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21. Banjo-Kazooie
Nintendo 64 (1998)
Rare Ltd.

In the days of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, developers finally had the technology to create their games in a 3D world. And because of that, many wanted to shed the more linear way of creating game worlds and see just how far they could push the boundaries. 3D Platformers were born, with characters like Mario, Spyro, and Banjo leading the way. But we're here to talk about Banjo-Kazooie, and talk about them we shall! Looking back at games like Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 makes me appreciate the original BK even more. It's the perfect mix of open world platforming and restrained, focused level design. It offers the correct amount of collectables and how they interact with the world that Banjo-Kazooie find themselves in. It offers an interesting, interactive hub worlds while introducing us to a diverse group of worlds to explore. Even replaying it years later shows what a well put together and plain ol' fun game Banjo-Kazooie is (annoying 5th gen camera controls notwithstanding). I'll always love the bear and bird duo, and wish them the best in the years going forward.