N64: Remembering the Multiplayer Madness

n64One of the first games I ever played with more than 2 people was Doom on the PC, when a friend of mine had several computers set up on a LAN. We would go over there after school and just kill each other for hours at a time. I had never experienced anything like it.

Multiplayer gaming is relatively new to the gaming world, having come to the forefront in maybe only the last 15 years or so. Growing up, playing games was always a single player ordeal, me and my fingers against cpu minions as I whittled away the summer hours beating whatever new piece of software I had in my possession. However, that all changed with PC gaming going online, and eventually, the home console.

While I’ve had some fond memories over the years of exciting multiplayer romps, the Nintendo 64 days still shine in my mind as the glory times of my gaming youth. Sure, there was Halo 2 in college, Counter-Strike: Source for most of my adult life and even Warcraft 3 somewhere in there. But there’s one game in particular, that when I think back to it, I get all nerd-stalgic about it. That game is Wrestlemania 2000.

I know, maybe you think I’m crazy. “What about Goldeneye,” you’ll say, or “What about Perfect Dark”. While those games were incredible, there was something magical about Wrestlemania 2000. That game supplied me and my friends with more multiplayer hours than almost any game to date. The create-a-wrestler was one of the most deep and unique of any wrestling game than I’ve seen to this day, and the ability to make your own pay-per-view event nights, with “bad blood” matches and Royal Rumbles was second to none.

wwf2000Each of us in our group had our own characters, such as Lil’ Pimp MC, the strutting white-suited player, or Professor Mean, the clean cut smiling menace with the devastating finishers, and Señor Sexay, the spanish wonder with moves such as the “sex plex”, and a variety of heat-inducing dance maneuvers. With these dudes, we would smack down on each other for endless hours, giving literally whole summers over to this game during high school.

I think one of the most engaging things about it was not only the ability to infuse it with our own personality, but also its reversal system, which was built around timing your blocks and putting your opponent back on the defensive. It was a pretty deep system, one that I’m surprised you don’t see in more fighting games (though Dead or Alive has some similar mechanics).

Probably the highlight of this game for us was the night that we put together a huge Pay Per View. We all went to my friend Daniel’s house, designed a series of about 6 or 7 fights, including a Bad Blood match (first to draw blood on the opponent wins) between me and Daniel since we hated each other for some reason at that time, and even a final Royal Rumble to finish it all off. It was a night of epic fun, and we still talk about it to this day.

So, what are some multiplayer games that have created similar memories for you guys? Games that ate away tons of time amongst you and your friends and gave you all kinds of stories to tell? I’ve had plenty, but for some reason, this silly wrestling game seems to always stand up tallest. Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

14 thoughts on “N64: Remembering the Multiplayer Madness”

  1. Endless hours of CS:S, including Jailbraek mod and just one-on-one Shot for Shot with my friend.

    Battlefield 2: Project Reality I play a lot now, too.

    But my favorite multiplayer game ever was probably Super Smash Bros. on N64.

  2. Dark Alliance, Bomberman, hell even the original Mario Bros.

    Me and my brother played those and Madden and Mario kart for hours and hours!

  3. Um, Goldeneye and Diddy Kong Racing for the ye olde days. I can remember so many legendary bouts on Goldeneye with my cousins. We did a TDM so me and my cousin would always hold off the room with the Golden Gun against his two older bros. Golden Gun > Kalashinikov/Shotgun. We never had Mario Kart though and I’m guessing Anthony isn’t the only one who’ll mention it.

  4. It’s funny Skuba, because my fondest memories are also playing Goldeneye with my cousins. The Christmas I got it I swear we only stopped playing long enough to eat and sleep a little.

    I’ll also mention Mario Kart and to be perfectly honest, I still play that game…a lot. My friend and I have kind of a heated rivalry and every time we hang out we always play. In fact, it’s hooked up downstairs right now and we just played it this past weekend.

    It’s funny that even with all these new and inventive multiplayer games that are out today, I still spend a few hours playing good ol’ N64.

  5. I’d say GoldenEye/World’s Not Enough on N64 along with Super Smash Bros. NightFire on GameCube and TimeSplitters 2 and Future Perfect were fantastic games. And of course- the SOCOM series on PS2. All of those consumed my gaming life over all other games, because I loved to play games with my good friends

  6. I never got to play any N64 games multiplayer (1 controller), but my fondest multiplayer memories are of Crash Team Racing on the PS1. That and cat bomb racing in Time Splitters 3. Those were the good old days.

  7. Thanks for writing this, brought back a wave of N64 memories with this game, and goldeneye as well. A few of the WWF games on the PS were good in my opinion too.

  8. I’ve played halo and call of duty 4 for endless hours. guitar hero was fun but nothing amazing. the best multiplayer game I’ve ever played was probably street fighter 2.

  9. The N64 (my only console) brought me closer to my friends with WCW/NWO Revenge, and Battle Tanx. Not to mention that Rainbow Six on N64 was CRAZY hard on Elite difficulty!

    Now, though, its all about L4D, TF2, and a little CS:S.

  10. For myself, probably the first Online Multiplayer game I played, which was so much fun, was Quake III Arena for my Dad’s MACs. I spent hours on that game fragging it up with the rail gun and jumping for armor shards. Honestly I think that may be my first online multiplayer game EVER.

    Also one of the best multiplayer games for the N64 had to be Super Smash Bros. That one was a game that hours were spent on with a good friend of mine, Greg Starbird. We would play that stuff till our hearts content. Great stuff.

    Honestly, Eddy you will remember, in High School, Halo 2 dominated multiplayer for my gaming time. I know Iv spent more time on that than any other game in multiplayer. From after school sessions at the church (hella fun) to the ritualistic signing on ever night to go slay with the boys. Good times

  11. N64:
    Mario Kart
    Mario Party 2 and up
    Super Smash Bros
    Donkey Kong 64

    Super Smash Bros Melee
    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

    A bunch of InuYasha fighter games from PS1

    Halo CE

    SSB Brawl

    Halo 3
    CoD WaW (mainly Nazi Zombies)
    Castle Crashers
    Dead or Alive
    Gears of War 2 (Horde, that’s it lol)

    Yeah, so basically every single multiplayer game I’ve played, I’ve had good times.

  12. back in the day, it was the original super smash brothers, i still remember playing that for hours in my friends basement. We would play that for HOURS at a time. I was always Luigi or Ness. Luigi if i wanted to have fun, Ness if i wanted to make a statement, and the statement was im not effing around.

    Eventually it would evolve to Madden (2002 for those who remember it) and then to steam.

  13. I’m going to have to go with Zombies Ate My Neighbors for the greatest game, playing co op for that was amazing even though it was just on my SNES. Using waterguns to kill zombies and packs of soda like grenades was just way too fun. Then later on goldeneye would provide fun until my older brother memorized the order of the spawn points on temple which was my favorite map

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