It has been revealed that Nintendo of Japan have recently filed a patent for “N64” suggesting that a Nintendo 64 MINI system will be unveiled either this year or the next. This added further fuel to the rumour as it followed the unearthing of Nintendo of Europe trademarking an N64 controller symbol, which could possibly adorn the box art for the potential mini console.
There are plenty of N64 classics for Nintendo to choose for the system, and I decided to compile a list of potential titles I’d like to see for the system, based on how I feel about the games, their importance, and the likelihood that we’d see them included.
Super Mario 64 – Including this title would be the most obvious thing to do, after all it revolutionised 3D platforming and 3D gaming in general. It helps that the game has aged fairly well all things considered, and that a new generation of gamers could experience it for themselves (and get to lob baby penguins off the side of cliffs-don’t act like you didn’t try it.)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Another definitive classic for the system, if Mario 64 revolutionised 3D platforming, then OOT did it for 3D adventure games. Though a tad overrated considering the series entries that followed, this is still a thoroughly engaging story with great dungeons, music and enough collectibles to keep you playing for hours. Nintendo never miss out on an opportunity to sell some Zelda, so this would definitely make the cut.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Though Ocarina of Time often overshadows it, MM is a superior title in most aspects; gameplay, story, characters and collectibles. This unexpectedly dark and gripping entry pushed the capabilities of the N64 due to its use of the Memory Expansion Pack and has become a revered classic in recent years. Including it due to its sequel status to OOT would be an easy choice, and I can imagine the fan outcry if it wasn’t, just as when Chrono Trigger was omitted from the SNES Mini.
Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 3 – Who doesn’t love Mario party? (I mean asides from those who played the recent entry and its lacklustre gameplay or those who played the N64 original and almost burnt a hole in their hand.) These two titles are still fun even to this day and would surely be included, if only to encourage consumers to buy extra N64 Mini controllers for some multiplayer action. As would…
Mario Kart 64 – This classic cart racer would feel right at home on the N64 Mini, due to its classic status. The fond memories of destroying memories with red shells and signature racetracks such as Wario Stadium and Peach’ Castle still resonate today. Nintendo including it could add variety to the line-up, giving a line to racing lovers and Mario fans alike, so its inclusion is likely.
Paper Mario – Alright, this is the last Mario title I swear. The second Mario themed RPG, this entry could provide players with a longer title to experience. The SNES Mini was littered with RPGs, but the N64 has a decidedly limited catalogue for those-including Paper Mario could help to fill the void. It helps that the game is a lot of fun and has that witty dialogue that would become synonymous with the Paper franchise.
Starfox 64 – Released as Lylat Wars 64 here in the UK due to a rights issue regarding the name, this space shooter would feel right at home as an N64 classic, due to its great gameplay and importance within the Starfox franchise. Nintendo attempted to give it a pseudo-remake for the WII u in Starfox Zero to mixed results, but the original still holds a place in many gamers’ hearts. Would be interesting to see if the N64 Mini controllers had some sort of rumble feature, especially owing to how a Rumble Pak was included with copies of the game.
Wave Race 64 – A common title to find used on eBay, this ocean-based racing title would be an easy choice for the N64 Mini to fulfil the sports game quota. It helps that the title is also pretty fun and would help to boost the number of titles the console could offer. It’s a first party title that could easily see its way onto the system.
Super Smash Bros – Though its successors were better in almost every regard, having this included would mean that Smash fans and lovers of beat-em-ups could rejoice. Including it as a legacy title would be a nice touch from Nintendo, and with the upcoming Switch Smash title, could turn a few heads of those who never experienced Nintendo’s first 3D console.
Donkey Kong 64 – The collectathon that never ends, DK’s first foray into 3D would surely keep consumers playing for hours as they marathon their way through countless Banana coins and bad rap songs. Since they had Donkey Kong Country on the SNES and have made waves with the Switch remaster of Tropical Freeze, having this guy go ape on the N64 would be a synch.
The uncanny valley of Rare titles…
Currently, a handful of classics now belong to Microsoft, who brought out Rare back in 2002. This would have to result in a negotiation to sublicense these titles (most of which were featured on Rare Replay back in 2015.) There’s also Goldeneye 64, which is a licensing mess that likely won’t see the light of day, but if we did, people would lose their shit. I have decided to list these separately, as their inclusion, whilst unlikely, would be welcome.
Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie – These platforming gems paved the way and inspired many modern titles, particularly Yooka-Laylee, which acts as a spiritual successor. Though Nuts and Bolts was trash, these two titles still hold up, and still delight in their whimsy and charm.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day – This deserves to be included for its vile humour alone and would surely raise the age rating of the mini console due to its raunchy and racy jokes and gameplay. Initially a generic cute platforming title, Rare decided to revamp it into the cult classic it is today. Used and new copies of this game sell for ridiculous amounts on eBay, so like Earthbound on the SNES Mini, this would be welcome for those who could never afford to play it.
Diddy Kong Racing – Who doesn’t love cart racing, and unlike Mario 64, this title is a bit wackier, and revered for its gameplay and a surprisingly solid story mode. Maybe this one could be included over the others, due to Diddy being a Nintendo character, but I imagine there are still issue involved.
GoldenEye 64 – Yeah, I know it’ll never be included, but a man can dream dammit! This FPS revolutionised gaming and multiplayer, and as such including it would be a marvel to behold, much like how Starfox 2 was included as a bonus for the SNES Classic.
Well there you have it, what titles would you include? It’d make for a fun discussion with friends, and no doubt the internet will continue speculating until an official announcement is made.
By HW Reynolds
Images courtesy of Nintendo/Rare