The N64 Is 20 Years Old, & We've Got All The Feels

When you think of playing a video game, what comes to mind? Is it a raucous game of Wii Bowling when you were in college? Hours spent on your Game Boy during family road trips growing up? For many of us, it's games played on the Nintendo 64 that drum up the strongest memories. And on the 26th, that gaming console is celebrating a big milestone: its 20th anniversary of being available here in the U.S.

If you just put your head in your hands and thought, Oh, god, I'm so old, trust us, you're not alone. We can't believe it's been two decades since we first started trying to defeat The Legend of Zelda or catching Pokémon with a virtual camera in Pokémon Snap.

When we shared the news that the N64 was celebrating this anniversary, dozens of R29ers offered up their favorite memories and favorite games from their 2000s-era console. For a trip down memory lane, here are 12 of the things we loved most about the N64.
1 of 12
Photo: THQ.
"I used to play the WWF (now WWE) wrestling game with both of my brothers crowded around the tiniest TV. My parents were always a little alarmed I was playing a game called 'Tables, Ladders, and Chairs,' where you would hit each other with those objects."

— Kelsey Grad, Manager, Brand Experiences (Lifestyle)
2 of 12
Photo: Nintendo.
"N64 memories? My friends and I still get together to play tipsy Mario Kart on Thursday nights. It was the best — and still is the best — on the 64."

— Cat Quinn, Beauty Director
3 of 12
Photo: Courtesy Nintendo.
"My oldest brother bought us the N64 the first summer we spent in the U.S. after moving from the Philippines. I remember waking up every morning, taking a bowl of Frosted Flakes up to his bedroom, and playing Super Mario with my sisters while he was at work. When he'd come home, around 6 p.m., he'd join us and try to get the stars we couldn't get ourselves. He's 13 years older than me, so he knew all the tricks for getting those super hard stars and beating Bowser in the final level.

"I remember I had the hardest time with the flying cap (why you gotta fall all the time, Mario?), so we left all of those levels for him."

— Eliza Florendo, Social Production Assistant
4 of 12
Photo: Rareware.
"Best memory was waking up early on weekends with my brother playing Super Mario and Donkey Kong! I remember in Super Mario World there was a course where everything blew up 10 times bigger, so the mushrooms were ginormous. I actually just played Super Mario at a Lower East Side bar called The Late Late last week. If anyone wants to go down memory lane with a drink in their hand, I definitely recommend them to stop by!"

— Rachel Chen, Assistant Audience Development Editor
5 of 12
Photo: Amazon.
"I vividly remember sobbing whenever Yoshi died in Yoshi's Story (that cut scene with the shadowy tower is intense!).

"Also, there was a period of time where, whenever my sister and I were mad at each other, we would say, OUT LOUD, 'red-shelling you' or 'seeker-shelling you,' as if we were throwing Mario Kart shells at each other in real life."

— Sara Coughlin, Editorial Assistant, Health
6 of 12
Photo: The Toast.
"Spoiler alert: Finding out Sheik was actually Princess Zelda in Ocarina of Time."

— Ashley Trenkle, Associate Producer/Videographer
7 of 12
Photo: Amazon.
"My friend Allison and me taking turns using the highly coveted gold controller (which we nicknamed 'Goldie Hawn' for some reason).

"The palm blister that you got from playing too much Mario Party.

"How SCARY the sharks were in water levels of Banjo-Kazooie!

"Every song and sound effect from Diddy Kong Racing, but especially the 'final lap!' call-out."

— Brittnee Cann, QA Team Lead
8 of 12
Photo: Rareware.
"The real standout for me was getting my hands on Blast Corps! Demolishing buildings to protect a nuclear-warhead truck moving at a snail's pace was so much fun. The ability to switch and choose from a wide variety of vehicles on the fly made the customization of the game memorable. This was also one of the first major games to use the rumble pack, and you felt it as you demolished everything in your path. And then, to top it all off, there was a plethora of Easter eggs, including entering gigantic robots, finding super-fast cars, and driving on the moon. Blast Corps was the ultimate memory for me on N64."

— Raffi Asdourian, Video Editor
9 of 12
Photo: Nintendo.
"I want to start off by saying Nintendo 64 was my life! My favorite memory was playing Mario Party at my best friend's beach house while we ate candy and Slim Jims. I also played later versions of N64 Mario Party at my other best friend's house (who also happened to be my neighbor). We spent hours playing, as well as almost destroying the controllers with Mario Kart and Pokémon Stadium mini-games. Those were the best of times! For me, it's the equivalent of riding bikes with my friends, and these times were important for my development as a gamer."

— Paola Delucca, Designer
10 of 12
Photo: Loveroms.
"I never owned Pokémon Snap, but would rent it from Blockbuster constantly and get stickers made from my top images. Arguably my first interaction with photography and image editing — now I'm a photo editor at Refinery29.

"I have lost count of how many times I've started, and not finished, Ocarina of Time — mostly loved playing the first Deku tree dungeon, but would stop once I got to the tougher water and desert levels. I also purchased this iteration of Zelda on any/every Nintendo console I've owned since.


— Mary Fletcher, Senior Photo Editor
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Photo: Rareware.
"I remember playing Jet Force Gemini and splatting alien ants and genuinely believing there could be no greater game. Ever.

"Also, I cried during Majora’s Mask and got nightmares about the moon."

— Julian Wan, Strategist
12 of 12
Photo: Nintendo.
"One N64 game to rule them all, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I was 8 years old when this game was released and will never forget the endless hours spent with my older brother playing it until we had beaten every damn level. I didn't care so much about the levels or rescuing Zelda; I mainly just wanted to ride Epona through the fields to some flute music. Oh, and going to visit those water people in the temple was pretty awesome, too, to be honest."

— Elizabeth Buxton, Editorial Assistant, Food

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