best n64 games on retropie

15 Best N64 Games You Need to Try on Retropie (with links)

Do you have a Raspberry Pi with Retropie or another system and are looking for good N64 games to play? If so, you are at the right place!

In this post, I’ll share my favorite Nintendo 64 games of all time.

The games listed below are not ranked by preference. It’s a list of games that I played a lot on Nintendo 64 when I was young, and that work well on Retropie. So that you can have some ideas of games to try on your end.

I’ll only include links to download the ROMs when they are available on RomHustler, as I won’t recommend other sources. By the way, if you don’t want to lose time by looking for ROMs on the Internet, you can order an SD card with thousands of games already on it (Amazon), ready to use.

Also, if you need help downloading games on Raspberry Pi or installing ROMs on Retropie, you can follow these two links to read my tutorial on the topic.

If you’re looking to quickly progress on Raspberry Pi, you can check out my e-book here. It’s a 30-day challenge where you learn one new thing every day until you become a Raspberry Pi expert. The first third of the book teaches you the basics, but the following chapters include projects you can try on your own.

Super Mario 64

Let’s start with the obvious game here: Super Mario 64.
I think it was the default game on Nintendo 64, or at least the demonstration game from Nintendo, to introduce its new camera control.

It was great back then (it got around 95% score on average by gaming reviews), and frankly, even many years after, it isn’t the ugliest on this list.

It works pretty well on Retropie, but as for almost any game on N64, I recommend a compatible controller with two sticks, or even a Nintendo 64 controller replica (check this one on Amazon for example).

World Cup 98

This one may be a surprise for you because I’m not sure if it was really a success all over the world.

But in 1998, the World Cup was in France, and as you might know, I’m French. So we were excited by the event, and I played a lot with my brother, before, during and after the competition. It was a lot of fun.

Now, it may be difficult to play this game for hours because FIFA games have improved so much over the years, but all the basics are there, and it works, so why not?

If you are interested, you can find it here on RomHustler.

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Tony Hawk Pro Skater
tony hawk ps2 retropie

Tony Hawk is (was?) a legend in the skating world. One of the biggest superstars in sports in the 90s, and he even has a game with his name.

Even if I’m not a skater myself, this game is original, and I like the idea to start as a noob and progress step-by-step along the way (like on Raspberry Pi right?). So I played several careers, and the multiplayer mode was fun too (you could bring down the opponents ^^).

I didn’t play so much on Nintendo 64 I think, probably more on PlayStation 2, but it’s available for N64 and works fine, so it’s ok (you can find it here).

Mario Kart 64

Let’s get back to more popular games now, with Mario Kart 64.

This was another big success for Nintendo, a few months after the Super Mario. Maybe less innovative, but it’s a good game to play, especially in multiplayer mode.

You can play with 3 friends if I remember well (split screen) and all the IA are always in the race (8 players total).

On Retropie it’s excellent, I just tried it to quickly check that everything works correctly, and I played an entire cup. Newer versions have better design, but the concept is the same, and if you had a Nintendo 64 before, you’ll love it.

Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time

Another success from Nintendo here, that probably everyone knows: Zelda – Ocarina of Time.
One of the best games ever, with an even higher score than Super Mario (99% on average on Metacritic!).

I didn’t play this one very much, but I can’t do a “best 64 games” list without including it. I know my brother spent a lot of time on it, and it was very addictive (as for Mario), but not for me.

Nagano Winter Olympics

1998 was also an Olympic year, with Nagano (Japan) in the winter and Seoul (South Korea) in the summer.

This game is awesome, it was probably revolutionary at the time (at least for me). You can play almost several games at once, as many of the Olympic sports are available (yes, even curling).

I remember playing sports I didn’t even watch on TV, but were fun to play in the game. In the press, it was an average score, but I understand that some games were definitely more enjoyable than others.

The best way to get your opinion about this? Try it! Download is available here.

Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong is a mythic game. Like Mario, it already existed on other platforms before the Nintendo 64. It’s an adventure game, with many other things in common with the Italian plumber.

Probably one of the best games on the platform, you can’t avoid it if you are playing on Retropie.
The game is a bit laggy from time to time, but with a few adjustments, you can definitely make it work fine on Raspberry Pi.

I would recommend a Raspberry Pi 4 to avoid lags in some games listed here. I didn’t try on Raspberry Pi 3.

Diddy Kong Racing

In the Kong family, I call Diddy. If Donkey Kong has common points with Mario, Diddy Kong Racing is almost the same thing as Mario Kart 64.

But the result is excellent, even a bit better than Mario Kart for some reviewers at that time.
Graphics are in full 3D, maps are more interesting and other strengths from Mario Kart are here too.

What’s your opinion about this? Try them and let me know!

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Wave Race

This was definitely a game that I played a lot, but I don’t know why!
I’m not overly interested in jet skiing, but the concept is close to another racing game or maybe the ambiance was different, so it feels kind of new.

