The Best N64 RPGs

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The Nintendo 64, released in 1996, was Nintendo’s jump from 2D gaming to 3D. Gamers could now experience their favorite worlds in full 3D, giving players an even more immersive experience. Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom have never looked better. The controller was also a draw to the system, with its weird design and funky control scheme. The library of games on the N64 was also extensive, showing off some of the best games that are still beloved by fans. Some of the best franchises released their first, or most famous titles on this console as well, such as Animal Crossing in Japan, Smash Bros., and Ocarina of Time.

RPGs have always been a fan-favorite among hardcore fans. Being able to explore strange and mystical worlds has always been a draw for fans looking to escape real-life for a while. Being able to max out a character’s stats, find rare items, and meet interesting the inhabitants of a fantastical world has only gotten more exciting with each new console generation. The N64 brought players some of their favorite series’ to a new 3D world, with even more to explore, fight, and interact with. The library of N64 RPGs is awesome, giving fans different types of adventures to follow and fall in love with.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Probably one of the most celebrated titles in the Zelda franchise, Ocarina of Time was Zelda’s first leap from 2D adventures to 3D. Following Link once again, a new evil force is looming over Hyrule and Link must grow-up to deal with this fierce threat. Every part of this game is a masterpiece, from the dungeons, environments, characters, and combat.

The main gimmick of this game is time travel. Link must travel between being a child and an adult to save Princess Zelda, Hyrule, and his friends. The music in this title is also iconic, creating a beautiful atmosphere for players. Ocarina of Time could not be recommended enough.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

The sequel to the critically acclaimed Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask takes a darker approach to the story of Link. After Zelda returns Link to being a child, Navi gets lost and Link sets out to find his fairy friend. On his journey, Link is mysteriously transported to Termina, an ominous world under attack from Skullkid. Link must save Termina within three days or the moon will crash into the world and destroy everything.

This title uses a similar time travel technique from the previous title, but it only sets Link back three days. Masks are the biggest new mechanic in this game, allowing Link to gain special abilities or transform into a Zora, Goron, or a Deku Scrub. This is another wonderful title that needs to be played by everyone.

Paper Mario

Mario is back for another role-playing adventure with this masterpiece of a game, but this time it is beautifully styled as a crossover between a 2D platformer and turn-based RPG where everything is made of paper. Although Paper Mario is not a difficult RPG by any means, it is still a blast to play for newcomers and hardcore players alike.

Battles take place similarly to other turn-based RPGs. Players will encounter an enemy in the world and the player’s view shifts into a battle mode where participants pick moves to use each turn. The art in this game is fantastic, spawning a whole new Mario series that carries on to this day.

Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

Another title in the Ogre series, this entry follows Magnus Gallant as he joins the revolution during a bloody civil war in order to change the course of his land. This title plays similarly to other Ogre games, although there are some tweaks.

Ogre Battle 64 plays as a real-time RPG, consisting of an isometric map that the leader can move units along. When units encounter one another, their attacks take place in real-time, improving the flow of the game compared to earlier entries. Ogre Battle 64 is the best title for new players of this series since it is more streamlined for mainstream play. It is a definite must-play for fans of real-time strategy.

Pokémon Stadium

The most popular game series in the world has its first console entry on the Nintendo 64 with the amazing Pokémon Stadium. This title is for fans of battling, as it only contains the battling element from the handheld games. The lack of a story or adventure section does not bring this game down though.

The Pokémon look fantastic on the N64, giving players a more HD look at their favorite Pokémon that could not be achieved on the GameBoy. This game also allows players to connect their GameBoy cartridge to the controller and take their party to the big screen. Pokémon Stadium is a tribute to fans of the series.

  • Updated September 2, 2020