by Morgan Heetbrink
This game is an undisputed classic. It was even released for the Nintendo DS with a few changes. There’s nothing like jumping into pictures and collecting stars, finding the 8 red coins in every world, and throwing Bowser into a bomb. The cool thing about this game is all of the different conventions of each world. In one world you’re on platforms surrounded by lava. If you fall in, you get burned and lose health. In another world, you’re inside a moving clock, but if you jump in at midnight, the clock is stopped. This game is the ultimate for anyone with a short attention span. If you get tired of one world, there’s always the other 14 you can hop right into.
Anyone who didn’t play Pokémon Snap when they were younger probably thinks it’s the stupidest game in the world. But if you did snap pictures of Pokémon at the age of 10, you know it’s actually the best game ever. Why? Because who doesn’t love taking pictures of Pokémon all day? Spoiler alert! The goal of the game is to get a picture of Mew, but it’s hardly the point. Your real goal is to get the best picture of every Pokémon featured in the game and never hear Professor Oak say, “You were close!” Not only does Professor Oak have some killer spoken lines, but the game encourages hitting Pokémon with apple-shaped Pokémon food and stunning them with little green balls. What’s not to love?
The classic MarioKart provides an endless argument with friends over who is actually the best at this game. Who hasn’t spent hours beating every course at every speed? As a kid, I thought that the backwards courses were a hidden gem. As an adult, I still think that. Despite the fact that there are only 16 courses in the game, it never got old. Actually, scratch that. Sherbet Land got old because I could never stay on the slippery ice. Don’t ask me why.
I think I can reasonably say we all love Zelda. The whole franchise is pretty masterful, but I’d say that Ocarina of Time was when it really took off. There were so many things we loved about this game, so I’ll just touch on a couple, starting with the ocarina. You play a song and magic things happen. That’s pretty cool. Also, it probably skyrocketed the sales of ocarinas in the real world. As featured in the picture, another awesome thing about this game was Epona. For some reason, it was impossible not to develop an emotional attachment to this horse. Seriously, look at how majestic it is. The only downside to Ocarina of time was Navi, the incredibly annoying fairy. But just think of how many hilarious jokes have come from that one.
Another classic game! Super Mario Bros was practically the beginning of an era. Now we have Melee and Brawl too. But I still think the original is the best. There’s nothing like a game featuring good old-fashioned button mashing. Even though newer versions brought more characters and more setting, I have a soft spot in my heart for the mediocre graphics and simplicity of the original version.
Banjo Kazooie isn’t too far from the Mario-themed games, but it does bring something new to the table. Banjo Kazooie brought more of a challenge to gamers used to controlling Mario’s wall jumps and ground pounds. I always appreciated the fact that the game utilized the powers of both Banjo and Kazooie. There were a lot of conventions in the game that made it special, like the trivia-style battles with Gruntilda. At the time, the graphics and music were pretty unique to this game. It was a new take on a similar format to Super Mario 64, but it was different enough to be just as fun. This was a game I played again and again, and then again with friends from college.
Mario Party 2 was the beginning and the end of successful Mario Party games in my personal opinion. Mario Party 1 had some flaws and could get a bit slow. But Mario Party 2 was well-paced. It also had arguably the best mini games at the end of each round. Even when you don’t have a group of friends with you, it’s fun to go to mini game land and practice all of the games. Then when your friends do come, you can slaughter them (in the game of course). Aside from the “rolling the dice” aspect, this game has less chance in it, making it a great game for players who appreciate games of skill. No matter how many new versions come out, this one will still be my favorite.
What games from Nintendo 64 do you remember loving? What do you still play? Comment below!