Banjo-Kazooie is the classic story of a bear and the bird he carries with him as he tries to save his sister from the witch who wants to take her beauty by collecting musical notes and puzzle pieces. You know, that classic story. At the time of its release, its graphics were seriously impressive, but I think we can agree that we were all distracted trying to figure out why all the characters talked like that. For a developer that dominated the 90's with great games, it says a lot that Banjo-Kazooie is one of Rare's best.
9. Paper Mario
The Mario premise hasn't changed -- poor Peach can't seem to catch a break -- but Paper Mario had our now-2D hero solving puzzles alongside some former enemies in order to save the princess. In that way, it's a bit like what would happen if Parappa the Rapper teamed up with the Times Crossword for RPG-style gameplay. In other words: Awesome.
8. Donkey Kong 64
King K. Rool has stolen your friends and your golden bananas, so you set off on an adventure with your gang of similarly-named primates across an island inexplicably named after you! This game was so much fun that I don't think we ever stopped to ask if Funky Kong had a license to be carrying all those guns. Plus, it introduced the world to the DK Rap, which I think we can all agree was probably the second greatest Nintendo game-based rap. The first being the Pokérap, of course.
7. Star Fox 64
The first Star Fox game for N64 was also the first game that utilized the Rumble Pak, which set the bar for an entire generation of vibrating controllers. In Star Fox 64, Fox McCloud has to save the Lylat System once again, using only his team of anthropomorphic woodland critters and his flappy-mouthed wit. Let's be honest, though -- everyone knows the best part of these games is Falco Lombardi.
6. Mario Kart 64
The Greatest N64 Game of All Time, if you ask anyone who uses "party" as a verb. But since we're all reasonable people here (re: sober and sans lightning bolts), it comes in at 6. Not good enough to keep you in contention for the Special Cup, but who cares, just as long as that douchebag who brought his own Rumble Pak drives off of Rainbow Road at least once.