With the news that N64 games will be arriving on Nintendo Switch Online, we thought we’d look at some of the sports games we’d love to see arrive on the platform.
Due to licensing issues, it’s unlikely we will ever see these titles added. But a gamer can dream!
WWF/WWE No Mercy
Is wrestling a sport? It’s sports entertainment, pal! We couldn’t make this list without including one of THQ/AKI’s famous wrestling games from the N64 era. WWF No Mercy was the last in their N64 series and is considered the most refined version. In our opinion, the addition of ladder matches helped elevate No Mercy past WWF Wrestlemania 2000 in fun factor. With the N64’s four controller ports, it made those ladder matches all that more enjoyable. Could you imagine having those same matches online today?
No Mercy is still very much appreciated in 2021. It continues to be modded and emulated by the online community. It has also spawned spiritual successors, one of these being Wrestling Empire on the Nintendo Switch, which we recently reviewed. There are also rumors of the upcoming AEW game using an engine that is inspired by the old N64 wrestling game.
If we had to choose one football game on the N64 – it would be NFL Blitz. The arcade classic felt like it was meant to be on the N64 with its simplified control scheme and over-the-top action. Blitz was always a pass-heavy and QB scrambling game of football, almost mimicking today’s NFL!
Could you imagine Patrick Mahomes in an updated version of Blitz? Even without today’s NFL rosters, the old rosters would provide a cool nostalgia experience (Deion Sanders on the Cowboys!). Gamers have been longing for a football game on the Switch and Blitz would be the perfect addition.
If we were to predict one game from this list that might make it on the Nintendo Switch Online platform, it would be Nintendo’s very own 1080 Snowboarding. Extreme sports were all the rage in the 1990s and Nintendo capitalized on that momentum by releasing 1080 Snowboarding on the N64 in April 1998. Although 1080 would let you rack up high points by performing tricks on your board, the game really shined when racing against friends.
With the recent success of the remastered Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, it might make logical sense for Nintendo to reboot the 1080 Snowboarding franchise on Nintendo Switch Online or to remaster it as a standalone game.
Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
The flagship basketball game on the N64 had to be Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside.
The game was released when the late great Kobe Bryant was only in his second year in the NBA. The game eventually sold over one million copies and because of this was considered a “Player’s Choice” game. Courtside was considered a basketball sim for the time. The gameplay may not hold up as well as some of the arcade basketball games from the N64. But when we think N64 sports games, we think Kobe Bryant.
If basketball sims aren’t your jam, then we suggest checking out the N64 arcade basketball games including NBA Hangtime, NBA Showtime, and NBA Jam 99.
Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey
Midway Games expanded their arcade sports series to the ice by releasing Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey on the N64. Securing Gretzky’s namesake for the game was a big win for Midway. But the gameplay was also a big win with fast action and it really felt like the NFL Blitz of hockey.
The game featured a side-scrolling camera which fit well for the 3 on 3 action. The game was filled with gimmicks like goalies turning into a brick wall and the ambulance appearing when big hits occurred. There wasn’t another hockey game like it on the N64. With the 8 bit Super Blood Hockey being the only real option for hockey gamers on the Switch, adding Wayne Gretzky’s 3D hockey would be a nice complement.
What N64 sports games would you want to see arrive on the Nintendo Switch?