Retro Gaming

The Best N64 Multiplayer Games

The Nintendo 64's multiplayer magic transformed living rooms into battlefields

Retro Alex

During the Nintendo 64 era, friends gathered, controllers in hand, ready for a competition. We dive into those top N64 multiplayer titles that defined a generation. They gave us joy, laughs, and some serious rivalry.

Let’s take a nostalgic look back to those epic gaming moments. Here are our favorite N64 multiplayer games.

The Golden Era of Multiplayer: Setting the Scene

The 90s were a pivotal decade for gaming. Games transitioned from arcades to homes, making them a household staple. Before N64, gaming was often a solo endeavor. Players would dive into worlds, tackling challenges alone.

Yet, there were signs of change. Earlier consoles, like the Super Nintendo, introduced us to the joy of side-by-side competition. Friends would sit together, racing in games like Super Mario Kart. These early multiplayer experiences hinted at bigger things on the horizon.

Then, the N64 burst onto the scene. With four controller ports built right in, it made a statement: gaming is better with friends. The N64 led the era where game nights flourished, where bragging rights were earned, and where playful rivalries took root.

The 90s gaming culture was vibrant, dynamic, and social. The N64 not only recognized this but celebrated it, setting the stage for the multiplayer experiences we remember today.

22. Quake II

Up to 4 players

Multiplayer in Quake II was all about the adrenaline-pumping deathmatches. Players dove into intricately designed arenas, each echoing the game’s distinct gritty ambiance. With weapons scattered strategically, every corner turned into a potential ambush point.

Facing off against friends brought a new dimension to the experience. The frantic rush to grab the best weapons, the strategic positioning, and the split-second decisions made every match unpredictable and exhilarating. Every frag was a small victory, driving players to sharpen their reflexes and outwit their opponents.

The audio-visual elements played a significant role in the tension-filled encounters. The atmospheric lighting, coupled with the ominous soundtrack, kept players on their toes, anticipating threats from every shadow.

21. NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC

Up to 4 players

NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC brought the basketball court to living rooms, with flair and style. And multiplayer was a slam dunk. Friends challenged each other in high-energy 2-on-2 matchups.

Traditional basketball rules? Not here. Instead, players enjoyed alley-oops, flashy dunks, and outrageous plays.

Selecting from real NBA teams, fans found their favorite stars ready for action. Every shot and pass brimmed with excitement.

Whether playing cooperatively or competitively, every game felt like a championship showdown.

NBA Showtime captured the essence of show-stopping basketball, making every multiplayer match unforgettable.

20. Excitebike 64

Up to 4 players

When players revved their engines in Excitebike 64, they were in for an electrifying experience. This motocross game brought the classic Excitebike action into the 3D era.

Friends could compete on various tracks in multiplayer, each with its own unique terrain and challenges. Every race was a balance of speed and skill.

Stunts played a pivotal role in multiplayer matches. Players showcased their tricks, adding flair and strategy to races. Successfully landing a difficult stunt could give a much-needed speed boost.

Rivalries formed as players tackled hills, avoided obstacles, and navigated tight turns. Victory wasn’t just about speed; mastering the art of jumping and landing made the difference.

Excitebike 64 transformed living rooms into motocross arenas, making it a must-play for those seeking adrenaline-packed multiplayer action.

19. Beetle Adventure Racing!

Up to 4 players

Instead of racing supercars, players in Beetle Adventure Racing! raced in iconic Volkswagen Beetles.

Multiplayer mode was where friendships were tested. Racing side by side, players discovered expansive tracks filled with secrets and shortcuts. Exploring became as important as speed, offering a fresh take on racing dynamics.

Races weren’t just about who crossed the finish line first. Players also engaged in heart-pounding battles for points, collected from various locations on the tracks. Sharing these discoveries added a cooperative layer to the competition.

Additionally, the “Beetle Battle” mode brought a new dimension to multiplayer, as players sought to collect six special items before their rivals.

Beetle Adventure Racing! showed that with the right twist, even classic concepts like racing can feel brand new, creating countless fun moments with friends.

18. NFL Blitz

Up to 2 players

NFL Blitz redefined football gaming, prioritizing fun over authenticity. Standard rules were replaced by high-flying arcade action.

The field wasn’t just for solo players. Multiplayer mode took center stage. Friends could team up or face off in electrifying matches.

