’s Magical Tetris Challenge from ‘98. Dr Mario 64 has to alternate endings depending on how players completed the game which gave it a higher replay value than the NES Prequel from 90’s which was seen a positive to some critics. If Dr Mario 64 came out a few years earlier than it did somewhere between ‘96-‘98 it college have been a slightly bigger attraction than it was in ‘01.
When it comes down to popular first person shooter games from the 90’s one of the few titles that people think aside from Doom ’93 and GoldenEye 007 is Duke Nukem 3D from 1996. As many people already know the Duke Nukem series began back in ’91 on MS-DOS and was followed by a sequel entitled Duke Nukem II released in ’93. The first two Duke Nukem games ended up becoming solid first person shooter titles in a era of gaming were the genre itself was not too popular. Following the release of Duke Nukem II we got Duke Nukem 3D created by video game developer 3D Realms. Duke Nukem 3D had multiple publishers since it was released on various game consoles such as MacSoft, GT Interactive Software, Piko Interactive and others depending on system it was ported to. The initial publisher for Duke Nukem 3D was MacSoft when it first appeared on the MS-DOS during ’96 and was a game that was critically acclaimed by many fans of the series. In Duke Nukem 3D players were responsible for destroying various types of enemies such as aliens & mutants while having access to a variety of weapons.
The type of weapons that players could acquire included pipe bombs, landmines, shotguns, pistols and even shrink rays while plowing through enemies in consecutive non-linear levels; each with ending with boss battles at the end of each episode. Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D consisted of episodes that contained a set of levels such as: LA Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse and Shrapnel City; for those who had access to the Atomic version of Duke Nukem 3D they could also The Birth episode as well. Aside from the gameplay one of the aspects of Duke Nukem 3D that people found intriguing was how the setting of the game was constantly changing. Players had travel to many places such as: space stations, military bases, cities and deserts to complete their missions while appreciating how some of the in-game level designs reflected real-life locations within the world. In addition, to having a variety of weapons to choose from players also had numerous accessories they could utilize that would help them complete each level with ease. Accessories featured in Duke Nukem 3D included jet packs, steroids, portable medkits, night vision goggles and even scuba gear in order to breathe underwater. In terms of quality Duke Nukem 3D was arguably a better game than Doom ’93 but not necessarily more popular.
Similar to the Doom game from ’93 Duke Nukem 3D had a basic plot that involved saving the earth. However, opposed to fighting off demons from the underworld players had to deal hordes homicidal aliens which made for a great science-fictional first person shooter game. Since its initial release on MS-DOS during the mid 90’s Duke Nukem 3D has appeared on various game console including the PS1, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Xbox 360 along with Android Mobile devices which is a testament to how popular the was. While its debatable on which version of Duke Nukem 3D was the best everyone can definitely agree that it was one of the few first shooters games from the 90’s that helped put the genre itself on the map going into the 00’s decade.
Metroid: The Other M was arguably one of the most popular entries of the Metroid see as it relates to the 10’s decade. Despite, not being quite as popular as the Metroid Prime series from ’02-’07 Metroid: The Other M was pretty unique as far as gameplay was concerned. In Metroid: The Other M players where able to utilize melee attacks along with utilizing fire power from a first person perspective. The idea of taking the 2D gameplay from some of the older Metroid games and mixing it with some of the first person perspective features from the Metroid Prime series made for an enjoy experience for those who had the game for the Nintendo Wii. Since the setting for the game occurred following the events of Super Metroid and prior to the events of Metroid Fusion some people have questioned whether or not the Other: M could have worked on the N64 between ’97-’00. Its obvious that the graphics for Metroid: The Other M would not have been nearly as good on the N64 as it was for the Wii console. However, Metroid: The Other M could have been a much bigger deal as a Nintendo 64 exclusive from the late 90’s than it was for the Wii console in 2010.
As many people know the Wii was backwards compatible with GameCube titles and players had the option of playing any of the Metroid Prime games on Nintendo’s seventh generation console during the early 10’s. Seeing that Metroid: The Other M was not quite as popular as the Metroid Prime trilogy not waiting to release the game as a Wii-U exclusive may have been a mistake on Nintendo’s part. However, the timeline for Metroid: The Other M would have made this game perfect for the N64 especially since it did not rely solely on first person shooter gameplay; that genre of gaming did not begin to skyrocket in popularity until the 00’s. While the melee aspect of Metroid: The Other M was not well received by some critics others believe that it should have been introduced way sooner than it was and doing it following the release Super Metroid from ’93 would have been cool to see back in the day. While the story for Other M was also subjected to criticism as well for being somewhat confusing the game itself was actually pretty decent. But in the eyes of many people Metroid: Other M is a game that should of came before the Prime trilogy not after it.
When we think about highly successful Zelda games that has been released on various Nintendo consoles for the past 30 years there are many games that comes to mind. The original Zelda game appeared on the NES back in ’86 and we also got to see Zelda II: Adventure Of Link the following year in ’87 which had gameplay that was different from its predecessor; Adventure Of Link is often viewed as the black sheep of the series because of its gameplay. By the time Zelda: Link To The Past was released for the SNES in ’91 it ended up becoming one of Nintendo’s most high profile SNES game of the 90’s decade. Since its release Zelda: Link To The Past ended up become one of the best selling titles for the SNES and ended up reaching over 4.6 million in sales. In fact, The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past ended up becoming the 7th best selling game for the SNES and is considered to be a legendary action-adventure game that still holds up to this day. Less than, two years later the world got to see the release of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in June 1993. Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda title to ever appear on Game Boy and was also highly successful. Critics praised the soundtrack & story for Link’s Awakening as it went on to sell over 3.8 million on Game Boy.
