Nintendo’s groundbreaking “Project Reality” revolutionized the gaming industry.
This system from the 1990s provided us with immensely powerful 64-bit technology as well as a sophisticated first-party game developer framework.
This ensured that only the greatest games were released on the device.
Despite the N64’s difficult architecture, modders and fan game creators have been working for years to get into their favorite games, grasp the genius behind them, and try their hand at improving them.
I’d like to showcase some of the most stunning outcomes of their hard work here.
These great N64 ROM hacks are all available online for free and add plenty of extra features to your favorite N64 games.
- 21. Banjo Kazooie: Stay At Home
- 20. Super Donkey Kong 64
- 19. Star Fox 64: Survival
- 18. The Legend Of Zelda: Waluigi Of Time
- 17. Super Mario Star Road
- 16. Super Falcon 64
- 15. JFG Trainer & Co-Op (Jet Force Gemini)
- 14. Pokémon Stadium Kaizo (Pokémon Stadium)
- 13. Playable Patch (40 Winks)
- 12. CPUs Use Human Items (Mario Kart 64)
- 11. Amagami Mario Kart (Mario Kart 64)
- 10. Majora’s Mask REDUX (Majora’s Mask)
- 9. Ocarina of Time REDUX (Ocarina of Time)
- 8. Masked Quest (Majora’s Mask)
- 7. Super Mario: Star Road (SM64)
- 6. F-Zero DXP (F-Zero X)
- 5. F-Zero X Climax (F-Zero X)
- 4. Zelda’s Birthday (Ocarina of Time)
- 3. Super Mario 64: The Missing Stars (SM64)
- 2. GoldenEye X (Perfect Dark)
- 1. Super Mario 64: Last Impact (SM64)
21. Banjo Kazooie: Stay At Home
Banjo Kazooie: Stay at Home was made in the year 2020 to keep old-school gamers busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s full of Nintendo puns and shows the funny side of what was a pretty dark time for all of us.
This unique adventure is beautiful to look at and fun to play. It has the trademark Kurko Mods humor, and players collect toilet paper, which is one of the most sought-after things in this age of panic buying.
Remember the comment about getting old?
Well, each level is based on a different N64 game.
It reminds me a little of Gex: Enter the Gecko, with levels from Pokemon Snap, Donkey Kong 3, and a lot of other games.
Stay at Home gets a perfect score for creativity, and it shows that the retro game community wasn’t just sitting around while the rest of the world was alone.
20. Super Donkey Kong 64
Donkey Kong 64 is one of the best games ever made for the N64. It’s also the hardest to finish, keeping wizards who have 101% success busy for months at a time.
So, it’s safe to say that adding Mario to our next entry in the best N64 ROM hacks not only makes it harder, but also makes it one of the most exciting crosses of all time.
Mario and DK used to be enemies, but they worked out their problems on the race track.
When I look at Mario running around Kong Island and King K. Rool’s ship, it seems both normal and strange at the same time.
Mazza is back to earning stars instead of Golden Bananas, but this time in a different place.
If you’ve played DK64 until you’re sick of it and want to try something new, this is a great choice. It’s not new in any way, but it’s fun.
19. Star Fox 64: Survival
This Ocarina of Time ROM hack, called “Star Fox 64: Survival,” makes everyone’s favorite fox the main character.
Yes, Fox McCloud is in this survival game where baddies from Ocarina are everywhere.
In a nod to Pikmin, he has crashed his ship on a strange world and must now stay alive for 30 days.
If you make it through the day, you can buy things and weapons. The main screen looks exactly the same as it did in Ocarina of Time.
Just look at the picture of Fox holding the Hylian Shield.
With a brand-new plot and weapons that can be bought from a statue that talks, players must fight through hordes of enemies that are made up at random.
Iron Knuckles can sometimes show up on day one, so you’d better be smart.
Keep your cool, use bomb flowers, and make it to the end of day 30!
18. The Legend Of Zelda: Waluigi Of Time
First on our list of the best N64 Rom hacks of all time is a mod that really shouldn’t exist, but I’m so glad it does.
If you’ve played through Ocarina a hundred times and want to try something new, give this a try.
The game hasn’t changed much, but Link sure looks like he needs a haircut!
Waluigi is often left behind in Mushroom Kingdom games, let alone in game series where he never should have been.
Still, there’s something strangely hypnotic about seeing him pick up the Master Sword, become the Hero of Time, enter the sacred land, and fight Shadow Ganon.
