What's The Worst Nintendo Console?

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#1 Posted by Haz (434 posts) -

What do you guys consider to be the worst Nintendo console of all time? This is a very divisive topic, as classic games were released on all of Nintendo's main consoles throughout the years. Ultimately, however there were some consoles that were worse than others when you look at the bigger picture.

For me Nintendo's 'worst' console actually had two of the biggest games that lead the way for generations to come - the Nintendo 64.

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Why?

The Nintendo 64 only launched with Pilotwings 64 and Super Mario 64 in North America. Super Mario 64 was a phenomenal game, but game releases were staggered throughout the console's life cycle. Nintendo lost a lot of third party support with the Nintendo 64 as well, which they've still had to deal with to this day. That said, it looks like the Switch has some of the best support they've seen since the SNES.

The controller is also quite poor with it's odd shape and design. Although the analogue stick was a big revolution at this point, the ergonomics of the controller were awful.

The combination of the lack third party support, consistent game releases and the controller are factors that make me consider this to be their worst console. Despite having great games like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Wave Race 64, Banjo-Kazooie, etc, it was quite lacklustre compared to their other consoles.

Runner Up - Wii U

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The Wii U is my second least favourite Nintendo console. Like the Nintendo 64, it had some great games on it, but in the grand scheme of things it was a pretty sad time to be a Nintendo fan. The whole concept was poorly executed by Nintendo, the controller was clunky and felt cheap, the console UI was awful, the game releases were staggered and the third party support was practically non-existent. The one benefit of the Wii U's struggles was that Nintendo ultimately hit a lot of the right boxes with the Switch and we've seen a complete 180 from the Wii U days, for the most part.

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#2 Posted by Casepb (776 posts) -

I would say the Virtual Boy was the worst. My favorite is actually the N64 ha.

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#3 Posted by Rahf (544 posts) -

Nintendo 64 has a fair share of seminal iterations in video game history.

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#4 Edited by chaser324 (8719 posts) -

It's definitely the Wii U in my opinion. Only a handful of titles actually capitalized on the unique aspects of the console in any significant way, and the library was extremely slim in general with very few noteworthy games. Even as a lifelong Nintendo fan, I felt entirely justified in skipping over it, and in the end felt like I hadn't actually missed all that much.

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#5 Posted by notnert427 (2295 posts) -

The N64 also had Goldeneye, the best Mario Kart, Perfect Dark, etc. It has too many classic games for it to be a bad console. Also, those consoles are fucking bulletproof. My original one has been through like six moves and still fires up every time. The controller is kinda trash and the graphics suck ass now, but I still love the N64.

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#6 Posted by BisonHero (11637 posts) -

I mean, the Virtual Boy is the undisputed correct answer. But also it was such a failure that it’s hard to consider it a real release. It’s almost more like a weird Wii Vitality Sensor oddity, where Nintendo likes to experiment with tech in a weird prototype way that should never come to market because its too weird to be marketable.

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#7 Edited by Nick (1044 posts) -

i have a lot of favourites from the N64. personally my least favourite is the NES; i never really got into many NES games (except mario/zelda and maybe a couple others), and growing up we were a Sega Master System household.

edit: oh and i never owned a Wii U so i'm not counting that

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#8 Edited by Tom_omb (1087 posts) -

Virtual boy aside, I think the Wii was the worst console.

Loaded with shovel ware. An obnoxious controller that screamed awful sounds at you, with no way to turn it off. The motion controls were hardly used in the Mario Galaxy games, the console's most acclaimed. Although I'm of the opinion they are the weakest of the 3D Marios for the elimination of 64 style exploration and poor camera, among other things.

Even parts of Zelda were unplayable due to the motion controls. It felt like Nintendo was neglecting its core audience by pandering to their new broader audience that saw the Wii as a fad. Over tutorialization of Zelda was another result of that.

I saw the Wii U as a return to form. Mario 3D World trimmed the fat off Galaxy and made the better pure platforming Mario. Its life was cut short, and I feel a lot of the hate the Wii U gets is in comparison to the Switch. Plus Miiverse was the best social network.