Gone were the tedious downs and yard lines. Instead, players experienced explosive tackles and gravity-defying leaps. Every touchdown felt like a victory lap.

The game roster featured all the NFL teams, giving fans plenty of choices. Regardless of the team, the goal remained: outscore the opposition.

NFL Blitz delivered fast-paced, thrilling multiplayer football. Strategy met spectacle, creating countless memorable moments.

17. WWF No Mercy

Up to 4 players

Iconic figures from the wrestling world came to digital life, each bearing their signature moves, including The Rock’s electrifying People’s Elbow and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s rattling Stunner.

What set WWF No Mercy apart was the sheer variety in its multiplayer modes. Tag team, handicap, and royal rumble options allowed players to strategize and choose their battles. This wasn’t just about pinning opponents; it was about crafting memorable in-ring stories with friends.

The controls, intuitive and responsive, ensured that players, whether newbies or seasoned gamers, could dive right into the action. A perfectly timed grapple or a swift reversal could change the tide of battle, adding layers of depth and strategy.

Championship belts were on the line, but so were bragging rights. Many friendships were tested in heated multiplayer matches, with victories celebrated and defeats mourned. In the world of multiplayer wrestling, WWF No Mercy stood as an undisputed champion.

16. Pokémon Stadium

Up to 4 players

The world of Pokémon burst into the third dimension with Pokémon Stadium, taking the beloved creatures from the confines of the Game Boy screen to the grandeur of the N64. While catching and training Pokémon was a favorite activity for many, Pokémon Stadium ushered in a new era of multiplayer battles.

It wasn’t merely about watching Pokémon in 3D; it was about the adrenaline of strategy, skill, and friendly rivalry. The arena came alive with vivid animations, capturing each Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, and Hydro Pump in mesmerizing detail.

A revolutionary feature was the ability to connect one’s Game Boy Pokémon games, using the Transfer Pak. This let trainers import their meticulously trained Pokémon teams from titles like Pokémon Red and Blue. Suddenly, the team you’d adventured with on the go could now be showcased in all their 3D glory.

Battling friends took on a new meaning. Victory wasn’t just about in-game supremacy, but also about the countless hours spent training and preparing in the Game Boy titles. Every move, every strategy, and every choice felt deeply personal.

For many, the thrill wasn’t just in the win, but in the shared experience of these epic face-offs. Tales of last-second reversals, unexpected critical hits, and hard-fought victories became legends in their own right.

15. Mario Tennis

Up to 4 players

In this title, the familiar faces from the Mario universe swapped their usual adventures for tennis rackets. Each character, from Mario to Peach, came with their unique strengths, ensuring varied gameplay.

But it wasn’t just the characters that made Mario Tennis shine. The courts themselves brought a twist. From courts lined with Piranha Plants to those made of bouncy mushrooms, every match felt fresh and unpredictable.

While the singles matches were engaging, it was the doubles mode that became a multiplayer favorite. Teaming up with a friend, or challenging another duo, resulted in frantic sessions. Mario Tennis showed us that everyone could love this game, even if you aren’t a tennis fan.

14. F-Zero X

Up to 4 players

Among futuristic racers, F-Zero X stands as a beacon of high-octane thrills. It was a relentless chase against gravity, set on the dizzying tracks of tomorrow.

Up to four players could compete simultaneously, pushing their hovercrafts to the limit as they navigated complex twists and gut-wrenching drops.

Every track was a marvel of design, demanding precision and strategy. From the Death Wind’s gusty challenges to the swirling madness of the Silence track, players had to adapt quickly. One momentary lapse, one misjudged turn, and your craft could be sent spiraling into the abyss.

Power-ups and speed boosts punctuated the tracks, leading to tactical decisions. Secure that extra boost or play it safe? Every decision was a balance between risk and reward.

But beyond the craft controls and the track strategies lay the heart of the game: the camaraderie between players. Racing side by side, experiencing the rush of nearly-missed collisions and the sheer joy of a well-timed overtake—it created memories that lasted long after the console was turned off.

13. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

Up to 2 players

Venturing into the universe of Star Wars, players found themselves behind the controls of a pod racer in Star Wars Episode I: Racer. The roaring engines, the breakneck speeds, and the unmistakable sounds of the galaxy far, far away made for an immersive experience.