I guess the Master Sword is the same color as his hat. Maybe Waluigi, not Fi, is the true spirit of the Sword after all.
17. Super Mario Star Road
Super Mario Star Road comes in at number 17 on our list of the best N64 ROM hacks.
Like many of the other games on this list, it’s so good that it could have been a real N64 game.
Plus, it has a cool mode where you can play with other people.
It has great graphics, and the general layout of each level is also great.
The story is still the same as in the first Super Mario 64, but everything feels just a little bit more exciting.
People who have played the original game so many times probably need a change as much as they need a break.
This might be one of the best amateur couch-multiplayer N64 games ever!
16. Super Falcon 64
Let’s start our list of the best N64 ROM hacks of all time with Captain Falcon, shall we?
The cover art for this game is so good that I often wish it were a real game.
My favorite character in Super Smash Bros. has done it again with an amazing ROM hack of Super Mario 64.
Falcon On all of the game’s classic levels, you can punch your attackers into next week.
Now that someone a little taller than Mario has joined the field, Peach looks pretty eager to be saved…
It’s a great piece of ROM magic that you need to check out right away. It has new text and voices and a cool life icon with the Cap’s name.
15. JFG Trainer & Co-Op (Jet Force Gemini)
First, we’ll look at a basic hack for one of the N64’s most underappreciated titles, the pioneering third-person shooter Jet Force Gemini.
This ROM hack, like a Gameshark cartridge, makes it easier to introduce cheats into your game.
Whether you desire endless ammo, re-enable cut content, or anything else, this should be a useful tool.
This download includes a trick that allows you to play Co-Op with two human characters instead of one player controlling a flying drone.
14. Pokémon Stadium Kaizo (Pokémon Stadium)
If it exists, there’s an ultra-hard Kaizo version of it somewhere.
And the iconic N64 Pokémon Stadium is no exception.
This hard mode of the beloved 3D Pokémon arena overhauls the game for a more challenging experience. I mean, real challenging.
It gives opponents a better AI, better Pokémon teams, and better movesets that will prove devastating.
To help you stand a chance, all rental Pokémon have also been considerably buffed.
And there’s a way to access each of the original 151 ‘mons – including legendaries.
13. Playable Patch (40 Winks)
Games are sometimes canceled for no apparent reason.
40 Winks, an upgraded N64 port of a PlayStation game starring Ruff and Tumble, two siblings who must fight to overcome their anxieties and defend their dreams from the evil Nitekap, is one such example.
Despite the fact that the game was finished and playable, it was canceled just days before its release.
I know, it’s insane.
This hack makes any of the game’s existing ROMs playable, allowing dedicated gamers to finally enjoy this amazing title.
12. CPUs Use Human Items (Mario Kart 64)
Once you’ve mastered the controls, the CPU racers in Mario Kart 64 aren’t too difficult to defeat. It’s also important to choose the right character, but that’s another topic.
I used to think I was a master driver, but I recently discovered that they are hampered by defective programming.
To cut a long story short, they can only use a few objects, including some of the most powerful.
This useful ROM hack repairs the corrupted code and allows CPUs to use formerly human-only things for enhanced speed, such as shells, triple banana peels, and triple red shrooms.
11. Amagami Mario Kart (Mario Kart 64)
Why stop at boosting the game’s difficulty by improving CPUs?
Instead, let’s turn everyone into a lovely anime girl… yep, good plan.
This one-of-a-kind ROM hack replaces every single character in the game with a girl from the Amagami SS anime, which is based on a PlayStation 2 dating simulator.
I enjoyed the show when it first aired, so I can’t help but laugh at this ridiculous hack.
Just so you know, this hack incorporates some code from our prior entry, hence removing the restrictions on CPU item usage. So it’s a double-whammy ROM hack.
10. Majora’s Mask REDUX (Majora’s Mask)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is not only one of the franchise’s darkest installments, but also one of its most cherished.
And perhaps the greatest game of its type on the N64.
However, time has not been kind to the legendary game. It lacks the ease-of-use that game creators have been working on for years.
This hack attempts to make the game more appealing to us spoilt modern gamers by improving QoL by mapping all primary masks and the Ocarina to the D-Pad, freeing up the C-Pad for other purposes.
It also allows Link to push blocks quicker, cycle among magic arrows while shooting, and much more.