N64 was my favorite for the record. Mario 64 and Zelda essentially defined how modern games control. They personally defined my tastes and habits in games to this day. I played Perfect Dark regularly for a decade.

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#9 Edited by not_a_bumblebee (153 posts) -

I would honestly say in terms of my enjoyment it would be the Wii hands down. Outside of a dozen or two great games it was a wasteland of shovelware. N64 seems like a solid choice on paper because that controller sucked and games from that era don't hold up very well. That said I had so much fun with it back in the day that I can't be too hard on it.

I'm not counting the Virtual Boy because I see it more as a failed novelty instead of a true console.

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#10 Edited by BisonHero (11637 posts) -

Three best Nintendo consoles:

Super Nintendo

GameCube

Switch?

Not so much my personal opinion, but those are the three I’m not seeing anyone mentioning as bad. The NES is respected and obviously a big deal in its time, but I think many of the games are too primitive to appreciate in modern times, and most of those series are objectively improved on the Super Nintendo.

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#11 Posted by FacelessVixen (2708 posts) -

Not counting the Virtual Boy, the Wii U was a low point. It was technically the one I skipped between me starting with a N64.

I'm glad that Tokyo Mirage Sessions is getting a Switch version.

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#12 Posted by billmcneal (1278 posts) -

Wii U

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#13 Posted by Efesell (4634 posts) -

I feel like the N64 and the Wii U operate in a very similar tier and it's pretty hard to choose.

I'd say the N64 comes out ahead of the Wii U though because of the hits that it did have. The Wii U had some good games to be sure but I don't know if we'll be talking about them still in 20 years.

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#14 Posted by Shindig (4987 posts) -

Honestly, I'm not big on the N64. I keep thinking, if they do inevitably release a classic mini, they'll be struggling to fill slots beyond the Mario / Zelda wheelhouse. I know Rare did some bangers but then what?

That said, the Wii's potential legacy is kinda ruined by motion controls. The work Nintendo would have to do to preserve the big Wii hitters potentially cuts its legs out from under it.

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#15 Edited by TheRealTurk (597 posts) -

I have fond memories of the N64, even though it lacked third party support, had a weird, uncomfortable controller, insisted on using cartridges, and had generally lousy sound design in most games. Even with all of that, it still had awesome first party games, plus things like GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Rogue Squadron, etc. I got a ton of enjoyment out of it even if it didn't have as many consistent hits as other consoles.

And while the Wii ultimately wasn't anything to write home about, it at least created a zeitgeist and got people in the door who wouldn't otherwise be gamers.

The WiiU on the other hand was just bad. It still had a lousy control scheme, the tablet was a bad gimmick, it didn't really have any games, it was confusingly named and marketed and, if I recall, was thrown to the side of the road pretty quickly by Nintendo. Which ultimately might be the best thing about it.

. . . Sigh. I sort of feel like I've outgrown Nintendo in a way. I know the Switch is hitting it big, but I just don't feel an overwhelming urge to buy one even as I kind of hanker for playing Nintendo's first party games. I wish they'd just eschew all the weird motion control, cardboard box, detachable controller, whatever the fuck this is nonsense and make a big, old, dumb, powerful box with a comfortable controller and great third party games like Microsoft and Sony. But if they did that, they wouldn't be Nintendo.

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#16 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2120 posts) -

Wii U is defo better than N64 and Wii isn't even in this conversation. Though in all honesty I'd probably say NES

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#17 Posted by csl316 (15037 posts) -

I hate to say it, but probably the Gamecube. It had some darn good games, but nowhere near the amount of classics as their other systems. There is no "bad" Nintendo system, I think.

Though these days, I find the N64 really hard to go back to. It has a ton of nostalgia tied to it and many landmark titles were released, plus the built in 4-player setup was the biggest console multiplayer breakthrough until Halo LAN parties became a possibility. But when I think of N64 games I'd like to revisit, I'd rather just wait for a remaster. Every time I play an old game it just sullies my great memories.

