Nintendo 64 Is Coming to Switch — But the Best N64 Game Isn’t

Here's what to know about the retro N64 comeback, and plus, which game is tragically missing.

GETTY / Nintendo

If you’re of a certain age, the Nintendo 64 probably represents the pinnacle of the perfect video game system. You could play endless hours by yourself, trying to beat all the levels of Shadows of the Empire or Rogue Squadron, but, if you had some friends over, there was also StarFox, GoldenEye, and MarioKart 64. Now, Nintendo 64 is returning for the Nintendo Switch…but, there’s a big catch. While the classic controller is back, there’s a very real chance that your favorite games are nowhere in sight. Here’s what’s going on.

N64 and Sega on Switch

This week, Nintendo revealed that it would release retro controllers that bring back the style and gameplay of both the N64 and Sega Genesis. This means if you have a Nintendo switch account, retro ’90s games will soon be available in the Switch’s digital library, and you’ll be able to have a retro controller to match. Will this recreate the exact feeling of having an N64 back in the day. Well, not exactly. Switch isn’t exactly like having an old N64, so if you want that feeling, you may need to look for a used one online. And, there’s another snag

Which Old N64 Games Are Coming to Switch?

Here’s the list of old N64 games that will be released for Switch sometime by the end of 2021, alongside the retro controller.

  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Star Fox 64
  • Sin and Punishment
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Mario Tennis 64
  • WinBack
  • Yoshi’s Story

So, obviously, the question is…where’s GoldenEye???

Why GoldenEye 64 is missing from the new Switch release

Apparently, a remastered version of the famous James Bond multi-player N64 game was planned for a rerelease, but, according to several sources, was canceled by Nintendo due to too many bugs. While the new Switch N64 release does have Mario Kark 64 (the BEST version of that game) and Star Fox, the lack of GoldenEye sort of misses the nostalgic point. Yelling at your friends about “screen-peeking” or being “cheap” by using too many remote mines was what the gaming in the ’90s was all about.

On top of that, for those of us who remember playing N64 by ourselves, well into the year 1999, the fact that two excellent Star Wars games are missing — Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron — is also somewhat tragic. Surely, Nintendo remembers that not everyone played Nintendo for Mario, right?

Check out more details in the Nintendo Switch online store.