You can play Wave Race 64 in solo or multiplayer, racing against your opponents in several modes (championship, time trial, stunt).

It was also one of the first games available on N64 (maybe that’s play I played it), so the graphics are a bit old, but not so bad.

Download link here by the way.

GoldenEye 007
golden eye retropie

GoldenEye 007 is on the podium of the bestseller game on Nintendo 64 (with Super Mario and Mario Kart), so you may already know this one.

Released one year after the console, it’s a game where you play James Bond and can use infiltration to achieve your goals (not mandatory, but often the easier way).

On Retropie it looks great, but I didn’t manage to make my camera stick work, so it was unplayable for me. I have to move and control the camera using only the left part of my controller (8bitdo SF30).

That’s why I’m putting it so far on this list. But if you have the one I recommended previously (Amazon), you can configure it like with the original controller and it should be ok.

You can download it here if you want to give it a try.

F-Zero X

F-Zero X is a futurist racing game, also released by Nintendo, so probably inspired by some Mario Kart components, but with a very different result. The gameplay is much faster, with better circuits, but I was less interested in this one.

However, it’s an excellent game anyway, and you might find it interesting if you like racing games but Mario and Diddy are not your thing (or if you are bored with them).

Banjo Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie is a game that came late on Nintendo 64 (2 or 3 years after the console I think). I remember the high expectation from the gaming press months before its release, as we were all waiting for the new “Super Mario”.

Here is a quick overview of the official trailer:

Did you notice some common points with Super Mario?
From what I remember, the two-character play was interesting, and the game was fun.

1080 Snowboarding

I probably got this one after liking the snowboarding part in the Nagano Olympics.
It’s a third-person game, where you can ride, jump and progress in several modes (training, race, time attack and multiplayer).

I also played SSX a few years later on Xbox, which is much better, but for the Nintendo 64, 1080 Snowboarding is pretty good.

It works on Retropie (a bit laggy too, but I didn’t try to configure it so much).

Available here on RomHustler.

Wipeout 64

Wipeout 64 is almost the same game as F-Zero X. They were released the same year, and there was a big competition between both back then.

In the end, I can’t even remember which one I played the most. Trying them now, I think it was F-Zero, more arcade than Wipeout so more fun, but not sure.

Anyway, you have to try this game too, it has pros and cons, but in the end, it’s a personal choice (link here).

Perfect Dark

The last game in this list is Perfect Dark. It was released very late on Nintendo 64 (in 2000 apparently), so the overall result is much better than the other ones in this list (the graphics part especially).

The game mode is very close to GoldenEye 007, as it’s an FPS where you play an agent (but it takes place in an alien war, which is not yet in the James Bond movies ^^).

I didn’t play this game at the time I think because in 2000 the next-gen consoles were almost there (PlayStation 2 and then Xbox), but for Retropie it’s a good one, and you can download it here.

However, I did have the same camera problem as with Golden Eye.

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Recommended hardware for Retropie power users

Here is a summary of the stuff I recommend, to enjoy playing N64 games on Retropie even more:

  • Retropie SD card: Save time and play directly to any game you want with this giant SD card preloaded with over 100k games.
  • Raspberry Pi 4: Retropie is now available for Raspberry Pi 4, and it’s excellent. Why would you stay on a slower device?
  • 8bitdo controller: This is currently the best controller for retro gaming on Raspberry Pi. All the latest technologies in a retro design. But for N64 games especially, you can use the Nintendo version here.
  • SSD drive: If you have thousands of games and want to improve performance, an SSD will help you a lot, check this one from SanDisk on Amazon.
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Conclusion

That’s it, you know my favorite games on Nintendo 64 and a bit of my story about gaming on N64 with my brother.

I really like this platform, games are easy to find and work pretty well on Raspberry Pi (even if some of them need a few tweaks to work correctly). And you, what are your favorite games/consoles?

By the way, I have many tutorials on this website about retro-gaming, so feel free to check these other posts:

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The RaspberryTips Community: If you want to hang out with me and other Raspberry Pi fans, you can join the community. I share exclusive tutorials and behind-the-scenes content there. Premium members can also visit the website without ads.

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The Raspberry Pi Bootcamp: Understand everything about the Raspberry Pi, stop searching for help all the time, and finally enjoy completing your projects.

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You can also find all my recommendations for tools and hardware on this page.

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2 Comments

  1. “F-Zero X is a futurist racing game, also released by Nintendo, so probably inspired from some Mario Kart components”

    The original F-Zero actually predates the original Super Mario Kart. In fact, what became Super Mario Kart was planned to be a two-player sequel of F-Zero, but the SNES wasn’t quite up to par to handle a fast paced two player racing game, so Nintendo settled to develop a kart racer that eventually became Mario themed sometime in development. It’s quite a neat story.

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