20 years later and I’m still completely in love with the N64. From Mario 64 to Goldeneye to The Ocarina Of Time, the N64 gave me many of my favourite games growing up, and it probably did the same for you too.
Now we can all play all those top N64 games for free on a tablet or smartphone using an emulator (I personally use MegaN64).
Your phone / tablet doesn’t even need to be that great to be able to run N64 games. You don’t need a dedicated graphics card, or a quad core CPU. And you don’t need a great deal of RAM or ROM either.
The only problem with running N64 games on a smartphone or tablet is the controls.
Assuming you don’t have an external keyboard or a Bluetooth controller, and you’re thereby stuck with the touchscreen itself, you’ll find some games tricky to play.
Goldeneye and Perfect Dark (two of the best N64 games ever), are very difficult to play on touchscreen. Holding R to aim while pressing Z to fire and moving with the touchscreen analogue stick is far from easy and makes both Goldeneye and Perfect Dark too difficult to be enjoyable, which sucks as they are both truly amazing N64 games.
So the bad news is that some of the best N64 games don’t work verywell on touchscreen.
But some games work perfectly.
In this list of the top N64 games for smartphone and tablet, I’ve chosen games that you can play easily using only your phone or tablets touchscreen.
Let’s take a look.
The Best N64 Games For Phones And Tablets
- StarFox 64
I really enjoyed playing StarFox 64 on a touchscreen but it’s also a little difficult to get to grips with. For the most part (particularly in the easy levels) you won’t have much of a problem taking down enemies. But by the time you make it to Venom and there are enemy ships all over the place, you’ll find it difficult to play StarFox 64 accurately on a touchscreen, mostly because of the sheer number of button presses needed.
Starwing is one of the best N64 games ever (I had a blast playing the VS multiplayer back in the ‘good ol days’) so it’s great to see Starwing holding up one phones and tablets today.
- Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is one of the best Resident Evil games and also one of the best N64 games. Being able to play it on smartphone and tablet is fantastic. But does it work?
For the most part, yes, for a couple reasons. First off, the Z button is only used for the inventory. I always find the Z button the most awkward one to use on my Android tablet, so not having to use it very often is great. Resident Evil 2 doesn’t require any precise character movement either, making it easy to use the touchsceen analogue stick. The only problem I had playing Resident Evil 2 on Android using MegaN64 is that occasionally you may miss the R button when you’re trying to switch targets. But because of the relatively slow pace of Resident Evil 2, most of the time this isn’t a big deal.
- Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis is one of the many great Mario-themed sports games on N64. It’s cute. It’s fun. And you can play as Paratrooper. Awesome.
The controls for Mario Tennis are quite simple. Just move your character with the analogue stick then press A or B to hit the ball (there are some more complicated controls but you can play using just these three inputs). That simplicity translates well on touchscreen.
- Mario Golf
Mario Golf is a fantastic game that lots of N64 gamers missed out on. They probably presumed it would be boring because… well, it’s golf. But actually, Mario Golf was one of the most enjoyable of all N64 games and was the type of game that even total non-gamers could pick up and have fun with. I will say that some of the textures didn’t seem to work properly on my Android tablet, but that might be because I was using an older Samsung Galaxy A8 at the time.
Mario Golf is a casual game that you can take your time playing. You can line up your shot and then hit the ball, taking your time and pressing only one button at a time. That’s a good thing for touchscreens because you only need to use one finger to play.
Because of the ease of touchscreen play, and the quality of the original game, Mario Golf is without doubt one of the top N64 games for smartphones and tablets.
In my experience most platform games work quite well when played on your tablet or smartphone’s touchscreen. The only slight problem with platformers is when you need to be particularly precise about the movement of your character. Because the touchscreen’s analogue stick is not as precise as the actual N64’s analogue stick it can be difficult to move your character accurately. But that’s a relatively small gripe.
Banjo Kazooie was one of the best platform games for N64, and it translates well to touchscreen.
5. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a hilarious game and one of the finest of all Rare’s games. The earlier stages don’t require much control accuracy and the pace is fairly slow, making it easy to play on Android. It can be difficult using the High Jump (which requires you to hold Z, press A, and move Conker at the same time—a little tricky on touchscreen). But the majority of Conker’s Bad Fur Day works well on touchscreen.
4. Paper Mario
Paper Mario was delightful. Such a cute little RPG. Definitely one of the best N64 games ever. And for the most part it works well on tablet and smartphone. The controls are pretty easy, mostly because you rarely need to use multiple buttons at once. And because of the graphical design, the game looks beautiful on a smaller screen.
- 3 Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon is a slow-paced game that doesn’t require any great finger dexterity. That makes it very easy to play on touchscreen. The cute and colourful graphics look beautiful on a smaller, handheld screen too.
2 Majora’s Mask
Of course, the N64’s Zelda games represent some of the best games ever made. And the good news is this: they work flawlessly when emulated on your phone or tablet. Neither game requires very precise movement, making the touchscreen analogue stick more than adequate, and the buttons are easy to use too. Add to that the fact that Majora’s Mask is a truly stunning game and I’m sure you’ll agree it deserves it’s place in this list.
1 . Mario 64
Mario 64. Wow. The first time I played this game my eyes bulged. It was at a convention in London a few weeks before the console was released. Holding that unique controller and playing the scintillatingly stunning Mario 64 was a real joy. And the good news is this: Mario 64 on phone and tablets works near perfectly. I say near perfectly because a couple of moves are hard to perform. I did find the wall jumping (when you repeatedly jump from one wall to another) hard on touchscreen. But most of Mario 64 works perfectly on touchscreen, and that’s just flipping brilliant that is.
Only kidding. Here is the real number 1 N64 game of all time. . .
- Ocarina Of Time
In my opinion (and maybe yours too) The Ocarina Of Time is the greatest game ever made. Thee graphics, the story, the moment when you step forward in time to play as older link; dark link… it’s all incredible. And the controls feel easy and comfortable when playing on touchscreen. Plus, playing on handheld makes you feel closer to the action.
If you’ve ever wanted to play Ocarina Of Time again (and who hasn’t?!) I highly recommend doing it on your phone or tablet. It’s simply excellent.
In my opinion, these are the absolute best N64 games to play on a touchscreen.