Nintendo Showdown: Super Mario 64 vs. Banjo-Kazooie

Nintendo Showdown Super Mario 64. vs Banjo-Kazooie

Welcome back to another edition of Nintendo Showdown! This is a weekly series at Nintendo Enthusiast, and it requires some audience participation. Every week we’ll compare two (or more) Nintendo games and pit them against each other in a showdown. Your votes decide the winner, so choose wisely. For this week’s clash, we have a pair of outstanding 3D platformers from the Nintendo 64 era. It’s Super Mario 64 vs. Banjo-Kazooie! Click below to cast your vote and help us decide.

Nintendo Showdown: Super Mario 64 vs. Banjo-Kazooie

Super Mario 64

Nintendo took the video game industry by storm in the ’80s thanks to a turtle-fighting plumber named Mario. The 2D platforming series was the face of gaming, but the ’90s brought new hardware and new opportunity. Mario made the transition to 3D beautifully in Super Mario 64. Just like Super Mario Bros. before it, it set a new industry standard and inspired countless future games. To this day it has one of the highest average review scores of any game.


Although they weren’t officially a Nintendo studio, Rare was a constant provider of quality Nintendo 64 exclusives. Of all the gems they created, Banjo-Kazooie is one of the best. The first adventure of the bear and bird took the formula laid out by Mario and injected it with a healthy dose of personality. It’s packed full of strange and memorable characters, and the dialogue is consistently clever. It left an impact that has people begging for another entry in the series to this day.

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.