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#18 Posted by Efesell (4634 posts) -

Wii U is defo better than N64 and Wii isn't even in this conversation. Though in all honesty I'd probably say NES

I guess it depends on the metric. I can see the NES as a "What's your least favorite Nintendo Console" but I think it's legit impossible to even suggest that it's the Worst Console. Devoid of all opinions on the machine itself or it's games the Wii U was by several metrics one of Nintendo's biggest failures.

Whereas it could be easily argued that the NES saved console gaming in the West.

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#19 Edited by Haz (434 posts) -

I should note that I didn’t mention the Virtual Boy because I don’t really consider that to be part of their main console line up. My choices were more focused on their main console releases (NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Switch).[

@shindig said:

Honestly, I'm not big on the N64. I keep thinking, if they do inevitably release a classic mini, they'll be struggling to fill slots beyond the Mario / Zelda wheelhouse. I know Rare did some bangers but then what?

That said, the Wii's potential legacy is kinda ruined by motion controls. The work Nintendo would have to do to preserve the big Wii hitters potentially cuts its legs out from under it.

I don’t really know what games they’d be able to fill into that either. Plus, involving Microsoft for any of the Rare games might be tricky, though considering Banjo-Kazooie are in Smash Bros Ultimate never say never.

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#20 Posted by Efesell (4634 posts) -

Yeah including the Virtual Boy would render the question much less interesting, being a device that in addition to being really stupid and having poor games caused Real Physical Pain when used.

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#21 Posted by _Brojangles_ (142 posts) -

I think the Wii U and Gamecube are pretty terrible/mediocre. I know the N64 gets a fair amount of flak, but I have a soft spot for it and still think it's the best console of its era. Hasn't aged well, but it's gems were massively influential.

I know the sales make this contentious, but I absolutely loathe everything about the Wii and the influence it had on future Nintendo products. The Switch thankfully seems to be rectifying some of my complaints though, with strong third party support for the first time since the Gamecube, and finally a hardware gimmick that isn't fucking terrible or underutilized.

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#22 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2120 posts) -

@efesell: by my metric of worst, its the nes.

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#23 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4586 posts) -

i've been looking from the sidelines mostly, but the existance of the Wii & Wii U made it clear that Nintendo is not for a guy like me. Wii U is probably the worst main console for Nintendo, but i do think that it has a better ratio of good to bad games than the Wii . That was a garbage dump. Like you had small mobile devs like NordCurrent & Zinkia suddenly attempting to get a wii game going.

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#24 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

As someone who really isn’t a huge fan of Nintendo, but has had most of their consoles, the N64 is my favorite.

Mario 64

Virtual Pro Wrestling 2

Perfect Dark

Goldeneye

Having owned everything aside from the Gamecube, either myself or through my son, those games make the N64 my preferred Nintendo console.

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#25 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: I thought the Wii and WiiU were pretty mediocre.

I think the only Wii games I cared about were Mario Galaxy and Silent Hill Shattered Memories.

The WiiU basically existed for me to play Bayonetta 2.

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#26 Posted by ATastySlurpee (689 posts) -

@haz: You are correct. but you could argue WiiU is the worst, followed by N64. N64 has nostalgia, so people dont typically agree, but the console wasn't great and it had the worst controller ever made.

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#27 Edited by soulcake (2827 posts) -

Agree on the N64 always hated that boomerang controller thing. And yeah i always was a PlayStation kid so that's probably my disdain for the thing and that i only played star wars podracer on the N64 :D and a kiosk demo off mario64. Also how do you even hold the thing i always went for one hand in the middle but this seems wrong?

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#28 Posted by MrGreenMan (253 posts) -

As successful as the Wii is I like only maybe 3 games on the whole console and has probably more shovelware for a console than any of the others. I did know a kid that had a Virtual Boy and was just awkward to play and had something like 20 games in it's whole library with 2 being actually good, Hell we got Mario Tennis because of Virtual Boy. What did the Wii do other than make a boat load of money.

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#29 Posted by hermes (2638 posts) -

To me, the worst console (virtual boy aside, which was barely a console) is between the GameCube and the Wii U. Both come to having a library that was mostly a wasteland and they being very uninteresting compared to the competition.

