Nostalgia is one of the more marketable aspects of the gaming industry nowadays, with remakes surfacing as some of the most anticipated titles for gamers the world over. Nintendo in particular has managed to tap into this niche through miniature versions of its long since discontinued consoles, with the SNES Classic being the most recent venture that the company has made. Evidence has even surfaced for a possible Game Boy Classic while writing this, which is likely to be an incredibly entertaining prospect for many.
Having said that, recent trademark filings also appear to indicate that the Nintendo 64 will be getting a Classic edition in the near future, and many fans have already begun speculating on which retro games will be present on the rumored platform. Gamers can probably begin piecing together what titles would be featured on a hypothetical N64 Classic, with Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time coming across as no-brainers, which is why we opted to create a list featuring beloved games that have a far less likely chance of appearing on the console.
Now, let's begin.
10 GoldenEye 007
Let's get one of the most desired titles out of the way first, as it's very unlikely that fans will see GoldenEye 007 arrive as part of a N64 Classic. This isn't a result of Nintendo unwilling to play ball to appease fans of the shooter, but rather a complex licensing issue that spans across several companies.
Based on Microsoft's failed attempt to remaster and release GoldenEye on Xbox 360, an immense agreement would have to be reached in order for such a revamp to see the light of day – including the rights to the likeness of actor Pierce Brosnan and a deal with James Bond franchise owner Danjaq, LLC. Truth be told, if that much effort and money is going into simply including the title as one of, presumably, many titles on the Nintendo 64 Classic, it may make more sense for the companies to reach a deal on some other sort of revamp. Then again, it may end up being a smaller piece of a larger alliance if such a partnership were to ever occur.
Out of all of the platforming mascots of the 90s, few managed to garner the same amount of attention and fandom as Banjo and Kazooie. The bear and bird combo's original title arrived on N64 in 1998, but a lot has happened to the I.P. and developer Rare Ware since then – namely, Microsoft now has sole ownership of the franchise and the developer. A deal could hypothetically be brokered in order to have Banjo-Kazooie appear on the system, but it's not likely given that it's currently available as part of Rare Replay on Xbox One.
8 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Back when shooters on consoles were still a very new premise, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was turning heads with impressive visuals and ample action. Featuring a number of dinosaurs and human baddies, the game quickly boosted sales of the N64 and brought M-rated action to a platform that many had begun to distinguish as the more family friendly system on the marketplace. However, it's this same "M for Mature" rating by the ESRB that will likely keep it from being included on the Classic console, as Nintendo probably doesn't want to see younger audiences barred from buying and playing the hardware.
Add in the fact that Turok and its sequel both saw remastered releases on PC and it's even more unlikely that the current license holder would want to risk the cannibalization of those sales.
7 Space Station Silicon Valley
Developed by DMA Design, now known as Rockstar North, this gem is one of the few Rockstar-developed titles to ever appear on a Nintendo platform. Lucky for Nintendo fans, it turned out to be an incredible sci-fi title that was as original as it was entertaining. After solid reviews, the game quickly gained a cult following and remains one of the most adored games on the N64 to this day.
Placing users into the role of Evo, a living computer chip capable of controlling the corpses of cyborg animals aboard a space station, players can become of a wide array of different animals with different tech-based abilities. Space Station Silicon Valley may be a bit of an overshadowed favorite with small odds of getting on the N64 Classic, but Rockstar Games' newfound relationship with Nintendo (namely releasing L.A. Noire on Switch) means that this one is still very much a possibility – however unlikely it may seem.
6 WWF No Mercy
Often heralded as the greatest wrestling game ever made, WWF No Mercy would take full advantage of the inevitable 4-player input of the N64 Classic. With that said, that doesn't make this title any more likely for inclusion, especially given the hoops Nintendo would have to jump through in order to make it a reality. First and foremost, the title of the game itself presents a legal issue with the World Wildlife Fund, which eventually lead to World Wrestling Federation changing its name to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Furthermore, there are several wrestlers featured within the game that would need to be edited out since the rights to their likenesses are not currently secured – nor are they particularly desired by WWE or current license holder 2K Games. Add in further controversy that would arise from the inclusion of deceased wrestler/murderer Chris Benoit, and there's just no way No Mercy is coming to the console.
