Best of ND 2013: Top Ten: Rare Games

Rare made a lot of hits for Nintendo over their time together. Which game reigns supreme?

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/02/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

1) Goldeneye 007

Platform: Nintendo 64 (1997)

Games like Call of Duty might never have happened if not for Goldeneye 007. Rare’s first-person magnum opus not only revolutionized the first-person shooter on home consoles, but totally transformed competitive multplayer overnight. Goldeneye actually began life as an SNES title, but languished in development limbo as legal issues prevented it from ever seeing the light of day on the system. Luckily, once all the red tape had been cleared, Rare was free to produce the game for Nintendo 64, and the rest, as they say, is history.

First-person shooters had been a staple of PC gaming for years, but had found little success on home consoles; most developers didn’t consider the systems capable of offering an alternative control input equal to a mouse and keyboard. Utilizing the Nintendo 64 controller’s analogue stick, Goldeneye proved how accurate and fluid first-person controls could be on something other than a computer. What made Goldeneye more compelling, however, was applying this new control setup to a more cinematic and objective laden first-person experience than ever before. Goldeneye was every bit as thrilling as any Bond movie, with authentic presentation, music, and gadgets. The emphasis on stealth during certain missions was also highly innovative for the time, as most other first-person shooters insisted on constant gun fighting.

Where Goldeneye really shined, though, was in four-player death matches. Multiplayer had long been a part of the video game industry, but Goldeneye took the institution to a new level. Players became obsessed with the mode, as everyone who gave the game a go found themselves entranced with a newfound sense of competitiveness that Goldeneye so easily fostered. Titles like Halo: Combat Evolved and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare all expounded on the foundation Rare laid with this, its seminal work. Goldeneye remains the biggest legacy of Rare’s time with Nintendo and a hallmark of the industry.

Should Banjo Pilot have made the list? Wondering where Mickey’s Speedway USA is? Is R.C. Pro Am more deserving of a slot than Diddy Kong Racing? Let us know in the comments!

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