30 Best Multiplayer N64 Games (Ranked & Reviewed)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
When I was a kid, your value in children-society was determined by how many people you could have over to play without your parents flipping.
While the N64 couldn’t compete against the PS1’s disc-drive and how many games it had, it also had four controller ports for a reason.
It was the kid’s choice for multi-player titles and that’s what Nintendo was going for right from the start.
For this very reason, multiplayer-oriented games are some of the most common on the N64 Fun Machine.
With time, the radically non-ergonomic alien-hand controller went from an inconvenience to a unique feature. And any doubts we could have had about the N64 as a console were replaced by fond memories of playing with friends and family.
For those of us who grew up with it and miss it dearly, I’ve come up with a list of the best multiplayer titles on the N64. Give this a glance and see if you recognize any old favorites.
And who knows? Maybe next time you’re visiting grandma and find your old N64 you can put my tastes to the test.
The Fun Machine’s three-pronged controller wasn’t the only thing about it that was… unique, so to speak.
It was a time of experimenting as the industry moved onto the 3D world, and some attempts were just plain weird.
Tetrisphere is one such title.
The game takes Tetris’ classic brick-placing gameplay and puts it on a sphere. Don’t get it? Neither do I!
It’s like Tetris on psychedelics – if you can even call it Tetris.
That said, it’s still a mighty fun game with a killer soundtrack and a testament to the industry’s growing pains.
29. Bomberman 64
On the other hand, Bomberman’s debut on the three-dimensional plane was much smoother.
The graphics were perfect in the sense that they retained the personality of the Bomberman everyone knew and loved while still looking fantastic and… well, new!
Now it wasn’t only the graphics that became 3D. But the gameplay as well.
Being able to throw bombs diagonally at your friends was a game-changer, and the game became much more about reflexes and less about laying inescapable traps.
Something great about the multiplayer was that you and your friends could team-up against the AI, which is ideal to ease tensions after a few cutthroat rounds of Bomberman.
28. Turok 2
I never really understood the plot of the Turok franchise other than there being time travel and dinosaurs to be murdered.
Then again, do you really need more details?
What I do know is there are few things more bizarre and fun than controlling a velociraptor in a 4-man arena against your friends.
Good luck not getting distracted by your tiny dinosaur hands!
This game’s multiplayer engine was wonderful, and although it has some frame rate issues from time to time, it’s also a nice improvement over the first Turok – now with a lot less fog!
27. International Superstar Soccer ‘98
Back in the day there were no hyper-realistic FIFA games with perfect reproductions of real players and international team lineups.
I mean, there were FIFA games alright. They just weren’t any good.
So when the time came to humor your basic friends that couldn’t tell an RPG from a platformer, your very best option was International Superstar Soccer ’98.
It even has Carlos Valderrama on the cover, so it must be good!
Well turns out it actually is good.
The controls are fluid, the graphics are pretty, and there are several modes to sate your soccer thirst.
You can even team-up with your peeps and play through an entire championship if you’re tired of the traditional vs. open matches.
26. Mario Golf
But if you’re like me and can’t stand sports games unless there’s a thick layer of “video game-y” paint slathered liberally on top, you’re better off playing Mario Golf.
It’s quite simple.
The cutesy and colorful denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom play a very enjoyable, albeit somewhat unrealistic, version of golf complete with special powered-up shots and Mario-themed courses.
Conveniently you don’t even need more than one controller to play with your friends.
You can just pass a single one back and forth!
25. South Park
So it’s 1998. South Park is at an all-time height in popularity.
And its core audience is the same as the N64’s. You know what time it is, right?
It’s time to repurpose Turok 2’s engine to make a South Park-themed shooter!
And believe it or not, the result was flabbergasting.
It’s one of the most absurd and quirky shooters in existence, featuring anything from snowballs to alien probes as weapons – that you’re going to be using to murder children.
It may not be a masterpiece. In fact I know it’s not.
But it was a hell of a lot of fun.
I considered putting it higher up, but a lot of the funny parts are pretty mild now that being obscene is mainstream.
24. Snowboard Kids
A considerably less controversial game starring children is Snowboard Kids, a downhill snowboarding game with power-ups, chibi-art and all of that videogamey goodness.
