by Mitchel Clow
There’s a certain magic to playing these five Nintendo games with friends during the summer. Who knew karting, slapping, and board games could be so much fun?
1. ‘Super Smash Bros.’ (N64)
The first in the line of the fantastic Super Smash Bros. series, the Nintendo 64 version lined up an excellent roster of characters and combined it with one of the best fighting mechanics of all 2D fighting games.
The potentials of the versus deathmatches in Super Smash Bros. are too intense for words. The high action, split second life-or-death feeling of this game raises our pulse and hightens our attention every time we play against friends.
Our favorite way to play this classic game (available on the Wii Virtual Console for 1,000 points [$10]) is with items turned off, on five stock lives. Pitting matchups like Ness vs. Pikachu or Link vs. Luigi are some of the most equal we know of, and therefore, the most insane.
If you’ve somehow missed out on this classic Nintendo fighting game, do yourself the favor and make sure you play it for a minimum of at least 500 hours with friends this summer.
Pikachu, use electrocute!
2. ‘Mario Kart Wii’ (Wii)
Mario Kart Wii has an amazingly infectious rage attached to it that we oddly can’t get enough of. The tight drifted turns and random items make any Mario Kart race hectic and unpredictable. The infamous blue shell will often be a gamechanger, as someone in first place can easily be moved back to last with its explosive malevolence.
The absolute best course to race on in this version of Mario Kart is Peach Beach. The map combines item availability, shortcuts, and course length to a perfect formula. The final stretch in this level is one of the most exiting rolls of dice we’ve experienced in any competitive video game.
If you’re looking for a great party game, there’s no better solution than Mario Kart. It’s easy to pick up, but brutally difficult to master. Just know that when playing Mario Kart, there’s no guarantee that any given race will end in an easy victory (we’re looking at you, Rainbow Road).
Cardinal rule: Mario will get hit by a blue shell thrown by Donkey Kong right here.
3. ‘Mario Party 2′ (N64)
Friends can easily turn into enemies by the simple tap of the A button in this bloodthirsty board game simulator. Although the first Mario Party did a great job of introducing players to the frantic world of star and coin stealing, Mario Party 2 improved the formula with a plethora of memorable mini games.
One of our favorite mini games is Bumper Balls. There’s nothing like the successful feeling of finally knocking your friend off the stone island surrounded by lava after a minute-long deathmatch.
However, no minigame of any of the Mario Party games stands a chance against the fantastic Grab Bag. Fighting to keep the mushrooms you’ve collected in your napsack, you must be paranoid of everyone as they try to sabatoge your plans to hold onto the ultimate golden mushroom. When we’ve played this minigame, alliances have been made, broken, and reinforced in the course of one round, all in the name of taking down the game’s overall star leader.
Mario Party 2 (also available on the Wii’s virtual console for 1,000 points) will make you hate/love your friends in some of the best multiplayer action this writer has seen.
Don’t let his vacant expression fool you; that gorilla is riding an orange ball of betrayal and pure evil.
4. ‘Pokemon Colosseum’ (GCN)
The GameCube version of the classic Pokemon Colosseum game offers hours of endless fun in a revolutionary way to play the Pokemon games.
With the ability to transfer Pokemon over from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/Firered/Leafgreen to play against friends on a TV screen, matches of epic proportions are inevitable. What’s cooler than seeing your Dragonite Hyper Beam your friend’s Feraligatr to kingdom come at the end of an epic hour-long match? The answer’s simple: nothing.
Whether raising Pokemon on handheld versions of the games, or on the console RPG versions, there’s an unbeatable quality to fighting to until the eleventh hour with two players equally matched in skill and Poke know-how.
Dragonite’s smiling on the outside, but on the inside it’s burning with the fires of rage.
5. ‘GoldenEye 007′ (N64)
James Bond’s Nintendo 64 venture was the game that defined the first-person shooter genre of video games. With lethal slaps and magic golden guns, it’s no wonder that this gem has stood the test of time.
We’ll never forget the feeling of matches that end in surprising an unsuspecting friend by hiding around the corner when both are low on health and ammo. After a quick one-two slap, the classic Bond blood creeps down the screen as we shout for victory over the corpse of our infuriated frenemy.
Beyond this door lies pain and punishment beyond belief.
What’s your favorite Nintendo game to play with friends on a late summer night?