True gamers know the thrill of having a vast library of games.
Of course, the best sellers and classics will be at the top of the list, but there will always be a special place for those games that hit from a different angle.
Those games that maybe were ahead of their time or were misunderstood at that moment, but surprisingly hold themselves pretty well even in modern times.
The game library of the glorious Nintendo 64, the big N's proposal to enter the 3D world, is a perfect place to go gem mining.
Best Hidden Gems for the Nintendo 64 Console
Need some help to start your collection of unusual but amazing titles? We got you covered.
Rocket: Robot on Wheels
The first on our list is a platformer, but with a twist!
In this one, you control a cute robot named Rocket, and despite the title, he is only on one wheel.
Our mission is to protect an amusement park from being completely scrapped by Jojo, the park's mascot, that happens to be a raccoon.
Capturing Jojo will prove rather difficult. We will need to solve lots of puzzles and mini-games, collect parts to fix some of the attractions, and meet interesting yet funny characters that will help us on our quest.
A well-designed game with engaging mechanics and lots of color, Rocket: Robot on Wheels is a must-have for N64 enthusiasts.
Things get a bit darker as we advance on our list.
Enter the world of Shadow Man, a dark hero that, after a series of poor decisions and terrible events, ends up fighting to save the world of the living from a terrible fate.
To achieve this, he needs to travel to Deadside, a dead realm filled with tormented souls and beings with ill intentions.
Once there, we need to battle and collect the souls of The Five, a group of very, very evil fellows that plan to invade the realm of the living.
Considered a cult classic, Shadow Man is cherished by gamers who appreciate the many gameplay and graphic innovations that made good use of the N64 capabilities.
The idea of getting in a vehicle and start blasting things nonstop is not particularly innovative in the world of video games. Still, sometimes simplicity and fast-paced gameplay make up for that.
This vehicle action game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus pretty much caused civilization's end. Luckily you have your trusty tank to defend yourself, and for an unfathomable reason, plenty of fuel!
There are two types of missions, those where you need to blow up a certain number of targets and those where you need to blast your way against countless enemies and reach a certain location.
As a pro tip, the game has a default configuration that automatically fixes your turret in position. You can change that in the options, allowing yourself to move the turret as you please, giving the game an extra dimension of difficulty.
It is the turn of first-person shooters, and while the N64 console is not in a shortage of titles of this genre, Forsaken 64 has enough unique features to stand out and make this list.
Again, set in a distant future where things went terribly for humanity, you control a flying ship. The first implication of this is that you can move (and shoot) in any direction, unlike other first-person shooters.
Naturally, beginners may struggle with fast camera shifts that may cause disorientation. Still, it becomes quite the experience once you get used to it.
Make sure you pick up this one and give it a try. Your efforts won't go unrewarded.
Mace: The Dark Age
Fighting games are always present in every generation of consoles.
The N64 has some stellar options, including Super Smash Bros. and Killer Instinct Gold, but for those of us who like to dig deeper, Mace: The Dark Age is a solid alternative.
While it takes some elements of the Mortal Combat franchise, Mace: The Dark Age makes incredible use of the power of the N64 console to deliver outstanding graphics.
We liked the addition of dangerous elements in the different fighting arenas that can be used strategically to force our opponents to take damage.
Get your hands on one of these, and join a cast of legendary warriors sent to defeat the terrible Asmodeus and retrieve the Mace of Tanis, a weapon with magic powers.
In the battle racing subgenre, the big N made history with Mario Kart 64.
However, other developers came up with fairly polished and original takes on the formula.
S.C.A.R.S is for sure an example of this, combining stunning graphics, very colorful scenarios, and some other amazing technical details that were novelties by that time.
Just in case you are wondering, the game's name stands for "Super Computer Animal Racing Simulator." The reason being each of the five cars available represents an animal.
If you want pure speed, picking the Shark or the Mantis is your best bet. Still, if you want to endure more of your opponent's traps and being more combat-oriented, the Rhino or the Mammoth is for you. The Lion car fills the role of the average, all-round car.
Needless to say, the game supports up to four players, so gather your friends and surprise them with some animalistic battle racing!
Tom and Jerry: Fists of Furry
This is probably the funniest game on our list.
Inspired in the same-named cartoon series, this is an unconventional fighting game, for saying the least.
Graphics and sound effects are lovely, mimicking the original cartoony style of the show.
While you can go around punching and kicking, the game mechanics make great use of the environment, as you can scrap the place for things to throw at your opponent.
The game has a decent number of playable characters, and the single-player mode allows you to unlock secrets. Still, things get hilarious when you invite a friend to join the rumble!
Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness
Puzzle and maze games are a weakness for many of us.
Since the advent of the original Pac-Man in the 80s, the yellow eater has been a constant presence in gaming consoles of every generation, and Nintendo 64 is no exception.
But this time, his wife, Ms. Pac-Man is the one living the adventure.
With the help of Professor Pac, our yellow heroine must collect the four gems of virtue before the evil witch Mesmerelda gets them and uses them for her malicious purposes.
Gameplay and mechanics are very loyal to the original Pac-Man concept, and some puzzles can be deceptively challenging.
An excellent choice to enjoy while doing some brain gymnastics!
Disney based games, or movie-based games in general, tend to fall under the radar, and sometimes for a good reason.
But the fact that Disney's Tarzan is not widely known is a pure act of injustice. This game is fun, vibrant, and follows the events of the movie with perfect accuracy.
We can't avoid praising the level design and the pace at which the game increases its difficulty, making it perfect for beginners and veterans alike.
After all, sometimes, "easy" games are a nice way to introduce people to the fascinating gaming world.
Join Tarzan, Jane, and Terk in this wonderful adventure.
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
We could not end our list without an RPG title.
We choose this as our last entry because it is rare for the hidden gem to surpass the mainstream games.
Yes, we know this is a bold claim, but Ogre Battle 64 hits all the boxes when evaluating an RPG game.
An engaging plot with lots of side stories, well-developed characters, gorgeous graphics, and complex and deep gameplay to glue all together.
The replayability value is also there, guaranteeing lots of hours of entertainment.
What else can we ask?
With so many gaming consoles competing with each other, and dozens of developers working hard to offer the best experiences, it was impossible not to miss a few games here and there.
Nintendo 64's game library is beautiful and full of surprises. Make sure you keep an eye on our future articles.
In the meantime, check out more of our handpicked suggestions for the NES and SNES consoles. We are sure you will find some nice additions to your collection!