Mario Party 3 hopefuls in shambles after a different N64 classic hits Nintendo Switch Online

Mario Party 3
(Image credit: Nintendo)

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.

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.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.