The multiplayer mode was where the true essence of pod racing unfolded. Two friends could challenge each other, racing side by side in a bid to be the fastest in the galaxy. These races weren’t just about speed. Mastering the tight corners, navigating through narrow canyons, and overtaking opponents required both skill and strategy.


The variety of tracks, each with its unique challenges and aesthetics, ensured that races remained fresh and unpredictable. Whether dodging tusken raider shots or avoiding pit droids, players had to stay alert.

12. Bomberman 64

Up to 4 players

Bomberman 64 propelled the iconic bomb-tossing hero into a brand-new dimension. This wasn’t merely a visual leap, but a reinvention of the classic gameplay dynamics.

Up to four players dived into arenas, strategically placing bombs to trap and outwit opponents. With every explosion, a mix of anticipation and chaos unfolded.

The third-dimensional playgrounds introduced layers of depth. Elevated platforms, hideouts, and interconnected passages meant players had to think vertically, not just horizontally. Such intricacies elevated strategy, demanding a blend of foresight and reflexes.

Collectible power-ups, like the ability to toss bombs farther or walk faster, became pivotal. Securing these advantages could turn the tide, making every skirmish unpredictable and intense.

Beneath the layers of tactics and explosions, the core appeal of Bomberman 64 was its sheer fun factor. Friends laughed off victories, bemoaned cunning traps, and celebrated narrow escapes. Each round felt fresh, sparking playful rivalries and endless rematches.

11. 1080° Snowboarding

Up to 2 players

The N64 was no stranger to extreme sports titles, and 1080° Snowboarding carved its way to the top. The snow-covered slopes became a battleground for friends ready for a chilly challenge.

While solo players enjoyed mastering the treacherous tracks and pulling off gravity-defying tricks, multiplayer was where snowboarding rivalries heated up. Facing off in high-speed races, players weaved through courses, each seeking the fastest line downhill. Every turn and jump became a strategic decision, and the thrill of narrowly beating a friend to the finish line was unparalleled.

Beyond races, trick competitions were the heart of many friendly face-offs. Players showcased their acrobatics, spinning and flipping in the air, aiming to rack up the highest score. It was about style, precision, and timing. One perfectly executed trick could make all the difference between victory and defeat.

The dynamic environments, from snowy peaks to intricate half-pipes, added layers to the competition. Adaptability was key as players learned each course’s quirks and opportunities for show-stopping maneuvers.

10. Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Up to 4 players

Known primarily for its irreverent humor, Conker’s Bad Fur Day offered a rich multiplayer playground.

The shooting modes were both challenging and comedic. Players could battle it out in various arenas, each requiring different strategies to come out on top. Whether dodging bullets or strategically planning attacks, the excitement never waned.

Racing, on the other hand, was all about speed and precision. Players navigated zany courses, attempting to outpace their friends while avoiding obstacles that could throw them off track.

But what truly made multiplayer in Conker’s Bad Fur Day memorable was the unpredictability. Just when you thought you had the upper hand, the game would throw a curveball, leading to unforgettable moments.

While Conker’s cheeky narrative stole the spotlight, the multiplayer components ensured players returned, controllers in hand, ready for another round.

9. Wave Race 64

Up to 2 players

For those who sought for the thrill of the waves without getting wet, we had Wave Race 64. This jet-ski racer made waves in the N64 library, not just for its exhilarating races, but for the technology beneath the surface.

A standout feature was the game’s realistic water physics. Racing on the water wasn’t just about speed; it was about understanding the ebb and flow of waves. Navigating through calm lakes was a breeze, but battling against stormy seas demanded skill and precision. In order to reach the finish line first, you had to master the movements of the waves.

Friends could challenge each other, racing through various courses, each presenting its unique challenges. The excitement of neck-to-neck finishes and rivalries turned many gaming nights into Wave Race tournaments.

8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Up to 2 players

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 skated into the hearts of players with unmatched style and finesse. This game wasn’t just about solo runs; multiplayer was a standout feature.

Players could select their favorite pro skater. From Tony Hawk to Rodney Mullen, the roster was packed with iconic names. This variety added depth to multiplayer matchups.

One memorable mode had players capturing skate zones by performing the best trick. Strategy and skill went hand in hand. Mastering the controls was crucial, but timing and creativity mattered too.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was a multiplayer gem. It brought skaters and non-skaters together, all chasing that perfect combo.

