The Nintendo 64 was dubbed “The Fun Machine”, and having 4 controller ports in the front, you and 3 friends could have a Blast playing at the same time without the need of buying additional accessories like the Multitap for Super Nintendo.
Nowadays few games let you play in Split Screen and while we have massive Battle Royal games where 100 people are on the same map at the same time, the magic of 90s gaming parties was having pizza, soda, renting a couple of the games off this list and trash talk your pals while you’re all sitting in the same couch. Something that just doesn’t feel the same online.
And while there are many classic games for one or two players we are going to take a look at the best four player local multiplayer games on N64 that show why the console is so fondly remembered for local multiplayer.
Best 4-Player Games On The Nintendo 64 (Multiplayer N64 Games)
Conker’s Bad Fur Day (Rare – 2001)
The original Conker for N64 is remembered for starting out as a kiddy adventure and then becoming one of the more mature titles of its generation.
It got remade for Xbox and people remember it for its story with dark humor, pop culture references, and movie parodies, but it had several fun multiplayer modes.
Besides the classic deathmatch where you all try to eliminate each other, a heist where you steal money from a bank, a tank battle, a hoverboard racing track, a game where a team controls a caveman stealing dinosaur eggs and the other players are the dinos that eat them, and something out of Saving Pirate Ryan where a team controls zombie stuffed bears while the soldiers try to escape the battlefield.
These minigames may not be as good or addictive as other multiplayer modes on this list, but they added a few more hours of fun with friends when you finished the unforgettable single player campaign.
Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2 (Nintendo – 2000)
The mini-games. Those legendary funny game show-like trials where cute little pocket monsters do battle were enough to entertain us to no end two decades ago.
Perhaps you have seen the memes with the teacher Clefairy where you need to memorize the direction sequences?
They may be simple, and we now have many similar games available for our cellphones, but back then these cutesy little games were a spark of joy in between more serious games at couch parties.
ExciteBike 64 (Nintendo – 2000)
The best motocross game to come out for the console, and the sequel to the NES classic is a super fun title. The game features a great physics engine that lets you jump and perform air tricks, and land on your opponents to knock them down off their cycles.
When playing in 4-player split screen, you are capable of crashing into your rivals and touching your rear wheel on their front wheel to make them suddenly stop and come crashing down off their bike, which can also happen against CPU opponents, but they just don’t have the malice to do it on purpose, unlike your “friends”.
There are also mini-games like soccer where you play with giant footballs and score just like in snowball, and it’s a weird but welcomed addition to this game when you take a break from all the racing.
NFL Blitz 2000
What happens when you mix Madden with wrestling moves? NFL Blitz, that’s what!
The first game was only 2-Player and had plenty of room for improvement in some areas, and boy did the sequel deliver.
Now bigger, badder, and better, it pits 2 teams of 7 players on the field, in fast-paced matches where you can tackle each other without worrying about “unnecessary roughness” and even kick your opponent when he’s down.
Even if you don’t watch football on TV and don’t even understand the rules that much, this is the kind of game you should try with friends just for a laugh. It’s perfect for heating things up before the Super Bowl because even non-NFL fans can get into the mood.
International Superstar Soccer 98 (Konami – 1998)
If you were a soccer fan in the 90s you probably grew up playing International SuperStar Soccer Deluxe on SNES. Well, for the new generation, Konami gave us probably the best game of the sport to date.
It is the perfect mix of simulation and arcade feel that has you kicking the ball around to no end. Me and my friends use to shoot for the goal for hours after watching matches for the FIFA World Cup in 1998.
Some people don’t like the fact that this game doesn’t have official teams and player names, but ISS has always been better gameplay wise in my opinion. If you think FIFA games are basically the same each year, try out this one with the guys you watch soccer with and you’ll be in for a thrill.
Destruction Derby 64 (THQ – 1999)
The objective of the game is not really to finish in first place, but to earn points by crashing into the rival cars, and the more destruction you cause, the more points you get.
Sure, crossing the checkpoint gives you 20 points and adds seconds to your timer, but running into the side of another vehicle at full speed and making it explode into a big ball of fire gives you collision and destruction points.
With 4-Friends nothing tops the Demolition Events where you get placed in an arena and have to crash each other until there’s only one left. You can change the rules so it’s a Last Man Standing, or the winner is determined by points. There’s also Capture the Flag and Bomb Tag where you earn points each second you have the bomb but must touch someone to pass it before it explodes.
This game is more enjoyable than the Destruction Derby titles for PlayStation, and since then, few Demolition Derby games can compare to the madness DD64 offers. Get 3 friends and play it now!
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (Acclaim – 1998)
GoldenEye may have been the king of FPS death matches on the console, but a very fun game in its own right was the sequel to the 1997 hit Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
Here you could be a human character or a raptor, and prey on each other in the giant maze-like arenas where you were pitted against the other 3 players.
It features original guns not seen in other shooters of the time, including the brutal Cerebral Bore, a heat-seeking missile that goes for your forehead, drills into your skull, and then explodes leaving your brains on the floor and walls. Yeah, hardcore stuff.
This mode was popular enough that Acclaim decided to create a multiplayer-only game called Turok: Rage Wars, but for most people, it just didn’t have enough content to justify buying it.
Turok 2 offers more than enough in split-screen to keep you glued to the screen nailing arrows on each other for hours.
Bomberman 64 (Hudson Soft – 1997)
The Bomberman games had very fun versus mode on previous titles, but you needed a Multitap for that, and not everyone had it.
Here you plug 4 controllers directly into the console and you get one of the most competitive and exciting death matches the Nintendo 64 has to offer.
