The sequel to one of the best platformers on the N64, Banjo-Tooie did not disappoint. You start right where the last game left off, with all the powers Banjo had at the end of his first adventure instead of making you painstakingly relearn everything. Banjo-Tooie came near the end of Rare's glory days and is one of its last true gems. Between the funny dialogue, cheery art direction, and sheer amount of collectibles, it's no wonder this title gives gamers a warm nostalgic feeling. Rare even slipped in a few jokes hinting that the characters were aware that they were in a video game. Banjo-Tooie was smarter than the average bird in a backpack.
N64 was a magical system for Rare and they were able to pump out several triple A titles, one of which starred everyone's favorite Diddy Kong Racing squirrel, Conker. While Conker had the cute, approachable graphics of Banjo-Kazooie, the drinking, foul language, and poo-inspired levels earned this game its mature rating. But don't let the crassness fool you: Conker's Bad Fur Day is as fun as it is raunchy. Bad Fur Day isn't on this list because it allowed you to smash testicles, but because it was so fun and memorable to smash those testicles.
Mario is a competitive guy, whether it be saving Princess Peach, racing go-karts, or playing every sport ever. But it isn't until you attend his party that you see how cutthroat he really is. Mario Party took luck and skill (but mostly luck) to win. While hardcore gamers were occasionally frustrated by the often random reward system, Mario Party was the perfect casual game to play with friends; gamer or not. Good players would usually pull out a victory if they won enough mini-games, but the luck aspect allowed for newbies to leave with their heads held high. The perfect game to play with Grandma. Just make sure that old hag doesn't steal your star.
Perfect Dark came after Goldeneye and showed that the console FPS wasn't a one hit wonder. And since the Goldeneye sequel did not live up to the quality of the original, Perfect Dark will always be remembered as its true spiritual successor. Like Goldeneye, the heart of this game came with its split screen multiplayer; trash talking just isn't the same through a headset. And let's not forget Joanna Dark, one of the first videogame characters to make me question myself for being attracted to a videogame character.
For those of us who were Pokefanatics since Red/Blue, Pokemon Stadium was a big deal. It was the first time we got to battle our Pokemon on the big screen (outside of using a Super Game Boy). While it wasn't the full fledged RPG with awesome 64 bit graphics we all wanted, it was still a blast to battle with 3D character models. And let's not forget that you were able to upload your Game Boy pokemon to use in Pokemon Stadium. My Charizard had never looked so life-like.