Related Videos

Top 10 Hardest N64 Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Michael Wynands They might make you want to smash your single-joystick controller into a million pieces, but you just keep coming back to them. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest N64 Games For this list, we’re revisiting some of the hardest games ever produced for the N64. We’re not interested in games that are hard because of bad programming, horrible level design or buggy controls. We’re looking for titles that are intentionally challenging and push players to their limits in order to beat the game. Special thanks to our users Mathieu Pothier, MikeyP, Jonathan Ngu, and John MasterFall for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Hardest N64 Games


They might make you want to smash your single-joystick controller into a million pieces, but you just keep coming back to them. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest N64 Games.

For this list, we’re revisiting some of the hardest games ever produced for the N64. We’re not interested in games that are hard because of bad programming, horrible level design or buggy controls. We’re looking for titles that are intentionally challenging and push players to their limits in order to beat the game.

#10: “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” (1997)

Take the fast paced action and gore of “Doom”, add the exploratory nature of “Tomb Raider”, wrap it in some of the best graphics a console could offer in 1997 and you get... well, something totally new, refreshing and challenging. In this genre changing FPS, your environment is large and eternally shrouded in fog, keeping the adrenaline high as deadly foes come charging towards you from seemingly out of nowhere. A fun shooter in its own right, “Turok” raised the bar with complex level design, tricky yet satisfying puzzles, well-hidden collectibles and daunting labyrinths.

#9: “Banjo Tooie” (2000)

A sequel to the 1998 hit “Banjo Kazooie”, this action platformer sold over 3 million copies, and solidified this bear and bird combo as one of the N64’s most beloved franchises. No matter how tough they made it in Banjo Tooie, we couldn’t give up on them. The levels were huge and interconnected, making all those pesky “jiggies” even harder to find than in the original. Full of difficult tasks like racing Canary Mary in Cloud Cuckooland and the epic final boss fight/trivia with Gruntilda, this was the type of game where you had to assemble a team of neighborhood kids to beat it.

#8: “Blast Corps” (1997)

Time limits in action puzzlers are always stressful, but a runaway nuclear carrier really puts the pressure on. In Blast Corps, you’re switching between 8 different vehicles, ranging from a bulldozer to an armored mech, as you attempt to clear the path of this rolling doomsday device by destroying buildings, bridging gaps and moving other objects in the environment. The difficulty increases with each level. Smash crates, switch vehicles, fill a hole in the ground, line up boats to create a makeshift bridge and move on to the next obstacle... By the last few stages, serious problem solving skills are required to avoid catastrophe.

#7: “Star Wars Episode I: Racer (1999)

Say what you will about “The Phantom Menace”, it made every kid want a pod racer... no matter how hard it looked. This game feels fast... really fast. Tearing across icy, sandy, and swampy alien race tracks, the turns are sharp, the drops harrowing and the competition fierce. The AI racers are aggressive, always looking to bump you as they pass, setting you off-course and damaging your pod racer. Wide tracks turn into narrow tunnels with sudden splits and devastating obstacles as you struggle to keep your racer in one piece. The only easy thing to do in this game was crash.

#6: “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” (2001)

Ever wonder “what’s Diddy Kong’s squirrel buddy Conker up to when he’s not racing?” Well, a lot of rated M for mature behavior apparently. This action-platformer feels a lot like an adult “Donkey Kong 64”, and seems like it was brought up to an adult difficulty level to match. The game’s plot takes you through all types of wacky settings as you navigate tricky obstacles such as a hallway of laser tripwires, infuriatingly tough platforming and some pretty badass boss battles. Escaping Omaha Beach under heavy artillery fire is no walk in the park either, nor was the hoverboard-over-lava section.

#5: “Mischief Makers” (1997)

An oddball gem developed by Treasure, Mischief Makers was the first 2D side-scroller to be released on the N64 and is now remembered as criminally underrated. Admittedly, total playing time feels short once you’ve mastered the game. But what it lacks in length, it makes up for with its unique, challenging gameplay and steep learning curve. In true Treasure style, you’re thrown into action so hectic it verges on being overwhelming, all the while trying to solve complex puzzles in order to move forward. The distinct “grab and shake” mechanic was also a totally new experience for even the most seasoned 2D side-scroller enthusiast.

#4: F-Zero X (1998)

At 60fps, this felt like the fastest racing game ever in 1998. The developers actually opted to decrease the quality of the graphics in favor of a high frame rate and lightning fast gameplay. And it shows. Your reflexes needed to be razor sharp if you had any hope of winning the Intergalactic Grand Prix. The game was praised for its highly responsive controls which were essential to navigating the corkscrews, sharp turns and gravity defying tracks. The collision physics were also way ahead of their time. With every other racer trying to knock you into oblivion, that was both a blessing and a curse.

#3: “Perfect Dark (2000)

Oh Joanna Dark… Just when we thought no one could steal the title of most smoulderingly sexy N64 secret agent from James Bond, you stole our hearts with your futuristic spy capers. A spiritual successor to the wildly successful GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark isn’t actually too hard on regular difficulty. On Perfect Agent however, the mission objectives are nearly impossible, taking GoldenEye’s 00-Agent to the next level. You’re facing tougher, strategic AI and alien enemies that can kill you with a single slap. Perfect Agent, without a doubt, was the greatest test any first person shooter fan could face on the N64.

#2: “Space Station Silicon Valley” (1998)

Hard… and deeply strange. A bad acid trip, tainted by mad cow disease, while watching terminator is the only way this game was conceived. Wait… developed by an early version of Rockstar North? Oh, this is actually kind of tame. You play as a microchip and you possess dead robotic animals. Each level is unique in its design and challenges, requiring a number of specialized robo-animal corpses in order to solve the puzzles and complete the usually twisted objectives. In Fat Bear Mountain, for example, you’re told to “kill the angry animals”… cute. Don’t let the graphics fool you, it’s tough and not for kids.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Shadow Man” (1999)
“Quest 64” (1998)
“Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire” (1996)
“Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber” (2000)

#1: “Jet Force Gemini” (1999)

It’s a shooter, a puzzler, a platformer and an exploration game. Using three playable characters with distinct abilities who are separated at the beginning of the game, you fight through massive, well designed worlds, all of which need to be revisited once your characters have reunited to unlock doors, retrieve items and move forward. Tribals populate the worlds, and they all need to be saved without a single casualty, just to get to the final level. As for the final boss battle, it’s brutal, exhausting but deeply satisfying. There were some challenging titles released on the N64, and then there was this game, in which Rare threw everything they had at you.

Do you agree with our list? What’re some of the toughest N64 games you’ve ever played? For more memorable top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs