When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: $9
One of the most popular Zelda installments of all time is also one of the most affordable. Ocarina of Time, like Link to the Past before it made wonderful transition for the Zelda series–this time into 3d. Being able to see visible emotion on the characters’ faces–although minimal–added so much to this game and made for a once in a life time gaming experience. If you have an N64 and enjoy action-RPG gameplay, this is a must-buy.
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Star Fox 64: $8
Just recently I revisited all the old Star Fox games. I was surprised how dated the original SNES game looks, but at the same time, impressed with the slick presentation of Star Fox 64. With it’s pure shooting action, it is the preferred Star Fox game of the series when compared to it’s Zelda-like Star Fox Adventures, mixed-mission-type Star Fox Assault, and the DS version that requires awkward stylus controls. Star Fox 64 remains an affordable classic that is still one of my favorite N64 games.
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GoldenEye 007: $8
This groundbreaking title in the console FPS genre looks tired by today’s standards, but remains a solid value for top-notch shooting goodness. Goldeneye 007 remains a nostalgic treat for Nintendo 64 owners, but if you want cutting edge FPS, you’ll obviously want to save your money for a newer title. Regardless, Goldeneye had one of the best control schemes for a console FPS, had a great storyline for single-player and some great maps for multiplayer action as well.
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Perfect Dark: $7
Rare took the Goldeneye 007 engine to the next level with Perfect Dark resulting in one of the hottest games of 1999. Not only did Perfect Dark max out the capabilities of the N64 and its expansion pack, but it also had a steller story and some great weapons. The game was so good, even the XBox 360 sequel that was years in development couldn’t live up to the high expectations the original set in the minds of its fans. After a number of years, this classic is quite common and is one of the best values on the Nintendo 64.
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Wave Race 64: $6
Wave Race is another one of those great games that were made even better on the Gamecube, but Wave Race 64 holds up better than some others and is a great showpiece for the N64.
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Excitebike 64: $7
Like the classic game of the same name, Excitebike 64 is a dirtbike racer — and is quite a good one.. It features 20 tracks include indoor and outdoor courses, stunt areas, uphill climb challenges, licensed bikes and riders, a four-player multiplayer mode, and outstanding graphics. It really is exactly as you’d expect — Excitebike in 3D. To this day, a good dirtbike racer is hard to find, so Excitebike 64 is an excellent choice for those on a budget.
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Banjo-Kazooie represents Rare’s most popular original characters (of which there are very few), and harken back to the first wave of quality 3D platformers. If you were a fan of Mario 64, then it’s pretty apparent that you’re going to like Banjo-Kazooie as well. While on the sruface, it is a Mario 64 clone, it has it’s own charm to make it a worthwhile venture. If you end up liking Banjo-Kazooie (or already own it), the sequel, Banjo-Tooie, is also quite affordable for a few more dollars.
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Blast Corps: $7
Released to very little media hype at launch, Blast Corps quickly won the hearts of N64 owners by offering a well-rounded combination of destructive gameplay and intelligent puzzles, topped off with a rocking soundtrack and good graphics. This favorite from the folks at Rareware is one of the best N64 games not to receive a sequel or remake, so it is an especially interesting game to pick up for the N64.
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Pokemon Puzzle League: $6
Don’t be scared off by the Pokemon in the name. Sure, Nintendo added some Pokemon characters in the game, but at its core, Puzzle League (also known as Panel De Pon and Tetris Attack) is one of the best block-based puzzlers of all time. A few dollars is a small price to pay if you don’t have Tetris Attack on the SNES.
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Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: $7
Bottom line with this game: If you like Star Wars and you like flight-based shooters, you will like Rogue Squadron.
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A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask: $17
Majora’s Mask didn’t go over quite as well as most other Zelda installments, but if you are a fan of the series, the cartridge is quite affordable.
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Other Cheap Favorites:
Wipeout 64: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Shadow Man: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
F-Zero X: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Rocket: Robot on Wheels: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Rayman 2: The Great Escape: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Turok: Rage Wars: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
007: The World is Not Enough: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
Spider-Man: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Wetrix: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Body Harvest: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Diddy Kong Racing: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Monaco Grand Prix: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Top Gear Rally: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Glover: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
BattleTanx: Global Assault: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Pilotwings 64: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Quake II: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Vigilante 8: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Jet Force Gemini: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Bust-A-Move 2 Arcade Edition: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
My Starter Picks For $50 Budget
If I personally only had $50 to spend on starting out a Nintendo 64 collection, here would be my top picks (in order of priority):
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: $9
- Star Fox 64: $8
- Perfect Dark: $7
- Blast Corps: $7
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: $7
- Pokemon Puzzle League: $6
- Jet Force Gemini: $6
- Total: $50