I will compare 3 pairs of games, for a total of 6 games, 3 for the N64 and 3 for the Playstation. I will start out talking about the less epic but just as fun games for each system. On the N64s side we can look at Super Smash Bros. When the N64 is mentioned this is usually one of the first games to come up and for good reason. This game defines fun, get four people together and it is hard to top this game in terms of sheer insanity and amount of stuff that can be done. While this game might have been forgotten without the inclusion of many of the famous Nintendo characters, it still was a solid and fun game in its own right.
The Playstation on the other hand will throw out a different sort of brawler, that being Tekken. This game was also a ton of fun to play with friend because of its fast paced action and solid fighting system. Being Tekken there were a lot of character, each with their own special way of fighting, sort of like Super Smash Bros. Melee but Tekken did not have same level of difference in abilities that was in Super Smash Bros. On the whole though Tekken was enjoyable, but being that it looked and played like a lot of other fighting games, it was not as well remembered as the endearing nature of Super Smash Bros.
Next onto the racer and this is where the most stark and polarizing part of the battle comes into play. On the N64 side sits Mario Kart 64, a fun, fast pace, arcade like racing game with very little realism. This game was great because it expanded on what made the original Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo so fun and exciting. All the different powerups, all the different characters to choose from and the variety of interesting and quirky track on which you could race made this game a winner, who can forget tracks like Rainbow Road. The game also included a mode that did not have to do with racing, which was called Battle Mode. This mode was endearing because of the variety of things that could be done and the frantic nature of trying to dodge everything someone throws at you while you only have one balloon left and they only have one balloon left.
On the other hand, the Playstation provided once again, a much less endearing example of the genre, but one that stood so far above the rest that it ended up having more of an influence and is probably better remembered than Mario Kart 64, that game is Gran Turismo. The reason why I say that Gran Turismo is remembered more that Mario Kart 64 is because its sequels both the Playstation and Playstation 2 have been hugely successful, Gran Turismo 3 is the best selling game on the Playstation 2. The original Gran Turismo on the Playstation was so detailed, so realistic and allowed you to do so much that it was in a league of its own when it was released. The reason? The game let you buy a 178 different cars and tune them to your hearts content. You could change everything from the height of the vehicle off of the ground to the type of transmission that the car would use. The tracks themselves were beautifully rendered for the time and were quite realistic and sometimes it was fun to just drive around the tracks and test the cars out rather than race. Clearly the Playstation produced a better game and a better series, though that can be debated.
Lastly I would like to look not at a genre but at a style of game, the masterpiece. Both the N64 and the Playstation had their share of masterpiece, but each one had one game that stood above the rest, the magnum opus of the system. Starting with the N64 we will look at The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, not only one of the greatest N64 games but possibly one of the greatest games ever made. Ocarina of Time is a masterpiece for several reason. The first is the sheer scope of the game and what can be done. After you settle into the routine of the game you can then branch off of the main path or story line progress to take on side quest and mini game, and there are many of these galore. The best and probably most well know is the fishing game, which could almost be a game onto itself. This mini game is exactly what it says, fishing and you can do most of the things you could do in a fishing game. The reason why it is so memorable it because you could spend hours fishing in what was supposed to be a mini game, which says a lot about the game as a whole, if a mini game is made this well imagine the main adventure. Lo and behold the main adventure is a epic that takes you from locales such as Forest to the Stomach of a Giant fish to Deserts. The game mixes up the action by giving you many different alternate weapons or items to use in coordination with your main sword and shield combo. In the end this game is great because it has everything a great game needs, a well executed story, brilliant level design( Shadow Temple or Water Temple anyone?) and an overall level of polish that rivals many games released today.
The last game we will look at is Chrono Cross for the Playstation, which itself rivals and at times beats Ocarina of Time for sheer scope and production values. This game is made by Square and if you know anything about video game you know that means production values through the roof, which is usually a good thing. The game is polished, the graphics are crisp and vibrant and do a great job of creating the mood for each place that is visited. The story easily blows Ocarina≠s out of the water and like its original on the snes( by name and spiritual resemblance and being made by the same company) Chrono Trigger, it manages a feasible story involving time travel, and many other things, that still stands as the only one, next to Chrono Trigger, that is any good. But this would be moot without solid gameplay with which to tell this tale and in this area Chrono Cross does not disappoint. The game is an RPG, so you level up and slowly build up your characters over the course of the game. The battle system is fun and unlike most RPGs does not make you want to avoid battles after an hour of play. Another plus is that unlike most RPGs at the time, you can see the enemies on the regular screen, so no random battles. In the end, taken as a whole, this is a game which everyone should play, because it is the epitome of gaming, for it includes everything that is needed to make a great game, and then some.
Taken from this then, it is hard to see why the N64 seems to have endeared itself so much more to people. Maybe because it is that the people I know just like the N64 more than the Playstation but truth to be told, I have had a lot more memories with the Playstation that with the N64. Both systems have their pluses and minuses and they both have a wealth of great games that I will discuss later and in the end those who got to play either system or both, were in for a great time.