5 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Few properties in existence today can rival the notoriety of those owned by Nintendo, but Star Wars is unquestionably one of them. Impressing many a critic upon its release in 1998, Rogue Squadron is still believed to be one of the better playable takes on George Lucas' original film trilogy. Featuring a number of unlockable ships and ample locales inspired by the classic movies, this N64 console exclusive has secured itself place in history as one of the best Star Wars titles to ever launch on Nintendo hardware.
With Electronic Arts currently sitting pretty with the license to Star Wars games, and the gaming branch for LucasArts laid to rest, the odds aren't great for fans. Still, it's nice to dream about returning to Hoth to trip up some AT-AT Walkers and send them tumbling into a pile of 64-bit snow.
4 Conker's Bad Fur Day
As one of the few Mature titles to ever be published by Nintendo, Conker's Bad Fur Day quickly reached cult classic status upon its release near the end of the 64's lifecycle. The game's protagonist, Conker the Squirrel, turns the cutesy stereotype of the platforming hero on its head, as the character's adorable appearance surrounds that of a money-hungry, booze-fuelled, sailor-mouthed rodent that's hellbent on becoming a millionaire. Making ample inappropriate jokes and film references along the way, it quickly cemented itself in gaming history.
However, much like Banjo-Kazooie, Conker is owned by Microsoft and has been ever since the company's acquisition of Rare from Nintendo back in 2002. Even if Nintendo approached Microsoft to include some of the studio's older titles on the system, Bad Fur Day's "M for Mature" ESRB rating would likely prevent it from making the cut.
3 Snowboard Kids
Truth be told, securing the rights to Snowboard Kids from Atlus is certainly a feasible undertaking, but the title may feel a little redundant when it comes down to including either this cartoony, Mario Kart-inspired racer or the notably more popular 1080° Snowboarding. Still, this game manages to do a lot different when compared to the aforementioned sim, namely the inclusion of throwable weapons and a unique Saturday Morning aesthetic.
It would be nice to see the series return in one form or another, especially since it hasn't been seen since the series' lacklustre iteration on Nintendo DS in 2006. Perhaps an official revisit on the Nintendo 64 Classic would help wash the taste of that portable venture out of fans' mouths.
2 Mischief Makers
Developed by Treasure and published by Nintendo in North America, Mischief Makers may be one of the most overlooked platforming titles of all time. Upon its release, the title didn't quite resonate with critics, although many journalists looking back claim that this reception was likely the result of the 3D platforming boom that was well underway by the time the game arrive in 1997.
This side-scrolling, puzzle title would be an easy game to include in the mix if there was enough demand, but with a flood of first-party titles ripe for the picking, it doesn't appear likely. Despite this, Mischief Makers remains one of the more accessible candidates on this list. It's just a matter of whether or not Nintendo would want to include it.
1 Diddy Kong Racing
As the final, Rare-developed game on this list, Diddy Kong Racing would appear to be a wonderful candidate for inclusion on the Nintendo 64 Classic; Nintendo does own the rights to the entirety of the Kong family and its various characters, after all. However, this racing title also includes Banjo and Conker as playable characters, both of which are heroes from games listed above. As a result, the game would require some revisions to make it a viable candidate for inclusion – short of Microsoft allowing Nintendo to release it in its original form.
Featuring land, air, and water vehicles, Diddy Kong Racing was well ahead of its time. The game even saw a port to the Nintendo DS helmed by Rare itself years after the firm's acquisition by Microsoft, but it too had to be heavily modified prior to release to exclude the Rare-owned members of the roster.