A fresh Nintendo Switch Online update has brought another well-liked N64 classic back to modern audiences, but Mario Party 3 hopefuls aren’t taking the news well.
During the Nintendo Direct in September 2022, Nintendo announced a suite of N64 games to come to the NSO library over the next year. In 2022, we got Pilotwings 64, Mario Party, and Mario Party 2. 2023 was set for Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Stadium 2, 1080° Snowboarding, Excitebike 64, and Mario Party 3. While three of those games are now available – and 2023 is far from over – Mario Party fans are getting increasingly desperate for what’s arguably the definitive N64 entry in the series.
That’s why the impending launch of Excitebike 64 on NSO has met with such a mixed response. While Nintendo’s questionably-named Excite series spanned decades, Excitebike 64 was the only one that came out at the height of extreme sports’ popularity, and with a combination of quality motocross action and an array of ridiculous modes – plus a track editor – the game is arguably one of the best examples of the era’s action sports games.
But Mario Party has a much more robust retro fandom in 2023, and players who’ve been making do with hacked-together netplay solutions on PC emulators have found the official NSO releases to be an attractive alternative. That’s why there’s been quite a bit of disappointment over another game coming before Mario Party 3, to the point where the game was even briefly trending on Twitter, more than two decades after its original release.
Waiting for Mario Party 3 on NSO like pic.twitter.com/us79VQaJkRAugust 25, 2023
literally the only game missing is mario party 3 that should’ve been the first game added LMAO pic.twitter.com/Kc7dBD6MHrAugust 25, 2023
I’m pretty sure Nintendo misread this box too and assumed they already put Mario Party 3 on NSO pic.twitter.com/EEL11ZUUCWAugust 25, 2023
maybe the real Mario Party 3 is the friends we made along the wayAugust 25, 2023
When is Mario party 3 gonna be available??? https://t.co/KBEELPBCoW pic.twitter.com/RQzGPCi0VQAugust 25, 2023
There’s been a major Nintendo Direct broadcast in September for five of the past six years, and usually there’s at least a smaller Direct in the month when the company doesn’t have a big presentation ready. Not to further inflame anybody’s hopes, but it would be a perfect time for a ‘by the way, you can download Mario Party 3 right now’ announcement. Or maybe Nintendo will just reveal that it’s managed to delete every copy of the Mario Party 3 ROM that’s ever existed. The company’s impossible to predict.
Another great day to revisit some of the best N64 games of all time.