Nintendo's final cartridge-based game system, the Nintendo 64 (1996-2001), ironically used cartridges that are shaped like grave stones. This unintentional symbolism revealed the fate of the crummy system, which failed to uphold the reputation of excellence of Nintendo' previous stems. Excellent games for the N64 were scant, but there were a few treasures to be found.
Four for the 64
* Golden Eye 007 -- Practically anyone who ever owned an N64 claims this as the best of its generation. Playing off the success of the reinvigorated 007 movie franchise, the adventure game found superspy James Bond in a winding, double entendre-laden adventure. The best feature in the game is the four-player death match tournament, which distracted countless college students from studying for finals in the late 1990s.
* Star Wars Rogue Squadron -- In those final days of hype before the Star Wars prequel trilogy, this dogfighter/flight sim was the closest players could get to living the Jedi experience. Soaring visuals and intricate, multifaceted flight missions keep this one fresh.
* Super Mario 64 -- When Mario's first 3-D adventure was released at the launch of the N64, it was deservedly hailed as the best video game ever created. While other games have since surpassed it, the game still holds up as a typically addictive Mario adventure. True fans of the game picked up the Nintendo DS version.
* The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time -- In what may be the deepest, most beautiful Legend of Zelda title to date, Ocarina had players guide Link through timeline-hopping adventures both as a teenager and a child. Luscious 3-D graphics made this one a must-buy.