7. Mario Party Series (1, 2, & 3)

Up to 4 players

In the world of N64, few series captured the essence of fun, frustration, and friendship quite like the Mario Party titles. Merging the allure of classic board games with the charm of Mario’s universe, these games brought families and friends together on virtual game boards. I really could have padded this list by mentioning these as three separate titles, but I loved all three of them.

At its core, the series was a delightful fusion of strategy and chance. Players moved around vibrant boards, collecting stars and coins. But the real heart of the game? The mini-games. These short, competitive bursts of action ranged from frantic races to skill-based challenges.

In Mario Party 1, players got their first taste of this delightful chaos. But the sequels, Mario Party 2 and 3, expanded on this foundation. They introduced new boards, refined mini-games, and even incorporated themed costumes for our favorite characters.

Beyond the gameplay, it was the emotions these titles evoked that made them legendary. The joy of winning a mini-game, the agony of landing on a Bowser space, or the suspense of a last-turn star steal—it was a rollercoaster from start to finish.

The Mario Party series wasn’t just about winning. It was about playful bickering and moments of unexpected teamwork when we all worked together to defeat whoever was winning.

6. Diddy Kong Racing

Up to 4 players

Diddy Kong Racing roared onto the N64 scene with a promise: this was not just another racer. And it delivered in spades. While comparisons with Mario Kart were inevitable, this title carved its unique niche in the racing genre.

Right off the bat, it was evident this wasn’t a mere clone. Instead of just karts, players had the exhilaration of piloting planes and the challenge of steering hovercrafts. Each vehicle brought its dynamics and strategy, ensuring races remained fresh and unpredictable.

But what truly set Diddy Kong Racing apart was its adventure mode. Players weren’t just racing; they were embarking on a journey, completing challenges and battling bosses. This narrative-driven approach added depth, turning each race into a chapter of a larger story.

The colorful characters, whimsical tracks, and catchy tunes only added to its charm. And of course, the satisfaction of out-maneuvering an opponent mid-air or navigating the perfect hovercraft turn was second to none.

In the crowded racetrack of N64 titles, Diddy Kong Racing was more than just another contender. It was a game-changer, reminding us that with creativity and innovation, familiar can become fantastic.

5. Star Fox 64

Up to 4 players

While Star Fox 64 is remembered for its epic single-player campaign, soaring through the Lylat System with Fox McCloud and his team, there’s another side of this title that deserves attention: its multiplayer mode.

Many may recall teaming up with Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy to take down Andross. However, the thrill of engaging in aerial dogfights with friends was a gaming joy of its own. The skies became a battleground, where players showcased their piloting prowess.

The controls were intuitive, allowing even new players to quickly dive into the action. Sharp turns, barrel rolls, and well-timed boosts made for dynamic and exhilarating gameplay.

In multiplayer mode, the objective was clear: rule the skies. Dodging missiles, navigating through obstacles, and seizing that perfect moment to land a laser shot on an opponent provided countless hours of competitive fun.

Though the Arwing was the vehicle of choice for many, adventurous players could also opt for Landmasters or even on-foot battles, adding layers of strategy and variety to every match.

Star Fox 64‘s multiplayer was a celebration of skill and camaraderie. And in those moments, friendships were both tested and forged amid the skies.

4. Perfect Dark

Up to 4 players

When it comes to shooters on the N64, GoldenEye 007 often steals the spotlight. But lurking in its shadow, boasting advanced technology and intriguing gameplay, stood its spiritual successor: Perfect Dark.

Building on the foundations laid by its predecessor, Perfect Dark transported players to a futuristic world with a compelling narrative. But it wasn’t just the story that captivated players; it was the game’s innovations.

Graphics took a significant leap, offering a visual treat. Environments felt more immersive, and characters showcased finer details, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

The array of weapons in Perfect Dark was truly a marvel. Not only were there more options, but many came with secondary functions, adding layers of strategy to combat scenarios.

But the crown jewel? The enhanced multiplayer options. With customizable game modes and AI-controlled “Simulants” to fill player slots, multiplayer battles were unpredictable and thrilling, offering countless hours of entertainment.

While it followed in the footsteps of a giant, Perfect Dark forged its path. In the realm of N64 shooters, it wasn’t just another game; it was an evolution, proving that even in a world of classics, there’s always room for innovation.

