In 1996, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. This 64-bit cartridge-based console was an immediate hit and gave us games such as GoldenEye 007, Super Smash Brothers, and of course, Mario 64. The console was released when I was the tender age of 10, and I fell in love with it as soon as I had one of my own. Over the years I've hooked up my original Nintendo 64 to play a few select games, but the game I continuously return to is Super Mario 64! Have you played Mario 64 on Nintendo Switch yet?

During the pandemic, I got a Nintendo Switch. My love for Mario hasn't waned since the late 1980s, and I thusly bought the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 online expansions for Switch. While the Nintendo and Super Nintendo expansions offer a solid selection of games, the Nintendo 64 expansion is pretty limited. But they do have the one game I keep going back to time and time again, which was worth the cost of admission. But does this game hold up over time, and how does it play on Nintendo's newest console?

Once the all too familiar "It'sa me, Mario!" catchphrase rang out, I was immediately drawn back to the summer of 1996. Much like the N64, players can stretch and manipulate Mario's face before the game begins. Once you hit the start, players are transported to the all-familiar kingdom of Princess Peach. Once inside Peach's castle, players are alerted that Bowser has taken over the magical castle, and it's up to Mario to defeat Bowser once again. Absolutely nothing has changed from the 1996 cartridge -- it is truly the same exact game.


The 3-D graphics, despite being 25 years old, are still fun and delightful for players. The character and world designs are still mostly boxy with sharp edges on certain characters, but with early 3-D video games, this was the norm. Yet overall, the graphics are charming and inviting and create a family-friendly world that players of any age can get lost in.

In the original Nintendo 64 game, certain parts of the game would glitch, and many of those glitches have carried into this port. The camera angles are still wonky. During certain parts of the game your point of view is too close (or too far). Manipulating the camera around Mario is still clumsy and at times frustrating. But I wouldn't expect Nintendo to fix that on a 25-year-old game.

Classic Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Mario 64 is great. Each world has its own unique sound, ranging from fun and peppy to calm and tranquil. Jolly Roger bay, which takes players underwater, has a very soothing soundtrack to go along with it. The sound effects in this level reflect the nature of water, creating a calm atmosphere.

This juxtaposes terrifically against the slight terror players feel when they realize Mario can not hold his breath underwater forever. Unlike the panic-inducing music players hear when Sonic is about to drown in his respective games, Mario's composers opted to keep everything calm and neutral.

It's a Control Thing

Unlike the original Nintendo 64, the controls on this port are too loose. The game does respond quickly to the Switch controls, which at times makes the game slightly more difficult. Without the slight restraint the Nintendo 64 console had, there were times when Mario was too quick, resulting in losing the level. This is mildly frustrating and requires the player to now take their time. Adapting to the layout of the Switch controls is easy; being able to play with an original controller would feel better.

Wrapping Up

Nintendo did update Mario 64 with Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo DS. This updated game allows players to play multiple characters, and the graphics have been appropriately updated. But for those of us who grew up in the 1990s, this expansion is a delight.

Overall this is still one of the best Mario games, and it absolutely holds up. Purchasing the online expansion might not be for everyone. Still, if you absolutely need to scratch that itch and don't own a Nintendo 64, this is the best option.

Have you visited our Video Game Price Guide yet?

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect