The motivation exhibited by individuals who develop mods and ROM hacks for their preferred games has consistently astounded me. It is created by and for enthusiasts, which is a lovely occurrence. Nintendo has a reputation for being hostile toward ROM hacking communities, but they persevere because of the love that these creators have for one another. Additionally, Super Mario 64 is arguably one of the best platformers in Nintendo’s catalog… A lot of it is available. I have recently become interested in Super Mario 64 hacks, and I cannot help but revere the effort that goes into creating them. It is particularly remarkable in light of the peculiar and, candidly, antiquated programming style employed in the game, which is to be expected from a 64-bit era pioneer. I’ll encourage ROM hacking by sharing what I believe to be the best Super Mario 64 ROM hacks ever created. We shall plunge in!
Top 10 Best Super Mario 64 ROM Hacks To Try
1. Super Mario 64: The Missing Stars
“SM64: The Missing Stars” by Frauber is a classic hack that significantly modifies the game’s technical aspects. It includes a day/night cycle, an enhanced camera, and other gameplay-improving modifications. Luigi can also be used to traverse the game’s ten levels if his plumper sibling has grown tedious. It feels like an entirely new take on the SM 64 formula with updated foes, new adversaries, and remixed music, including some original compositions created just for the hack.
2. Super Mario 64: The Green Stars
The Green Stars, developed by Kampel64, is a respectable option for evaluating Super Mario 64 ROM hacks before committing to one. It adds a lot of levels and demonstrates a lot of what these modifications can accomplish. There are 130 stars available for collection across numerous custom levels. A portion of which requires detective-like exploration of the overworld to discover, given that the developer took great care to conceal every secret. Its lack of a higher classification is because the level of design quality fluctuates excessively. Certain areas are tediously simple, while others demand exceedingly precise stunt leaps and exploit that an expert could only execute without undergoing two hundred attempts.
3. Super Mario 64 Land
Kaze Emanuar, the visionary behind some of the most ambitious and astonishing hacks for the classic game, is well-known to anyone who has followed the SM 64 ROM hacking scene. Super Mario 64 Land is considered to be one of their initial works. Despite its narrower scope, its final quality is identical to that of the others. It’s much like Super Mario 3D Land, with 33 Mario levels that are much more linear than ordinary ones. Mario has also acquired a few new abilities to traverse them better. More precisely, you will discover an Aerial Dive and a Butt Bounce to be extraordinarily useful.
4. Super Mario 64: Kirby Edition
Consider starting with SM64: Kirby Edition, which Dudaw created, if you prefer to begin with something less ambitious. The endearing Kirby is substituted for the traditional red-capped plumber in this hack. It was the initial release of a complete character hack on SM64, and although the practice has become more prevalent in recent years, the level of refinement remains remarkable. Kirby can not only glide and move as the character should. Additionally, power-ups are altered to transform the pink puff into a Thwomp or Boo, thereby imitating his copy ability. On certain levels, you can even pilot Kirby’s signature Warp Star. Neat!
5. Super Mario 64: Star Revenge Redone
Well, The Star Revenge series, created by ROM hacking expert BroDute and numerous collaborators, is among the most prolific hack series ever, with over six original releases and many remakes. Redone Star Revenge SM64 is the most recent iteration of the initial hack. It includes more than 125 new stars to collect across thirteen distinct levels. Aside from the surreal humor and self-referential quips, what distinguishes this hack is its intricate lore and an overarching narrative that requires you to play each release to comprehend it. This is where you should start your mission if you want to.
6. Super Mario 74
Occasionally, we only desire a more difficult experience in our all-time beloved games. Well, Consider Super Mario 74 by Lugmilors if this describes you. In its numerous custom levels, which all present significantly more difficulty than the typical conventional SM64 scenario, there are 120 new stars to be earned. This includes the majority of pivotal battles, which now feature additional obstacles, such as Bowser swinging higher to detonate the explosives. After completing it, you may play Super Mario 74 Extreme Edition, a Kaizo-level challenge that is even more preposterous.
7. Super Mario Bros. 64
Kaze Emanuar’s Super Mario Bros. 64, which reintroduces the side-scrolling platformer mechanics of earlier Mario games such as Super Mario World, is an example of something remarkably simpler. However, it was rendered using the 3D engine of the SM64. Pretty cool. I love how the camera is inclined at the correct diagonal angle to appreciate depth without completely forsaking the side-scrolling perspective. The number of playable Mario universe characters, including the fan-favorite Waluigi, Luigi, and Mario himself, is unlimited.
8. Super Mario 64 Sapphire
In light of the generally artisanal nature of ROM hacking, it can be subjectively stated that most games exhibit conflicting quality levels. Super Mario 64 Sapphire by NebulaSM64 is one of the most consistently excellent Super Mario 64 ROM hacks available. It is a brief but delightful experience that awards 30 stars across six exceptional levels. Moreover, some of the most breathtaking landscapes ever rendered by this 64-bit engine can be found on these levels. This is it if you’re searching for a fast Mario dose with an SM64 twist.
9. Super Mario 64: Last Impact
Last Implication, developed by Kaze Emanuar, is the only ROM hack worthy of being regarded as the sequel to SM64. It includes many custom assets, brand-new foes, and even additional power-ups. Everything is extremely interesting, including a Yoshi that can be ridden and Super Mario Sunshine’s FLUDD. This game is a marvel of technology! Each newly introduced level completely differs from what we have become accustomed to. Additionally, obtaining each of the 130 new stars presents several distinct difficulties. On one level, fulfilling the requirements of playing Mario Party games will grant you access to the highly sought-after astral body. It may experience the occasional malfunction. Additionally, it does contain its share of flaws. However, that is to be expected for a project of this magnitude, and it is generally unimportant, as this ROM hack represents the next generation of SM64.
10. Super Mario: Star Road
I advocate for demonstrating reverence and gratitude towards groundbreaking endeavors across all disciplines. And it is a delight when they are as excellent as Skelux’s Super Mario: Star Road. This enormous ROM hack was among the first to gain widespread attention beyond the ROM hacking subculture. A redesigned soundtrack imbues it with the spirit of a genuine sequel, while 130 stars are collected across some outstanding levels. Additionally, new foes are introduced. In light of the intensive emphasis on precise platforming, it is also crucial to highlight the effort that went into developing a more user-friendly camera than its predecessor.