Following the initial success of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in ’93 the game was eventually ported for Game Boy Color in ’98; this was the same year that Ocarina Of Time was released for the Nintendo 64. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was arguably the best game within the entire series depending on who you ask. It felt like Nintendo gave new life to the series once it became 3D and it was noticeable in Ocarina Of Time. Features such as good storytelling, level design, robust gameplay, optional side-quests in addition to challenging boss battles made Ocarina Of Time a timeless N64 classic. Since its initial release back in November 1998 Ocarina Of Time has reached over 7.6 million in worldwide sales for the N64 and became the fourth best selling game on that console. Zelda Ocarina Of Time was eventually followed more than a year latter with the release of Majora’s Mask for the N64 in 2000.
As far as visuals and gameplay was concerned Majora’s Mask was similar to Ocarina Of Time but the game had a notice darker tone. It should also be noted that opposed to having Ganondorf as the main antagonist Majora’s Mask saw the debut of a new villain named Skull Kid. Majora’s Mask was a game that also ended up becoming highly successful and reached over 6.3 million copies in sales for the N64. Despite, not selling quite as much as Zelda: Ocarina Of Time it was still impressive to know that Majora’s Mask ended up becoming 12th best selling game on the N64. While there have been some other highly successful Zelda games from other decades such as the first NES games from the 80’s it seemed like they were outshined by the installments for the SNES, Game Boy and the N64 from the 90’s. In the 00’s Majora’s Mask along with Zelda: Twilight Princess from ’06 were also very impressive and stood out in a time where the shooter genre of gaming began to surge in popularity.
In the 10’s decade we got to see the release of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch; the game became way more popular than the likes of Hyrule Warriors and Zelda: Skyward Sword. In addition, we got to see a digitally remastered Switch version of Link’s Awakening from ’93 with 3D graphics and backgrounds during September 2019 which was pretty cool. While everyone has their favorites on which games within the Zelda series are the best there is no question that some of the most iconic titles Nintendo made definitely came from the between the mid-80’s and early-00’s time period.
As far as pro wrestling is concerned in relation to the 90’s WCW Nitro was one of the most popular television shows of that time period along the likes of Monday Night Raw. As far as ratings were concerned WCW Nitro was many people who were fans of pro wrestling between 1997-1999 were on the edge of their seats during the Monday Night Wars. Between ’97-’99 Monday Nitro was considered to be very popular especially after the formation of the nWo in July 1996 consisting of Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. As the nWo stable became more popular ratings started to skyrocket on WCW Monday Nitro which was broadcasted on TNT during late 90’s. As far as viewership is concerned many people would argue that 1997-1998 was the best years that WCW had. For a majority of ’98 WCW Monday Nitro had higher ratings than WWF Raw Is War up until around November of that year.
The WCW Nitro video game was pretty cool despite not being quite as popular as WCW/nWo Revenge for the Nintendo 64. WCW Nitro had a stacked all-star roster with big names such Hollywood Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, Lex Luger, The Giant, Eddy Guerrero and many others. The inclusion of game modes such as single player tournament and a versus mode were features that people liked along with the fact that each character had their own move set. The ability to unlock secret characters by utilizing cheat codes or playing through tournament mode was also added to its replay value despite the not having entrances for any of the wrestlers. The characters rants from the top wrestlers in the game were also quite entertaining possibly even more than the WCW/nWo Thunder game which came out for the PS1 and the N64 in 1999. When it came down to pro-wrestling games in general THQ had produced many memorable titles and some would definitely argue that WCW Nitro was one of them.
When we think about classic video games that appeared on the Nintendo 64 between the mid to late 90’s various titles come to mind such as Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and many others. However, titles such as Jet Force Gemini which many retro gamers were fans back in the day does not get talked about as much. For those who do not know Jet Force Gemini was developed and published by Rare and initially released in America during October 11th of 1999. When it comes down to action-adventure their person shooter games Jet Force Gemini was ahead of its time especially since that genre did not achieve mainstream popularity until around the mid to late 00’s . Jet Force Gemini had a decent story that involved trying to defeat the main antagonist Mizar and his group of drones as they have enslaved a race of people known as Tribals. The visuals for Jet Force Gemini was probably among the best that we had seen in any N64 game during the 90’s.
As far as top-tier shooter games for the N64 is concerned some would put Jet Force Gemini on the same level as GoldenEye 007 from 1997. However, GoldenEye 007 sold at least eight million copies worldwide in the Nintendo 64 while Jet Force Gemini managed to reach over one million. Despite, not being within the top ten in relation to best selling games for the N64 it was a game that deserved some type sequel either on GameCube or Nintendo Wii during the 2000’s. Either way, Jet Force Gemini will always be remembered as a classic by retro gamers in relation to the Nintendo 64.