The N64 could be a contender, after all, many games haven't aged well and the controller was designed by and for aliens, but it has the advantage because for a few years it was truly ahead of the competition and the good games it had were close to magic... The feeling of playing Mario 64 for the first time coming from the 16 bits era was as close to the final scenes in 2001 my young mind could get.

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Of course, this question is quite personal and tinted with nostalgia, but my vote for most disappointing goes to WiiU and GC.

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#30 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2567 posts) -

Its a dead heat between NES and N64 as far as im concerened. Obviously at their time they were good but nowa days theyre the two id chose to avoid

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#31 Posted by BoboBones (291 posts) -

For me, it’s the Wii, or NES. The NES was my first gaming experience, but I’m more likely to play Wii titles in 2019.

The N64 was terribly designed, but my time with it was glorious.

The Wii U had the Pro controller, (that battery life)

Mario Maker, Tropical Freeze, Breath of The Wild, Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart, 3D World, Remasters of Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Captain Toad, and Splatoon,

SNES, Switch, and GameCube, are my favorites.

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#32 Edited by Drachmalius (718 posts) -

Of the ones I owned, it's definitely the Wii U. It was so bad that even when a great game came out on it, I didn't want to play it because actually using the console was a chore. The gamepad was bad and felt cheap, and the pro controller I had wasn't much better. It made me kinda hate BOTW at first because my first playthrough was on the Wii U, and they removed any functionality that would make playing that game on that system a good experience (I later came around on BOTW when I played on switch).

It actually says a lot about Tokyo Mirage Sessions that it was good enough to motivate me to use the console long enough to finish that game. Terrible piece of hardware.

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#33 Posted by doctordonkey (1863 posts) -

Wii U, no question. Shitty fuckin' console aside from a couple bangers. Terrible name, price, and marketing. Zero third party support. Outdated, unimpressive hardware for its time.

The only use that Wii U had was to later pad out the line-up for the actual console that mattered, Switch. Other than that it was trash.

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#34 Posted by inevpatoria (7487 posts) -

I find the Wii tremendously inconvenient.

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#35 Posted by Captain_Insano (3540 posts) -

My personal nostalgia means that I really love the N64 in spite of its flaws. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, Mario Golf (sensing a theme here), Banjo Kazooie, DK64 and so many others. Even if they dont hold up now, they still were great at the time.

I dropped off the Gamecube pretty hard and traded it away. Didnt get a Nintendo console (not counting 3DS) until the switch. Played my share of Wii stuff, never touched a WiiU. So I'll say Wii U

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#36 Edited by jamesyfx (161 posts) -

I hold a lot of reverence for the N64. My friend had one, and I could only watch him play Super Mario 64. Everything about it looked futuristic at the time - the analog controller, the full 360 degree movement, and the sound.

My least favourite nintendo console is the 'New' 3DS. I was irritated by the fact that they released an updated device which had games unique to that system. There was no need to do that. That basically just put me off playing my 'old' 3DS and I just kept it in storage and eventually sold it.

Otherwise.. if we're not counting handhelds... The Wii U. Granted it paved the way for the Switch, it felt a bit unnecessary.

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#37 Posted by wollywoo (324 posts) -

@haz: What's wrong with you?! If the N64 only ever had Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, it would still be one of the best consoles. Add to that gems like the Majora's Mask, Smash, Mario Kart, Wave Race, F-Zero X, Star Fox, Rayman 2, and the amazing Rare lineup (GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini) and you have, maybe, my favorite console.

My least favorite is probably the Wii U (not counting Virtual Boy), for all the obvious reasons. But I actually never owned one, for all those same reasons, so I can't quite judge.

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#38 Posted by Damodar (2190 posts) -

Definitely the N64. While it had a couple of incredible games, the library of stuff that was actually good was too small and quite a lot of the stuff that WAS good often ran extremely poorly. It's maybe superficial, but I also think the games mostly look really bad. Even some areas where the hardware was actually kind of advanced still basically managed to make the games look worse, like the horrible texture filtering. Cartridges felt like they were holding back some of the games a bit, the controller was a nightmare etc etc. Plus, I think the PS1 is a really outstanding system and the N64 suffers further, having to be compared to that. I also wanna say the Virtual Boy was rushed out early in order to not clash with the launch of the N64, so if you think the Virtual Boy is terrible, we should probably all blame the N64 for that one.

