During its lifecycle, the N64 produced some undeniable classics. From 3D platformers (arguably the greatest ever made) to action adventures to the ultimate in four player shooters, the console boasts some incredible titles, most notably those produced in-house or by partner companies like Rare.
But what of the second tier games; those less fondly remembered by the great game playing public? Aside from the main roster, the N64 was home to a bevvy of interesting curios and downright forgotten classics that are due a critical and commercial reassessment.
Some of these have since been ported to other consoles (with varying degrees of success); others are available only through prohibitively expensive second hand sellers or hooky emulators. These games should be celebrated, though, as examples of what the beloved console had to offer beyond the obvious.
A number of these games may not hold up too well, what with the N64’s limited graphical power and at times baffling controller. With the Switch booming and the appetite for retro stuff ever high, these titles are still well worth playing for a 2020 audience.
10. Mace: The Dark Age
The N64’s key fighting game is the original Smash Bros, which of course spawned an incredibly successful franchise. For those who prefer their beat em ups with a bit more brutality, there’s Mace: The Dark Age, an arcade port which will satisfy the blood lust of any old school gamer.
Mace: The Dark Age comes with a story of sorts surrounding an ancient order sent to take out a dark conjurer, but that’s not too important - key to the game’s success is the arcade-honed tight fighting gameplay, and the impressive visuals, which hold up remarkably well for a game from 1997. There’s more than a touch of the Mortal Kombats here, but as far as violent N64 brawlers go, Mace is the better choice, with the interactive stages a further plus.
The game never spawned the franchise the developers might have liked, but Mace: The Dark Age as a one off remains one of the better fighting games on the N64. Granted, there may be a pretty small selection to choose from, but to dismiss this as a Kombat copyist is to miss out on a great experience.