15 years ago today, on September 29, 1996, Nintendo's third home console was unleashed on the American video game market (as long as you discount the few stores that allegedly released the system early). The Nintendo 64 was hyped to bring the gaming technology to a whole new dimension with its then-stunning 3D graphics and the revolutionary (for Nintendo) new joystick controller. Over its five year lifespan, the N64 had reached both the highest apexes (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) and the lowest depths (Superman 64). While it didn't live up to its predecessors in either sales or game library, the Nintendo 64 still occupies a significant place in the history of video gaming.
Five years ago, I wrote a short and somewhat cumbersome history of the Nintendo 64 in honor of its tenth anniversary, which you can read here. There is no real reason to produce an updated history of the Nintendo 64, as the only major events in past five years are the releases of old N64 games on the Wii's Virtual Console (ported) and the Nintendo 3DS (remastered). Therefore I have decided to make this a much more personal project. Every Nintendo 64 fan would have their own stories about their experiences with the system, and I have decided to tell my story by counting down my 15 favorite Nintendo 64 games. While this countdown format would lead to a non-chronological story, I hope that I would be able to share why the Nintendo 64 is so significant in my gaming career. And more importantly, I hope I would inspire you to share your own stories. For each game I will present a simple plotline, my own personal history, and a favorite memory of mine.