Sporting vibrant visuals and exceptional water physics, Wave Race 64 captured the 90s’ obsession with personal watercraft and turned it into a fantastic racing game.
Nintendo even secured a licensing deal with jet-ski manufacturer Kawasaki to create as authentic an experience as possible.
Like Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 before it, Wave Race 64 was another game that was clearly designed to highlight the power of the N64 compared to its competitors. The game features incredibly realistic wave physics, and Shigeru Miyamoto reportedly once said that it uses about 80% of the N64’s power.
Since its original release in 1996, Wave Race 64 has been re-released multiple times, albeit in different forms. In 1997, Nintendo released Wave Race 64 Shindō Pak Taiō Version in Japan, which added Rumble Pak functionality and time-trial ghosts. In 2007, the game was released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service for the Wii, and again in 2015 for Wii U. However, Nintendo removed the Kawasaki and Fanta branding from these two later versions, presumably due to its licensing deals with these companies ending.