The Nintendo 64 was revolutionary in countless ways, its impact still resonates in modern consoles and games. Unfortunately the N64 and its games have not aged as well as its predecessors, the SNES and NES. Some games like Mario 64 still hold up today, while others like Goldeneye 64 are difficult to enjoy after years of playing more advanced shooters.
If Nintendo were to release a N64 Classic, they should strongly consider refining both the hardware and the games to make the experience more palatable for contemporary audiences.
First off the controller. The N64 controller was always a bit awkward, and if you’re conditioned to modern controllers it can be almost unplayable at times. So I propose GameCube-inspired controllers, they have a contemporary layout, built-in rumble, and a lot less bulk.
Next up is the games. Because they are in 3D, Nintendo could, in theory, edit them to render at a 16:9 aspect ratio and with a higher resolution, say 720p. They could even increase frame rates for games like Goldeneye 64, which ran around 15fps in the original.
Models and textures could be improved, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch to ask for. However it should be noted that Nintendo has remastered a few games recently: Mario 64 and Star Fox 64 for the DS; Zelda Ocarina of Time and Zelda Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. These updated games could be ported to the N64 Classic, along with the original versions for the purists.
Other games have been recently remastered like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2. I have doubts either would be candidates for the N64 Classic. Yes they’re pretty tame now, but not family-friendly enough for Nintendo’s brand.
Rare did make a more polished version of Goldeneye 64 back in 2008 that was intended for the Xbox 360, but licensing issues with Nintendo killed the project. Could that version be resurrected for the N64 Classic? I hope so, it would be the killer app, much in the same way Star Fox 2 was for the SNES Classic.
In summary: different controllers, and refining all the included games for better presentation and gameplay. Not too much to ask for, right?