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7 Best 2D Platformers On The Nintendo 64, Ranked

A huge number of great video games were available for the Nintendo 64. These are the best 2D platform games on the system.

The Nintendo 64 was a new kind of video game system for both Nintendo and video games in general. It was one of the first steps toward adding 3D animation to computer games, and many of the first games to use its technology to make amazing and memorable 3D experiences.

This was best for platformers because a lot of 3D platformers came out during the Nintendo 64’s lifeframe. But there were also great 2D platformers for the Nintendo 64, both made by Nintendo and by other companies. These games stayed true to the 2D genre while making the most of 3D graphics.

Lode Runner 3D

Jake Peril walking across a curvy platform in Lode Runner 3D

The Lode Runner series has been around since the early 1980s. With the release of Lode Runner 3D for the Nintendo 64, the series took its first step into 3D art. But the game still plays like a 2D shooter and follows the same rules as the games that came before it.

As Jake Peril tries to catch The Mad Monk Emperor of Planet Pandora, players will have to move through levels while monsters are after them. The goal of each level is to gather gold pieces, which will slowly open the door to the next level. As soon as they are all together, Jake can get away.

Tigger’s Honey Hunt

An arrow made of Honey Pots that Tigger is walking towards in Tigger's Honey Hunt

During the N64 era of platformers, there were a lot of collect-a-thons. This was mostly because characters could move around in 3D areas. There were, however, 2D games like Tigger’s Honey Hunt that liked the idea of collecting things.

Based on the world of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, players control Tigger as he jumps between six different levels and tries to find all the honey pots. Collecting 100 honey pots in each level is the main goal. There is also platforming and extra material like mini-games and time trials.

Tarzan

Tarzan pointing his spear at a jaguar in the Nintendo 64's Tarzan

In the late 1990s and most of the 2000s, there were a lot of branded video games that came out at the same time as movies. Tarzan is one of these games. It was based on the Disney movie and came out just a few months after the movie became a big hit.

This 2.5D platformer has some movie elements, like Terk, Tarzan’s friend who helps with the training. Each stage has both collectibles and different kinds of fights, some of which feature spears and umbrellas as weapons. You can also collect letters. Getting six letters in a level will let you see scenes from the movie.

Mischief Makers

Marina standing on platforms with faces on them while enemies stand near in Mischief Makers

The Japanese game company Treasure is known for making games with unique ideas. They have been putting out games for 20 years on a variety of platforms, such as the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo 64 had a 2D platformer called Mischief Makers that was one of its most famous games.

Mischief Makers was the first 2D side-scrolling game for the Nintendo 64. It’s about Marina Liteyears, a robot maid who wants to save her maker from the emperor of Planet Clancer. Marina’s power to shake things to destroy them or use them in battle is the most important part of Snake Game.

Yoshi’s Story

A pink Yoshi running with eggs behind them with fruit surrounding the screen in Yoshi's Story

A few years after Yoshi’s Island came out on the SNES, Nintendo chose to keep making games about him. Yoshi’s Story was the first game in this universe to be in 3D, but it stayed true to the 2D side-scrolling roots of the series. But the game’s goals are very different from those of its predecessor.

In Yoshi’s Story, players can handle any of the different colored Yoshis as they move through levels and eat fruit. During each level, you need to eat 30 fruits to fill up a frame that goes around the screen’s edges. In both story mode and trial mode, players are told to eat certain fruits or a bunch of the same fruit in a row to get higher points.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Kirby facing off against Whispy Woods in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

It took HAL Laboratory a long time to make a 3D platformer set in the Kirby world. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was their first take at making Planet Popstar 3D in general. The game is still a 2D platformer with 3D graphics, even though it looks different.

Kirby goes on a trip with his friends to fix a sacred crystal that Dark Matter, the main bad guy in Kirby 64, broke. Like in previous games, Kirby can eat enemies to get their skills. This game, on the other hand, lets Kirby combine two skills into one new one, which makes fighting more difficult.

Goemon’s Great Adventure

A giant skeleton staring down at Goemon as he walks across a shaky bridge in Goemon's Great Adventure

After making a 3D platform adventure game for the Nintendo 64, the series’ creators chose to make the next game for the same system a 2D platformer instead of another 3D game. Goemon’s Great Adventure, one of the most famous platforming side-scrolling games for the Nintendo 64, came about because of this.

Goemon and his friends have to fight their way through stages and avoid enemies in order to stop the bad Bismaru from taking Wise Man’s revival machine. There is a day-night cycle in this game that changes how levels look and how hard they are, and there is also a couch co-op mode that lets two people play as different characters.

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