6 – Banjo–Kazooie
3D Collect-a-thons will be back next year with Yooka-Laylee and Banjo-Kazooie, its most clear influence, is still in my opinion the peak of the genre, having obtained a nice equilibrium between driving exploration and puzzle resolution and a smooth game pace. While Banjo Tooie and DK64 feel too massive to my taste (very big levels and worlds that the player has to retrack several times in order to progress in the game), BK’s more constrained levels are perfect to compel the player to explore while not becoming boring.
There are a big variety of movements, some of them really original, that the player has to acquire gradually, what drives the progress of the game (in my opinion, with a nice pace) and allow the player to obtain the different items. Also, the transformations of the protagonist duo in different animals are really funny and introduce further variety in the levels. As in most N64 Rare games, the sountrack is wonderful and the game is packed with hilarious situations and characters.
While Super Mario 64 is probably a better game, I enjoyed more Banjo-Kazooie when was a kid. In my opinion, it’s the best Rare collect-a-thon and one of the best games of the console.