It's time for a controversial opinion! I've been playing Banjo-Kazooie again, thanks to the recent Rare Replay. I've always loved the game, but I was struck on this playthrough just how well-designed and memorable the game is, from top to bottom.
Playing so much Banjo-Kazooie led me to start playing Super Mario 64 again. And while Mario 64 is clearly the more important game to gaming history — it's the first truly great 3D platformer — the developers at Rare took that structure and improved upon it for their game (which came out a little less than two years later).
Banjo-Kazooie holds up remarkably well — which we mentioned in our Rare Replay coverage — but, more than that, it's one of the very few games that actually took its predecessor's formula and did nearly everything a bit better.
Check out our opinion video, which compares the two giants of the Nintendo 64 era and counts the ways in which Rare's approach makes for a better experience.