The Nintendo 64 is looked upon as the low point in Nintendo's vaunted console history. Skunked by the PlayStation in the late-1990s console wars, the system fell by the wayside because of its antiquated polygon graphics and cartridge-based games. Because of the Nintendo 64, many thought that the company was soon to fold under the intense competition that Sony gave them as a new comer, it looked really grim for them. Chief among the indiscretions perpetrated by the N64 was its horrid memory card system, which required gamers interested in saving their progress to either purchase a new card for each game or erase the memory of a past game entirely before proceeding to the next one. Still, the system holds some appeal for nostalgia hounds and five-and-dime aficionados. N64 consoles and cartridges may one day become collectors' items. They've already been phased out of most used game stores.
So Should I Get One?
To be blunt, there's no practical reason to spend hard-earned money on an N64 nowadays. There weren't many good games for the system, and the few winners, including Animal Crossing, Mario 64 and the phenomenal Zelda titles -- The Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask -- were transported onto better systems. The kitsch factor for the N64 is off the charts, though. If you're into antiquing and want to drop a few bucks on a silly slice of retro gauche, you could do worse.
Do check out the Nintendo Wii, that is a great system that has taken usability and fun as priorities. The games are very cool, and the new system from Nintendo has even invaded the cooler office spaces (including ours here at ShopWiki) with great titles like Guitar Hero III. There's a lot more in the Nintendo Wii buying guide on ShopWiki to help you chose between that system or another such as a PlayStation 3 (Playstation 3 products) with its killer graphics system or even Microsoft's Xbox 360 (Xbox 360 game consoles).