Top 10 N64 Games That Have Aged Badly

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Top 10 N64 Games That Have Aged Badly

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
We're not saying these N64 games are bad, just that time hasn't been kind to them. For this list, we'll be looking at games from the Nintendo 64 era that have aged much worse than others, whether it be due to dated graphics or controls. Our countdown includes “Gex: Enter the Gecko” (1998), “Glover” (1998), “Donkey Kong 64” (1999), “Tony Hawk's Pro Skater” (2000), “Castlevania” (1999) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Johnny Reynolds

Top 10 N64 Games That Have Aged Badly


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 N64 Games That Have Aged Badly.

For this list, we’ll be looking at games from the Nintendo 64 that have aged much worse than others whether it be due to dated graphics or controls. We’re not saying these games are bad, just that time hasn’t been kind to them.

Which N64 game do you think has aged the worst? Let us know in the comments below.

#10: “Gex: Enter the Gecko” (1998)


We’ll admit that Gex was never the most popular of the 3D platforming mascots. But that genre was the FPS of its time and “Gex” was still better than others. The gecko’s 2nd adventure and first in 3D launched on the N64 and PlayStation. Nintendo’s version was seen as lesser back then and that truth has only been more solidified with the passage of time. Certain textures are blurry, the levels aren’t very interesting, and MY GOD the camera. Plus, the hero spouts old pop culture references pretty much every time he does anything and they only grow cringier with each passing year.

#9: “F-Zero X” (1998)


There’s no doubt about it: “F-Zero” is one of Nintendo’s toughest franchises. However, blazing through tracks at lightning speed in timeless 16-bit or the higher quality 3D of the GameCube is much more worthwhile than this. The number of racers was significantly increased from the SNES version. But that just makes for a lot more obstacles as you try to get a handle on the dated controls. A lack of graphical fidelity obviously doesn’t make it easy to master its courses either. It still holds the franchise’s signature speed. But when paired with how the game has aged, that isn’t really a good thing.

#8: “Glover” (1998)


In a strange twist, the N64 version of this platformer was much more well-received than the PlayStation one. But there are still a few elements that earn it a spot on this list. Players control one of the most boring character designs ever, a glove, and are tasked with getting a ball to the end of each stage. While you can change what type of ball it is to get through puzzles, it’s still basically all just one big escort mission. Even if you like the trial and error that comes from pushing, bouncing, or throwing a ball through obstacles, its levels are fairly empty in terms of environmental features. Overall, it’s just much more bland than most 3D platformers on the console.

#7: “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” (1997)


The first “Turok” gained praise for its gameplay and graphics in 1997, but it’s because of those very same things that it finds itself here. It follows the titular warrior who protects the barrier between Earth and the Lost Land, which is swarming with monsters. It was incredibly fun utilizing Turok’s brutal arsenal against these monsters, though it’s a good thing a remaster was released in 2018. Walking with the C buttons instead of the analog stick and jumping with the R button definitely seem like strange choices these days. Dull levels with muted colors and distance fog don’t help its case either.

#6: “Donkey Kong 64” (1999)


We hate to say anything negative about Rare’s games from the 90s or Nintendo’s great ape, but we can’t deny how poorly “Donkey Kong 64” has aged. Most of the developer’s games from this period come with a ton of different collectibles. But the team went overboard here. With five playabale characters, that means exploring each level five times so that you can collect five times the trinkets, which come to a baffling 3,821 in total. Its presentation, from its graphics to its music (not counting the abysmal DK Rap), is still top quality Rare. But the fact that it’s so tedious to play just makes that hurt more.

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


This platformer puts players in the shoes of Evo, a microchip-sized robot. Evo must take control of various technologically-powered animals, like a rocket-powered Husky with skis for feet, to solve puzzles and stop the space station from crashing into Earth. Not all animals are created equal, however, as some are much more fun to play as than others, especially today. Its character models resemble plasticine, which was charming back then but just makes it hard to tell what animal you’re playing as now as they all just look like shiny globs. Silly humor still makes the game enjoyable, but there isn’t much worth going back for.

#4: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” (2000)


Setting aside the fact that the N64 version obviously didn’t look as good as the PlayStation one, the first entry in the beloved skating franchise just hasn’t aged well in general. Other than the graphics looking pretty poor by today’s standards, the first game became dated almost as soon as the sequel came out. Better, more immersive levels made the original seem confined and the ability to seamlessly string combos together through the introduction of the manual made it a ton more fun to play. If someone had never tried the series, we’d recommend skipping the first one altogether and just starting with THPS 2. Or the 2020 remaster.

#3: “Body Harvest” (1998)


For its time, “Body Harvest” was a pretty stellar action game. It follows a genetically enhanced soldier that travels between time periods, like 1960s America and WWI-era Greece, to stop an alien invasion from harvesting humanity. The third-person shooter mechanics were incredibly fun, though they’d naturally take some getting used to today. But the element that has made “Body Harvest” age so badly is how it looks. Wide, empty areas with distant fog that rivals even the likes of “Silent Hill” makes the different time periods and locations look identical. And the character models are so blocky that they look more like random shapes stuck together than anything else.

#2: “Castlevania” (1999)


Although it didn’t reach the height of its predecessors, or the entries on the PlayStation, the first 3D “Castlevania” was initially pretty fantastic. Its atmosphere was suitably spooky, its sound design was impeccable, and the dual protagonists played differently enough to warrant playing as both. But oof, is it rough to play these days? The troublesome camera is scarier than any in-game enemy, though that’s mostly because they look laughable now. Fuzzy textures make character models unimpressive, particularly during cutscenes. All that on top of the early 3D controls that give any game from the era a slight difficulty curve.

#1: “GoldenEye 007” (1997)


“GoldenEye 007” is one of the most important multiplayer games ever created. It paved the way for the future of console shooters. But that doesn’t mean it has aged well. The lack of a second joystick meant either shooting straight forward as you strafe with the C buttons or pressing the R button to use a crosshair that made you stop moving. And the “realistic” graphics now look like a blocky, blurry mess, making it look much worse than games of the same period that used cartoonish art styles. We’d still enjoy ourselves through nostalgia playing today. But for anyone who didn’t play it back in the day, picking it up now after playing two decades worth of shooters would be painful.
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