Trap your opponents between a bomb and 3 walls, kick around explosives right when they are about to go off, activate a remote controller mine at the right time, or just throw the bomb over a wall so it lands on another Bomberman’s head when you have the glove item. Or get engulfed by the fire of your own bomb if you’re not careful.
If you never had the chance to play Bomberman with 3 friends, this is the perfect game to get into the explosively fun mazes with a gaming formula that never gets old. The sequel “Bomberman Hero” didn’t have multiplayer like this. Shame.
Diddy Kong Racing (Rare – 1997)
A little behind Mario Kart in sales, Rare’s racing title featured their characters which had access to land, water, and air vehicles, and balloons on the tracks that gave them power-ups similar to the Nintendo’s Go Kart racer.
While this game is remembered for its single player adventure, the 4-player races and battles were just as fun. Here instead of popping balloons, you had your life measured in bananas, and instead of turtle shells, you throw rockets at each other.
Modern games such as Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed have this gimmick of using a car, hoverboard, and airplane much better, but back then this was the game to get in Christmas of 1997 and is still worth a play or two on the fun machine with friends.
WWF No Mercy (THQ – 2001)
The best wrestling game on N64 (and probably the best one ever made) still holds up to this day thanks to its perfect gameplay and variety of matches.
If you never missed a show of Monday Night Raw and wanted to step foot in a professional wrestling ring, this is a gaming experience you can’t miss.
You can even create yourself and your friends in the game with the Create-a-SuperStar mode, and select from hundreds of moves, holds and flying dives in order to dominate your opponents.
Be it Tag Team, Fatal 4 Way in a regular match, Cage, Ladder, or Hardcore, there’s a lot to do here with your favorite Attitude Era legend.
If you think current WWE games aren’t that great, check this one out and see why those who got to play it with fellow Stone Cold fans back then want a remake.
Perfect Dark (Rare – 2000)
The spiritual sequel of GoldenEye by the same developers featured an even more complex multiplayer mode. This time you could have bots fighting with you or against you on the maps, and there are challenges that you could try to overcome with a friend.
You can even play the campaign mode in Co-Op. where Player 1 is the protagonist Joanna Dark and Player 2 controls another agent. Or you can play “Counter-Operative Mode”, where the second player takes control of a regular enemy on the level and must take down the heroine, but when the enemy is taken out of action, the player will take control of another one on the level, adding more challenge that having regular CPU controlled guards.
Perfect Dark wasn’t as popular as the 007 title. It did have a few bugs and needed to be a little more polished before coming out, and also you didn’t have access to increased graphics and frame rate without the N64 Expansion Pack, so maybe now it is not so fondly remembered. Anyway, is still worth a playthrough with a friend (or foe).
Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo – 1999)
The first game in the Smash franchise looks outdated in comparison to the sequels (Melee stills holds up) but at the time it was just a wacky and unbelievable game where 4 Nintendo heroes could beat each other up in floating arenas and throw pokemon at each other.
Besides the Smash attacks and special moves of each character, crazy items like bombs, mines, laser guns, light swords and the giant hammer from the original Donkey Kong made an appearance and were available for you to send your foes flying.
Sure, the Smash series has come a long way, but the gameplay and stages of the original on N64 present a different way of playing that is fun for a while. Definitely a cartridge that should be in your collection when you feel like throwing a 90s gaming party.
GoldenEye 007 (Rare – 1997)
Death Matches in First Person Shooters were already a thing, but GoldenEye was the first experience of an arena shooter in first person for most console players.
The level of excitement this game brought us in multiplayer was only matched by lan parties of Quake, Halo, and similar titles, which weren’t really an option for many N64 owners.
Sure, here you could see your opponent’s POV in the Split Screen, but if you take your eyes from your own quarter of the TV, you’ll probably end up with a shot.
Many modes to play, rules to choose from, and different guns to have in your arsenal, gave this title incredible replay value, and it has been remade like 3 times already.
We just can’t get enough Bond.
Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo – 1996)
Yeah, Mario Kart racing on Super NES was lots of fun, and it started a whole new genre that many companies would try to emulate since then. But only Nintendo themselves could create such a fun racer with Mario and friends.
Now in “3D”, with 4-Player Split Screen Races and Balloon Battles, virtual Go Karts couldn’t have a better game in 1996.
Kids and adults could enjoy this classic and use items like the infamous blue shell to make the 1st Place go back to 4th and then crash the kart with Bowser or Donkey Kong to make sure it gets to the goal last.
In Battle Mode, the arenas are huge this time around, the tracks are longer, and can be played in Mirror mode for more replay value. But my pals and I only played the regular tracks, those reflecting tracks game modes confuses us a lot.
16 Timeless Tracks where you can drift and avoid dangers like trucks and trains as well as pits of lava and rocks falling on the road await you in the 150cc difficulty.
So if your gaming bunch is a little more skilled with the controller, this game still presents a challenge for more advanced gamers.
Mario Party 2 (Nintendo – 1999)
Sure, everybody has played board games such as Uno and Monopoly, but when Mario decides to celebrate his birthday, he and his guests dress up and enter a giant board filled with fun mini-games and special events in order to win the most golden coins and stars, be it by skill or just pure luck.
What makes this game great is that sometimes you will have to cooperate with a player, just to have to compete against each other the next minute.
There are also random green “!” spaces that exchange coins and stars between 2 characters, which can make the player with the most stars switch with a player that has none. Yeah, that was the reason for total Hulk-like anger outbursts by a former pal of mine that we will never play Mario Party with again.
This is my list of the best N64 multiplayer games that are still fun to play today, but there are more. Pokémon Stadium, F-Zero X, Mario Tennis, Wave Race 64, did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.