3. Mario Kart 64

Up to 4 players

When we think of racing with a twist, Mario Kart 64 zooms into the spotlight. This wasn’t just about speed—it was about strategy, wit, and sometimes, sheer luck.

At the heart of the game was its diverse set of tracks. From the serene Koopa Troopa Beach to the treacherous Rainbow Road, each track was a world in itself. Sharp turns, hidden shortcuts, and thematic obstacles ensured every race felt fresh and exhilarating.

But what truly set Mario Kart 64 apart were the power-ups and items scattered throughout the races. A well-timed mushroom could give you that necessary speed boost, while a cheeky banana peel could send your rival spinning. These items added an element of unpredictability, ensuring no two races were ever the same.

Then, there was the iconic battle mode, turning racers into tacticians. With balloons attached to karts and arenas designed for chaos, players had to be both aggressive and defensive, striking a balance between attacking foes and guarding their own balloons.

And who could forget the intense emotions tied to the blue shell? There was unparalleled joy in narrowly dodging this winged menace. Conversely, the heartbreak of being struck just before the finish line was a shared experience, often followed by shouts of disbelief.

Mario Kart 64 wasn’t just a game—it was an adventure on wheels, where every race held moments of triumph, comedy, and sometimes, the sweet taste of revenge.

2. Super Smash Bros.

Up to 4 players

When the N64 introduced Super Smash Bros., it wasn’t just launching a game—it was sparking a phenomenon. This wasn’t your standard fighting game; it was an ensemble of gaming legends clashing in epic battles.

Variety of Characters: Imagine a world where Mario could face off against Link, or Pikachu could challenge Donkey Kong. Super Smash Bros. made this dream a reality. By drawing from various gaming universes, it allowed players to step into the shoes of their favorite characters, each with their unique abilities and moves.

Unique Battle Arenas: The stages in Super Smash Bros. were more than mere backdrops; they were dynamic participants in every match. Players might find themselves dodging barrels in Donkey Kong’s jungle or avoiding the looming danger in the haunted Zelda castle. These arenas added layers of strategy and unpredictability to each fight.

Intuitive Combat System: What made Super Smash Bros. stand out was its balance between simplicity and depth. Newcomers could jump in, land punches, and feel the thrill of combat. Yet, beneath this accessible surface lay a deep system of dodges, counters, and special moves. Mastery took time, making every victory feel truly earned.

In the sea of multiplayer games, Super Smash Bros. shone brightly, offering a blend of nostalgia, competition, and pure, unadulterated fun.

1. GoldenEye 007

Up to 4 players

In a decade rife with gaming classics, GoldenEye 007 stood tall, redefining first-person shooters and multiplayer battles for generations to come.

This James Bond-inspired game was more than just a film adaptation. It was a ticket to thrilling espionage adventures. Central to its charm were its multiplayer modes. Whether it was the every-player-for-themselves chaos of deathmatch or the teamwork-centric capture the flag, there was a mode for everyone. These variations added depth, ensuring countless hours of gameplay.

GoldenEye 007 also spoiled players with a wide range of weapons. From silent but deadly throwing knives to the explosive power of the rocket launcher, players had ample choices to strategize and outwit their foes.

The game’s environments played a starring role too. Locations like the Facility were more than just battlegrounds—they were mazes of tension and excitement. With countless corners to ambush or be ambushed, every step was filled with suspense.

We all remember sleepovers where the goal was simple: stay up as late as possible (sometimes we never slept), battling friends in split-screen mode. The four sections of those bulky CRT TVs became battlegrounds in themselves. Glancing at another player’s section was officially “cheating,” yet everyone sneaked a peek.

And let’s not forget the unspoken rule: No Oddjob. Picking this character was almost an admission of wanting an unfair edge, given his shorter stature and harder-to-hit nature.

When we got bored, we didn’t switch cartridges to play something new. We went to Slappers Only.

GoldenEye 007 wasn’t just a game; it was a rite of passage, fostering camaraderie, friendly rivalries, and countless stories to tell. It’s why it tops our list of the best N64 multiplayer games.

Wrapping Up

The N64 era redefined multiplayer gaming. Each title, from GoldenEye 007 to NBA Showtime, brought something unique to the table. These games created lasting memories and forged friendships. Today, they remain landmarks in the gaming world, cherished by fans old and new.

The N64’s legacy lives on, proof that great games never fade away. It was a golden age of gaming, where fun and camaraderie were always the top scores.