Super Mario 64
Until Super Mario Galaxy arrived this year, this was the undisputed champion of 3D platform games, and even now it still has at least one hand on the title. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team delivered a lesson on how to make a platform game work in three dimensions, nailing aspects like the control system and the camera with a precision that 90 per cent of rivals released today can't match. More importantly, the incredible cartoon graphics were wrapped around a world that seemed bursting with ideas. Even today it's a marvel, though playing the version downloadable on the Wii virtual console is preferably to playing Super Mario 64 DS, mainly because the game doesn't quite work as well with the DS' touchscreen controls.
Up until Goldeneye it looked like the console FPS was never going to work, but Rare's game said different, turning what could have been another poor licensed movie game into one of the most respected adaptations of all time. In terms of the weapon selection, the AI and the gameplay Goldeneye was actually ahead of many PC FPS games of the time, and the split-screen multiplayer option proved that deathmatching didn't have to be confined to Quake and Doom. Unfortunately, it seems that Goldeneye is unlikely to turn up either on the Wii Virtual Console or Xbox Live Arcade, despite the fact that Rare is now part of the mighty Microsoft Games Studios empire.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Having brought one hero into the 3D age, Miyamoto turned his attention to another. Ocarina of Time has it all: an epic, magical adventure, lovely cartoon graphics, a large, freely explorable world, an interesting cast of characters and so much to do that you can spend days just wandering around Hyrule without actually getting much done in the main quest. More than that, Ocarina of Time also has a strange charm that helps it transcend the ravages of time. Even now, you can get swept up in the game. It's a popular download on the Wii Virtual Console.