Thanks to the creative power-ups and balanced gameplay, races generally remain pretty tight up until the very end. Which will always leave you and your compadres raging for a rematch.
The game’s main setback is its relative lack of content or character variety.
But if you end up getting bored you can always search for a copy of Snowboard Kids 2 to keep things fresh.
23. Pokémon Stadium
Back when Pokémon’s first generation was the only generation, every kid’s dream was to be part of a real-life Pokémon battle and see their beloved critters duke it out live.
You can imagine the absolute mayhem that broke loose in middle schools all over the world once Pokémon Stadium came out.
This allowed you to transfer your Pokémon from your Game Boy cartridge to the N64 and see them battle against your friends’ monsters in 3D.
This was a literal game changer.
The title also includes several addictive Pokémon-themed mini-games, which were so popular that the developers doubled-down on them for Pokémon Stadium 2 which featured Gen 2 critters.
I’d actually recommend trying both games if you’re a Pokémon fan who’s never played the old Stadium games. They’re treasures.
22. Goemon’s Great Adventure
Despite being generally overlooked for its disconnected Japanese atmosphere and its sheer difficulty, Goemon’s Great Adventure remains one of the most well-made and fun entries in the franchise.
The best part about this colorful action-platformer is that you can go through the whole thing in 2-player Co-Op where one player controls Goemon, and the other, the awkward ninja Ebisumaru.
You can even carry your friend piggyback while they use melee and projectiles to keep you both safe.
Complete the full story mode and collect all 44 Entry Passes and you can even take the number of players up to four. Absolute Edo-period chaos.
21. San Francisco Rush 2049
You can’t talk about multiplayer games in the fifth generation of consoles without including several racing games.
Our first entry for the N64 is the futuristic arcade-style racer San Francisco Rush 2049.
But it could be any of the San Francisco Rush games on the system, as they’re all amazing racers with responsive controls and tracks with so many secrets shortcuts they’ll make you dizzy.
Learning them all will take you and your friends a long time, and considering how close the races can be, you’re likely to keep coming back to it until you master the tracks.
20. Deadly Arts
Playing fighter games with your mates is the best way to smooth over all of those small conflicts that come with social interaction.
A match a day keeps friendships healthy, or so they say.
The N64 didn’t have the biggest library of fighters. But it did have some unique ones such as Deadly Arts, one of the few 3D fighters on the system that didn’t suck.
The thing that keeps drawing me to this game is how it allows you to create your own character and customize them down to their moveset.
It was the only one to do so back then, and even games nowadays don’t usually give you such freedom.
19. Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes 2
It’s hard not to fall in love with Army Men’s charm, which takes you back to a time when your toys had a life of their own in your imagination. And even the most mundane places could be the setting for epic adventures.
This game features a 4-player split-screen arena where you can either go all out in a free-for-all match or split into color-coded teams for a more organized battle in wonderful locales such as a toy store or a graveyard.
My favorite will always be the kitchen stage, which could really mess with your sense of scale.
The fact that I still remember it in detail is a testament to its uniqueness.
A lot of people struggle when asked to pick between Wipeout’s violent races or F-Zero’s supersonic speeds – but what if you could have both?
That’s exactly what Extreme-G offers!
Race your friends on Tron-like bikes across tracks ranging from canyons to futuristic cities, using every weapon at your disposal to hamper their progress and come out on top.
It’s the perfect alternative for people who find F-Zero too hard, as the game’s tracks are much less perilous and easier to jump into.
17. Mortal Kombat 4
It was a day of celebration when Midway’s classic gruesome fighter finally came to fifth-gen consoles with an all-new 3D look. Fatalities would never be the same!
Although it’s not the best MK ever, it’s a very solid entry in the series.
And much better than some of the abominations that came after it.
Still, if you prefer the more polished aesthetic of the older games N64 also has Mortal Kombat Trilogy, which includes every character from the first three entries with their original sprites. Even Noob Saibot!
16. Star Wars Episode I: Racer
It’s freaking POD RACING, people.
Do I really have to explain why it’s so good?