9. Ocarina of Time REDUX (Ocarina of Time)
The same developer improves the quality of life in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which similarly lacks many commodities. And possibly even more than the sequel.
With this ROM hack, the D-Pad allows you to access multiple boots rather than masks while still freeing up your C-Pad.
The writing speed has increased as well, and the rupee meter changes color depending on whatever wallet upgrade you have.
There’s no reason to play the original game again if you can get this to work.
8. Masked Quest (Majora’s Mask)
Many users have varying ideas about what it means to improve a game.
Masked Quest for Majora’s Mask goes above and beyond Majora’s Mask REDUX in terms of refreshing the vanilla experience.
The designer refers to this as the “ultimate version” of Majora’s Mask, with enhanced dungeons, a revamped core town, and a generally more difficult experience.
All thanks to improved adversaries and even new enemies that were initially deleted from the game.
Of course, it includes some QoL enhancements as well. Such as the option to cycle through magical arrows while shooting, as well as various improvements based on the game’s 3DS remake.
7. Super Mario: Star Road (SM64)
One of the most popular hacking games is Super Mario 64.
It has also long been at the forefront of ROM hack development.
Super Mario: Star Road was one of the first Super Mario 64 ROM hacks to gain popularity among Internet users, and it completely overhauls the game by adding new stages, monsters, a new soundtrack, and an upgraded camera.
This ROM hack should keep you occupied for a long time, with 130 total stars to collect over its revamped stages.
6. F-Zero DXP (F-Zero X)
F-Zero is a pioneering and legendary zero-g racing series.
And the N64 launch was one of the most anticipated. Captain Falcon was even featured in SSB!
This ROM hack allows us to rediscover this wonderful racer by replacing every track with a new one created specifically for this release.
They’re different, and the creator did an excellent job of making them feel like professional tracks rather than amateur work.
5. F-Zero X Climax (F-Zero X)
F-Zero X Climax is another amazing ROM hack with a similar goal, but instead of adding all-new custom tracks, it just ports the stages from the Japan-only GBA title F-Zero Climax.
The designer made certain that they were sufficiently tweaked to perform in this engine, including the inclusion of numerous ramps and jump pads to give each run a little more verticality.
While not being specifically designed for this engine makes these tracks sound a little out of place at times, the original GBA designers’ brilliance shows through nevertheless.
4. Zelda’s Birthday (Ocarina of Time)
Several ROM hacks involving the renowned Hero of Time and his adventures have been explored.
However, none of them have varied much from the original plot.
Zelda’s Birthday provides gamers with a totally different experience, altering Link’s path through the land, dialogue, and overall goals.
There are three completely rebuilt dungeons, side quests, and even several endings depending on how the game is played.
Something we rarely see in LoZ games.
3. Super Mario 64: The Missing Stars (SM64)
The Missing Stars is another fantastic SM64 hack that adds a lot of new content and improves the game’s main features for a more pleasant experience.
A day/night cycle that influences the levels you can access, updated bosses, whole new adversaries, and a revamped soundtrack, including new beats developed specifically for The Missing Stars, are among the new additions.
The soundtrack is fantastic.
If you’re feeling brave, you can also play as Luigi, albeit this has little effect on the game. However, it allows you to express your feelings for the taller brother.
2. GoldenEye X (Perfect Dark)
At first, I assumed I was seeing an upgrade to the legendary 007 GoldenEye.
And I was perplexed when I realized I required a Perfect Dark ROM to make it function.
Rather than enhancing the main GoldenEye engine, this hack move all GoldenEye multiplayer levels, weaponry, and characters to the superior Perfect Dark engine – while also retaining the PD weapons and characters for added diversity.
One of the most helpful improvements is the ability to add up to eight bots to the multiplayer mode, which was not possible in the original GoldenEye.
You’re going to love this wacky hack.
1. Super Mario 64: Last Impact (SM64)
This isn’t the first time Kaze Emanuar’s release has topped one of our ROM hack rankings.
We can’t get enough of this bold and inventive redesign of the original SM64.
Last Impact exceeds your expectations.
It offers new stages, challenges, and enemies to defeat – but it takes things a step further by incorporating new elements like as the FLUDD from Super Mario Sunshine and even a Yoshi you can ride.
It’s a technical marvel packed with custom components.
This distinguishes it from the original game significantly, transforming it into a type of spiritual successor or unofficial sequel.
You’d definitely want to play it.