Nintendo’s third home console, the Nintendo 64, was part of the fifth generation of consoles and enjoyed a solid six years in the market before its successor, the Nintendo GameCube, was released. The last major home console to use cartridges instead of CDs competed against the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn.
Selling just shy of 33 million consoles, the Nintendo 64 currently sits as the 17th best-selling console of all time, but that number disregards how recognizable the console is.
One of the first consoles to really dive headfirst into 3D landscapes, games like Super Mario 64 were eye-opening to the gaming world and showed the next evolutionary step in in-game quality. Even if it wasn’t the best-selling console of its generation (that title goes to the Sony PlayStation), it remains a beloved console all the same, thanks to some of its first-person shooter titles.
Let’s dive into the Nintendo 64’s best FPS titles!
What is a First-Person Shooter?
A popular game genre, first-person shooter games have been around since the mid-1990s. From the likes of Doom to the Nintendo 64, not much has changed about this genre, except for graphics and storyline.
Essentially, FPS games put you in control of your character where everything you see is from their eyes. When you look left, you see only left, and the same goes for looking right. FPS games typically only show the hands and arms of the protagonist, plus whatever weapons they are holding.
Was the Nintendo 64 Known for First-Person Shooter Games?
The Nintendo 64 was absolutely known for being home to some outstanding first-person shooter games. No game is more prominently remembered than GoldenEye 007, which is often regarded as one the best first-person shooter games of all time.
Its multiplayer game is responsible for millions of hours of lost productivity. Okay, so that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it is fondly remembered as one of the best games of the Nintendo 64 era. The same goes for Perfect Dark, which also offers outstanding memories as one of the best-selling and most fun N64 games.
#7: emForsaken 64/em
Competition for the best first-person shooter on the Nintendo 64 is fierce, but emForsaken 64/em is well-deserving of a place on any “best of” list for the console.
Unlike most FPS games on the console that only allow you to move on either an X or Y axis, emForsaken 64/em sets itself apart by adding in Z-axis movement as well, and it works, for the most part. The movement style didn’t gain a lot of momentum on the N64 but it certainly arrived for console generations after the Nintendo 64.
The game itself focuses on a set of tunnels on Earth in the year 2113 that you travel down with the goal of killing looters to find various treasures. In the game’s timeline, half of Earth has been destroyed so your fight is to stay alive, and with the single-player game, you do that through 22 different missions with separate goals for each end battle. Multiplayer was also highly regarded with a variety of different game types for up to four plays on the N64. All things considered, emForsaken 64/em is well deserving of its 75 Metascore.
Don’t forsake this chance to pick up a (renewed) copy of emForsaken 64/em from Amazon here.
#6: Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
Prepare yourself, as the Turok series is a mainstay staple of the first-person shooter on the Nintendo 64. It’s the least commercially successful of the Turok series on the N64 console, but that didn’t stop critics from liking it enough to give it a solid 77 Metascore.
The gameplay was a sore point for some players who complained that, instead of playing as Turok, you instead took on the role of two different sibling protagonists with Joseph and Danielle Fireseed.
The biggest complaint around Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion was that not only did both siblings offer two different styles of gameplay, but you were fighting the Flesh instead of dinosaurs. Because of this, concerns were voiced that Turok as a series had moved away from its core promise that made the first two entries so great.
However, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion pulls out a spot on this list thanks to its excellent multiplayer. Between eight modes and 48 different maps, there was so much to enjoy that it completely offset frustrations with the single-player campaign. Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion also shines with the quality of its graphics and voice acting which are really great for the era of gaming.
#5: em007: The World is Not Enough/em
- 007 The World is Not Enough
- HardwarePlatform: Pc
- OperatingSystem: Nintendo 64
For many people, em007: The World is Not Enough/em is undoubtedly the less popular of the two James Bond first-person shooter titles available for the Nintendo 64.
However, that’s not entirely fair to this title, which still earns an 81 Metascore because it’s so great on its own. Developed by Eurocom based on the 1999 movie of the same name, 007 was released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000.
The single-player campaign has a heavy emphasis on James Bond running around attempting to stop terrorists from a nuclear meltdown. Players can crouch, jump, swim, dive underwater, and run throughout the game, and everything looks great, thanks to the 3D environment.
Multiplayer mode is also a lot of fun with four players competing against one another in a variety of game types. There are fourteen different maps to choose from, and you can also include playing against bots if you want to simplify things a little, and choose their health levels to make things easier or more difficult.
Selling more than one million copies is enough to make it the 45th best-selling game in Nintendo 64 history.