With tons of racers, the possibility to upgrade the many available ships, and a great variety of tracks, this game succeeded in creating a whole new experience out of around 20 minutes of footage from The Phantom Menace.
It plays like a charm, letting you feel both the speed and the “floatyness” of the ships perfectly.
Do you have what it takes to come out victorious over your friends in the Boonta Eve Classic? I think it’s time to find out.
15. Beetle Adventure Racing
This game may be obscure, but it was one of my absolute favorites when I was a tiny Level 1 Gamer, and it’s a pleasure to share it with everyone else.
At first glance Beetle Adventure Racing seems to be a very complex ad for the Volkswagen New Beetles that had come out the year previous to its release.
Play it for a while and you’ll realize it’s actually a beautiful game with amazing tracks to race on. All full of secret shortcuts and collectibles along the way.
And it’s all accompanied by a groovy feel-good acoustic soundtrack that truly sets the mood.
14. Ridge Racer 64
If you’re looking for something a little bit more “serious” then Ridge Racer 64 is among the best arcade-racers on the console.
Despite being overlooked by most reviewers, this technical masterpiece has amazing gameplay focused on dangerous drifting that may either bring you victory or wreck you up royally.
Unlike other games where your friends may be telling stories or badmouthing each other as you play, this one will bring about a tense silence broken only by the sound of engines and tires sliding on asphalt coming from your TV.
Before there was Battle Royale, there were arena-based shooters.
And Quake made its fame by offering some of the most frenetic FPS action in the genre.
It’s all about getting the right weapons and controlling the battlefield, making sure you’re the only one with access to the Rocket Launcher and the like.
This makes for a sort of Domination or King of the Hill gameplay that’s as hectic as it is fun.
The N64 also got Quake 2, which is a somewhat improved version of the game, notorious for having unique stages not present in the PC version.
12. Diddy Kong Racing
Mario Kart’s quirky cousin is much more than something you play when you’ve had enough of Mario’s crew.
The game was originally developed by Rare to introduce some new characters into their line-up, and only later did Nintendo turn it into an ode to the tiny monkey.
As such, it’s a very experimental title. And it has three types of vehicles with varied tracks to try out.
Few people know this, but other than competing in the multiplayer races, two players can go through the campaign together if the code JOINTVENTURE is used.
11. Wave Race 64
The thing I love about racing sports games is that they have nothing to do with sports.
It’s just a racing game with a sporty coat of paint.
That said, Wave Race 64 gets as close to the real thing as possible, making you feel like you’re really bouncing up and down on the waves.
It often has a feeling as if the real competition is against waves rather than other racers.
It’s one of those innovative technical achievements so common in the N64’s line-up, and its killer soundtrack is a nice bonus.
I only wish the multiplayer wasn’t limited to 2-players split-screen.
10. Mario Tennis
It seems that throwing in any sport into the hotpot of whimsical and colorful characters and locales that is the Mario franchise always yields a wonderful result.
But don’t let yourself be fooled by the bright color palette and cutesy characters, because these players go hard.
The game, while easy to jump into thanks to its tight controls and relatively simple gameplay, can get very technical and serious once you get into it.
It’s the perfect game to have back at your grandma’s place where you spend the holidays with your cousins.
Expect heated rivalries and broken controllers if you break this out again.
9. 1080° Snowboarding
While not as attention-grabbing as Mario Tennis, this wonderful piece of ‘90s memorabilia is arguably the best sports game ever to grace the N64.
Everything about this amazing downhill racer screams ‘90s, from its hilariously cheesy announcer to the weird Tommy Hilfiger product placement.
Furthermore it was one of the most beautiful games in terms of graphics and art direction back when it came out.
Nowadays, despite snowboarding games becoming so sophisticated, this genre-defining title remains very enjoyable for its simplicity.
If it featured 4-player split-screen instead of just two it would be perfect.
8. Killer Instinct Gold
Did you expect another sports game?
Tough luck, because we need to talk about the best “traditional” fighter in the entire N64 line-up.
Not only is Rare’s fast-paced fighter one of the most beloved on the console, but also among the most graphically appealing thanks to its detailed sprites that interestingly mimic 3D.
