For gamers upon release, the Nintendo 64 signified the birth of a new era for video games, providing some of the most beloved entries for iconic franchises like Pokemon, Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. These games transcend age, gender or heritage and are still enjoyed by millions of fans today.
Now, on Father’s Day, many fathers and their children will play to spend some quality time together. Whether your dad is a total stranger to games or the inspiration behind your love for them, there are several great N64 titles to enjoy with dads of all skill levels; take it easy with him for a day.
ten Super Smash Bros. Melee – The Best of Fighting Games
There are few fighting games that match the charm and competitiveness of Super Smash Bros. The commands are simple enough that spamming can sometimes be a viable strategy, but series experts will tell you that Smash is much more than button mashing, unless you’re looking for a “combo wombo” straight off the stage.
If you want a quick match that you can pick up and put down, then this is definitely the pick for you. It’s easy enough for any dad to play and play, and what better way to learn a game quickly than by losing horribly to someone younger than you?
9 Pokemon Stadium – Sweet Controller Sharing
If you’re more interested in teaming up with your dad against a common enemy, then Pokemon Stadium offers a slow, steady pace for dad to catch up on type advantages and the best rental Pokemon to choose from. You don’t need a second N64 controller to play this one, although there are some great one-on-one mini-games worth playing if you have an extra controller lying around.
For those who want to dive into mini-games, try Sushi-Go-Round or Clefairy Says for fun, laughs, and a bit of confusion. For more traditional Pokémon battles, the Gym Leader Castle will provide a fun gauntlet of challenges to complete with Dad.
8 Donkey Kong 64 – antics & banana peels
Donkey Kong and his family are an eccentric side-show with more appeal to dads than their childish appearance suggests. Donkey Kong features a tag-in mechanic to switch between different members of the DK family as you unlock them throughout the bizarre story. This mechanic provides a fun way to trade playtime and take a moment to soak up the fantasy setting.
Be aware that to enjoy the wacky world, you will need to use the N64 Expansion Pak, which fixes a revolutionary bug that would render your cartridge useless. Once your game is set up, dive into this nostalgic 3D ocean and let it transport you to a simpler time with charming polygons and pixelated primates.
seven Bomberman 64 – Bombs and board games
The first 3D Bomberman in the series, Bomberman 64 built on the success of Atomic Bomberman by introducing another dimension to games. Bomberman hits the sweet spot when it comes to appealing to all skill levels, as the single-player mode ramps up the difficulty to give players time to master their strategies.
Once you and your dad understand the story, you can enter the multiplayer mode and test your skills by strategically placing your bombs to stun your opponents. The gameplay is simple but nuanced enough to keep the rounds fresh as you try to outsmart yourself and catch the other Bomberman in the line of fire.
6 Pokemon Snap – Catch the Perfect Shot
If you’ve had your fill of competitions, why not relax and enjoy the beauty of some fine art. Pokemon Snap sends you on a serene journey through iconic landscapes to photograph and learn about Pokemon’s natural habitats.
While you can opt for a more graphically impressive experience in the new Snap, the N64 version just might win your heart with its adorable Mew encounter. Even dads who aren’t Pokemon fans will appreciate some photography, because there’s something so satisfying about photographing Pokemon as they enjoy cute times in the wild.
5 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire – A New Scope
Star Wars fans will enjoy this alternate look at the events that unfold between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. You play as Dash Rendar – a grizzled space jockey in the vein of Han Solo who works for the Rebellion. The story weaves new tales into the familiar contexts of the movies and enriches the universe.
While Dash is a bit bland and the controls might be the source of a fall or two, this game delivers Star Wars atmosphere and satisfying combat moments. Luckily, aiming isn’t of the utmost importance as simply shooting in the direction of your enemies will cause your character to automatically aim towards them. This mechanism, although unusual, definitely contributes to making the title accessible to all players.
4 Goldeneye 007 – A Linked Adventure
Link fans or not, most gamers have seen or played their fair share of Goldeneye 007. Decades after its release, people still enjoy this classic FPS for the simple reason that it offers good old-fashioned fun with solid gunplay and intricate maps.. Of course, the visuals leave something to be desired as fans of modern FPS games will need some time to adapt.
The multiplayer mode should provide you and your dad with hours of entertainment as you explore the different locations and take turns shooting snipers and guns. Whether your dad is new to the game or has logged several hours, be sure to let him know that picking Oddjob is always a naughty thing to do.
3 Star Fox 64 – A Father/Son Story
The Star Fox series has wowed fans for decades with its healthy blend of absurdist humor and serious undertones that combine to create an emotionally charged story.. Gameplay will see Dad dodge lasers and blast enemies as this on-rails adventure takes you through the various worlds of the Lylat system.
Beneath its action-packed exterior lies a moving story of revenge as Star Fox unleashes the galaxy on its way to exact revenge on Andross, who killed Fox’s father. Although the build up to this moment seems a bit short, the story still provides an unexpected and impactful climax to this mad rush.
2 Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes – War at Home
If you’re tired of watching Saving Private Ryan on repeat, then Sarge’s Heroes will give you some much-needed respite from Tom Hanks and his platoon, while scratching your dad’s world war itch. Sarge’s Heroes is a thrilling action shooter for all players, even if their reflexes aren’t what they used to be.
Enemy AI is usually nice enough to stare at you for a moment before shooting you; something many dads will be grateful for if they don’t have a super-fast trigger finger. As well as being hysterical to watch, it also gives you a chance to drag your dad through the controls as he fumbles to fight back – a fun experience that makes this game a joy in itself.
1 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – Explore like it’s 1999
Ocarina of Time is one of the best games of all time and a must have for anyone who wants to share the joy of games with their dad. The Video Game Hall of Fame inductee is still making waves today as Ocarina of Time spawned a generation of Zelda fans who are still die-hard fans to this day if the hype for Breath of The Wild 2 is something to pass.
Although a solo journey, few games have the power to bring people together to explore the magic and mysteries of an unknown world quite like Ocarina of Time. From your first Ocarina song to the dramatic climax, you’ll be in for an unforgettable ride. Remember to let your dad take the reins if he enjoys the game, because once you’re in it, it’s hard to let go.
NEXT: Defining Moments of the Nintendo 64 Era