The time is now to pick up em007: The World is Not Enough/em (renewed) from Amazon here.
#4: emTurok: Dinosaur Hunter/em
- Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Adapted from a comic book series of the same name, emTurok: Dinosaur Hunter/em is the first in the series of Turok games, all of which have proven to be some of the best FPS games on the Nintendo 64.
Selling more than 1.5 million copies, emTurok: Dinosaur Hunter/em was popular with both critics and users alike, pulling out an 85 Metascore and 8.3 user score.
Reception to the game was immediately positive, and for good reason: the storyline is original, the gameplay is exciting, and the controls are terrific. Acclaim’s first release for the Nintendo 64 used every bit of the 3D engine to develop a run-and-gun style of gameplay that feels very Doom-like, but with dinosaurs.
Featuring 13 different weapons, players must fight dinosaurs, gunmen, demons, insects, and poachers all on a quest to find keys scattered around the various levels. The graphics were highly praised for being among the best non-PC graphics around and being a gateway game for other popular first-person shooter games that would follow on next-generation consoles.
The dinosaur hunt awaits with emTurok: Dinosaur Hunter/em (renewed), available on here.
#3: Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
If you’re not already sensing a pattern, the Turok games for the Nintendo 64 are good — like, really good — and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil is the highest-rated of the three with a Metascore of 86.
If the first Turok, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, introduced an entirely new generation to not just the series, but first-person shooters in general, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was equally important. As one of the first games to use the “Expansion Pak” to increase the overall memory of the game, Turok 2 offered enhanced graphics that made it feel leaps and bounds better than its predecessor.
Attempting to keep up with the Sega Dreamcast graphics led to Nintendo’s release of the expansion pack, which undoubtedly helped Turok 2: Seeds of Evil hold its own. Everything from enemy AI was improved over the first title, which was great news for those who enjoyed the single-player campaign.
Consisting of six different levels, the strength of single-player mode was enough to drive Turok 2: Seeds of Evil to sell 1.4 million copies. Of course, multiplayer played a role as well, with up to four players competing via a split screen in a variety of game modes.
#2: emGoldenEye 007/em
Arguably the best-known first-person shooter of the Nintendo 64 era, emGoldenEye 007/em was so good, it’s currently being remastered for ninth-generation video game consoles.
The third best-selling game for the N64, more than eight million copies were sold of Rare’s emGoldenEye 007/em. Earning a whopping 96 on the Metascore scale and a 9.0 from users, this game is still remembered as a true classic. Released in 1997, the game follows James Bond as he somewhat loosely follows the plot of the movie with the same name.
Across multiple levels, James Bond has more than 20 different weapons at his disposal to move through the single-player campaign, choosing from three different difficulty settings. As strong as the graphics, gameplay, and storyline were of the single-player campaign, emGoldenEye 007/em’s highlight is its multiplayer game.
Featuring a deathmatch via split-screen, players compete to be the last man standing, and if that doesn’t suit your fancy, you can choose from one of the other multiplayer modes. There’s just so much to love about this game that helped it earn its incredible Metascore.
James Bond says to pick up emGoldenEye 007/em (renewed) from Amazon right now and save the world here.
#1: emPerfect Dark/em
- Complete Perfect Dark N64 Tested Works
- Renewed copy
The pinnacle of Nintendo 64 first-person shooters, emPerfect Dark/em is such a beloved title that it has sold over 2.5 million copies.
Earning itself a 97 Metascore, this is the game many first-person shooters on the Nintendo 64 and other home consoles had been waiting for. Between the graphics, storyline, and just the overall fun players had playing as Joanna Dark, dare we say it’s a timeless classic. The single-player and multiplayer campaign requires Nintendo’s “Expansion Pak” to access, but the payoff is worth it.
Players praised the character’s ability to interact with the environment as well as looking left and right, crouching, crawling, and being able to attack the enemy from just about every direction. As the game was developed by the same company that made GoldenEye 007, Rare was able to take most of what made the James Bond game great and adopt it into emPerfect Dark/em. That includes outstanding (for the time) voice acting, as well as engaging multiplayer maps.
The overall campaign can be finished in around eight hours, but once you complete emPerfect Dark/em, you’ll find yourself wanting to play again and again. It’s just that good.
Grab your (renewed) copy of the near-perfect emPerfect Dark/em from Amazon here.
The Nintendo 64 may not be remembered as the best console of its generation, but it offered so many outstanding games and “firsts” with 3D graphics, that it’s still a console with a cult-like following. The continued admiration is helped by some exceptional game titles like Perfect Dark and GoldenEye 007, which remain two of the best first-person shooter games of all time.