Not that surprised to see the Wii U getting dunked on here, and yeah, that the system itself was an ill-conceived and convoluted response to the extremely succinct idea behind the accessibility of the Wii, with nothing on the system ever really able to fully make good on showcasing those particular gimmicks. Pretty sure nobody at Nintendo ever really knew what that thing was supposed to be. Buuuut I also really like my Wii U, and despite the abject failure of the system as a product, there's some really good stuff on there! The Switch definitely wouldn't be as strong as it is if it wasn't leveraging those games so heavily. At the very least, I'm glad most of those games are finding a home somewhere where a reasonable size audience might actually see them. Yay Tokyo Mirage Sessions! Also, while I think the N64 suffered from being pitted against the PS1, I think in some ways, the Wii U fares better against the competition from its own generation merely by virtue of the fact that the vast majority of the games on the other systems were multi-platform, including PC. Being primarily a PC player nowadays, the Wii U felt like a good supplementary console to own because of those Nintendo exclusives, where I never really saw any value in owning, for example, an Xbox One.

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#39 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7691 posts) -

So, my vote is without equivocation N64

  • A terrible "by committee" controller
  • Cartridges two years after the rest of the industry showed how to properly use CD-ROMs
  • Expensive games because of cartridges, no CD and thus no ability to have music , cutscenese, or even large game files
  • Behind the times technologically with an outdated, brute force 3D graphics rendering system; so provably behind the times Silicon Graphics, Inc. went under soon after. SGI were totally crushed -like trailer truck running over little old ladies in a crosswalk - unpaired for modern 3D graphics

If you read, "Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony PlayStation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games" by Reiji Asakura it lays out WHY Sony won. Because it wasn't just Sony's own games, 3rd party support, CDs, or their controllers. It not just what Sony did right, it was what Nintendo did so terribly wrong that is illuminated in the book. Sony was a hippopotamus, but they danced like a ballerina making a smaller company with "ONE JOB" - look clumsy.

If you look at the whole game industry: games, game developers, publishers, distribution systems, technology, computer chip design, and all the parts of the what makes success and failure; you have to say N64 was a huge blunder.

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#40 Posted by FinalDasa (3241 posts) -

It's gotta be the Wii.

At least for myself it is.

Never felt like those motion controls truly made sense. Even during wonderful games like Wii Sports you'd be met with drifting, constant re-calibration needs, or poor feedback about what you were supposed to be doing.

Even with decent titles littered throughout its lifespan, the few games that did really entice me were always baked in with poor to okay motion controls.

Nintendo can sometimes hit a gimmick head on and find quality. With the Wii it never felt like they found the sweet spot.

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#41 Posted by Tom_omb (1087 posts) -

For all the people complaining about the N64 controller, it standardized thumb sticks and triggers. So.... every controller that came after is basically a child of the SNES and N64.

Sure, it's a little goofy, but that makes it more lovable to me.

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#42 Posted by DaisySimpson (1 posts) -

According to me, Virtual Boy was the worst in al the Nintendo Console.

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#43 Posted by Luchalma (554 posts) -

The N64 has been the default answer in my head forever. It wasn't an awful console. But outside of the few really bright spots there's just nothing. Thinking about it again though, I guess the Wii U is kind of in a similar vein. Except while I think it has more good games, it had absolutely nothing that made an impact the way Mario 64 or Ocarina did.

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#44 Posted by psmgamer (132 posts) -

Virtual Boy as you need to look into those googles and it felt so uncomfortable to be starring at the screen.

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#45 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

I never had a virtual boy but those things always seemed pretty shite. Wii U has a couple of great games but it's not a console I'd recommend to anyone and I can't imagine why I'd play games on an N64 seeing as all the best games are on 3DS now anyway.

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#46 Posted by ShaggE (9312 posts) -

Color TV Game 6. Wasn't even the best of the Pong consoles.