Just sit down with some friends, select the game’s Knockout Tournament mode, set the team size to 11 and fight until your thumbs give out.
7. F-Zero X
A lot of people cite Killer Instinct as a game that requires a lot of skill to master.
Well here’s a game that requires a lot of skill to even play at an entry-level.
What makes F-Zero X so hard is the same thing that makes it good – the stages.
Twists, hard curves, and pits are only some of the hazards you’ll have to contend with to even finish a race.
And with the speeds these ships can reach, you’ll quickly learn to memorize them rather than rely on reflexes alone.
Unless one of your friends is an expert, you’re looking at a competition of “who fails the least”, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.
6. Mario Party 1–3
Mario Party is a timeless game.
Not only because of its influence in the industry and how memorable its minigames were, but because if you play it with your friends right now you’ll have just as much fun as you did decades ago.
Hard to believe but oh so true.
It marries the evergreen nature of board games with the bizarre mini-game possibilities offered by the N64, along with the random magic of RNG, creating a recipe for success(or failure).
Just remember that you’re playing at your own risk – we’re not responsible for any broken joysticks or destroyed friendships.
5. Gauntlet Legends
The N64 isn’t famous for its RPGs or complex strategy games.
And yet, it offers the ‘90s equivalent of couch-Diablo III in the form of Gauntlet Legends.
This old-timey hack’n’slash in a medieval fantasy setting was originally released on arcades, but later made its way to the N64, trading some audio quality and FMV cutscenes for the convenience of a home console.
It’s a very engaging game where you and up to three friends can team up and pick one of four available characters to battle the demonic armies of Skorne, all on the same screen.
4. GoldenEye 007
If you’re looking for something everyone will like then you have to give GoldenEye a go.
I feel like everyone who had an N64 already played this, but if you didn’t it’s a must-try.
This fan-favorite FPS was the first such game to make its way to consoles, going on to define an era of arena-based shooters.
Granted, it’s no technical masterpiece.
The framerate often dips, and you couldn’t have different control schemes for different players – but it more than made up for it with interesting weaponry, an amazing soundtrack, and a lot of James Bond goodness.
Truth be told, a lot of the love this game receives comes from its nostalgic appeal.
But I still suggest you slap this in and sit down to enjoy its wacky multiplayer with some friends. You’ll realize that transporting everyone to a simpler time is a feature in and of itself.
There’s actually an unofficial remake you might look into.
3. Mario Kart 64
F-Zero may be the king of racers on the N64, but Mario Kart 64 is simply a better game.
And it’s not only nostalgia goggles or Nintendo fanboy-ism talking!
This game is genuinely good thanks to its memorable racing tracks – like the infamous Rainbow Road – and exciting power-ups.
Nobody is safe from a blue shell, and that keeps the game exciting.
In fact, the game is so good then most people completely forget that the original Mario Kart was on the SNES first.
And if you dig around the web you’ll find many charming stories surrounding this N64 classic.
2. Perfect Dark
A lot of people would have wanted me to grant GoldenEye the title of Best FPS on the N64.
But that would only be possible in a world without Rare’s Perfect Dark.
Yes, it doesn’t have the James Bond appeal.
But everything that made GoldenEye good… well, I think Perfect Dark did better.
Its futuristic aesthetic complements the action ideally, and it even stars a strong independent woman – Joanna Dark.
Other than the many 4-player competitive modes, the game’s campaign can also be cleared in 2-player Co-Op.
And there are a couple of extra challenges to complete with your partner in crime. If you never heard of this or played it back in the day, totally check this out if you have the time.
1. Super Smash Bros.
We’ve covered a wide array of amazing games here.
But only one can be the king, the it’s one that nobody says “no” to. You know what I’m talking about.
The original Super Smash Bros. on the N64 isn’t a traditional fighter.
It throws in platforming mechanics, a new scoring system, and power-ups into an already chaotic 4-man brawl to set itself apart from the chaff and create a truly memorable experience.
Of course, the fact that the 12 playable characters all belonged to super-popular franchises like Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda took things to another level.
It was every ‘90s kid’s dream come true with many sequels to follow.
But the N64 version should always remain remembered in gaming’s history books.